From the back cover
‘Heaven on Earth’ is a layman’s guide to a deeper and more mystical relationship with the one whom some describe as the Ground of all Being. The book starts with a clear explanation of the personality and character of the one we call God; a personality of total self-giving love. It then goes on to explain how this can be seen in all of life around us if we were but to learn to recognise it. The author draws from his own practical experiences of encountering this loving entity within nature and daily life by using his own poetry and stories while quoting from sacred writings. He presents a God who is attractive, trustworthy and is wanting loving union with all people on earth. This book is both comforting and challenging and provides regular interludes for the reader to stop and learn to engage with this Divine Presence for themselves. If you read this book openly and honestly you will not be the same person when you finish. It is inspiring, will help to answer some of our deepest questions and can be life changing.
This is a book to relax with and enjoy, though I couldn’t help but race through it on the first reading. My copy has now become dog-eared with smears of jam and tea stains on its pages through further readings.
The main focus of the book is the personality of God and the relationship that God longs to have with each and every one of us. It speaks of God’s passion and love for us and how He longs for us to gather close to Him. Simon writes with humility about his own experience of God, especially the assurance of His love and he wants us to know that we can share this too.
One of the aspects of the book I especially enjoyed is how Simon finds God in His creation which is all around us. He says:
“The trees now seem to blaze with intensity,
As though each competing to reveal their God,
All wanting to shout the great glad news,
That Christ can be found within each leaf.
The prose is beautiful – the poetry is beautiful. I recently learned that the root of the word ‘enthusiasm’ is ‘en theos’, which means ‘in God’ and I found that Simon’s writing is infused with enthusiasm. This comes across in the personal experiences that he writes about, such as the lessons he learned with his fellow walkers on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. No spoilers here! One of my favourite sections in the book is where Simon describes the woodland as ‘My Cathedral’ :
“The understory of the wood is like thousands of worshippers filling this arena, all with one intent, which is to glorify God. I sense his immediacy as though he is in every tree, bush and twig and is calling out for me to walk further and deeper with him. But then of course he is in every substance of what he has created, so I should not be surprised!”
‘Heaven on Earth’ is a book in which you will read about God’s unconditional love for you, expressed in the person of Christ and His creation – and that means you too. I will close with the author’s words:
“Come alive with seeing God present in all around you and fall in love with him afresh. Allow your divinity to touch and change this world.”
Simon’s blog: https://simonportersblog.wordpress.com/