Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Food For Thought

Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys. - Madeline L'Engle

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. - Ramona C. Carroll

Faith is the quiet cousin of courage. - Judith Hanson Lasater

Faith is confidence in the veracity of what God has said. - Larry Huggins

Faith enables persons to be persons because God is God. - Carter Lindberg

How can one come to possess great faith? Now listen, here is the answer to that: First, the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Faith must grow by soil, moisture, and exercise. - Smith Wigglesworth

Weave in faith and God will find the thread. - Unknown

Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain; and only faith can do it. -Josiah Gilbert Holland

Every encounter is an opportunity to show how true faith is lived out in daily life. - John O. Eby

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe. - Smith Wigglesworth                                     **THIS one is a favorite of mine!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Welcome to the World, Prince George

As nearly everyone who has television, internet, or ready access to newspapers or magazines knows by now, the family royal of the British monarchy welcomed a new member into their folds this week when Kate Middleton and Prince William's adorable little 8lb, 6oz son, whose name had now been released, was born at 4:24 UK time on the 22nd. And the moniker for the little tyke? His Royal Highness George Alexander Louis; His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

The royal baby. Photo from RIA Novosti.

Memorabilia. Photo from baynews9.
 Quite a mouthful, in some ways, isn't it? But it's fitting, too. All bets others have made who have won or lost money aside (a sad state of affairs right there), it was not too surprising, although I had known in my heart Louis would likely be part of his nomen. (It's a Latinate name for Ludwig.) Just not for the reason the Shine! staffer whose article I read - or her source from Nameberry -mentioned. A lovely tribute, though, to a man gone before his time.

An admission I'd like to make, though, is that while I had a sense in the wee hours of last evening that Louis was to be part of this young babe, this young royal's name, part of me secretly hoped either Philip - after his grandfather -  or Edward - a name King James II was highly fond of, and the name of a great uncle - would also be chosen. This was obviously not so, but still... George Alexander Louis is a good chosen name, fit for a king but also wonderful in itself.

In fact, turn it around a little, and it was the name of a fairly famous British author of ESL texts, of all things -  Louis George Alexander.

That George is also the name of the Patron Saint of England is likely no coincidence, in that the royals are finally back on the upswing in popularity in their territories.You can learn a bit about what his life possibly was like, here. (I say possibly due to the fact that little is known of him)

Icon. St. George. St. George Antiocian Orthodox Church.
Your Royal Highness, Prince George... welcome to the world. You've got a big name, and even bigger shoes to potentially fill... but for now, just be the cute little baby people adore and don't worry about your destiny or the dreams others may put on you until you have to!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Food For Thought

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness. - Henry David Thoreau

Love, we say, is life; but love without hope and faith is agonizing death. - Elbert Hubbard

Faith comes alive when the Word read from the page becomes the Word heard in your heart. - Rex Rouis

Faith is believing that God is going to take you places before you even get there. - Matthew Barnett

You get faith by studying the Word. Study that Word until something in you “knows that you know” and that you do not just hope that you know. - Carrie Judd Montgomery

Fear clogs; faith liberates. - Elbert Hubbard

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. - Alexis de Tocqueville

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog. - Corrie ten Boom

Not prayer without faith, nor faith without prayer, but prayer in faith, is the cost of spiritual gifts and graces.- Henry Clay Trumbull

Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. - David S. Muzzey

Sunday, July 21, 2013

So, Tonight, Campmeeting Began...

Tonight was the beginning of Campmeeting, which I've been looking forward to for a while now. But was I there? well... sort of.

I was on premises, to be sure; said some hellos, but was I in service. I must admit, I was not. Instead, I was doing some research on kings, cats, rosaries, saints, and horses. And chatting with a friend of mine some online... getting two sentences of the book I'm working on finished, but that's alright, because once I got research finished, now I can go back over notes, and I alredy have a few more pages done since leaving after 9 this evening.

