How Not To Interpret Dreams
A song from Disney’s Cinderella goes, “A dream is a wish that your heart makes.” (Quote that to someone who just had a nightmare!) The wishfulness in that song, recently led me astray.
I seldom remember dreams. We all dream, but for me, only fragments seem to remain in my memory when I wake up; my dreams are usually muddled, messy and meaningless. In all my life I can clearly recall just four dreams. The first was back in the 80s, the second in the 90s, and both were meaningful, encouraging and helpful, and they were affirmed and confirmed by others.
Recently, within ten days, I took part in two vivid and clearly-remembered night-time ‘movies’; each was startling and crystal clear when I woke up. These dreams encouraged me that a happy event soon to happen, and in which I was involved, would indeed happen.
But first, a little background: our family was due to gather in Kona, Hawai’i, in early January for the wedding of our oldest granddaughter (at which I would have the great honor and delight of officiating). However, this past December brought me some health issues that jeopardized travel—three separate hospital stays with three operations in four weeks, each one more serious than the one before.
As December rolled on, with each successive surgery Donna’s and my hopes of attending the wedding were strong. Just before New Year’s, reality set in when the third operation struck. We wouldn’t be able to go, and we were terribly disappointed.
But I’d had those two dreams; and I had interpreted them as indicating we would be at the wedding. What went wrong?
Dream Number One, I called, ‘Distraction.’ The wedding ceremony had just started, men and women attendants were all in place beside me, and her Dad had just been given the bride away. All of a sudden, a raucous crowd of people, shouting slogans and waving banners that screamed their cause, came stomping up the side aisle, and parked themselves noisily in front of the platform. Taking authority, I gently shushed them and said, “You may stay and observe this ceremony—as long as you are quiet. Otherwise, I will call some of our Polynesian elders to escort you out of the building.” Each of these elders was built like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
End of dream. I felt that I had been warned and would therefore be prepared for some kind of distraction. That was my interpretation. But for us, we were “GO!” for departure.
Dream Number Two, I named, ‘Diversion.’ We were flying south, high over the Pacific Ocean. Kona lay waiting, about 30 minutes ahead, we’d soon start the descent. A Flight Attendant suddenly came on the intercom with a highly unusual request: “Is there a pilot among our passengers today?” I thought to myself, “Oh Oh, one of the pilots up front must be sick, and the other one needs help communicating with ATC (Air Traffic Control). I was positive there’d be a pilot on board.”
Surprisingly, amongst almost 300 passengers, not one pilot responded. Having once been a pilot, but now well past my ‘use-by’ date, I just sat there. With even more urgency in her voice, came a second request, almost in the form of a demand, “Please indicate if you have ever even flown an airplane!” Hesitantly, and a bit fearfully, I raised my hand. I was immediately escorted up to the flight deck, while imagining all the incredulous stares being directed my way. “That old geezer? Fly this modern jet?”
The scene on the flight deck was even worse than I could have imagined. Both pilots lay slumped over their control yokes, unconscious and immobile, yet still breathing; happily, the aircraft was on autopilot. With help from some of the crew, we managed to move the pilots onto the floor and cover them with blankets, to await medical help. I settled into the Captain’s seat and immediately searched for, and found the microphone, so that I could call ATC and declare an emergency.
After making contact, I asked ATC to patch me in to an airline pilot who could talk me through what was going to be a harrowing half hour. The first pilot that came on was a bit cynical and unbelieving about my ability to land this huge aircraft safely. So was I. But there were no options! I was it.
The decision was made to divert us to Honolulu, where a longer runway was available. I was instructed on how to use the autopilot to turn us a few degrees to the right, then almost immediately, how to put us into a slow descent. At this point I had the notion that I should say something to the other passengers to try and allay their fears; but also to not minimize the uncertainties that lay ahead.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” I said, with my best imitation of an airline captain, “my name is Peter, and a long time ago I was a pilot. I have been charged with putting us safely on the ground. I will do my best, but I’ll need a lot of help from qualified people down below, with whom I am in contact. I simply ask that you would remain as calm as possible, and obey any and all instructions from your flight attendants. And one more thing: please pray.”
I turned my full attention back to what was going to be a challenging job ahead. Having “flown” twice in airline flight simulators (that are anchored to the ground), I was a little bit familiar with how to read the flight instruments on the panel before me. And a pilot always has a ‘feel’ for airmanship. But this was a far bigger aircraft than anything I had flown before. And way more complicated. My ‘helpers’ on the ground gave excellent radioed instructions, under highly stressful conditions—for them as well as for us.
Long story short, touchdown was a “greaser,” our wheels kissing the runway. We rolled out until I gently applied the brakes and we reached the waiting emergency vehicles, and came to a full stop. I picked up the intercom mic and addressed the others on board: “Thank you for remaining calm, and most of all thank you for praying.”
By now, the doors were being opened from the outside, and I prepared myself (humbly, of course), for a hero’s welcome. But the dream snapped shut—it ended right there, and I awoke.
My interpretation? My sickness was simply a diversion, and our trip would go ahead as planned.
Hmmm. My interpretation of each dream was totally wrong. Two days before we were to fly to Kona, back I went to the hospital for the third operation. How could I have missed it so badly? The simple answer is that we need each other. In this case I needed someone who could be objective, someone who could discern the difference between my desire to attend the wedding—and the reality of my poor health at that time. And someone who would ask God!
We need each other.
