My earnest study of Heaven began the week my daughter, Melissa died. I had an insatiable desire to discover everything the Bible taught about where Melissa was, what she was doing and what connection we still had, if any. I had been a student of The Word of God for 30 years so I had complete assurance that she was in Heaven with her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I knew the Bible taught the moment she was absent from the body she was present with the Lord (2Cor.5:6,8). I knew that I would join her there one day; I would again see her, feel her, talk to her and continue our relationship into eternity. I had amazing comfort in knowing that - but I needed to know more.

As I began to study Heaven from Genesis to Revelation something marvelous happened to me. God was healing my broken heart by giving me a glimpse of Heaven. I understood the events of this life more clearly. I now saw my life, Melissa's life with an eternal perspective. My excitement for Heaven grew but even more amazing was my enthusiasm and passion for my life on this side of Heaven. I knew God had a beautiful plan for me that would extend into eternity. I knew His beautiful, wonderful plan for Melissa's life was still continuing with an eternal purpose. Death is just an event in the timeline of our eternal life. 

So, why should we study Heaven? In Colossians chapter 3 Paul tell us to "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." God, through His Word, tells us to THINK about Heaven. In order to do that we must study the Bible so we are thinking correctly. Randy Alcorn points out in our reading and study this week that there are many misconceptions about Heaven and how important it is for us to "Test everything. Hold on to the good" (1 Thess 5:21). He challenges us to be "Berean" Christians who study the Scriptures daily to see if these things are true (Acts 17:11). My challenge is the same. Many things you read in the HEAVEN book may be new to you - don't disagree based on "I wasn't taught that!". Instead, open up your Bible and be willing to learn. Go rogue! Study beyond the workbook - look up the Scriptures, cross reference and PRAY for God to "open your eyes and show you wondrous things from His Word." (Psalm 119:18)

Challenge Exercises & Questions

1. Write down everything you now believe about Heaven.
    This exercise will help you to "set your mind on things above."

2. Did Randy Alcorn introduce you to any new concepts about Heaven in your reading this week? Write them down.  

3.  In the Introduction we learn how focusing on the brevity of life and focusing on Heaven should cause us to live better lives. Read Colossians chapter 3. Paul tells us to think on things above, not on things on the earth. "Therefore", what are we to do? What behaviors are we to "put to death"? What behaviors are we to "put on"? How should this thinking effect our relationships?

The study of Heaven should and will change your life. This study isn't for knowledge sake, it's for radical transformation of our lives.

If you are new to studying the Bible, I'm here to help you. Please email me with any questions you might have.

Melissa Quote
Setting Her Mind on Heaven

Melissa and Jeremy

"Melissa, Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Seek First is priority #1. What God's called you to do is the Kingdom and the other things are things. Trust God, Seek God, Devote Yourself to God, Seek first His Kingdom; You'll be mindful of Heaven and that will be your treasure. Eternity is where the focus should be. Everything else is things. Set your mind on things above. Think about sitting in the presence of the Lord forever and all other trials and worries seem to be nothing."


I was up early this morning thinking about Heaven and praying for you. You are so precious and special to God - He loves you so much. As you study what the Bible says about Heaven you will see even more clearly how much you are loved. You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you! Amazing. 

This study comes from Randy Alcorn's book HEAVEN.  It is the best study I have read - and I have read almost every book out there on Heaven!   I am also recommending the companion Heaven Study Guide for those who want to study deeper into The Word. Remember, these books are just tools, guides to lead us to study the Scripture so out goal is to get into the Word and let God teach us about His Heaven! 

My goal for these online studies is to encourage and stimulate you to study the Word of God and love it so it becomes a lifetime habit. Blessings await you!


Hello Precious Moms!

 "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy" Psalm 30:11
           Gracie Lynn

WOW!   The Lord has taught me that the sorrows of this life can never outweigh the JOY that He has planned for me.  This week the Lord overloaded me with the joy of seeing my first daughter give birth to her first daughter.  But even this incredible, amazing joy that is beyond what I could have asked for or imagined will not compare to the JOY He has planned for me in Heaven or compares to the joy, pleasure or excitement that my daughter Melissa Lynn is experiencing in Heaven right now.  The goodness and joy we experience here on earth is just a glimpse, a little taste of Heaven! 

