Paula's Blog

October 14, 2013

God, make me beautiful

Filed under: People,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 4:58 am
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make me beautiful as Eden,

as the 7-day creation,

before Adam and Eve disobeyed,

and sin entered the world.



make me beautiful,

as the love marks on your palms,

the crown of thorns on your head,

and the empty grave which you once lay.



make me beautiful as heaven,

like the holiness of the saints,

like the new heaven and new earth.


Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4






March 19, 2013

“Intellectual beauty”

Is there something within us that craves for a much higher intellectual plane, something that can be called intellectual beauty? What is beautiful about our intellect? Is it something sublime and transcendent, nearly deified by Shelley?

This lyric hymn, written in 1816, is Shelley’s earliest focused attempt to incorporate the Romantic ideal of communion with nature into his own aesthetic philosophy.

Does the phrase “intellectual beauty” refer to the working of the mind or intellect, or the intellectual idea of beauty? Suppose intellect and beauty were demonstrated to have a close relationship in this poem.

The meaning of intellectual in the poem, according to The Oxford anthology of English Literature 1973, refers to the 18th century meaning “beyond the senses”.

It seems in a way deified by Shelley, as it shows him working to incorporate Wordsworthian ideas of nature, in some ways the most important theme of early Romanticism,into his own poetic project and connecting his idea of beauty to his idea of human religion, thus making that theme explicitly his own.

Is it primarily our intellect that differentiates human beings from animals? Perhaps this poem has implications for ideas of evolution and creation that seek to explain what humanity is in scientific terms. How can we apply the ideas in this poem to our own attitudes towards academia, education and related areas?

I suppose what I gain from this poem is learning how to admire the relationship between intellect, beauty and religion, just as one admires natural beauty. It’s just another aspect of God’s creation! I have also learnt how to appreciate Romantic ideals of beauty as defined by Shelley, something connected to religion that has transcendent qualities. Isn’t it great to have ideals from time to time!

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
By Percy Bysshe Shelley  (1792–1822)

THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power

  Floats though unseen among us,—visiting
  This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,—
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,         5
    It visits with inconstant glance
    Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,—
    Like clouds in starlight widely spread,—
    Like memory of music fled,—        10
    Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

  With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
  Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone?        15
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
    Ask why the sunlight not for ever
    Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,        20
    Why fear and dream and death and birth
    Cast on the daylight of this earth
    Such gloom,—why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever

  To sage or poet these responses given—
  Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
    From all we hear and all we see,        30
    Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone—like mist o’er mountains driven,
    Or music by the night-wind sent
    Through strings of some still instrument,
    Or moonlight on a midnight stream,        35
Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream.

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart

  And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
  Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,        40
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
    Thou messenger of sympathies,
    That wax and wane in lovers’ eyes—
Thou—that to human thought art nourishment,
    Like darkness to a dying flame!        45
    Depart not as thy shadow came,
    Depart not—lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped

  Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,        50
  And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed;
    I was not heard—I saw them not—
    When musing deeply on the lot        55
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
    All vital things that wake to bring
    News of birds and blossoming,—
    Sudden, thy shadow fell on me;
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!        60

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

  To thee and thine—have I not kept the vow?
  With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers        65
    Of studious zeal or love’s delight
    Outwatched with me the envious night—
They know that never joy illumed my brow
    Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
    This world from its dark slavery,        70
    That thou—O awful LOVELINESS,
Wouldst give whate’er these words cannot express.

The day becomes more solemn and serene

  When noon is past—there is a harmony
  In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,        75
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
    Thus let thy power, which like the truth
    Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply        80
    Its calm—to one who worships thee,
    And every form containing thee,
    Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

February 27, 2013

Some images of beauty

Filed under: poetry — applecherrypipz @ 11:42 am
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-a dancer on a carousel-

-a princess with a swan-

-a butterfly on an eggshell-

-a raindrop on a rose-

-a camel in an oasis-

-a house freshly built-

-a tree in winter-

-snow on a mountain top-

-autumn leaves on green pond-

-a woman bedecked with jewels-

-a crown on a glass shoe-

-freshly baked melting brownies-

and much more…

how much the world can offer to us.

December 7, 2011

Like a Rose, trampled on the ground

Filed under: poetry — applecherrypipz @ 5:02 am
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From the song “Above All” by Michael W. Smith:

“Like a rose

trampled on the ground

You took the fall

and thought of me

Above all.”

Parallels between a trampled rose and Jesus’ death on the cross.

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 15, 2010

Be inspired with our love for God

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 9:56 pm
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Have just been longing for better days, a sunrise, a wide view of the horizon.

