Peek a boo

Recently a friend of mine has made me really aware of cats. I have known they existed for many years, but never really paid much attention to them. They are playful creatures as the two pictures shown above reveal. My friend talks about her cat as if it were human, but its hard for me to think about cats like that. Many years ago, a minister's wife was asked whether or not cats or dogs would be in heaven. Her response was the most insightful I have ever heard; "whatever it takes to make you happy will be there". A loving God would naturally give those who love him their deepest desires and fill their lives with joy! But what about today? What will God give to those who love him today? Jesus said:

Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called children of God.
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Webster Bible
The word "blessed" also means happy, but the word happy really doesn't do full justice to the concept being conveyed here. It means the inward state of bliss that the person who seeks to truly follow God has within them. This doesn't mean the disciple won't have problems, or that things won't bother them, but rather that God will be with them regardless of the circumstances. So, even in the worst of situations, you just might find yourself feeling like saying "Peek a boo". Who knows, I might even get a cat someday!

Up, up and away

Imagine what it would be like to be in the basket of the balloon just taking off. Probably something like an elevator without the walls. I wonder just how high you could go in one of these things? Several years ago we lived in New Jersey and the townhouse development still had large open areas. Then one day in November a group of balloons landed in one of the undeveloped fields. What a sight it was! I still remember how BIG they were and HOW BEAUTIFUL! Its amazing to me how some things just make such an impact that they are never forgotten. Imagine how the apostle Paul must have felt when he penned these words:

2Co 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don't know, or whether out of the body, I don't know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.
2Co 12:3 I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I don't know; God knows),
2Co 12:4 how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
2Co 12:5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in my weaknesses.
2Co 12:6 For if I would desire to boast, I will not be foolish; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no man may think more of me than that which he sees in me, or hears from me.
2Co 12:7 By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively.
2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
The World English Bible
In the Bible there are three heavens; the first is the air about us, the second is all that we can see in the sky and last was the heaven above the others, where God dwells (paradise). To be allowed into that third heaven must be something that was the ultimate "high"! Makes ballooning look paltry, doesn't it? However, one day I hope to see it and I hope to see you there as well! Up, up and away!