It didn't hurt my feelings that I was also able to go to The Grotto for a while in the earlier hours; not anything upstairs, at the top of the elevator yet, but a good time on the main level. For those not in the know, it's one of the most gorgeous places I've been to in Oregon. If you're in or will be in Portland, please, check it out. It's really wonderful. I'd wanted to go for years, and just hadn't until now, and am so glad I did WHEN I did.

I started out at church, of course... but one of the people who I was with was having a difficult time with some aspect of what was occurring, and so we meandered our way to The Grotto and I, for one, had a blast. Not only is it beautiful; not only is it breathtakingly awesome in how it is set up, and filled with God's Presence, my feelings weren't hurt in that I was able to do research even while there...

So, tonight was Campmeeting opening. I look forward to a lot of the rest, and to what is in store. And I look forward to what I get written during the week, as well...

You all have a great night!
Harmony

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Photographic Book Recommendations

Outrageous Courage. Kris and Jason Vallatton.
Photos from goodreads.com unless specified.
The Gift in You. Dr. Caroline Leaf.
Who Switched Off My Brain? Dr. Caroline Leaf.
The Happy Intercessor by Beni Johnson
Bill Johnson's Dreaming With God
The Supernatural Power of a
Transformed Mind by Bill Johnson
The Seer, by Jim Goll
Hosting the Presence, Bill Johnson
RC Sproul, Jr's The Call to Wonder
I AM: Inheriting the Fullness of God's Names
John Paul Jackson
Christine Caine's Undaunted
Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
Kevin and Chad Dedmon's The Risk Factor
Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram
Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan
Blessed Be Your Name, by Matt and Beth Redman
Perfect Trust, Charles Swindoll

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

100th Post... of Wing-Wind and Raspberries

So, it's berry-picking season, and, of course, I've been doing my share of picking. This morning was one of those times...

Raspberries this morning. I have been alternating between blueberries and raspberries, and because of the possibility of rain, I was helping someone I know out with getting the raspberries indoors so they wouldn't be ruined.
Representational. From weheartit.com
Now, other kinds of berries have been pretty easy to come by, but it is mostly these two types I have been picking this year, since I know someone who has quite a bit of them. And this morning, as I was picking, the briars plucking at my hair and clothes, I had a somewhat unexpected visitor.

Have you ever had a bird fly so close to you in it's wing-wind gusted right past you... so close you could feel the back-breeze and even, yes, some of the feathers as the bird soared past on the way elsewhere?

Well, this morning, that was part of my experience. And it got me thinking about the interactions between people and nature, and between varying people in life.

I'm pretty used to bees, ladybugs, dragonflies,butterflies, and even a variety of spiders and other creepy-crawly critters as I go berry picking. And I'm even used to birds flitting about. What I'm NOT used to is just how close this bird got, and how unafraid it was.

Squirrels, even chickens, I'm used to having get that close. But I think this may have been a finch. She jetted past so quickly, it was hard to tell for sure.

In the book of Genesis, we were called to cultivate, subdue, and take care of the earth and the animals therein. And that is one of the first things that came to mind once I figured out for sure hat had occurred - three times, this bird whizzed past, closer each time. It was pretty cool!

So, as I picked my raspberries and pondered the wind-wing of a tiny, beautiful bird too fast for me to really see, I began to wonder about other things.

What does being a cultivator and subduer of the earth look like, today?

For one, I believe that means we are to take care of the resources around us. We are to help guide others, but also nature. If we don't take care of it... if we don't take care of others... who will?

And in some ways that is what Journey to a Thousand Voices is for. If I am photographing the world around me, while taking time to listen to the stories of others, in some ways, I am cherishing the resources. I am cultivating relationships which can therein cultivate learning and growth within you, my readers. I am sharing the beauty of the world, which helps me, and therein also my readers... my blog followers... to better appreciate the blessings we have been gifted with that so many of us sometimes take for granted.

