62 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-5-21

  1. Good morning everyone.
    I was thinking about this when I was having my devotions. Lemme see if I can explain what I understand.

    When a person is born again he/she does -in fact- receive a new life. That is, a new existence that will never die becomes part of that person (I started to say “body”, but “body” has nothing to do with this. ) The person that I am will soon shed this body and (Hopefully, because I think she is forever part of me) join Elvera in eternity. I know there is no marriage, but I hope we know each other. We are part of each other.
    The pastor said we were “One Flesh”. And I thought of that for years when we were having sex. But it is more than that. Now that she is gone, I realize that part of me is missing.
    I don’t know exactly how this works out. But I am anxious to find out.
    I miss her. I really do.

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  2. Good morning!
    That is such a dear thought, Chas. Thank you for stating it so eloquently for us to ponder. God made the “One Flesh” to be like a new creation with the marriage and consummation taking place. All the more reason for married couples to remain faithful to each other and not break that eternal bond. I know that you must be thankful that it is you and not Elvera who is going through this. It is usually the other way around than what y’all experienced. I am so thankful for you, Chas, and how you are sharing your feelings. It is good to not bottle them up to save for a future day of suffering.

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  3. And it seems that if a second marriage results under situations pemitted by God such as death of a spouse, that the same person could be in two separate ‘One Flesh” marriages based on the time period of the marriages. A person is not the same at 21 as they are at 65, although the 65 year old still physically resembles the younger self. A 65 year old could, it seems, have a new “One Flesh” marriage. I have certainly never thought about such things before.

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  4. That leades to the thought of people who marry but are not believers at that point. If one or both become believers, is that the beginning of their ‘One Flesh” marriage?

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  5. Marriage is not a sacrament, but a creation ordinance. Unbelievers are married just as fully as Christians are. Marriage is a one-flesh relationship as long as both parties live–and Chas has fulfilled his wedding vows.

    Chas, of course you miss her–greatly. I told my sister after her husband died that she and he had been one flesh, and rending that one back into two again must hurt tremendously. I married late enough in life, and after seeing enough death, that I was very aware of that ending when I married my husband. But I can only imagine it for myself; I haven’t experienced it. (I’ve seen my mom bury two husbands, my mother-in-law one, and one brother and my only sister bury a spouse each. So I have seen the losses up close and personal, and I’ve heard about it from my husband talking about his first wife. But I haven’t gone through it.)

    I am the second wife to my husband, but I am every bit as much a wife as his first wife, only without the ability to bear him children. I am not a stepwife. He is not still one flesh with his first wife; that bond (though not the memories) ended at death. Those of us who are believers still have the relationship of brother and sister with other believers, including anyone to whom we were married, but we will not still be married in eternity. We will, however, have bodies and not just be disembodied spirits.

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  6. Good morning. Things are starting to improve a bit physically, though I am at the hat stage of healing where everything aches. It was laprascopic, but that means I have five different places that pull and twinge and sting as they knot together. Not in any kind of agony though, and glad I can feel the healing. Sometimes, I have patients who can barely stand to look at themselves or feel anything, and I always think they will not heal as well as if they took an active interest in the process.

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  7. I’m glad they’re getting better for you, Roscuro. Are you to the point where you’re doing better than you were before surgery? That’s a nice place to reach because after that it really feels like improvement.

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  8. I am not on pain medication right now, as I can take the discomfort. All they could prescribe was Tylenol, which has no effect whatsoever on me, and Naproxen, which had some anti-inflammatory effect but less pain removing than Ibuprofen does. Initially, when I first woke up from surgery, I cried out in pain (that I remember), and apparently they gave me an opiate, but it had exactly the same effect on me as the opiate I was given after minor surgery a decade ago, debilitating vertigo and vomiting with the slightest movement. So, once it finally wore off, which took a long time, they didn’t give it again. My whole family is like that, the strongest pain medications just make us miserably ill. It is a good thing we have a high pain tolerance.

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  9. Cheryl, I am not quite to that point, though I am getting nearer. The distension goes down a little more every day. I am less distended than before surgery now, but as every is much more tender, I still have to move gingerly.

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  10. Morning Chas. You and Elvera had oh so many years of sweet togetherness. That bond will not be broken and how it all unfolds in the presence of our Lord is a mystery to us but our hope lies in knowing our Lord knows ๐Ÿ˜Š We look forward to that day when we all โ€œget togetherโ€…what a glorious day that will be!

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  11. Good morning. Chas. Not enough info to know how it will all work out, we only know that it will. We all entertain hopes or thoughts of what it will be like. We know that God knows our hearts and our desires and He will meet all of our needs, in whatever way He chooses. We have glimpses.

