Tag Archives: truth

“I Love You.”

What we find nearly impossible to believe is that the God who created the universe has spoken these wonderful words personally and intimately to each of us. And he has done it in a way that no one else could: by entering into humanity and dying for our sins upon the cross. He has thus so fully proved his love that there is no excuse for our ever doubting it.

It is this unparalleled manifestation of God’s love that makes Christianity what it is….the relationship that each Christian is intended to enjoy with Christ himself – an intimate personal relationship that is not only unmatched by any other faith but is absolutely essential if someone is to be a Christian.


In contrast, for a Buddhist to have a personal relationship with Buddha is neither possible nor necessary. Nor is the practice of Islam impaired because Muhammad is in the grave. It is no hindrance at all to any of the world’s historic religions that their founders are dead and gone. Not so with Christianity. If Jesus Christ were not alive today, there would be no Christian faith because he is all that it offers. Christianity is not a mass religion but a personal relationship.

At the heart of this relationship is a fact so astonishing that most Christians, including those who have known the Lord for many years, seldom live in its full enjoyment. it isn’t that we don’t believe it intellectually but that we find it too wonderful to accept its implications into our moment-by-moment experience of daily life.

We are like a homely, small-town girl from a very poor family who is being wooed by the most handsome, wealthiest, most powerful, most intelligent, and in every way the most desirable man who ever lived. She enjoys the things he gives her, but is not able to fully give herself to him and really get to know him because she finds it too much to believe that he, with all the far more attractive women in the world, really loves her. And to leave the familiar surroundings of her childhood – the friends and family that have been all she has known and loves – to go with this one who seems to love her so much, and to become a part of another world seems so foreign and even inconceivable to her is all too overwhelming.



Like the small-town girl, each of us finds it very difficult to believe that Jesus really loves us. Although we appreciate his blessings, we find it difficult to become intimate with our heavenly Suitor, because it seems too inappropriate that the Lord of the universe should be wooing us. That he loves everyone and that we are included in that great love is too marvelous.

Knowing that he loves us not because of anything in us but because he is love tells us something else that is very important: God loves all mankind with the same love. There is no special reason why he should love one of us more than another. He is no respecter of persons; there is no favoritism with God. And here we see another reason for rejecting the view that God does not love all mankind enough to want everyone to be in heaven. There is no basis in man (all have sinned and the hearts of all are the same) for God to love some and not others – but neither is there any basis in God for his loving one but not another. Thus we are told that he “so loved the world” that he sent his Son into into world “that the world through him might be saved.” There is no greater love anywhere!


(Except above from “The Love of God”, written by Dave Hunt)

ABC’s of Salvation….

Admit you are a sinner in need of a savior.

Believe in the finished redemtive work of Jesus Christ on the cross alone for the remission of all your sins (past, present and future) and eternal life!

Call on the name of the Lord. (“All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13)

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)

“When you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart man believes and is justified and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” ( Romans 10:9-10)

“For it is by grace you are saved through faith. It is not your own doing. It is the FREE gift of God. Not by works lest any man boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It’s SOON.

I don’t know an exact day, but I do think it’s extremely probable it will be this year, highly likely to be this month…even within days. The sense of anticipation, of longing – it just keeps getting stronger and stronger.  And it’s not just me. Every one of us who is awake and watching is feeling the same thing. It’s SOON. We’re going home soon.

I could cry, just typing that. Soon I will be face to face with the person who loves me most in the world, who loves me unconditionally, even before I was even born. The person who was thinking of me, two thousand years ago, while he was dying a horrific death to pay my penalty for everything I would ever do in the future. Thinking of me, loving me, while he died to set me free and give me a future of eternal joy and happiness.

It’s so impossible, and so unlike anything found anywhere else, in any of the world’s religions. God, all-powerful and all-knowing, chose to set aside his power and knowledge in order to take on the flesh and frailties of a human being. Born into the world he created as a helpless baby, he suffered everything we suffer, was tempted as we are tempted. He intimately knows and understands how loss and rejection rips through you, how illness and stubbed toes, impatience and anger feels. He went through all of it, but because he was still God, he remained sinless and perfect.


