Winston Morales Chavarro is a poet, novelist and journalist born in Neiva Colombia, in 1969. Magister in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar of Quito. He is  a professor at the University of Cartagena. His poetry explores the history of myth and mystery of human life in deep texts formal and expressive depth. In his critical essays seeks to interpret some of the most important poetry of the twentieth century in Latin America, as José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Carlos Obregon César Dávila Andrade and Jaime Sáenz, among others. His writings have been translated partially into French, English and Italian and included in national and International anthologies.





                                            

Books of Winston Morales Chavarro: 

-Aniquirona Poemas (1998)
-La lluvia y el ángl (tres poetas del Huila, 1999)
-Memorias de Alexander de Brucco (2002)
-Dios puso una sonrisa sobre su rostro (2004)
-La ciudad de las piedras que cantan (2011)
-Summa poética: antología personal (2005).



Giselle Marks has written Regency and Georgian romances, poetry, fantasy and a Fantasy/ Sci-fi series with erotic content. Currently Fae Tales and The Fencing Master's Daughter are available from Amazon. The Fencing Master’s Daughter was re-released in August. The Georgian romance The Purchased Peer will be published in the next few weeks.

“Fae Tales” is an anthology of short fae and mystic stories, written with Sarah Waldock. The stories are set contemporaneously and are intended for YA to adult. The first of the Zeninan Saga, Princess of Zenina should follow soon after and The Purchased Peer, a Georgian romance is also close to being released. Her second Regency Romance “The Marquis’ Mistake” will also be re-released in the New Year. Also being prepared for publication are "A Compromised Rake” and the other books in “The Zeninan Saga” (currently consists of twelve books) which are intended to be released in quick succession. She has a long short story entitled King Arthur's Boots in the Nevermore Press anthology, Touched by Shadow Caressed by Light and a regency novella “A Rose by Any Other Name,” in the charity anthology, “The Chocolate House – All for Love.” No decisions have been made about when to start releasing her “Gypsy Countess” series.

A satellite image showing peculiar hexagonal clouds over the ocean area known as the Bermuda Triangle is prompting speculation about whether they may represent a recurring phenomenon responsible for decades of unexplained disappearances in the region.
The photo appeared in the Science Channel's "What on Earth"? series in a recent episode about the Bermuda Triangle, a loosely defined area bound on the west by the tip of Florida, to the south by Puerto Rico and to the north by Bermuda. In the image, oddly shaped cloud networks hovered above the triangle's western tip, off the coast of Florida, over the Bahamas. Seen from above, the clouds appeared to form six-sided outlines, like honeycombs, with hard edges. They range in size from 20 to 55 miles (32 to 89 kilometers) across, according to the Science Channel.
According to the Science Channel, similar cloud formations in the North Sea near the U.K. have been associated with so-called "air bombs" — powerful downdrafts of air that could overpower and destroy ships and airplanes. But even though the clouds over the North Sea and the Bahamas may look the same, they likely have different causes and interact with the ocean below in different ways, experts say. 
The image over the Bahamas was captured in 2002 by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite. The Science channel described the hexagons as measuring approximately 20 to 55 miles across, and invited comparison to an image of a similar cloud configuration 4,500 miles (7,200 km) away, over the North Sea.
Randy Cerveny, a meteorologist at Arizona State University, told the Science Channel that the hexagonal shapes were signatures of "microbursts," rapid and highly focused blasts of downward-moving air that can generate sea-surface winds reaching nearly 100 mph (161 km/h) and ocean waves towering more than 40 feet (12 meters) high — which could certainly wreak havoc on the sea surface and any vessel on or near it.
According to the Science Channel, radar images of the North Sea clouds did reveal underlying wind gusts close to 100 mph. However, the episode did not present any evidence that similar winds battered the Atlantic Ocean under the hexagonal clouds seen over the Bahamas in 2002, saying only that "scientists believe" the same winds existed.
You know this thing newspapers use for reading purpose. It can also use other purposes too as Chie Hitotsuyama, newspapers serve a whole different purpose. You see some amazing things below, the Japanese artist doesn’t use them to catch up on the sport and gossip. She turns them into incredibly realistic animal sculptures instead.