    But the idea that we become one flesh leaves one to wonder. When the flesh is made new, will we somehow still be one flesh? Are we spiritually joined to our spouse as we are to God? So many questions and all of eternity to learn the answers. Meanwhile, we know that He desires our good.

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  12. As I have said before, there is no marriage in heaven because there will be no need. In the Resurrection, there will a completeness of knowing and being known that we do not have here (I Corinthians 13:9-12). Marriage is a part of this Creation and will not be a part of the New Creation (Mark 12:18-27). But we know by faith that whatever of this life we lose will not be missed or needed in the new life. We will have something in that new world that we could not have here: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, โ€œBehold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

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  13. Those of us with outstanding marriages, can’t imagine eternity without our partners. Those with so so marriages, probably are not too concerned one way or the other. Those in tough marriages probably hope Heaven is very big and the other will be far away.

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  14. George Herbert quotes:

    Good words are worth much, and cost little.

    One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters.

    Living well is the best revenge.

    Love and a cough cannot be hid.

    The best mirror is an old friend.

    Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

    Life is half spent before we know what it is.

    He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.

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  15. Mumsee, many with outstanding marriages lose their partner in death and go on to remarry and have outstanding marriages with another partner. My aunt who recently died had two very happy marriages, both to excellent men. Her second husband also had two very happy marriages.

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  16. Roscuro, agreed. My dad is married to a lovely woman and has been for the past thirty plus years. After being well married to my mom for thirty years. Still, we wonder what God has planned.

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  17. Mumsee, there is no need for speculation where Scripture is clear. The Sadducees, in order to disprove the Resurrection, speculated about marriage lasting beyond death and Jesus flatly told them they were wrong.

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  18. Jumping in here to reply to Cheryl’s comment from last night.

    Last I heard, Chickadee was turned down for SSI. (I still think, though, that if her therapist had actually assessed her for autism rather than refusing to do so, that Chickadee could very well have been eligible for SSDI.) Since sometime late last year, though, she has been receiving SNAP (food stamps), so that offsets the McK’s grocery bills some.

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  19. Jesus was not married in this world. His bride is the Resurrected Church, made up of men and women, some of whom were married in this life, but, as Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians (7:29-31), “this world in its current form is passing away.”

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  20. Roscuro, we can still wonder how God will do things. We know there will be no marrying or giving in marriage. We do know that David was looking forward to meeting his son in future. We know that Jesus would see the thief on the cross next over, in Paradise that day. We do not know how these things play out. We can speculate. No harm done as long as we know that God will do what is perfect and what is right and it will be well. If He did not want us to wonder, He would have made things clearer or taken away our curiousity.

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  21. When I was single I once heard someone say that Jesus said there was no giving in marriage, but He didn’t say those already married can’t keep their wives. I don’t think it had ever occurred to whoever it was who said that, that while that might be a comforting thought to someone in a happy marriage, and especially someone who has recently been widowed, it is no comfort at all to lifelong singles and to believers who are married to unbelievers.

    I’ve also heard it said that in eternity men will still be “in charge” and women still called to submit. Which of course misunderstands the idea that even now I as a woman am not called to submit to a man who is not my husband or otherwise in authority over me. Perhaps that man could not imagine a day when he can’t think himself superior to women, but offering women second-class accommodations is offering less than what God Himself offers.

    In this life, men are stronger, and God has chosen to give men a protective leadership role over their wives. That is a creation ordinance, but there is no hint it is an eternal one. Likewise, marriage is a creation ordinance and we’re specifically told it doesn’t exist in eternity.

    No, I can’t imagine seeing my husband and not feeling something extra special toward him, or not rejoicing to see my mother especially (“especially” meaning more than some random person with whom I attended church, or someone I never met) on the other side of the veil of tears. I suspect the argument that in eternity everyone will be equally special to us isn’t true–that would seem to put us on the level of a colony of ants, not humans–but the truth is we can only speculate. I think we will have very happy reunions with those who have gone on before, reunions with no sin or misunderstanding to come between. But that’s different than continuing in the same relationship we have now.

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  22. What a cut little squirrel! Those little hands …

    For some reason, I was really tired all day yesterday for no reason I could tell. I’d gotten 8 hour sleep Saturday night but when I got home at 4 or so I could barely keep my eyes open. I was tempted to go to bed at 7:30 but stayed up until 9 — and still slept for 12 hours!

    I was going to head up to pick Carol’s things up today but will plan to do that another day, maybe I can take Friday off this week also. I feel almost desperately in need of some time off right now.