 "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord;  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14

God has a glorious, joyful future for you.  Hang on dear ones.  Wait on the Lord, He will strengthen your heart, He will show you His goodness and joy in this life and in the life to come!
All for Jesus and His Glory,
Janette Henning


You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you!  Do you believe that?

Remember in John 14:2-4 Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also.  And where I go you know and the way you know."  Thomas asked the question:  "how can we know the way?" 

This week you are studying chapters 1-4 in our Heaven Book.  Randy Alcorn gives you a little taste of Heaven; gardens, rivers, mountains, untold adventures, the goal of your desires and the summit of your wishes (pg. 7).  He stirs our appetite for Heaven and bids us to use our imagination to picture Heaven using Scripture.  Then, just as Thomas asked the question:  "how can we know the way?" Randy asks, "Can You know you're going to Heaven?"  There is no benefit of studying Heaven if you do not know the answer to that question.  It is pointless to talk about "being with Jesus in Heaven, being reunited with family and friends, and enjoying great adventures in Heaven" (pg. 23) if you don't know the way to get there. 

The great danger in our society is the belief that Heaven is our default destination. Most people just assume that all roads lead to Heaven.  In Chapter 3 we see that Hell, not Heaven is the true default destination for EVERYONE!!  It is a disturbing fact that we would all chose not to believe but there is GOOD NEWS!  God has intervened and created a fork in the road, a detour that leads straight to Heaven!

Jesus answered Thomas and answers us, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except through Me." John 14:6  Jesus stands at the fork in the road, He is our detour, no one can travel the road that leads to Heaven without Him.  He alone is the way.  God leads all of us to that fork in the road. At that fork He convicts us of our sinful nature and shows us our need for a Savior.  We come to a place of recognizing God's holiness and seeing that even our good works are filthy rags.  We learn that there is no way to enter into God's holy Heaven in our sinful state and we are powerless to do anything about it.  Then we see Jesus!  He touches us and tells us that He has made a way - He paid the penalty for our sins on the cross - He forgives us and declares us holy and proved He has the authority and power to do that by raising from the dead.  He offers us His hand with the free gift of eternal life and access to Heaven, we just have to take it!  He promises to give us an abundant life and to lead us safely home!  Heaven!

God led me to that fork in the road when I was 7 years old.  I took His hand and He has been leading me ever since.  When I was 22  I saw Jesus more clearly and was in awe.  I committed my life to follow closely after Him, even more than that, I presented to Him all of me to do whatever He willed with my life.  Whatever would bring Him the greatest glory - my life was His!  My life has been filled with great joy and immense sorrow and I know by experience that God is faithful to keep His promises.  He never leaves me or forsakes me.  He does heal the broken hearted. He does comfort so I can comfort others. He does give joy in the midst of sorrow and my life is filled with abundance and the sure hope of Heaven.  It is a beautiful journey this road I'm on with Jesus.  Most of you are on that road with me but if you have not taken Jesus' hand yet - He's reaching out to you now - just take it!

Challenge Exercises & Questions

1. Read 1 John 5:11-13  You can know with certainty that you have eternal life.  Who has eternal life? 

2. Read Romans 3:23  Why can't everyone go to Heaven?  Who has a sin problem?

3. Read Romans 5:8  How does God show you His great love for you?  What did Christ do for you? When?

4. Read Romans 6:23  What are the consequences of sin?  What is the gift of God?

5. Read Ephesians 2:8-9  Why do "works" (good things we do) have nothing to do with access to Heaven?

6. Read Romans 10:9-13  Explain the simple way of salvation according to this Scripture.

God has made a path, a way for us to know we will be in Heaven.  For many of us our questions do not concern our own pathway to Heaven, they concern whether our child, or other loved ones are there.  The following Scriptures may help you to know God's heart and give you greater assurance.


 1. Read 2 Samuel 12:18-23  What was David assured of after his infant son died?  You can have the same assurance. 

2.  Read Matthew 19:14  What does Jesus say about little children.  Imagine Heaven - what is it filled with?

Know God’s Heart:

Read 2 Peter 3:9  Can you see from this Scripture that God has done everything possible to assure your child or other loved ones get to Heaven? 

