Archive for November, 2004

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Lottery Losses

November 22, 2004

You think you want that ten million dollar prize? I don’t think so. Look what can happen (and so often does happen) to those who win. Thank God for your losses.

Thanks to Aaron Mc. for finding this.

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Michael Moore’s Nemesis

November 19, 2004

A plot has been uncovered to kill Michael Moore. Read about it here.

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More than Study

November 19, 2004

This article on Fox News tells about how Congress is revisiting the issue of Online Pornography. Read it carefully and notice how they compare pornography addiction to heroin addiction. I don’t agree. I think pornography is much more addictive and perhaps more harmful.

For years, I have been a counselor to church leaders who struggle with sexual addictions. The Internet has made pornography so available and so easy (remember, you used to have to go the seedy part of town to get it) that it is virtually addictive to everyone who sees it. Not even Crank is that powerful a drug.

What does pornography addiction do? It is a type of false intimacy, so it cuts off real intimacy, both friendships and marital intimacy. It wastes time and causes adrenaline levels to rise high, so it actually causes depression and robs energy. It gets expensive eventually and therefore wastes resources. It promises intimacy without pain or rejection, so it causes those internal lies to fester even more.

Do you see my point? Pray that Congress will do more than study it this time.

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Interpreting Dreams and Visions – Part 3

November 17, 2004

You may have heard about the captain of a Destroyer class ship who was contacted by radio that he needed to turn his ship 10 degrees east. He was indignant and told the caller on the radio to mind his own business. But the caller continued, “Turn your ship ten degrees east, we’re on a collision course”. The captain said, “Turn ten degrees west if you’re so worried”. Again the caller persisted over the radio for the captain to turn. Finally, the captain shouted, “I’m a Captain in the US Navy…turn ten degrees west.” “I’m a Midshipman in the Navy…turn 10 degees East”. Now he was furious. “This is a Destroyer; turn 10 degrees west!”. The reply came quickly: “This is a Lighthouse; turn 10 degrees east”.

Warnings are not often heeded, even by those who are careful. One of the hallmarks of the human race is our tendency to learn most things by experience. From the freshman in shop class cutting off his finger in the table saw, to the cheating husband who watches as his wife and children leaving him as they drive down the road, we witness daily the hardships attached to learning things by experience. Learning by revelation is more effective, cheaper and less harmful.

God uses dreams to teach Revelation. Along with the teaching dreams, the warning dreams are the most common. Even a cursory glance at the Scriptures reveals many examples: but one will suffice for this time. In Matthew 2:12-22, God appears in dreams to the Magi and to Joseph and Mary. His purpose in giving these dreams was to warn them of Herod’s murderous plans and to help them escape. God also does this same thing for Paul on three separate occasions. Often, God has to do this in a dream because our souls are too preoccupied with the stress of the moment to realize the danger we are in. Church history is rife with examples of people who were warned in dreams to beware of impending dangers. If you read the biography of Samuel Rutherford (found at www.ccel.org) you will witness a man who learned revelation from God almost continually through dreams.

My wife woke up in a cold sweat some years ago and decided that her condition was not a sign of impending hormonal changes but a pretext to wake me up. She had experienced a dream in which one of our children was in great danger. As we prayed into it, we both had assurance that this child was in need of our care. Since he was no longer living with us, and we had no way of calling him on the telephone (not to mention that it was 3 a.m.) , we decided to do whatever God showed us. What God indicated was that we needed to send money immediately to him. We wired it to a friend who brought it over to where he was living. Later, we came to find out that the week before, several people had ripped him off for serious money and he was too embarrassed to come to us for help. He was literally starving, waiting for his next pay check. God’s warnings not only helped him physically, but also bolstered his faith as we told him about the dream.

When a warning dream comes, make sure you follow the rules of interpretation of dreams. More about those next time.

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Post-Moder….what?

