A “Heavenly” Question about Colors

10 Feb

I never desire to include off-color humor here. I want to bring honor to God and not be crude or distasteful. Today, I’m offering some COLORFUL clean jokes:

Q: Where do crayons go on vacation? … A: Color-ado.

Q: What kind of berry has a coloring book? … A: A crayon-berry.

Q: What happened when the red ship crashed into the blue ship? … A: The crew was marooned.

Ok, that’s enough. Oh, maybe one more… a riddle.

There were four houses on a street. The red house was made from brick. A purple house was made from brick, and the yellow house was also made from brick. What was the greenhouse made from?

A: Glass!

Did you get it right? LOL.

I used to paint, and it was fun to play around with color. I love to fine-tune color selections. So I’m always touched by videos of people who are completely color-blind. But when they wear amazing special glasses, they weep or are so deeply affected when they see the variety of colors they’ve never seen before.

Here is one heartwarming example of two colorblind brothers who see colors correctly for the first time. And here’s another that explains the struggle of the nearly 300 million people—mostly men—who are colorblind.

We do take color for granted.

I’ve long been fascinated by color, which is one reason I was a color consultant for a couple of years. I loved to study the interplay of colors and skin undertones.

But I think my fascination began in high school. One of my favorite classes was chemistry. As we learned about the elements and their atomic numbers, I studied Chromium (Cr), the element with the atomic number 24.  Although silver in appearance, chromium—when used as a catalyst—created Chromium compounds that are highly valued as pigments for their vivid colors.

But that’s getting too technical … let me keep this post simple.

Though I am not colorblind, I think I have not even begun to see the colors the Creator has made. Lately I’ve been astounded by sunsets in California and I’ve posted on Facebook about them. Amazing colors (like the one you see to the right).

That night I said to my husband, “If it’s so beautiful here sometimes, what must heaven be like?”

I have a question for you:

What color do you think of when you think of heaven?

When I think of heaven, I normally think of “streets of gold” and the glory of God—so I tend to think in terms of brilliant yellows.

But there are other colors mentioned in the Bible in regard to heaven.

Yes, there are “WHITE robes” (Revelation 7:13)—garments made white (pure) by being washed in the blood of the Lamb. (Hmmm… let that color picture sink in for a minute!)

We also see the 24 elders in heaven dressed in white clothes with gold crowns (Revelation 4:4), and Jesus said the righteous will wear white clothes (Revelation 3:4-5, 18).

Beyond white, have you ever noticed that GREEN rainbow around God’s throne? (Revelation 4:3)

And consider the vivid JEWEL tones of the great City, “Jerusalem the Holy” (Revelation 21:10, 12, 18-20). To get just a glimpse of that, imagine all the colors on typical Christmas trees. Now multiply that big time. Imagine the joy!

Here’s an interesting one. Consider all the colors of PEOPLE groups in heaven! (Revelation 7:9) As children we likely sang, “Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

But people are many more colors than that! People are snow white, ivory, cream, buttermilk, beige, tan, golden, amber, sepia, chestnut, chocolate, cocoa, onyx, black—and countless other colors.

The variety of people colors is incredible, and all are beautiful. 

The past few years, I’ve watched with interest the “coloring” phenomenon in Bibles and journaling.

Pam Farrel—my co-author of LOL with God—recently co-authored a Bible study with Jean E. Jones. The book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, includes a creative artistic aspect. Pam says she colors and draws when she studies scripture, and especially when she memorizes scriptures, because the colors help her “remember.” In other words, they make a big impression in her brain.

Something I’ve only thought about recently: We see colors because we see light. 

The “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeonwrote,

Light is the cause of beauty. That is obvious to you all. Take the light away, and there is no beauty anywhere. The fairest woman charms the eye no more than a heap of ashes when the sun has departed. Your garden may be bright with many colored flowers, but when the sun goes down, you cannot know them from the grass which borders them. You look upon the trees, all fair with the greenness of summer—but when the sun goes down, they are all hung in black.

Without light,” he said, “no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceeds from the pearl. There is nothing of beauty left when light is gone. Light is the mother of beauty. In such sense, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light of Heaven—that is to say, all the beauty of the saints above comes from God incarnate—their excellence, their joy, their triumph, their glory, their ecstatic bliss all spring from Him.” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Lamb—the Light”)

There will be colors in heaven we can’t even begin to  imagine now.

I think of all the colors in my Ultimate Crayon Collection—152 colors! Yet that is a puny representation of all the colors God has created.

One of my favorite Bible teachers was J. Vernon McGee, who is now seeing the beauty of heaven firsthand. He once said in a program on his Through the Bible radio series,

“What a thing of beauty! Varied hues and tints form a galaxy of rainbow colors. … The New Jerusalem is a city of light and a city of color.”  (J. Vernon McGee, “Homesick for Heaven)

Creation began with “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:1-5), and in that light God made it possible for us to see color.

Imagine the unspeakable joy when we live in our perfected bodies in His presence and see the entire spectrum of His colorful creativity.

“…no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what God has ready for those who love the Lord” (2 Cor. 2:9, LB).

Even as people who are colorblind weep when they see colors for the first time, don’t you think we will weep tears of joy when we see the colors of heaven?

Go outside and take in some of the loveliness of God’s creation today.

All graphics, except sunset, adapted and courtesy of Pixabay.


