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This life is full of surprises. Just when we think we have a good grasp on things, something happens to remind us that we're not in charge. Just when you have all the balls juggling at the right pace, something changes and all of them fall to the ground. Whatever happens and whatever changes are often harsh reminders that this world is not our home. Reality checks. In extreme cases, what happens and changes is someone you love goes to be HOME IN HEAVEN.

This week Susan and my beloved mother and matriarch of our church, Diane Siegel has left this earthly dwelling place to be home in heaven. She experienced only peace and contentment as she left this earthly tent, her mortal body. Paul the apostle comforts us when he said, "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Co 5:1).

This earthly "tent" is temporary, but the "house" which is our resurrected body is eternal. Christians are guaranteed this "eternal weight of glory" because Christ has gone before us. We have at least two reasons to believe this: First, our resurrection is linked to Christ's resurrection! And second, we have been given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee!

First, Paul said this in 2 Cor. 4:14, "...knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence."

The second reason is what he said in 2 Cor. 5:5, "He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." If you are a Christian you have these verses and many others to stand on and take comfort in even when things happen and changes come in this life. This is why Paul can say "we are always of good courage" and "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

I am sure that Diane is enjoying lots of windows of light, sunshine, and endless fields of daffodils, her favorite flower. But all of these enjoyments for her are second to the light and joy of Christ's unending and unfettered presence. This is God's message to us at Risen City. See you Sunday.

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