Is heaven for real?
Well, I'm not in heaven. The sun rose and set on May 21, 2011 with no visible signs of the Rapture, as Harold Camping predicted.
Now he's saying that May 21 was just a spiritual judging by the Lord and that five months from now, Oct. 21, 2011 will be the Rapture and the end of the world.
I'm not a great scholar of the Bible, but from everything that I have read, the end of the world will come in God's time, known only to God, and not any date set by man. So I never gave old Harold's prediction a second thought.
But if the rantings of an old man got some people thinking, maybe that's a good thing.
The whole point of being a Christian is to recognize that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that He promised us eternal life if we believe in Him and the Father. That is our ticket into heaven.
I'll tell you what. I'm praying I'll be one of those who make it when the Rapture does happen because I sure don't want to be one of those left behind!
Speaking of Heaven, I just finished a book titled "Heaven is for Real" written by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.
It was sooooo good.
It's a true account of a little guy's trip to heaven and back. Colton was almost four years old and became deathly ill after an emergency appendectomy in a hospital far from home. His parents spent days in fear of losing him. But he did pull through, after a lot of prayers and what his doctor and nurses call "a miracle."
Four months later, the family had to pass through the same city where Colton had been hospitalized. Wanting to tease his son a little, his father asked him if he wanted to go visit the hospital. Colton laughed and said no. His mom asked him if he remembered the hospital and he said, "Yes, Mommy, I remember. That's where the angels sang to me."
His parents were floored and they pulled into an Arby's parking lot to try to make sense of what their son was telling them.
Colton's parents, Todd, the pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska and Sonja, a teacher, wanted to hear more. They asked him what the angels sang to him and he said "Jesus Loves Me" and "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho." He said he asked them to sing "We Will, We Will Rock You" but they wouldn't do it.
He told them Jesus had the angels sing to him because he was so scared and they made him feel better.
Todd asked, "You mean Jesus was there?" and Colton nodded and said "Yeah, Jesus was there."
"Well, where was Jesus?" and Colton looked him right in the eye and said, "I was sitting in Jesus' lap."
Isn't that a beautiful statement?
His parents, stunned, asked him where he was when he saw Jesus. Colton said, "At the hospital. You know, when Dr. O'Holleran was working on me." He said he could see them because he went up out of his body, saw the doctor working on him, saw his daddy praying for him in a little room and his mommy was praying and talking on the phone, things he couldn't have known unless he really had seen them.
The rest of the story revolves around the next few months and years as bits and pieces came from Colton as to what he saw and did in his visit to Heaven and how his parents digested the information.
Todd says he doesn't feel he still has all the answers, "But now we have a picture in our minds, a picture we can look at and say, 'Wow.'"
Colton's grandmother says, "Before, I'd heard, but now I know that someday I'm going to see."
It's a beautiful story and it makes me more convinced than ever, heaven is where I want to spend eternity.
I received a few inquiries about Shirley Fryer's Instant Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies and thought since I'm talking about heaven, I'd pass the recipe on to you so you can have an absolutely heavenly taste-fest. Make them for your Memorial Day weekend picnic, but double the batch-keep one for guests and the other for your own private stash.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Shirley Fryer of New Ringgold
cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 small box of vanilla instant pudding
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 -2 cups chocolate chips
(This wasn't in Shirley's recipe but we love nuts in ours so I add 1 cup chopped walnuts.)
In a large bowl, place first 8 ingredients. With electric mixer beat at high speed for several minutes until mixture looks smooth and creamy. Add flour. Mix well. Add chocolate chips (and nuts) and mix well.
Cover and let set at room temperature for one hour. (This is not good. I love cookie dough and in this time frame I unfortunately consume too much and that means less cookies which I regret after I eat the last one.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets. Bake until cookies test done (8-10 minutes). Remove from sheets and allow to cool. While cookies are still warm, place in airtight container. Yields about 4-5 dozen. (If you don't eat too much cookie dough.)