Posts Tagged With: trust

I Dreamed of Yeshua

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I’m never one to remember my dreams. In fact most mornings when I wake up, by the time I walk to the bathroom, whatever I had dreamed is already gone. But last night I dreamed of Yeshua.

2016 has started off really rough. My job is demanding technically, legally, emotionally and spiritually; most days I even drag myself home physically exhausted because all of my other capacities have been run dry. Since January, all Hell has broken loose at the housing properties and my office team (who are very supportive of each other) have been struggling with morale issues because everyone is under attack in some way. I’ve also been struggling personally with the patrilineal burdens I’ve inherited from the men in my life who have come before me. My struggles with personal identity, value and success (or lack thereof) have been loud and ugly…and it’s all the arguments going on inside.

Needless to say I’ve been fighting off or hiding from depression for the last couple of weeks. I can play at it for a while, being strong for everyone else, but I finally asked yesterday: “Who’s being strong for me?” Once that question was out of the box, there was no putting it back. And I fell to pieces.

I prayed. I pleaded for God to show a way forward. To allow me to answer a greater call. I demanded for Him to acknowledge and answer my dreams that have been laid in their grave.

What I didn’t know was that my wife was desperately praying for me at the same time. She pleaded with Jesus to meet me, somehow.

And then last night I fell asleep.

***

I found myself in a great white stone palace in a large room. The stone was almost like crystal, but even that description can’t do it justice. It felt very Greek, but was timeless.

The large room I found myself in was dark, backlit with blue and green light and there was a blue mist winding around the black tile floor.

I held a sword in my hand and knew at once I was under attack. The things coming at me were everywhere and they looked like rotting corpses, like zombies. Some were missing limbs but they could talk and were saying all kinds of horrible things. They were demonic, and they looked exhausted because they weren’t able to put up much of a fight when I began to fight back with my sword. Yet all the same I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.

It was then I realized that someone else arrived and was helping me to fight them back. By the time the battle was almost over, my ally had easily slain most of the horde. I remained fighting one enemy, the captain. My ally did not intervene, but let me finish the fight as I cut off its appendages until it simply laid upon the floor unable to move.

“You’re done,” I said as I turned to walk away.

The demonic captain looked up at me with his gruesome face and exposed eyeballs and spoke: “Just do it already.”

So I cut off his head. I then realized I was covered in greasy guts. I turned to look at my ally, my helper.
He stepped out of the shadows and I immediately knew his face and I spoke his name in my heart: YESHUA. It was the name his mother would have called him. I knew him and I knew he knew me. Yet all I could utter from my lips was: “I’m a mess.”

Then Yeshua smiled; he was kind and spoke: “You ordered the Greece.”

I knew it was a joke, a play on words about the battle we had just come through, and yet there had to be a deeper meaning, a puzzle to solve. He helped me, but he didn’t do it for me. I had guts on me and the sword in my hand to prove that I had done battle in the heavenly realm alongside Yeshua my Messiah, against my enemies.

***

I woke up amazed, pondering the meaning of what he said and I’m still not sure but there are some clues in my life and the things I’ve been working on in my writing that might yet prove true.

My wife is a big time dreamer; she remembers her every dream each morning. And sometimes they are spiritually significant. This was the first time I had ever had a spiritually significant dream and I relayed it to my wife.

When I finished, she asked about the meaning of Yeshua’s words. I told her I wasn’t sure.

Then she asked: “What about Greek warriors, are they tough?”

I immediately could see scenes from the movie 300 in my mind with King Leonidas fighting with his fellow Spartan brothers against the hordes of invading Persian troops. I told her that historically the Spartans were among the toughest, hardest soldiers ever bred for war.
She then told me about how she pleaded with Jesus to meet me in my dark time of struggle. My wife is certain that who showed up was Jesus/Yeshua as his hardest, warrior self to help fight against the forces of darkness coming against me personally. Yet during the whole battle, I never doubted his love.

There are still so many pieces to put together regarding this dream. As for what he said to me: “You ordered the Greece.” I think it will take time to reveal the meaning, but perhaps some of the interlinear work I’ve been doing in the bible may be the key to unlocking my way forward.

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Categories: Interlinear, On Faith, On Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Questions

If relationship is what you desire,
Then why do you hide,
Where did you go?

If you’re word is your bond,
Then why do you tarry,
Or make a promise?

If you know my heart,
Then why do you hurt me,
and ignore my dreams?

Why is it always with you,
Love is black and blue?

