Monday, December 5, 2011

Heaven & Hell

"'I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.'"

Ever since i was little, i have struggled with the idea that God created a Hell. If God truly was love, how could he ever send his beloved creations to hell? Especially those, who to us, appear undeserving of such a fate. I recently read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis and i think that what it has to say is important, albeit the fact that it is fiction. Obviously, C.S. Lewis being human, has the same limitations as us in understanding eternity but the proposal of the idea that people choose hell & are not simply damned is an intriguing one. In the book, a young man is walking the abandoned streets of the "grey town" until he finds himself in line for a bus made of light. He meets a great many interesting characters on his way "up". When he arrives, he finds that it is excruciating to walk on the "diamond hard grass" or even to carry a leaf and that he is really an insubstantial being, little more than a ghost. As he explores his new surroundings he witnesses several of his companions on the bus (who are also ghosts) speaking with spirits, or more substantial beings who actually inhabit this beautiful, yet to the ghosts; hurtful land. In almost every case, the ghost and spirit are arguing. The spirit attempts to convince the ghost to stay, while the ghost gives any number of excuses to why he wishes to return to the dreary "grey town". Most of them do return on the bus. After wandering for a great while the main character meets up with the spirit George MacDonald (famous author). George explains to him that for those ghosts who decide to stay, the grey town (or hell) was simply a purgatory; while for those who wish to return, this country was not heaven but simply a Valley of the Shadow of Life. Eventually the main character chooses to remain and with the help of George MacDonald makes the difficult journey to the mountains where he looks upon the face of God. This land is no longer the Valley of the Shadow of Life, but heaven.

Some quotes from the book that impacted me:

Evil can be undone, but it cannot 'develop' into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit.

( The spirit's response to a ghost who says he came on the bus simply to inquire, not for answers because life would be stale if he actually found all the answers)

'Listen!' said the White Spirit. 'Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad you had found them. Become that child again.'

    "Well," says the ghostly ex-cleric, "really, you know, I am not aware of a thirst for some ready-made truth which puts an end to intellectual activity in the way you seem to be describing. Will it leave me the free play of Mind, Dick? I must insist on that, you know."

    "You have gone far wrong," Dick replies, "Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth. What you now call the free play of inquiry has neither more nor less to do with the ends for which intelligence was given you than masturbation has to do with marriage".

Matthew 18:3

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

'Don't you remember on earth- there were things too hot to touch with your finger but you could drink them all right? Shame is like that. If you will accept it-if you will drink the cup to the bottom-you will find it very nourishing: but try to do anything else with it and it scalds.'

'Both processes (process of eternal life) begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there. the Blessed will say "We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven," and the Lost, "We were always in Hell." and both will speak truly'

"Hell is a state of mind-you never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind-is, in the end, Hell. But heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Theology 101

My dad asked me the other night whether God needed our praise. I took a little time to think about it and I'm a little ashamed to say i said yes. I mean, why else would God create us? Of course, i was wrong. Its not to say that God doesn't love us, because he does. It's just that he doesn't need us. God wants us to dedicate our lives to Him, to praise Him and serve him because it is good for us. He has our best interests at heart and what is really good for us is to be his servants. It's hard to grapple with i know, but to live a happy and meaningful life (a.k.a. the American dream) we need to give it up to Him. It sounds so backwards, so against our instincts; give up control? be servants to an "unknown" God? WHAAA? But if you look around it is those who seem to "have it all" that are least satisfied (ex. Kim Kardashian teeheee). So its almost as if we weren't servants; God doesn't need it, we are in a sense doing it for ourselves because by recognizing that God is perfect and deserves our undivided attention we find ourselves. That's how much he loves us . . that his greatest desire is for his creation to be successful and happy. he is not some selfish, conceited, demeaning God (although he has every right to be). He is a God of love and compassion for his children. Adoring God is like medicine, at first its difficult but in the end it is healthy for us. In fact, it can even be addicting but of course that would be an indication of drug abuse and as we all know from Jichael Mackson thats a no no. HA' that was a joke -.- All i am trying to say is that when we love Him and trust Him we are happier people. God knows what He is doing. At first it might seem like an oxyomoron but God created us, he has just a teensy weensy bit more experience. We need to accept as humans that looks can be deceiving and what we perceive as fulfilling isn't always good for us.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Most scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible. But there is something else mysterious about Job. Wait for it . . DINOSAURS ! boom chaka lakaa. I'm telling you; maybe just maybe there is a reference to a dinosaur in Job and his name was Behomoth (I know, wicked name right?). Check it out:

