Are you from New Jersey?!

new jersey map2I recently attended a one-day Ladies Conference in Eden, New York with my pastor’s wife, Barb. The speakers were encouraging and spoke on very familiar topics…relationships, trials and heart conditions. As a writer and a blogger, I am always on the look-out for an illustration that can be used, specifically for spiritual application. Well…I found one–during the lunch break!

Picture this.Close to 300 women are confined to a downstairs area, where a good-sized spread of a lunch menu is offered. Tables are full, the atmosphere is lively and full of “chat”–it’s a perfect setting to make friends and enjoy the luxury and harmony of the day’s events.

I am finished with my soup, sandwich and salad and still have room for dessert. I confiscate a piece of chocolate cheesecake (yum!)and with a purpose, head for the coffee table. There’s a woman blocking my way, seemingly confused on whether to choose a hot or cold beverage. I, politely, tell her that I am there for the coffee and, sensing that I can get away with sarcasm, tell her that “I’ve already made up my mind on what I want.”

Then, her comment-or should I say response-stopped me dead in my tracks! “Are you from New Jersey?” she asked, quite pointedly. I think my jaw dropped! I was quite amused with her dead-on diagnosis and slipped right into a stream of dialogue that confirmed it even more. We laughed together and exchanged our first names. It was a priceless moment, which got me thinking…

Philippians 3:20 tells us, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” I sometimes get confused with the language of the King James Bible translation, but when I spend more time doing a bit of research on the Greek/Hebrew origin of a word used in the Scriptures, I usually am enlightened by its true meaning and intent of use. When the apostle Paul uses the word “conversation” in this passage, it is assigned to mean our citizenship. We may live and reside in a particular city, state or country, but if we are Christians, our home is “in heaven.” It’s where we came from, and it is where we will return. That is so exciting!

I thought of the question presented to me, “Are you from New Jersey?” That stranger could tell from my accent where I came from. She was able to pinpoint it and identify it quickly once I began to converse with her. It made me wonder if our (verbal) conversations reflect the Savior? Do we possess a vocabulary that points others to our supernatural home? Do our words stir up this observation: “Are you a Christian?” When we strike up communication with individuals, are we making deliberate attempts to credit God for all that happens? Wouldn’t that be one way that shows your place of birth? 🙂 Everyone should be able to hear your accent which identifies you as a citizen of heaven!

Yes, I am from New Jersey; I am also from Philadelphia and from West Springfield too. But my true residence is in eternity with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope that, despite the accent I have here on earth (which marks me as a native of the Garden State), that others will see/hear that my citizenship is in heaven!

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