27 February 2010

Do You Have Your Passport?


Passports.

They are the documents needed to enter and exit other countries including your own. 
They are prized by thieves and forged by those who would do evil. A little history of passports can be found here. 

I have copies of 1907 & 1908 passport applications of the woman and her granddaughter who first lived in this house . 
She was escorting her granddaughter to England for her upcoming marriage. 
Unfortunately for me, there were no photographs required then so I only have a written description which takes a bit of deciphering for the novice genealogist.






Here is the description of the grandmother: 

age: 73 years; stature: 4 feet 4 inches; forehead: medium; eyes: hazel;  nose: common ; mouth: medium; chin: prominent;  hair: gray;  complexion: fair;  face: medium round




Here is the description of the granddaughter:  

age: 19 years; stature: 5 feet 3 inches;   forehead: low;   eyes: hazel;  nose: short;   mouth: medium;  chin: pointed;  hair: brown;  complexion: olive;  face: round



Today, we applied for a passport for our daughter who is looking forward to a mission trip this fall. She was supposed to go two years ago, but because of mis-information 
(read: her mom and dad messed up) 
we did not apply for a passport and she was not allowed to board the plane without it. 
She handled that with more grace than I would have done. She ended up going on a trip with her dad and visiting some dear friends in Arkansas. 

Well, hopefully we have all our ducks in a row this time and she will get her first passport in a few weeks.




All this reminded me of some thoughts I had when renewing my own passport last year.


My passport was due to expire back in November and  
I waited until the last possible moment to renew it.  
It was not difficult. 
All that was needed was the form, 
the check and the dreaded photograph
.....sigh......

At first, I went to a drugstore that does passport photos. I was not feeling well and I was wearing black. This combined with the overhead fluorescent lighting created a most dreadful effect! Not only did I look pallid, I realized how desperately I needed my hair cut!

 I did not use that photograph.

 Later, after carefully selecting a flattering color and fixing my hair and makeup to something that seemed presentable, I had my daughter take my photo with a temperamental digital camera which did not like having its batteries charged. 

The first take was out of focus. However, we did not know that until I had changed clothes (we had an appointment and I thought I had allowed plenty of time to do the photo and get to the post office and still be on time) and we printed out the sheet. 
I could also add that it took longer than expected because I had never used that machine before and, well, you know how it is......

So back home we went to change clothes-- again-- and reshoot the photo, this time using a tripod.  

But, now my hair was not very good and I was flustered and.....again, you can imagine. I mailed it off , hoping the photo was okay and that since it was postmarked before the actual expiration date (just barely) that they would process it, and was rewarded weeks later with a new passport.  

The real reason for my long delay was a vain one. I did not want to take a new photograph. After all, I will have to use it for ten years and I certainly looked better ten years ago than I do today.




Okay....
so the passport is the only way to get where you are going if another country is involved. 
No problem. 
Fill out the paperwork, send in the correct documents and photographs, pay the money and you will have it. 

Leave it at home and try to get on a plane or drive across the border and you will be turned away. 

These are simple, clear, straightforward things. 

We don't fuss about it. 
We understand and agree.

I am going to a new Country someday.
 I will be living there for a long time.  

I need a passport and thankfully, I already have it and I didn't have to use my photograph because I can use Someone Else's. 

The country is Heaven and the passport is a person whose name is
The Holy Spirit and the person in my "photograph" is  Jesus.

 There will be a time when I will have to stand before the Authority who will check my "documents".
When I enter there, my name will be searched for in the Life Book and my face will be compared to my "photograph". 

Fortunately for me, I do not have to show a photograph of my fleshly self. 
That would not do. 

Spiritually, I do not look anything like my flesh. 

Instead, when the Authority (God the Father) looks at me, 
He will see a likeness of His Son......
and that is why the "photograph" on this passport has Jesus as the identifier. 

Whew!




Do you have your passport for the most important trip of your life? 

Whether you want to go or not, depend upon it, some day you will find you have left here and have arrived at a new destination. 

If you do not have your passport, you will find yourself in a very dark place where the only documentation needed to get in is a sinful heart. 

All of us have this by default of being children of Adam. There is nothing we can do to rid ourselves from it while we are here.
 But! 
There is a way to make it null and void and
 a way to go to a beautiful land where there is perfect perpetual joy and peace and goodness.......
and God.  

You need your heavenly passport.

The process is straightforward and not difficult. You don't have paperwork to fill out. There are, thankfully, no recent photographs to supply....and the cost has already been paid for you by 
Jesus Himself.


You must realize and 
agree with God 
that you are a sinner by nature.
 That is why you sin.

You must believe that Jesus Christ, 
God's Only Son, 
died on a cross
 to take the punishment for 
your sin.

You must turn to God and away from your sin (this is called repentance).

You must surrender control of your life to God.

In return, you will receive:

The very Spirit of God Himself who will live inside of your sinful body forever and will take the controls of your life as long as you let Him.



You will get mercy and grace.

.You will get wisdom and understanding when you read God's book, the Bible

You will get a constant 
Companion, Comforter, Guide 
to lead you through this life and its trouble.

You will definitely get trouble
but who doesn't have troubles during even earthly journeys? 
And you have the promise that 
you will 
overcome these troubles.


You will get access to the 
Creator of the Universe, 
which will seem unbelievable to you, 
since He wants you to walk and talk with Him every day about every thing that interests you and even things that do not.

You will one day arrive at that place called heaven and hopefully, you will have brought a lot of friends with you along the way.






photo credits: passport book- Hammock,INC; passport office sketch- library of congress public domain;
jet plane, departures, cross and Bible photos- christianphotos.net; cemetery,ferns, sunset- debbie richardson

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post! Caught my attention right off as we pray for a passport to make it in time for a team member to get her visa!
    So thankful that God sent Jesus for my sins!

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  2. How interesting to come here and read about passports as my husband and I were talking TODAY about the fact that I don't have one and should probably get one in case I ever want to cross borders.

    Fortunately I DO have a passport to the place of my incorruptible undefiled unfading inheritance! Woo hoo! (can you tell I've been studying First Peter and working on cleaning through boxes of stuff in my home at the same time?)

    Thanks for sharing, Debbie!

    Blessings,
    Tammy ~@~

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  3. Very well written. Love your blog. So glad I'm not accepted by the Father on my own merits. Only by the grace of God and the finished work of Jesus

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  4. Enjoyed reading your post Deborah. Very good examples of preparing for eternal life. Thanks for sharing and have a great week.

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  5. I enjoyed how you tied your experience in with our 'application' to heaven. We do have a tendency to look at our own picture and costs associated with entry, but you are right- the debt has been paid in full and if we are in Him, He is in us. It isn't about us, other than accepting God's gift of salvation, but instead, fully about Christ and His loving sacrifice. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment and for reading!

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  6. Wow!!! This was such an awesome read!!! I enjoyed it so much! Thank you for sharing it was a great way to start the day!

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. Your comments are encouraging to me.

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  7. Amen and thank you. In Dutch there is a song about this.

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    1. Really? I'd like to hear it. My dad's side of the family came from Holland.

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