Ticket To Heaven

The Line Up

When my girlfriends and I saw the line up for the Women Of Joy conference we screamed like preteen girls. Max Lucado, Karen Kingsbury, Anita Renfroe, Adama Cappa, Jeremy Camp, Pam Tebow and the amazing Charles Bilingsley, get out of here!

When we got our tickets I joined in on the excitement but secretly started to panic.

I wasn’t sure that I could sit through the Jeremy Camp concert. Don’t get me wrong, I love him and he is super easy on the eyes but he sings “There Will Be A Day” and I knew that it was going to be very hard on me. It’s the song that I played at my dad’s funeral and every day since. I’m fine listening to it on the radio but live…I wasn’t so sure.

Heavy Heart

We truly had the most amazing time. Anita Renfore will make you laugh until you pee your pants. Wait, am I the only one with that problem? Forget I said it.

Max Lucado and Karen Kingsbury were amazing and I hung on every word. You couldn’t help but to cry the entire weekend because of how moving everything was.

I felt like no one in the building could understand the anticipation that I was feeling and why my heart was so heavy.

Your Last

As I was sitting there feeling  sad for myself, Karen Kingsbury started to read a poem about our last moments with our children and how we don’t realize that they are our lasts. She spoke about the last time she carried her child on her hip, the last time she help a bottle to feed her baby and many more lasts that we don’t even know are happening. There was not a dry eye in the room.

I began thinking of all my lasts that I had with my dad.

We noticed the women sitting in front of us was sobbing and her friends had their hands on her. We all stood up to pray and three rows of women surrounded this sobbing women and we started to pray for her. She had lost her 19 year old daughter to a drunk driver. I can’t imagine all of her lasts that were going through her mind at that moment.

I wasn’t alone in that room.

As a matter of fact there just might have been women in there with heavy hearts than the one that I carried under my “FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE” t-shirt.

Can You See me

Saturday night came quicker than I had expected and the amazing Jeremy Camp took the stage.

Everyone held their arms in praise as he sang. He was amazing. When he sings there is no denying that angels fill the room.

Song after song we stood with our arms high and eyes closed. We were coming up to the end of the night and I thought that maybe he wouldn’t sing that song and I would be in the clear. Then he did it.

I’m guessing that I handed my phone to my friend to record it and then I just stood there.

Frozen.

I prayed through the entire song.

“God is he with you?”
“Can he hear me?”
“Can you see me dad?”
“Are you proud of me?”
“Listen dad, listen to him sing!”
“Do you know that I love you?”
“God if he can’t hear me will you please please tell him that I love him.”
“Why were you so sad dad?”
“Am I good enough now?”
“Do you love me?”
“I’m sorry dad”
“You’re free dad.”

And then it was over.

Not By Your Good Works

Someone once told me that my dad was going to go straight to hell. Someone once told me that when he died ‘no one would give a s&#$”. A friends dad died of a heart attack years ago and right before his funeral she said “it should have been your dad”. Someone once called him “The devil’s spawn”. They all had their reasons and it’s okay. He wasn’t a good man. I’ve said some pretty hateful things about him myself.

But I know for a fact that my dad lives with my Savior in heaven.

My dad believed in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. My dad believed that the only way to heaven was through Jesus.

That’s all God requires.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

He is not in heaven by his good works. He is not in heaven because he lived a righteous life. He is not in heaven because he gave of himself.

He’s in heaven because EVERYONE who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God said so. He is the judge and the jury and He loves each of His children the same.

God loves my dad even though he took his own life. He loves him even thought he was a thief. He loves him even though he was a liar. He loves him even though he was a cheat.

He loves him because my dad is His son.

He loves Him so much that he let my dad sit front row at the Jeremy Camp concert just so he could listen to me talk to him.

Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Are you trying to work you way into heaven? Do you want to do good so that you can earn God’s love?

Stop.

He loves you. You are His child. You don’t need to earn it, it’s already yours.

Of course He wants you to live a full and wonderful life and to make a positive impact on others but all He requires of you is to believe in His Son and that the blood that was shed on the cross was for you.

If you haven’t accept Christ into you heart then stop right now and say a prayer with me.

“Heavenly Father thank you for the gift of eternal life. Please forgive me of my past sins and my future sins. Thank you for the sacrifice of Your son Jesus Christ so that I could have eternal life with You in heaven. Help me to live my life in a way that glorifies you and brings others to Your kingdom. If I stray from You gently remind me that I am the sheep and You are my Shepard. I want to live a new life in You. I want You to shine so brightly through me that others can’t take their eyes off of your glory. In You precious sons name, amen”.

Welcome home.

After the JC concert we went to have Adam Cappa sign his poster for our kids (okay for us). We had been crying and looked like a mess. When I realized that we were going to take our picture with him I turned to my girlfriend and said “Maybe I should take my hair down so I don’t look so bad”. She looked at me and lovingly said “Oh honey, it’s not going to help”.

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