More on Forgiveness
When you forgive, you heal; when you let it go, you grow
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future
It’s not the happy people who are thankful;
it’s the thankful people who are happy
Just saying you’re sorry is not a ‘Get out of Jail, Free’ card.
A Loss And A Gain
We regret to inform our YWAM International family that Wedge Alman passed away recently in Texas. His wife Shirley survives him. Wedge and Shirley have been YWAM pioneers in Spanish-speaking South and Central America, since the 1960s.
The first major refugee crisis to get worldwide attention was in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s. YWAM teams, with little or no experience were willing to do the dirty work. In time, the YWAMers gained experienced and the official agencies gave us both recognition and responsibility for entire camps, with freedom to talk about Jesus and his power to change lives. Many refugees became believers and small informal churches grew throughout the camps.
The Gospel of Jesus continued to flourish, so more and more people became believers. YWAM campuses and teams have multiplied through the region with one of the largest being at Battambang, Cambodia. The current DTS is now heading to Greece to help ease the suffering of refugees from Syria and other nations in the region, and to talk about Jesus and his power to change lives. Many refugees became believers and small informal churches grew throughout the camps. Over a period of years, a great number of refugees were resettled in host nations. Now, Cambodians are going to Greece to serve the new refugees!
(From a letter by Lynn Green)
Help Me God, I’m All By Myself
By Jeff Herringshaw
Jeff and his wife Christine are in the process of joining us with YWAM Associates. They live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I’m an introvert. And unlike some of my extroverted friends and family, I can handle being alone for extended periods of time quite well. In fact, I look for and sometimes long for more times to just be a hermit. A five-day personal retreat with no contact with any other people settles well with me, invigorates me and leaves me feeling even more alive!
Before you write me off as a socially-backward misfit, let me say that I do value and even like people. Relationships are important to me. My wife and I are celebrating our 25th year in YWAM. And most of those years I have either been staffing or leading Discipleship Training Schools. I’ve been immersed into the activities and lives of many people, sometimes overwhelming but always enriching. And through it all, I have become skilled in carving out those moments of being alone that my personality craves and needs. (And I suspect there are a few extroverts out there that could benefit from a little more regular alone time.) Though my wife, a beautiful extrovert, does not always understand this part of me, she has come to accept that for some reason God made me this way and has grown to better appreciate her own times by herself as well.
Click here to continue reading Jeff’s article . . .
Have You Ever Seen A Worried Bird?
This was the title of one of Loren Cunningham’s faith messages. I love it. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” [Matt 6:26]
Worry—and anxiety—are basically the same Greek word: “I tell you do not worry” [Matt 6:25] and “Do not be anxious” [Phil.4:6]
Both words—worry and anxiety—come from lack of faith, or unbelief; lack of faith in God, or in what He says in His Word. If anxiety takes place there is a ‘faith leak,’ and anxiety increases.
Anxiety is also a result of placing demanding expectations on ourselves or others. It can interconnect with impatience. I love the example of when Mary was listening to Jesus while Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made, so she says to Jesus, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me.” [Luke 10:38-42] Jesus replies, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her.”
Anxiety is related to what might or might not happen. [Luke 21:14-15] I once heard that 90% of what we are anxious about never happens. God tells us that He will give us the right words to speak and wisdom at the right time. Jesus also said, “If you seek FIRST My Kingdom and My righteousness everything else will be given to you.” [Matt 6:25-34] Jesus called our attention to ‘worry,’ six times in this passage. “Why do you worry?” . . . “Do not worry.
If we have anxiety and stress, we become unfruitful: “But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” [Matt 13:22; Mark 4:19]
Circumstances, as when the disciples were caught in a storm at sea, may give you reason to be anxious, but don’t forget Jesus is with us and the Holy Spirit lives within us. [Mark 4:35-41] Don’t forget who He is and what He can do. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
Anxiety begins in our minds; it’s what we think about. Paul writes from prison, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” [Phil 4:4-8]
Don’t be like Job who said, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” [Job 3:25-26] We have the peace of God dwelling within us. A peace beyond our understanding.
Worrying cannot add a single hour to our lives. [Matt 6:27; Luke 12:25] But it can kill us! Wouldn’t it be awful to die and go to heaven and when we see Jesus, He says, “What were you all worried, and anxious about on earth?” According to Harvard Medical School, anxiety has now been implicated in several chronic physical illnesses, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders and gastrointestinal conditions. Anxiety makes the disease more difficult to treat, symptoms become worse, and in some cases death comes sooner than necessary.
My friends, let us not be anxious or worried about anything, but put our trust in God. Listen to Him, hide under His wing when things get rough. Encourage one another and pray for one another. Read Psalm 91 out loud daily and believe truth. The truth will set you free.
Like our brother Paul said, and which I couldn’t say better, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” [2 Cor 13:14]
Love and Blessings,
A Long Weekend for Alumni and Friends of YWAM
May 26-29: London, UK (Harpenden), ENGAGE2017
Focusing on equipping and encouraging people to pursue God’s purposes wherever he has called them. Led by Quintin & Angela Lake
inTouch Camps in Europe this Summer
July 9-15: Restenäs, Sweden
July 16-22: Prod, Romania
July 29-Aug 4: Champagne, France
The speaker at all Camps will be Stefaan Hugo, YWAM Facilitator for Southern Africa.
Check here for updates and more information!
A Prayer for You
God bless you and keep you,
God smile on you and gift you,
God look you full in the face
and make you prosper.
Numbers 6:24-27 The Message
Till next time,
The Small Print
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