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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

prepare for heaven

1 John 5:13  NASB
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Preparing for heaven really is a big deal.  People of faith since the beginning of time have been talking about where life comes from and what happens after death.  There are many different thoughts on these topics, but I believe that what God tells us in the Bible is truth.

By taking the Bible at its word and as foundation we have to know that God intends for us to live with Him here on earth and in heaven.  He has given us truth to prepare us for our eternal home.  As the old hymn says, “this world is not my home; I’m just passing through.”  God is preparing a place for us.

John 14:2  NASB
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

The death of my mom this past weekend has brought much my may.  I have had to spend time thinking about death, about salvation and about the after life.  One friend asked me a very hard question; do I believe what I have been preaching for the last 25 years?  The answer is overwhelming YES.

My mom was moved to a hospice home a few days before she passed away.  This home employs skilled caregivers that have the skills to help people prepare for death.  This is a difficult subject to talk about, and it is even more difficult to prepare for.

I stood in the hallway of the hospice house a day or so after arrived and began to think about the 10 people who are in the house and their families.  Each has been given a diagnosis that they have less than 30 days to live.  That is tough to hear and even tougher to prepare for.

Two days before my mom took her last breath she talked about getting on a train.  She told us she was headed to heaven on this train.  In death people have seen or experienced many different things, and this experience is similar to what others have shared.  Mom was prepared for her journey that came through death, and our family is grateful that she boarded the train for heaven through her faith in Jesus!

My question is: how do you deal with death without some kind of hope.  I believe with all that I am that God gives us real hope.  We can share our stories, our hope and our God with those we are around.  That sharing is not to be judgmental or to demonize any other thoughts.  In fact one of the best ways to share our hope is to allow other people to see how we deal with death, difficult situations and the unknown. 

When we can smile at stress, we know there is something else we are relying on.  When we can face death with peace, our hope is in something far different than human wisdom. 

Our hope is in God.  I believe in His promises.  What a blessing it is to know that my mom believed and I believe that heaven is real and prepared.  Now, we can prepare.

1 Peter 1:13  NASB
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 12, 2015

my mom stepped in to heaven

Psalm 116:15  NASB
Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.

The last few weeks have been difficult to say the least.  I’ve been here with friends throughout the years, but there are emotions, decisions and conversations that I’ve been part of that I never realized carried the struggle that they did.

Early Sunday morning I woke to my phone ringing.  On the other end was the nurse from the hospice home where my mom was.  She shared that my mom had passed away just a few minutes before.  We had prepared for this time, but it still hurt.  Mom talked about this day, and my family has prepared or braced ourselves for what we knew was coming.

This hurt.  It hurt when we were getting ready.  It hurts hours or a day after.  I thought I was prepared, but it is obvious that I wasn’t.

On Monday my mom turned 74 years old.  She had been in the rehab center, nursing home, hospital, at home and finally in a hospice home.  Mom had shared her decision and we supported her decision to stop treatments and to begin the final process through hospice.  Within these weeks and days there have been lots of tears, many memories shared, laughing, visiting with family and friends, and more. 

These have been difficult days that have depicted the grace of God throughout.  I will share more in the days ahead.

I am grateful for the calls, text messages, facebook posts, prayers, hugs, compassion, kindness and so much more that has been extended to our family.

My mom is an incredible woman in so many ways.  She will be greatly missed by many, many people.  Thank you for your prayers.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.


Continue to pray for our family.  A memorial service will be held from my mom this coming Friday (Oct 16th) at 2pm at Skelly Drive Baptist Church (8504 E. Skelly Drive, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74129). In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to the Clarehouse hospice home (7617 S. Mingo, Tulsa, OK 74133). Please write my dad (Richard Harrison, 8304 E. 74th Ct, Tulsa, OK 74133).  Thank you for your prayers and kindness during these days. Even in difficult times God has been good.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Update from our family

Update from our family: just after 2 this morning mom stepped in to heaven. She went peacefully, and we are grateful that she was prepared and helped prepare us for this time. A memorial service will be held this coming Friday (Oct 16th) in the afternoon at Skelly Drive Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to the Clarehouse hospice home (7617 S. Mingo, Tulsa, OK). Thank you for your prayers and kindness during these days. Even in difficult times God has has been good. 


Michael Harrison

Friday, October 9, 2015

somebody's praying

The words are powerful and the truth is something we all need.  Because of where I am in life and what my family is dealing with through my mom’s sickness this song has come up again.  Over the last few weeks I have had notes from people all over the place, had people stop me about everywhere I went and simply said a few words … I am praying for your mom and your family.  That is a big deal.  I am grateful.

Allen Asbury and his song "Somebody's Praying Me Through" touched my heart...

Pressing over me like a big blue sky
I know someone has me on their heart tonight
That's why I know it's gonna be alright
'Cause somebody's praying me through

Somebody's praying me through
It may be my Mother, it might be my Dad
Or an old friend I've forgot I had
But whoever it is I'm so glad that
Somebody's praying me through
Somebody's praying me through

Through the tears, through the rain
Through the sorrow, through the pain
It keeps bringing me through
Over and over again
So when you're drowning in a sea of hurt
And it feels like life couldn't get any worse
Thats a blessing waiting to push back the curse
'Cause somebody's praying you through

Somebody's praying you through
Someone got down on their knees and prayed for me
Somebody's, somebody's praying you through

I am thankful for every prayer, every act of compassion and for how God uses His word, songs, friends, sunrises and so much more to remind all of us of His presence in all situations.

James 5:16  NASB
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,

Do for others what they have done for you.  Pray for them.  Do what others can’t do for themselves sometimes.  Pray for them.  If you can’t do any thing else, pray.  If you can do something else, still pray.

I am grateful that many are praying us through.

I am praying for:

Many people who are on my mind this morning.  Mom is in a great hospice home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I am glad I can spend time with her.  Please continue to pray for her, my dad and our family.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

verses on prayer

David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him. So the Hagrites and all their allies were defeated.

Job 11:13  NLT
“If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer!

Psalm 20:5  NLT
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Psalm 65:5  NLT
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.

I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory!

I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Interlude

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!

He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

Luke 5:16  NLT
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Romans 1:9  NLT
God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

James 5:16  NLT
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Jude 1:24  NLT
[ A Prayer of Praise ] Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

Finally, the following verse was part of the sermon last Sunday and continued to come up yesterday.  God is reminding me how important our prayers are.

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.


My mom is being moved to a hospice home today and is still not responding.  Thank you for continuing to pray for our family.