From Susan --
I am sharing a part of my prayer journal with you today. I hope you will be comforted and blessed.
I have been so blessed by Greg Laurie's Book, "Hope for Hurting Hearts". (Greg wrote this book after losing his son a couple of years ago. I highly recommend it to those who have lost a loved one.)
Almost every day, since you took Gene to be with you, I have asked you to tell him that I love him and miss him. I have believed, and talked to friends about my belief, that You allow our loved ones to see the good and happy things in our life. I had nothing to base it on, only that I felt it.
Last night I received an exciting blessing. A section in Greg's book is entitled, "Do People in Heaven Know What's Going on Down Here on Earth?" Greg believes people in Heaven know a lot more about what is happening on earth than we may realize! He supports this with the following scriptures:
1. When people believe in Jesus on earth, it becomes public knowlege in Heaven...there is joy in Heaven when a sinner repents. (Luke 15:7)
2. The tribulation martyrs (Revelation 6:9-11) understand what is happening on earth.
(He also added this side note, "they knew they had been on earth, and this demonstrates direct continuity between our identity on earth and our identity in Heaven...they are still alive and still themselves!)
3. They were aware of the passing of time.
4. There is a definite connection between the believers in Heaven and those on earth. Those in Heaven speak of their fellow servants and their brothers. As Greg points out, some Christians believe that people in Heaven have no idea what is going on back on earth, but the people in Revelations, Chapter 6, do know what is happening here on earth.
5. Greg believes people in Heaven could be watching us right now and cheering us on! (See Hebrews 12:1) He also states that one interpretation of this passage names the witnesses as people of faith who have gone before us as a model to follow. Greg says, "Another way to look at it is that these men and women aren't simply giving us a template to follow, but they are actually observing us and taking note of our progress in the faith. They are the cloud of witnesses watching us, and cheering us on, if you will." Of course, Greg, doesn't know for sure if people in Heaven are monitoring the progress of loved ones living here on earth, but he says he wouldn't be surprised.
Lord, thank You for sending this book to me from someone I don't even know. It has been such a huge blessing in so many ways.
(A side note from me: I actually had lunch once with Greg Laurie and his wife back in the 70's! He was a fairly new, successful, young pastor. He was saved and his ministry came out of the revival that occurred in Southern California in the late 60's and early 70's. I became a Christian during that revival period as well.)
Lord, it feels so good to believe that Gene, my dad, and Buddy are up there with You, watching over me, cheering me on, and are still connected to me though they have moved to a different location -- Heaven! How beautiful!
(For all of you who said a prayer for Pastor Buddy, the Lord took him to Heaven a few days ago. I am so sad, yet comforted. The last time we talked, we promised to be each others' forever prayer partners!)
Blessings to you all,