Archive for August, 2009

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What about worship

August 25, 2009

One of the very first things I wanted to know about heaven was worship. One sermon I’d heard in the past said that we will worship God 24-7, meaning all the time. Somehow when I heard that, I wasn’t sure that meant what the preacher thought it meant. He seemed to think it meant sitting in a church service, singing hymns or choruses or other religious songs.

But God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have a definite idea of what worship is, and that’s not it. As I meditated on the question, what is worship like in heaven, here’s what they told me.

Worship comes from an Old English word meaning “worth-ship.”  The worth of someone. Worth what? Money? Respect? Power? Position? Fear? Treat that person accordingly.

In the New Testament, however, one primary word translated worship means to be in submission; to serve as a slave serves his master.

The Greek word “proskuneo” is translated worship in John chapter 4, throughout the section where Jesus talks to the woman at the well. Strong’s Concordance defines proskuneo as kissing the hand, but in practical daily use the word meant much,  much more. It meant kneeling as a slave in submission, respecting the position and authority of the master, waiting for instructions before rising to perform those instructions.

We get a better idea of God’s idea of worship by substituting the concept of  submission for the word worship in these verses:  “But an hour is coming and now is, when those who show true submission will show submission to the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is also seeking such ones who are showing submission to him. God is spirit, and those who are showing submission must show submission in spirit and in truth.”

This is not just serving like a waitress serves a cup of coffee. It’s the service of a slave, taking instructions and orders for the day, doing what you’re told, when and where and how you’re told. Not planning your own agenda and carrying it out, but receiving your master’s agenda and carrying that out.

So God’s idea of me worshiping him means me waiting for his instructions and doing them. All the time. Come here, go there, do that. If that’s singing, then singing is worship. If that’s writing, then writing is worship. If it’s researching the physics property of carrier waves (that was one of my assignments a couple of months ago), then that’s worship.

Obedience is worship; it’s recognizing who and what Father God is and acting accordingly. That is why heaven is such a busy place, not just a church service with singing.

Oh, there is plenty of singing, praising, joy, playing music on many types of instruments, by all ages of heaven’s citizens. Lots of places for it, too, indoors and outdoors. Great cathedrals, small chapels, massive amphitheaters, mountain tops. At all times of the day, somewhere, some group small or large is gathering to praise God with old and new compositions.

I’ll try to describe some of those another time. That was truly fascinating, and fulfilling. But the lesson I am still absorbing is, worship means obedience.

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The inside was a — different story

August 6, 2009

Okay, I’ll try to remember features of that house that were definitely not usual in my earthly neighborhood. I probably won’t remember them all, or in the same order they were showed to me, but here goes.

Lighting. No lamps, no light fixtures, but plenty of light. Oh, right. The Lamb is the light. Well, he wasn’t in the room, at least not visibly, but the effects certainly were.

Colors. The main entry door from the front of the house led into what I would call the living room. The walls here were muted colors, calming, soothing, relaxing shades of blues and greens. The walls were textured slightly, almost like fabric instead of just paint, and felt really good to the touch. Soft, velvety.

Then as I focused on one wall, it began to change color. The color seemed to slowly flow into a different shade, while I looked at it. Not a totally different color, just a different shade of the same color. When a restful teal (blue-green, like my eyes) shade came into view, which I especially liked, the change stopped. The wall seemed to settle, almost like water on a pond settles after a stone has been skipped across it.

There was a knob on one wall like a dimmer switch. By turning the knob, the entire color palette of that room could be changed. From blue to pink or yellow, for instance. Or green, or orange. Or brown, or purple, or whatever I liked. Now, that was neat.

The furniture? I simply don’t remember much, except that it had some. Chairs, sofas, something.

There was another room adjacent to the living room with only a grand piano in it. No other furniture there, but I liked the idea of the piano.

Next came what I’d call the kitchen, except that it had no appliances that I recognized. No stove, no refrigerator, no microwave, no coffee maker, but a small table, cabinets and shelves with dishes. Okay, no cooking? No food? Yes, food, but it wasn’t cooked the way I cook food, or else it wasn’t in need of cooking. Not sure at that time which it was. I was still observing, not so much asking, but some questions I wasn’t asking were being answered anyway.