Throughout Scripture you can see that God delights in saving households - entire families.   I always counsel people who are unsure if their loved one accepted Christ's salvation to focus and trust God's faithfulness to them, trust His great mercy and compassion and trust that Jesus showed up at that fork in the road and they took His hand and are safely home! 

If any of you need further counsel or Scripture to study please email me.  I will do my best to guide you in The Word so you have the full assurance you need.

Email Janette


Hello Precious Moms!
"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

Amidst great suffering the apostle Paul found the strength to persevere by looking at the things which are not seen.  I'm praying this study will do the same for all of us. 

Robbi (one of our Moms) has been listening to Randy Alcorn's CD set on "50 Days of Heaven".  She said it is really great and that in reinforces what she has just read in the study.  I would recommend it especially for those who are struggling with reading and studying.  Just listen - God will speak to your heart.

All for Jesus and His Glory,
Janette Henning
Umbrella Ministries San Diego

The Present Heaven 
This week you were introduced to what Randy Alcorn calls the "intermediate" Heaven.  This is the present Heaven - the place Christians go to when they die.  He stresses this is a "temporary dwelling place, a stop along the way to our final destination: the New Earth."(pg.43)

If you are a student of the Bible you get that.  Revelation 21 explains "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Then, I John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adored for her husband."

Yes, the entire universe as we observe it today will pass away and be replaced with a new creation that will last forever.  But what about the "holy city, New Jerusalem" that comes down out of heaven from God , prepared as a bride?  This is the "place" Jesus talks about in John 14:2-3.  "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also."  This place, the capital city of Heaven, comes down out of heaven from God, prepared, finished and occupied by all the saints!  

I believe that there is significant evidence in Scripture that leads us to the conclusion that this "prepared" place, "the holy city, New Jerusalem," is the present Heaven in it's completed state. Completed because every person that Christ died to redeem, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation is there.  The bride of Christ that He patiently wooed and waited for, is now ready!

Hebrew 12:22-23 tells us about the heavenly Jerusalem now, in the present Heaven.   It is the city of the living God, there are innumerable company of angels, and there is a festal gathering going on with Believers and Old Testament Saints. This Scripture talks about the "general assembly" but it really means "a gathering for public festival."  There is a party going on in Heaven!

The second part of our study this week was questioning whether or not the present Heaven was a physical place.   Randy talked about "unobserbable dimensions" and the "unseen realm." Can things that are not seen be physically real?  Is there evidence in Scripture that Heaven has physical properties that are familar to us?   
He introduced us to two men in the Bible who saw clearly into the heavenly places.  Stephen saw the heavens opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  The Lord opened Elisha's servant's eyes to see heavenly armies full of horses and chariots of fire protecting Elisha. We learned that Heaven depicted people wearing clothes, holding palm branches, playing musical instruments, walking and talking.  We also saw that there are trees, fruit and wine in Heaven. In fact, "it seems likely that the original Eden may be a great park at the center of the city"! (Page 56) I believe, along with Randy Alcorn that Heaven is a real, physical place!  So close!  "A spiritual dimension of reality which God has hidden from us in this present age, a dimension which none the less really does exist in our space/time universe and within which Jesus now lives in his physical resurrected body, waiting even now for a time when he will return to earth." (page 48)   

 Are you excited yet?  Next week we will look at what life is like in the present Heaven.

"You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Remember:  You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you! 

Challenge Exercises & Questions
  1.   Jesus tells the disciples in John 14:1 "let not your heart be troubled." The word "troubled" means "horror, anxiety, agitation." In my opinion that is a very good definition of grief. How does Jesus comfort his disciples as He is preparing them for His death? (John 14:1-4) Does this comfort you?

2.   Study the "tree of life".

Genesis 2:9   Where is the tree of life?

Genesis 3:24   What did God place at the East end of the Garden of Eden? Why?

Psalm 99:1; Isaiah 37:16   Where does God dwell?

Revelation 2:7   Where is the tree of life?

Luke 23:43   Who dwells in Paradise?

2 Corinthians 12:4   Where was Paul caught up to?

Revelation 22:2   Where is the tree of life?

