Monday, October 31, 2011

heaven and hell. yeah.

So in my astronomy class, the prof is incessantly walking about the "molten iron & nickel planet core" theory. It has made me want to know more about the realities of heaven and hell. And then the advent of Rob Bell's heretical book, suggesting annihilationism and the belief that hell’s fire is not eternal or real. I know only those who KNOW God's Word to be the Rock of our faith will stand against this "Christo-Platonism."

Ever since Daddy passed into eternity, I have been slowly reading Randy Alcorn's book Heaven. It's a l-o-n-g read, chock full of biblical references and commentaries on heaven with info about what it will be like, at least according to our understanding of other-world physicalities and more dimensions than we can experience with our five senses.

Jesus said in John 14:2 that He "goes to prepare a place for you."  This place is topos in the Greek, indicating that Heaven is an actual place. Matt. 25:46 Jesus says, "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." If one is a physical place, then the other is also.
 So I went online tonight and started looking up verses about hell. WOW. I didn't know that there are no fewer than 49 references to hell as being an actual geographic place, specifically in the center of the earth. Here are a few:
1. Ez. 26:20 – lower parts of the earth
2. Num. 16:32-33 – earth opened her mouth down to sheol.
3. Is. 14:9-10 – hell from beneath
4. Amos 9:2 – though thou dig into hell
5. Is. 5:14 – hell, they shall descend into it
6. Ez. 31:14 – lower parts of the earth, with those who descend
7. Ps. 63:9 – lower parts of the earth
8. Matt. 12:40 – so shall the Son of man be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth
9. Eph. 4:9; Matt. 12:40- Jesus Himself descended to the lower parts of the earth, and spent 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.
10. Luke 16:22-23 – Abraham's bosom and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
11. Rev. 5:13, Phil 2:10- mentions everyone in Heaven, and on the earth and those under the earth
12. Rev. 9:2-  demons come up from the bottomless pit during the tribulation period and smoke comes up with them and darkens the sky, real smoke from a real fire down in the earth
13. Ez. 31:16- "Down to hell, with them that descend into the pit" in the nether(lower depths below) parts of the earth.

And then several verses that I will have to study some more: Rev. 20:13-14 & Matt. 25:30
After Judgment Day, Death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire into outer darkness.
The Lake of Fire is the final hell, right? So is there a "pre-hell" until after the White Throne Judgment? 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

draw inner life

So, I have been reaching deep into NEW spiritual readings, ones that I have never read before. Wanting new manna. I've been enjoying a small book that Mom got for me several years back, a compilation of Augustine's writings and prayers gleaned from his Confessions, Homilies, and City of God.

Augustine's testimony is much like DB's will be one day. He, having a devout and praying mama, lived a life of sensual reprobation, but was radically changed by Jesus Christ. In his words: "Going mad on my way to sanity." He later became one of the most influential bishops of the Christian faith.

"In lowliness we find our heights. Those who want to ascend to spiritual heights without passing through the valley of humility find themselves turned back."

Hebrews 4:15-16, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace..."

"My Father, where my plans are not your plans- oppose me! When a word on my tongue is not your word- silence me! Where I step outside your Word to struggle on my own, or to defend myself- draw me back inside of you."

"My Father, what a weak fool I would be if I continued trying to draw inner life from anything-from someone I love, from success in my work, even from spiritual service- other than you. So I will draw life from these, your words to me: You call me beloved in Christ Jesus. You call me righteous in Christ Jesus. High King of Heaven, I am your child. And my brother is the Lord  and Prince of all creation. When I am restless, wanting something to make me 'happy,' I know this is your call to my soul. I'll feast on your Word, and find my life in you!"

Friday, October 28, 2011

autumn praise

My 1000 gifts include...

21. an exciting World Series game 7, with the underdog Cardinals winning!

22. warm Apple Brown Betty, ala mode

23. a quiet evening at home

24. a great afternoon on Perdido Key at the Shrimp Basket with my mama, sisters and nieces

25. beautiful cool weather

26. money to pay my bills

27. connections on Facebook to friends from so many different periods of my life

28. saints like C. S. Lewis & Augustine to inspire and go before us

30. the end of not feeling well

31. getting to sleep in late tomorrow!

32. the blessing of Operation Christmas Child 

Psalm 146:2, "I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."

occupy wall street

I wonder how few of the Occupy Wall Street, and for that matter, the Occupy Pensacola protesters have jobs, have mortgages, pay taxes, and contribute to the economy that they are protesting?!?

Yes, the economy is in dire straits, and every one of us is stretching our money, but some of us have been doing this for YEARS! Revolting in the streets is not the way to expedite change! Dope-smoking and defecating in the streets will NOT influence politicians, nor will it effect positive change for our country. Wasn't that what the last election was supposed to do...HOPE for CHANGE?!?  It reminds me of Job 15:31. "Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; for emptiness will be his reward."

Well, they hoped and trusted, and they got their change. But they don't like the taste of it. Not that voting helps either. I have voted for years and typically have not failed to be disappointed in every politician that takes office. I remember the "Young Republicans" that swept Washington back in 1994. We conservatives were so hopeful that they would fulfill their campaign promises. Take Joe Scarborough as a prime example...yeah. Nuff said. Oh, excepting J. C. Watts; I haven't lost my respect for him. Not yet.

Our country needs to change. Our government has been bought. It is corrupted with greed and power and the love of money. So what's to be done? We must continue to live life, and NOT cop out. Work hard. Save and invest wisely. Tighten the proverbial belt. And most importantly, trust GOD.

No, I am not one of the 99% either. I work as hard as the next guy. Harder, really. But my trust and hope is the LORD, not in the politicians in D.C. Not in the money-men in Wall Street. Not in the world economic markets, oil barrel prices, nor in the almighty dollar. "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10.

We will not be forsaken. We will not be begging for bread. Psalm 37:25 reminds us, "I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread."

There is no need for angst or anger. GOD is in control!

Monday, October 24, 2011

gifts and more gifts

this week I am thankful for

9. two tickets for an evening of worship with Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, and Louie Giglio on Saturday, enjoyed with my mother

10. the bruises on my hands from clapping and praising so exuberantly

10. a warm, pink bathrobe, given to me by my ex-SIL on a birthday long ago

11. mushrooms on my tender chicken tonight, grilled just perfectly

12. finally starting to regain my health, after three long weeks of sickness after sickness

13. an old and treasured warm flannel quilt to nap under when I got off from work today

14. a week off from work and sleeping in most of the mornings

15. six blingy new necklaces and four new shirts to dress up my winter wardrobe

16. banana nut bread that turned out just right

17. detective shows on tv that don't have sex and immorality to taint them

18. ice cold water

19. antibiotics to kick this UTI or whateveritisthatIhave

20. new LCD nightlights

My Shepherd "lets me rest in meadow grasses and leads me beside quiet streams. He restores my failing health. He helps me do what honors Him the most."

Friday, October 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

And so I join the ranks of the thankful beneficiaries of Ann VosKamp's quiet and inspirational musings. She is a contemplative farmer's wife with words of wisdom for everyday life.

I am thankful for...

1. bright eyes that peer from my loyal dog's face, as she waits for me to pick up her ball and toss it one more time

2. sushi and tempura at Ichiban

3. quotes from writers that inspire me

4. the anticipation of a Saturday off from work

5. highlighters. yes, highlighters!

6. a 90% on this week's astronomy midterm

7. aleve, for an aching back

8. delicious soft, white cheesecake, made by my baby sister

As the Psalmist says, "Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!"
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