So, I will continue to ponder the wing-wing moment of earlier today and what I can learn from it. I will continue to ponder how the world around me... the people around me... all affect one another. We all affect each other, for good or evil. We affect the earth and environment similarly. It is all CHOICE.

My Dream of a Journey

Whether you’re a professor, photographer, pear grower, or porcelain expert… a surgeon or a sturgeon fisherman… Whether you deliver babies, speeches, or pizzas… design homes, hotels, hardware, or hoagie sandwiches… Whether you’re a member of Aerosmith, SixxAM, Audio Adrenaline, Sixpence None the Richer, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, or your local marching band… everyone has a story. So whether you’re passionate about sports, music, entertainment, finances, social services, your church, synagogue, or family, Journey to a Thousand Voices is all about people JUST like you! And it’s FOR people just like you.

Everyone has been through something… a trial of some sort. Everyone has to decide at some point what they truly believe in, and what is important to them. This project, Journey to a Thousand Voices, is all about helping people come to deeper realizations about who they are, Whose they are, and what they believe. It’s about learning from the experiences of others, and how we come to believe what we do. So, whether you have a story of overcoming insurmountable odds, of finding strength in weakness, of coming to a major ah-ha moment in your life… Journey to a Thousand Voices may also be an opportunity for you to share YOUR voice.

Hello there, friends, family, and blog readers from around the globe... as many of you know, my name is Harmony, and I have a dream. It’s a simple yet profound dream, really: travel to spend time with a minimum of 1000 people in as many places as I am able, given resources, to listen to the stories within their hearts. At the same time, I’d like to do some acts of kindness along the way and photograph the Journey, blogging my experience and the takeaways from each conversation. With Journey to a Thousand Voices, it is my goal to really get to listen to the heartbeat of the people, the life stories, the challenges and triumphs, the victories over trials that have tried to wipe us out. 

Tonight, I wanted to tell you a little more about the Journey to a Thousand Voices project I've been asking for help and contributions for. I hope it will clarify a few things and help you, too, become passionate about world change.

My own photo. Lincoln City, OR sunset.
  For those who want to contribute by sharing their story with me, I am honored to be your listener. And I respect whatever level of privacy you request. Some may wish the details of their stories be shared, others may not… and either way, lessons gleaned from a conversation can still be blogged while respecting the people involved. As for photos of those who share their stories, my plan is to capture a few photos of those who are willing, and preview them with you prior to posting them on the blog. As it is my hope to write an autobiography of the Journey afterward, the photos that are accepted for the blog are the only ones I will consider for that, as well.

My goal for this Journey, ultimately, is to visit with and listen to the stories of people in at least 8 states and 4 countries. Capture some amazing photography. Do some random acts of kindness. Make the Journey unforgettable, life-changing, and therefore world changing. With YOUR help, I'll be able to do just that, and you'll have played a part in helping define history fr the next generation to come.

The more I am able to raise, the more diversity there can be, and the more diversity, the more people will be helped in the broader sense. The more diversity there is the more in-tune we can ALL become with what is happening in our world today in the lives of people just like us. What lessons will we learn along the way? How will our beliefs be strengthened or stretched?

People need HOPE. They need to be able to share their experiences in a safe manner, knowing their listener will respect them, no matter what. I believe my quest to begin – and fulfill – Journey to a Thousand Voices is a vehicle for that to occur.

As a Christian, writer, life coach, and photographer, I understand the power of words, of story, of image, and of authenticity – all important aspects of this Journey. I have extensively studied to prepare myself for such an experience, and was inspired to this end while in grad school at Warner Pacific College, where I looked at the intersection of faith, healing, and creativity. I have also been inspired by the lives of many whom I have had the absolute privilege to meet and get to know through my work with women and children who have endured varying crises, and through varying ministry opportunities and experiences. I have a passion for helping people to become the best selves they possibly can be as they overcome obstacles and obstructions of life and walk into their destinies.

My own photo. taken at Oregon coast.