She knows something adorable how to use newspapers, She makes tits bits things from them. As wetting, rolling, binding and twisting the pieces and all process is done with hands. She creates manifest pieces of art with these newspapers, It looks very unbelievable.  




Ancient Egypt -- a land of mysteries. No other civilization has so captured the imagination of scholars and laypeople alike. Mystery surrounds its origins, its religion and its monumental architecture: colossal temples, pyramids and the enormous Sphinx. The Egyptian pyramids are the most famous of all the ancient monuments, the only remaining wonder of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
It’s widely known that one of the main characteristics of Egyptian art, construction and culture is the persistent appearance of symmetry. Everything is exactly symmetrical on both sides, and this does not exclude the construction of pyramids. In fact, the Great Pyramid is located at the exact center of the Earth, and it points True North more accurately than any other structure ever built before or since then. What was the significance of this? What kind of energy were they trying to channel, what knowledge was behind this?
Just as life arose from the waters, the seeds of civilization were first sown along the banks of the Nile. This mighty river, which flows north from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea, nourished the growth of the pharaonic kingdom. The long, narrow flood plain was a magnet for life, attracting people, animals and plants to its banks. In pre-dynastic times, nomadic hunters settled in the valley and began to grow crops to supplement their food supply. Seen as a gift from the gods, the annual flooding of the river deposited nutrient-rich silt over the land, creating ideal conditions for growing wheat, flax and other crops. The first communal project of this fledgling society was the building of irrigation canals for agricultural purposes.
The sun was a principal deity whose passage across the sky represented the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The pharaohs were seen as gods, divine representatives on earth who, through rituals, ensured the continuation of life. After death, they became immortal, joining the gods in the afterworld.
The Egyptians also believed that the body and soul were important to human existence, in life and in death. Their funerary practices, such as mummification and burial in tombs, were designed to assist the deceased find their way in the afterworld. The tombs were filled with food, tools, domestic wares, treasures -- all the necessities of life -- to ensure the soul's return to the body so that the deceased would live happily ever after.
The most imposing tombs are the famous pyramids, shaped like the sacred mound where the gods first appeared in the creation story. These were incredibly ambitious projects, the largest structures ever built. Their construction was overseen by highly skilled architects and engineers. Paid laborers moved the massive limestone blocks without the use of wheels, horses or iron tools. The conscripts may have been motivated by a deep faith in the divinity of their leaders and a belief in immortality. Perhaps they thought that their contributions would improve their own prospects at the final judgment in the afterworld.
The gigantic pyramids were conspicuous targets for tomb robbers, whose plundering jeopardized the hope for eternal life. Subsequent generations of kings hid their tombs in the Valley of the Kings in an attempt to elude the robbers. In the desert valley near the ancient capital of Thebes, now called Luxor, they prepared their royal tombs by cutting into the side of the mountain. Despite efforts to hide the entrances, thieves managed to find the tombs, pillaging and emptying them of their treasures.
One tomb was spared, however: Tutankhamun's. Although his resting place was disturbed twice by robbers, the entrance was resealed and remained hidden for over 3,000 years. Its discovery by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922 is considered the greatest archaeological find in history. Carter spent the rest of his life working on the tomb, removing its treasures to Cairo, and documenting and studying its contents, including the pharaoh's gold coffins and mask. Tutankhamun's mummy remains in his tomb, the only pharaoh to be left in the Valley of the Kings.
This mystery is a far-fetched theory that is actually quite widely discussed. Chinese, Egyptian, Inca, Mayan, Illyrian, Indonesian and Cambodian ancient civilizations all believed that their God(s) came down from the sky to instruct them to build pyramids, and this instance is even seen in the western religions. But there is a fairly popular theory that it was actually extraterrestrial life that these cultures communicated with. They are, after all, considered the most intelligent people of their time, so it could be that they engaged with possibly even higher intelligence. What kind of communication did they share? Just how much did they know? It’s impossible to tell.

