The sun set with a beautiful afterglow out on Bittersweet tonight. It was my day off. Other than a few phone calls and working on some details for a wedding this weekend, it was a day of puttering around the place, organizing things, laundry, and other projects.
Last night I enjoyed a ride on Brutus, my bike. Hope stopped over. She and Lois and I went to Horton for ice cream and conversation. We returned at dusk and I saw my first fireflies of the year. My mint is coming up under the bluebird house. I consider it a major victory. Lois said, “Mint grows itself.” Lois has flowers and ferns growing all around the outside of the house. She putters and weeds and waters and they flourish. It’s hard to imagine a more wonderful place to be this time of year than right here on Bittersweet Farm.
Saturday we drove to Muskegon to celebrate our little foster grand-daughter’s first birthday. Dale and Hannah gathered family and friends in a neat lodge over on the Big Lake. It was a sweet time.
Camps are reopening. I will speak first at Camp Patmos on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie, The Springs, Camp Fairwood, and a couple times at Barakel by September. It would be good to pray for God’s work in camps all over the country every night this summer. Hundreds of campers will hear the Story by the side of a lake, or under the stars, or around the fire, or in the mountains… any maybe their lives will be changed forever.
This might be a good time to get copies of my latest book Between the Fires for young people you love. In the book I share fifty of the most important things I have taught campers over the years of speaking at camps.
Often I prayed for the Lord to give me a clear, simple, powerful, unique way to express truth in a way that would capture the hearts of campers and help them understand the truth of God. I have shared many of those things in this book. You can order a copy here.
Thoughts on Hearing a Plane Pass Over in the Night
What do you think of when you see or hear a plane passing overhead in the night? I always wonder where the people on it are going and why. Where did they come from what is their story? I love my simple, mostly local life, but I do sometimes wish I was taking a train or a boat or a plane somewhere. Lately I’ve been preaching about heaven and thinking about the eons of time we will have to explore the new earth.
With unrestricted time in unhindered travel, and a sinless glorified body, where will I go? What will I do? Will I hike the Appalachian Trail? Will I travel the Blue Ridge? Will I fish mountain streams. Will I fly over the top of the earth? Will I kayak gorges of rushing water? Will I climb in the mountains? Will I sail? Will I have an island paradise of my own complete with palm trees, fresh fruit, white sand and blue water? Will we travel up to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem for times of learning and fellowship and worship with thousands upon thousands of others in the presence of the lamb?
Will we visit by the fire for unbroken hours with people I love with no hurts or misunderstandings? Will we gather and tell stories of missional enterprise? Will we rehearse the victories of the gospel, telling stories of how people came to Christ?
There are other whole hemispheres whole countries, whole continents to explore and to enjoy. What will the earth be like with forests and freshwater, but no sea? How much more will there be to explore?
Will we travel back to the places dear to us when we lived on the old broken earth and revisit fond memories of the past?Will we see what these places are like without any brokenness in them or hate or crime or injustice or prejudice or misunderstanding?
On the 27th of June I will complete my journey of preaching through the Revelation, the last book of the Bible. It’s made me think deeply and sweetly about the ultimate world for those who believe.
I have always heard it referred to as the “eternal state” but that sounds so static. It seems like such an inadequate way to refer to something so wonderful. But there is something more…
Where are those people coming from? Where are they going? Who are they going to see?
Sometimes people travel for business. Sometimes they travel to visit places, but maybe the best travel stories come from people who are traveling to be with other people. The New Heaven, New Earth, and the New Jerusalem will be places of shocking beauty, and wonder, and pleasure, and rest, and security, and enterprise, and learning, and worship, there will be something mush greater than all that. After a lifetime of believing without seeing, a lifetime of loving without seeing, we will run into the arms of Jesus and we will see his face and we will be with him and he will be with us forever.
It breaks my heart to part with a loved one not knowing when I will see them again at the airport, but I love to watch lovers or loved ones reunite. I can’t imagine the moment when our faith becomes sight and we see the face of Jesus for the first time and we part no more forever. That’s what I think about sometimes when I hear the train whistle in the night or when I see the lights of a plane passing overhead. I like it right here in my quiet peaceful loft listening to the sounds of the night, but I am going places someday–places of unimaginable wonder. I am going to be with someone I have loved and worshipped all my life, but never seen.
June 15, 2021