 Will you help me fulfill this Journey? Will you become part of the support team for this endeavor? 

I would greatly appreciate it!  

You might be asking, What's in it for ME?  I'm glad you asked! 

--Follow my journey via a variety of social media outlets.

--Cool postcards and/or photos along the way for those helping fund the project in amounts over $200.

--Big gratitude, e-thanks, handwritten thanks, Facebook updates, and thank yous posted on the blog I will use for this Journey. (That would be THIS blog!)

--Some of you will have the opportunity to become part of the 1000 I talk with for the blog.

--Depending on how much is raised, those who become part of the 1000 will get to meet with me in some pretty special places! And where it is a group meeting, you have the opportunity to be part of group photos for the blog, too.

--For those who would rather not meet in person, there is a ChocolateThanks option, where I send you some pretty fancy chocolate as part of my thanks. There’s also a pretty cool Glittery Thanks option, which has a one of a kind necklace as part of the thank you. 

Why is Journey to a Thousand Voices So Important?

--People can share their stories, which is a cathartic act, leading to healing.


--Readers can follow stories and learn from the lessons of other people's lives.


--Photography of the Journey makes the experience more holistic and fluid. It helps bring the stories to life, while helping others discover the beauty of the world around them.


--Journey to a Thousand Voices is one step in a bigger whole for me. My ultimate goal is to listen to 10,000 stories over the next 10 to 12 years.


--This is a way I can share the unconditional love of Jesus Christ with those around me, no matter who they are, their background, or what they believe.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 tells us that "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. "

This is a way that YOU can be a cheerful giver, and so can I. For out of the giving of many, the giving TO many can become a reality!

Thank you for taking the time to read through this, and for your consideration, prayers, contributions, and passings-along of this project, Journey to a Thousand Voices. May it bless all who help prepare the way, beyond measure!

Food For Thought

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. - Martin Luther

The Christian is a Holy rebel loose in the world with access to the throne of God. Satan never knows from where the danger will come. - A.W. Tozer

I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me. - Hudson Taylor

To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God’s responses. - Charles Stanley

The power of faith will often shine forth the most when the character is naturally weak. - Augustus Hare

Worry is spiritual short sight. Its cure is intelligent faith. - Paul Brunton

Let's have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. - Abraham Lincoln

The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. - Benjamin Franklin

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. - Steve Jobs

Loss of communion is the explanation of most of our failure in spiritual fruit bearing. - Donald Gee

Not So Random Videos: Walk By Faith

Jeremy Camp - Walk By Faith

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Shofar שופר

Hear the sound of trumpets blowing! Hear the sound of shofarot from afar!

It is the call of mystery; the call of mystic experience; the call of God to our hearts and minds that links us to the realm of the supernatural. It is the sound of atonement, and harvest, and jubilee. Some might say it is the very sound of the Spirit of God moving from person to person through the horn of a ram.

There are around 70 mentioned of shofar, often translated trumpet, in the Bible of today. The shofar is mentioned in the Mishna and Talmud, as well as other Hebraic literature, and that is a good guide to help understand what the symbolism of the shofar and it's different sounds are for.

But today, I want to talk not about the history of the shofar as much as its present and future. For I hear the shofar blowing... I hear the Great Tokea (Blaster of the Shofar) from Heaven blasting down the call for worship! Rosh HaShanah... Yom Teruah... is almost here in terms of the year, but I heard the Horn of Heaven blasting...
Found HERE
In a dream not too long ago, I was carried away to the stairway to Heaven at the foot of a piano that was playing some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. It was other-worldly, to say the least. And as I was listening, stairs appeared from the right side of the piano, faint yet very real. On the bottom step were the words EIGHTH NOTE. Each concurrent step had a phrase on it, the next being PRAISE, the next, WORSHIP, the next ANGELIC REALM, and so forth, until I had climbed to about the TWELFTH step. From there, the steps were like crystal etched with jewels and rimmed with gold, but I had slippers on that made it so that I didn't fall on the surface of the stairs. Every single stair had a feather etched into it on the bottom left corner, like an emblem... those with words and those that were silent beauty.

