Tag: Dreams

A Talking Turtle Named Wayne


Have you ever met a talking turtle? No, I’m not kidding. Have YOU ever met a talking turtle?

There’s an old cartoon character you may recall-Touché Turtle. I used to watch him and his pal Dum Dum after school. 

Then, of course, there are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

But that isn’t what I’m referring to. 

I met one the other night. His name was Wayne. 

Wayne the talking turtle. 

It happened like this: I had driven out to a place in West Virginia, somewhere in the country, to see my wife who had been visiting her mom and siblings. 

As I pulled up to the house I was greeted by a rather large turtle, who had somehow managed to perfect two skills I’ve never known a turtle to do. 

Stand upright and talk. 

Yes, talk. 

As soon as I opened the door of my car, there he was, just as informative and polite as could be.

“Hello, you must be Jan. I’m Wayne, the talking turtle. I was asked by Mrs. Lloyd to meet you when you arrived and walk you to the garden where she and your wife are.”

Crazy, huh? 

And what’s just as crazy? I thought nothing of it. It made perfect sense at the time. 

Just like all dreams. 

Of course, when I awoke the dream faded and I realized there truly was no Wayne, the talking turtle. 

Too bad. I could have really gone somewhere, knowing a talking turtle and all.

As I thought about the dream, some scriptures about dreams came to my mind; especially the one in Acts 2. The one where Peter is quoting the prophet Joel:

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” (Acts 2:17 ESV)

Realizing I’m no longer a young man, the part that excited me the most was God’s plan for His “old men” who are filled with His Holy Spirit to dream dreams. 

The word “old” does not refer primarily to one’s age. The Greek word for “old men” is “presbyteros”; specifically an elder, overseer, bishop, etc. In other words, the Lord doesn’t spend a lifetime building a person’s character, wisdom, etc., to simply turn them out to pasture when they reach a certain age.

This was very good news for me. 

It’s so easy to regard myself as too old to matter anymore. Too old to live an exciting life, a kingdom of God kind of life. 

Too outdated to believe something as nutty as a talking turtle. 

I do understand dreams the Holy Spirit wants to give elders probably have nothing to do with talking turtles. Though that’s not saying he wouldn’t or couldn’t do that. Stranger things have happened. 

Nor does one have to be sound asleep to receive a dream from Father God. 

But we need to be very careful not to shrug off God’s dreams like they’re as ridiculous as a turtle who talks. They may seem just as impossible, but if God is their author, they aren’t crazy. 

We’re being foolish if we don’t pursue them.

Ecclesiastes 5:3 says (in the KJV) that “a dream comes through the multitude of business (or much work)…”. Though other translations read much differently, the KJV really speaks to me about pursuing whatever dream God gives. 

It is extremely important we do our part, as we are enabled by God, in not only dreaming the dream but in seeing it come to pass. 

God gives the dream and gives us the tools and His Spirit to do what we must do. To do our part in seeing the dream fulfilled. 

Yes, even those of us who may dream up such bizarre things as Wayne, the talking turtle. 

People who sincerely want to see His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as in Heaven. 

Maybe We Should Let Some Things Die

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How long can we keep gripping the slightest sliver of hope? Should we?

Is holding on for dear life always the best course of action?

If our dreams and plans, yes, even our lives, are deemed as utter failure, or they’re cut short before becoming that which we intended, is that so bad?

Even if we’re convinced we’re doing everything for a righteous cause, that God’s honor is at stake, isn’t there a time to stop our powerless efforts and yield to Him?

For honest reflection, we must remember there is no resurrection without first a death, and victory never comes before the battle.

In many cases, the best thing we can do is exchange what we’ve called hope for simple trust.

What do I mean?

Hope is a powerful thing, yet at times it’s nothing more than wishful thinking. As long as there’s at least a small percentage of things working out, we’re hopeful and perky. 

But if and when things take a turn for the worse, we work ourselves into a frenzy trying to maintain our hope.

So instead, why not just give up and trust?

Maybe pretend our situation is akin to the story of Eutychus and Paul (Acts 20).

“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12 ESV) 

Our dreams, like Eutychus, can become so tired. All work, no joy, no life, and eventually they droop and sag until we’re worn out trying to keep them propped up.

But when we finally release our grip, and the results to the God of the resurrection, life becomes enjoyable once again.

At that point the plans and purposes, the calling of God, are within our grasp.

It’s the same with trusting God for our nation.

God has had a purpose, a calling, on this nation from its inception. But to make America great again will take more than a man, woman, or political party.

So maybe things need to die first, to make room for the resurrection.

Yes, we’re to do what we can. Faith AND works (and all that).

But you know what? Many times we never begin to REALLY trust until we’ve exhausted all our resources.

So, like I said, maybe things need to die, expire, or become even worse before we finally trust the God Who moves mountains and raises the dead.

Maybe THAT is what’s needed to make America great again…

 

They went that-a-way!

