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Thoughts in a Visitless Week

20 November 2008

First, let me apologize to my dear readers for the complete lack of postings this week – it’s been a rough one for me physically and I haven’t had any visits to report on.  After the one I had last week, I just want to get out there and visit with everyone!  “Spread the word!  Jessie is here to listen!”  But, alas, this week there are no visits, which is good, in a sense, but also disappointing and leaves me feeling a bit empty after the successful trip last week.  But I am not empty, I have God, and so I must press on and keep learning and growing in God.  Right?  About this, I’m right.

Last night, as I awaited the sweet peace of gentle slumber, I thought of all sorts of interesting topics and issues to discuss here and to reflect and research.  As I sit here today, however, all of those ideas seem to be buried somewhere deep in the recesses of my fertile mind.  Methinks I will need to keep a notebook by the bed at night to jot down such ideas as they come so I don’t have this problem anymore.  I know that one of them had to do with “hell” and the reality of it.  Some people don’t believe in hell – they don’t see how a loving God could possibly allow such a place to exist.  I say, fine.  You don’t have to believe in it. You may be right, even.  However, the more important question is… what do I have to lose by believing?  Nothing.  What do you have to lose in your denial?  Possibly your soul – which is everything when you think about it.

But it’s there, my friends.  Do you think that God would allow such evil to exist in this world and not have a trough for it to spill into in the afterlife?  Certainly men as evil as Hitler an Bin Laden don’t go to heaven.  What would be right and good about that?  Frankly, I don’t understand a God who would allow unrepentant souls overcome with Satan’s evil to have a place in the peace and joy of Our Father’s heaven. There are numerous scriptures in The Good Book that broach this subject of hell.  In the small concordance at the back of my new study Bible (yes, I finally got one!), I count 14 passages with the word “hell” in them – not counting all of the references to that dark and Godless place where it’s referred by some other word.

I know there are some people who just prefer not to think of such negative things.  Some just assume not deal with that much darkness.  It couldn’t exist because a loving God wouldn’t allow it.  Well, ok.  OK.  If that’s what you want to believe, I–alone–probably can’t stop you.  But that doesn’t mean I will give up on you.  God never will, and neither will I.

There’s another book I have to add to my reading list – and I wonder if any of you might also be interested.  It’s called “23 Minutes in Hell” written by a man who experienced what he believes is hell for 23 minutes.  He was saved from death miraculously and has come back to the world to testify to the fiery, Godless, excruciating pain that he endured for only 23 minutes in that dark place.  This was a man who before this experience wasn’t a Christian, but who now has devoted his life to God and to helping others find Him.

I’m not here to tell you what to believe in.  Most assuredly, I have great love for all of my friends and indeed all of the great people who surround us in this life whether you are Christian or of some other faith.  I welcome you all into my life and I will listen to and talk to and debate with fervor anyone who disagrees with me.  I’m not an elitist, as you know.  I see no benefit to cutting out people who disagree.  I heard somewhere that the skeptics are the ones who keep the rest of us honest.  Perhaps that’s true and if so… more power to ya’!  Keep questioning and I will keep looking for answers.  The more questions you have, the more answers I can seek and the deeper my faith grows.  Doubt, I think, exists in all of us.  It’s only human, after all.  And what are we if not human?  What greater gift than free will?  You are free to question, as am I.  You are free to believe or not, and so am I.

I’ll leave you with a bit of scripture to think on – as will I:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers,

Whenever you face trials of many

kinds, because you know that the test-

ing of your faith develops persever-

ance.  Perseverance must finish its

work so that you may be mature and

complete, not lacking anything.  If any of

you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,

who gives generously to all without find-

ing fault, and it will be given to him,

But when he asks, he must believe and

not doubt, because he who doubts is

like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed

by the wind.

-James 1: 2-6

Just something to think about.

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