Today, Egyptian archaeologists are still making important discoveries, and the scientific study of royal mummies is shedding new light on the genealogy of the pharaohs. The ongoing deciphering of hieroglyphic writings and research on the life of the peasants are also answering many questions related to the evolution of Egyptian culture. The pharaonic religion gives the impression that the Egyptians were preoccupied with death; however, there are ample indications that they were a happy lot who knew how to enjoy life.

1. They are goal setters

Rich people set goals that make them rich. People don’t become rich by accident. Rich people are very deliberate: they set goals to become rich and they eventually achieve those goals. The act of goal setting itself is a very rewarding exercise because it helps you to see and feel the money you want to have even before you get it.

2. They focus on one thing at a time

A laser beam can cut through very hard objects—it can cut through almost anything, in fact—and this is because of its unusual ability to concentrate all its power on a particular spot on the object until it begins to melt. Rich people are usually like laser beams. They set outrageous goals, but they stay focused on that one goal, directing all their activities and efforts towards achieving that goal until they accomplish it. Average Joes, on the other hand, often have no focus; they just tend to do whatever comes their way and take whatever life hands them. If you want to be rich, be goal oriented and stay focused.

3. They have great respect for time

Brian Tracy said that rich people think in terms of what they earn hourly rather than monthly or annually. Because they think hourly, whenever they are spending time on unproductive activities, they think about how much they are losing with every passing moment. Rich people don’t spend too much time on social media or watching TV. They work around the clock and cannot afford to waste any minute of their day.

4. They spend less than they earn

As simple as this may seem, it is the secret to getting wealthy: always spend less than you earn. The problem with poor-thinking people is they increase their expenses as their income increases. They buy better cars, bigger houses and they remain poor or average. Think about this in terms of percentage; if you want to be rich then follow the motto, “Save 10% of whatever you earn.” But be smart about it. As Warren Buffet said: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” I also advise that you work with a budget and that you keep an income and expenditure statement.

5. They work very hard

Except for people who inherited great riches, I have not seen any lazy rich person. Rich people work very hard and they also work constantly. People that work hard can’t be behind, they are always on top of their profession whether they are business people, self-employed, or even employees. They always do things that ordinary people cannot do.

6. They continually learn and grow

The more you know is the more you earn. Your learning power determines your earning power. As much as it is important to work hard, hard work alone will not make you rich. Before money can be earned, value must be given in return, and the only way to add more value to your clients is by first adding more value to yourself. This can only be done through continuous learning. Make up your mind to develop new skills and gain more experience every day.

7. They keep rich company

Rich people don’t have poor friends. As the old saying goes, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Let me tell you something: you may not have so much money right now, but as long as you keep walking with rich people or those with the potential to become rich, you will someday become very rich yourself.

8. They are persistent

Rich people don’t give up. About 90% of rich people today did not become rich the way they originally thought or intended. They tried, they failed, and they rose up again many times before they eventually succeeded. You may lose a lot of money in the process, but you’ll keep getting better by learning from your mistakes and experiences until you get the financial independence you desire.

9. They take calculated risks

Rich people are fond of taking risks. Once they decide they want to get something, they will give whatever it takes to get it, even if it means risking their lives sometimes. If you want to become rich, don’t be afraid of taking risks. Be bold and courageous, but also be calculative. Know what each decision will cost you and never put all your eggs in one basket.

