Thinking Out Loud

March 16, 2017

Recurring Dreams

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:14 am

I suppose it’s appropriate that a faith-focused blogger should have recurring dreams about the church he attended through his teen years, and a Christian summer camp he worked at in his twenties. My dream rotation isn’t limited to those two themes; last night was the one where I’m back in my parent’s house/neighborhood, and then there are some work-related ones.

The church theme is the one which seems to recur most often. Each time it’s a variance on that church however; things are never exactly as they are in reality. In some the lobby is a cross between an airport terminal and a grand marketplace. The architecture of the place — which in real life is rather bland — is what features; there are very few impressions of the people I knew when I attended there.

The camp dream is similar in the sense it’s more of a presque vu than a déjà vu (and yes, I’m actually using the former incorrectly in terms of its common meaning, but I’m borrowing from an author whose name is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t think of it — an irony in this case.) There are features of the camp property that are similar to its real life situation, but certain factors are rearranged to make the building layout or topography different.

There’s never a nightmarish quality to these, or a message or a lesson. They are simply the ride my subconscious takes me on while I sleep; a movie with no tickets required and no popcorn. In the neighborhood dream last night I am further from home and having to ride my bicycle up a steep hill. Anyone want to have a go with that one? I’m not sure it’s terribly significant. 

Do you have a recurring dream theme? 

Do you look for messages in your dreams?

We have a great article on sleep at C201: 

Three well known Christian publishers have looked at the subject of dreams:

  • Cindy McGill and David Sluka’s What Your Dreams are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep was published in 2013 by Revell, a Baker Publishing Group company.
  • Ira L. Milligan’s Understanding the Dreams You Dream: Biblical Keys for Hearing God’s Voice in the Night was published in 2012 by Destiny Image Publishing, a charismatic publishing company. This theme occurs more frequently in charismatic writing and preaching.
  • Another Charismatic publishing house released Benny Thomas’ Exploring and Interpreting Dreams which was published in 2013 by Whittaker House.

We looked at sleep and dreams a few times here before:




April 6, 2011

Wednesday Link List

I want to do something different this week and begin with a link to a page that contains about a dozen other links.  Last week seven influential pastors gathered together to discuss “the elephant in the room” — several of them actually — at the appropriately titled Elephant Room Conference. Trevin Wax does a subject-by-subject set of links to two other bloggers, Canada’s Chris Vacher and Arizona’s Jake Johnson.  It’s not full transcripts, just what you’d expect to post yourself if you were listening with two ears and typing with two fingers (or thumbs).

The Elephant Room subjects and speakers were:

  • Session 1: Preaching to Build the Attendance vs. Preaching to Build the Attendees
    – Matt Chandler & Steven Furtick
  • Session 2: Culture in the Church vs. Church in the Culture
    – Mark Driscoll & Perry Noble
  • Session 3: Compassion Amplifies the Gospel vs. Compassion Distorts the Gospel
    – Greg Laurie & David Platt
  • Session 4: Unity: Can’t We All Get Along? vs. Discernment: My Way or the Highway
    – Steven Furtick & James MacDonald
  • Session 5: Multi-Site: Personality Cult vs. God’s Greater Glory
    – Perry Noble & Matt Chandler
  • Session 6: Money?
    David Platt & James MacDonald
  • Session 7: Love the Gospel vs. Share the Gospel
    – Greg Laurie & Mark Driscoll

…I know, I know; now you’re curious.  There are a lot of interesting quotations from this one-day conference, which originated at one of the Harvest Bible Chapel locations and was simulcast to 15 U.S. and one Canadian location.  So here again is the magic link.  Also, Zach posted a video clip from the conference yesterday.

And now here’s the rest of this week’s blog connectivity:

  • Yesterday marks one year since the passing of Internet Monk founder Michael Spencer.  His wife Denise shares Michael’s approach to adventure.
  • Tony Campolo suggests to Huffington’s readers that there’s other dynamics at play in the saga that might be called, “The Rise and Fall of the Crystal Cathedral;” dynamics owing to the changing ethnic demographics of Garden Grove, California.
  • Here’s a special link to the first chapter of former Planned Parenthood employee Abby Johnson’s book Unplannedfile opens as .pdf .
  • If your first name is Tim and your second name begins with Ch—, chances are you have a new book about pornography.  First it was Tim Challies, and now Tim Chester.
  • Summer is coming!  If you want to get dirty on the streets of Philadelphia with Shane Claiborne’s Simple Way community, here’s how you connect to attend events.
  • Donald Miller buys a copy of Love Wins online and offers a straight-forward and concise review.
  • For all you worship leaders out there:  Here’s how to tell if you’re a classical music nerd.
  • This one’s from 2007, but our YouTube link this week asks the musical question, “What if Worship was Like an NBA Game?
  • From the blog, Small Steps to Glory, here’s a look at a modern day Goliath (well the height part anyway) which gives some perspective to the “David And” story.
  • At Arthur Sido’s blog this week, I discovered this trailer for an upcoming documentary on the education system, Indoctrination.
  • For all you techies out there, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to broadcast your church services on the internet.
  • 130 Churches in Calgary, Alberta, Canada are coming together to raise $1.5M to reduce the mortgage on a transitional housing facility established in 2009.
  • Proverbs 3 promises us, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid;when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” So then what about those of us who simply don’t get a good night’s sleep.  Ryan rumbles through a topic that I totally identify with.
  • If you find the links I run to religion stories at CNN and USAToday a little too American for you and you’d like to explore stories from the broader world of spiritual interest, here’s the link to the religion page of Reuters News Service.
  • send your own link suggestions by 8:00 PM EST on Monday.
  • Today’s picture:  Songwriter Mandy Thompson cures writer’s block by going analog:

  • I’ve always had a huge interest in the spiritual themes that turn up in the comic pages of the daily newspaper.  Comic writers can say things in ways others cannot.  I’ve used Dennis the Menace — now drawn by Marcus Hamilton — here a few times, with the result that one of the panels now hangs in my office.  Here’s another kids-eye-view of God as only Dennis can see it:

January 15, 2009

Attempts at Prayer at 2:30 AM

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, prayer — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 2:55 pm

I haven’t been sleeping well lately.   I wake up and then have way too much on my mind.   Last night I woke up at 2:30 and all I could think of was an accident that had taken place on Tuesday night, which I had just heard about on Wednesday night,  where two local elementary school teachers had been killed in a collision with a transport truck.   They both left young families behind.

I figured my best response to those thoughts was to pray, but pray for what?   We’d already prayed for the peace and comfort of God to reach into those families, but it was 2:30 AM and I wasn’t thinking clearly.   So I prayed, “God, this is too hard.  Turn back the hands of time to Tuesday and make it so it never happened.”

Of course, you can see a number of problems in that prayer.    First, if anything, it’s probably inspired by the Superman movie where he sets the earth spinning backwards to reverse time.   Secondly, of course, it’s just not a prayer that can be answered.    Nobody can criticize my lack of faith for a request so big, but it’s very misplaced.

I guess what I was really praying at that hour was, “Make it go away.”   Not just the hurt of those two families, but the hurt everywhere; the broken marriages, the people in the U.S. and U.K. getting hit the hardest in the economic slowdown and losing their homes, the hungry and thirsty in the arid parts of Africa, the people dodging the rockets in the middle east.

I refined my prayer to ask that God, in His mercy, would intervene and give protection to those who travel on icy roads this winter; and give a heightened sense of diligence to those who maintain those roads.    “In Jesus name, Amen.”

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