Side by Side
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March 12, 2015, 11:10 PM

Side by Side -- March 2015

Side by Side – Pastor John and Blanche Heidengren

 (I’m continuing a multi-month series on “Things to Do to Start the New Year off Right”)


2015 is here. Have you made a New Year’s Resolution yet? Perhaps you chose “joining a gym”, or “going on a diet”. Here’s a second idea to consider that can help us get the New Year off to a great start.

#2 – Get a watch – I read about a busy person who practiced what I wrote in January’s Peace Notes about fasting from social media. He found one thing happening over and over: his smartphone was constantly in his hand. He was attached to it. He realized that he always had it out, in his hand and would look at it during meetings, mealtime and other rude and inappropriate times. He jokingly told his wife, “I just need to get a watch. Then I could keep my phone in my pocket.”

Sure enough, while out of town speaking at a conference, he stopped in a shopping mall and bought a watch. Now his lunches, dinners, coffees and meetings are different because he’s not constantly checking his phone and appearing rude to whoever he’s eating or meeting with. Everything is going mobile and we need a healthy boundary and perspective for this technology.

Now if you don’t have a smartphone, that’s ok. You probably are already using a watch. I’ll have something for you next month that you can add to your New Year’s Resolution.

* * * *

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt. 5:4


These encouraging words of Jesus that He spoke during the “Sermon on the Mount” are filled with hope and compassion. As followers of His, we can be assured that He will comfort us when we mourn over a loss.

I’ll never forget the day after our first miscarriage, I turned over our Daily Scripture Calendar and there was this verse. I couldn’t believe the timing! I sat down and cried as I was so moved and comforted that God saw me and my sadness and said, “I’m right here.” He also gave me a vision, when we were in prayer with a pastor friend who came over to comfort us that day, of me handing our baby up to Jesus who lovingly took him in His arms and carried Him to Heaven.

Nor will I forget the day after Alex went Home to Heaven, when I went out of the cottage where we were staying at the camp where he drowned, and I smelled the most heavenly flowers with an aroma of magnolia and camellia mixed with roses. I went around the cottage looking for the flowerbed which wasn’t there, and then the Lord spoke to me and comforted me with these words, “It’s Me! I’m right here with you and I will be with you on this journey of life with Alex in Heaven.”                                                           

Yes, God comforts us when we mourn, by speaking to us personal words through Scripture, by giving us visions and dreams, by the precious words and actions of beloved church friends, family and neighbors who bring meals and pray for us, and through beautiful music like “I Can Only Imagine.”

How has God comforted you in your time of mourning?

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