So perfect that he was able to lay down his life, go willingly to the worse death the ancient Romans could devise, in order to be a sacrifice in our place. He took the punishment we all deserve, because we all have sinned. You might say, “Well, I’ve been a pretty good person. I haven’t killed anyone, or slept with a married person, and I’ve tried to be nice to other people and I give money to the Red Cross and even do some volunteer work.”

But Jesus said that whoever is angry with another person commits murder in his heart, and whoever looks on another person with lust commits adultery with them, for it is a person’s heart where the sin first happens. If you’ve ever lusted, or been angry at someone for cutting you off in traffic, or lied about something you’ve done, it is the same as if you had committed murder. There are no small sins. They all destroy. If they don’t destroy another person, they destroy you. And the penalty for sin is death. Eternal death.

There is only one way to be free of guilt and sin, and that is for the debt you owe to be paid. Imagine you did a crime, and after the court sentenced you, someone in the audience stood up and said, “I will pay the penalty for that crime. Even though I am completely innocent of it, I will pay the fine, I will go to prison, I will even take the sentence of death onto myself. Just let my friend go free. Because I love her.”

This is what Jesus did. The only perfect man to ever walk on the earth stood up in the only courtroom that really matters, and took our sin onto himself.  And he did it out of pure love.

He loves us. Every single person this earth is so important to him, and so loved by him, that he was willing to give up everything in order to save us. And not only that, but he wants to live with us in perfect companionship, in the perfect place he has made for us, forever.

I can’t even express you to how much I want to feel his arms wrapped around me. Imagine the person you love most in the world. Now imagine you have been separated from him/her for a very long time. You get the most amazing letters from him, filled with love and humor that make you love him more every time you read them, and once or twice you’ve gotten a phone conversation where you’ve heard his voice. He sends you gifts, perfectly chosen things that are always exactly what you need or want. When you are in trouble, he sends help.

And he promises that one day, he will come back and pick you up, and take you to a place he’s been working on, a place he made with just you in mind, and the two of you will live there forever in perfect health and perfect happiness. This is Jesus. And this is what he’s given me, and what he’s offering you.

So many people say, “Well, that sounds nice, but believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus. I just can’t do it.” Have you asked him if he’s real? I mean this sincerely. Have you? He promises that anyone who seeks him out, will find him. All you have to do is ask. Other people say, “If what you say is coming happens, then I’ll believe.” I hope that’s true. But even if the world as we know it ends this weekend, as it very well could, you have no guarantee that you’ll be here to see it. Every minute 108 people die. You might be one of them. Or, when the Rapture happens, you might not survive it. When we go up, wrath is coming down, and I believe it will utterly destroy America. There will be a worldwide earthquake, and the sun will dark and the moon will turn to blood. There will be tsunamis, and, I believe, the outbreak of WW3. In one hour, everything will change, and nothing will ever be the same. By the end of seven years, most of the world’s population will have died of famine, war, lack of drinkable water, earthquake, volcanic activity, meteors, and disease. The world has seen nothing remotely like what’s going to happen; it’s going to be utterly unique in all of history.

And it’s just about to happen. Soon. The dominoes are all set up, everything is in place, exactly how the Bible said it would be, down to the last detail. Thousands of prophecies, made thousands of years ago, describing our current political and geographical alliances, our technology, our mindset and culture, our recent history. It’s too exact to be coincidence. He’s coming. The person I love more than anyone or anything is coming to take me home, and I pray that you change your mind about him before it’s too late.

There Are No Dead People in Heaven

What do you think of, when you think of heaven? I was shocked to discover that the majority of people (including Christians, who should know better) believe it is a somewhat boring place, where everyone sits around on puffy white clouds, playing harps. Somewhat like this:


No wonder people are so much more interested in living here, on earth. Too bad they fail to understand completely what heaven really is.

To begin with, there are no dead people in heaven. The dead people are here on earth, walking around, completely unaware they are lacking life. Jesus said, “I am come, that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” If you don’t know Christ, you are already dead.  The unsaved breath, walk around, eat, and believe they are alive. But in truth, they are actually the “walking dead”.