3.   Read Revelation chapter 21 through chapter 22:5
Describe the "finished" Heaven. What is different about the "finished" Heaven and the "present" Heaven?


Hello Again Precious Moms!
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him..." 2 Peter 1:2-3

I loved this weeks reading.  Do people have intermediate bodies in the present Heaven? Do they remember life on earth?  Do they see what is happening on earth? Do they pray for those on earth?  Can it be Heaven if people are aware of anything bad on earth?  The answers to these questions are not just important for us to understand the present Heaven, they are important for us to understand our relationship with God NOW and into eternity.  
As I have stated before, this study is not so we can obtain knowledge about Heaven, it is all about knowing God and through knowing God our lives are transformed!  Read the 2 Peter verses again.  Meditate on all God has provided for you through knowing Him.

My prayer for us this week is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the study of His Word.  And as we grow in the knowledge of Him may we increase in fullness of joy.

All for Jesus and His Glory,
Janette Henning
Umbrella Ministries San Diego

What is Life Like in the Present Heaven? 

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?'  She said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God who is to come into the world.'" John 11:25-27   This is the verse that is at the top of Melissa's headstone.  It says exactly what she would want all those who loved her to know. "I never died!  I live!"  Her life, and the living of it continues! 

In our reading this week Randy Alcorn explains that Scripture teaches us that those who die will go to a real place as conscious human beings.  They have intermediate bodies, wear clothes and have  memory of their lives and relationships on Earth.  They maintain their identity.  There is continuity between their life on earth and their life in Heaven.  They are fully conscious, rational, and aware of each other, God and what's happening on earth.  They know the circumstances of their death. They are aware of time.  They are concerned for those on earth and pray for them.  They continue to learn. They anticipate future events.  They have passion!  They know their God and have an intimate relationship with Him.  They still need to exercise faith and trust.  They still need to "wait" on the Lord for His perfect timing. 

Life is ongoing - "Earth is center court, center stage, awaiting the consummation of Christ's return and the establishment of His Kingdom." (page 70)  The inhabitants of Heaven are involved with what is happening on Earth.  They rejoice over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:17)!  They are aware of the one!!  "They are not just aware generally, but specifically, down to the details of individuals coming to faith in Christ." (Page 71)  Our dear ones in Heaven are still very connected to us on earth. 

I find great comfort in knowing that Heaven "surrounds" us, that saints are now watching us and cheering us on in our race to the finish line. (Page 70)  But I am also very aware that this is a disturbing thought to many.  When I began to share with people my exciting discoveries about Heaven I found that most did not share my excitement.  They would prefer to "picture saints (their loved one) in Heaven blissfully unaware of what is transpiring on Earth."  Why?  They believe "that for people in Heaven to be happy, they can't know what's happening on Earth" They believe that seeing suffering, sorrow and life happening on the earth will negate their joy.  Randy Alcorn deals with that on pages 72-73.  I would like to add another insight into his answer.
Remember what I said above, "The answers to these questions are not just important for us to understand the present Heaven, they are important for us to understand our relationship with God NOW and into eternity."  Knowing God will transform our lives - this truth should transform your life.

In John 15 Jesus is preparing His disciples for His death.  He tells them several times to "abide" in Him and gives them instruction as to what that means.  Then in verse 11 He says, "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."  He goes on to tell them that they will be hated, persecuted & killed.  "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you." (John 16:22)  He goes on to pray for them and for us in John 17,"But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves."  JOY, true, real, lasting, JOY comes from Jesus!  He is our JOY.  Biblical JOY is never based on our circumstances.  JOY for the Christian is a supernatural benefit given to us by Christ through the Holy Spirit.  Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is JOY.  As Jesus is the source of our joy here on earth He also is the source of our joy in Heaven.  "In Your presence is fullness of JOY!" Psalm 16:11 Jesus and HIS JOY can consume us here on earth and will consume us in Heaven.

So back to the question:  "Can people in Heaven be happy if they know what's happening on Earth? YES!!!  Nothing, absolutely nothing, can take away our happiness or our joy because Jesus is JOY, Jesus is HAPPINESS, not blissful ignorance, not perfect circumstances but JESUS!  If you are counting on the absence of sorrow, a beautiful garden of Eden, a glorious environment, perfect sinless saints, a resurrected body and all that encompasses Heaven and the New Earth to give you happiness and joy you have missed the whole point. All of that would mean nothing without Jesus, our Bridegroom, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is the source of all our joy!

