Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What is Missing in Heaven?

Heaven....
 
To our earth-bound minds, Heaven is an abstract concept, a realm foreign to us. We accept by faith the reality of this spiritual realm, but it’s difficult to imagine what Heaven must be like. The Bible only gives us hints at what Heaven is like, and the descriptions we have appear in the form of poetry and metaphor. Galileo remarked, “The intention of the Holy Spirit is not to teach us how Heaven goes, but how one goes to Heaven.” The glories of Heaven far surpass our perception. Heaven is a real place, and the reality will exceed all images and symbols. The Apostle Paul was given a vision of heaven, but words failed him. Human language has limitations. All Paul could say was that he experienced things so astounding that they couldn’t be told (II Cor 12). Heaven is a reality unreachable to any of our senses. It’s like explaining the world to an unborn baby.

Heaven is “Paradise restored”. Because of sin, Adam made a grave of a garden, but Christ has made a garden of a grave. Sin resulted in expulsion from a garden, and salvation is restoration to Paradise. Some things will be missing in Heaven. There will be no death, no pain, no sin, no curse, no tears. God declares through the prophet Jeremiah 31:13, the Message: “I will turn their mourning into gladness, their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy.” The injustices and deprivations of earthly life will be fully and forever corrected. In Heaven we will be liberated from every loss. We will find Heaven a place where the Lord’s Prayer is fulfilled--where God’s Name is hallowed, His Kingdom is come, His will is done.

In heaven. Sad thoughts of earth such as murder, rape, divorce, deception, death, destruction...memories of loss and sadness, depression and hunger, disease or disability just won't have a place in heaven. These horrors of the fallen flesh will all be mitigated and eclipsed like the stars are eclipsed by the rising sun. Because the brightness of the risen son will be brighter than any guilt, any shame, any sorrow, and anything sin might might have used to destroy. We won't forget, but we will have no need to remember.

I pray you are not missing in heaven...you know I love ya, Don

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heaven Sermon Notes


Ever After” Revelation 21:1-7
God will completely restore life with Him without sin.

Galileo remarked, “The intention of the Holy Spirit is not to teach us how Heaven goes, but how one goes to Heaven.”

We won't forget, but we will have no need to remember.

The book of revelation is not a book about tomorrow or the future return of Jesus...these things are written so that you can have hope and experience heaven today!!! What we can receive the rewards of heaven today and learn to live heaven in our daily lives. Heaven is possible today by the rewards of thinking on God, dwelling with God, and serving like God.

  1. The reward of thinking on God...
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 states: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  1. The reward of dwelling with God...

1 Corinthians 3:16 states: “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?
  1. The reward of serving like God...

1 Peter. 4:10 states: "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

The highest reward of heaven is to be with God. Heaven is an eclipse of all the stars by the bright Son of God.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

A new heaven, a new earth, a new EVERYTHING!

 Revelation 21:1-7
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Heaven....
To our earth-bound minds, Heaven is an abstract concept, a realm foreign to us. We accept by faith the reality of this spiritual realm, but it’s difficult to imagine what Heaven must be like. The Bible only gives us hints at what Heaven is like, and the descriptions we have appear in the form of poetry and metaphor. Galileo remarked, “The intention of the Holy Spirit is not to teach us how Heaven goes, but how one goes to Heaven.” The glories of Heaven far surpass our perception. Heaven is a real place, and the reality will exceed all images and symbols. The Apostle Paul was given a vision of heaven, but words failed him. Human language has limitations. All Paul could say was that he experienced things so astounding that they couldn’t be told (II Cor 12). Heaven is a reality unreachable to any of our senses. It’s like explaining the world to an unborn baby.

Heaven is “Paradise restored”. Because of sin, Adam made a grave of a garden, but Christ has made a garden of a grave. Sin resulted in expulsion from a garden, and salvation is restoration to Paradise. Some things will be missing in Heaven. There will be no death, no pain, no sin, no curse, no tears. God declares through the prophet Jeremiah 31:13, the Message: “I will turn their mourning into gladness, their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy.” The injustices and deprivations of earthly life will be fully and forever corrected. In Heaven we will be liberated from every loss. We will find Heaven a place where the Lord’s Prayer is fulfilled--where God’s Name is hallowed, His Kingdom is come, His will is done.
In heaven. Sad thoughts of earth such as murder, rape, divorce, deception, death, destruction...memories of loss and sadness, depression and hunger, disease or disability just won't have a place in heaven. These horrors of the fallen flesh will all be mitigated and eclipsed like the stars are eclipsed by the rising sun. Because the brightness of the risen son will be brighter than any guilt, any shame, any sorrow, and anything sin might might have used to destroy. We won't forget, but we will have no need to remember. 
 I look forward to that great day...more to come. You know I love ya, Don 

Friday, July 19, 2013

What is it about?

Living a great life is not about the here and now...
but about the there and then!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The star is never as bright as the sun!

In Heaven our grief, sin, and burdens are like the stars. When the sun rises, they are there but no longer seen. (A Friend, Ethan Davis says...They are eclipsed by the glory....)

You know I love ya,


Monday, July 15, 2013

Heaven! Transformation in the Process!



2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

As believers, we are all called to transform the little world around us. C.S. Lewis offered a thoughtful perspective on remaining heavenly minded while continuing to make an impact in this present world. In Mere Christianity, he said.

"Hope…means…a continual looking forward to the eternal world…it does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next…Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become ineffective in this world. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in': aim at earth and you will get neither."

Being heavenly minded is not natural. It happens when we focus and meditate on the reality and wonderful hope of the world to come. When we do, we can bring a taste of heaven to the little world around us. So let's not become complacent — but stay focused there, so we can be effective here… and soon enough we will hear the Lord saying, "Well, done thou good and faithful servant!"

You know I love ya, Don

Monday, July 8, 2013

Faith....not insurance, but assurance of the what God can do.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39 (Amp) 

Increase our faith so we may see
What you’re doing in our lives
And all that we’ll accomplish in you
So our faith begins to rise


We need to be reminded, Lord,
Of the small mustard seed
And how the same amount of faith
Moves mountains if we believe

As we walk in pure obedience
With confidence in you,
Our faith begins to grow and flourish,
Bearing more abundant fruit

We must go beyond the limits
Of our comfort zones,
Our faith is activated at those times
When we walk into the unknown

For it’s when the safety net is gone,
We realize we need our Lord,
When there’s nothing left to fall back on,
We must lean on God much more

And faith is released in our hearts
As we bend our knee to pray;
We shall be strengthened as we walk
And commit to Him each day.
© By M.S.Lowndes

This  a great poem that reminds us of the power that faith grants every person. 
You know I love ya. Don
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The United States of America - Declaration of Independance

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Georgia:
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Pennsylvania:
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
Delaware:
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
Massachusetts:
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
Connecticut:
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Still Small Voice!

"It stopped,
    but I could not tell what it was.
A form stood before my eyes,
    and I heard a hushed voice:" (Job 4:16 NIV)

 
A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought--that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice.

I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din. Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world's turmoil.

In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said, "Be still, and know that I am God." Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, "Be still."

And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.
As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God's prayer in my secret soul, was God's answer to all my questions, was God's life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.

It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life's conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, go the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul.
--A. B. Simpson

Great thoughts....You know I love ya, Don