10. They are generous

Rich people are very generous. If you look at the lives of the richest people in modern history, you will discover that a lot of them are great philanthropists: people like Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, to name a few. Make giving one of your habits today and you will become very rich someday, too.
by Abayomi Jegede
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
Do people treat you unfairly? Have you ever wondered why? Well, we live in a fallen world, and we are all filled with sin. Sin affects our relationships and personality, the way we treat people, and the way they treat us. Yet, even in sin and temperament differences, we have the choice to make a difference and we do that by growing in Christ. So, are you? When we are growing in Him, and producing Fruit and Character that glorifies our Lord, we are exercising the true, important substance of our personality that shows we have been touched by Christ and are able to touch others, too.


Discussion Questions (be honest):

1. What does it mean to be a mature Christian? What are you willing to do about it?
2. Are you an "introvert" (shy person) or an "extrovert" (outgoing person)? What are some of the positive and negative features of each?
3. You were made with a unique personality, formed for the purpose and reason of glorifying Christ. What can you do to learn about your personality and temperament so you can generate more of the "produce" of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:21-22)?
4. How and why is character the most significant aspect of your personality? What can you do to improve your character?

Here are some practical and important "dos" and "don'ts" that I have learned over the years, which can help you determine if you are on the right path with how you are with others!

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you in the process of improving who and how you are. Perhaps, you will see something you had not thought of or have previously considered unimportant. Then, you can identify any flaw in your spiritual walk.
· DO smile; it costs nothing and is always appreciated!
· DON'T ignore people, even when you do not want to talk; be friendly when someone says "Hello!" It is not about how you feel; it is about how you are supposed to be.
· DO make people feel important. Make each person feel that he/she is special and he/she is the most important person around!
· DON'T brag! No one likes a person who is full of self! Be an honest and humble person! It is far better that people find out about your achievements and abilities from sources other than you.
· DO have a sense of humor! Laugh and people will laugh with you; if all you do is cry, you will cry alone!
· DON'T always have problems, troubles, or need help; you will soon find yourself alone! We all have problems and need help; be discerning about knowing when to ask for help and when you are being a pest. The decision is based on whether you are seeking attention or a relationship.
· DO encourage people! Tell others what you like about them, or something they are doing well. Encouragement is the fuel that moves the engine of the church.
· DON'T criticize or cut people down玅including yourself! There is a difference between humbleness and a self-demeaning attitude.
· DO have an interest in many things. Be an interesting person, and people will be interested in you!
· DON'T grab the best, biggest, and most for yourself; give others a break! (unless you are a five-year-old!)
· DO meet strangers, although it may be difficult. You could make a great, new friend by being friendly to someone you do not know! We have to be willing to take risks as well as be discerning.
· DON'T make fun of others when they make a mistake or do something dumb! Be the first one to go to them with encouragement.
· DO help others when they have a problem and share what you have with others! We are to be the people who give attention, not try to take it all of the time.
· DON'T have a bad temper or be an angry person looking for an argument or a fight! Temperance is far better than temper!
· DO look good, clean, neat, and well groomed! It was Benjamin Franklin who said,cleanliness is next to godliness. The theology is off, but the practice will be true.
· DON'T blame others for their mistakes, or worse, for yours! Be a person who takes responsibility, even if it is not your fault.
· DO keep a confidence. If someone tells you something, keep it to yourself; be trustworthy! You will never develop the essential quality of trust if you are a gossiper. There is only one thing that God hates more than gossip, and that is pride, so be on your guard against such actions.
· DON'T be too cool! Cool people are never popular people; they are too cool!
· DO listen and be an encourager! Listening is a sweet fruit that is needed by all. It says that you care, and that others are important.
· DON'T over-correct or micromanage people! Remember to first take the plank out of your own eye.
· DO take a joke and be a good sport! People who are teased a lot usually get that way because they have not learned how to take a joke and they over-react, spurring on the teasing.
· DO remember names! It shows others that they are important. The sweetest sound to someone is his or her own name.
· DON'T be loud and obnoxious!
· DO thank people!
· And always, always operate yourself in the parameters of the Fruit of the Spirit and Love (1 Corinthians 13; Colossians 1; 2 Peter 1:5-7)
Consider how you would like to be treated. You are a friendly person when you can be yourself in the unique and special way that God created you. Be authentic and real. At the same time, be tempered by godly character so the Fruit of the Spirit is real and flowing through you! Taking your cue from Galatians 5:22-25, make sure verses 19-21 do not happen to you!
The key aspect in helping you improve yourself and your personality will be how much time you spend in improving your spiritual life! This is what builds the fullness, character, and love we have been called to produce.