Feeling quite cramped currently in what I am in, I live in Auckland, a city in New Zealand, and sometimes things just become dreary and dull. You wished that there was something far more inspiring than the grey buildings and computers you see everyday.

Nature truly inspires us to the beauty and the power that is within us. God’s eternal promise for you.

“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 men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

God is with us, we can soar on wings like eagles, we can walk and not grow weary.

Let’s not just wait for things like nature to inspire us, let’s be inspired everyday by God’s greatness, His love, His beauty, His majesty. Let’s be inspired to be better everyday, to love more, to hope more, to believe more, to have faith more.

That’s what falling in love with Jesus more everyday means. God says you either are hot for me, or are cold for me. If you are lukewarm, I’d rather spit you out (Revelations).

We can’t let our love grow cold. Ask God to help you develop a passionate, intense love for Him that will not fade, but will deepen over time.

“[36] Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. [37] When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, [38] and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began towet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. […]

[44] Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. [45] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. [46] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. [47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” ”

Luke 7:36 – 50

August 28, 2009

What it means to worship and adore

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 11:05 pm
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How much fulfilment we can actually derive from fixing our eyes on what is true, beautiful, eternal, and unchanging. How wonderful it is to live in relationship with the Ultimate Good, the Eternal One, the Final Cause.

I finally arrived at this sort of revelation because I was pondering in my heart about what it means to adore God and what it means to worship him. I wondered why it was so difficult for me to do, but now I think I understand. Thank God that George Mcdonald’s “Phantastes ” really helped to illuminate these concepts to me:

-description of the Knight who had just saved a woman’s child and was in her cottage-

“A nobler countenance I never saw. Loving-kindness beamed from every line of his face. It seemed as if he would repay himself for the late arduous combat, by indulging in all the gentless of a womanly heart. but when the the talk ceased for amoment, he seemed to fall into a reverie. Then the exquisite curves of the upper lip vanished. The lip was lengthened and compressed at the same moment. you could have told that, w ithin the lips, the teeth were firmly closed. The whole face grew stern an ddetermined, all but fierce; only the eyes burned on like a holy sacrifice, uplifted on a granite rock.

The woman entered with her mangled child in her arms. She was pale as her little burden. She gazed, with a wild love and despairing tenderness, on the still, all but dead face, white and clear from loss of blood and terror.

The knight rose. The light that had been confined to his eyes, now shone from his whole countenance. He took the little thing in his arms, and, with the mother’s help, undressed her  and looked to her wounds. The tears flowed down his face as he did so. With tender hands he bound them up, kissed the pale cheek, and gave her back to her mother. When he went home, all his tale woubld be of the grief and joy of the parents; while to me, who had looked on, the gracious countenance of the armed man, beaming from the panoply of steel, over the seemingly dead child, while the powerful hands turned it and shifted it and bound it, if possible even more gently than the mother’s, formed the centre of the story.


I loved the knight more and more. i believe never squire served his master with more care and joyfulness than I. I tended his horse; I cleaned his armour; my skill in the craft enabled me to repair it when neecessary; I watched his needs; and was well repaid for all, by the love itself which I bore him.

”This,Í said to myself, “ís a true man. I will serve him and give him all worship, seeing in him the imbodiment of what i would fain become. If I cannot be noble myself, i will yet be servant to his nobleness.”He in return, soon who wed me such signs of friendship and resepct, as made my heart glad; and I felt that, after all, mine would be no lost life, if i might wait on him to the world”s end, although no smile but his should greet me, and no one but him should say,”Well done! he was a good servant!’at last. But I burned to do something more for him than the ordinary routine of a squire’s duty permitted”.”

From this i felt that i saw and understood how the moral qualitiy of a person can lead to worship and adoration from another. How much more then, does God deserve our worship and adoration!! I felt that the portrayal of the knight,esp. the words in bold, really described God well – God is almighty. Yet he is tender, loving, gentle and merciful to his people.

there’s the saying that ”absolute power corrupts absolutely”. When one has power, a true test of his character is to see how he treats those below him. But when one has absolute power, and doesn’t abuse it but continues to love and respect those around Him so preciously, that says a lot bout thae person. Reminds me of the term ”gentle giants” which I think are used to describe..elephants?? haha

When we TRULY see God for who He is- his excellent moral character, I feel that it is a natural response for us to fall at his feet and worship Him as a result..and desire to serve him..above our ”ordinary duties”. In other words, love and desire is a natural response.

 I haven’t really got there yet, and i still need to pray and ask God to open my eyes and fill me with spiritual understanding




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