A Visit with God…


Glimpse_of_Heaven_Joanna_Oblander_coverWelcome to the official website of author JoAnna Oblander, and her book, A Glimpse of Heaven: One Woman’s Life-Altering Visit with God.

We all come to a point in our lives when we ask ourselves, “Why do I have to suffer? Why do people, the world, and life have to be so cruel and unfeeling?” It is at these times that we are most poised to receive answers to those questions. It is also the time when we can be most resistant to receiving them.  Sometimes, as we question the value of our existence, those answers can seem elusive. It is for those questioning times that JoAnna Oblander wrote A Glimpse of Heaven. As the recipient of a near death experience and other profound life experiences that testify of God, her story will answer your questions, reach inside your heart, and extract the truth about who you are and who you are meant to become.

Her story will help you understand that your life has incredible purpose and that all experiences – especially the difficult ones – are opportunities for learning and personal growth! Start your journey of faith and personal growth today! Grab a copy of her book, A Glimpse of Heaven: One Woman’s Life-Altering Visit with God, and start receiving the answers to your most important questions! Find out more…

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Your Freedom is the Most Expensive Thing You Have….

your-freedom-is-the-most-expensive-thing-you-have-soldiers-1010631From the time that I first stepped foot on Russian soil – during the Kosovo conflict, I have treasured my freedom and my U.S. citizenship. It was not until that moment that I understood what lack of freedom was or that it was even possible to lose it. The freedoms that this nation enjoys has come at a cost. I hope that each one of us who walks the soil of America as free citizens will cherish the gift that has been given to us by the soldiers of this nation and the inspired United States Constitution. Today, I am including just a brief portion of my book that addresses the trip my husband and I made to Russia to adopt our two youngest children. May freedom be a gift that we all enjoy forever!

From my book:

Greg and I were a little nervous about flying to Russia, but that  nervousness increased dramatically when our plane made its first  landing on Russian soil. Our first landing was made in Khabarovsk,  Russia. We were surprised to see that the airport seemed more like an  abandoned military base. Old weathered airplanes with questionable  functionality dotted the tarmac. Our initial astonishment turned to  tension as armed men in military type uniforms drove up to our  airplane and one of their commanders barked harsh words at the  flight attendants and demanded possession of their passports. Our  first touchdown in Russia made it painfully clear to us that while  on Russian soil, we would not have the same freedoms that we were  accustomed to in the United States.

Our second landing was just outside the city of Vladivostok,  the destination for our adoption. Though friendlier than our initial  landing, going through customs verified our initial impressions that  as foreigners in their country, we were not welcome visitors. 

Labor to Keep Alive Your Conscience….

Silhouette of prayer bend to the cross to make a confession

Today, I am sharing a story from guideposts.org. It is a story about a woman following her conscience. So many times, it can be difficult to do the right thing. However, abuse is perpetuated and our safety, freedoms, and connection to God are compromised when we choose to ignore the voice of our conscience. Our conscience is the angel within. When we listen to that still, small voice – we will receive inspiration and guidance from God. If we want God to be a part of this world, we must allow our conscience to direct our choices and actions. Whether it is an individual, country or the world; when conscience prevails, God’s influence reigns. When God’s influence dominates the world in which we live, human rights are protected and truth rather than ego and greed becomes the overriding standard that guides conduct . Here is today’s story:

Reporter Michael Winerip details how Georgia state investigators were able to zero in on the Atlanta school administrators responsible for a widespread cheating scandal that falsely raised test scores in order to line their own pockets with lucrative performance bonuses.

The lead investigator, Richard Hyde, had a serious obstacle in his way. Finding a cooperative witness was key to the government’s case. Without testimony from one of the teachers assigned to alter students’ tests, the administrators who led the deception might escape prosecution. But the teachers all had their own reasons to stay silent.

One teacher, Jackie Parks, a single mother who taught third grade at Venetian Hills Elementary School for 17 years, had gone along with changing the tests because she could not afford to lose her job. If she became a whistle blower, she’d be fired and might not be able to feed her family. A difficult risk to take.

But one night in August, just before the beginning of a new school year, she had a dream.

“I saw people walking down the hall with yellow notepads,” Jackie told the Times. Not teachers or students. People who wanted answers. “From time to time, God reveals things to me in dreams.”

A few weeks later, out of a hundred Atlanta schools under investigation, Richard Hyde showed up at hers.

“I think God led Mr. Hyde to Venetian Hills,” Jackie told the Times.

