I've been to many conferences and heard many preachers, and I think I will count 1 single day 2007 as one of the top and I'm not just saying that because I was involved in the planning and it was hosted by my church but because simply, the messages. These were some top notch messages my friends. As one friend told me, the topic of heaven and the messages by C.B. Eder and Aaron Oborne are still "reverberating" even after it was over. Even though life didn't stop for me to catch my breath since 1 single day, the topic of heaven and the messages are "reverberating" as well for me.
So today (my only free Saturday of the month) , I downloaded the messages and sat and listened to them. I'm grateful for recorded messages, because you can go back and listen to things you missed. I listened to CB Eder's message first and then I listened to the last 10 minutes of the message 3 times in a row! The message as a whole is excellent stuff. If you want a passionate and humble description of heaven, then let CB describe it for you through scripture. My finite mind can't visually think what the new heaven will look like, but through CB's message, excitement for it grew. I mentioned before that I listened to the last ten minutes of the message 3 times. And here's why. CB tells a revealing anecdote that we all laughed at. I think we all laughed not only because of his delivery, but because I think and I know for me, we all have similar thoughts! After the anecdote, he confesses his erroneous thinking (and reveals mine) that affected and still affects his thoughts of heaven. And this is this error (this is the part I had to pause, write down, re-listen, etc.):
That all the pleasure that is worth obtaining has got be obtained while we're here. How little my love for and understanding of God are...my vision of heaven and how idolatorus I have been and still am. I can live, as I did then and still now, as if the clock is ticking and I have to seize any pleasure I can get because the window to get it is closing...As a single man, I was gunning for the pleasures of this life, thinking heaven was going to be the end of all that...and I can still live like that even today.
Later on, CB compels us passionately with the truth that we are not missing out and we're not going to miss out. Knowing that God has something for me up ahead around the corner [heaven] will keep me from gunning for pleasures here and now...
I confess that what CB was saying about these areas of wrongful thinking are the same as mine. I often think I'm missing out on good things here on earth. Most of this comes from that I do miss out on things because of my disabilities and limitations. This is a small example, but I love the sound of a bowling ball as it races down the lane and makes a strike! I'm not able to reproduce that scenario on my own and have the enjoyment of knocking down all the pins at once, but I do enjoy when others do it and I do enjoy cheering them on. Other times, I think I miss out on things because of my sin. I can't count how many times my selfishness has robbed me of the joy God has for me! And because I think and know I miss out on things, at times I get discouraged and discontent questioning God and turning to other things for enjoyment to make up for lack of enjoyment in another area. I also confess that at times my heart is torn about heaven. I want to go when there are trials and tribulations and I don't want to go when it seems like I'm going to be missing out on things here...like being a wife and mother.
But thanks to be God, first for opening my eyes to the gospel and saving me with his Son's death on the cross so that one day I will be in heaven to be in His presence forever where there are eternal pleasures forevermore. And secondly, for his Holy Spirit to impart truth and grace to my soul through messages like CB's and Aron's. The Holy Spirit has revealed more of my heart and I will need his help to respond and apply these messages. Help me Lord. You know my heart and you know the work involved, but you've done the hardest work in dying on the cross and making atonement for my sins and making me dead to this world and alive in You.
So....in conclusion, listen to the messages. :)