                                                    Thoughts to Consider:

· Understand who Christ is and what He did for you!
· Understand that God loves you and wants your life to have purpose and meaning. God so loved________, that he gave his only Son that when ___________believes in Him, he/she should not perish, but have everlasting life (Insert your name in the blanks). You may ask, If this is true, why is it that not everyone has a happy and meaningful life? It is because most people do not put it into practice!
· Understand that this does not just happen. You have to work at it; you have to grow in your faith and maturity. You cannot do this alone. Allow the Spirit to work in you, and allow others to sharpen you!
When we have a healthy grasp of our redemption and the ways and means of the Gospel working in us, then our self-esteem should be spilling over with Christ-esteem. For Christians, the most significant thing in the universe is who we are to Christ! We should never feel insecure or have a "poor me" attitude when we have Christ in our lives (Matthew 12:33-37; 15: 1-20; Galatians 6: 3-5, 10; James 3:1-12).
Some key ways to improve our personality:
· We commit ourselves to Jesus, who gives us wholeness and character!
· We make sure our personality traits and traditions match up with Scripture!
· We get rid of personality traits and traditions that conflict with Scripture!
· We become increasingly aware that our goal in life is to glorify our Lord!
· We commit to honor our Lord in all that we do玅and that means our actions as well as our words!

When we are doing the above:
· We will realize that His grace is sufficient!
· We will have a thirst for righteousness!
· We will be speaking words that edify others, and bringing Christ glory because those words are attuned to Christian commitment!
· We will be using the resources that our Lord has given us with which to live a triumphant life!
· We will be taking the love and compassion He has given us to help others in need!

Questions to Ask of Yourself (be honest):

1. How do I come across to others?
2. What are the positive aspects of my personality that make people like me?
3. What are the positive aspects of my personality that correspond with the good character found in Scripture?
4. What personality traits do I emulate that may turn people away?
5. What personality traits do I emulate that may correspond to the bad character found in Scripture?
6. Why do certain people not like me? Is it their fault, or does it have something to do with how I come across to them?
7. Do others see me as an attractive person (appealing personality, not looks), so they want to be around me, or do they seek to avoid me?
8. Has there been significant trauma and/or dysfunction in my life that has contributed, in a dysfunctional way, to my personality?
9. What can I do about it?

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

Abigail and Dwayne Shoppa 

Austin, Texas
Ages 29 and 33
Married nine months


Abigail: I never met men through my job (I’m a real estate investor). So instead I had the bad habit of reigniting old relationships, seeing if I could make them work the second time around. In May 2010, my three sisters, with whom I’m very close, and my brother-in-law Chris urged me to try someone new. When I demurred, they insisted on buying me a date at a local bachelor auction for charity. At first, I protested, but eventually I gave in. And once I looked through the online profiles of the men up for grabs, I admitted that a civil engineer named Dwayne looked pretty dreamy. Plus, his bio mentioned that he coached Little League baseball. I love kids.


Dwayne: I had never participated in a date auction before. I only agreed because it was for a good cause—the proceeds were going to breast cancer research.



Abigail: The auction was held at a live-music venue in downtown Austin. When Dwayne came onstage, five other women raised their paddles and started bidding on him, too. My eldest sister, Amanda, 34, can be a little competitive. (Plus, she had had a few drinks.) She was determined to win Dwayne for me at all costs. And she did—for $600.


Dwayne: The lights were so bright onstage, I couldn’t see who was bidding. After it was over, the organizers had me walk through the audience and hand Abby a rose. I thought, What is this beautiful girl doing buying a date?