Is this a life changing truth?   It was for me.  Knowing Jesus Christ as my JOY has carried me through the horrific sorrow of my daughter's death and many other unexpected trials in my life.  Did I feel the full impact of pain and grief?  Absolutely!  But even in the midst of my worst pain Jesus was REAL.  He gave me a peace that passes all understanding and joy within my broken heart that was unexplainable except to say, it was supernatural!  My daughter, Melissa, when she was told she had cancer, with joy in her voice said, "Oh Mom, that is so great, God is going to do amazing things!"  Supernatural!  When she died, her husband and her family lifted their hands to Heaven and sang, "I will praise you Lord my God, even in my darkest hour I will praise you Lord."  Supernatural!!
The Joy of the Lord is our Strength!  I pray you will know Jesus and that you will be filled to overflowing with His JOY!

 I love you all.
Remember:  You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you! 
As we are the focus of God's heart, in return, may He be the focus of ours!  He is preparing a place for us in Heaven and with every detail He has us in mind. And may we have only Him in mind as He reveals more of the details of Heaven to us through this study. 

Challenge Exercises & Questions
1. In Heaven Chapter 7, pages 65-67, Randy Alcorn examines Revelation 6:9-11 and gives 21 brief observations concerning life in the present Heaven. If you have not already done this exercise for yourself please do so.  Then take each observation and think about what your child in Heaven might be doing. 

2.  Do you have a difficult time accepting that people in Heaven are aware of what is happening on Earth? 

3.  Psalm 16:11 states "In Your Presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Many people use this Scripture to maintain that those in Heaven cannot be aware of people and events on earth because they would lose their joy if they knew about all the suffering and evil on the earth.  Do a study on Biblical JOY to help you answer this question

4. Read Habakkuk 3:17-19 (You should be familar with this passage!)  How did Habakkuk's circumstances affect his joy?  What was his joy in? 

5.  Rewrite the Habakkuk passage in your own words as it applies to your life.

Suggestions:  Include a time of praising God every morning.  Read Psalm 147 - 150 to help you get started. 

According to the Bible joy is not the absence of sorrow, it is the presence of God.  Spend time with Him. He will heal your broken heart and will turn your mourning into joy!