At first, Jackie was afraid to speak to him. But he returned, day after day, and Jackie found it impossible to stay silent anymore. “I wanted to repent,” she said. “I wanted to clear my conscience.”

Jackie wore a wire to meetings that captured key players discussing the case. Several months later, the state investigators released an 800-page report, implicating 178 teachers and principals in the scandal and bringing down the alleged ringleader, Beverly J. Hall, the district superintendent.


It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done…

Businessman lifting big elephant on dry ground - leadership concept

This week, I am sharing the writings of other websites. Today’s post comes from www.bizmove.com. Life is full of those moments when it feels like the tasks or moments ahead of are going to be impossible to achieve. No achievement comes in one glorious moment of triumph. All impossibilities that become possible are a step by step process. Our character is a component of the process that is irreplaceable. God gives us miracles and masterpieces but we have to be a willing participant. So, with that in mind, enjoy the following reminders of the integral part that each of us plays in accomplishing the impossible!:

History abounds with tales of experts who were convinced that the ideas, plans, and projects of others could never be achieved. However, accomplishment came to those who said, “I can make it happen.”

 The Italian sculptor Agostino d’Antonio worked diligently on a large piece of marble. Unable to produce his desired masterpiece, he lamented, “I can do nothing with it.” Other sculptors also worked this difficult piece of marble, but to no avail. Michelangelo discovered the stone and visualized the possibilities in it. His “I-can-make-it-happen” attitude resulted in one of the world’s masterpieces – David.

The experts of Spain concluded that Columbus’s plans to discover a new and shorter route to India was virtually impossible. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand ignored the report of the experts. “I can make it happen,” Columbus persisted. And he did. Everyone knew the world was flat, but not Columbus. The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, along with Columbus and his small band of followers, sailed to “impossible” new lands and thriving resources.

 Even the great Thomas Alva Edison discouraged his friend, Henry Ford, from pursuing his fledgling idea of a motorcar. Convinced of the worthlessness of the idea, Edison invited Ford to come and work for him. Ford remained committed and tirelessly pursued his dream. Although his first attempt resulted in a vehicle without reverse gear, Henry Ford knew he could make it happen. And, of course, he did.

“Forget it,” the experts advised Madame Curie. They agreed radium was a scientifically impossible idea. However, Marie Curie insisted, “I can make it happen.”

Let’s not forget our friends Orville and Wilbur Wright. Journalists, friends, armed forces specialists, and even their father laughed at the idea of an airplane. “What a silly and insane way to spend money. Leave flying to the birds,” they jeered. “Sorry,” the Wright brothers responded. “We have a dream, and we can make it happen.” As a result, a place called Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, became the setting for the launching of their “ridiculous” idea.

Finally, as you read these accounts under the magnificent lighting of your environment, consider the plight of Benjamin Franklin. He was admonished to stop the foolish experimenting with lighting. What an absurdity and waste of time! Why, nothing could outdo the fabulous oil lamp. Thank goodness Franklin knew he could make it happen.

You too can make it happen!


The Most Important Thing a Father Can Do For His Children is to Love Their Mother

Happy Young Attractive Mixed Race Family with Newborn Baby.

Today I want to share a story I located at www.inspirationalstories.eu. I have read this story before and I know that it can be found online in various locations. The point is that happiness in a marriage is a choice. We can choose to find the faults in our spouse or we can choose to relish those reasons we decided to spend our life with them. I have been especially blessed with a man who has always made our marriage his priority. How grateful I am that he insisted on date nights during those years with our family that it often seemed difficult to fit one more thing into our busy schedules! Now, in retrospect, I know that the most precious gift he gave our children is showing them his love for me. And, the best gift we have given ourselves is making the health of our marriage our number one priority. I hope you enjoy this story:

I was waiting to pick up a friend at the airport. That day I had one of those experiences that change people‘s lives. It happened just two feet away from me. I noticed a man, carrying two bags, coming toward me. He stopped next to me to greet his family.

First of all he laid down his bag and came closer to his younger son (about six years old), they gave each other a warm, loving hug. Then the father looked in his son‘s eyes with words: “I missed you so much, it‘s so good to see you, son!“. The boy smiled and said: “Me too, dad“.

Then the man talked to his older son (nine or ten years old).”Oh, you are quite the young man, I love you very much!“ and cupped his face. Then they had the most tender hug too.

