Thursday, February 22, 2007

heaven #2

i listened to the first 45 minutes or so of Mr. Alcorn's Heaven book. the main idea i've taken away so far is the idea that since humans are created with bodies, our bodies will be eternal. i guess that's kind of a foreign idea to me. after all, it was c.s. lewis (whom i greatly admire) who once said something like "you are not a body with a soul. you are a soul, and you have a body." in other words, a body was something we are trapped in, encased in; and when we die our body ceases to be an important part of who we are. and this is the view i kind of automatically took, evident in a few earlier posts.

mr. alcorn does not take this view. he believes in the idea of an eternal, physical body. this does make sense because we have the scriptural fact of a new earth. that definitely makes more sense to me. i guess i never thought about needing a new earth if we don't have actual bodies to live in it. also there are verses about the dead in Christ being raised to life again. so, a new conclusion: in the new earth, our physical bodies will once again be perfect. mr. alcorn talks about how we were created with physical bodies, even in our original state of perfection. they were physical and perfect. the pre-fall body, and earth, were perfect. bodies do not, then, need to have "shucked off."

there is a word for this kind of anti-physical philosophy, that everything physical is bad and everything spiritual is good. (i can't think of the term right now, although i think it begins with an A.) but, that's not right the right way to look at it, because we were made to be eternal, perfect, physical creatures. and that's hard to wrap my mind around because i have thought the opposite for so long.

my assumption is that the "new heaven" refers to a heaven without jealous angels and other such things. because heaven itself is currently imperfect. so if there is a new heaven and a new earth, i think they would have to be easily accessible to each other, or even kind of overlap each other. before the Fall, God himself just walked around on earth with Adam, in constant peace and harmony and communion with all of his Creation. it was all physical, but God dwelt there anyways. there was nothing to taint it, and no sin to drive his perfect character away.

so a new heaven/earth would probably "coincide" with each other, or at least have all the properties of each. a physical population of people, living in a place accessible by physical and spiritual beings alike. ??? the other option is that heaven is itself a physical place, which doesn't make much sense to me right now, but seems to be a pesty little idea that won't go away.

i hope all of this made sense to you...i kind of typed it in less than five minutes. feedback=welcome!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

a HUNDRED things i like

(another quiz-ish post. this is the last one, i promise. it's just that they are so much easier than actually writing anything.)

1. fuzzy blankets and lots of pillows
2. flip flops
3. sunshine
4. phonographs and scratchy-sounding records
5. dark chocolate
6. my birthday
7. wild flowers
8. staying up all night
9. being outside in the middle of the night
10. road trips
11. ancient cultures
12. history
13. intense music
14. photography books
15. eyes
16. old books
17. music that i've listened to so many times i feel like it's my friend
18. sparkles
19. russian history
20. language and everything involved in it
21. pizza with extra cheese
22. jeopardy (the show, not actually being in it)
23. purple (the eggplant color)
24. worn in jeans that still fit just right
25. good hair days
26. my family
27. driving in huge puddles and, oops, splashing the fancy cars that try to go around them
28. cozy, snuggly anything
29. thick hearty soup/stew
30. midnight phone calls
31. bells (all sizes)
32. colorado
33. when appliances work just like they're supposed to, or are really easy to clean
34. road trips
35. watching something when you don't really care about it, so you can still talk to your friends
36. seeing/feeling people laugh really hard
37. laughing really hard
38. medieval-era stuff
39. asian food and chopsticks
40. quilts that remind me of stained glass windows
41. hearing people i know talk on the radio
42. christmas trees with the silvery strands of tinsel, and white lights
43. fresh breath
44. perfume
45. cologne
46. coming inside from the cold
47. roller coasters and the flight simulator at the SAC museum
48. baby animals, especially puppies and bunnies
49. texas hold 'em
50. fossils
51. farmers markets, and fresh food in general, and the idea of eating plants that grew from the ground
52. having a lot of books
53. glass bottles
54. funny movies/tv shows
55. tadpoles and tiny fish
56. the word "jurisprudence"
57. when people say they have "scads" of something
58. chicken enchiladas
59. beautiful acoustic guitar music
59. hot lava
60. aviator sunglasses
61. when it's raining lightly at night and the streetlights shine through the mist on your windshield and look like glowing jewels
62. spontaneously deciding to do fun things
63. concerts
64. honeysuckle-scented stuff
65. pistachios
66. acorns
67. squirrels and chipmunks
68. classical music
69. dancing by myself or with my sisters
70. Kramer
71. never ironing anything
72. wales
73. paid holidays
74. free money (see above)
75. putting lemons down the sink disposal so the kitchen smells clean
76. Micah 6:8
77. mittens
78. the word "ants"
79. spinning wheels
80. freshly ground coffee
81. fishing
82. the smell of fresh lakes
83. the sound of water patting the side of the boat, or soaking into the sand
84. getting text messages
85. constellations
86. the family i stayed with in ecuador
87. hearing people speak in other languages
88. cathedrals or large majestic buildings
89. when people do nice things for me
90. artwork
91. when, as young children, we made a giant model of the inner ear, using boxes that we could then crawl through to observe the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, among other things
92. a sunroof
93. homestar runner
94. scallops/lobster with butter and lemon juice
95. deep conversations
96. white herons wading in swamps
97. dignified old people
98. the jungle
99. daffodils
100. four-wheeling

