Saturday, February 19, 2011


I was watching Youtube videos of Lavern and Shirley and I came across an episode I remember well.  It was about Lavern and Shirley getting a check for $56 dollars from the phone company accidentally.  Lavern wanted to keep the check and Shirley wanted to return it.  When they went to bed, they had dreams of going to heaven for returning the check.  Then, when Lavern went back to sleep after waking briefly, she dreampt of going to hell because she kept the check.  It was all very humorous with red pitchforks and angel wings.  I must have been seven or eight when I was a kid and saw this episode on television.  It scared me at the time.  I was glad Lavern and Shirley returned the check when they woke up, so they could go to heaven. 

I think the way heaven and hell were portrayed on that episode is the way a lot of people think of heaven and hell.  I know I did when I was younger.  Only instead of the scrolls used to showcase our good and bad deeds as it was for Lavern and Shirley, I envisioned a pair of scales, weighing our good against our bad.  If the good outweighed the bad, we went to heaven.  If the bad outweighed the good, we took the elevator downstairs and roasted marhmallows for the devil's picnic. 

When I was older, like eleven or twelve, my mom and dad sat me and my sister down and my mom explained something called"salvation" to us.  She said it wasn't the good or bad things that get us to heaven, it was "accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior" that got us to heaven and it was important.  Well, I knew I didn't want to go to hell, so I readily did it.  My sister was embarrassed to say the words out loud.  At the time, I don't think either one of us understood the full impact of what that meant. 

In those days, my mom did a lot of listening to Christian radio, and being the age I was, I got to listen to a lot of it with her.  It made me glad I had accepted Jesus as my personal savior.  I learned more about what my mom felt so urgent about teaching us. 

No amount of good deeds or being a "good person" will get us to heaven.  Our hearts are naturally rebellious towards God.  Our sin keeps us from being in His presence eternally.  God, in his wisdom, sent his Son Jesus to earth to live a perfect, sinless life to pay the penalty for the sin we committed.  It is a gift given to us.  We don't deserve it.  And like all gifts, we have to accept the gift from the giver to receive it. 

If you have never received this wonderful gift of forgiveness, won't you do it right now?  It will change your life.  Ask God to forgive your sins and thank Him for sending Jesus to pay the penalty of your sins. 

I now have the urgency for my own kids to understand Jesus and what he did for them.  I believe that God in his mercy accepts them as he would a babe without understanding of sin.  However, I'd love for them to know this wonderful fact personally.  I tell them about Jesus and how he is our Savior.  I tell them how He loves them and is with them.  We pray with our kids daily and I pray over them before they go to school. 

Someday, when Christ returns, my kids will have glorified bodies and minds that can think clearly.  I hope they will tell me then that they already knew the things I tried to teach them while they were in my care.