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.


City concept

October 4, 2010

The self-contained city of Masdar (under construction) is a beautiful concept. It reminds me a bit of the city and landscape of heaven. The only problem with building this on earth is SIN. Still, it’s fascinating and intriguing, a place I’d certainly like to tour one day.

In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises
New York Times 27 Sept 2010

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Back in 2007, when the government here announced its plan for “the world’s first zero-carbon city” on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, many Westerners dismissed it as a gimmick — a faddish follow-up to neighboring Dubai’s half-mile-high tower in the desert and archipelago of man-made islands in the shape of palm trees.

Designed by Foster & Partners, a firm known for feats of technological wizardry, the city, called Masdar, would be a perfect square, nearly a mile on each side, raised on a 23-foot-high base to capture desert breezes. Beneath its labyrinth of pedestrian streets, a fleet of driverless electric cars would navigate silently through dimly lit tunnels. The project conjured both a walled medieval fortress and an upgraded version of the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.

Well, those early assessments turned out to be wrong. By this past week, as people began moving into the first section of the project to be completed — a 3 ½-acre zone surrounding a sustainability-oriented research institute — it was clear that Masdar is something more daring and more noxious.

Norman Foster, the firm’s principal partner, has blended high-tech design and ancient construction practices into an intriguing model for a sustainable community, in a country whose oil money allows it to build almost anything, even as pressure grows to prepare for the day the wells run dry. And he has worked in an alluring social vision, in which local tradition and the drive toward modernization are no longer in conflict — a vision that, at first glance, seems to brim with hope.

Click on the link to read entire the article and associated media – fascinating.


Here’s a video aerial fly-through of the city:

Here’s a full-length video with voice narration:


New York, New Jersey, New Earth

June 24, 2010

I was thinking about the verses in Matthew 24 (35), Mark 13 (31) and Luke 21 (33) that I tend to skip over — the ones that say heaven and earth will pass away — when the Holy Spirit said out of the blue, “Think New York.”

I had been thinking about this planet being devastated, the mountains lowered, valleys raised, oceans evaporated, plant and animal life dead and rotted, even the elements melted. And wondering how long it would take to make parts of it habitable again, after Jesus brought us all back again. What a mess to clean up.

I Thessalonians 4:15-17 says those believers still alive when he returns will meet the resurrected dead ones in the sky. Some people believe we’ll all be in heaven for a while after that (7 years, or maybe 3-1/2 years), then be brought back with Jesus after he wins the last big battle with his enemies.

But I wonder about that – why bring the two divisions of Christians together in the air, one being the spirits of deceased believers coming down from heaven to reunite with their reconstructed physical remains, the other being the live believers going to heaven without having to die first?

It makes more sense to me if the two are meeting simply because Jesus is collecting the whole group to move us somewhere safe here on the planet earth. And after that, we’ll have a thousand years to learn how to manage the planet the right way, considering the lousy job human beings have done of that so far.

But those verses about heaven and earth passing away — and II Peter 3:10 about the very elements burning up — is that before or after the thousand years of peace? I haven’t made up my mind about the timetable.

In any case, I have thought all along, whenever I thought about it, that the new heaven (atmosphere, air) and new planet would be located right on top of the old ones. Archeologists often find cities built atop ruins of former cities, sometimes three or four cities deep as they dig. That’s the way I always thought, until the other day.

“Think New York,” he said. Hmmm.

New York was not constructed on top of the old, original York. It’s not even in the same continent. Likewise New Jersey. They are very distant, completely removed from the old country. They were built new, in a new country, on a new continent. A fresh start, just with reminiscent, memorial names.

New Earth. Different solar system? Different galaxy? A city called New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it says in Revelation 21, and settles on New Earth. City… or city-shaped ship…? Headquarters, moving from heaven onto New Earth.

Interesting to think about.


May 14

May 15, 2010

Bertha and Harold Motte with Betty and Harold Jr., Spring 1947.

Daddy died May 14, 1960. It was the night of my Junior-Senior dance at McClenaghan High School. I was a junior, only 16 years old. Daddy died of a heart attack in the night, after I had come home from the dance, told him goodnight and went to bed.

I still miss him, but these days I picture him working on some piece of machinery, a motor or engine, but something far more high-tech than the Singer sewing machines he worked on at home and at Sears, or the airplane engines he worked on in WWII. He was in the Army Air Corps, before the Air Force was made a separate branch.

I can just see my daddy Harold and Tim’s daddy T.C. head to head, collaborating on something or other in a workshop in heaven. T.C. Cox also worked on airplane engines during the war, as a member of the National Guard or Reserves. That home service was mandatory in the war, not voluntary as it is today. They didn’t know each other here on earth, but somehow I’m sure they know each other now.

It has been sixty years now since daddy was transferred from earth to heaven but sometimes it seems like just the other day. I love you, daddy.


Cloud room

March 29, 2010

I asked God a question one night. Are there any other “people” – not human beings, not angels or demons, but some other intelligent species – in heaven? *

I didn’t really expect an answer.

Having read a great deal of science fiction growing up, and now reading about space scientists and astronomers discovering myriads of new galaxies they never suspected before, it seemed illogical to me and to many other people to suppose no other intelligent creatures existed anywhere.

And if they did, in whatever universe or dimension they call home, do they have religions, some version of right and wrong, conscience, awareness of sin or knowledge of God?

“Is that one question or many?” he responded. “Is that a serious question?”

Well, if we can actually discuss this, yes, it is a serious question, I said. If they exist, are some of them in heaven?

“Yes. Next question?”

In a phone conversation recently, my son commented that my descriptions of heaven are all from a physics-physical human viewpoint. Yes, up to now I have limited my descriptions here to the easily describable.

But I do understand why apostles John and Paul and prophet Ezekiel had such trouble describing what they saw and heard. Why some of those things were “unlawful” for them to share with others.

How do you describe a cloud room?

One of my follow-up questions had to do with whether it was possible to interact with non-human species in heaven who do not look, speak, understand, exist, operate, move, breathe — in other words, who do not function in any way, shape or form like human beings.

Angels good and bad are spirit beings who can appear in physical form. They can exist in our dimension, our galaxy, our universe. Sometimes they look like ordinary people. Sometimes they look like scary supernatural creatures, but interaction with them isn’t a problem for human beings.

But suppose an entity moved an inch a year when crossing a room? Or was composed of atoms so far apart that their arm was a thousand miles long and invisible to the human eye? Or their lifespan was a fraction of a second, in human time?

Suppose they had a crystalline structure and looked like a hunk of rock or grain of sand? Or had a plant-like form such as algae, or existed only in liquid or fire?

Suppose when they spoke, even if the language could be translated, the sound resembled the mere memory of an echo?

God didn’t say or show me what any of them looked like or operated like so I have no real idea. But he did tell me that the differences made ordinary interaction impossible, therefore he had created what I call a cloud room.

Now, it’s not an actual cloud or even a room; it’s an inter-dimensional area that somehow obliterates the differences between species and makes communication feasible. Cloud room is the closest I could come to describing that place.

It removes horror, and repugnance, and even morbid curiosity. It suspends the barriers of time and size and space in order that learning can occur. The only reason for its existence is discovery and education, innovation and invention.

He gave me a glimpse of this location, and all I can say is – it was like extremely nearsighted me looking at something or someone at a distance without my glasses. Nothing focuses. Everything’s blurry.

Not everything I have seen and heard of heaven can be described in purely physical, human terms. This is one example, and one reason why I don’t include some other things here. But I thought it was fascinating.


* FYI – I’m not going to argue theological questions this question and answer is bound to raise with some.