Sunday, November 9, 2008

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Who'd be the first person in heaven you'd shake hands with?

During the Isabela missions trip, we frequently had time to kill -- especially after a heavy dinner when it was hard to walk around.

We'd gather in one corner and muse about things. To make the conversations more edifying and useful, we'd play games. This time, the drill was that one person would ask a question; the rest should answer. It was an unstructured getting-to-know you game, and I learned many things about my old and new-found friends.

As far as I can remember, the questions and my answers were:

What is your favorite verse in the Bible?

Galatians 2:20 -- "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. And the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

That's from the New King James Version.

What is your favorite book in the Bible?

All of them, of course, but I like reading the book of Philippians best. It's a book of joy -- an irony, really, because the apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote that. He was also about to be executed. Philippians is a reminder that true joy springs from Jesus.

Who'd be the first person in heaven you'd shake hands with?

Of course, I'd love to meet the Lord Himself first, but other than Him, I'd like to shake hands with Paul. I've always thought of Him as a stern-looking man, someone you can't mess or joke around with, someone serious and focused. But deep inside, he is so full of love, humility, and grace. I'd like to hear how his voice sounds like. Maybe I'd like to have him rewrite some of his epistles, so I'd have a specimen of his handwriting.

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