Monday, November 29, 2010

Burying the dead

Dreams are a big deal to me.

Not the pie-in-the-sky ones but the dreams that deliver a message to me when my soul is at rest or even when it’s not.

Not that those ‘other’ dreams aren’t great.  I’m all for dreaming about a home on the beach in Maui or in traveling around the world.  Or what winning the lottery would bring.

After all, dreams are what move us forward.  They keep us progressing.  Looking beyond the here & now to what we could have.  What we want to have.  They give us a vision & help us remain focused on something beautiful that we can hope for.

But the dreams I am writing of are those that keep me focused on heart & soul things.  The ones that, when I close my eyes, give me a specific message as to where my heart is at that time & place or sometimes it’s a message for someone else

If I was writing a book, I could fill every page with things that God has shown me over the past decade.  I don’t remember all my dreams but the ones from Him…..the ones that He sends to me with a message of warning or love or prayer…those stay with me.  (and I’m fairly certain that it isn’t just coincidence)

Few occasions have allowed me to move beyond my own platitudinous.  I have remained in the shallows where it was safer.  More comfortable.  There is less risk of drowning when you only put your feet in.

So I’ve jumped in a few times.  With faith as my life preserver.  I have given others a message.  His words, my tongue.  I would rather drown in someone’s criticism than be disobedient to the One that rules the universe!

Some people may think I am nuts.  Especially the one that didn’t even know me.  I left a message on his voicemail a few years ago.  It makes me laugh to this day just thinking about what he thought when he came to work & got my message about what God had shown me in a dream.  His message for this man that I felt I needed to share.  And the only reason I called him was because the following day after my dream, he was in the check-out line at the grocery store.  (AGAIN, probably NOT a coincidence!!)

My own husband thinks I’m nuts sometimes but he has learned to just go with it.  Because he has seen the Works that God has done.  The messages I have brought to some.  The dreams that have warned me of upcoming storms in my life or in someone else’s.

Last night I had a dream that has stuck with me.  I’ll spare all the details of it but the message to me & maybe to you who reads it (because it’s not coincidence that you are) is that we are serving a dead body.

Jesus instructs us in Luke 17:37 that ‘where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather’.

Vultures feed on the sick & the wounded.  They will wait for other animals to kill & they will come to steal. 

The question remains:  What are we serving? 

Extramarital affairs?
Credit card debt?
Abusive relationships?

What is it that is leaving us lifeless & numb?  What is consuming us that is stealing all of the good & wonderful things that are lying ahead?  God promised us an ABUNDANT life!  What are we allowing into our lives that is taking away from that? 

What we think provides us freedom at times only pulls it’s grip tighter to the chains that keep our souls from True Life! 

We would not allow a thief in our house to take what is precious to us.  Why would we allow an enemy to steal things of value?  But we do.  When we give heart to the things of this world that don’t provide fruit to our soul, that’s exactly what happens. 

Time with our children is snatched up by long hours at work.  Time spent building a solid relationship with your spouse is replaced with being consumed with hours on the internet.  We become insensitive to abundant life all around us when we give in to the temptations of alcohol & drugs. 

We serve other things. 
We 'LOVE' other things. 
A thief waits around the corner every day.
It knows our weaknesses.  

So today, bury the dead. 

Recognize what it is that is that you need to abandon.  Pray for God to show you what is being taken from you.  And delight in the LIFE that will abound.  Invite grace & beauty in & be the only thing that consumes you from now on!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Hope-FULL

I took this photo in my front yard a few weeks ago. 
As the last leaves were falling to the ground & my favorite season comes to a close, it reaffirmed that I need to HOPE in all things, through ALL things….even when winter approaches & bitter cold creeps through the door of my own heart, I need to focus on the things to come & place my hope in Him!

I hope for so many things. 
We all do. 

We hope….
That we make it to work on time.
Get the promotion we have been wanting.
That we don’t get in an accident on the way home.

We hope that our kids are healthy.  Our marriages stable.  Our bank accounts abundant.

I have hoped for second chances.  And I have hoped that I would have a few more seconds.  To say what needed to be said.  To right, wrongs.  To mend hurts. 

I have hoped for things that didn’t mean anything & for a lot of things that have meant everything.

Hope has been shattered at times.  I have had dreams not come true.  I have prayed prayers that didn’t seem to make it quite as far as they needed to go.  They made it, but the One hearing them knew much better than I, what was on the other side.

I have hoped for more money.  More time.  More house.  More shoes.  Less pain.  Less weight.  Less burden. 

I have placed my hope in people.  In paychecks.  In popularity.

I have lost hope.  With a single diagnosis, hope was nowhere to be found. 
With the words ‘there is nothing more we can do’, hope became scarce & the promise of ‘Till death do us part’ rang all too loud in my disbelieving ears.

No matter what the season, what circumstances lay their hefty weight on my shoulders, I will remain full.  Of HOPE!  In Him.  Who gives ALL things.  Abundant blessings in every single thing.  Every storm.  Every bitter cold moment in life.  He is the Hope that needs to fill my heart & YOURS!