Tag Archives: Supernatural

Thoughts on Dreams

I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.
Daniel 8:2 (NIV)

Dreams are an interesting thing. I’ve always been a pretty active dreamer and I can typically remember bits and pieces of my dreams. I also have had recurrent dreams in which I’ve dreamt the same thing before, and I’ have had episodic dreams in which a dream picks up and continues a previous dream. Of course, dreams are weird and most often I recognize that my dreams have connections to things I’ve heard, read, seen or talked about.

On three occasions, I have had a dream that was different than normal. It was spiritual. What I mean by that is I woke up remembering the dream vividly and I was compelled to write it down and/or describe it in detail. The dreams were different, and I knew it in my spirit.

I find it fascinating that in today’s chapter, as well as yesterday’s, Daniel has a strong physical and emotional reaction to the dreams he was given. He knew the dream was meaningful and he was compelled to write it down.

I also find it fascinating that Daniel, after writing down his dream and pulling himself together, “got up and went about the king’s business.”

Once again this morning I’m reminded that it can be tempting to throw oneself down the rabbit-hole of the mystical and supernatural. Yet, Daniel wasn’t trying to have these dreams, and he was fully aware that he had the everyday business of life to attend to. In fact, there’s a sense of him simply letting the dream go and walking away from it once it was recorded.

I find Daniel providing a really good example to follow. He doesn’t ignore the dream, but he also doesn’t obsess about it. He records it and walks away. If it’s something he’s supposed to understand then that will naturally become evident in time. If not, then let it go and leave it to whatever purpose it may serve.

By the way, the vision Daniel had in today’s chapter is an accurate foretelling of the eventual rise of Alexander the Great, the subsequent division of his kingdom among his generals, and the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes who desecrated the Hebrew Temple in Jerusalem and stopped the sacrificial system. The Temple was later reconsecrated and sacrificed resumed as Daniel’s vision predicted.

In the quiet this morning I’m thankful for the mystical and spiritual experiences I’ve occasionally had. At the same time, I’m mindful that I’ve got the King’s business to attend to which is not in the least bit dramatic or supernatural, but just as important in the grand scheme of things. I head out into my week reminded of one of my life verses:

…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Have a great day, my friend.

Miraculous and Monotonous

This is what the Lord says to me:
    “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place.
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
Isaiah 18:4 (NIV)

Our local gathering of Jesus followers recently went through a book called Walls Fall Down by Dudley Rutherford. The subtitle of the book is “7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge.” For those not well versed in their ancient Hebrew history, the battle of Jericho was an unusual event in which the Hebrews marched around the walled city of Jericho, blew their trumpets, gave a shout, and “the walls came a tumblin’ down.”

I had the opportunity to share a couple of the messages from the series. One of the reminders that I gave listeners is that the miraculous events of Jericho happened once. It is an amazing story and there are many worthwhile lessons one can gather from it. Nevertheless, the truth is that it happened just once. Israel didn’t take their Tower of Power horn section on a tour of every city in the land. The other cities of the land would have to be defeated the old-fashioned way.

Along my journey I have witnessed and experienced some amazing things. There have been climactic moments in which God intervened in everyday life in very cool ways. There have been even more moments in which I desperately would have loved for God to intervene, to supernaturally remove the obstacles before me, yet God remained just as the prophet Isaiah described in today’s chapter: quiet, and looking on. I was required to do the heavy lifting, to exercise faith, to learn the hard lessons, to suffer through the hardship.

Some blame God for not making things easier. Some try to package the miraculous into repeatable human formulas and promise that God will topple every wall. Some walk away in anger and resentment at the fact that God toppled walls for some one else, but not for them.

This is part of the journey, and it’s part of the lesson we are required to learn from it as we progress spiritually. Sometimes God acts in amazing ways and climactic events. Often, we are left to the daily slog of faith and the grind of pressing on one step at a time. They are equal parts of the journey and they each have their eternal purposes.

Excuse me while I lace up the hiking boots. It seems I have a long, uninspiring trek ahead of me today. You never know, though. Miraculous things might happen at any moment. Anything can happen.

The Cubs might even win the World Series! 🙂

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Summer Camp Experiences

source: Taylor Vander Well
source: Taylor Vander Well

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Acts 2:43-47 (NRSV)

Many years ago I spent a number of weeks during my summer teaching at a youth camp here in Iowa. Summer camp is always a really fun experience. You get away from daily life and routines. You get to play fun games, run around in nature, make new friends, and have a generally wonderful time together.

During one of these weeks, there was an amazing event that happened which was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. An outpouring of Holy Spirit occurred among a group of junior high kids during evening worship that was reminiscent of the Pentecost event described in today’s chapter.

I would have loved to have stayed at camp and experienced that event over and over and over again. It would have been fun to forget every day life and just stay in that moment, but at the end of the week I had to go home, provide for my family, and move forward in my life journey. I will be forever grateful and forever changed because of what I experienced that week, but it was a special moment for that time and place.

Along the journey I have heard many people bemoan that we do not regularly experience the events like those described in today’s chapter. They are often held as a standard towards which we should strive. While I am certainly not against striving for ideals, I have come to accept that God intercedes in supernatural ways at specific times and places for specific purposes. Mountain top summer camp experiences eventually give way to the valley of daily life. The incredible events of Pentecost would eventually give way to persecution, a scattering of Jesus’ followers, and the overwhelming necessities of managing a daily routine in a rapidly expanding grass roots organization.

Today, I am grateful for the indescribable experience I had that summer at Junior High camp. I am thankful for the things it has taught me and the ways it impacted my life journey. I am also mindful that there is just as much, if not more, spiritual growth and maturity that develops in the mundane disciplines of every day life.

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Tom’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 6

Superfriends
Image by Digital_Rampage via Flickr

If you could possess one supernatural ability, what would it be?

When I first read this question I thought to myself that I’d like the ability to become invisible. But, then I thought about Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. He could become invisible when he put on the ring and look how he turned out. It would probably not be a terribly positive supernatural ability. Too many temptations to use the ability for all the wrong reasons.

Then I thought about flying. Which would be really cool and save me time and gas money (in good weather). But, if I’m the only one who could do it, then it doesn’t profit me much. Think about it. If I wanted to go anywhere with Wendy then she’d have to follow me below in the car like she was the chase vehicle for a hot air balloon and what’s the point of that? Just because I could fly wouldn’t give me the strength I’d need to carry anybody with me over long distances like Superman.

So, I think the supernatural ability to heal others would be my pick. I’d love the ability to instantly make a fractured mind, a diseased body and/or broken spirit whole again. It wouldn’t make me comic book cool. “Healing Man” just doesn’t strike me as bright spandex and cape worthy. Nevertheless, it would make a huge difference in the lives of others.

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