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What about worship

May 3, 2021

Speaking of heaven

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…

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What lies beneath

December 6, 2020

Speaking of heaven

(Reprinted from 2009)

This is not more about that house.

I went to the new GI Joe movie yesterday and discovered something a little interesting, a little exciting, a little scary, a little revolutionary… and a lot thoughtful.

I won’t tell you the story line in case you want to see the movie yourself. But the incredibly beautiful “not-too-distant future” locales, sets, scenes, and especially the super high-tech technology were – there’s no other way to say it – familiar.

One of the early images I received of heaven (after the house, the city, the worship!) was in response to a question I had asked about the landscape. The beautiful residential areas, of which there were multitudes in a multitude of cultures and eras, all seemed to be one or two-story at most. The city had skyscrapers, but even before I began to really examine the city and its functions…

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Touching base

February 8, 2020

creekside1983What is Tim doing? I asked the Lord one recent bedtime. It was just a random question before going to sleep; I don’t ask that every night any more, like I did a year ago. I got an instant answer and then a little explanation to go with it.

“Meeting with relatives.”

Oh, I thought. Ora Lee, Theron, T.C., Ninie, others of their family came to mind. When I began to visualize the way they looked the last time I saw them, I was quickly corrected.

“No, that’s not how they are here.”

Suddenly I received a new mental image of them, each one as an adult in the prime of their life, strong, vibrant and healthy. T.C. no longer looked like a 19 year old. Ora Lee didn’t look 87 and Tim didn’t look 60. They all looked around 30 years old or so.

That started a whole new conversation with the Lord, as he began describing these family meetings.

Their relationships on earth had certain characteristics: Tim was Ora Lee’s son, T.C.’s uncle, and Ninie’s nephew. Their life experiences were very different, person to person.

Their eras, education, friendships, cultures and societal standings were very different. Their relating to one another, their interests and conversations with each other singly or in family groups were on the basis of all of that.

But they’re not like that now. They relate to one another now as mature adults with a common status: all residing in heaven because of their commitment to Christ.

There are still differences, of course, and thus the meetings. Some have been there a long time, some a short time. Some have traveled and met many other residents, friends, relatives, characters from the pages of the Bible and secular history.

Some live in one community, some in another. Some are studying one thing, working at one thing. Others have different assignments, different habitats, even different ways of worship.

Some of these family members lived 100 years ago or longer – Tim had never met them here on earth. Neither had Ora Lee or Ninie, for that matter. Others in the meeting were great-great grandparents, cousins or aunts and uncles they never knew existed before reaching heaven.

The lives these relatives had enjoyed in heaven were longer than those they’d lived on earth. What memories they had to share, what adventures, discoveries, revelations and insights!

And so, from time to time they meet. They touch base and get to know one another, not as young versus old, ancestor versus descendant, but as equals: adult residents of heaven who share a common bloodline physically, and because of Christ, spiritually.

As I drifted off to sleep, I saw them milling around in someone’s living room, chatting in small groups, smiling and laughing, sharing interesting stories of their life, some listening intently, nodding their heads in agreement or understanding, gesturing with large arm movements, displaying the wide variety of human expressions you would see in any earthly family reunion. Wonderful.

“Family reunion” has acquired an entirely new definition and dimension for me.


Moses, maybe?

January 15, 2020

Speaking of heaven

So, what would you like to do?

If you were given the choice of anything you’d like to do in heaven, other than the highly-desirable “spend time with Jesus,” that is? (Everyone would choose that, I suspect, and there’s every opportunity to do just that. Worship, learn from, love on, gaze at, adore the one whose life and death enables us to be there.)

I don’t post as many articles these days as I once did, not because I quit being interested, but because there was just so much that was – maybe mind-boggling, maybe boring, maybe unbelievable – to readers.

But this is a question I’d like to ask you: What would YOU like to do?

Eternity is a long, long time, but it’s useful time. Fritter away some of it, floating around on a cloud? Sure, if that’s what you want to do. Why not?

While you’re at…

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What lies beneath

March 11, 2014

(Reprinted from 2009)

This is not more about that house.

I went to the new GI Joe movie yesterday and discovered something a little interesting, a little exciting, a little scary, a little revolutionary… and a lot thoughtful.

I won’t tell you the story line in case you want to see the movie yourself. But the incredibly beautiful “not-too-distant future” locales, sets, scenes, and especially the super high-tech technology were – there’s no other way to say it – familiar.

