Forget Where You Live?

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior. Philippians 3:20 NIV

“I am so tired of moving,” I said to my son as we walked to the gym.

“I know Mom, can we stay in this house forever?”

We took a few more steps, and a smile came to my lips as reality set in. ” Michael, this is not our forever home, our citizenship is in heaven.”

“That’s right mommy, I forgot!”

I find it so easy to get caught up in my earthly address, consumed with daily mundane tasks.

God blessed us with a beautiful temporary home in Rhode Island. Although the winters can be harsh, I thank God this house has so much sunlight provided by skylights. Even on the dreariest day there is a glimmer of light.

But the glorious light we will see in our forever home…”And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5 ESV).

My earthy home has my wonderful pets. Two cats named Peach and Baxter. I love all cats; especially lions. I long for the day I will hug one without worrying that I will be his lunch.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6 ESV

I share this earthly dwelling with my husband and son.  Sometimes there is strife, misunderstanding, or chaos. We’ve experienced deaths of loved ones, cancer, mental illness and more.  We desire to love each other unconditionally, but we fail.  In Heaven, we will all be together with our spiritual family; no tears, anger, or infirmity. We will be with the Prince of Peace.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 ESV

I think of my friends in Togo, Africa, who live in straw huts with dirt floors. How much sweeter heaven will be for them. Now they walk on dirt. In Heaven, they will stroll on streets of gold.

…and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. Revelation 21:21 ESV

I could go on and on. But I digress. Although my earthly dwelling is comfortable, and I am surrounded by loved ones, nothing on earth can ever compare to our heavenly home.

As my son and I continued our walk to the gym, I thanked God for our temporary home. I praised Him for allowing me to be here to help further the kingdom.

I still long for heaven where our bodies no longer need exercise, food or healing. Worries with be exchanged for worship.  I will be face to face with Jesus; consumed by His love and light.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Cherrilynn Bisbano is an award-winning writer and speaker. As a certified Christian Life Coach Minister, and Ordained Minister, she aims to share the love of Christ wherever God leads. Cherrilynn is a speaker with Women Speakers. She contributes to the Blue Ridge Writers blog, is published in four compilations books, and her book Shine Don’t Whine released in 2020. Cherrilynn served in the military for twenty years, earning the John Levitow Military leadership award. She lives with her 19-year-old son Michael, Jr., and her husband of 22 years, Michael. She fondly calls them her M&M’s.

Join the conversation: What do you look forward to in Heaven?

A Father’s Perspective on Hard Times

by Patti Richter

My usual weekly phone call to my elderly parents opened with a question I’d never before asked: “Do you have plenty of toilet paper?” Isolated during the early weeks of COVID-19, they depended on my time-challenged sister’s weekly grocery run.

My father assured me they were well stocked, then added, “There are worse things than being without toilet paper.”

Hard times helped shape Dad’s outlook on life. My parents were both born into the deprivation of the Great Depression, and they grew up during World War II hearing horrific reports and seeing images of its atrocities. But Dad’s rural Arkansas family had an even harder row to hoe than some. His family home  had no indoor bathroom or plumbing. Their outhouse offered no toilet paper, but either a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalog, and a house rule: only one page per visit.

My father doesn’t recall feeling terribly deprived as a child. He knew his forebears, homesteaders, had endured their own big challenges. However, the descriptions of his early years seem incredible today—such circumstances would equate to severe poverty in modern America.

It’s interesting how the tables can turn on us. After weeks of seeing too many empty grocery store shelves, we’re gleaning a healthy bit of context to relate to the trials of previous generations. And my dad’s perspective on life is now sage advice.

Gaining wisdom is a life-long pursuit, and, personally, it took a few decades to get over my self-focus. By the time my parents retired, I was occupied with my own family. I regularly called Mom and Dad to update them on our busy lives, but it took some close calls with health concerns for me to consider their well-being, to ask how they were doing and what they might need, and become more interested in their stories.

My latest reordering of priorities has centered on Mom’s hospitalization in an intensive care unit—under sedation, with breathing and feeding tubes. Though her condition is unrelated to COVID-19, the “no visitors” restriction has applied. My father, despite heartache, reassures me that he and Mom are at peace as their nearly 90-year-old bodies are failing. He wisely reminds me that we all have to accept the ravages of old age if we live long enough.

Adam and Eve, after their sin, received notice of their earthly composition. The Creator of Heaven and Earth said, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19, NIV). This  offers a sobering perspective: If COVID-19 doesn’t take us, we still remain 100 percent susceptible to death. The young and healthy among us have no more guarantee on tomorrow than the ICU patient.

However, God has shown his mercy to humankind. The psalmist David wrote, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:12 – 14 NIV). For those who do not fear God, “He is patient… not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).

Our Father’s good plan was made perfect through his Son, whose atonement for sin yields a not-to-miss offer: eternal life to “whoever believes in him” (John 3:16 NIV). For me, this promise is yielding genuine comfort as I prepare to say goodbye to my mother. And I look forward to seeing her again in a much better place.

There is wisdom in my Dad’s acceptance of old age and the inevitability of death. But thanks to the saving grace of God, it’s not the end for those who believe in Jesus.

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. Revelation 21:4 NIV

A Father’s Perspective on Hard Times – encouragement from Patti Richter on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Patti Richter headshot 2017-1nAbout the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She writes and edits global mission stories for The Gospel Coalition and her faith essays appears at

Patti is the co-author of Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of SufferingIt is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.

Join the conversation: Have you noticed your perspective changing as you grow older?