Each summer, I take a group of students on a mission trip to repair or build homes in rural east Tennessee through Appalachia Service Project. A couple of years ago, I was also able to take a younger group to serve the poor and homeless (8.4 mile drive from the Bluff) through Urban Ministries of Birmingham.

One of the homeless men we served at breakfast that week¬†thanked us, saying as he pointed up, “If I don’t see you again here, we’ll see each other again up there.”

There was a completely tattooed man with a pistol across the side of his face. I’ll admit I was scared when he first caught my eye. Later I listened as he and two of our rising 6th graders had a great conversation about the upcoming SEC football season.

Jesus was often asked about heaven – how to get there and who gets in. But most of his answers were present-tense, not future-tense. The Kingdom of God is all around you, happening whether you’re joyful and engaged or griping and walled-off.

Get rid of your doubt, fear or hate.

How have they been working out for you lately? You’re welcome to hold on to them but you might miss something great. Get on board with faith, hope and love.