Category Archives: Theology

Sweet Dreams, darling.

 

At the beginning of my super duper’s summer vacation, I was still timid and dreading having to take care of her and her brother for nine of the eleven weeks of vacation.  I dreaded being alone managing two kids and a movement disorder which often relegates me to an easy chair for torturous hours of mind-numbing Daniel Tiger while the dishes pile up and my exhausted husband prepares yet another supper when he’s already devoted himself to 8-10 hours of building engines to feed us.  It was a group that teaches the history and development of dream interpretation in scripture, as well as the Jewish and Christian cultures that depend on those scriptures.

This was exciting for me! When I was in Bible college at Lincoln Christian College, I learned that dreams can be an integral part of missions.  Devout followers of Islam both believe in dream interpretation because it is in Scripture, and desire wholeheartedly to obey the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Those who have ministered in the Islamic world (including some personal friends) have often shared accounts of how folks show up on their doorstep, saying something to the effect of, “I had a dream about some Jesus who said to come ask you about salvation.”  Talk about interesting!  So I very much looked forward to blessing the faith of other believers through dream interpretation.

Now, yes, dreams are an essential part of our bodies’ nightly refreshment, and sometimes they are just a way for our frazzled brains to process the uncertainty and exhaustion of our day.  But, hey, if they can do that, AND bring people to Jesus, I figured, I needed to be able to bring people to understand God’s will through their dreams!  Plus, I feel alone and in need of my Savior sometimes.  I wanted him to talk to me, and I wanted to prove to others that He speaks.  Why not ask God to transform another part of my life, and not just the outward parts that people can see?

This began a journey of faith.  A journey which made me question whether a Christian charging for the services they give others makes them less of a Christian, or a less good Christian.  A journey where I had to ask if it was OK for us to still believe in prophecy.  A journey where I had to trust God to walk into my life if I asked Him to.  A journey where I was told I had given my mouth to speak the words of a demonic plague, and was interfering in the ministry of this group, just as soon as I trusted my leaders.  A journey where my husband was ready to sue the lady who called me Jezebel for psychological distress.  A journey where I decided to ask God to ask how he wanted to cure my psychological distress instead of punishing a well-meaning Christian leader.  A journey where I wanted to scream, “For the umpteenth time, sometimes it’s autism,  not Jezebel!”  A journey where it eventually didn’t matter to me where I was in my purification process, but only that what I see is just scenery on the way to Heaven.  A journey where I learned to fall deeper into a holy love for my accusers (without worshipping them) than ever before… and learned that I can’t wait to release blessing over those I love

In all this, I also still felt that God was calling me to humble myself and submit to my brothers in their weakness so we all might be free.  No, I still don’t think I was trying to hurt their ministry, at least in any conscious way.  But I did see that whatever was going on was a distraction from their hope, and that I have the authority, as a Christian, to interfere in how Satan wanted to do that to them.  I was also constantly reminded– by my love of God, not by any human’s chiding– that Jesus submitted himself to those who were seeking the Father, even to the point of death.  People around me thought I was exhausted and discouraged.  And yes, I sometimes was.  But more than that, I was blessed to realize that something was actually changing and moving towards blessing in my spiritual life for the first time in years!

So I’m going to start sharing this journey.  I’m going to share some temptations.  I’m going to share how I hope to see people blessed.  I’m going to relish the love of my heavenly Father.  I’m going to grow in hope. Watch this space.  God is refining me (–and you too!  Don’t forget!  So, let’s get excited!  xxx)

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Eternity and second chances

Peter, having been called by Jesus personally to be the head Shepherd of the early Christian Church, went away from his crucifixion, denying he’d ever met that man, Jesus Christ.  Hebrews says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (speaking of the dead saints listed in that book.)  Hebrews also warns us that there is only one sacrifice for sins.  It’s done, and it can’t be redone.

In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus says that the angels warned the rich man that there is no way for Lazarus to cross from Heaven into Hell.  “The chasm is too great!”  The parable of the sower talks about the plants that spring up and die.  Some speak of eternal security.  Some talk of universal election.  Some believe that, if Jesus went to preach to the dead, he might still be ministering to convert those who are no longer in body.

Honestly, the older I get, the more I realize how much of our ability to physically think thoughts is dependent on our flesh, the more I hope so.  I have no set theology of what happens between dead and heaven.  I know I am saved now, I know confidently that if Jesus died and rose again (and history says he did) and told us that he’s the only way we’re saved, it still might not be dependent on our ability to say yes.

A cousin grows up homeschooled in a gentle family with a background of missions and leaves for a life without faith and with other genders, other sexual orientations.  A former homeschooler blogs her complicated confidence that there is a saving God out there and her doubt that he planned the conservative culture that frightens her.  An atheist comes to church every Sunday with his wife for the love of the Church but just can’t believe in a God with his science background.

A friend was pre-Christian, raised in the church, who died, saw heaven, and decided to come to faith.  Shining example of Christianity, he is not.  But committed and redeemed and in love with his Savior.  An atheist goes brain dead and has a lovely experience with a girl who leads him through a world where colors fit the Biblical description of vivid reality beyond the dim shadow on Earth.  He returns with confidence in Heaven and God, though no mention is made of his conversion or repentance.

I struggle.  I can’t commune with my daughter on a level I want to.  To tell her that she is loved by Jesus, then ask if she has experienced enough of Him to believe in him.  He has made her and says we need his redemption without fail, no matter who we are.  Despite my missions background I pray that my love may cover her sin like Jesus covers mine.  It is only natural.  I pray for my cousin the same way.  It is only natural… the spirit of God flows through me.  Sure, it’s immature and theologically unsound, but Lord, I am desperate.  So save these precious ones I love.  I trust you, the one who crossed heaven and earth to die and visit the dead, to save us.  So, save us…we need you so completely.