Found HERE
 As I got to about the twentieth stair, the stairway began to shake as a blast from Heaven sounded into the night sky. Some of the stars had assembled to make the railing, and so it shone with the Light of the World onto the stairway as the shofar blew, and blew, and blew. I then heard a Voice from afar saying to keep walking, to make the journey, for the journey was what would change my life.


Walking further, the shofar then began a nine series, and a three series, and more single blasts. i will be the first to admit I don't know enough about the symbology of the series of blasts to know the full intent of this dream in the way someone who grew up Hebrew would... but it has stuck with me.  It was a Tekiah Gedolah (great long blast) , followed by a Teruah (alarm blast series), a Shevarim (series of three), and ending with a regular Tekiah (long blast). As this was happening, feathers of many shades of purple and green, as well as the purest white, in varying sizes began to fall around me, making a blanket around my shoulders - more like a stole, but of feathers, and draping to the ground - and I heard the words, "My angels will surround you. They are there to cover you in their feathers."

weheartitcom
Woman with faux fur stole.
As the feathers surrounded me, I began to hear what I can only call a "holy humming" coming from the stole itself... from the very feathers, the angels, surrounding me, and then I heard one more Tekiah. I paused for a moment to catch my breath because of the immensity, the intensity of the moment, though dreaming, and then continued slowly yet surely up the stairs. As I continued to walk, I noticed the sound of water coming from beneath the stairs. I kept climbing and noticed that water ran underneath them, like a waterfall, and I wondered where it originated from. And there was a rainbow in the water that shone in the light of the star-rail, and the colors within the rainbow were hyperpigmented to a degree like I had never seen before. It was almost as if the rainbow and water were one and the same. It rivuleted and cascaded off the underside of the stairs and I recall that at some point, I could even feel the mist coming off of the fall in the breeze of the heavens as I continued toward Heaven.

weheartit.com
As I was nearing the top, dizzy from the height, the sound, the brightness of color and sensate touch of feathers against my shoulders and trailing to graze my feet, I saw the top of a throne that must have been THE throne, and the waters ran from underneath it in a rainbow of colors, and angels guarded it to the extent that all I could see were His eyes, and though the eyes of a Lion, they were sweet as a Dove's and as innocent as a Lamb's, as loving as a Father's to His child.

Again, I heard the shofar, and it was a great blast, so near me that I thought my eardrums would burst. As it silenced, there was a hush over Heaven, and even the sound of the waters under the throne were silenced though the waters, I saw, still ran. All I could hear was my own heartbeat and I realized it was the first time my heart was beating in a way that felt totally natural.. and as I stood there, looking into the eyes of the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, the Father of Lights, the Spirit of God, I realized my heartbeat was in tune with Heaven. The journey I took was Heaven's treasure, and its heartbeat for my life.

weheartitcom
 "Come, kneel," I heard, and obeyed, trembling. An angel came forward and placed a miniature globe in my hand, and it shrunk to the size of a sweet pea. At first, I could see all the different continents, and then, it was all one.

"Take and eat," the angel said. The eyes behind the wings smiled, and I sensed a nod of encouragement. I obeyed.

"Do you know what you have eaten, and what you have seen here today?"

"I do not, Lord. Please tell me."

'I have placed the world in your mouth as a symbol of life, for I want LIFE to come to the world. The world became one before you because I indent to bring unity and harmony to the world. And you, daughter, are Harmony. I send you into the world on a journey that is meant to unify people for My sake and in My Name."

The angel presented me once more with a gift, and it was a purple scroll, pale in color. He unrolled it, and all I could tell was that it was in Hebrew. I could not read the words, not being a scholar in the arena of the language, though I wish to learn. He told me to carry it, and I asked him where, or how, was I to carry it.