But once you have accepted Christ’s free gift of life, you are transformed into a living soul. You cannot, will not, die. People also have a misunderstanding of what death is. Death is not that moment where we pass from this world into the next. That’s just a doorway. That’s like saying we have died every time we walk out of our house into our garden. No. True death is the absence of true life…and true life can only be found with God.

Dead people don’t go to heaven.  Dead people continue on to eternal death. Living people go to heaven, the place of eternal joy and life. The Bible doesn’t tell us very many details about heaven, probably because if we really understood what it is like, we’d never be able to bear living here. The most wonderful, most beautiful place on earth is a filthy slum compared to heaven. The most happiness we’ve ever felt here on earth is horrible despair compared to the joy of heaven. It’s indescribable.

When I went looking for images, I couldn’t find anything to picture heaven.  But the people who think it will be an endless “church service” of harp music and hymns are wrong. The God who created this world is not a God who could possibly be boring or uncreative when it comes to preparing a place for us to enjoy. As someone said once, it took Him six days to create this world…and He’s been working on Heaven for two thousand years! It’s going to be ALL the things we love here, in their most perfect fulfillment.

I couldn’t find anything to picture heaven, but I found some pictures that, for me, capture a tiny fraction of what I know it will be like. Color, beauty, love, truth, perfection, joy, and always, perfect love in the presence of my Savior.





And no fear. Absolutely never, ever, any fear.


I cannot wait to ride those horses and hug those lions….

Maranatha, Lord Jesus. Come soon.







How do you relate to an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God? How’d He create the world? Where’d He put it?  Where’s Heaven?  Where’s Hell?  How will He wipe away every tear?  How can He be everywhere?  How could time begin?  How’d He come to earth and stay in Heaven?  Why did Jesus pray if He’s God?  How’d He perform miracles?  Why is Jesus the only way?  And how can God be three, yet One?  Ever wish He’s reveal Himself like with the prophets, opening your eyes to another realm, showing you, through a vision, His invisible qualities and deepest mysteries?

The above was taken from a message my pastor (Bruce Wersen of HisPlace Church) recently shared.  He’d spent thirty years trying to come up with an analogy that would perfectly help us understand the unexplainable – those unseen things about God that mankind has struggled to wrap their minds around since time began.  And finally, just in time for Easter, everything that he had been researching and learning came together, and God revealed it to him…and it’s something that everyone on earth experiences every night!

I want to talk about my reactions and thoughts to Bruce’s message, but first, here are links to both a written transcript of that Easter message and to an audio recording.  Go and check it out before you read any further here, because from this point on, I’m going to assume you have, and many things I say next will make no sense if you haven’t.



Dreams.  I’ve been an intense dreamer my entire life.  I’ve dreamed in series, where it’s like I’m exploring a novel, and every night I’m in a different chapter, and the story keeps continuing.  Lucid dreams are a regular thing for me, both the fully lucid ones where I’m in complete control of what happens, and the semi-lucid variety where I know I’m dreaming but I can’t really summon up the will (or perhaps the belief) to change anything that happens.  As a result, perhaps, I continually read about dreams, seeking to discover what science knows about how they work, and why.  Science knows that we have to dream – or we die.  They’ve done experiments where they have woken a subject every time he began to dream, and it was only a short time before he started to break down physically and mentally.  Humans are born with a need to dream.  Why is that?

Humans are also born with a desire to create and/or explore ‘lesser realities’ even when they are awake.  Books, movies, games…they all involve a created, shared, lesser world, where each of us either joins that world through a POV (main character we identify with) or, as in the case of games, sometimes create an actual representation of ourselves (an avatar) to walk into the game and interact in its world.  This drive is so universal.  We begin doing it as children; we play by immersing ourselves in lesser realities we create.  And I would venture to say that even those of us who don’t continue to create these worlds from our imagination often wish they could. It’s pretty much a cliche that everyone has an idea for a book they’ll write…someday.  That instinct to create a world, that universal drive to inhabit a creation that never existed until we made it…where does that come from?