Afterwards the father said “Hi, baby girl“ to his baby daughter. She was squirming excitedly in her mother‘s arm and watching her returning father all the time. The man gently took his little daughter, quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest. The little girl laid her head on his shoulder in pure contentment.

After several moments the man looked at his wife and said “I‘ve saved the best for last“ and shared with her the most passionate kiss. They stared at each other, beaming big smiles. They reminded me of newlyweds.

Suddenly, I heard myself asking “Wow, how long have you been married?“. “Been together fourteen years, and married twelve of those“ . „Well then, have long have you been away?“. He replied with joyous smile on his face: „Two whole days!“.

I was stunned, as I imagined that he had been gone for several weeks at least. I could only say: “I hope that my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years“. The man looked straight into my eyes and told me something that changed my life:

“Don‘t hope, friend, decide!“…


I Do Not Fix Problems, I Fix My Thoughts…

Nature autumn background with golden foliage

I have probably mentioned it before in a previous blog post but if you will allow me – I’m going to mention it again and possibly yet again in the future: This world is significantly different from heaven. The entire mindset and enterprise between heaven and earth presents a curious contrast.  In heaven we believed in ourselves and each other. We lauded each others accomplishments and gifts. We did not see lack of wealth or fame as a problem. As we prepared for life on earth, we were more concerned about using mortality to help us become more loving and more like the Father of our souls whom we loved and adored.

There as here, we had free will and choice. As I observe the world around me, that often seems to be the only similarity. Yet the gift of choice is huge. We choose our thoughts, intents, actions and attitudes.

While there are innocent victims, only those who choose to embed the emotional wounds remain victims. A much larger percentage of victims are victims by choice. These are they who choose to believe that life has handed them a raw deal or that it owes them something greater than they have earned. We create most of our problems with our mindset.

You don’t have to be a sociologist to see that some of the poorest people of the world are the happiest and some of the wealthiest people in the world are the most miserable. It’s all about attitude and beliefs.

When we change our mindset, we change our world. It doesn’t take money to lift our lives out of poverty – it only takes gratitude and a change of heart.

If you want to conquer your problems, the best place to start is with yourself!


What I Learned from My Near Death Experience About God and Life

heaven-where-the-truth-is-foundadobestock_65462109I have had a few experiences in which I have seen people who are passionate about their beliefs using a megaphone to shout their message from busy street corners.  I always find

their attempts a little puzzling. They are standing on a busy street corner so that more will hear their message and yet – because they are standing on a “busy” street corner and people passing them by are “busy” no one seems to really hear or care about the messages being broadcast.

There have been a few times when I have wanted to “broadcast” a message to my fellowman – no desire for street corner megaphone but definitely a desire to share information I consider important.

I think I could compare my passion to that of a reformed smoker. You know the type: the kind that having learned their lesson – doesn’t want to see anyone else make the same mistake. That’s how I feel now that I have seen what heaven is like and I have gained insights about God that few mortals seem to have.

Here’s what I would say if I could have my chance to tell everyone who is struggling with their life or struggling to know if God is real:

Believe in what your heart tells you. It speaks truth when it tells you that God is real, He loves you, you have potential and you deserve to be loved.

  • Understand that evidence of God’s existence is so abundant that you should feel overwhelmed with the sheer volume of evidence He has provided us with. If you are able to love, see, feel, touch, hear, taste…if you are able to marvel at the beauty of a sunset…if you are able to feel warm rays of sunshine…if you can hold a newborn baby in your arms…if you have the ability to change in even the smallest of ways…if you can look at any single creation from nature and recognize the miracle of its existence…you can know in your heart that despite the difficulties that life can and will bring…God does exist, you are His child and He loves you.
  • Know that the conscience that every living soul is born with is not an accident – it is a gift from God and will lead you along the right paths if you will allow it to.
  • Life is not an accident and every living soul born to this earth has a purpose.
  • Death is not an end…it is a necessary transition to another world.
  • How we live matters. It doesn’t matter whether we are wealthy or famous or remarkably talented or beautiful. It does matter that we love, learn, and serve.
  • We have each been blessed with the gift of choice. Because of that gift…our lives and the world are sometimes impacted in negative ways. However, because of that gift…we can grow and overcome difficulties, we can choose our attitude and learn new things…we can love and we can forgive.
  • Our lives were planned prior to our births but the objective of those plans were not to create a billion billionaires of extraordinary fame – the objective was to provide life experiences that would enable us maximum potential for positive growth.
  • God and His angels are there to help us.
  • We can change and our lives can be changed and if we are willing to utilize His perfect understanding – God knows how to get us from where we are to where we are meant to be.
  • Life was never meant to be a spectator sport. To create the life that we each have the potential to create – we must get in the trenches and work hard. We will experience trials and tribulations but if we utilize the divine assistance that is available to us – we will also experience joy, love, growth and personal success!