Welcome to Week 5 of our Heaven Study.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6 
All for Jesus and His Glory,
Our God is an awesome God who has given us His Word to give us understanding of what was, what is and what is to come.  But, even more than that, "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  (Hebrews 4:12)  Let the Word of God do it's work in your heart.  Cherish it as healing ointment to sooth even your deepest sorrows.
"Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119 89) His Word will bring you comfort, strength, hope and JOY.  Trust it as Truth!  
Grasping Redemptions Far Reach
Last week I tried to focus you on the JOY that is in Christ.  Oh, my beloved, this is the Truth that we so must grasp.  In Revelation 4 & 5 God reveals some of the present Heaven to us through the apostle John.  John observes the throne room of Heaven in chapter 4 and then in Chapter 5 we see that John begins to weep because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.  Then one of the redeemed saints basically says to him, "Don't weep - We've got Jesus!  He has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." Then they sing an amazing new song praising Jesus for redeeming them and continue to shout "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"  This loud praising spills out into all the earth.  "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever." Then the innumerable number of saints fall down and worship Him who lives forever and ever.
Can you envision what's happening?  If you continuing reading through Revelation chapters 6 & 7 you will see that the "seals" unleash God's judgement on the earth.  All of heaven, including the beloved redeemed saints, are completely aware of everything that is happening on the earth during the "terrible" day of the Lord.  Chapter 7:9-17 reveals the response of the Saints.  "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  Then they fell on their faces before His throne and worshiped God, saying:  "Amen!  Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."  JESUS is the focus - He is the Joy, He is the blessing.  Nothing, even the awareness of the horrific events of God's judgement on the earth, will or can take away the joy that is in Christ.  The Saints are filled with praise!  They have Christ's perspective, they are overcomers, they rejoice because their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20)  Their joy is in Christ and God's perfect will being accomplished on earth and in Heaven.
Some of you may still be struggling with the fact that those in Heaven have memories and are aware of what's happening on earth.  Your reality may be too overwhelming.  Please know this, regardless of what our loved ones remember, know or observe about earth, Jesus fills them with the fullness of His joy. He is greater than all our pain, all our sorrows and all of our memories.  One day, even if we remember all our sufferings, it will seem as nothing in His presence!  "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)  My dear ones, this is part of understanding the "incredible greatness of His power."  Think about this for a minute.  The incredible greatness of His power that overwhelms even the greatest horrors and sorrows with indescribable Joys!
Why is this so important to grasp?  This weeks reading was all about REDEMPTIONS FAR REACH. Redemption means "the purchase back of something that has been lost by the payment of a ransom." (Easton's Bible Dictionary) Throughout the Bible, God is teaching us about redemption.  From Genesis to Revelation God reveals His ultimate plan to redeem (purchase back) His creation from the curse that resulted from man's sin of rebellion against Him. Romans 3:24 states: "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."  Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.  God gives us many examples of redemption throughout Scripture so we will "get it!"  In Deuteronomy 15:15 God says to the Israelites, "You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you." In the Psalms it says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!"  We see in Revelation 5:9 the Saints sing, "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."  In Revelation 22 the culmination of Christ's redemption is finally complete. There is a new earth, redeemed, resurrected!  Heaven has come down to earth and God dwells with us. There is no more death, sorrow, crying or pain!  "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads" (Rev. 22:3-4)  Forever we will see Christ's face and we will know and remember what His great love did for us!  Forever His name will be on our foreheads!  Forever we will be grateful that He redeemed us.  Redemption implies remembrance.  How can we know we have been redeemed if we have no memory of what He redeemed us from?  Our sin, our sorrows, our sufferings will all give Him great glory because He redeemed us from all! 
So, my beloved moms, "Weep, but don't weep as those who have no hope - we've got Jesus!" He will make all things right one day.  While we are waiting He promises to give us peace that passes all understanding.  He promises to give us strength for our journey and joy along the way.  May you embrace His love for you more today and increase in your knowledge of Him.
Keep reading the Word! 
I love you all.
Remember:  You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you! 

Challenge Excercises and Questions
1. Read Revelation Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 through 8:6.  Ask God to enlighten the eyes of your understanding.  Write down your observations.

2. Read Revelation 21 & 22.  Meditate on all that God has redeemed for us.

3. What is your understanding of God's complete plan of redemption?   Do a word study on "redemption," "redeem" and "redeemed."

I have been praying Ephesians 1:16-21 for you all this week. The New Living Translations says:  "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called.  I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people.  I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe Him.  This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms...." 

The NKJ says, "the eyes of your understanding being enlightened."  Oh, how we need that!  

If you are reading and studying Randy Alcorn's book Heaven, keep in mind that the purpose is to stir you to study to see what the Bible teaches.  The Bible is God's Word, the absolute TRUTH.  When you come across something that goes against your understanding - PRAY - ask God to enlighten the eyes of your understanding - then read all of the Bible passages that apply. STUDY. 


Hello my precious moms!

We had a wonderful Umbrella Ministries meeting on Saturday.  The one thing I loved was hearing Daisy Catching talk about her habit of worship every day.  It is healing for her broken heart as it is for mine. If you make a habit of reading the Word, praying and praising you will experience God's supernatural comfort and peace. Check out the amazing worship videos on the right. Singing and worshipping along with them transports me into the throne room of Heaven, lifts my burdens and fills me with incredible joy.  You might like to incorporate these into your daily quiet time. 
Thank you to all who shared and asked for prayer.  I am praying for you and your families daily.  You are all on my mind and in my heart.  Please email me with any prayer request you have. 
I am continuing to pray Ephesians 1:16-21 for you.  Last week my attention was on God flooding your heart with understanding in His Word.  This week my focus is on verses 19-20  "I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe Him.  This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms...." 

