“It’s not what I expected


Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist



My mom and dad made a yearly trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan for about 35 years. Mom loved Christmas. Each year, until they were very old and physically challenged to decorate, her house looked like Santa from the North Pole had come down just to decorate it for her. It was beautiful. Her tree would almost touch the ceiling and I have no idea how many strings of lights she would have on it but it was brightly colored. And then, she loved to put the decorations on it also. I bet she had enough decorations for two or three trees on her one tree. There was almost nowhere that you could touch that didn’t have a decoration or a colored light. Her tree looked like one of those trees out of Better Homes and Gardens. Each year she would have dad drive her up to Frankenmuth to get new decorations for the tree. They loved the Christmas spirit in the town and also some very popular fried chicken can be found there too.

Beth and I had always wanted to go there and finally, this week, we were able to make the four hour trip in six hours. Well, we like to stop along the way and we had Molly (our English Springer Spaniel) with us so Molly likes to stop along the way too. When we finally got there, it was about 11 o’clock at night, the Christmas lights were on and we thought we were in a Winter Wonderland (minus the snow) because everything looked so beautiful with all the decorations and all the thousands and thousands of colored lights that were on.

The next day, we headed out to see the town. We didn’t get any further than breakfast at the hotel we were staying in. We were told that Molly didn’t like the room accommodations and was barking up a storm and the other guests were complaining about her barking. Well, we went back to the room and Molly was exhausted from the tantrum she had been throwing while we were away.

She is crate trained but we didn’t bring her crate because we thought she would be OK in the room while we were gone. Wrong! So, we had to find a pet store and spent $100 for a cage for her. That afternoon, we went back out to explore and a few hours later, we returned to our room to find a very excited, nervous and tired dog that apparently wasn’t going to have anything to do with our being away in a new setting. At any rate, we stayed the first full day after getting there, and then left the next morning to come home.

We figure we spent almost as much on Molly for her cage and the leash and collar we had forgot to bring, plus food, snacks, the “room fee” in order to allow Molly to stay with us, etc., than we did on the actual vacation. We can also advise that if you have never traveled with your pet, try something local before you make a long drive to your vacation area. I wish we had. At any rate, we came home early and enjoyed the rest of the week as a “staycation.

Why do I share this with you? Well when we decide to go somewhere, we do several things. We make plans. We know the route(s) we are going to take to get there. We pack sufficient clothes, snacks and take enough money for “unexpected” things. And even if the trip is a huge success and we can’t wait to go back the following year, we will begin making new plans now.

One of these days, we are going to make a trip to our new home called eternity. In eternity, we will either live in Heaven or we will live in hell. The choice is ours to make, but it must be made with preparation. Just like we plan for a trip, we need to plan for our eternity. We need to realize our need for a Savior. We need to ask Jesus to save us from our sins. And then we need to accept the free gift of eternal life and we will be born into the family of God to live with Him forever. Now once we get before God, things might not be like we expected them to be, but Heaven is going to be perfect because God made it and anything He makes is “good.”

Where will you spend your eternity? I hope in Heaven. But you have to plan for it. If you don’t know how to plan for it, would you please contact me this week and allow me to share with you how you can know where you will spend your eternity. I would be happy to meet with you.

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service “live” on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply “like” our Facebook page at Crossroadslondon and watch.

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Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.