Creating a Meaningful Life…

the-meaning-of-life-revisedadobestock_71988761The best days of our lives are the ones in which we get to be the givers! Life is such a profound gift in and of itself. I like to believe that when I give of myself in some way to help another that I am a partner with God in His work here upon the earth. I seem to be in a place right now where I am continually learning about my personal influence and how rarely I know what that influence really is. Life is so often made of those commonplace moments that I think it is often hard to know when something we have done had profoundly affected another. It has made me take a step back in my moments of reflection and to try to become more in tune with the mindset that everything I do has an influence in the world around me. That is how our energy works. We choose the type of influence we will be but our gift becomes the most powerful when we give something of our self to others.

Faith is Trust…

fiduciaI believe that faith is often a very misunderstood concept. I have learned that faith is fragile and an ever evolving part of life. Just when I think that I have a pretty good grasp on faith – I often find that my faith was really only amazing for that one moment or that one life event. Faith is both a gift and a reward. I have never been disappointed when I have exercised faith in God. Yet, each new challenge is just that – a challenge! In heaven, I saw what an important component of our lives that faith is meant to be. I saw that we have come to this life to learn faith. Undoubtedly that is why faith is such an ever-present learning experience. I hope that as you learn to exercise faith in your life, that you will reach out to God and ask for his help. I know that as we reach out to Him and depend on Him, He will be there for us 🙂

If We Only Do Things We are Comfortable With…

little child girl crying and sad about an empty brick wall

Have you been inclined to avoid challenges? It is not uncommon for most of us to want to have great success with our accomplishments in life without great trials or sacrifices to get there. However, life is meant to be a growth experience. Without challenges and learning experiences, we become stagnant. I learned an invaluable lesson from one of my adopted children who has been diagnosed with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). His emotional disorder makes it very difficult for him to make himself emotionally vulnerable. Until I witnessed the impact of his emotional dis-attachment to life, I never realized how important it is for us to be both emotionally vulnerable and willing to grow. He has been so afraid of being emotionally vulnerable that he does not allow himself to love anything. Can you imagine a life in which you do not become emotionally involved in anything…at all? It is a sad thing to see anyone miss the pleasure and delight and learning – of achieving. It can be difficult to move beyond our comfort zone – but the truth is that no one climbs Mount Everest from their recliner and no one becomes the person they truly want to be without some struggles and moving beyond the skill set we had yesterday. Today, I hope that you will think about your life and what you want it to be. Then take one step today towards accomplishing your dreams!

It’s Up to You to Find Beauty in the Ugliest Days…

Crazy scientist. Young boy performing experiments

Do you sometimes struggle to find beauty in the every day moments of life? Do you try to take the easy road when you know a different road would be better?

Over the weekend, I took some of my young grandchildren shopping. Some family members accused me of losing my mind (I invited my grandchildren to go with me). I took four children between the ages of 10 and 4. I suppose maybe I was guilty of harboring a psychosomatic ideation or something like that. However, there is something that told me I needed to do it.

When it was all said and done, there had been a few anxious moments, but there was also a moment of truth. Okay, there were several moments of truth. Moments in which I came to realize that there had been important reasons behind my internal urge that I needed to make my shopping trip more complicated than it had to be (by taking young, active children).

Because I took three siblings, their parents were able to have some time to be a just a couple. Then, I was reminded, by the oldest of the children I took with me, that perhaps my outlook is in need of some youthful influence. As she recalled other experiences we have had together that have been very meaningful to her, she remembered details that I had long forgotten. However, to her, those moments had been very special and memorable. Those memories evoked a desire in her to have more of those special experiences. She wanted to have another road trip that she remembered as fun and special and that I had felt certain had been nothing but a boring excursion with grandma for her.

Then, it came time to pick out a Christmas stocking for the grandchild that will soon join our family. I presented our options to the kids and they all picked the stocking that I thought was the ugliest option we had. They then proceeded to explain to me why this stocking would be the perfect stocking for their anticipated cousin. Once again, they taught me the values of a child. A lesson I needed to be reminded of. After all who cares about Santa when you can have a reindeer?