November 17, 2004

You may have had the term “Postmodernism” thrown at you. Perhaps you thought it was a period of time in the world of paintings (you would be right about that) or that it was a societal trend to be avoided. That would be wrong. Here is a wonderful description of what it is and how to understand it from a Christian perspective.

The author has this to say, among other things, about Post-Modern beliefs:

Most people understand post-modernism to mean a type of relativism – truth is relative to each person or each different cultural group. In post-modernism my truth does not have to agree with your truth – but both are valid. It makes me smile to see relativity misapplied in this way. Einstein’s theory of relativity never proposed that everything is relative – but actually states that some things are relative when measured against some things that are constant and absolute. The theory of relativity hinges on the constancy of the speed of light.

It’s a good read if you have five minutes.

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Accurate info on the Ivory Coast Crisis

November 15, 2004

If you want to see what is happing in Cote D’Ivoire from the POV of our missionaries go to this web site which is updated almost daily

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We are Now Poorer

November 15, 2004

I weep with joy as I realize this man of God is going home:

Dr. Louis L. King, recognized among evangelicals worldwide as a leading missions statesman, passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on Thursday, November 11, 2004, at Shell Point Retirement Community, Ft. Myers, Fla.

Dr. King served as the seventh president of the U.S. Christian and Missionary Alliance from 1978 to 1987. He was born in Hurffville, N. J., on November 30, 1915, and was ordained 25 years later. He pastored churches in New York, Illinois and Nebraska before being assigned as a missionary to India in 1946.

He returned to New York to serve as vice president for International Ministries for seven successive three-year terms prior to his election to the presidency. Dr. King pioneered modern missions with his commitment to the development of national leaders and self-sustaining, independent, strong national churches.

In addition to authoring several publications on missions, he served as president for The Alliance World Fellowship and on the board of directors of the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association.

Before going to Africa one summer, I had the opportunity to go into Dr. King’s office. I noticed that behind his desk were two prominent dents in the carpet. I asked his assistant what they were.

He answered: “That’s where Dr. King prays”.

Grooves in the carpet…millions in the Kingdom.

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Interpreting Dreams and Visions – Part 2

November 15, 2004

We have established last time that our spirits are talking to us when we dream. Since the Holy Spirit of God lives in our spirit after we become a believer, then we can safely assume that some of what comes forth in dream-world is influenced by God. Perhaps much more of God’s presence comes out in our dreams than we are willing to admit.

In the Bible, dreams are mentioned 110 times. That is 4 times as much as the word “revelation” is mentioned and exactly the same amount that the voice of God is mentioned (NIV). Yet, why do we hear so little about this very significant way that God communicates? The answer is probably twofold. First, dreams fall into the category of the spiritual, or what some Enlightenment thinkers call the supernatural. Since the enlightenment, Christians have pretty much allowed scholars to break reality down into the natural and the supernatural. I’m not really sure it wouldn’t be just as realistic, and perhaps just as biblical, to refer to these realms as the Spiritual and sub-spiritual. But that would probably just confuse the issue.



The Bible knows the two realms as the physical and the spiritual. Man is both a physical and a spiritual being, and this uniquely allows us to dwell in both realms at the same time. Our soul, then receives input simultaneously from both realms. Just as our physical senses communicate through nerve endings and other sources, so too our spirit tries to communicate to our brain any way it can. Dreams play a role in this. When we sleep, there is an opportunity for our spirits to get a word in edgewise, since our bodies are out of the picture.



Since God communicated with many people in the Bible through dreams, and did it quite frequently, it is not unreasonable to believe He continues to do that. But what kind of things did he communicate through dreams in the Bible?



Several examples will suffice to categorize God’s missives through dreams. The first, and perhaps the most plentiful, example of God’s messages is the Teaching Dream. In this sort of dream, God sends a message in either a direct way or through a picture to one who listens. That person does not necessarily have to be a believer, as we witness in Genesis 20. In verse 3, we read

But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.