Abigail: I explained that my sisters had forced me into this and that he didn’t really have to take me out, but Dwayne insisted.

Dwayne: Five days later, we ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We got the world’s fastest waiter, who had us in and out in 45 minutes—it was disappointing. Plus, Abby was very shy and reserved. I thought she was sweet, but in all honesty I didn’t see a second date in our future. Afterward we stopped by a gourmet-cupcake trailer and bumped into a few of Abby’s friends. She loosened up, and that’s when I saw the girl I would fall in love with.

Abigail: I liked that Dwayne was so laid-back. One of our earliest dates was at a baseball field. We just played catch.

Dwayne: A couple of months later, we went to the house of one of Abby’s sisters. When I saw how Abby’s nephew and niece, who were then four and two years old, gravitated to her, I thought: This might be the one.

Abigail: That’s the same time I knew I could marry Dwayne. He was genuinely interested and cared about what these little kids had to say to him. That kindness meant so much to me. Plus, I want children of my own one day.

Dwayne: I had an elaborate plan about how I was going to propose to Abby, but I couldn’t wait. I ended up blurting it out one night after dinner. We married last April, 11 months after we met.

Abigail: I love that helping out with a good cause brought Dwayne and me together. We continue to contribute to organizations that we believe in, like Easter Seals and the March of Dimes. I have to admit, supporting charities has really paid off for us.
What’s Most Important In My Life
Put simply, what is most important in my life is cultivating the ability to help people be happy, and to relieve them of the suffering they experience. My No. 1 aspiration in life is to leave each person I interact with at least a little bit better off than I found them.
Sometimes this means taking a lot of time to help someone. Many times it means simply making eye contact and smiling to others as they walk by.


This effort is so important to me because I have become acutely aware of how much pain I feel when I have done things that contribute to the suffering of other people, and how much joy I feel when I help someone to be happy and/or suffer less.
The ability to help people be happy and suffer less is what I call true love, which I think has three essential components: kindness, compassion, and equanimity.
True Love Is Not a Feeling
Most people refer to love as a feeling. And the word is used equally for people and things, including hamburgers and pizza. We’ve all heard someone say, “I love pizza,” right? I believe that what they’re referring to is not love, but liking someone or something, and/or feeling passion, or desire.
I see love not as a feeling, but as an ability — the ability to respond to people, and all of life, with kindness, compassion, and equanimity.
  • Kindness is the ability and effort to respond to someone in a way that makes them happy.
  • Compassion is the aspiration to understand and help relieve someone of the suffering they experience.
  • Equanimity is the ability to be kind and compassionate to all beings, without bias, whether we like them or not.
Training for True Love
Although there is an almost endless list to the benefits of practicing mindfulness, cultivating true love has been the principal motivation for my practice. The insight that comes from the continued practice of mindfulness — that we are not the ego but that which is aware of the ego — gradually reduces how selfish we are.
True love — kindness, compassion,and equanimity — is the natural result of being less attached to the ego.




The Benefits of True Love
Cultivating true love is probably the most powerful thing we can do to increase our own happiness. 
Arianna Huffington just posted a great article on the abundance of evidence for how true love improves our own life.
In addition to improving our own life, I truly believe that training for true love is the most important thing we can do to “save the world,” to end suffering permanently.
I’ve realized that if I can uproot selfishness in me, I am free from suffering and I realize true love. I can also help others to uproot selfishness, be free of suffering and realize true love. If they can do it, they can help others.
Imagine what the world would be like if everyone was free from selfishness and suffering and capable of true love in each moment. There would be no wars, no one would go without food and shelter, and no one would be lonely in moments of pain.
Aware of the fact that each moment I practice mindfulness is taking us one step closer to a world free of suffering makes each moment of my life feel incredibly meaningful.
What’s most important in your life? How often do you remind yourself of what’s most important?
by Matt Tenney