One of the early images I received of heaven (after the house, the city, the worship!) was in response to a question I had asked about the landscape. The beautiful residential areas, of which there were multitudes in a multitude of cultures and eras, all seemed to be one or two-story at most. The city had skyscrapers, but even before I began to really examine the city and its functions, I think I asked the question about below-ground.

Is there anything underneath the houses, grounds, and city?

Oh, yes. Is there ever. There is a tremendous depth of technologically advanced construction through and through. Arts. Research. Galleries. Laboratories. Offices. Every imaginable type and scope and purpose and reason and goal and function and appearance, and some I would never have imagined.

It would take hours to try to describe what I saw, the people I saw and the activities they were involved in. Again and again, I was reminded – everything that exists on earth was conceived, designed, constructed and used in heaven first. And heaven is a physical material place, not imaginary. A different dimension but just as real.

The answer to that simple question was anything but simple.

Like a tourist I was escorted through miles and miles and miles of hallways, level after level after level. This has happened several times now, sometimes just to show me, to demonstrate or explain what is happening in a particular area.

Like the holographic history laboratory, a combination arts and science development project where students can participate in accurate-to-the-last-detail holographic reenactments of historical events. It’s up and running but still being developed and improved, with people participating as both scientists, artists, guinea pigs and students.

Would you like to be present at the wedding where Jesus turned the water into wine? Or perhaps present for Lincoln’s Gettysburg address? Or at his elbow when he wrote it?

Requests were taken from people for specific historical holographic scenarios and if deemed appropriate or practical or not redundant, then they were eventually created. All the historical records are available to go by – there are massive archives and libraries and museums, every medium and format. Recreating the holographic accounts creates another level of history for study, both by historians and students.

Observers of these scenarios can actually enter and walk around in the locale, see the people and places up close and “personal,” although of course they don’t interact with these actors and can’t actually take part in the event themselves. Still, it’s a very compelling way to learn.

Then there’s the research laboratories into the nuclear physic properties of sound and color. Color has sound and different textures of colors have different sounds. Yellow paint on a flat metal surface has different sound qualities when stroked than yellow dye on a sweatshirt or the grown-in red of a tomato skin. And the force and type of touch or stroke creates different sounds, of course – but why is that important, or useful to study? I didn’t ask and may not have been able to understand the answer, if I had asked.

Sound also has texture. Sound produced on a single violin string or a layer of tissue paper will have different texture, different dimensions. Texture is the wrong word but I don’t know what would be the right word, although I can see the difference in my mind’s eye.

It doesn’t mean pitch or tone or wave-length, it’s something else entirely, but I have no idea how to describe it really. These are concepts I can’t quite grasp. But large underground laboratory facilities are full of people studying, experimenting, developing practical applications of their research. (There are many such facilites above ground, also, some of which need the air, sky and space for their work.)

I asked about the people who live and work underground – don’t they miss the air and sky? Do they rotate, working sometimes underneath and sometimes above ground?

Some people never really experienced the air and sky above ground. They died too young. For them, it really doesn’t matter where they live and work. What matters to them is serving Father God, doing whatever assignment he needs them to do, learning, exploring, developing, growing, being part of his plan.

On one visit “downstairs,” I wondered just how far down we could go, and how exactly were people traveling up and down, side to side? We got there in an instant, without any sense of traveling, so I was curious. Holy Spirit seemed amused at some of my questions, but he’s very patient.

I have no idea of the distance down. A long way, is all the answer I got to that. But people travel by stepping into a tube, whether in a city building or underground. No elevator. They could get to wherever they want to go by spiritual means, simply thinking. But that seems to be the exception, not the rule. It’s a question of courtesy more than ability, considering they still have to know exactly where their destination is and exit the tube nearest that. It’s rude to simply appear somewhere without notice, unless you have no need to give notice, for instance if there’s no-one there to greet or interrupt.

One place that truly interested me was a music lab. Many instruments from many ages were stored in one section, sort of like a museum or library. Others were in constant use, being played and changed and modified. One particular instrument that I saw was similar to a piano, but the strings were all external, contained in a tall, broad frame in front of the keyboard. There were many more octaves and strings than on any grand piano I’ve ever seen, and the sound had a richness I’ve never heard. I don’t know how striking the keys made the strings sound, whether it was wireless technology or something else.