From behind the angels' wings, the Voice of the Lord answered for him, and I heard, "carry it within your heart."

Hebrew scroll. weheartitcom
The angel took it back from my hand and beckoned me forward, telling me to lay down, so I did. I closed my eyes, because I sensed what might be coming next, but could still feel it all the same. What I felt was a burrowing in, a placing of the scroll within me, and my flesh closing back over it. I sensed it travel and find a hiding place within my heart.

It was at that moment I awakened.

Some might be thinking, OK, so you had a cool Technicolor dream of God and music and water and Hebrew language... but it was more than that...

That dream is part of what inspired me to apply for crowdfunding for my project, Journey to a Thousand Voices. That dream... that dream has had the shofar sounding in my spirit ever since. It is a sound I cannot let go of... a sound that hasn't let go of me. That dream has brought me loser to my destiny, heightened my love of Israel and my goals of bringing LIFE and HARMONY to the world for God. That dream restored my soul with its waters, and reminded me of how much God loves me, and loves each and every one. It showed me things I could never begin to explain if i ever tried... I cannot share all I saw and heard because I have no words for some of it, and because some of it has been concealed for days ahead.

Heaven's shofarot are blowing! And they are calling people to worship, to assembly, and to spiritual warfare. They are sounding through the universe from the dimensions of Heaven... from the universe of God's Voice comes a call, and the angels are sounding the shofarot of Heaven loud and clear. The time to arise is upon us. The time to awaken to our destinies is now. And as long as the time is now, it is time to worship the One Who created the heavens and the earth, calling the stars by name and Whose angels protect and surround us, and Whose Spirit is within us to bring us the power, Presence, and reality of Heaven. It is time for earth to begin to resemble Heaven, as we have been called to pray Heaven into the earth, and to walk in Heaven's footsteps here, to listen to Heaven's heartbeat and allow ours to tune in with it so that we can walk fully into the predestined reality of who we have been called to be in Christ Jesus, the Lord.

I hear the shofar calling; I hear Heaven's Great Tokea sounding the shofar. The time is now. It's time to go to the future and bring it back into today, so that tomorrow is as He called it to be...

***For more on dreams and the supernatural, feel free to check out Honeylis Dreaming, one of my other blogs!***

UPDATE 7/16/13-- COME OVER and check out my FUNDRAISER! Journey to a Thousand Voices...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Trayvon Martin Tragedy

So, a little while ago, the verdict for the George Zimmerman trial came in. While I have to say it didn't shock me much that the verdict was not guilty, it most certainly saddens me to no end. Trayvon Martin was a teenager with a lot of life ahead of him when he was about to head into adulthood. He had his issues... we all do. But having issues is no reason to be killed, and neither is being black (or any other nationality or a believer of any particular thought).

Found HERE. Patriotslog.
What gets me is that the jury wanted as clear a definition of manslaughter as possible prior to giving their verdict. I must admit, I'd want the definition, too, and it would have been a heartbreaking call to make. and now, the people are upset with the jury... and the judge... and the Zimmermans... and the lawyers, and etc. when what we really need to be doing is REFOCUSING our energies into prayer for everyone involved, and everyone affected.

I have friends with young black boys they are now afraid for. and I have friends who have lost family members in violent situations, in part because of the color of their skin. and it HAS TO STOP!

The fear of the people must stop. The bitterness,the hatred, the judging HAS to stop. To give in to fear, to give in to hatred, bitterness, is to give power to the enemy of our souls and of this nation. to give the situation to God, on the other hand, is a MUST.

Many people question God's goodness and justice when bad things happen to good people... or even to people of questionable character. They wonder, if God was really on the throne, why didn't He stop this from happening? They actually accuse Him, in this roundabout way, of being the CAUSE of evil, when in reality, He is a JUST Judge. He gave people free will, and for Him to take it away would to invalidate human life as we know it.