How amazing is that?  The same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead is working in us right now!  Oh, may we know and understand this incredible greatness of His power towards us!   
Anticipating Resurrection

Reading Randy Alcorn's chapters on the Resurrection filled me with anticipation and excitement for all God has planned for us - a new resurrected creation!  Not just our bodies but all of His creation, resurrected to newness of life.  Not just restored to what it once was but better.  "All that was lost at the beginning will be restored at the end.  And far more will be added besides." (Heaven page 132)

Chapters 11 - 13 explains why Resurrection is so important and what it really means.  Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 that our faith is futile without it!  Randy Alcorn states, "without Christ's resurrection and what it means - an eternal future for fully restored human beings dwelling on a fully restored Earth - there is no Christianity." (Heaven page 111)  Throughout the Bible the Resurrection is depicted as overcoming the Curse - God will restore us and the earth to what He made us to be - but better, glorified, without the possibility of sin. 

Our bodies, the ones we have now, the bodies of our children will be raised, transformed into glorious bodies.  Psalm 139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."  And Psalm 111:4 says, "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered." Our bodies are precious and wonderful to the Lord and He intends for them to be raised, remembered and glorified for all eternity.  Sometimes I love to think about Melissa's body.  That may seem weird to some - but she was my little baby, my sweet toddler, my child that I was privileged to see grow and mature into a beautiful young woman.  I remember her as a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, a teen, a young woman,  I remember her hands, her feet (one with a little bump on the side of her big toe), her shoulders, her nose, her lips, her beautiful face, her gorgeous hair!  I could go on and on!  Her body was and is precious and wonderful to me and to the Lord!  I'm sure most of us were told and given the impression that the body is not important, "That really isn't her anymore - She's in Heaven with Jesus."  Not true and true. 

So how do you handle the fact that many bodies are destroyed at death or cremated?  (Sorry, I hate to talk about this but it is important!)  Nothing, absolutely nothing, can destroy or annihilate God's creation.  One microscopic cell contains all the DNA of our bodies - God is so amazing, isn't He?  It is no problem for God to resurrect a body using one cell!  I had heard J. Vernon McGee explain that Cremation started as a rebellious act against the Bible's teaching on the bodily resurrection.  That certainly is not the case today, it is now a common practice even amongst Christians.  The Lord will gather the ashes blown away by the wind and fashion a beautiful, glorified body that is the same body but better, different but still the same!  And so He will do with all of His creation! 
The more I read about the far reaching affects of the resurrection I kept thinking about the Ephesians passage that I have been praying for us.  The incredible, mighty power of the resurrection is available right now. We don't have to wait until the trumpet blows and the dead in Christ rise to experience newness of life. If resurrection power restores our bodies and restores a new earth and all of creation can't it also restore my life now?  We might not have a resurrected body but we can experience the resurrected life; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Oh, how I know God's resurrection power is transforming my life here on earth.  He is taking the ashes of my life and creating something beautiful, the same Janette, but better, different but still the same!!
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to . . . heal the broken hearted, to liberate the captives, free those who are bound; comfort and console all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."  (Isaiah 61:1-3 paraphrased)
Remember: You are the focus of God's heart. Every detail of Heaven is for you!

I love you all,
All for Jesus and His Glory,
Janette Henning

Hello Precious Moms!

Sorry I missed getting out the lesson last week.  I had a huge writing project that had a deadline so I had to skip writing about Heaven.  The project I was working on was all about recovering from a life changing, devastating loss.  It caused me to be so thankful for God's faithfulness to me, His gentle care and His loving arms that held me together and His Presence that has never left me.  I asked myself, "What was it that helped me to "recover?"  I had to admit I haven't recovered!  Recovery for me is an ongoing walk of faith with my Jesus.  He continues to renew my life daily and gives me peace and joy that is supernatural.  He teaches me every day more about Him and this life I am to live out for His glory.  But there are practical things that I did, that I worked hard at to survive my life changing, devastating loss.   Spending lots of time with God, studying the Word, focusing on Heaven, having an eternal perspective, prayer and worship were foundational for me.  I can testify that Jesus does heal the broken hearted, but He didn't just heal me, He gave me what He promised, an abundant life. A life I can honestly say I love living!  That statement is coming from a woman who believed the moment her daughter took her last breath she would also.  Our God is an amazing God!

I've had you all on my mind and heart and do continually pray for you all.  "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).