Categories: Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Golden Pocket – part 5

Golden Pocket cover 30%

Not far along, the winds picked up and the snow pummeled me on every side. Through the white winter void I could detect nothing. Every step through the snow gained additional weight and not long thereafter I strained to move at all. Lifting my eyes to the heavens, I whispered, “Help.” It was all that I could muster of my strength to say. My soul inwardly groaned the rest of my desperation.

It became apparent to me that I would die mere days before completing my task. My strength ebbed and I fell to my knees. My mind numbed over, joining the creeping unfeeling in my limbs. The strong desire to sleep overtook anything else; I could think of nothing other than rest.
I felt pressure beneath my arms and shoulders, as if being lifted up. I expected to see that vicious face of my blue-eyed creditor, smiling in triumph. Yet warmth entered me through my skin and radiated to my bones. This man’s eyes were so kind, full of compassion, gazing upon me in all of my wretchedness. I had never seen him before, nor did I think I would ever see him again once my eyes fell upon his shining white robes. His skin shone like the sun, and he warmed me in his embrace.

Opening my mouth, I tried to speak but he hushed me and I fell limp in his arms.

“Your prayers have been heard. Your many kindnesses are witnessed. It is in your hour of need I have been sent to you.” His voice hummed and soothed my aching spirit.

He carried me, but for how long I could not know. I wanted nothing else but to remain with him; I wished he would take me.

His laugh rose up through his chest as if responding to my thoughts, and he spoke in my ear. “This was not the plan for you. The thief comes to destroy, but I have seen your heart. I have admired your beauty. You must live, for I require it.”

He required me. No person before had ever said such lovely things. Immediately I felt ashamed of my haggard appearance. I brought this upon myself by making a deal with the cloven hoofed thief. Desperation will guide a woman to hard decisions, but now I realized my decision was wrong. I could have walked away, not responding. Knowing now who the thief really was, I understood that the only power he had over me was that which I gave him. The thief walked me to the gates of this devilish deal, but I made the decision…and that was my fault.

We entered a clearing where a small cabin stood alone among the trees. A thick gout of smoke rose from the chimney like a gray pillar fastening the sky to the earth. This sweet angel of my rescue laid me at the foot of the door.

He spoke to me one last time. “You will yet see your way through this my child. And before I depart, I will give you a gift of my own.” He kissed my forehead. “You are worthy of love.”

As I lay upon the snowy steps of the cabin, I watched him walk into the skirted tree line and vanish. My eyes closed, shutting out the glow of the white night.

I remembered something my father used to say: When snow falls, no bad men come out at night.

~

Golden Pocket: Kindle Ebook

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Truth From My Children

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
~1 Corinthians 1:27

“Out of the mouths of babes…” We’ve all heard this phrase and in fact it’s become a part of the common English tongue so much that it could be considered tired and overused.  Yet the truth of it remains firm: from the humblest of us can spring forth the greatest wisdom.  As for me, I’ve known for a long time that my children are the greatest reflections of myself.  Both for the better and the worse.

For any of you who have been reading this blog regularly, you will know what a challenging season my family and I are in (however if you’re new, please feel free to read any of the posts categorized under On Faith or On Life).

This weekend was filled to the rim with God speaking to Caity and me through our children. On Saturday during the torrential downpour, we served the kids’ lunches at the table and we decided to go jog the lane right outside our house…in the rain!  We threw on our running gear, checked on the kids and then hit the pavement.

By lap two, our son Sam had put on his coat and stood by the front door, yelling for us to come inside because he was afraid it might thunder.  We assured him that there would be no thunder and it was just rain.  By lap four, the rain fell even heavier and the wind picked up; both Sam and Sophia were at the front door yelling for us to come in because they were worried that it was turning into a hurricane.  We assured them that Seattle doesn’t get hurricanes and it was just really heavy rain.

By our final lap, we came in the house soaking wet and filled with joy to have been out in the serious squall, but our children were less than amused and so we used the moment to teach them that even though it was raining really hard, they were safe; we had our eyes on them the whole time and it only looked scary because they don’t fully understand the weather.

Then later on Saturday, I took Sam to be my buddy and go to Les Schwab for some new tires for the Kia.  That place is like Candyland for my son, in fact I’m quite certain that if Sam had a choice between the actual Candyland or Les Schwab, there would be no competition.

As soon as we got there, he examined the new tires on the racks, on display, and on the cars through the observation window.  He played with the brake disks on display and with the computer console that allows users to test out different rims on different car models.  This kept him busy while I read my book…for two hours.