Abram had allowed Abimelech to believe that his wife Sarai was his sister and not his wife. He even remained silent when Abimelech took Sarai into his household to be his wife. So, what Abram failed to tell him, God was willing to say through a dream. The added threat, I am sure, helped to get the point across to the King that he better not touch the woman he had just brought home. Dreams can be a wonderful way for God to teach, to get home a point we are not listening to while we are awake.



Twenty years ago, God gave me a dream that changed so much of my personal worship of Him. In the dream, I was walking along the beach with a friend. In the distance, we saw a church and decided to enter into it. As we went in, the worship service singing was in full swing. For some reason (we just know things in dreams), we were not noticed by anyone, essentially being invisible. As we looked at each person, noise was coming out of some mouths and not others. In fact, almost two-thirds of the congregation was mute. That’s when we noticed an angel sitting beside us (once again, we knew he was an angel – even though he didn’t have a name tag that said “Hi, I’m an Angel”). The angel pointed out to us that we were hearing things the way God was hearing. “So why can’t we hear some of them”? I asked the Angel. “Because some of them don’t mean what they are singing.” And that’s when I woke up.



I realized that worship is much more than an act, a song, a scripture and a posture. My own worship had often been perfunctory. That morning, I shared my dream with the church in the service. For some reason, it hit home and many people came to the altar in repentance. I am so glad that God chose that moment to speak to us. It changed our church worship forever.



God speaks in dreams to teach. Next time, we’ll look at how God warns us in dreams.

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Not the Fine China

November 13, 2004

Just when we were beginning to think that the Government of China had given up their decades-long policy of persecuting the Church, this happens. Keep praying for God’s leaders as if “you were in chains with them”.

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Interpreting Dreams and Visions – Part 1

November 13, 2004

By popular request, and because I didn’t have time to cover this in the last DTS, I have decided to do my ten-part series on “Interpreting Dreams and Visions” in this blog. I will post one teaching a day for the next ten days. These may be interspersed with other blog entries by the other members of the Staff, so read through if you want the big picture about dreams.

First, a starting point for our venture into this seemingly nebulous world of dreams. Ask this question: What part of you sleeps? Of course, your body sleeps; I guess this has been proven by those who hook the bodies of sleeping clients up to EEG machines. Our soul sleeps also. Our soul is the practitioner of choice…that is, our soul is the part of us that chooses…and it is apparent to all that we do not choose what we would dream. Oh, as a young teen boy, I put in many requests for what I wanted to dream. They rarely panned out.

So if the body and soul are crashing, where does the dream come from? All that is left, from a Biblical point of view, is the Spirit of Man. We are spirit beings (see Romans 8:5-11) and as such, we dwell in the Spirit realm as well as the physical. When we sleep, the physical falls away like the ground to an airplane. During sleep, we have the moment our spirit-man has been waiting for. The chance to interpret to our understanding what our spirits have been sensing.

For instance: Two very common types of dreams – The Anxiety dream and the Attack Dream. The Anxiety dream to a student looks like being in a test and you realize you haven’t attended a single class all semester, or haven’t studied for this test, or both. To a preacher, it shows us preaching in our underwear, with no notes. This doesn’t matter, because in the dream no one shows up for the sermon anyway. For the mother, it might be a dream of a house that will not be cleaned, a chore that will not end or a child that is just outside of our reach of safety. These dreams all have one source: We have been anxious about something, but our minds will not admit the fear or the dread. So it comes out when we dream.

In the same way, the Attack dream comes with spiritual force. The attack may come from a dog or other scary animal (common with small children), or it may be something inorganic like rain, heat, slipping in quicksand, being chased by a vehicle. It may be a mob that wants to destroy you. In all these cases, it is your spirit warning you that you are being attacked, feeling attacked, or undergoing spiritual warfare. Our minds, especially in this day of wanting to think positive thoughts, don’t want to think about others attacking us. So, our dreams display in picture form what we would not admit to ourselves while awake.

Next time, we will look at how God has used dreams in the annals of history and the testimony of the Bible.

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