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  23. Randy Alcorn covers it very well, I think, in his book “Heaven”.

    “The one-flesh marital union we know on Earth is a signpost pointing to our relationship with Christ as our bridegroom Once we reach the destination, the signpost becomes unnecessary. That one marriage–our marriage to Christ–will be so completely satisfying that even the most wonderful earthly marriage couldn’t be so fulfilling.

    Earthly marriage is a shadow, a copy, an echo of the true and ultimate marriage, Once that ultimate marriage begins, at the Lamb’s wedding feast, all the human marriages that pointed to it will have served their noble purpose and will be assimilated into the one great marriage they foreshadowed. The purpose of marriage is not to replace Heaven but to prepare us for it.”

    He goes on to say in talking about our current relationships with family and friends: “There’s every reason to believe we’ll pick right up in Heaven with relationships from Earth. We’ll gain many new ones but will continue to deepen the old ones, I think we’ll especially enjoy connecting with those we faced tough times with on Earth and saying, ‘Did you ever imagine Heaven would be so wonderful?’

    “The notion that relationships with family and friends will be lost in Heaven, though common, is unbiblical. It denies the clear doctrine of continuity between this life and the next and suggests our earthly lives and relationships have no eternal consequence. It completely contradicts Paul’s intense anticipation of being with the Thessalonians and his encouraging them to look forward to rejoining their loved ones in Heaven.”

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  24. Mike is also exhausted. But I suspect it has most to do with overworking the last couple of sunny days after a winter of mostly driving and little physical labor. Always spring into spring slowly.

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  25. The question that I’ve always pondered: What of our loved ones who aren’t “there”? Some of us have more than a few who likely won’t be around in eternity w/all believers. Do we somehow not know or realize their absence? Is our knowledge then somehow so complete that it all fits, somehow, so we won’t feel that absence (as there are no tears)?

    I used to listen to programs like Focus on the Family and always hear folks talk about how wonderful it will be to see their entire families in eternity. Everyone will be there!

    Maybe in their world, maybe only among the Dr. Dobson clan. Otherwise, I’m not sure whose family is that together in the faith. It’s not the reality I see, to be honest, where there will be missing spouses, children, parents and friends aplenty. Somehow, I know, that will be understood — or again, not realized by us on the other side. But it has always been a curiosity of mine.

    But I think that speaks to the pitfalls of trying to somehow “transfer” what we know here to our eternal existence. It’s natural to do that, but I think it pulls us off track.

    Our focus will not be on this world, on these relationships that we have now. They won’t vanish, but they won’t be the same and they won’t be our focus. We will be in what is an entirely different reality.

    Desiring God posts articles daily and a number of them touch on these questions. This was one I read recently:

    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/we-cannot-overestimate-heaven

    ~ It was (Jonathan) Edwards who first opened my eyes to the fact that the joy of heaven will be ever-increasing, incessantly expansive, ceaselessly intensified โ€” that the almost unimaginable delight that every believer will experience upon entering the presence of our great, triune God is not a one-time disclosure that brings a singular surge of spiritual satisfaction. Edwards insisted that with each passing moment will come a greater revelation of some heretofore unseen and unexplored aspect of who God is that will serve to kindle the fire of joy and fascination in our hearts. …

    “If we can learn anything of the state of heaven from the Scripture, the love and joy that the saints have there, is exceeding great and vigorous; impressing the heart with the strongest and most lively sensation, of inexpressible sweetness, mightily moving, animating, and engaging them, making them like to a flame of fire. And if such love and joy be not affections, then the word affection is of no use in language. Will any say, that the saints in heaven, in beholding the face of their Father, and the glory of their Redeemer, and contemplating his wonderful works, and particularly his laying down his life for them, have their hearts nothing moved and affected, by all which they behold or consider? (Religious Affections, 43)”

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  26. DJ, when my uncle died a year after his wife did, a lot of people said at the funeral “He just couldn’t live without her.” But that wasn’t true. He deeply missed his wife, of course, but she had had cancer, which she knew would eventually be fatal, for nine years, and so they had both prepared together for her departure. Her focus, which I witnessed as I stayed with them for long periods during that time, was ever more and more on the Lord. She started each day with long sessions of prayer in private. As her disease progressed and her physical frame withered, her face became irradiated with a joy and hope that was inexpressible – she had never been beautiful by worldly standards but she glowed with an eternal beauty. He had plans , my uncle did, of going on mission trips after his wife died – he gave away such a sizeable amount to missions that he got audited because they had a hard time believing that someone would live on less than what they donated – and he was set to serve others as he had served his wife. But a rare disease struck and took him. In that last illness, I was taking care of him and I saw the same eternal focus in him that I had seen in his wife, even though he thought he would eventually recover (the illness, though rare, wasn’t known to be automatically fatal). It was as if both were being prepared by the Spirit for their long home, having earthly interests and desires ebb away in strength and heavenly hopes grow in strength. He wasn’t longing to join his wife, he had said goodbye and knew she was with her Lord, living a fuller life than she had on earth. He expected to join in that life when he had ended his own course, but didn’t think the end was so near (he died before the age of 60). So when his well meaning friends explained his unexpected death in such sentimental terms, they had it wrong.

