7 Days of Heaven: Fully Alive (Winner Update!)

photo credit here

As I studied on how to introduce this week’s topic on heaven, I kept smelling turkey.

Thanksgiving turkey.

Now, with the holiday only a week away, this might not surprise you.
Most of us have plans to loosen our belts a bit next Thursday, to fellowship with loved ones  over heaping helpings of  favorite foods.  Every year, we designate this day on the calendar to be with family, to watch football, and to indulge in second helpings of pumpkin pie. 

Yet … if we really stop to consider the purpose of the holiday, if we study its name, that word we say  in reference to it, many of us would find that the majority of the time we spend on that day is not concerned with “giving thanks.”

This isn’t meant to point fingers, for I have certainly been guilty of pursuing a sugar coma above a heart of gratitude on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s simply a timely way to remind us that  the words that we assign things often fail:  that, quite often, we don’t say what
we mean.

Take death, for instance …

Certainly death has a clinical definition:  the stoppage of breath; the cessation of heart beat, of brain function.

Yet, for the believer,  where science leaves off is just the beginning.  If we believe scripture to be true, then the way this world defines “alive” and “dead” ought to ring false in our ears.

Consider, for example, the words of Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8:

 6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Meaning … that this world is not our home.  
That these bodies we drag around are merely rented suits. 
That life, as we know it to be, is not as it was meant to be.  

Almost exactly one year before Bane’s home-going, Steve and Sarah Berger experienced the searing pain of separation  from their son, Josiah, who went to heaven due to a car accident.

While Steve leads a congregation as a pastor of Grace Chapel church in Leipers Fork, it was the way in which he and his wife responded to God’s leading that so moved Sonya and Drason. 

Following Josiah’s home-going, Steve and Sarah took their hard questions to the Lord, and they recorded the answers that they felt Him impressing upon them in the book Have Heart.

In the book, Steve writes, concerning the verses listed above: 

I felt compelled to look in Strong’s Concordance for the full meaning of [this] scripture that had brought so much comfort in those initial days.  It amazed me that the word “absent” means “to immigrate” and the word “present” means “to be in your home country.”  Siah truly has immigrated to his new home country.  Because we fully believe that Josiah is alive and present with the Lord, the words “loss”, “lost”, and “death” aren’t words we use around our house.  We haven’t lost anything, and nobody is dead.

Far from being a simple issue of semantics, this refusal to accept the world’s expiration date on human life can be life-altering, if we let it.  The knowledge that  the end is the beginning ought to spur believers to walk worthy of such an inheritance.  To live our hearts so heavenly focused that the obstacles we face on earth cannot blur our vision.

Let us consider the weight of our words.  Let us work to say what we mean … and to mean what God says. 


to Sonya and Drason, it’s a four-letter word.

because their son?

he’s  fully alive.


As promised in Bane’s birthday post, we will be including a giveaway at the end of each post in our “7 Days of Heaven”series.  

Today’s gift?  A book that has been resting on the Beasleys’ nightstand for weeks, bringing rest to their souls as they yearn for heaven.

Though Have Heart was written from the perspective of grieving parents, its truths speak to all who have loved ones in heaven.  Enter to win it for yourself or give it as a gift to someone you love.

To enter today’s giveaway, you may do any (or all) of the things listed below.  Simply leave a comment letting us know that you have completed one (or more, if you so choose) of the options listed below.  For each option in the list below that you complete, you should leave a separate comment, which will allow you multiple chances to win  — up to seven entries total.  Contest closes Tuesday, November 23, 2010, at midnight, CST.  Winner will be selected randomly and announced on Wednesday, November 24.

  1. 1. Leave a comment sharing with us: what helps you “have heart” when you are discouraged?  It might be a favorite scripture or quote, a favorite friend or loved one who you call, an entire chocolate cake (oops.  that was mine.)
  2. 2. Follow this blog by RSS feed, Google Friend Connect (in the left sidebar), or by email.
  3. 3. Grab our “Where is Bane?” button from the sidebar and post it to your blog or Facebook page.
  4. 4. “Like” Banebow on Facebook.
  5. 5. Follow keLi  on Twitter.
  6. 6. Tweet about this giveaway.
  7. 7.Mention this contest and link back to this site in a blog post.


We used Random.org to randomly select the giveaway winner …
(drumroll please… )

Result: 9   Powered by RANDOM.ORG

the 9th comment was placed by:

 purango said…

My sister helps me have heart when I am discouraged. garrettsambo@aol.com

Please send an email with your mailing address to banebow at gmail.com so we can arrange delivery of your prize.


    1. christy

      Jeremiah 29;11.

    2. Alyssa

      I wanted to get this out farther than my blogspot would reach, so I emailed it to everyone I could think of. It went to tons in TN but also is traveling to MN and AZ. The words are so inspiring along with the courage of Sonya and Drason. Seeing how you push towards HEAVEN is totally amazing!!

    3. JParker899

      I always call and talk to my mom…

    4. Matt and Shelley

      definitely i call on matt and my two mothers. I am blessed to have sisters and soul friends that i can always count on…there is an unconditional trust that is so soothing. But at the same time, God wants to hear it from us and to not just rely on people. He already knows how we feel but we should always let Him be the first to know. i also turn to music to get me through moments when i need uplifting.

    5. Anonymous

      My family; we support each other!


    6. JParker899

      I "like" banebow on facebook!!

    7. JParker899

      I am following Keli on Twitter

    8. Alex's World

      In hard times so many different phrases run through my head….this to shall pass, God will not put more on me than what I can handle, there is a lesson to be learned in every situation. I have heard these sayings all my life and I believe them to be true. There are other comforts I keep close in times of trouble…Gods word, family, and chocolate.

    9. purango

      My sister helps me have heart when I am discouraged. garrettsambo@aol.com