Yet it was when I would stand up and look out the window to see if the mechanics had started on my car that Sam would stop whatever he was doing, look at me and ask: “What are you doing Dad?”  And I would tell him.  Then he would hold up his hand and say: “You’re not going to leave me?”  And I would take that moment to reassure him that I am his father; that he is more precious to me than anything else and I would never, ever leave him.  We had this interchange three times.

Finally on Sunday as we packed into the car as a family to run errands, the kids recognized that lunch time was approaching, but not yet there.  Thus began the usual rigamarole that goes something like this:

Sophia: “Is it lunch time yet?”

Parent: “Not yet.”

Viola: “Are we going out for lunch?”

Parent: “We are in the car. So yes.”

Sophia: “What are we doing for lunch?”

Parent: “Don’t know yet.”

Viola: “I don’t want hamburgers.”

Parent: “Fine.”

Sophia: “Will it be delicious?”

Parent: “Obviously.”

Samuel: “LET’S GET HUNGRY!!

Many conversations surrounding food at the Patten household resemble this interchange, usually ending with Sam getting straight to the point.  *sigh*

It wasn’t until Sunday evening when Caity and I had some downtime to engage each other that we were able to reflect and recognize the significance.  God had been speaking to us through our children the entire weekend, giving us a glimpse of His perspective…and what He has to put up with.

Our kids’ concerns reflect our own when it comes to presenting our anxieties at the feet of God: This is scary and I’m afraid…please don’t leave me…will you provide for me?  The beauty of this all is very obvious; God gave Caity and I a chance to respond to our kids’ fears in the exact way that He is responding to ours: Don’t be scared, I know what’s happening…I’m your Father and I will never leave you…when have I ever failed to provide for your needs?

Being a child of God means having to live in trust as children do.  I’ve learned how to express my concerns to my Father, but I also want to learn how to trust him quietly when He speaks and says “all will be well.”  Just as it is a challenge to have children sit still and wait upon their parents, it too is a challenge for me to learn how to “be still” and know that He is God.

How do you respond to God with your anxieties?

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Categories: On Faith, On Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Under Pressure? You’re In Good Company

Wine

This weekend was rough as Caity rounds the corner for the final lap at her job.  The fact that the Haggen grocery store she has worked at for eight years is closing has given us cause for both great joy and reason for concern, both of which we’ve learned how to submit foremost and with gratitude at the feet of Jesus.  (For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, please feel free to read my previous post Open The Floodgates).

So on Saturday, she came home physically exhausted…and it showed.  She collapsed upon our couch and her black curly hair, normally pulled back into a meticulous up-do, was now splayed open with flyaways in every direction as if shocked by a nearby electric socket.  She closed her eyes, and with a moan she proclaimed her immobility.  Her body was sore from the physically demanding work of standing and checking non-stop all day.

Yesterday, Sunday, she left for work in the morning and somehow I got it into my mind to do something fun and encouraging.  Caity has always been very talented at chalkboard art and I’ve been wanting to find a way to show my support and give her an extra boost of joy about it.  The kids and I packed up and went to Home Depot where we bought a couple of chipboards with the chalkboard lamination and we had them cut at HD into 3 different sizes.  On the biggest board I drew heart with “C+D” in the center; on the smallest board I wrote “Sign Me Up” (an ongoing pun we have about a chalk-art sign business we’ve been tossing around); and on the medium sized board I wrote Hebrews 6:10-11 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.”  I’m not sure why I chose this verse, but rather happened upon it and decided it was appropriate.  As it turned out, it was VERY appropriate as Caity called me on her lunch in tears letting me know that the encouragement could not have come at a better time.  The kind of customers that she had been dealing with were the extreme bargain hunters, at the store for the extreme mark downs and lacking decorum or kindness; and one in particular had just finished saying a bunch of horrible things to her while throwing a huge tantrum.  Caity and I were able to simply take about twenty minutes over the phone to reaffirm that our task at this moment was to finish this final lap, to finish running this race, to cross the line with our focus on Christ, and to serve God by loving people…and that included the grouchy bargain hunters.

The store’s closing has been emotionally and physically demanding and draining for my wife and me.  To see friends we’ve made at the store going off in different directions and watch the staff dwindle down to only ten people has been hard to watch; yet at the same time we’ve both been excited for them all at their new found places of employment.  As for Caity, she won’t be continuing on for Haggen and in fact she will be leaving the grocery/retail industry all together.  This is not because we have anything else lined up, but rather as a response to Jesus’ call upon our lives to test our faith in Him for this moment.  We have resisted the urge to problem solve, to plan ahead and find a new job in the same line of work; mostly because we recognize God’s direct intervention in these circumstances.  In a very real and weird way, closing the Haggen store in Shoreline is a direct answer to a strong petition of prayer we made back in July…though this result is not at all what we expected.