We invite poets all over the world to be part of our anthology that will be publish by Soflay International Inc. Mexico in Paperback and Kindle version (E - book). For participation please send 2 of your English poems, 2 Pictures and a short biography maximum 10 lines.
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― Toni Morrison
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Once in college I went to a prayer meeting put on by a small evangelical denomination in the rural South. It was the kind of denomination that has a string of adjectives before the word “Baptist” — the kind that you might expect to handle snakes or something.
This particular prayer meeting was at a church member’s home, and I was attending because the objective was to pray for a relative who had recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For most of the evening, the whole thing was a sweet display of the church being the church — we were believing God, loving one another, and begging for a miracle. But then the prayer time ended, and as we looked up at one another, huddled together in this living room, we all felt the awkwardness of trying to transition into regular conversation.
Apparently, though, some felt the awkwardness more than others. Before the little conversations could begin that would subtly dismiss us, a woman, somewhat nervously, addressed the residing pastor with a question. She spoke loudly enough that it sort of 


required everyone to stay put and listen in. That’s when things changed. This sister told a story about her daughter seeing an angel sitting in the top of a tree. The encounter had just happened a few days before. They were driving home from school; the little girl was staring outside the car window; the mom asked what she was looking at; the little girl said she saw an angel in a tree — which all crescendoed with the question: Pastor, why do children see angels in trees?
Do you know why? How would you have responded? The pastor wasn’t sure what to say. I certainly didn’t know the answer.

Our Real Question

Before you dismiss the whole question as backwater, let me remind you, first, that this is not an impossible scene. We are talking about angels here, not leprechauns. Angels are real, and they can, I suppose, if they want, sit in treetops.
Secondly, the real question behind the angel-in-tree question wasn’t born in the boondocks, but is actually as pop-culture as it gets — primetime television popular. It’s a topic that, if you claim to have insider knowledge, creates a surge of fascination. The real question, one that we’ve all wondered, is about how heaven relates to this earth.
If there is a heaven, what does it have to do with me here?Twee
We all want to know, from here, what is that place like? Can we get glimpses of it? Is there more going on around us than crusty, world-enthralled adults can see? How spiritual is everyday reality?
We all have our angel-in-the-tree questions, all of them proxies for the deeper pondering of our hearts. If there is a heaven, what does it have to do with me here?

Yes, Heaven Matters

Let’s get two things clear. Heaven is real, and it’s as relevant to people now as ever. In fact, we might say that it’s actually more relevant now. We’re all looking for a heaven somewhere, and perhaps we’re looking harder today than at any other time.
The very fact that we humans have an incredible capacity for joy, and a simultaneous passion to lasso it, beckons us to dig deep for what it all means. We all want to be happy, but we’re not all sure why? As C.S. Lewis would tell us, which I think bears out after serious investigation, it’s because we were made for another world. We were made for a better world, and we would like to get back there.
But there’s more to our hunt for heaven. We’re all looking for it, but we’ve been told over and over again it’s a myth. The sociological description of this is secularism. It’s that recent phenomenon, according to philosopher Charles Taylor

 when Western thought decided to lop off the idea of transcendence in our popular consciousness. We have this carnivorous craving for depth, for meaning, but we’re told that we’d better find it in the things around us or nowhere at all. As one artist captures it, We are, we are, we are gonna live tonight, like there’s no tomorrow, ‘cause we’re the afterlife. Tragically, this just leaves us to climb the highest mountains, to run through some fields, to throw ourselves headfirst into everything this world has to offer, and still, we haven’t found what we’re looking for.
We might not call it heaven, but that’s what we want. To be sure, we’re a refined people. We’ve got a modern culture here, full of philharmonic orchestras and wearable technology. But when it gets down to the gut of things, we are as primitive as that tribe in the Amazon who talks to the stars at night. Heaven matters to us — always has, always will.

What Is Heaven?