Another keyboard instrument was a crystal pipe organ. All the pipes were of crystal, not metal or wood. The keyboard was not much different from any earthly pipe organ I’ve played before, but I didn’t play it. I just listened to it being played by someone else. Gorgeous, and quite different from anything I’ve heard before.

There were others that I have no name for, horns of metals and woods, stringed instruments, bells, some brand new, some very old. And lots of people everywhere. Some were composers, discussing ideas for compositions with the musicians who would be performing them. I felt so completely out of my depth!

The odd thing as I look back – no one seemed surprised at my presence, and all of them seemed very welcoming. I believe any one of them would have stopped what he or she was doing and answered all my questions, had I not had such a competent guide along with me (the Holy Spirit or Jesus, one of them was always escorting me).

My questions about the underground portion of heaven haven’t all been asked and answered yet, but many have.

In the GI Joe movie, there was a huge super high-tech military complex under the ice cap at the north pole. Under the ocean. As I watched the movie, I compared it to what the Lord had showed me on the bottom of the ocean in heaven. Yes, oceans in heaven. While the undersea movie set was beautiful and the movie-makers had done a wonderful job designing it, in the story it was being used for a deadly purpose.

The undersea complex I saw in heaven is just as high-tech and more. But its purposes are very different. Maybe I’ll try to describe that another day.

It was a fascinating experience, watching that movie and seeing just how familiar all those locations looked. I had to wonder about the writers and the builders. How much of heaven have they themselves seen? Maybe without even knowing what they were looking at…


Heaven and Space, shared interest

April 12, 2012

The more I think about heaven, the more I think about space. Stars, solar systems, galaxies, nebulas, pulsars, quasars, black holes, all I find really fascinating.

So I’ve been reading up, trying to wade through some basic physics that I never learned in school and get to the “juicy” parts. Like, how do you make a star? How big is the universe?! What’s on the other side of a black hole?

With all that in mind, I have re-purposed my first blog (Talk With Bette) in order to use it for space-related articles: Talk With Bette has its own home now,

But speaking of heaven, I was thinking out loud in prayer the other night and commented on how important, how big, how complex the universe is. And the Lord commented right back to me, “Man is my most important creation.” Wow.

He reminded me that before I brought Smokey (the cat) to her new home, I prepared her habitat: food, water, toys, litter box. Before God brought Adam to his “home,” he prepared his habitat: Earth. Solar System. Galaxy. Universe.

A while back the Lord told me that to exist and survive in heaven, humans have to be adapted to its environment. That’s the why of conversion. He explained that Heaven is like the control tower for the universe. Boggles the mind…


Technology from heaven “dropped” onto earth

March 18, 2012

As I read an article online this week from Science Daily, I immediately thought about a particular house the Lord showed me in heaven. The wall colors changed before my eyes; a rheostat on the wall could change them to any color of the rainbow.

I didn’t mention it in the August 2009 blog post I wrote about that house (, but the same was true of the texture of the wall covering and the fabric on the furniture. From smooth to bumpy, slick to velvety in an instant. However you preferred your surface materials, you could have it.

The Lord reminded me that every invention, every discovery, happens in heaven first. When He’s ready to reveal it to mankind He “drops” the information somewhere, to someone. I think this article demonstrates one of those little “droplets…”

Process Makes Polymers Truly Plastic, Changing Textures On Demand
March 15, 2012

Just as a chameleon changes its color to blend in with its environment, Duke University engineers have demonstrated for the first time that they can alter the texture of plastics on demand, for example, switching back and forth between a rough surface and a smooth one.

By applying specific voltages, the team has also shown that it can achieve this control over large and curved surface areas.

“By changing the voltage applied to the polymer, we can alter the surface from bumpy to smooth and back again,” said Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “There are many instances, for example, when you’d want to be able to change at will a surface from one that is rough to slippery and back again.”

Scientists have long been able to create different patterns or textures on plastics through a process known as electrostatic lithography, in which patterns are “etched” onto a surface from an electrode located above the polymer. However, once the patterns have been created by this method, they are set permanently.

“We invented a method which is capable of dynamically generating a rich variety of patterns with various shapes and sizes on large areas of soft plastics or polymers,” Zhao said. The results were published online in the journal Advanced Materials.

“This new approach can dynamically switch polymer surfaces among various patterns ranging from dots, segments, lines to circles,” said Qiming Wang, a student in Zhao’s laboratory and the first author of the paper. “The switching is also very fast, within milliseconds, and the pattern sizes can be tuned from millimeter to sub-micrometer.”