All the same, we are truly excited about the the fact that we have openly and nakedly placed our trust and our destiny in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We have the certainty of faith as well as encouragement along the way that He is in the process of closing a door behind us before He opens the one before us.  We don’t know what our future looks like, but we have the assurance of being led to the next stage of our journey with Jesus and the next stage of our life’s ministry with others.

As a final note of encouragement to all of you who are feeling stressed and uncertain about your circumstances right now, I would like you to consider the prospect that pressure is the messenger of good things to come.  You cannot get oil without pressing the olives; you cannot get wine without crushing the grapes and you cannot get a diamond without placing carbon under extreme pressure.  If you feel like you are under extreme pressure right now, then take heart because God is trying to bring out the best in you.

SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM

Categories: On Faith, On Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open the Floodgates

It’s been an interesting week, to say the least.  Caity and I have been praying for changes for at least a year now in regards to certain circumstances that have been out of our control.  And as it turns out, work is one of them.  For the last seven years we have been a seven-day work week family and it has not been ideal but completely necessary.  Caity and I have been able to equally split the tasks of childcare and bringing home the bacon; there are several reasons why we did this, but the most important one was that we both needed to be elbows deep in raising our kids–because we have twins–because our son has autism–and because all three of our kids together are roughly the same size and fully ramped in energy and zest for life.  The obvious setbacks with the scenario however, are that our income has been impossibly tight and we have not had any semblance of rest in regards to weekends together for the better part of a decade.

Yet, we’ve been praying for change; praying for God to open the floodgates of heaven.  And indeed that is exactly what’s happening right now, but the news could not have come in a more uncertain or terrifying fashion.  Yesterday when Caity went to work, she was called into a store meeting where she discovered that the company will be closing the grocery store she’s worked at the for the last 8 years.  Everyone’s job is in flux and emotions are running high, but I would have to say that I’m so proud of her.  Caity kept her chin up the whole day and went about her work all the while pouring out encouragement and strength on her coworkers and customers.  We both acknowledged that this event, though it appears to be a crisis, will turn out to be filled with opportunity; we are willing to stand firm together on the solid bedrock of Jesus in our lives and let him guide our destiny.  Things may not appear clear right now but that is why it becomes so important to place our hope in the One that cannot fail.

The other thing that goes with this story so well is the fact that Caitlin and I both love the rain and eschew hot sunshine with the full fibers of our beings.  At least for the last month, it’s felt full of sun and heat…and driving us to scramble for shade where ever it can be found.  So yesterday after she finished her shift, the kids and I had prepared a fun scavenger hunt for her to follow, ending up with meeting me and kids at Target, where we would then go to a restaurant of her choice for a family dinner date.  The kids and I were browsing the toy aisle when I heard it…thunder!  Several claps grew louder and shook the store.  My kids were crying but all I could think of was: God is displaying his power–He is in charge!  After calming the kids we went to the front of the store, where Caity showed up just in time and the rains began to pour out.  Rain!  Opening the floodgates of heaven!  We both held each other and cried, surrounded by our crying children, in the middle of Target.  What a scene we made!  It could have been from a movie.

Was it a coincidence?  There’s no such thing.  Just a final nerdy note from yours truly:

The Hebrew language is different from every other language on earth in that it is the only language where the characters represent  not only numbers (gematria) as well as letters (alphabet), but that the language itself–it’s structure, it’s syntax, and even the words themselves impart a deeper spiritual significance.  There are many examples of this, but the one that is fitting for this post is what is NOT in the Hebrew language.  For instance, there is no word in Hebrew that can accurately convey the idea of “coincidence” simply because the idea is not grounded in reality.  Accepting the idea that things happening can only be “coincidence” actually robs a person of being able to acknowledge the hand of God in their life.

In fact the closest modern Hebrew equivalent to the concept of “coincidence” would be: יד המקרה

These two words placed together are pronounced “Yad Hamiqrah”, where “Yad” is the word for “hand” and “Hamiqrah” means “the event” , “the incident” , or even “fate.”  Essentially “Yad Hamiqrah” acknowledges that when certain events unfold in an impossibly coincidental way, then there is no mistake–a greater guiding hand is at work.

The fact that God personally spoke to Caity and I through the thunder and rain yesterday was certainly His guiding hand at work.  I know it and I have placed it within the treasure chamber of my heart to ponder, later.  Yet I am learning how to trust in God; to place the destiny of my family into His unfailing hands.

SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM

Categories: On Faith | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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