In one of the most powerful dreams I ever had, I was standing by myself in a high place.  I’m afraid of heights, and I was very afraid in this dream.  I was clutching the hand rail, palms sweating, wondering how I was going to get down from where I was, when I suddenly realized that I was dreaming.  Instantly, all fear lifted away.  I knew, absolutely and with no doubt, that whatever happened here, I could not experience lasting hurt.  I had never experienced a feeling like that before, and I had never truly realized how much fear is part of our daily life.  Fear of falling, fear of rejection, fear of dropping all the little things we’re holding close.   Big fears, small fears…bundled together, they make a mighty burden that you don’t even know you’re carrying, until suddenly, they are all gone.  I didn’t even do anything in the rest of that dream.  I just stood there, surrounded by a world that felt completely real: the sun was warm on my face, the handrail was still solid under my fingers, and yet, all because of a shift of perception, I was free.

Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Bruce’s message struck a particular chord with me because of that dream.  Ever since I’ve had it, I’ve thought: That is what our world is like, really.  It’s like a dream, where we’re afraid when we don’t have to be, because we think the world we’re in is so much more solid and lasting than it is.  If we only fully realized that we don’t have to be afraid,  how differently would we live?  I’ve felt it in dreams so often.  The more aware I am of my surroundings not being real, the better the dream seems.  Everything is brighter, more vivid.  It’s almost like I have more reality instead of less.  If I could only transfer that feeling of fearlessness and purpose to this lesser reality – to the one in which I’m supposedly “awake”.   We’re meant to feel something like that, I think, when we become Christians.  The Bible certainly tells us, over and over again to be not afraid.  We’re meant to understand that there is another, more solid, more “awake” world than ours.  And when we do, suddenly we’re just transients here – our real life awaits us.

The thing about lucid dreaming is that you really get to test the limits of the dreaming world.  I know for a fact that all five senses work perfectly well in a dream.  I’ve touched, seen, tasted, smelled, and heard as if I were awake.  I’ve felt pain, both emotional and physical.  Dreams genuinely hurt, but once we awake, the pain doesn’t last.  But oh – it can hurt while we’re in them.  I’ve lived a pretty easy life here on earth so far.  I’ve felt worse pain in dreams than I have when I’ve been awake.  There have been times in dreams when I’ve begged my sleeping self to let me wake up.  I know what’s going to happen next in the dream, and I don’t want to go there.  I don’t want to experience that, even though I’m lucid enough to understand that it is just a dream, and eventually I’ll wake up, unharmed.  I had never put that experience together with how Jesus must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane before Bruce’s message.  I had never been able to understand before why Jesus prayed for His betrayal, crucifixion, and death to pass Him by.  But now it makes perfect sense because I’ve done that myself, in dreams.

This world we live in can seem so absolute, so lasting, so all-that-there-is, and yet that perception can change in the blink of an eye.  I’ve owned ducks a good share of my life, and one of the nightly rituals when you own ducks is going out every evening to give them fresh water and shut them into their shelter where they’ll be safe.  One evening, I went out to shut them in – exactly like I’d done every evening for years.  There was nothing different about it.  The gravel path crunched under my boots, the bucket in my hand swung against my leg, the flowers were sweet-smelling in the garden beside the fence.  And then, I saw that the ducks’ water container was not in their pen, but was outside, on the path.  One thing, one simple, impossible thing.  I had not taken that water container out, I never did.

I stood there, in complete shock for several minutes, my brain spinning.  If the water container was out, the only explanation was that I was not actually awake after all – I was asleep, and this was a dream.  But it was all perfectly, exactly real.  I kept looking around me, listening, touching, seeking something else that would demonstrate absolutely that my surroundings were false, but other than the water being where it could not be, all was a perfect replica of the waking world.  I was stunned; I literally did not know what was real anymore, I could not trust my mind, my senses, or my memory – all the things that I was used to leaning upon to tell me what was true.  I’d had lucid dreams before, but they always came with the realization that I was dreaming.  There had been no doubt.  This wasn’t like that.  I could not tell what was real, and it was world-shaking.  A perfect replica of the world, down to the last detail and ‘proven’ to exist by all my senses…and yet, not real, because that impossible water container was sitting there in front of me.

And then I woke up and had my proof in the waking.  And since then I’ve known that no matter what your senses tell you, no matter how real everything seems…it might not be so.  There might be something more real.  It’s disconcerting…and wonderful.

And true.

Whereupon he saith, Awake thou that sleepeth and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you life.  Ephesians 5:14