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  27. mumsee, I don’t know where this sleepiness is coming from. I struggled to stay up until 9 last night, I wanted to go to bed at 7:30 but resisted. I don’t feel sick, just completely out of energy. I suspect it could still be the aftermath of losing both Carol and Shirley, especially the latter — she was my oldest friend and her death came swiftly and unexpectedly. She was in one of my dreams last night, I spotted her with some other mutual friends and realized that while she was “dying” she was still well enough to get out. She looked beautiful, her hair had lost the tight curly perms she was addicted to and fell in gorgeous, soft, blond waves — and I thought I’ll need to call her to go out to lunch.

    And she’s one I’m not sure I’ll see on the other side, but we don’t ultimately know so I do remain hopeful.

    My knee also is still bothering me, my followup appt with the MD is still a month away, but it’s left me discouraged, and feeling the impacts of aging for I think the first time in my life, as it’s slowed me down considerably. It probably didn’t help that the cousins (whom I spent yesterday with) both also are going through some aging transitions (they’re 5-6 years older than I am but pretty healthy overall — still, there’s been a hip replacement for one and some serious spinal issues for the other one, though that’s mostly from being hit in a crosswalk a few years ago, an accident that sent him flying and so easily could have killed him altogether).

    So I think I’m just feeling a little downcast these days, off-center. Work feels like it’s more of a chore and a burden right now, too, not so much fun anymore, at least for now.

    But my plants need watering (and I still haven’t replaced the hanging pots on the porch, I should at least take the dead ones down!); I was going to do some planting this weekend, but didn’t. I just have no “zip,” only zap. Is it bedtime yet?

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  28. I’ve read that our mistake is basically thinking about heaven as the same as this world — just a lot better. I think there’s something to that

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  29. My daughter is in the grips of a sort of “Spring Fever” as well.

    This is the text I received yesterday evening from her.

    “I’M IN A RELATIONSHIP!”

    All caps.

    I’m very proud of her. She managed to wait until the end of her freshman year in college to ever say this. Plus, he’s a nice kid, comes from a good family with a brother and 6 sisters, and is a year ahead of her at CSU. He was one of the leads in the play we went to see. Apparently all their friends saw the attraction before either of them did. We will be having lunch with them soon so I can grill him further. He and his family live out near Linda, so an hour or so at least. I’m guessing there are some trips to the Lancaster area in my summer plans now, so maybe we can do a meet up with Linda and Steve while Elizabeth visits Isaac. We’ll see. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  30. You people are going too deep into theology for me. I just trust that I will make it to heaven. What it will be like and who will be there is a mystery to me. I’ll just let the story unfold….

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  31. DJ, you have had a lot of stress over the past four years, with all the renovation, the newspaper changing hands repeatedly, working in the closet until you could work from home, the knee, the tree, friends ill and dying, Covid rules. A lot of stress piled on for a long time. It may have even pushed you close to if not into depression. Realize this is just a season which you will get through but acknowledge you have been under a deluge for a while. God has given you many tools to hang onto. Him, of course. Us. Work. The dogs (maybe the cat). Cousins. Old friends in the news business. Etc etc. Get the rest you need. Continue to walk the dogs. Spend time with the Lord, in prayer, in reading His Word. You know all these things. And yes, I hear aging also takes its toll.
    Or you may have the virus. Same things still apply!

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  32. Thanks mumsee, I think you’re right, I’ve thought of all that as well, including the house repairs (but how much physical energy I seemed to have then compared to now, but of necessity I suppose); the discouraging work changes, and losses. And yes, losing people during this pandemic (even though unrelated to the virus) was harder as we had not been able to even see each other for so long. Carol was looking forward to riding shotgun with me again on Saturdays (though her riding days were over, but I always agreed that in the future we could do that again if it all worked out, everyone needs something to look forward to — she was concerned when she heard my ‘new’ car might be a smidgen smaller and with a shorter ceiling than the old Jeep which was barely big enough for her). Shirley and I chatting online about getting back to our Christmas craft fair tours and lunches out once the quarantines were over, maybe getting together for lunch in the park, post-vaccines.

