Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Access Granted


Way back before David and I were officially dating...back when we were just friends, but on the cusp of becoming more than that, I had a very interesting experience that I thought about again yesterday and decided to share with you.

You see, David had just helped me pick out my then-new car (which is now almost 9 years old). I wanted to give him a thank-you note, but didn't know his address - or for that matter, even his phone number. What I did know was where he worked (and still works today). He works in a very exclusive gated community where every homeowner is a multi-millionaire and some very well-known public figures live. So, as you can imagine, security is at a premium!

At the time, I worked for a realtor who was with a very prestigious real estate firm. I was used to driving up to any gated community in town and just giving my name and the company I worked for in order to gain access into the gate. So, I figured I could do the same with the gated community where David worked...this is how it went down:

Me: I'm Kara Jansen with Premier Properties (big smile)

Guard: And????

Me: (a little confused that he didn't just open the gate) And I'm here to see David Jansen? (yes, there was a question in my voice - all confidence I had driving up to the gate was quickly vanishing!)

Guard: Do you have an appointment?

Me: Uh...no. But I have this card I want to give him. (feeling a bit sheepish now & quite embarrassed)

Guard: Then I suggest you go home, make an appointment, and then come back and try again.

The guard wasn't rude, and he wasn't trying to be mean, he was just doing his job...following orders. I tried asking him if he would give my card to David, but that didn't fly either. So, I sheepishly backed out and went about my business.

Later, when I had the opportunity to actually give David my card, I told him what had happened. He chuckled & said,

"Oh...I can fix that! I'll just put you on the list!"

From that moment on, all I had to do was give my name and tell them I wanted to see David...then I was met with, "Have a nice day!" and an open gate! Access Granted! :)

The realtor I worked for at the time was jealous! She said, "I can't even get in there unless I have a listing in there!" All I could do was smile. :)

Today, all I have to do when I go to David's work is roll down my window and make a little small talk with the guard (if it's one that knows me) or just let them know I'm David Jansen's wife (if it's a new guard) and I'm in! ACCESS GRANTED!!!

Yesterday, it dawned on me how Heaven is a lot like that gated community. Heaven is a wonderful place with lots of mansions...and lots of well-known people live there! However, the gate is locked and the guard is just doing his job by making sure only those who are "on the list" get in. However, there's no going back to make an appointment...you only get one chance to approach the gates of Heaven. So, the sooner you get on the list, the better...because you never know when it will be your time to approach that gate!

How do you get on the list? Well, that's as simple as how I got on the list for the gated community. You just have to know someone who can put you on the list. Jesus is that someone! He gave up His throne in Heaven to be born as a baby in a stable, to teach us what Heaven is like and how to get there, and then stretched out His arms and died so that our name could be on the list! The only thing we have to do, is accept His free gift of salvation!

Just as any gift doesn't belong to the receiver until they accept it, the gift of salvation that Jesus offers ALL of us only belongs to those who willingly accept it! And by accepting it, your name is written in The Book Of Life...you are ON THE LIST!

If you have never accepted Christ as your savior, I urge you to contact me or find a friend or Bible-believing church to tell you all about Him and how you can be on the list!

Then, someday, when your time here on earth is done, you can let the guard at Heaven's gate know that Jesus put your name on the list. And he will reply,

"ACCESS GRANTED!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is Santa Real?


When Christopher was little, David and I talked about, among other parenting issues, how we would handle it SOMEDAY when Christopher asked if Santa's real. We didn't want to lie to him, but we didn't want to ruin the fun, either. In theory, we were comfortable with our decision. We decided that we would do the Santa thing, but would never make a big issue about it or use him as a behavior management tool (as in, "If you don't behave, Santa won't bring you any toys."). We had pictures made with Santa at the mall in the beginning, but when he refused, we decided it wasn't worth it and have simply asked him each year if he wanted to do so...then went with whatever he decided. For several years, the answer was no. Every so often (especially if the Santa in question had candy to offer), the answer was yes. We decided that when he asked us THE question about Santa, we'd tell him the truth. Yeah...in theory, that all sounds great! In reality, not so much!!!
Here's how it happened...we were driving home from lunch after our Homeschool Science Co-op today. We'd had lunch with Emily (Christopher's buddy) and her mommy (my buddy), where Emily's birthday (which occurs this month) was discussed. About half way home, Christopher pipes up from the back seat with the question I'd been dreading for six and a half years:
"Mommy, Is Santa real?"
Such an innocent question...and yet, it instantly caused a huge amount of turmoil in my mind as I struggled with how I would answer my precious only child. I had hoped that by the time he thought to ask this question, siblings would be in the picture and he could be Santa's Helper . . . which would extend the fun. But, that was not the case on this day. So, I tried the answer-a-question-with-a-question tactic:
"What do YOU think?"
You know what his precious response was?
"I don't know, Mommy...that's why I asked YOU!"
Oh boy...now I was really on the spot! Do I tell him the truth and ruin the fantasy and the fun? If I do, will he later feel that he missed out on something in his childhood? If I don't, and I try to play it off, will he doubt me later because I lied to him? Or worse yet, will he doubt that God is real? These are the moral delimas swirling around in my brain while my child patiently waits in the backseat for an answer to his simingly simple question. At this moment, I'm secretly wishing I could freeze time, call David to talk over what we're going to do, and then re-enter the scenario once I've got it all figured out. Unfortunately, such an option did not exist...and an answer was being waited on! So, I tried this...
"Why do you want to know?"
You know what I got?
"I just want to know."
OK...no letting me off the hook on this one. After a few more cat-and-mouse type of questions, I finally realized that he was trying to figure out the legistics of how in the world this chubby guy with only a sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer could possibly get presents to all the children in the world in one night! Seriously? Why does he have to be such a deep thinker at such a young age??? Well, at least I had some sort of an answer for this one..."The Mommies and Daddies help." And I left it at that. He asked how...I changed the subject. Does that make me a bad mommy?