"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
May 30, 2018
Have you ever had a dream....a dream that you vividly remembered upon awakening....a dream that you knew in your heart had a great significance....a dream that the Holy Spirit revealed what the deeper meaning was....a God-given dream?
Over the past several months, especially the past few weeks and last several days, many people in our church have been given dreams; as well as the interpretation to those dreams. Very powerful dreams, dreams that speak a very clear message.
Throughout the Bible, we read many accounts of people receiving God-given dreams, as well as God-given interpretations. God often speaks to people through dreams; perhaps because that is when they are quiet and He can get their full attention and speak clearly to them through dreams and visions.
In Genesis, God spoke to Joseph through dreams; as well as giving him the interpretation to the dreams of others. Daniel was a man who dreamed dreams and was given interpretations. The prophet, Ezekiel, was given dreams and visions.
The Lord spoke to Joseph, the early man who had the role of raising Jesus, through dreams: first of all in Matthew 1:20 when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream telling him to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because what was conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit and she would give birth to a son and call Him, Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins. An angel of the Lord also appeared to Joseph in dreams at least two more times: once to tell him to take Mary and Jesus and escape to Egypt, and stay there until he was told to leave, for Herod was going to search for the child to kill Him; then later in another dream, telling Joseph that Herod had died, so it was safe to go back to Israel. John, a disciple of Jesus, was given the vision of Revelations while alone on the Isle of Patmos.
These are only a few examples of dreams given to individuals in the Bible.
In Joel 2:28 and also in Acts 2:17 we are told that God will pour out His Spirit on all people. Sons and daughters will prophesy; young men will see visions and old men will dream dreams. Men here meaning mankind.
There have been times when I know immediately upon waking up what the meaning of the dream is. Other times, I feel that the dream has great significance and means something deeper than just being a "I ate too much pizza too late at night" type of dream. I may not know for a while what the meaning of the dream is, but will write it down and pray that the Holy Spirit will either reveal the interpretation to myself or to someone else, if it truly was from God.
I have found that the more I pay attention to those type of dreams, not pushing them aside as being insignificant or invaluable, the clearer those types of dreams become and the more God speaks to me through dreams. When we refuse to pay attention or think that God wouldn't speak to us through our dreams so push them out of our mind, why would He continue to give us dreams? When we have a dream that is clear and one that we remember clearly, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us if He was speaking to us through that dream.
Recently I had a dream that was very clear, and upon awakening, I felt as if it were more than just a normal dream... that it meant something deeper... but I wasn't sure what that was.
Here was my dream: In times past, I have dreamed about a dirt road that veered off to the left right passed where my grandparents lived when I was a child. That particular road has never existed, but it is always the same in my dreams. It is right passed where their house used to sit and veers off to the left. When you start walking up the dirt road, there is a hill that you walk up, then it evens out into a meadow. In my dream, I was walking down that road and in the meadow was a small cabin. I went inside and it looked a big like my parent's bedroom did when I was a kid. There was a bed inside, a chest of drawers, and dresser. Everything was covered in a heavy layer of dust. I looked underneath the things in the room and found old stories and songs that I had written when I was growing up, pictures of my parents that I remembered when I saw it but had forgotten about it, other pictures of relatives, a picture that I had colored when I was a little girl, etc. I didn't go through everything, but piled everything that I found up into a pile so that I could look through it later. It was a huge treasure hunt and I was so excited. I remembered that two of my sisters and I used to walk down to that cabin often, and wondered why we had stopped going there and had left so many treasures behind. Then I remembered, "Oh! It's because the Yokum's started coming down here and drinking, and Daddy was afraid for us to come down here anymore, in case they came where while we were here and hurt us." (The Yokum's really were a family in the area when I was growing up that we were a little afraid of, due to them drinking and being a bit mean and stealing.)
I woke up and felt like the dream meant something, but wasn't sure what. I've thought about it off and on for the past several days, praying about what the meaning might be.
Jon and I were talking about it, and he told me that he felt like he had the interpretation: Jesus said to worship God as little children. As little children (or as new christians), we enjoy coming to God's presence again and again. We don't just go there because we need something, like how we go to work. But we go because we want to be there. Like children going to their grandparents home to play and color pictures, we go to God because we enjoy being there. (Like in my dream where my sisters and I enjoyed going to that cabin and wanted to be there.)
As we grow older, we can become jaded. We remember prayers and dreams that haven't been fulfilled, yet. We let the negative thoughts like disappointment, anger, and doubt to move in. Eventually all those great memories of being in God's presence get covered with dust. (Dream: my sisters and I stopped going to the cabin because of fear of the Yokum's. We were no longer there to keep things pure/clean so everything that was being created there, the things that were precious, became dust-covered and were left behind.)
