Posts Tagged ‘heaven’

Give It to God

April 5, 2013

In the book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the priest who interviewed Brother Lawrence, a kitchen worker in a seventeenth-century Paris monastery, recorded that Brother Lawrence told him:

That our sanctification did not depend on changing our works, but in doing that for God’s sake which we commonly do for our own.

In those few words lies great wisdom. if you’re frustrated because you can’t find the time for a spiritual practice, you need (more…)

A Drive From Heaven

February 16, 2011

I love this shiver-inducing story by James Chappell that was featured in a Guideposts e-letter. Click here to sign up for Guideposts‘ free Mysterious Ways newsletter. You’ll also be able to download a free e-book, Mysterious Ways: 9 Inspiring Stories That Show Evidence of God’s Love and God’s Grace.


A visit to Dad’s grave on Mom’s birthday gave us an unexpected gift—one that proved the strength of God’s love.

February 19th, Mom’s birthday. She had only one request for the family. That we all accompany her to the family plot, where my father had been laid to rest a little over a month before. So on an unseasonably warm afternoon, we all gathered around the well-kept plot to pay our respects.

I missed my father so much. It seemed like just yesterday we’d been out on the golf course, playing a round. Up until the day he died, golf had been his passion. “I’m a golfer who practices law on the side,” he’d often joke. In recent years, with his bad back, he’d lost the ability to drive the ball well, but he never missed a putt once he reached the green. I smiled thinking about the time when I swung and missed the ball and he told me, “Praise the Lord. That stroke (more…)

Flames of Our Own Making

February 12, 2011

As they breathe their last, sinners and scoundrels are not consigned to burn in hellfire for all eternity. Hell is not a physical reality; it is a delusionary state of consciousness produced by our belief that we are separate from God—and the reflection of that consciousness in the life we create for ourselves here on earth.

I like the way that Paramahansa Yogananda got that point across to a man who had fundamental views about heaven and hell. This story is from the book, Finding the Joy Within You, by longtime Self-Realization Fellowship president Sri Daya Mata.

Master was once talking to a man who had very dogmatic notions about truth. He said to Master, ” Do you not believe in hellfire and damnation?”

Guruji said, “No, except that man creates a hades right in the here and now. He makes out of this world and his own life a heaven or hell, depending upon his behavior; and this is where we suffer.”

The man persisted with his dogmatic arguments. Guruji was very intuitive; he changedthe subject, andthen after a while he said, “Isn’t it true that you have a son who is (more…)

The Parable of the Long Spoons

April 10, 2009

Legend has it that Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, Lituania, an itinerant preacher, was granted permission to visit both heaven and hell. Upon his return to earth, he traveled from town to town sharing his journey.


long-wooden-spoonWith an angel for his guide, the Rabbi is first ushered through the gates of  Hell, which, he is surprised to find, are made of finely wrought gold. The gates are exquisitely lovely, as is the lush green landscape that lies beyond them. He looks at his angelic guide in disbelief. “It’s all so beautiful,” he says. “The sight of the meadows and mountains . . . the sounds of the birds singing in the trees . . . the scent of thousands of flowers . . . ” And then the tantalizing aroma of a gourmet meal catches his attention.

Entering a large dining hall, he sees row after row of tables laden with platters of sumptuous food; yet the people seated around the tables are pale and emaciated, moaning in hunger. Coming closer, he sees that each man is holding a long spoon, but that both his arms are splinted with wooden slats so that he cannot bend either elbow to bring the food to his mouth.

The angel then took the rabbi to Heaven, where he encountered the same beauty he had witnessed in Hell. Entering the dining hall there, he saw the same scene, except  in contrast to Hell, the people seated at the tables who had their arms splintered with wooden slates were sitting contentedly, cheerfully (more…)