So heaven is real, and heaven is relevant, but before we know what it has to do with us, we should have a better idea of what it actually is.
Sunday School simplicities may have misled us. We don’t actually “go to heaven” bodily — because heaven isn’t like our typical “place” you can go. No spaceship can take you there. Perhaps heaven is better understood as a dimension of reality. The Hebrew imagery of heaven as the sky is a beautiful illustration of something we hardly have categories to describe, and it is just that: imagery.
“God is in the heavens” (Psalm 115:3) doesn’t literally mean that God is in the sky bodily. That is how we try to wrap our words around the fact that God is real and involved, but not here visibly. He is out there, or up there, and by that, we mean that he resides in a dimension of reality outside our own, or something like that.
So much of this has to do with how we conceive of space and time. Theoretical physicists say that there are at least ten dimensions in the universe, possibly eleven. We can perceive three. And the way all these dimensions relate to one another isn’t so much in miles 


and distance, but in space-time overlap. We can see a clue of this in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8). Recall how it works. Jesus doesn’t take Peter, James, and John to a faraway galaxy light years out of sight. They just walk up on a mountain, and here on this earth, Moses and Elijah stepped in to talk to Jesus in his glorified form. For that moment, the curtain was pulled back, as it were, and the heavenly dimension that overlaps with our reality was seen.
Heaven Came Down
As Tim Chester and Jonny Woodrow contend, some of us may need to flip around the way we have conceived of heaven. Rather than think that heaven is the “place” — like all our places — where God stays, we should think of it this way: Wherever the risen Christ is, that is heaven. That is why John’s vision in Revelation has heaven coming here, heralded as, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man” (Revelation 21:1–3). Jesus is now the one who makes “heaven” heaven. He is the one who makes it good and beautiful and desirable. He is the one we want.
So then how does heaven relate to this earth? How does that dimension of reality in which God dwells impact our dimension of reality here? That is the question. That is what we are looking for when we see angels in trees.
Jesus is the answer, first. And then, Christian, you are the answer.
When the Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood (John 1:14), God climatically stepped foot into our dimension of reality. He humbled himself to a body like ours and to the little three dimensions we call normal. God, in the person of Jesus, came into our world, and when he rose from the dead, he sparked the beginning of the day when our world will become his own. That resurrection morning dawned the new creation light that will overcome everything as we know. If heaven and earth overlap as dimensions, on that day, heaven reached its hand into our world and puts its foot in the door. Heaven came then, and eventually it’ll be clear — as clear as a big tree in a garden with birds on its branches (Matthew 13:32).
In the meantime, there is you and me.

There Is Here

After his resurrection, Jesus ascended and took his seat on the heavenly throne. Right now, those who are united to Jesus by faith are spiritually raised and seated with him (Ephesians 2:6). Spiritually speaking, because of our union with Jesus, we inhabit the dimension of reality in which he reigns. We are, in that sense, in heaven with him. And at the same time, we are here. We are breathing the air of this world, listening to the music of this culture, eating the food of this place. So he has sent us his Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is for the church Jesus’s own empowering presence. In a very real sense, we are there with him in heaven, and in a very real sense, he is here with us on earth.
We are physically here, and spiritually — in terms of our true destiny — there. Jesus is physically there, and presently — by his Spirit — here. There is an overlap of heaven and earth in terms of dimensions and history, and Christians are called to live right in the tension.
We are “ambassadors for Christ” — his new-creation representatives in this old-creation  world  (2 Corin5:20).                And when we pray the way he taught us, that God’s kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9–10), 

we know that it must first happen in our own lives — and then throughour own lives. And it’s not as spectacular as we might think. While so many are looking for that rare moment, for that bedazzling glimpse of the other world, the truth is that the other world, in part, is already here. The real miracle isn’t angels in the tops of trees — it’s the miracle of new life at work in us. Until the reality of God’s new creation overwhelms this old one, the way that heaven touches this world now is through his people — by his Spirit, through his people . . . people like you and me.
by  Jonathan Parnell 

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