Archive for April, 2009

Truth in a Dream…

Sometimes dreams can be so confusing and so chaotic that at times they seem like nothing.  Then there are other times when they are so vivid and real that we become lost in a mix of reality.  Dreams are said to be our unconscious minds trying to tell our conscious something about ourselves that cannot be put into words.  i believe that, at times, dreams are just dreams but there are a few cases where dreams are things that God has placed on our minds.

A few months ago, Febuary at some point, i had a dream that was so vivid, i still remember it today.  I woke up, and fearing that it would slip from my grasps of memory, i jumped out of bed and attempted to capture it on the page.  these following words cannot and will never stand up to the images that are burned into my mind. 

———————————————-

It was weird. There’s an old story of this mountain that is inhabited by a god or demon, and no one ever made it the whole way up without being forced to turn back for fear of death. But in my dream, the group of us decided to go up to prove that God could over come superstition and the ‘pagan’ god that inhabited the mountain.

Well, part of the journey (or actually the whole thing) you have to carry up this log. Something about killing the spirit by placing what looked like a cross on its head.

As we approached the base of the mountain, we were met by a group of monks praying at the gates that led up the trail. They told us to turn back, we were too young, too brash, too brave, that we would die. And we ran past them.

So we start out by just charging in and picking up this log. All of us (don’t know how many of us there were) but we cant get it through the gate due to the fact that the lof is huge and it is heavy and it is just awkward.

So, with me standing off to the side, the group leans it up against some rocks, starts praying and starts taking chalk, pastels, pens and pencils and writing and carving all over this piece of wood. And I feel alone because I am not taking part.

So one to the girls turns and smiles, inviting me up to write a prayer before the journey, and I go to write “Thank you for all the people you have placed in my life” But all I can get out before they start taking it down to start up the path is a very rough “Thanks”.

So we start out down this trail, all of us carrying this huge cross type log, running at breakneck speed. There is someone ahead of us that we are following, and I am in the front, leading all the rest of the group after this person. All along the road, there were signs that held paintings of demons and told all to turn back, but eventually they began to fade.

One by one people begin dropping off from the cross, but it isn’t getting any heavier, till finally, I take a wrong turn at a fork in the road (actually it was the choice to follow a bridge over a river-marsh-thing or off the side of the bank). I went towards the bridge until I realized the only other guy carrying the cross was stopping.

With that he turned, forcing me to let go of the cross, and said “Follow me” then took off slowly down the bank of the marsh. It was weird, because as he walked ahead of us, the log didn’t look as big as we imagined it before.

Eventually we had to start wading across the water, and it came up to my armpits, but I continued to follow that man carrying the cross by himself, but continued to fall behind with the rest of the group.

Then, some one started saying we should turn back, find another way. There was too much danger. I saw a alligator head come up from the water and I began to back off. I realized that I couldn’t see, it started to go dark, and started to panic, but the girl that smiled at me, inviting me up to the cross to write “Thanks”, grabbed my hand and began pulling me through the water.

The only thing I saw was a flame that broke through the complete black, that blinded me even more than the present darkness, as she pulled me through the danger, after the man with the cross.

As we both came out of the water on the other side of the bank, we both collapsed, my sight came back and I saw that where I saw the flame, she had a tattoo that was in memory of a child that had cancer. She said that that child had been her, and the medical world had told her there was no hope, but God was there. And God had granted her the chance to bring yet another life into the world.

She told me, what I saw was the hope that I carried within myself. The very hope that was darkened out by the world around us. And as we sat there on the bank, I felt comfort, not because someone else was there in the darkness that surrounded us, but because I was there comforting her.

 

———————————————-

I wrote this within minutes of waking up, and i still remember it vividly, just like i woke up seconds ago.   What it means, i’m still trying to figure it all out, but i know that God revealed some amazing things to me through this dream, and i am changed because of it. 

I post it because it is part of my journey, and throughout the following months i will be refering to it as i try to put thoughts into words.  Eventually, i hope to share what God has revealed to me through this dreams in words that are not allways images, but explinations of life.

God Bless and PEACE

Advertisements

Frustration…

Sometimes arguing faith and beliefs with people can feel like smashing your head against a brick wall.  Over and over and over again. 

I find that some of the hardest people to reach are those that are close to us.  Those people we dont want to offend because we fear the reprecussions of our actions and our words.  We dont want them to get angry with us because we value the friendship that has formed. 

We dont want to say things that will hurt those close to us, but sometimes it is those words that need to be said the most. 

I have a friend who doesnt want any recognition for her actions because anything good in their life doesnt come from them, but from God.  They cant understand why people constantly give them praise when they dont deserve it, but people dont understand that they want all the praise to be given to God. 

At the time, i didnt have the words to give them.  Everything i said brought up new arguements for some thing or another.  But i was talking to a good friend who brought up a good point.

People who do not have Christ in their hearts will never see Christ in us.  All they will see is our actions that are different from the world.  And in seeing how we act, they will know we are different.  And through this, we can explain why we are different, because we have Christ in our hearts. 

People recognize our actions because the world has not accepted Christ.  With that said, how can they accept our actions, what they percieve with their eyes, as something that didn’t come from us?

What i’m trying to get at is that God wants to use our lives to influence and affect the world around us.  We cannot say that we surrender our lives over to him if we cannot accept the fact that sometimes people will remember us because we were different and through that, God works in their lives. 