That-a-way

I’ve been around this old world for over sixty one years. I’ve done a lot of things, gone a lot of places, and made a lot of friends.

But the other day I had a new experience. 

If you’ve watched any cops and robbers shows, or some good old westerns, you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say, “They went that-a-way…” Well, call me odd, but I’ve always wanted to use that line in a real life situation.

I finally had the perfect opportunity.

I was sitting at my kiosk, which is located in front of a shoe store, when all of a sudden a four year old boy came tearing out of there, faster than a speeding bullet, unaccompanied and heading toward the food court. A couple of seconds later, his seven year old sister, following after him, zipped past me so fast I could feel the breeze she created.

Careful to stay out of the traffic lane, I turned to face the entrance of the shoe store. A few seconds later, the big brother, maybe ten, stepped out into the mall and looked left and right, trying to find his siblings.

As our eyes met, I quickly recognized my opportunity. Pointing toward the food court, I said with as much confidence and compassion as I could muster, “They went that-a-way!”

Trusting my words, he too made a beeline for the food court.

As I sat at my kiosk, I realized something special had just happened.

Maybe you’ve never wanted to do anything like I’ve just described. But I’m sure there’s something you’ve dreamed about, and maybe it seems a million miles away.

Yet things have a way of happening suddenly, without a moment’s notice, and you find yourself just five feet from the dream’s fulfillment. And unless you do what I’m about to suggest, you can miss that thing you’ve dreamed about.

What’s my suggestion?

Be engaged with life. Live. Quit worrying about all the dreams you’ve never seen fulfilled, the opportunities you let slip through your fingers, the mistakes you’ve made, and how long it’s been since you’ve witnessed a miracle.

Jesus said, “I have come that you would have abundant life” (John 10:10).

He also said, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 ESV)

He came to give us abundant life; a life worth having AND living! And not just in Heaven.

Be engaged with life; it’s happening all around you. Some things will make you laugh, others may make you cry.

But live. Don’t shy away, or give in to worry.

Choose life! 

Don’t miss out on something special.

No, it may not be a big deal to anyone but you. Hey, you’re not supposed to live someone else’s life.

Live. Stay engaged.

The very thing you’ve dreamed of may be only five feet away. 

YOU Matter

 

I had the wildest dream. No, not like some I’ve had. 

The other night I dreamed Elvis (yes, THAT Elvis) was alive. Not only was he alive, but I was at a bowling alley with him. Alternating between bowling and singing; we were having a blast! 

No, when I say a wild dream, I mean a dream like none I’ve ever had. 

I’ll give you the highlights, so you can judge for yourself. 

I found myself in a large room, the size of a gymnasium. There were a few people in the room with me, though no one I knew.

I don’t know why I was in the room, but it seemed like we were all waiting for something. No, we were waiting for someONE; the person who had invited us all to attend. 

Everyone there was a “person of color”; I was the only white. 

Now here’s the part that I thought was wild. 

I found myself on my knees praying for those who were with me in the room. The leader still hadn’t arrived, but I was compelled to pray. 

Suddenly the room was packed with hundreds and hundreds of young people, mostly black kids, with a lesser amount of young Asian and Latinos. Still, I was the only white.

My prayers turned into groaning and weeping, crying out to God on behalf of those in the room. Others began to join in the intense intercession, while we waited for the leader to arrive. 

The intensity of the prayers was so great, we were so involved in praying and weeping for one another, the leader’s arrival was of secondary importance. Sure, we wanted to see the leader, but we knew we had to care for one other while we waited. 

By now, almost everyone was lying on the floor, praying and weeping. I remember a young black man, a teenager, getting so close to me, praying for me, I could feel his tears against my face. 

When the prayers were more than groaning, I could hear myself and others pleading with God that each person there “would be filled with the Spirit of Glory, so each one would know the length, depth, height, and breadth of God’s immeasurable love, so the world could really see Jesus among us.”

The season of prayer kept increasing, while more and more people filled the room. By the time my dream was over, the room was crammed full of people praying and weeping together. 

I finally awoke, realizing my wild experience was only a dream. But a dream which could, and should, become reality. 

“that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25 ESV)

There’s a lot of fuss these days over the various “________ lives matter” emphasis. “Black lives matter”, “All lives matter”, and others slogans floating around social media outlets don’t do a bit of good in bringing people together. 

The slogans, as catchy as they may be, only help drive people apart. 

“All lives matter” sounds good, but it has an underlying message: “YOUR slogan, and what YOU believe, IS WRONG!”

What if, while waiting for the true Leader to arrive, we put all we have and are into the task of praying and weeping with those whose skin is a different shade than ours. 

Wouldn’t it be something if we could, by our actions, not our rhetoric, say to the world “YOU matter“?

I say it would be WILD!

And who knows, maybe the Leader would arrive while we busied ourselves with caring for one another…

Wild? Yeah, like revival wild.

ETERNALLY wild!

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