Celebrating Our Relationship with God
"God Himself will be with them and be their God!"  Randy Alcorn says, "Every other heavenly pleasure will derive from and be secondary to His presence.  God's greatest gift to us is, and always will be, Himself" (Page 172).  This will be the best part of our new life on the new earth, we will be enjoying His presence forever!  I love focusing on the day when there will be no interruptions and the exhilarating joy I "feel" when I am worshipping in His presence will be sustained into infinity!   But oh, how wonderful our Lord is to give us a taste of that joy here and now! 

One of the Scriptures that held me together during the toughest times of my journey through grief was Colossians 3:1-4.  Randy Alcorn talks about the significance of this passage on page 192.  "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."  I'm already there!  I just can't see it or experience it in all it's fullness.  I'm hidden with Christ.  I would meditate on that Scripture over and over again.  I'm in Christ and He is in me. Melissa is in Christ.  We were still so very connected - I was just hidden and couldn't see it.  It is amazing to think about that "we've already entered Heaven's community" (Page 192). 

The amazing truth of the Scriptures is that Heaven is our home already. This should have a profound effect on how we live our lives.  Those in heaven call out, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."  Do we worship the Lord because He is worthy no matter what our circumstances are?  The Bible  tells us that they serve the Lord day and night.  Also we are "fellow servants" with the angels! (Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9)  That should alter our daily priorities!  We should be living our lives in service to The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  They gather the prayers of the Saints - that should change your prayer life!  The Word tells us that we are going to "rule and reign with Him" so we should be preparing for that!  How?  The Word of God will always be our guidebook so let's learn it well!  "If we see ourselves in Heaven with Christ, we'll be drawn to worship and serve Him here and now, creating ripples in Heaven's waters that will extend outward for all eternity" (Page 193). WOW!!
  I want to create ripples in Heaven!  I can just imagine Jesus telling Melissa, "Hey that ripple was from your Mommy!" 
There were a couple of things in the How Will We Worship chapter that I thought were worth mentioning. "Satan is determined to make church boring, and when it is, we assume Heaven will be also.  But church can be exciting, and worship exhilarating. That's what it will be in Heaven" (Page 198).  This is so important!  We are the body of Christ - we come together to worship our Almighty God who is worthy of all praise.  This Sunday when you ARE in church think about being "hidden with Christ in the heavenly places"; think about worshipping before the King.  Sing with all your heart.  If they are singing, "I stand in awe of You," then stand in AWE of Him.  Don't be boring in your worship of the One who gave it all for you.  I heard a statement from an unbeliever, "If you Christians really believed Jesus was ALIVE and He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords wouldn't your church service be different?"  Heaven is going to ROCK THE HOUSE with His praises.  Let's start setting an example of worshipping with a Heaven focus. 

The last thing I want to mention is our need to grasp that we, together, are the Bride of Christ.  We are a part of a great eternal community.  "We belong to each other and need each other.  We should guard not only our own purity, but each other's.  We are our brother's keeper." (Page 201)  If you are not a part of a church I encourage you to find one and then belong.  Don't just go and come home - get involved in the lives of people.  If any of you needs help or encouragement please remember "we belong to each other and need each other" so don't hesitate to ask for help. 
I pray your focus is clearly on Heaven!  Let it change your life!

Seeing the Earth Restored
"If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, lo all things become new"  (I Corinthians 5:17).  The word for "new creation" in this verse is the same word used in Revelation 21:1 for "New Earth."  After salvation we are the same person, yet new.  The New Earth will be the same as the Old Earth, yet will be made new.  The chapters on the New Earth were exciting - think about the earth without any curse.  All of the decay, pollution and effects of sin burned away and the beauty of the earth that God had originally intended for us will be displayed in all it's majesty.  God will resurrect us and He will resurrect the earth.  We will have new bodies to live on a new restored earth.  Our bodies will be a perfected version of our familiar body and the earth will be a perfected version of itself.  All of God's promises for Israel to inherit the land will be fulfilled.  The Messiah's earthly Kingdom will be realized!   God still has a plan for Jerusalem and it will ultimately be fulfilled when the New Heaven and the New Earth unite.

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away'" (Revelation 21:1-4).