Friday, February 09, 2007

quiz friday!

just a little lite entertainment for a friday afternoon...

***Your EQ is 87***
50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

What's Your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)?

***Your Blog Should Be Green***
Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.
You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.
However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

***Your Power Color Is Lime Green***

At Your Highest: You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary.
At Your Lowest: You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in.
In Love: You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated.
How You're Attractive: Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room.
Your Eternal Question: "What else do I need in my life?"

What's Your Power Color?

***You Are 31% Feminine, 69% Masculine***
You are in touch with your masculine side.
You are not overly sensitive and not easily moved.
Occasionally, though, something will get through and touch your heart!

Are You Masculine or Feminine?

***Your Personality Cluster is Introverted Thinking***
You are objective, honest, and credible...
Intellectually curious, with many diverse interests...
More inclined toward ideas than people...
Fiercely independent and unapologetically unconventional.

What's Your Personality Cluster?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


so for christmas my dad got this cd set called Heaven (by randy alcorn). i think it's probably a book on tape. it is actually on some of those new fangled compact discs, as the youngsters like to use nowadays. i've decided to listen to it, because i have not thought too very much about heaven, and i think there is probably plenty about it in scripture that i'm not aware of. so i'm going to put down some of my very basic thoughts about it, for three reasons. one: to prove my claim that i haven't really thought much about it. two: to give myself something of a sense of accountability to ALL OF YOU, so i will actually follow through with it. three: so when i'm done, i can compare these thoughts (and any others you've left me) with what i've heard on the compact discs, and we can all learn together.

i guess my first thought is that we don't really think or talk or hear about heaven much. (i'm not blaming anyone for my ignorance, i'm just observing.) isn't heaven what this christian life is mostly about? it's what comes at the end of the journey for those who believe in christ. something i've noticed is that we don't really sing about it anymore either. take a look at most of the older classic hymns, and most of them have lines or often an entire verse (usually the last, naturally) about "crossing the river Jordan" or "going home to see my Jesus." see?! it sounds old-fashioned, doesn't it??

and while heaven is definitely not talked about enough, i think there's another wrong way to look at it: as the point, or the end, of our lives. (by end i don't mean the literal end; i mean as the goal.) the true goal should be to glorify God, whether we "get to go to heaven" or not. that sounds so unusual, so perhaps it's not true after all. or maybe we have never really thought of what it'd be like to not be going to heaven. i think that's kind of how some evangelists end up sounding, even if they don't mean to: "heaven is what you want, right? God is how you get there." that's surely not the best way to look at it.

this is a guess. but i'd think we would see a more heavenward emphasis in those geographic areas where material possessions are not present at the grossly gratuitous levels seen in our country. that seems pretty intuitive: when there is less to love on earth, we are forced -- or perhaps more fully allowed? -- to long for what is not on earth. our relative wealth and comfort, then, are potential blockades in the way of a true Christ-centered life. ....AND i guess that's something that's been said a million times before. :)

as for what heaven is actually like? i never really tried to imagine it because i know it is literally "outside my mind," but i just have this bright white-gold color in my mind, i think from a picture in a kids' book. i think of gold and brightness and misty floaty things and sparkles and, weirdly enough, silence, or just a vague chorus of angel-ish music coming from nowhere in particular. this doesn't sound that fantastic to me, honestly, but my hope is that mr. alcorn will show me some scripture and give me a little more to work with.

i do think that heaven will be full of things our minds literally can't comprehend or even come up with right now. life is full of small traces of eternity, found in everything from plants and colors and science to relationships and emotions and music. perhaps the reason for this is so we will be able to understand more when we get to heaven -- so we will have a reference point for all those brand-new concepts i think we'll be learning. that is only a guess and a pretty fanciful one at that.

heaven is, of course, a great mystery. "no eye has seen, no mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him." BUT on the back of mr. alcorn's tape box it says: the next time you hear someone say "we can't begin to imagine what heaven will be like," you'll be able to tell them, "yes we can." i don't know about that, but i'm anxious to find out what he means. thanks for reading (once again this is far longer than i intended); any thoughts are welcome.

page hit counter