A Weird Christmas Legacy—and a Spiritual One

16 Dec

I thought it was fake Christmas news—a hoax. It turns out, it was “false” teeth news … along with a glass eye!

Phil Luciano, a columnist for the Peoria Journal Star, wrote recently about a dead grandpa’s false teeth and glass eye—handed over to his step-grandchildren after his death—that are re-gifted by family members in a shocking, odd Christmas tradition.

Early on, they simply re-gifted Ralph Yocum’s teeth and eye. Imagine the recipient’s shock on opening such a gift!

Now family members are more creative. They have repackaging the human remains in a snow globe, placed it in soap for a unique soap-on-a rope, inserted it in a gumball machine with gumballs, attached them to wind chimes, and even stuffed them into a cosmetically-altered “Tickle Me Elmo” doll.

Though weird, the legend of the teeth and eye continues.

It’s a family legacy that keeps old Ralph’s memory alive.

My writer friend, Kathy Howard,* has odd family heirlooms too:   her great-grandfather’s dental bridge, and a jar with her mom’s gallstones from surgery in the 1970s!

My husband’s family has a strange family legacy that makes all of us laugh. We pass along an old, gold-painted “pee pot” to family members on special occasions. It evokes memories of years of vacation traveling when Bob and his siblings needed “to go,” but their dad didn’t want to stop to find a bathroom! (Hence, the “pee pot.”)

But on a more serious note, family legacies are often opportunities to pass something treasured down through the generations.

A few years ago, Kathy—who I mentioned above—wrote about ways to pass down a spiritual legacy. She encouraged people, using principles from Deuteronomy 6:1-9, to do four things.

Let me summarize her four points here:

1. Start with Yourself.

Be a living demonstration of the truth of scripture and authentic faith.

Don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your kids!

2. Give Them God’s Word. 

Purposefully share scripture in a variety of ways and in various circumstances.

3. Tell Your Family Stories.

Share what God has done for you and your family. “Weave them into the fabric of your family history,” Kathy wrote. “Don’t let yourself or your children forget!”

4. Stand Firm in Shaky Times.

Stand firm because “an unshakable faith in shaky times is the most effective testimony you can give your children,” Kathy said.

That kind of legacy will be meaningful because it will impact the next generation. It has the potential to instill faith in Christ and keep His memory “alive” in our families and homes.

It’s a lot more powerful and life changing than a snow globe filled with grandpa’s teeth and eye!

– Dawn

* Kathy Howard wrote Unshakable Faith: 8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living, which I highly recommend! Her blog is here.




Chocolate-Covered, Grace-Covered

25 Nov

One of the funniest people I know is Rhonda Rhea—author, humor columnist, TV personality and quirky-wise pastor’s wife. I decided as a change of pace to feature her here, in this “Christmas is coming” fun post.

Enjoy . . . 

I never cease to be amazed—and pretty thrilled—at the new things people come up with to cover with chocolate each year.

We’re relatively in the neighborhood of “National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day.” December 16th. Oh my. That seems like such a great idea.

I highly—yea, emphatically—support chocolate coverings for the food beauty treatments they are.

But some of these people have gone and made it weird.

Chocolate-covered bacon. What?

Eat your bacon. It’s good.

Then eat your chocolate. That’s even better.

There’s an order to these things.

Chocolate-covered beef jerky? Chocolate-covered pickles? Chocolate-covered onions? Chocolate-covered squid?

Come on. Why would any of those ever be a thing?

Just because there’s no law against it, that does not make it okay, people.

In my book, all those ideas are terrible wastes of good chocolate and should be punishable by…well, maybe by making the people who came up with them actually eat them.

All of us in general are pretty good at coming up with bad ideas—everything that’s wrong for us. The curse of sin does that.

How amazing it is that Jesus can change our sin condition. He exchanges our sin for His own righteousness. And then He keeps working on us and in us even after that.

Jesus gives us a new “wanter.”

Paul said in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose,” (HCSB).

Jesus has us “covered,” in the best way, when it comes to both the ability to do the work we’re called to do, and then the desire to do it. By His grace, He’s the One at work inside us by the indwelling presence and power of His Holy Spirit. And He’s the One who causes our lives to be sweet. Fruitful.

Covered with His delicious purposes.

I think Joseph was a man who wanted to accomplish the purposes of God in His life. What a kick in the gut it must’ve been for him when he found that the girl he was to marry was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his. Under Jewish law, he had every right to make her humiliation public and have her stoned.

But Matthew 1:19 tells us that Joseph was a “righteous man.”

I picture a heartbroken Joseph tossing and turning, then slipping off into a troubled sleep. But what a wake-up call! It was a stunning message from an angel in a dream.

The angel told Joseph that it was okay to take Mary as his wife and that her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would be the Savior!

So what did Joseph do? He woke up from his dream and he did exactly what he was told.

I wonder if he ever even stopped to think about what he “wanted” to do. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find out that God had already tweaked his “wanter.” Joseph wanted to honor God’s plan.

O Lord, by Your Spirit, help us to ever want what You want. Let us respond to You with unhesitating obedience.

No ifs. No maybes. No sugar-coating.

And, dare I say it? Probably not even any chocolate-coating.

 – Recipe for Chocolate Covered Bacon Skewers (and source for photo) is available here.

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