    It’s been a long, hard year — but a lot harder on so many others, I feel like I’ve gotten through relatively unscathed, I’ve kept my job and didn’t get sick (though the work load has been exceptionally heavy more often than not). I’m re-starting my daily Bible plan. And I’ve picked up a new “old” book — one of those Puritan paperbacks — called “A Lifting Up of the Downcast,” 13 sermons preached in 1648 on spiritual discouragement due to all sorts of common conditions we all encounter in this life, from sin to “weak grace” to affliction, desertion, failures, various temptations, and a lack of assurance.

    It’s just a rough season, though I’ve been through worse and have much to be grateful for. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

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  33. Amen with Mumsee, DJ. I’ve thought the same thing.

    We get older, we don’t have our moms looking out for us, it can get easy to get lost amid all the other things–whether it’s kid needs, house needs, church needs, etc.

    That’s why we need our brothers and sisters in Christ to love us and gently encourage us. Sometimes our friends can more easily see things we’re oblivious to, and can remind us to go gentle.

    When you’re tired just go to bed. If the Lord needs you, he’ll get you up earlier. ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxox

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  34. Speaking of which, my former prayer partner is coming for 4-5 days on Wednesday, staying with us. She has tons of things to do while here–include finish cleaning her office, lead a mini-choir for a memorial service, see friends, attend our pastor’s final sermon, etc.

    But, I’ll see her in the odds and ends times and that will be lovely.

    I have other friends, but this one knows me inside and out. I’m hoping for some wisdom! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  35. Don’t downplay your hardships, DJ, they are real and they are what the Lord has given to you to make you more like Him. And give yourself time to mourn the loss of your friends and the dreams you had with them. But always remember that He understands and has built a place for you in His rest.

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  36. Chas, my mom did not want me to marry my husband either. He had just graduated and had no good permanent job. He was not the family friend I had dated earlier either. He was almost seven years older than me and almost bald too! She told me on my wedding day I could still back out. We haven’t done too bad for the last 48 plus years. We are one of the two out of five siblings who stayed together. Looking back I can more understand her concern.

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  37. I got grilled by my father in law. in the mall parking lot, right after I asked him if I could marry his daughter.

    He had 2 concerns.

    1. Was I a believer in Jesus Christ, his death, and resurrection?

    I replied, yes Sir, I now was.

    2. Would I promise before God to be a good husband to his daughter?

    Again, I replied yes Sir, and did so before him and God.

    I hope I’ve upheld my end, and that Howard would be pleased. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  38. Spring break is over and it is back to school for me.
    My friends have just left Guam for Hawaii as they travel around the world to return here. She is the teacher I am subbing for. Pray for Ray and Dee as they fly this week with some long layovers in LA and Singapore.

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  39. In answer to the comments and questions.
    Elvera’s parents had nothing to do with it. We both were of age and made our own decisions.
    But I gather, from the associations, that they approved of Elvera’s decision. As I said, her father wanted her to be financially secure. But at this stage in her life (she was 24), it was none of their business.
    They understood that. But we had a good relationship, our respective parents with each of us.
    My parents loved Elvera the first time they saw her.

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  40. Chas, who our children marry is “our business.” If nothing else, parents are often the ones to pick up the slack if their child’s spouse runs off with someone else and leaves their child with four children, or spends the family money on alcohol and gambling. Christian parents care–and should care–that their children marry Christians.

    As long as the marriage is a biblical one, parents can’t do much more than advise, and having given their advice, to back off if it isn’t accepted. (In other words, you can mention your misgivings, but if they marry anyway, then you support the marriage.) But parents definitely have a right to speak if they have a concern, and children should at least consider the advice even if they don’t choose to accept it.

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  41. Chuck is our only one.
    Elvera and I were both happy with Chuck’s choice.
    It has worked out better than I have even prayed for.
    He had three girls and they made good choices.
    We are happy with the outcome.

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  42. glad to hear it, Chas.
    I am so tired and my back hurts. I think my back is tired from rolling out the crescent tolls as the table was too low, so I was too bent over.
    Then I made another batch tonight to take to school and roll out and bake for our staff meeting. I did not want to waste the last half of the can of evaporated milk. Sounds silly, but I had saved that can and it is not something you see here often. Our store is so empty right now. The canned goods aisle is vacant. I think things maybe are here, but they are not getting put on the shelves. Even basics like flour and oats. So that canned milk was a treasure that I did not want to waste.
    Time for some sleep. I am also coordinating and shopping for my friends who return on Friday to quarantine.

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