Having grown up in the church, I've sung my fair share of songs written about "the sweet by and by." I've listened to sermons about the streets of gold. I've read the Biblical accounts of the heavenly gates (not just pearly, but decked out with twelve kinds of semi-precious stones). But I've wondered how we can live in the "here and now" in an effective manner. I don't want to see this life on earth simply as a time marker until we get to heaven.