Sky Links, 8-31

When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better, it was like we had been dreaming. 
-Psalm 126:1

God is a Dreamer

We tend to think linearly, logically; like a + b = c.  Our imaginations push the boundaries of our logical thinking, and dreaming expands our imaginations.  God’s dreams for us are beyond our thinking and even imagining.  A part of ministry, whether discipling, teaching, or preaching; is to encourage or fund God’s dream in people that is beyond what we can see, hear, smell, and taste today.  We only have a hint of it in our imaginations, and can clearly see it in dreams.  The minister’s job, and everyone in Christ is a minister, is to encourage each one into their destiny or dream in God.

One of the primary roles of the preacher/teacher prophet/poet in exilic times is to fund imagination, where we have so compromised our imaginations with the vision of Empire. God’s people need to relearn God’s dreams.. dreams of peace and justice.. and we need to learn to dream together, dreaming about places we can go together that we cannot reach alone. We need to dream about God’s future, not the eternal now of satiation offered by the Empire. -Len Hjalmarson, funding imagination

What every minister, whether they are a preacher, teacher, missionary, or servant evangelist; has in hand or in mind and heart, is the Bible, which is God’s book of dreams.  Ministry is the art of linking God’s dreams for people to their lives, inviting, permissioning, and midwifing the new-birthing.

Dreams of God for you are far greater than the ones you have for yourself, and you are the one that needs to change.It’s time for every one of us in this room to be restored to dreaming. Because it’s a part of God’s nature. It’s a part of God’s abundance, and part of

your inheritance. You cannot get it unless you imagine it, unless you dream it. The Bible is a book about dreams. God encourages us to dream. He makes us dreamers. He speaks to us in dreams and visions. Why? Because its a language beyond logic. God is not reasonable. He is not rational. He is not logical. Read the Bible. Most of the things He did in the Bible are beyond logic and reason. In fact the only time He reasons is when you sin. The rest of time He says ‘don’t lean on your own understanding – trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding me. Trust me.’ He is a dreamer. He is a visionary. The only way you can live successfully in God is to dream and have a vision for your own life that you follow. Something beyond logic, something beyond reason, a move of God beyond dreaming.  –Graham Cooke, (11-08, notes)

The Future of America, The Church, and World Evangelism

Peter Wagner wrote an article called, The America of Tomorrow: How Shall We Pray? He addresses the issues of the future of America, the future of the church, prayer movements, and China’s rise.  It is a very good article from an 82 year old who has been studying the church world-wide and been involved in some of the biggest prayer movements.

We are in the place we are in America, after more prayer than ever before.  America has changed and the world is changing.  God has much change in store for the church in America, that has already begun.

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

Have you ever wondered about this saying of Jesus?  Judas was called by Jesus, but failed.  God calls people all the time, who turn him down.  Katherine Kuhlman said that she believed God had called several people to the ministry that she had, who turned him down, before God called her to it.

Mario Liu wrote about about this issue of “many are called”, with the perspective that God calls many and gets one who truly becomes what they were called to: Many are called few are chosen, and Black Caviar.  God still loves those who don’t follow through, by the way.

Kris Valloton – Five things about the devil:

1- he knows the Bible better than you do and he will use the bible against. It’s called a religious spirit.

2- he loves attention, therefore the greatest weapon we have against him is called “ignore.”

3-He never says, ” I am the devil, I am about to deceive you.” He’s insane but he is not stupid.

4-he has no new ideas, his whole arsenal is rooted in getting you to be afraid. When you fear him, you believe him, and you give him authority in your life that God didn’t give him.

5-contray to popular opinion, he can confirm his false words through other people. So if you get a bad word (thought, dream, vision, etc), he can confirm it through giving other believers the same bad word about you. So if the word has anything to do with; KILL, STEAL, OR DESTROY…you know the origin ….even if there is 10 confirmations. Rebuke it and go on.


Let’s not grumble, like some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer.
-1 Corithians 10:10

Anne Frank said, “I think a lot, but I don’t say much”.  Are you able to control your tongue, or do you grumble?  Jeff, the Scripture Zealot, on the sin of murmuring

Another Dream

Then Joseph had another dream.
-Genesis 37:9

Have you had another dream?

We can have a dream, but we can also have another dream.  Joseph’s second dream built upon the first.  It was a “furthermore” dream.  His first dream described the future in a global aspect, and his second dream described that same future in a personal aspect.

Another dream might be complimentary or different.

We can have another dream, like we have another child.  The second child follows the first, he or she is the first’s sibling, but different.  We can have another dream, just like an author publishing another book.  It’s the same author, and it could deal with the same topic, or be a different topic. 

Life is made up of new days and new seasons.

God created the world in time with cycles and seasons.  Every day is an event with a sunrise and sunset.  In each day or 24 hour period, we need to sleep.  We have morning, afternoon, and night; three thirds of a day.  We sleep about one third of each day.  Days connect into months and months connect into seasons and seasons connect into years and years into decades and decades into lifetimes.  Within this framework that God created, each day is a new day, each season is a new season, each year is a new year, and each decade is a new one.  Within all these cycles there is also new life being birthed and some lives come to an end.  New days, new seasons, new life, renewal; and death.

