“He’s so heavenly-minded that he’s no earthly good!”

I wonder how many times I’ve heard that phrase. I’ve even heard people say it about
me, and I’ve often wondered exactly what it means.

Does that mean the person has his head stuck in a proverbial cloud to the point that he
isn’t aware of what’s going on around him?
Does it imply that the person walks around singing heavenly melodies all the time,
rather than attempting to understand how the world is more “Is That All There Is?”
than “In the Sweet By and By”?

Does that mean to have your sights set on heaven that you can’t be worthwhile down
here on earth?

Or does it mean that you should focus exclusively on the nitty-gritty around you, rather
than putting more than an hour or so on Sunday mornings into what lies ahead in
We do live in a world that is pretty messed up, some places and some people more than
others. There’s plenty to be done to try to lift up humanity and point them toward a better
way of living.

Frankly, from what I’ve seen most of my life, it’s the “heavenly-minded” that do this more
than anyone else.

When the world caves in, people often start looking for a prayed-up saint, not someone
who hasn’t got a clue about God or spiritual things.

And when tragedies and calamities hit, as they will, people often want prayers, assistance
and assurance from someone is as concerned about body, soul and spirit.

Frankly, I can tell you from experience that even when I was far, far away from God, I
always tried to keep an “ace in the hole” person in mind, someone who was godly and
caring, just in case I needed them when things got bad.

Thankfully, I found several people that even while I was accusing them of being “so
heavenly-minded that you’re no earthly good,” I was also hoping, wishing, maybe even
praying that they would be what they said they were—Christians.

Even when I was making fun of them and trying to win debates with them, I secretly
wanted them to stand strong, to not cave in under pressure, to show that God really could
make a difference in admittedly-lost people like me.

And I thank God, literally and eternally, that I found a few.

I found a few “crazy Christians” (the words I used more than once) who cared enough to
tell me that Jesus Christ loved me and died for my sins, even when I thwarted every
attempt to share God’s love with me.

I found a few “religious nuts” (yes, I threw around those labels often) who let me win a few
arguments, but who eventually won the big battle for my soul.

I found a few believers who, because of the life they led and the love they shared when I
was totally unloveable, confronted me with the raw, unanswerable fact that if God could
reach down, touch them and change them completely, even I might be reachable,
touchable and changeable. That gave a spark of hope.

I found a few believers who, even when I thought I knew everything, talked about the need
to receive God’s plan for salvation, through His only Son, to be able to spend eternity with
Him in heaven. Even as the jokes flowed about wanting to partying with my buddies
instead of walking around with a harp, I wanted desperately to know my eternal
destination with the assurance they had.

Thank God there were a few people who came into my life who were heavenly-minded
enough to share the unvarnished truth about the most important things about this life and
the life to come.

This life, despite all the emphasis we place on it, is a mere speck on a time-line that
reaches out so far that we will never see the end of it. Not now. Not ever. That’s why they
call it eternity. Forever and ever.

Being “earthly good” (translation: living selfishly for the moment) almost caused me to
miss an eternity in heaven.

How about you? Are you like I was, trying to fill you life with “stuff” to keep from thinking
about eternity?

What better time than now to look up that verse you learned in vacation Bible school fifty
years ago: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that
whosoever believeth in him, shall have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

It’s so easy to settle the question of eternity, once and for all. Simply pray as I did, “God, I’
ve tried to do it my way, and I’ve made a mess. I’m no bargain, but I want to trade my sins
and hurt and unforgiveness for what You are offering me. I accept Your Son, Jesus Christ
into my heart. And I ask you to take me to heaven someday when my time here on earth
is over. Amen!”

That’s it. I almost missed it because it was so simple. I wanted it complex so I would have
an excuse to shrug it off or I could honestly say it was too difficult and hard to understand.

And if you prayed that prayer and meant it, then I congratulate you as my new brother or
sister in Christ.

Best of all, you can begin a new walk with Him that will grow sweeter and better every day.
(Click here for a printer-friendly set of “baby” steps that can help you grow stronger as a

And I’d like you to let me know if you have prayed this prayer, and what God is doing in
your life.

One of the advantages of living up here in the frozen North country is that I have lots of
traveling time between stops to pray for my “sheep” and for people like you.

Other than the churches I serve and my relationship with, I don’t accept
“outside” donations, so you will never get a fund-raising letter or email from me (not that I
disapprove of others doing that).

But I will pray for you. And I will continue to write this eColumn in an attempt to let you
know that it is possible, as the voice of experience, for God to change a person from the
inside out, and can take you from being helpless, hopeless and no earthly good, into a
pilgrim who is so heavenly-minded that I am now driven to spend the remaining years of
my life sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with people who were as
lost as I was.

Surprisingly, I thought the good ole times were my best years. Now I know, even though I
get up every morning more excited about life than ever before, that the best years of my
life are still to come—today, tomorrow and forever!

But as many as received Him, to
them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who
believe in His name.
John 1:12
Benjamin Parsons,
has tended to hurts
and hearts in North
America's most
remote frontier
regions, including
the Pacific
Northwest, the
Canadian Rockies
and Alaska.

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