Monthly Archives August 2008

What is Heaven Like?

    Posted in Thoughts and Beliefs    |    1 Comments

Or…more to the point…what will Heaven be like?  That’s the question I’ve pondered for a long time.  Will I have a whole body?  Will I finally be able to throw off this un-whole body for a complete one?  Sure, I’ve asked those questions many times before.  I’ve finally come to an answer within the last few years.  Ready…here is the answer:

It doesn’t matter.

Really.  Whether or not I have a whole body means nothing to me.  Yes, I’ll admit that right now, my preference would be to have a whole body in Heaven.  But, I guarantee you that when I reach Heaven, my body’s physical status will be very low on my list of priorities.  I’ll be in Heaven…how could Heaven disappoint?

Beyond that, though, I believe the main idea of Heaven is to be in the physical presence of God.  Many of our songs focus on the wrong image of Heaven.  We sing about having a mansion and walking on streets of gold.  Those are all concepts we can understand as tangible…but the are also very worldly in terms of possesions.  The true value of Heaven is to be with God.  Check out this passage from Genesis 3:8 (NASB):

They [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Now, they hid because they had just done something the Lord had told them not to, but catch this phrase “the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.”  Wow.  That doesn’t say “God called to them from a cloud” or “God, who was not physically with them”…it says He was WALKING in the garden.  I believe that Heaven will be an amazing sight for us, as we get to see God walking in our midst.  Yes, He is God, and yes, we will still worship Him…but not like ever before as He will be in our presence. 

That is what Heaven is all about.  I do not worry about what my body will look like in Heaven.  Instead, I dream of a day when I will be with God, the maker of the Universe, and my heavenly Father.  I think the old hymn puts it best:

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

“In the Garden” – Words & Music: C. Aus­tin Miles, March 1912

Inspiring Those Who Inspire

    Posted in Schools    |    3 Comments

Yesterday, my dad and I were invited to speak to a group of over 600 school teachers and administrators who were gathered at a Special Education conference in Decatur, TX. Now, the conference mainly focused on new laws and policies for special education, but our job was to put a face on special education and to inspire teachers going into the new school year.

We told many stories of my educational background including how my parents were able to get me “mainstreamed” (I understand the term now is “inclusion.”), and how special adaptations in the classroom helped me to become the educated person I am today. Most of all, though, the positive attitude of the teachers and school administrators throughout my life really allowed me to flourish. My dad mentioned that he heard of people wanting to “take on the school system”…we never had to…the school systems I was involved in always bent over backwards to help me accomplish my goals.

These teachers were a great crowd, and many visited with me afterwards about how much our presentation helped them going into this new school year. We hope to have many more occasions to speak to both students and teachers in the future. Inspiring teachers allows us to inspire the thousands of students they inspire every day!

Jim and Chet McDoniel are inspirational speakers and are available to present to your school’s faculty and/or students. Chet’s unique view of life without arms allows him to inspire students in ways no one else can. Click here to request more information.

Blindness – Teenage Christian Conference 2008

    Posted in Churches    |    Comments Off on Blindness – Teenage Christian Conference 2008

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to lead worship for several hundred teenagers at the Teenage Christian Conference in Albuquerque, NM.  First off, leading worship for teenagers is just about the best experience one can have, IMO.  Teens are uninhibited, and on fire for the Lord.  We have much to learn from them, as all weekend, they praised with their entire heart and soul.  And, when you consider that we were without A/C for part of the weekend (hence the fan next to me in the picture), worshipping with conviction did not come without challenges. 

Leading worship for Jeff Walling is always a treat, and he and I got to spend some time together catching up.  Jeff has a powerful way of speaking God’s word.  He can have the room rocking with laughter, and then, within seconds, have the entire group in tears with the way our lives need to change.  Jeff interviewed me during one of the sessions in order to teach how we should see Jesus when we see people who look different than we do.  God used Jeff this weekend to bring many back into a relationship with God, and several teens were baptised as well. 

Joni and I also got to meet Rusty Tugman from Norman, OK.  Rusty concluded our weekend with 2 very powerful messages with calls to evangelise.  Rusty and I hit it off very well, and we found out that he and his family will be in Walt Disney World at the same time as Joni, Hannah and I will be.  We already have plans to meet up so that we can meet the rest of his family and share some time together.

Lance and Tim at the Montgomery Church of Christ in Albuquerque, NM are to be praised for their hard work in setting up and running this wonderful weekend.  Lance’s passion for teens could really be seen this weekend as he poured himself out for these kids.  I really enjoyed working with Montgomery’s praise team, and they were a joy to get to know as well.

This weekend was an absolute joy…well…except for the looooong car ride.  Oh well, if you ask me, the car ride, lack of A/C, and constantly being on the go this weekend were all worth it to see those teens praise, and to witness 10+ teens put on Christ in baptism.  I pray that the Lord continue to use TCC in a powerful way!