Seasonal Dreams

A man who was an avid dreamer had boxes filled with notebook journals in which he wrote out all his dreams.  One day, he had another dream.  This new dream pointed his eyes in a whole new direction than most of his previous dreams had.  He was confused.  The old dreams had not yet been fulfilled.  Then he heard God speak, “those were for the last season”.  God might give us dreams that are for a season or destiny dreams for our whole lives.

God stands outside of time, but deals with us in time

We must live in time and outside of time, as spiritual persons having a human experience.  We are fully human with spirits that will live on in heavenly bodies.  Our human existence is completely meaningful, while at the same time, we connect to God through our spirit, who is timeless.  Our spirit, inhabited by God’s Spirit, governs our physical, human, in-time, linear life.  We don’t live above the human in time experience, but live lives of holiness through God’s Spirit in time.

God is non-linear and not logical

God often does not make sense.  God might seem offensive to you.  God might seem to do things out of order.  God might start something new when you don’t think you are ready.  God’s ideas or plans might seem impossible.  There are times when we might say, “now I understand!”  But usually we just grow in love, trust, and obedience to God.

Another Dream For You

You may need another dream to build upon a previous dream, for clarification and confirmation.  You may also need another dream to set you on a new path.  Either way, another dream is a good thing.  Let God speak to you in dreams and visions.

He Had a Dream: Notes From Joseph’s Life

Joseph had a dream… Then Joseph had another dream.  -Genesis 37:5 & 9

Joseph dreamed two big dreams that foretold the future.  He shared his dreams with his brothers.  His brothers already hated him.  Hearing his dreams caused them to hate him more.  His brothers got what the dream meant and didn’t like it.

His brothers were set on killing him.  After one brother intervened on Joseph’s  behalf, his brothers instead sold him for 20 shekels of silver.  Things got a little better when he was placed as a house servant, but then Joseph was falsely accused and went to prison.

Joseph was placed in deplorable, offensive conditions.  Yet, in all his suffering, in all the injustice, we do not have a record of Joseph being bitter, having self-pity, being disabled with depression, or taking offense.  We do know that the Lord was with him in a special way that, showing him loyalty, mercy, and kindness; which gave him favor with some of those around him (Gen. 39:2, 21).

Psalm 105:18-19 tells us: “They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.”

After Joseph’s dream came true and he was reconciled with his brothers, he told them: “You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people, just as he’s doing today.” -Gen. 50:20

Joseph was born into a very special family, special in many ways.  Joseph had 10 older half brothers who had the same dad, Jacob, but different mom’s than Joseph; who’s mom was his dad’s favorite wife, Rachel.  Jacob and Rachel have their own special story or trials and joy in getting together.  Jacob had to wait 14 years to marry Rachel, after falling deeply in love with her, because of the challenges that Rachel’s father, Laban imposed upon them.

When Rachel and Jacob finally got married, they where tried by many years of infertility that was heartbreaking for her.  Finally, Rachel was able to conceive and Joseph was born.  When Joseph was seven, his mom bore another son; but Rachel died during childbirth.  So, Joseph lost his mom when he was only seven.

With this as the back drop, you might not be surprised to learn that Jacob’s favoritism towards Rachel, compared to his several other wives, would be transferred onto Joseph (Gen. 37:3).  Joseph was dad’s favorite and his ten older brothers knew it and hated him for it(Gen 37:4).  Perhaps Jacob was pretty obvious about his favor towards Joseph.  Dad created all the pain and dysfunction by having children with four different ladies, and then treating them differently.

Joseph was put in an awkward position between his dad and brothers (Gen. 37:2) which may have been due to Jacob’s favor on him or his natural gifts and talents in management.  Nevertheless, this triangle was toxic and created an icy silence between the older brothers and dad’s favorite.

It has been estimated that 99% of us come from dysfunctional families.  You may think that your family background disqualifies you from a blessing.  It is not true.  God uses people from every background and from every sort of dysfunctional family.

I went into detail about Joseph’s background to encourage you to understand your background as well.  Knowing our parents’, grandparents’, and great-grandparents’ lives can give us clues as to why our parents and we had issues, dysfunctions, sin-patterns, or addictions.  God has always been there, ready and willing to redeem sin; but we have to interact with him.  You may be the first one or an exception to the rule of growth avoidance in your family.

In this climate of family dysfunction, Joseph shared his dream of domination over them, to them.   Even Jacob was taken aback by the audacity, but Jacob who had his own encounters with  God, bore some sort of witness perhaps that these dreams were of importance (Gen 37:11).

We can learn something from Joseph’s perhaps premature or unwise sharing of his dreams.  On the one hand, keep it to yourself.  Who is safe and unsafe to share your pearl with?  Others, even and especially your own family, may not understand.  Even Jesus had this issue with his immediate family.

