Paula's Blog

March 13, 2014

Child’s version of Revelations: The New Heavens and the New Earth

Inspired by Revelations: The New Jerusalem
“I promise you there will be a land where there are rainbows and smiles, no more tears anymore. There will be candies, kindness and peace. You will have a white snow-like robe and a golden crown. There will be no fear of beatings, of extra homework and curfews. Instead, your hamster will lie with your cat fearlessly.You shall dance with the Lamb and sing with the angels. You will see God in the throne room and you will worship Him happily everyday,”so said the little elf from the woods.

Here’s an effort to practise relaying symbolism and imagery from Revelations in a different way.

April 13, 2013

How to have heaven in our hearts

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 12:41 pm
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Heaven may be generally thought of as a place that is difficult to experience in this lifetime, this mortal world of ours, and is instead a place to be longed for. In this entry, I explore a way to have heaven in our hearts in the here and now. This is a follow-up to my previous post, The Language of the Heart.

In his classic devotional book titled The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, English Puritan pastor and author Richard Baxter (1615-1691) wrote:

“Why are not our hearts continually set on heaven? Why dwell we not there in constant comtemplation?…Bend thy soul to study eternity, busy thyself about the life to come, habituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those thoughts be seldom and cursory, but bathe thyself in heaven’s delights.” (http://bible.org/illustration/hearts-set-heaven)

A way to have heaven in our hearts:

Where Is Your Treasure?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do no break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Chasing after material pleasures and earthly goods unnecessarily, tends to detract us from the true riches that are of a heavenly nature.

Learning to appreciate heavenly goods with our hearts is a sacred art, which I believe can bring one lots of joy and bliss.

For heaven is our home.
“Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.” 2 Cor 5:3

“Treasures in heaven” means living and following God’s ways (http://bible.org/seriespage/where-your-treasure-matthew-619-24).For example, loving your neighbour as yourself- demonstrating an act of kindness, forgiving someone of a sin.

Just think, practising ‘heaven in our hearts’, this way, we can experience heaven, right at our fingertips.

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March 30, 2013

How the theory of evolution can harm one’s faith

In this entry, I would just like to touch briefly on how the theory of evolution could be subtly harmful to one’s faith.

God’s creation helps inspire faith in God. For this, there needs to be an underlying philosophical framework of creationism instead of evolution.

On the subject of faith James McConkey wrote: “Faith is dependence upon God. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends.”. J.B. Stoney agrees by saying ” I believe the Lord allows many things to happen on purpose to make us feel our need of Him.”. (http://bible.org/seriespage/faith)

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”. Rom 1:20 (NIV)

God’s creation magnifies God by showcasing his transcendent qualities, thus throwing light on our dependence on God, an important aspect of our faith.

Skii-Switzerland-Mountain-HD

For example, seeing this picture of a mountain through the philosophical framework of creationism, I am reminded of God’s “invisible qualities” of majesty, power and greatness of a transcendent nature. One needs to know that we are created, that this world is God’s creation to see these transcendent qualities. By being starkly aware of how small we are in the grand scheme of his creation, we realise our dependence on God the Creator.

Antithetically, seeing it through the framework of evolution, we do not see its utterly transcendent qualities, but simply as a random incident of chemistry and motion. It points to the simple instinct of survival and a persistent theme throughout evolution, “the survival of the fittest”. This takes us away from God-dependence to self-dependence. This is possibly one of the destructive and harmful influences of the theory of evolution can have on faith, which can subtly creep into the church and society.

We need to have an underlying philosophy of God as creator and one who created this world, to redeem this aspect of our faith.

Note: I am not utterly condemning the theory of evolution, it could be true in some aspects, would just like to point out a harmful influence it can subtly have.

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This post is also in the blog carnival, Faith and Philosophy.

December 20, 2011

Hear his voice

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10: 27

Jesus offers us a deep, intimate relationship with Him. learning to discern God’s voice and hear from Him is therefore such an interesting and exciting aspect of being saved, of being God’s child and Jesus’ disciple.

His Whisper

It is gentle and soft—almost airy
With a message designed for my ears only;
It drips with sweetness, draws my spirit close,
And protects the trust that experience knows.

It is hushed and tranquil and floats on the breeze
And the love that it carries buckles my knees,
And reminds me that I’m His priceless treasure
By promising a love that will not be severed.

Behind it He hides, until I am still
And eager and anxious in both soul and will.
It drifts on the air until reaching my heart,
And it speaks softly, “How precious thou art.”

It seduces my senses as I draw near to listen
And quiets the world’s roaring insistence.
Earthquakes and fires may light up the sky,
But, alas, His whisper will gently pass by.

– Submitted by About.com member, Kristen Clark with His Witness Ministries

November 30, 2011

Love the Lord your God with all your Heart and with all your Soul and with all your Mind and with all your Strength

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God,Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 1:23 am
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Recently I felt challenged to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, MIND and strength. In particular, I felt challenged to love the Lord with my MIND. what does it mean to love the Lord with my MIND?

 I think it means not conforming to the pattern of this world, but renewing my mind according to the word of God.

Choosing to let God’s word be the authority over what I study, my career. Letting God mould my beliefs, shape my thoughts.

I think this is also closely tied in to the idea of Creation. As His creation, knowing that everything is Created by Him and for Him, I know that

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov : 9 – 10

 

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

The skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech,

Night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language

Where their voice is not heard.” Ps 19 : 1 – 3

 

Some food for thought! Some keywords on loving God with our minds are : wisdom,  understanding, speech, knowledge, language

November 22, 2011

The truth

Filed under: Bible verses,Philosophy — applecherrypipz @ 7:41 am
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I’d like to share an excerpt from what I read from the book “Philosophers who Believe” by Kelly James Clark.

According to Psalm 51, the Lord desires truth in our innermost being; but according to Jeremiah, ‘the human heart is deceitful above all things; it is desperately sick; who can understand it?’ Truth in our innermost being is not easy to achieve. It is hard to see what the truth is; it is also hard to tell the truth, to say what you see without imposing some kind of self-justificatory and distorting framework.

                       – Alvin Plantinga, considered the world’s leading Protestant philosopher of God.

November 15, 2011

Children of God

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God,People — applecherrypipz @ 4:45 am
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Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. – Rom 8:17

What a great hope we have in Christ!

– the glory of God is shining around them

charlottesart.blogspot.com

November 8, 2011

Delight Yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart

Filed under: Bible verses — applecherrypipz @ 4:44 am
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“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103

Finding our delight in God, how does one do that? Let’s take the time to meditate on His word daily, and delight ourselves in Him.

October 17, 2011

Nothing to offer in my own strength

Filed under: Bible verses,People — applecherrypipz @ 3:37 am
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“1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:1-8

 
Thank you God, because of you and what you did on the cross, I can be broken before you, and you can have my life. I can live for you.To live is Christ, to die is gain.The Beauty of Brokenness.

 

October 11, 2011

God as our Shield

Filed under: Bible verses — applecherrypipz @ 3:09 am
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-from “Im a Big Fan of God” on Facebook

 “God is our refuge and strength,
and ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..”
Psalm 46:1-2

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