If you were told that a brand-new splendid home was yours, bought and paid for, would you believe it? What if it was guaranteed in writing? Wouldn’t you believe it then, and wouldn’t you want to find out where your new home was located and what it looked like? Wouldn’t you ask about the view, the neighbors, the climate, and every other detail you could think of? Wouldn’t you start dreaming of the day you would move in? And how do you suppose that news would change your life and priorities in the meantime?
Some degree of color blindness affects around 8% of men and less than 1% of women. The degree of disability ranges from mild inability to differentiate between certain colors to achromatopsia or total color blindness. This means that there are some people among us that cannot enjoy the full spectrum of beautiful colors that God has splashed into His creation.
Pets act as companions, helpers, and sources of comfort in difficult times. When pets die, the resulting sense of loss can be very painful. People who experience this often search for answers and the hope that they haven’t lost forever what had become very dear to their hearts. Our compassion and understanding can help them look to God for their comfort. Our words can help them feel an assurance that they’ll be reunited with their beloved pets in heaven.
My ten-year-old granddaughter and I had a lot of fun the other day, talking about fruit. We had just read the verses in Revelation 22 about the tree of life that bears 12 different kinds of fruit: “The angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.”1
My dad lived until he was 101, my mom until she was 99, and they were married for over 75 years! They survived two world wars and had nine children, though the twins, who were born right after World War II, went back to heaven at birth. They had 19 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.
It was a bright sunny day in South Africa, and the old year was coming to a close. Thoughts had turned from Christmas celebrations to New Year’s resolutions.
The farmhouse door clanged behind me as I went into the kitchen. My mother followed my gaze to a heaping bowl of strawberries on the table. “Yvonna brought those over,” she said. “A gift from her family.”
I had sung Frank E. Graeff’s hymn, “Does Jesus Care?” many times before and always felt comforted by its grace and beauty. But the words really came to life after our one-year-old son Martin passed away. Martin had always been frail, from the day he was born, half an hour after his twin brother. They were born in Brazil two months early and had to be on life support. His brother quickly overcame that difficult start in life, but not Martin. He had a heart defect and underwent surgery at six weeks, which he struggled to recover from.
I was eight years old when I lost my grandfather at the age of 65. My family is very close knit and this was a big blow to all of us.
I remember kissing Nanu’s cold cheek and bidding him farewell. But something inside told me this was not a permanent goodbye. I always had a fervent hope of reuniting with him one day.
There is an old fable about two neighbors who planted similar orchards. One watered his plants every day, but the other, only every few days. When the dry season came, the trees of the first farmer withered, but the trees of the second kept growing steadily. Since these trees hadn’t been watered so often, their roots had grown downward to find the underground water tables.
To die is landing on some silent shore
Where billows never break, nor tempests roar;
Ere well we feel the friendly stroke, ’tis o’er.
—Sir Samuel Garth (1661–1719)