The truth about angels

angel-truthsPhoto by Tammy Sue under a Creative Commons public domain license

When I was a little girl, I believed that when good people died, they went to heaven and became an angel.  I can’t say exactly where that belief was rooted, though it was certainly reinforced in the cartoons I watched.  I’m sure you’ve seen it, too; a cartoon character falls over a cliff and disappears out of the frame for just a split-second before reappearing with wings and a harp–floating towards the sky.  The notion is also very prominent even in real life.  When a loved one dies, the grievers left behind will often note that the deceased “grew wings” or became so-and-so’s “guardian angel”.

I understand how the thought would provide comfort.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a shred of truth to it.

My dad has always loved to tease.  He teased me as a kid and now he teases my kids.  Long ago, on the eve of her seventh birthday, he told my daughter that she would wake up as a boy the following morning.  It was the way of the world, he told her.  Babies are born as either girls or boys and then–poof!–as soon as they turn seven, they switch.  You and I giggle at the absurdity of it, but that notion isn’t much different than believing that human beings die and–poof!–become angels.

Like apples and oranges, humans and angels are two entirely separate beings.  Scripture tells us that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26).  It does not say the same about angels.  In fact, it tells us that angels were created in spirit form (Hebrews 1:14).  They can, though, take human form and come to Earth to do God’s will.  The Bible offers several accounts of angels doing just that.  Angels came to Abraham, Lot, Jacob and Mary–among others.

Nowhere in the Bible does it state that we will–poof!–become angels upon the death of our earthly bodies.  Paul talks about the resurrection body in 1 Corinthians 15.  In verse 40, he states, “There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one  kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.”  He goes on in verse 42, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.  The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable.”

Believers may or may not taste the death of our earthly bodies, but one thing is for certain: we will all be changed (1 Corinthians 15:51).  Not into angels with wings, halos and golden harps, but into imperishable souls who–together with the host of angels–serve at the command of the One True King.

I understand how those who grieve find comfort in believing that the deceased become angels.  I wonder, though, if there isn’t greater comfort in knowing that believers who perish will live again–forever–not as a foreign being, but as the same eternal soul he or she was from creation, made  glorious and powerful (1 Corinthians 15:43) by the blood of the Lamb.

Kumquat mojitos

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Funny story: a few weeks ago, one of my friends posted this to my Facebook wall. That right there is a Jeff Foxworthy joke in the making, don’t you agree?  Apparently, though, it didn’t faze me because guess who is back today with another cocktail recipe.  This time, the resident bartender is serving up kumquat mojitos.  They were quite refreshing.  Be careful, though, they sneak up on you! Print Kumquat mojitos Ingredients7 oz light rum 6 kumquats 15 mint leaves 3 oz. lime juice 1-2 oz. simple syrup (adjust based on bitterness of kumquats) splash of Cointreau 1-2 oz sparkling […]

10 Best U.S. family vacation destinations

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I have a thing for travel.  So much so that a significant portion of my free time is spent researching various travel destinations and dreaming up itineraries.  So that my time spent travel planning isn’t entirely wasted, I thought I’d put together a post with my top ten picks for domestic family travel destinations.  I’ve had the pleasure of visiting several of these spots, but I’m also including a few places that are still on my travel wish list.  And so, without further ado, here are my choices (in no particular order). 1. Grand Canyon (Arizona)  When we first moved […]

Whole wheat english muffins

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If you’ve never tried a homemade English muffin, well, you’ve never tried an English muffin at all.  Seriously.  Given how easy it is to make them, I cannot understand why anyone would buy store-bought English muffins.  The homemade version–when made with whole wheat flour–packs a significantly better nutritional punch and tastes unbelievably wholesome and delicious.  They’re super versatile, too!  Not only do they make for a quick and easy breakfast option for weekdays, but slather on some hummus, top with spinach and cheese and you’ve got yourself a hummus melt for lunch.  Do yourself a favor and whip up a […]

Word for home

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Next month I’ll go to the mailbox one day and find seven copies of the book I wrote, bound and printed in Italian.  A long time ago, the publisher there suggested a title: Home.  Just four little letters strung together.  He told me that in Italian there is no word for home.  There is a word for house, of course: casa.  But everybody knows that a house is different than home. Our dog, Mowgli, ran away today, during his morning desert trail run with Jeff.  He bounded off in pursuit of a rabbit (which is normal) but never came back […]