Why does it matter if the world remembers our name or not, or recognizes our picture or just see another face in the crowd, if they will always remember how we acted and how we lived with a higher standard of God’s Love.  If remembering our name or face helps them recognize God working through the world, then so be it.  It shouldnt change anything if we have truely surrendered it all to God. 

Just some words for thought…

God Bless and PEACE

The Most Beautiful Praise

Today we celebrated the resurrection of our Christ and Lord, Jesus.  We celebrate Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, in many different forms, from traditional to contemporary, from a scripted procession to a movement of believers.  I was honored to celebrate this Resurrection Sunday with Radius, along side of some amazing people of faith.

As we gathered for the celebration we feasted, remembering the death of Christ, but more importantly, his conquering of the grave.  We celebrated with songs, with baptisms, and with breaking bread with fellow believers. 

One one side of me, as i sat at the table, was the group from the university, all amazing people and great friends, but on the other side of me was a family with two small children and the most adorable little girl.  With most young children, she distracted us college students almost the whole time.  it was amazing. 

As we sang, we stood, praising God’s work in the world and our lives.  One of the little girls (she must of been about 7 or 8, give or take a year or so) from the family beside me decided that she wanted to stand on a chair beside her mother and sing also. 

The thing about little ones is that they dont know if they are in or out of key, and to be frank, they dont care.  That is how this little girl was.  She sung at the top of her little lungs.  It didnt matter that she was out of key (sharp by a long shot) or that she was missing half the words, she was the most beautiful voice of praise that i have heard in a long time.

It was amazing because whe was giving all she had to praise God.  She didnt care about what the world thought of her singing or the fact that someones ear was a little less than two feet from her mouth, she sang with everything she had.

I think at times we forget what it’s like to really praise God with every piece of our broken hearts.  If we are truely praising God for how amazing he is we shouldnt care how the world looks at us.  We shouldnt stop singing because we arnt in tune.  We shouldnt stop dancing becasuse everyone else is still.  We shouldt ignore the Spirit because the world sais so. 

We should take a lesson from the children, and truely give ourselves oveer to God when we worship.

Just a Resurrection Sunday observation…

God Bless and PEACE

Mary’s Little Lamb

This was something that i found through a blog i use for class.  I almost laughed at first, then i realized how true it really was.  Though i think i need a disclaimer: i dont agree with the last statement, telling the %14 to sit down and be quiet… that was a little uncalled for, but it was somebodies oppinion and is to be respected. 

Just think about it.

God Bless and PEACE

Goats and Sheep

the shepherd and the goat” But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goars at his left.  Then the King will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’

“… And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, yuou were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal flame prepared for the Devil and his demons!  For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me.  I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me anything to drink.  I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me no clothing.  I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.'”

Matthew 25:31-34, 40-43

We all like to picture ourselves like the sheep on the right hand side of the Son of Man.  Perfect, white wool drifting in the wind.  Our eyes fixed upon the shepherd, drinking in all that he does as we follow his every footstep. 

In truth, sheep are probably one of the stupidest animals there are.  They are not the pretty white wooled animals that so many artists depict on their shepherds shoulders.  No, sheep are filthy animals, covered in dirt and grime, their wool matted into dreadlocks of knots and tufts of the earth.  They wander astray because they are easilly distracted.  But yet, they are smart enough to listen and pick out the shepherds voice. 

Like sheep, we are not perfect.  At times we feel more like goats than sheep.  Abnoxious and rude.  We are filthy.  Our lives and society are filled with shameful images and thoughts, inapropriate words and curses that defile who we are. 

Sheep, like us, wander far and wide away from the shepherd, getting lost in the wilderness or stuck in a hole that we cant climb out of.  We get surrounded by wolves and fear that we will fall to their fangs.  There is a reason Shepherds carry a hooked staff.  It is the job of the shepherd to look after the sheep.  They are the ones that keep the flock safe. 

With one end of their staff, they hook their sheep to bring them back to the fold of the flock.  They use it to guide and to lead, and to rescue.  When a sheep falls beneath the shepherds grasp, they use their staff to pull the sheep back up to safety. 

On the other end, they use their staff to fight off danger that stalks the flock.  While primitive, it is effective and usefull.  It is their staff and their courage that defends the flock. 

A good shepherd will put their life on the line for their flock, the ultimate sacrifice for something they love and devote their life to.

In every flock of sheep, there is bound to be a couple of goats.  The thing about goats is that they pretend to be sheep.  They follow the crowd, the flock, because that is how they live.  By following where everyone else goes, they survive. 

Sometimes it feels like we are just a bunch of goats.  We do things because we see everyone else doing it.  We are told that if we do this, this, that, this other thing, and then something else we will get to heaven.  We do things to put ourselves on a pediastal, to get ahead of everyone else. 

In reality, we are not living for God or following his voice, we are following the crowds. 

We make excuses not to be the sheep of God’s flock.  We have so much to do.  We need to change.  We need to wash our souls and become clean before we follow a God that loves us. 

We got it wrong.  God doesn’t care that we are covered in dirt and filth.  He puts us on his shoulders anyways and carries us back to the flock.  He accepts us for who we are, with all our faults and failures, because he Loves us. 

God calls us to follow him.  He accepts us because we have been washed by his blood. 

There will always be the goats amid the flock.  There may be some with sheeps clothing, but God will see through their disguise.  He will see their actions and will see their hearts, just as he sees ours. 

In the end, there will be sheep and goats.  There is no middle ground.  No lukewarm.  No middle ground.  Either we are living for God or we are living for the world.  One cannot have two masters. 

The shepherd knows his sheep.  And they know his voice. 

God Bless and PEACE