Sunday, January 30, 2011

Heaven - The Real Deal

She died and went to heaven. Seriously. Actual-real-deal heaven.

Have you ever wanted a small glimpse of the afterlife? Something to make you hold on a little longer? Sometimes even a tiny slice of heaven can make the days not as cold, the nights as dark, and the road not as long.

Mike and Kalyn

Kalyn seems like a regular person. Originally from Oklahoma, she moved here to South Africa with her husband to work with All Nations. We both went to the “Girls Christmas Craft Night” last month, and while I was craftin my fingers to the bone stitching felt birds together, she rocked my world with her story…

Kalyn’s Story:

When I was 16 years old, I was sitting on the hood of my car playing the guitar. A friend of mine hopped in the car, got behind the wheel and started to drive it up a hilly street. As she drove down the hill, the car gained speed. I couldn’t balance, so I planned to throw my guitar off and grab the windshield wipers, but the force from throwing my guitar caused me to flip backwards onto the pavement. I had massive injuries to my head and was rushed to the hospital.

The doctors told my mother I wasn’t going to make it.

I remember physically leaving my body and watching everyone gather around me in the hospital room. I even remember seeing our neighbor boy lie to a nurse, saying he was my fiancée to get into my hospital room. Later, he was shocked I knew he had done that.

After hovering there for some time, I then was with Jesus. I just remember His eyes – looking at me with such love! We didn’t have to speak. He could read my thoughts and I could read His. He is AMAZING! It was so real…all my senses were SO ALIVE. It makes this life we are living now – seem like we’re dead – compared with how REAL and full of life that life is.

Even at our most healthy, fit, vivacious life, it is as if we are not even alive here on earth. THAT is how amazing being in the presence of CHRIST IS. Every cell of your body is vibrant with life. It is brighter than the brightest sun. It is incredible to be in His presence!

I was so filled with joy that all I could do was dance. I danced without stop in the presence of Christ. It gives me joy just remembering. Words truly can't express how it is to be in the presence of Jesus. In the scripture it says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.” (I Cor. 13:12).

It is as if we experience His full glory and it is INCREDIBLE!

Some time passed, although I had no concept of time, and I remember Him looking at me. I stopped dancing and He asked me if I wanted to return to earth or go with Him. Of course there is no way anyone would ever want to leave the presence of Jesus. It is as if you are truly alive for the FIRST time. I answered that I wanted to go back to earth. I was shocked that those words came out of my mouth. NO ONE would choose to return to earth after being that full of life. I believe it was the prayers of my mother and friends that caused me to choose to return. After that I woke up from my coma several weeks later.

It was a painful recovery…I still wear a hearing aid and have no sense of smell. In fact, I had to re-teach myself to read. But for years afterward – whenever I would reflect on that time, I could still feel the presence of Jesus. In fact for a long time, whenever I would hear someone had died, I would say… “That’s WONDERFUL! That is GREAT! They are with Jesus – they are having the time of their life!” My mother would have to remind me people were grieving and sad.

In heaven we are more alive than ever in this body on earth. It IS an actual place, and I look forward to being COMPLETELY ALIVE after I have died and left this earth!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pudding That’s Not Pudding

If you ever hear “Bring your costume and some pudding” in South Africa, you’ll know this is a swimming party with a dessert potluck (that is not likely to include actual pudding, as you know it).

Here are a few “must know” terms for your next trip to South Africa…

Costume (or Cozie) = Swimming Suit (as in “swimming costume”)
Context: Bring your cozie!

Commentary: When I first heard someone say “Bring your costume!” I thought, “Costume? Princess? Pirate? Dinosaur? I don’t have a costume!”

Now Now = sooner than Now

Context: I’ll be there now now.

Commentary: People say this all the time. “Now Now.” From what I’ve been able to gather from several different sources – this is the equivalent of “asap” or “right now.” Of course this is Africa – so it’s not lightning quick or anything – it just means “I’m STARTING to head in that direction.”

Pudding = Dessert

Context: Do you want some pudding?

Commentary: Pudding here is the generic term for dessert. Odd. A South African was telling me she had asked an American to bring pudding to a pot luck dinner and she brought with a bowl of chocolate pudding (as I most certainly would have). The confused South African said, “What’s this?” and the American said, “Pudding, of course!” So they served the pudding for pudding!

Force Cup = Plunger

Context: Well…we better go get a force cup.

Commentary: We’ve been in Africa for about a year now – and had to buy our first “force cup” recently. When Karl asked the Pick N Pay (grocery store) employee where to find a plunger – they looked at him like he was crazy – after several hand motions (don’t picture it), they pointed him to the “force cup” section.

Half Past Eleven = 11:30

Context: Meet me for lunch at half past 11.

Commentary: The most exact time gets here is 15 minute increments - “quarter past,” “half past,” or “quarter till”. Saying 11:15 or 11:45 is not common. I asked a friend once, “What if you had an appointment at 9:10 am? How would you say that?” She said, “Why would you have an appointment at 9:10?” Shouldn’t they just make it for quarter past?” Ahh…good point– it seems it’s just us Americans that like to be so precise. How I miss a movie with a show time at 8:25 pm!