"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
I was cleaning out Dad's closet when I just happened to come across an old VCR tape entitled 'This is your life.' Being somewhat inquisitive and also having respect for Dad's treasures, I decided to take a look. I'm sure glad Dad had also kept his old VCR player.
What I found was really interesting. I gathered by its scenario that it was some sort of early TV reality show wherein the TV host would surprise the guest and then take them through a retrospective of their lives in front of a real live audience, which included appearances by associates of the guest. The time frame for this show was probably OK, but I don't think it would hold today's audiences' attention. We just don't want to show our dirty laundry.
Well, interesting to a point, I guess. I was just exhausted from getting Dad's estate paraphernalia in order. I must have dozed off for a bit. And that's when it all must have happened, another of my weird life episode dreams.
I seemed to be awakened by the sound of footsteps. The more I listened, the closer they appeared to be getting to my bed. "What's this?" I thought out loud.
Suddenly, there was a sudden tap on my bedstead. "Wake up, my child, for we have a long journey ahead of us, and we must get started!" came the cry in the night.
It was not just any voice, but one seemingly in authority, speaking in a perfect Semitic Hebrew dialect. Luckily, I had studied this dialect in Bible seminar.
Not only was he in authority, but I could tell by the piercing light through my window, that he was no ordinary personality. He was all decked out in Bible garb that went along with his strange ancient dialect.
My very first inclination was to challenge this unusual character's command. But on second thought, as if by a divine call, I gave in.
"OK, but where is it that we are going," I answered somewhat cautiously.
Responding precisely he stated that our journey would be a three dimensional adventure, a venture into the past, the present and the future. And the first thought that came into my mind was that of the old video of 'This is your life.' He seized me by the hand and off we went.
Coming to the first stop was extremely exciting. We found ourselves in an old fashion church revival meeting. I'm assuming it was near the conclusion of the service, as people of all ages were kneeling at the church's old fashioned altar.
"Look, my child, see anyone you know?" my escort asked.
"Not really," I responded.
"But wait just a minute, do you not recognize the young lad kneeling at the end of the altar?" he asked.
"Well, my child, that young lad is you."
"Kind Sir, you are so right. I remember now. That's when I was so moved by the preacher's remarks that I made my commitment. Wow, what a time that was!" I concluded.
"What happened to you then, my child?" he asked.
"I don't rightly know. One thing I do know, if Dad was still alive, we would be taking that dreaded trip to the wood shed, for certain," I teared up as I responded.
"OK then," he concluded
"Now it's time for our second stop," he said, and away we went.
If only we had skipped this second stop, but we didn't. Sitting in the very back dark corner of a sordid, sleazy bar was myself along with a few my so-called young college friends. Apparently we were having a good time, from all appearances, but I rather doubted it. You see, we just happened to be inebriated. We were all totally out of it.
"Please, kind Sir, take me away from here, from this horrible scene. That's not really me. I don't know what had gotten hold of me. Please, kind Sir, let's go. Let's go!" I begged as I attempted to pull him away.
"OK, my child, but I have good news for you. You see there's hope for all." Pulling a New testament from his pocket, he began reading (I John 1:8-9)
"Now, are you ready to take this Scripture to heart, and start your career all over, as your Dad wished?" he asked. I nodded.
"Now, for our final stop, which I feel you'll really like," he responded in a cheerful voice.
Winding up our journey, and taking me by the hand, we revisited that little country church we first encountered. This time, however, was the best encounter of them all. Standing behind the pulpit, and preaching up a storm, was a familiar figure. You guessed it. I was indeed preaching up that storm. Preaching that 'Old Time' religion, the true Gospel, came easy that day, as I concluded with an explanation of (I Cor. 15:1-4). And as before, that old altar was full of seekers, as the piano rolled out those old fashioned hymns.
"Now, what do you think of this setting, kind Sir? I asked. "Sir, Sir, where did you go?"
Nonetheless, he never answered, as he was gone, and so was I. I found myself sitting up in bed, looking confusedly at the clock by my bed.
I must have really been sound asleep, for my alarm clock was ringing loudly, vibrating all over my bedside table.
Wow! I've got to get up quickly, as I must get ready for church. You see, today is the most important day of my life. Today is the day I take over the responsibility of our church pastor. Not only that, today will be my announcement of my upcoming marriage to my high school sweetheart.
What a religious double-whammy, don't you think?
And what about that timely appearance of my new-found dream friend? Well, I guessed it, I think. (Job 33:24) You see, I had a little help with this issue by way of yet another miracle, in and of itself. This miracle came to life as I was preparing my introduction sermon. Lying in Dad's old Bible commentary was a hand-written note, dated the very date he was called home. It was the start of Dad's last sermon preparation notes, the one he never got to preach. Here goes!
TITLE - GOD'S WORD SPEAKS
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE - HERE GOD SPEAKS TO US ALL
(II Peter 1:20, 21 ) (II Timothy 3:16, 17)
INTRODUCTION STUDY NOTE
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history.
And oh yes, I finished these notes. It was my initial sermon. And what a sermon it was!
I trust that you received the true message of the Gospel, through this fiction dream blog. Established authorities will tell you that we all dream. Some dreams are more vivid than others. Some are remembered and some long forgotten. But most are coming from real life experiences.
Our character didn't have a very restful sleep that night. (Job 33:14-15, 29-30) However, being in Christian character, we should all ask God to bless us with peaceful and restful sleep. (Psalms 127:2)
The prophet Joel tells of a future time, before the return of Christ, when there will be heavenly signs, as old men will dream dreams and young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28-31)
The Apostle Peter also used this dream prophecy to help explain the special miracles of Pentecost. (Acts 2:15-17)
Many other dreams and visions were also well documented in Scripture, some good and some not so good. However, as Dad's pending sermon of this blog explains, Christians are to seek God's Word from the inspired Scripture and sound Bible teaching, not private interpretations. (II Timothy 3:15-17) (II Timothy 4:2-4) (II Peter 1:20-21).
I guess, since I'm older than dirt and twice as gritty, that's why I have resorted to the dream world, rather than that of visions. Just a thought!
And a little concluding jest. I have vivid memories of Dad's special humor. Dad often told of not believing in dreams, until one night he dreamed of eating flannel cakes and when he awoke the blanket was gone.
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