The Great Unmasking

Time to come out from hiding. And smile again!

There has never been a better time for you to show off your God-given smile than right now–especially now in these messy Covid virus times. The flimsy masks we are told to wear may give you a false sense of security. You may feel that you are being protective of others. But these masks can be actually hurting more than helping.

While the N-95 and surgical grade masks do help safeguard health care workers and food service workers, those flimsy pieces of cloth most of us wear offer little to no protection from sickness. Instead, they offer the illusion of safety where there is none. The tiny particles of the virus can easily penetrate homemade masks. (https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data)

Let the sick stay home. And let the healthy come outside and breathe the fresh air- -a gift from God. Be real. Sunshine is good for you.

Hiding behind a mask, on the other hand, can make people suspicious of you. Masks make people afraid. We become fearful of going too near someone to offer a helping hand or a friendly word of greeting or encouragement. We avoid looking at people directly in the eye. We can become locked in a self-imposed prison of isolation and discouragement. People with hearing difficulties (over a billion people worldwide) can be blocked from communicating and understanding, as the masks muffle the wearer’s voice and do not allow for lip reading.

Spread the joy

The world needs to see your smile and hear your voice! Even if you don’t feel like it, smile anyway. Your own joy will increase. It’s a proven fact that smiles boost endorphins, relieve stress, help you relax, and lower your blood pressure. Smiles may even lengthen your life.

Smiles increase your joy and the joy of those around you. When you unmask your beautiful smile, people feel valued, that they are worth the effort you made to smile at them. And they see you as more attractive, sincere, reliable and friendly. People respond to your smile with smiles of their own! It’s contagious. You have heard that the virus is contagious. But smiling is even more contagious!

Face it. When someone looks at you and flashes a genuine smile, it is hard not to smile back. We increase each other’s happiness.

We all feel better.

Pandemic of fear

By contrast, heavy-handed government regulations are tearing up people’s lives. The cure has become worse than the disease. Many businesses have been forced to close down, many have failed, throwing millions of Americans out of work, destroying dreams and futures. The financial and emotional stress of being unable to provide for their families, together with forced confinement at home, have caused alarming increases in domestic violence and child abuse. All this non-stop togetherness has brought out the worst in some people. Tempers have flared, and there are fewer ways to escape. Local shelters for victims are maxed out. The rates of depression and suicide are climbing. Alcohol and drug addictions have killed many more. As the stay-at-home measures continue to stretch out into months in some locales, people are losing hope. Lives are being lost at home. And especially in nursing homes in some states, where the inmates are locked down in solitary confinement, unable to visit one another or even see family members. Some patients are forced to die alone.

People should be free to choose how they want to live and die. Their quality of life may be more important to them than their length of life. How many of the so-called Covid deaths were actually the result of depression, loneliness and hopelessness caused by forced isolation?

Protection you can trust

So if masks are not the answer, how do we protect ourselves from a virus, Covid or otherwise? We put our trust in God and His word.

The Lord alone makes you dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

God wants you healthy.

Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in good health. (3 John 2)

He has supplied healing for you in the Blood of Jesus.

By Jesus’ wounds we have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

The promise of protection is for all believers, but especially for those who trust in the Lord and say so.

No evil shall befall you. Neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. (Psalm 91:10)

And if you do get sick, ask a believer to come and pray for you.

These signs shall accompany those who believe…they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

Time to believe again. And say so. Whom are you believing? Where have you placed your confidence? America’s national motto says “In God we trust.” Do you trust government bureaucrats with their dismal false prophecies, which seek to stretch out the so-called pandemic for years? Or do you put your trust in the Word of God, which is unchangeable, filled with life and healing power?

Jesus is our Savior, Healer, Protector. Not a small piece of cloth you cover your face with.

Free to choose

Most states are seeing the number of new cases steadily decreasing. All fifty states are beginning to open up. States like Georgia and South Carolina that have completely reopened have not seen any meaningful increase in virus statistics. The predictions of catastrophe have been defeated. Praise the Lord.

For most of us, whether you choose to wear a mask is optional. But if your employer or city mayor insists that you wear a mask, you may choose to comply. And no one should fault you for that. Certainly keeping your job, if you have one, is an important factor to consider. However, for those of us who are healthy and choose not to wear a mask, do not condemn us. Or arrest us. Instead, smile with us. Smiling can be infectious. And we will all feel better.

Seven things I know about heaven

 

I have peeked into paradise.  Heaven has come alive to me.

My recent invitation to go home with Jesus has opened my eyes to the reality of heaven in new ways. (See my earlier blogs on my near-death experience.)  A spiritual place has now become very real to me.   Scriptures have new meaning.

Heaven is more than a hope or a promise.  It is real.  It is our forever home.  And God is expecting us soon….

Heaven is our home.  God called me “home” to heaven.  That means I belong there.  It is not a new or scary foreign place.   As Christians, we are God’s children, treasured members of His family.  We will feel right at home in heaven when we get there.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.  (Hebrews 13-14)

Jesus calls us home.  You won’t find Buddha or Mohammed up in heaven calling you home.  Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, the Most High God, our Savior forever.  He will call us home at the right time.

We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. (Philippians 3:20)

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The welcome mat is out.  Heaven is expecting us.  Jesus has prepared a special place for us there.  He has done what we could not do for ourselves.  He has made the way for us to enter in freely.  He has paid the price in full, giving His life as a ransom for us.   He has awarded us His own perfect right standing with God.  We are holy to the Lord.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in My Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

There is no fear in going home.  Fear has no place in heaven.  Only peace and love. Heaven’s peace is like a magnet, drawing us in.  When our time comes, we will gladly leave the chaos and fears of earth behind us, to be caught up in the arms of Jesus, our Prince of peace.

Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:8)

Heaven is closer than you think.  Heaven is not some faraway place.  It is right around the corner.  My own encounter with heaven came suddenly, unexpectedly, on a trip to the dentist’s office.  Your time could come suddenly, unexpectedly–on a routine trip to work or the grocery store.  You could be called home tonight…or tomorrow.  Jesus could return for us at any time.  We do not know the future or how much time we have left on this earth.  Be ready, prayed up and set to go!

“So you too must keep watch!  For you do not know the day or hour of My return.”  (Matthew 25:13)

Everyone is invited.  God invites everyone to make heaven their home.  But many have ignored or refused their invitation.  You have to RSVP.  You have to say yes!  It is your decision, your choice.  It does not matter where you have been or what you have done or what has been done to you.  Just accept right now your invitation to join the family of God.  Choose Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, the Boss of your life.  His arms are open wide to you now.  Come home to the family of God.

See how very much our Father LOVES us, for He calls us His children.  And that is what we are!  (John 3:1)

Jesus is the way.  There are not many roads to heaven.  Just one.  Surrender your life to Jesus Christ.  Receive His BIG LOVE.  Receive His grace and blessings.

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but through Me.”  (John 14:6)

 

All scriptures from The New Living Translation.