Prophetic dreams or words are going to usually be in stark contrast to today’s reality.  God speaks to us in dreams or visions or words about the future and we look a lot better there.  Some or many others don’t like this.  Envy, jealousy, pride, and hate; are where many unsanctified people are at.  You might know the story of the crab that decides to leave the bucket that has no top on it.  As the crab reaches up with his powerful arm, to lift himself up to the rim and escape; another crab notices and pulls him back down.  That is the way it is too often with people. 

But, God used the family dysfunction, the favoritism, the hate, and the evil of a premeditated murder to save the world.  Sounds familiar.  Like it or not, God intervenes into our human drama.  God used Joseph in the context of his dysfunctional family.  This is good news.

We don’t have to cloister ourselves on a holy hilltop retreat to receive a word from God.  Although getting away to seek God and spend time with God is good.  Getting away to hear is a good thing for us all to do, whether it is a prayer closet, special place, or a retreat.

God, being God, can speak to us where we are, in the valley.  This is what God did with Joseph.  He had dreams while sleeping in the midst of his family who were hostile to him.

After Joseph’s dreams, the opposite happened in his life.  Things went from bad to worse when he was falsely accused by his master’s wife.  He went from slave to imprisoned slave.  Joseph was carrying a massive promise, but had to endure a cross.

We all have a cross to bear.  Jesus commands all of us to take up our crosses.  We need to lean in to the pain, the hurt, and the sorrow of our cross and let it do it’s work.

After receiving our prophecy comes a time of development.  Many times we will think the prophecy is declaring, “now this is you”, and we step out and fail.  We are tempted to think we missed it or the person who gave us the word was wrong.

If the word was true, we need development to wear it.  God will take us through years usually of development including “on the job training”.  Some day, in the future, you will realize you are now living the word that seemed impossible at the time it was given.

You will have small and large crosses bear and sacrifices to offer in the time between the times, but God is making and shaping you.  God will refine you.  You will be “baffled to fight better”, as Oswald Chambers titled his only book, on the problem of suffering; after Robert Browning’s poem, Asolando, “Epilogue” (1889):

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.

As illustrated in the book of Job, God never answers the why questions.  We get to know the what.  The what is God loves me and He loves you.  He is worthy to be praised and worshiped no matter what the circumstances.  He is good and kind.

When Joseph might have asked, “why is this happening to me?”, he could have come up with a wrong answer.  When he asked himself, “what am I going to do with it?”, the right answer was, “I am going to let these circumstances God has allowed: train me, develop me, mature me, and prepare me.”  What we do know, is that God was with him and favored him in his circumstances and there was a time until the time of fulfillment.

What are you doing in your time between the times?  Redeem the time.  Make the most of your time, your time in your prison, if that is you.  Time is limited.  Many things are unlimited, but not time.  Many regrets at the end of life involve time, because time is limited.

Lean into God’s loving kindness (Gen. 39:21), his hesed, God’s Covenant Love for you.  Let God develop you as he did Joseph. 

Art Credit: Joseph The Dreamer, Carol Racklin-Siegel

Don’t let him steal it from you

I had a dream that I was in a crowded passenger car with a bunch of men. Suddenly, I felt someone pulling my wallet out of my front pocket where I keep it. I reacted and it was too late, the wallet was gone. I managed to turn around and a there was a man with sunglasses on and facial hair (beard or goatee) and I knew he did it. I grabbed his sleeve and saw a mechanical device that he used to get into my pocket. I began to tell him out loud that I know what he did and that I wanted my wallet back. None of the other men around us seemed to care one way or another. They were oblivious.

I thought of this verse: “After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways!”, 2 Corinithans 2:11

The Greek word translated mischief means “ripped off” or “to defraud”. The enemy tries to steal our joy, our peace, or our faith right from under our noses. The context of Paul’s words are those of restoring the repentant and forgiving them. When we refuse to forgive, restore, and be reconciled to someone who is repenting and asking for forgiveness; then Satan will be able to steal from us and defame us.

It’s the music

I had a dream this morning where I was having a conversation with pastor-teacher-theologian-revivalist who played a key role in my life twenty-one years ago who I greatly respect. I was telling him my story and he kept playing this music sort of in an interrupting way as I continued to share with him, seeking any counsel he might have for me. I asked him what that music was and he said it was “boom”. What does “boom” mean? I don’t know. But what I do believe is that music can be very powerfull.

I think that there is music coming that will be an important way that God will speak to people, drawing them to himself. If you have studied revival history, you will know that music has played an important role.

Let her go to bat

I had a dream this morning that a woman was at bat in a ball game and she hit the ball towards the left field fence where the left fielder was, who fumbled the ball.

Update: The next morning my wife had this dream:

My wife dreamt that she and I were going to switch bodies and roles. She’d be going to my workplace and I would stay home with our eleven kids. She wondered how she would do my job and I told her to tell them that she’d been hit on the head and forgot all I do there and would need to be retrained. She then realized that our eleventh child did not have a name, then chose Kaycey, which I said was fine with me.

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