When 9/11 happened, many were in shock and many blamed God, while others were drawn TO Him. When Michael Jackson was murdered; when Caylee Anthony was killed; when abortions take the lives of millions of babies each year; when people die of heartbreaking causes day in and day out, it is hard, sometimes, to remember that God is a Just Judge and He knows what He is doing.

Our thoughts are attached to our emotions, and that is how God made us. If we were insensitive to all the sadness going on around us, we would have serious issues. And yet, there are still some who do have this issue within their personalities; those with psychopathic tendencies, and etc.God is still in control, even then. He knows what has happened; His eyes watch over each one of us, and he weeps with us when things are not just in the world.

I know a lot of you will not like to read this next part of what I have to say. I know it may really ruffle some feathers...

First of all, how many of us were there when the Zimmerman and Martin families collided together in history? I know I wasn't. And because I wasn't, and because I am NOT the all-knowing, all-seeing God in Heaven, I know that I can be saddened by what the verdics has shown, but I cannot allow myself to judge. It is not my place.

I admit I was very angry for the first few minutes, and that I am still ill thinking about all that has occurred. But that is part of what makes me normal, it makes me human. But I cannot allow these feelings to consume me. to allow feelings to consume us is to become victim, to become prisoner of them. And I, for one, don't wish to live within or behind bards of hatred, bitterness, fear, or anything else that will keep me from fulfilling the destiny God has called me into upon my life.

What about you?

We can be sad. We can be angry. We can scream and rant and rave, but what good, in the end, will that do? Where is the resulting effect?

What happened to Trayvon Martin, like any killing, is an absolute travesty. It's a tragedy. And while some are out there making jokes about George Zimmerman high-fiving O.J. Simpson, I for one am going to be praying. I refuse to allow fear, hatred, bitterness, anger to rule over me. I refuse to allow myself to get so caught up in the drama and hype and shock of the situation that I make myself sick thinking about it.

We become more and more like what or who we meditate on. and I, for one, do not wish to continue to give more time than necessary to that which is stifling and just plain evil.

In order for this country to heal, we must forgive. And I know, believe me, I know, it is a difficult task to let go and allow God to rule, as He is the best at it. I know it is hard not to rail at god when things don't go the way we want to. But if we are to HELP our country... if we are to allow ourselves and those involved to truly HEAL, we must allow our grief to take us to the cross, and into the arms of the one Who saw all of it from the beginning and wept in the garden for all of our sins. George Zimmermans, included.

Not So Random Videos: Who Am I?

Who Am I? - Casting Crowns

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dream a Little Dream

So, some of you out there already may know where this is going... but please, bear with me.

Dream a Little Dream of Me, the song, was written in 1931 - the words we keep in our heads of the song were first sung in February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson, but most of us likely hear the voices of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, the Nat King Cole Trio, Sumi Jo, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Michael Buble, Mel Torme and Mickey Thomas, Diana Krall, or some other antecessor of the piece.

 Courtesy of YouTube. Michael Buble.

For me, Dream a Little Dream of Me came to heart as I was a teenager, watching Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie and the rest of the cast of Dream a Little Dream, the 1989 Marc Rocco and Russell Livingstone-directed Vestron Pictures release that was rom-com with a fantasy twist. It was probably1990 when I watched it the first time, and I'll admit I watched it at least a dozen times that year, renting it over and over again from the local Blockbuster.

Sure, I'd heard the song before then A lot, in fact. But it was with the movie that it began to sing in my heart.

Courtesy of IMDb
Basically, it's a movie of what-if. What if, the dream scientist, Coleman wonders, my wife (Gena) and I can live together forever through a dream meditation exercise? What if, Bobby, the teenager obsessed with classmate Lainie, he can get her to like him? What if she dumped that jerk, Joel, and went out with him instead?

