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Life... and Death

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 12:43 PM

Although I have thankfully not experienced losing a child, I know in my soul that would be the worst pain in the world.

About 20 years ago, I watched one of my best friends, Beth Scroggins, lose her soon to be three year old daughter to meningitis. It all happened within 24 hours. That precious blonde hair, blue eyed baby got sick and began throwing up at about three o'clock one morning and by nine that night, she was gone. It was traumatic for all of those who knew the angelic little girl, but her mother was never the same.

Just four months ago, I listened to Beth as she cried wishing her pain would ease just a little from missing her daughter.

Most of the time it was Beth who listened to me cry or whine about something or another. I can't remember a time when I couldn't call or go see her when I had a problem and I always felt better after our talk. My problem may not have been solved, but I always felt better -- and that is what mattered.

Three months ago, Beth suffered a brain aneurysm. I went to see her at Vanderbilt as she lay in a coma and I held her hand. It was as if she knew it was me and she squeezed my hand back and even moved a bit. The doctors told me it was involuntary, but I knew better. She was trying to tell me to get her out of there! At least, that's what makes me smile -- thinking of us laughing and making jokes about whatever crazy situation we end up in.

Beth died a few days later and I now know that losing a best friend is also a gut wrenching pain. I miss her every day. The one wonderful thing is that I know she no longer misses her precious baby girl.

Just a few weeks ago, my grandmother also passed away. She was very sick and I am relieved that she is no longer suffering. She was my mother's mother and I believe that losing a parent is the second most grieved loss.

My mother and her two sisters will never again be able to call their mom up to find out how she made her apricot fried pies or her zucchini bread. And they won't ever be able to call her again just to see how she is doing that day.

The death of a loved one is devastating to their parents, children, siblings, spouses and even friends. I picked up a book right after Beth died and it has helped me a lot.

I was at my mom's house a week or so before my grandmother died and spotted the book 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. She had not read it but said I could go ahead and borrow it.

It was hard to put down. And I believe God was the whole reason I saw the book on my mom's shelf to begin with. He knew I needed to read it. I have always believed in Heaven and knew it would be a wonderful place, but reading Piper's recollection of his own alleged trip comforted me in my time of grief.

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If people have already gone to heaven then what is the resurrection for ?

-- Posted by Zak on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 1:06 AM

I read the book. It hit my heartstrings and held my interest for sure. But, one thing I have to say is a lot of folks are claiming to have died and returned. We must be careful of what we believe. We can and do "Feel" many ways about death. We are creatures of choice. But what IS truth? As a Christian, I choose to go by the bible, the perfect word of God. He doesn't want us to guess, or assume what happens upon death. He wants us to know for certain. That is why he has given many, many, scriptures on death and dying. It is no mystery. Clearly mankind is made from dust, (body) given life by God's breath (spirit) together they created man and he "became a living soul". Upon death, the breath goes back to where it came from- God. But the body remains behind and is void of thoughts or memories. When at the resurrection we are given a new, immortal body, our same spirit will give the new body life. King David was a man after God's own heart. Yet, the scripture tell us in Acts 2:34 even he has not yet ascended unto the Father. In Revelations, the final book of the bible, the author tells us that at the return of Christ this mortal shall then put on immortality. What of the scripture: "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord"? Indeed. The spirit goes directly to God, the creator and keeper of our spirit. It isn't left here to reslessly roam the earth. Consider also, when one awakens it is as though no time has passed and to that person it is an immediate sight of Christ's return. Again, regardless of how "beautiful" words may sound, experiences might interest us, to know truth (there is only one) we must study God's word.

-- Posted by memecatie on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 12:29 PM

Jesus told Nicodemus that no one has ever gone to heaven.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

God created heaven and the earth, heaven for God and earth for the children of men

Psalm 115:15-17

15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

So no one goes to heaven before they die nor after they die until they are resurrected and judged at the final judgment which does not take place for over a thousand years or more from now.

God's people will have Visions and Dreams, but that is not reality. It isn't happening, it is visions and dreams.

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

The dead know not anything nor do they do anything. They sleep!

(Isaiah, the Prophet, wrote)

Ecclesiastes 9:4-10

4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Now if we sleep when we die and know nothing and do nothing, we would not float up in the air and watch our bodies lay dead. That has to be a vision if you believe the bible.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Mon, Aug 8, 2011, at 2:25 PM

There are more people that have experienced a glimpse of heaven. I, too, am one. In 1996 I had experienced what is called, being caught up in the spirit. The recounting of that stills brings tears to my eyes. The following is a mini-clip from this encounter.."I was taken up in my spirit into heaven. As I was ascending up and through heaven, I heard a beautiful symphony of melodious music such as I never heard before. When I pressed my ear to listen as I was traveling upward, I could differentiate the variety of music. Modern, old, country, rock, you name it, it was within this one song. I was actually traveling through layers of music upward, yet it was altogether one beautiful sound.

As I was slowing down, a great huge white throne was before me. (it appeared like 40-50 feet tall) I stopped at the very seat of the throne. There, seated upon the throne, was the Lamb of God, slain yet alive. The Blood was yet wet, red and flowing. The wounds were real and they stained the wooly whiteness of His coat. The Lamb dead, yet alive. When I looked into His eyes, time stood still. There is no amount of words that man possesses to describe the piercing look of love in His eyes . In one glance of His eyes, He saw in me and through me. Love, indescribable, coursed through me and rooted me still. I felt for the first time, love that surpassed all understanding."

Years later I happened upon a copy of "90 Minutes in Heaven" and read it. When I got to the part where Mr. Piper describes travelling through heavenly music, which I believe he experienced from a horizontal entrance, I stopped. The "travelling through music" that I experienced was a vertical ascension. I knew what I had experienced was verified by a total stranger to me.

One may discount and scoff and write these experiences off as hallucinations, dreams, etc. but that does not negate the reality of a place called, "Heaven".

-- Posted by TheMichelArm on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 8:43 AM

Must be the reporter coming out in you. Seems like even those who are captured with a smoking gun are allegedly the shooter.

Proof of going to heaven will be a tough sell. Since we don't seem to go there with our body, there may not be any physical to show or bring back.

Should be interesting though.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Aug 4, 2011, at 5:37 PM

A wonderful book about these questions and the inner journey is Journey to the Sacred Mending a Fractured Soul by Jane Simington. It is like no other book I have ever seen she wrote it after her son was tragically killed.

-- Posted by jodilynn24 on Thu, Aug 4, 2011, at 12:17 PM

Steve, I didn't really mean anything other than whether he really went to Heaven or not cannot be proved and is up to the reader as to whether they believe it or not.

-- Posted by SFrame912 on Thu, Aug 4, 2011, at 10:36 AM

I read that book, and the author - after a terrible car accident -- wrote from the perspective of having visited heaven for 90 minutes.

Welcome to the TG blogs, Sherri!

-- Posted by tsimmons on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 7:20 PM

While I have no first hand knowledge, my faith and the many experiences I have had with my parents, family and close friends passing make me a firm believer that there is a better place to go after death.

I don't mean to be a pain, but I found it curious that you used the word "alleged" in your last sentence? Reading your observations before this seemed to make the word jump off the page at me.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 3, 2011, at 3:03 PM

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Sherri Frame, a former staff-writer for the T-G, grew up in Wartrace and now makes her home in Shelbyville with her daughter, Jordan. She graduated from Cascade High School and earned her bachelor's degree in management at Trevecca Nazarene University. Sherri is currently unemployed.
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