Job 40:15-24
15 “Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
19 It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
20 The hills bring it their produce,
and all the wild animals play nearby.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream surround it.
23 A raging river does not alarm it;
it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
or trap it and pierce its nose?

Notice how it compares Behomoth's tail to a cedar . We know for a fact that cedars were considered very big in the Bible.

Psalms 92:12
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon (would this verse make much sense if it were referring to a small or medium sized tree?)

Other verses are Isaiah 2:13 and 37:24

Honestly i can' think of another animal with a tail that big although other theories include crocodiles and hippopotamuses . But seriously? where is the fun in that ! It's obviously a dinosaur <3


Ok, i have a confession to make. My friend Meagan was talking about the book of Hosea the other day and me in typical Taly fashion pipes up that there is no book called Hosea in the Bible. Of course i was utterly wrong, Gaah ! Isn' t that sad? I've been a believer for how many years? So i read it and it's a pretty crazy book. I mean God commanded a prophet to marry a prostitute ? CRAZY. I also found an book by Francis Rivers called Redeeming Love that is based on Hosea. It's definately not for everyone but it's an interesting read. Just thought I'd let you all know. Oh, and for you information the moral of this story is to actually memorize the books of the Bible in Awana instead of being like me and just repeating them from the top of my head after i had just read the lesson (:

Too cute

I'm not going to lie, i am so jealous of this girl's skills ! Her lisp makes me happy . . i think i am going to start saying "she" instead of sea (:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

4 Truths About Love .

These notes are from Mr. Floyd's sermon in morning chapel on Monday.

1) Love is not emotion, but action.

The word "love" which is thrown about so freely in English, has a special meaning in Hebrew. Love in Hebrew is "Ahava" , which is made up of three basic Hebrew letters, . These three letters actually are broken down into two parts: a two letter base or root, , and the first letter, , which is a modifier. The meaning of the two letter base, , is "to give". The letter "aleph" , which precedes these two letters comes to modify the meaning of the base word, "give". The meaning of , is "I give" and also "love". We now see the connection between the two words, "I give" and "love". Love is giving. Not only is love giving, but the actual process of giving develops the very connection between the giver and the receiver. So when it says in the Bible: Love your enemies, we can see this as not an impossible goal, but an attainable one. The emotion love can't be forced, it can't be mimicked. But if we take the Hebrew meaning of love, we can love our enemies by our actions towards them. To act out of love.

2) Love is not conditional, but unconditional.

The people we most often have disagreements with, are the ones we love the most. Have you ever thought about that? Why is that? It's because we have the security that no matter how much
we mess up or hurt the other person, they will still love us. God's love for us is a perfect example of this. If his love was conditional, how many people would end up in heaven? no one. God wants us to follow his example .We are imperfect beings. We must resolve to try our very hardest to love EVERYONE despite there faults.

3) Love is not manipulation, but humility.

If you truly love me, prove it. If you do this, you will have truly earned my love. LIES. Love should not be under pressure, it should not feel like a requirement. Love is putting other people's desires before your own.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

4) Love is not sex, but service.

Have you ever noticed that in movies married couples are portrayed as never having sex. It's kind of this idea that once your married your life ends. Single people are the ones who have all the dirty fun. The reality is that married people have more sex than single people. Studies have proven it. People nowadays kind of live out the philosophy that women give sex to attain love and men give love to have sex. Extramarital sex is considered normal. Its a self esteem booster, it makes us feel loved or in some cases is used purely for pleasure. Here is the important thing to understand though, love doesn't=sex. Don't get me wrong, sex is a huge part of showing love to your spouse; but it is not the definition of love. There is way more to love than "making love". Love is being a servant to others & to the Lord.