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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Glimpses of Heaven

All praise to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is by His great mercy that we have been born again,
because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now we live with great expectation,
and we have a priceless inheritance –
an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you,
pure and undefiled,
beyond the reach of change and decay.
1 PETER 1:3-4 (NLT)



Heaven is a very real place. If you are a Christian, it is the place you will go to when you die. And when you face death, when you face the loss of loved ones, you desperately need a rock-solid hope. Jan describes our need for hope: “The thought that this is all there is – we live and we die – was dreadful. When you realize how fragile life is, you search hard for the truth. You have to know what is real. You need a hope beyond this life.”


Heaven provides that hope for us and for many, many others. The reality of heaven doesn’t take away the pain of our suffering or our losses, but it assures us that our pain is temporary. Oh, may we lift our eyes toward heaven, our real home!



If they had longed for the country they came from,
they could have gone back.
But they were looking for a better place,
a heavenly homeland.
That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He has prepared a city for them.
HEBREWS 11:15-16 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Cancer, Glimpses of Heaven, Grief, Hope, Words of Endurance

God my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
PSALM 23:1-4 (THE MESSAGE)



The familiarity of this oft-quoted Psalm can mask the wondrous truth that God is our loving, faithful Shepherd. Through our personal experience in dealing with cancer and through the experiences of hundreds of others who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, we can testify that the Lord is truly our Shepherd.



He will shepherd us through the darkest hours of life, and His greatest desire is to lead each one of us safely to His eternal home in heaven.



But something deep within us tells us that death is not natural. We fight against it as if it is a foreign enemy and in a sense it is. God has placed eternity into the heart of every person so we long for life to go on. Yet we are so attached to life on earth that we resist heaven, the true home Jesus has prepared for us.



Heaven sometimes seems very far away, sometimes not even quite real. But heaven is real. We can count on it. And when we are in the midst of suffering, the hope of heaven can greatly comfort us.



Our desire is to give you a glimpse of heaven, to lift your focus heavenward, to assure you that those who are God’s children will indeed live in His House forever. So come, discover the Shepherd and the awesome pastures He has prepared for you.



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE & JAN DRAVECKY

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Fear, Glimpses of Heaven, Hope, Words of Endurance

“Lets not get too settled in,
too satisfied with the good things down here on earth.
They are only the tinkling sounds
of the orchestra warming up.
The real song is about to break
into a heavenly symphony,
and its prelude is only a few moments away.”
JONI EARECKSON TADA



When I was a young man, I compiled a mental bucket list of things that I hoped would happen before I died. I wanted to get married and have children. When that was checked off, I added grandchildren and other things to the list. All the items on my list of things hoped for before I entered heaven were good things. But how I viewed those things versus eternity showed me that I did not have a good theology of what life after death means. Those things were not just desires. They were very often idols, the “good things that became ultimate things.”



German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who died at the hands of the Nazis in World War II for standing up for what he knew was true, was fearless about death.



“Why are we so afraid when we thing about death? …
Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and
fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can
be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter,
if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace,
the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who
believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle;
it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize
that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of
joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. “



Wow. Do I believe that? That was an eye-opening, heart-wrenching indictment of how shallow my faith has been regarding eternity. Death is not the final chapter of our lives; it’s simply the prologue to joy and peace. Have I ever thought of death as God’s greatest gift of grace? Hardly. Yet that is the reality of our faith if we believe the gospel is true.



DAVE BURCHETT STAY-LESSONS MY DOGS TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOSS AND GRACE (PUBLISHED BY TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC. 2015)



The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:18 (THE MESSAGE)



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE & JAN DRAVECKY

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Fear, Glimpses of Heaven, Hope, Words of Endurance

“We are not told in the Scripture
where heaven is.
Nor does it matter.
It will be heaven
and Christ will be there to welcome us home.”
BILLY GRAHAM PEACE WITH GOD (WORD PUBLISHING 1984)



There is a story told of a man close to death who expressed his fear of the end to his doctor. “Please, doctor, tell me what lies on the other side,” the man said.


I don’t know,” the doctor replied quietly.


“You don’t know? But you’re a Christian. How can you not know what is on the other side?”


The doctor’s hand rested on the doorknob of the examination room; on the other side of the door the men could hear scratching and whining. When the doctor opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and nearly knocked him over with boundless happiness.


Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “My dog’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside, except for one thing. He knew that his master was here. When I opened the door, he leaped in without fear. The same is true for us. I don’t know what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing. I know my Master is there and that is enough.”



That is enough for me, too. I will embrace joy on this earth and look forward to endless joy in heaven because I know my Master is on the other side.



DAVE BURCHETT STAY-Lessons My Dogs Taught Me About Life, Loss, and Grace (Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2015)



You wisely and tenderly lead me,
and then bless me.
You’re all I want in heaven!
You’re all I want on earth!
PSALM 73:24-25 (THE MESSAGE)



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE & JAN DRAVECKY

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