But the what-ifs shift when Bobby and Lainie both run through Coleman and Gena's backyard, and their alpha meditation, colliding into each other, and disturbing the dream experiment. Unbeknownst to any of them at first, Bobby and Coleman switch places, as do Lainie and Gena. The four are trapped together in a dream, while walking around living one another's lives. It is only through dreaming in their dream-state of living life that Bobby and Coleman can figure out how to correct the experimental collision.

So, what does any of this have to do with the color of faith, you might ask? What does it have to do with faith at all?

Dreams are important.

They're so important, they're mentioned 121 times in the Bible. Visions are mentioned numerous times, as well.

While Dream a Little Dream  is more on the paranormal end of things than the supernatural, it gets people thinking about the what-ifs in life, doesn't it? But so can the dreams we encounter every single day of our lives, if we allow them to. As my dear friend, Lisa, says, "It will cost you nothing to Dream and everything not to."

So what is it that constitutes a dream that is from God?

For one, the colors are generally pretty amazing. When a dream or vision isn't from God, the colors aren't as vivid. Sometimes, it's like Technicolor on steroids when we see what God is showing us. This is a great first clue as to where the dream is coming from.

Another really important clue is how you feel upon waking from the dream. If it was a nightmare, it can't have been from God.

Why? Because God is LOVE and perfect love drives out FEAR. If a dream is based in fear, it cannot, therefore, be from Him.

Also, if the dream seems to be coming from yourself... the desires of your flesh, it is more than likely a fleshly dream... that is, a dream you created without help from either fear or love. Sometimes, however, a dream that seems fleshly can be from somewhere else... look again at the hues, the saturation of color within the dream. Are they everyday, or blah, or vivid?

Mark Chironna, pastor of Church on the Living Edge, located in Longwood, Florida, speaks and writes about the symbology of our dreams, and how we all have personal symbologies to keep in mind when interpreting a dream.

So, what do you mean by symbologies?

I'll give you an example... the lion.

According to a lot of Christian dream interpretation, a lion represents royalty, bravery, confidence, and kingship in Christ. It also may symbolize that God is watching over us, as one who sleeps with open eyes. It is often associated with the Lion of Judah, which is a symbol of Jesus Christ's watchfulness and protection over us. those familiar with Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia also know that it can be a symbol of danger. (For an example of a LION in a dream, see Shofar Rain)

These are what people see as a regular symbology triangle. It covers the bases that most people would use for interpretation. Unless you are a lion trainer or safari expert in the Sahara somewhere, or you have lost someone you love to a lion-related accident, this will likely remain the symbology triangle you experience in terms of a lion.

What about a tiger?

Well, for me, this would contain not only regular symbology that is within Christian symbology triangles, but some personal symbology related to someone I used to know.I have personal experience, and therefore personal symbology, with tigers in dreams.

Dream interpretation is as personal as the symbol is to you, and as personal and specific as God shows it to be for you. We as Christians don't always interpret a dream correctly, even with much prayer. There are times interpretation comes much later, so that when its meaning is revealed, it is the right time. This is far from what happens in Dream a Little Dream!

Followers of Christ are meant to be watchful of their dreams, but not obsess over them. they aren't brought into life from some metaphysical or paranormal interest, but from a deepening relationship with their Creator. Dreams can come in the day, or the night; one can have visions that seem to be dreams, and dreams that feel like visions.

We can dream of fleshly things, be attacked by fear and evil, or be honored by God with His Presence so that we can have a better understanding of what life is all about, and what He wants for the future.

UPDATE 7/16/13-- COME OVER and check out my FUNDRAISER! Journey to a Thousand Voices...

Friday Photo


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Food For Thought

I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God's help I shall succeed. - Vincent Van Gogh

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. - Martin Luther

Faith is a heart received sanction by the Sovereign of Heaven; given the moment His will for a specific promise has been met. - Rex Rouis

We are twice armed if we fight with faith. - Plato

Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.  - Billy Graham

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time. - Oswald Chambers

Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible. - William James

God never made a promise that was too good to be true. - Dwight L. Moody

I live and love in God's peculiar light. - Michelangelo