The findings follow Zhao’s earlier studies, which for the first time captured on videotape how polymers react to changing voltages. Those experiments showed that as the voltage increases, polymers tend to start creasing, finally leading to large craters. This explained in physical terms, for example, why polymers used to insulate electric wires tend to fail over time. The new lithography strategy takes useful insights from this failure mechanism.

On a more fanciful note, Zhao described the possibility of creating rubber gloves whose fingerprints could be changed on demand.

“The changeable patterns we have created in the laboratory include circles and straight and curved lines, which are basic elements of fingerprints,” Zhao said. “These elements can be dynamically patterned and changed on a glove surface that covers fingertips.

“A spy’s glove may be cool, but probably not for everyone,” Zhao said. “However, the same technology can produce gloves with on-demand textures and smoothness tuned for various applications, such as climbing and gripping. Furthermore, surfaces capable of dynamically changing patterns are also useful for many technologies, such as microfluidics and camouflage.”

Other potential usages of the new method include creating surfaces that are self-cleaning and water-repellant, or even as platforms for controlled-release drug-eluting devices.


How’s the weather up there?

November 6, 2011

Or over there – wherever heaven is physically. I asked this question, and got a fascinating answer.

It’s however you want it to be, you just have to go where it is. Snow for skiing? Go to the snowy region. Water skiing? Choose that area instead. Heaven is a big, big place – there’s plenty of room for weather locales.

Weather in heaven doesn’t depend on planet angle, rotation and orbit around the sun. There are no seasons such as here on earth. Instead there are areas designed for cold, for warmth, for every “seasonal” variation human beings could desire. From snorkeling to mountain climbing, trekking across sand dunes to deep sea exploration, there is a region for that.

Why? I wondered. Why even have such locations for winter-like cold or summer heat, spring or fall-like “seasons” (for want of a better word)?

Why have mountains or oceans? Wilderness or rain forests? For all those exist there… Images passed through my mind of lakes and beaches, fishing streams and sand dunes, pine forests and lagoons. Too many pictures to count!

By then I was very curious indeed. Why design and create all this variety?

For our enjoyment. Rest. Recreation. Fellowship. Discovery. Education. Not to mention training. Exercise. Discipline. Teamwork.

We may learn of other reasons once we’re there, but love is the primary one. God loves us and it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom, in its many facets, physical and spiritual.

It was an extraordinary answer to my ordinary question.


Choreographed worship in three dimensions

July 13, 2011

Looking today for a different article, I came across this one that I had not added earlier.

One night in May, 2008 I awoke in the wee hours of the morning worshiping God in my spirit – singing to Him about how wonderful He is, how magnificent, how merciful, how loving, exalting and praising him in poetry set to music.

I could see myself doing this, like watching a television set, as part of a group of worshipers in heaven. But it did not resemble any sort of worship service I’ve ever been a part of or seen in my life!

Some were up high in the room, in rows, some low, every space filled with exquisite movement and sound. You’d think some would crash into others, falling in tangles of arms and feet. But no-one did.

We were singing and dancing as we flew around in perfectly synchronized three-dimensional twirls and swirls and bows and leaps. In my mind’s eye I continued to watch all of this, yet also continued to worship and praise and magnify God myself. It was the most amazing experience.

I enjoyed and participated in this heavenly worship for some time, then fell sound asleep again. The next morning I remembered it all very clearly and wrote it down. I thought about it and prayed, wondering about what I had experienced.

“Remember Esther Williams and her troupe’s synchronized swimming routines in the movies?” the Lord reminded me. They were so graceful and lovely, those three-dimensional movements in the water that are not possible on land. That’s what it was like in that heavenly scene, except without water. Indeed, those graceful 3-D movements were in the atmosphere of heaven, where worshipers are not limited by earth’s gravity.

What an awesome experience this is to look forward to. And what an incredible gift this was, this glimpse of heaven’s worship from our awesome God who is so very worthy of our worship!


If you thought space was empty

February 13, 2011

… think again!

APOD from NASA 12 Feb 2011: Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant
Credit & Copyright: Nobuhiko Miki

It’s easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147.

Also cataloged as Sh2-240 and seen towards the constellation Taurus, it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky. That corresponds to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud’s estimated distance of 3,000 light-years.

The remarkable composite includes image data taken through narrow-band filters to highlight emission from hydrogen and oxygen atoms tracing regions of shocked, glowing gas.

This supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years – meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 40,000 years ago.

But this expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star’s core.