We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

We are always moved deeply when a child is able to do something that usually only an adult can do.  We see it as miraculous and people are always looking for and fascinated by miracles.  It shows us that what the child is doing is truly a gift and not a result of a lifetime of skill building and somehow experiencing a child’s gift puts us in touch with our creator.  This must also have been the case when Jesus taught with authority in the Temple at such a young age.  Consider these things as you watch this video:

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. Henry David Thoreau

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…….

Luke 5:15-16 

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Matthew 1:35
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

“Much of our prayer and worship is within a community.  We sing hymns together. We voice prayers together. We build relationships with fellow believers. Yet sometimes our relationship with God can best be deepened by time spent alone. Some people find solitude more congenial than others.  Not all of us are natural solitaries. But solitude is not yet prayer; it is a way into prayer. Solitude is a door.  When you open the door of solitude, you may find another door behind it.  That is the door of silence. Silence, too, is an environment for prayer. In silence we put ourselves in touch with God and also with our deeper selves.  Thoughts long buried come to the surface.  Long-repressed feelings bubble up. Silence exposes certain issues in our lives, and almost without effort, what is most important comes to the forefront. Now we can place that “most important issue” before God as we pray.”

Doors into Prayer – An Invitation
Emilie Griffin

I have always found it interesting that solitude and quiet is fine for most people until they have to spend it with God.  Once I was having some solitude with God on a two person swing in a garden and I started to pray, but God stopped me and I felt an impression that God just wanted to hang out.  Then it was almost as if I could see God in bodily form in my mind’s eye sitting next to me on the swing.  He was sitting in a casual stance with an arm out across the swing behind my back and He had one leg up.  The thought crossed my mind that this must have been what it was like with He and Adam in the garden of Eden.   It was an awesome thought to me that God just wants to hang out like in the original garden sometimes.  This time with God was not only refreshing but heartwarming.  Did not pray one word.

“‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.”

If Gene Kelly had sung “Singing in sun” and it had been a sunny day in the movie within which he did his dance, it would not have been remotely as effective.  We tend to associate rainy days as something negative.  Something that inhibits our ability to get outside and have fun and be happy.  So to see Gene being so happy in the rain touches something deep inside us and tells us that there is something that makes us so happy that even the rain can’t stop it.  Normally deep puddles are a problem for us and stop us from going where we want to go, but Gene happily dances right through them.  We all want to be that happy.  We want a happiness that rises above a rainy day.  Do you remember why Gene is so happy in the movie?  He is in love. So is love the key to happiness?  Surely not this romantic love because that escapes so many of us.

There are many things in this world that can bring us temporary joy and happiness – sufficient money, business success, good health, loving family, loyal friends. But no worldly thing can bring enduring joy and happiness. We might become poor, fail at business, lose our health, or, by separation or death, lose our spouse or our friends.  So here, in my opinion, lies the key to “dancing in the rain”. Check out this story that someone posted:

“It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.  While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.  I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.  As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.  I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’ He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’  I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, ‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’  True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.   The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.  ‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.'”

So happiness has allot to do with perspective but happiness also has everything to do with the reality of God’s love.  You can find a love with God that can make you dance in the rain.  Find your strongest way of connecting with God and bask in his love.  Here is the link to a test that will help you with that: http://common.northpoint.org/sacredpathway.html

And last but not least, watch Gene Kelly dance and see if you can tap into his happiness and imagine feeling that way about God’s love while you watch.

Dreams……the sleeping kind

Had any good dreams lately?  I have heard some wild dreams from people lately and had a few of my own.  So I felt like it was time to take a good look at what people think they really are.  Of course there are pleasant dreams and day dreams when we are not asleep and then there are nightmares.  Here are the top ten nightmares: being chased; drowning; being trapped; partner leaving you; being injured; teeth falling out; being naked in public; missing a plane, train, etc.; contacted by the dead and natural disasters.  They say that when your nightmares recur over and over that your subconscious is trying to tell you something.  The experts say that nightmares should be welcomed as helpful hints towards a better life.  So what does  God say about dreams and how are they used?

Job 33:15 “In a dream, for instance, a vision at night, when men and women are deep in sleep, fast asleep in their beds—16 God opens their ears and impresses them with warnings 17 To turn them back from something bad they’re planning,
from some reckless choice, 18 And keep them from an early grave,
from the river of no return.”

So a dream is a “vision at night”.  Have you ever had a dream that was very real and you wake up scared or mad or sad and then you realize it was just a dream and then you calm down?

Isaiah 29:8 Like a hungry man dreaming he’s eating steak and wakes up hungry as ever,
Like a thirsty woman dreaming she’s drinking iced tea and wakes up thirsty as ever…”

So apparently we are living things out as if they were real.

Numbers 12:6  Listen carefully to what I’m telling you.
If there is a prophet of God among you,
I make myself known to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.

So God does speak to us in dreams.

Acts 2:16 This is what the prophet Joel announced would happen:17 “In the Last Days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy,
also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams.

Do the old men dreams the dreams because they are old and sleep allot so that is the best way for God to speak with them?  lol

So clearly God speaks using dreams.  But it also seems that not all dreams are from God.  We always need to “test the spirits” of these dreams and not get obsessed with dreams and what they might be saying.  If you have a dream that you think is “saying” something, take it to God like you would anything else and ask about it.  The Holy Spirit will guide you in truth.

Heaven – “We’re All Going to be Like C3PO”

This was a quote by James Choung when recounting what he thinks heaven is like.  Have you ever really thought about what your view of heaven is?  Have you been confused about “GenXers” and “Boomers” and “Millennials” and how they see church and God differently? The following video is an excerpt from a talk given by James Choung explaining Christianity from a generational perspective as well as what the “gospel” actually is and his view on heaven.  Now I caution you that this was videoed by a student with their cell  phone and so it is very shaky.  I would suggest just listening.  So can you effectively tell people what “The Good News” (The Gospel) is?  This will help.