In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

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Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


This week was a very special one. My youngest son Mark graduated from High School and there were various programs throughout the week to attend. One of these was a choir concert in which the Jazz and Concert choirs performed. Mark was in both.

At the end of the program some awards were given out to students who had been selected by their peers for outstanding performance, most improved and things like that. The final award was the "Departmental Award for Music" given by the instructor to a student of her choice. Her introduction was beautiful as she described this student as someone she could always depend on and trust. Her greatest compliment however, was when she described this student as a person of integrity and she would miss him very much. She then named my son, Mark Richcreek as the recipient of this award.

I cannot tell you how proud I was as I watched him receive this award. To hear my son called a person of integrity is by far the highest compliment I could ever want for him. His name is now engraved in a high school plaque which remains in the glass case for all future students to see.

This brought to mind something that maybe we should consider. God is very much interested in how we live this life of ours. When we come to the completion of this life, our graduation in a sense, will He see us as people of integrity? Will our names be engraved in His Book of Life for all eternity?

I believe that there is nothing more important than to be a person of integrity. This is what Christ has taught us. To love one another as He has loved us. The Master who shows us how to live in the fullness of integrity is calling us to follow in his footsteps. How fortunate we are if we listen and follow for this is the road to the Kingdom of God.

A person of integrity is a righteous person, one who is right with God. The following describes the desires of the righteous person and God's response. It is taken from "The Prologue from Ochrid" by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic.

The righteous desires a pure conscience, right thought, peace, compassion, love, truth, righteousness and meekness. And God grants these to him while he is still here on earth. The righteous desires the Kingdom of God, Paradise, the company of the angels and saints, the vision of the face of God in immortal life, and God grants all these to him when he calls him to Himself.

Oh, how just God is towards the wicked, and how gracious He is towards the righteous! That which the wicked fears shall come upon him, and that which the righteous fears will God keep far from him. What does the righteous fear? Only sin. And God keeps sin far from the righteous and sets his feet on the way of virtue; and God guards the righteous from evil spirits, the sowers of sin, and, by His grace, sows a harvest of virtue in his heart.

O all-seeing Lord, keep us from the ways of the wicked, from the gain of the wicked and from the fear of the wicked! Help our faltering hearts to be strengthened in that which is pleasing to you, that which will in the end conquer and reign when all other things are given over to corruption and forgetfullness. To you be glory and praise forever. Amen.

Let us prepare for the Kingdom by becoming people of integrity.


Blogger Jes Thinkin said...

I was jes' thinkin' along similar lines the other day.. I was wonderin' if we bring to those saints who've helped us, a smile of pleasure to share with Him..

Congrats to your Mark! How wonderful.

And thank you for writing your heart.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Rob Grossman said...

Hi Laura and congratulations to both you and Mark. Finally! I'm happy for both of you.

What you had to say in this post really hit home for me. In my faith (Judaism) a tremendous emphasis is put on integrity and one's actual actions in and through life. Accordingly, your discussion on integrity means a lot to me as through my faith, intgegrity is an attribute I've spent a lot of time contemplating.

It's also great that we can learn from and emulate our children in so many ways.



7:36 PM  
Blogger Rob Grossman said...

One more thing. I hope you're feeling well. I've been under the weather and not up to calling. Hopefully next week I can connect with you.

Ciao - Rob

7:38 PM  

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