Then came the dining room or meeting room, or whatever it was used for.  One long table, lots of chairs both around the table and around the walls, but not much else. Used for visiting friends and relatives, discussing events of the day, things learned, catching up on activities of each other, sharing news and information and meals.

Are there any bedrooms, I asked? And suddenly I was in what could have been a bedroom, except that it didn’t really have a bed, just a chaise longue. Not much sleeping goes on there, just occasional lying down for thinking, meditating and absorbing.

There’s more, much more – later.

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Other tech

August 4, 2009

Residential areas… hmmm. KJV speaks of mansions, but the original language doesn’t describe what we 21st Century Americans think of as mansions. You know, Biltmore in Asheville, NC. Or palaces either, like Buckingham Palace in Great Britain.

It’s more of a generic word for residence. That includes a lot of leeway, doesn’t it? So one night I prayed and requested a glimpse of a typical residence in heaven for an individual.

What I got was way more than a glimpse – it was more like an encyclopedia! Here’s sort of how that conversation went.

Q: What time period would you like to see?

A: Huh?

Q: You know, people have been coming here since Adam and Eve and they all have different tastes, likes and dislikes. So, can you be a little more specific?

A: How about contemporary, say the last couple of years?

Q: Urban, suburban, or rural?

A: I didn’t know it was going to be this complicated… let’s go with suburban for now.

Q: Right. Culture?

A: Sure, why not, throw in some culture.

Q: I meant, European, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern, African, Island, North American, like that.

A: How about plain old American. North American, that’s what I’m most familiar with.

Q: Understandable. Why don’t I walk you through an area that has several styles? I think  you’ll be – pleased –

From there things improved a bit, and I began seeing in my mind’s eye some houses in a neighborhood.  Some were fairly compact, some sprawling. Some seemed to be made of what looked like wood, others made of what looked like stone. Now, I was not seeing them from up close, but it looked like every single one was different. No two alike.

And the yards were all different, too. Some had lots of grassy lawn, plants and trees and blooming flowers, some had very little. Some yards looked manicured, some looked “natural.” They all seemed to be fairly familiar, like I might see in my own town. But they all looked to be only one-story, which I thought was odd. So I asked about that.

Q: What you see is what you get, on the outside. Want a peek inside?

A: Oh, can I? That would be neat.

I sensed a little humor in that tone of voice, but grateful to be given this opportunity I sure wasn’t going to pass it up. Like a zoom lens on a video camera, my mental image suddenly switched to the inside of one particular house. No-one was home, at least for the moment, and as I looked around, all I could think was, Wow. Double Wow.

I’ll get my thoughts together and write about what I saw inside that house later, but I’ll say this for now – I sure would like to live in a house like that here!

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Think high-tech

August 2, 2009

Think New York City plus Tokyo plus Sydney plus London, minus crime minus disease minus decay. Think imagination, creativity, ingenuity, outside-the-box design and function.

Think extra super high-tech skyscrapers in a very large city.

Then think historical, fifth century BC or 18th century AD, also without the ramifications or results of degradation.

Think farms and plantations and ranches and estates and villages and hamlets. Think research facilities and laboratories and archives and museums and libraries.

Let your mind listen as you pray and ask the questions, what  is it like, heaven?

I did that the other night and saw a long city block where each tall building was different. One in particular was very different indeed. The support structure centralized, it had no exterior walls, only panels of “heavy air” to keep interior objects from falling out.

The designers, architects, builders and decorators of it all worked in that building, and they liked it that way… it was a fascinating structure to visit and explore.

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Why

August 2, 2009

Why write a blog about heaven?

Why not.

I have some thoughts on the subject, some mental images, opinions, conjectures. Some from scripture, some from meditation, some from two-way prayer. Some are scattered through my other blogs but this particular blog will  be dedicated to the subject of heaven.

What is it. How is it. Where is it. Why is it. When is it. Who is it for. Who is in it. Those kinds of things, maybe others, we’ll see.

As for who this blog is for, it’s for anyone who finds it by accident, and for the very few who will find it on purpose. Ask questions if you like, make comments, agree or disagree.

It would be interesting to know if I’m the only one who has distinct impressions and opinions about contemporary heaven…