Mom’s Graduation To Heaven

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Mom’s Last Moments

Many of you may have already heard that Norm’s mom took her final breath and then stepped into heaven to be with our Lord Jesus.  This occurred on Saturday afternoon, March 22.

Mom had been in hospital for about six weeks, fighting a bladder infection which was resistant to the antibiotics, and was struggling with some laboured breathing.  It was discovered that there was fluid building in her lungs and abdomen which they needed to drain off.  Testing of the fluid, plus more examination of her body revealed that mom had Stage 4 cancer throughout her intestines.

Mom was moved quickly to a hospice after that.  We had been wanting to talk with mom on the phone, but time zones and communication challenges had not allowed that for us.  But on our early Sunday morning here in Papua New Guinea, one of our cell phones alerted us to a message.  It was from Norm’s brother who said time was now short for mom.

We were able to get through this time on our phone and via speaker phone were able to say our last words of love and goodbye to mom.  Jill sang “Yes, Jesus Loves You.”  God gave us that opportunity to reach out to mom, and then five minutes after our call, mom took her last breath and then graduated to heaven.

Norm’s brother Murray sent a text back later and wrote, “Yesterday, we were a complete family again during the final moments. Blake held the phone close to Mom’s ear while I held her hand and studied her face closely.  There was an almost imperceptible reaction to your voices and your song – like an internal struggle to hear.  She stopped breathing a few minutes later.  I thought you should know this.”

Our niece Becky wrote this about that special moment,

“When I saw her at 2, her eyes were closed, and her breathing still laboured, but when I sat beside her and held her hand, I felt her try to respond, and her eyes flicked open 3 times. This was around the time that Murray got you on the phone. I know my Dad has said that he believes Granny heard you. I will tell you that I KNOW she heard you.

The peace that washed over the room as you spoke to her and as Jill sang, it was different than how the room felt before. As Jill was singing, I heard Jesus speak, “I am coming soon now.” It amazed me that within moments of hanging up that phone call, her breathing suddenly changed, it slowed and her eyes became heavy and peaceful. And just like that, she walked with Jesus into glory.

The presence of God in that room was like nothing I’ve experienced. He loves us so much, that He knew Mom’s wishes was to hear your voices and your wishes were to share your hearts with her one more time. He honored that, and I just love that about Him. Your voices were the balm to her heart, and I am forever grateful that the Lord had compassion to allow for that beautiful transition to be the way it was.”

Mom is now free from all the restraints and decay that we all experience in our mortal bodies.  Now she is liberated to a new and eternal life of joy inexpressible as she now inhabits her heavenly home.  God did give us this beautiful moment to say goodbye here.  But it won’t be that long before we are saying hello once again to each other when we too will graduate into our eternal home with God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Celebrate with us this passing of a great woman of God, Mavis Elizabeth (Knight) Weatherhead, whom we affectionately call “Mom”.

Norm & Jill Weatherhead
Missionaries to Papua New Guinea

Mavis Weatherhead

2013 In Review – Thank You Dear Readers

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Jesus Knows Our Hearts Well

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Jesus: Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent

John 1:43 – 51

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”  44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”  48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”  49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”  50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”  51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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This short passage looks deceivingly simple. One of the first disciples that Jesus called out to follow him, Philip, quickly got excited and went to find a friend of his, Nathaniel. And Philip told Nathaniel that he believed that he had found the Great Prophet, the man whom God had promised that He would send one day. (Read Deuteronomy 18:18)

Nathaniel is sceptical at first, but still comes. Then after a short dialog, he too finds himself putting his trust in Jesus and also believes that Jesus is God’s Son, the one who would usher in the Kingdom of God and bring salvation to all the Jews. Even greater than what Philip said, Nathaniel believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

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As I read this, I ask myself this question: what happened and caused this critic of Jesus to become a crusader for Jesus. I think we can possibly see part of the answer in the opinion Nathaniel gives regarding the fact that Jesus came from Nazareth. And Nathaniel can’t believe that someone as Great as the Messiah would come from this unimportant town in the Province of Galilee.

But the very fact of his disappointment shows that Nathanial had in the past held some hopes and beliefs that the Messiah would actually come one day. He just wasn’t prepared to believe at first that this Messiah would come out of Nazareth. And that I think is a clue for why people still yet don’t put their trust in Jesus.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was born in a dirty, smelly barn and shared his first days in the midst of these stinky old barn animals. Then later, when Joseph took his family to Nazareth, Jesus grew up as the son of a carpenter, and he learned that trade. So people today still cannot accept that the God of the Universe could ever have come out of this simple humble beginning.

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But notice what happened when Nathaniel came and met Jesus. Even as Nathaniel is walking up, Jesus makes a statement to show that He has insight into what kind of man was coming to greet him. Jesus said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” This was a rather bold statement by Jesus. But think how amazed Nathaniel must have been if this statement about him was true, that he was an honest and pure-hearted man.

When Nathaniel asked Jesus how He knew him, Jesus said to him, “When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Now since Nathaniel had indeed been sitting under the fig tree before Philip had called him, then Nathanial knew also that this man Jesus not only was omniscient and knew what was in his mind, but Jesus was also omnipresent, to be able to actually be somewhere else and see the place where Nathanial had been sitting.

Wow!! What a shock to the system! How unnerving! And yet remember, we saw hints that Nathaniel had probably been looking intently before to find the Messiah. Just that in every other case he only found disappointment. But this time was different and with the little knowledge he had about Jesus, it was enough to convince him that Jesus was God’s Son.

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What’s really cool, is that after Jesus demonstrated his ability of omniscience and omnipresence, He goes on to describe to the men how He too is also omnipotent. These first demonstrations of Jesus were fantastic for sure, but He says that the disciples will witness much greater and more powerful things than this. And He was right. As you look through each Gospel, you see Jesus giving sight to the blind, making the lame to walk, casting out evil spirits from people, and even raising people from the dead.

Yes, this is my Jesus. This is the Man whom I fell in love with, just as these early disciples did so long ago. I believe and have seen Him do mighty things in my lives and in others lives too. I know that He is always with me, ready to strengthen and comfort me. And last of all, and just as important. I know that He knows my every thought.

For some, that would be a scary thing. But for me, it is a constant reminder for me to follow the path of righteousness. For I do not ever want my Lord to know my thoughts and see that I am not being fully committed to Him as my Lord. No, I want Him to be pleased with me as I lean on Him, as I follow after Him, and as I allow Him to control me and my inner most thoughts. Thank you Jesus.