But we can always go back into God's presence. We can dust off the memories. We can go back again and again. And we don't have to let the disappointment, anger, doubts and other feelings keep us away. (I was able to go back and find those things that were left behind, things that I had thought were lost and were forgotten; and I realized how precious they truly were and wanted to hold onto them and cherish them.)
Back in February I had a dream that I was standing outside at the family home where I grew up at in Missouri. There was an older car sitting in front of the house, where we park when there. The hood was open on the car. My great-niece was standing in front of the car with her back turned to it. I saw this huge yellow snake coming out of the car from inside of the hood. It was about as big around as a softball, and it was at least fifty feet long. I knew that Jaycee didn't know that the snake was there, and that I had to do something so that she wouldn't be harmed. I ran towards the car, without fear, and yelled with authority, "Go! You cannot hurt her and have to leave -- now!" The snake was floating on air -- not slithering on the ground. It changed directions and came out of the car and went down towards the woods.
I believe that the snake represented Satan. We have God-given authority to rebuke Satan, and he has to go. We don't have to fear him or what he can do. We don't have to let him destroy our family, but can command him to leave them alone and not harm them. We are covered by the blood of Jesus and have His authority to tell Satan to go; and we can do it without fear! He may look big and scary, but when we run towards him with the authority that Jesus has given us, he has to flee.
Not all dreams are from God, but I believe that we can discern in our heart to know which ones are and which ones aren't. When God gives us a dream, it will line up with His Word. When we have a dream of our imagination, it may be funny, silly, scary, weird, goofy, etc. But when we have a dream that is anointed by the Holy Spirit and given to us specifically from God, there will be a "knowing" in our heart that this is something that we need to pay heed to. We need to write it down, meditate upon it, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what the interpretation is.
I haven't received any of those dreams like many of the members of our church. But I've been honored to get the interpretation several times. Sometimes I've been slow to share the interpretation because I felt it so quickly and strongly that I just assumed everyone else would understand the same interpretation, and I'd just sound silly sharing it. I might as well stand up and declare, "The lights are on", or "That was a dream."
One of those cases was a dream Loretta had a month or two ago. In the dream, someone had torn up strips of paper with scriptures written on them. He was trying to keep them safely hidden away. I thought the interpretation was too obvious to speak up till later. Besides, I didn't have any clues about the rest of the dream. But that part was to let us know he had broken the word of God, but that he hadn't completely destroyed it. There is still hope, and it could be mended. Maybe the rest of the dream's interpretation will become clear when the time is appropriate.
I've heard people hoping to figure out what gift of the Spirit they have been given, and wanted to figure out if it was interpretation of dreams. I want to say first, that I don't think I specifically have the "gift of interpretation", but have been given a few interpretations from time to time. It was never a voice telling me what to say. It never even felt profound, but just felt right and obvious.
I want to share a caution about interpreting dreams, though. I feel convinced that like many scriptures in the Bible, dreams can have more than one interpretation at the same time. And sometimes the interpretation may come in pieces at different times, as the need arrives. So, if you feel you have an interpretation, but someone else speaks up differently, don't keep quiet. Please share your interpretation, too. Both interpretations may be true, and benefit different people.
(I have not yet tried this recipe, but am anxious to do so!)
1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste
Marinara for dipping
Add vegetable oil to approximately 1/2-inch deep to a skillet; heat to frying temperature.
Slice the mozzarella into 1/4-inch thick slices.
In one bowl, mix 1 cup flour, paprika, and garlic powder together.
In another bowl, mix Panko-style bread crumbs and 1 cup of flour together.
In last bowl, crack egg and lightly mix to combine yoke and white.
For each slice of mozzarella, coat in flour mixture, then dip in egg wash, and then dip into flour/Panko mix.
Lightly fry each slice in the hot oil, using tongs to flip over after 3 minutes. Fry 3 minutes on each side.
Place fried slices on plate and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and Pecorino Romano cheese. Serve with a side of marinara.
The sights and sounds of this time of year bring back a lot of wonderful childhood memories. I remember as a kid running around at night catching lightning bugs and putting them in a jar, with holes poked in the lid. I remember sitting in the yard, looking for 4-leaf clovers. Lying on my back and looking up at the clouds, trying to find what pictures and shapes the clouds made. The smell of lilacs and honeysuckle; the beauty of peonies. Running around barefoot, riding bicycles, sitting out in the front yard while Mama snapped green beans from our garden, and visiting with family in the evenings. Our family would take Sunday afternoon drives, with the car windows rolled down; and kids piling on back of Daddy's truck for a ride. Our home had no air conditioning, so having all the windows and front and back doors opened and the sounds of box fans. Homemade ice cream and watermelon. Ahh.... it was such a great time in my life and I love reminiscing and thinking about how simple life seemed.
Trusting God is a process, not a one-time event.
It's the ongoing journey called life. - Christine Caine
We love you!
Loretta & Jon