I don't know the statistics for the general population on how commonly people talk in their sleep, or what sparks these night time monologues. But, I know that I have heard both my sons do this, and I have talked in my sleep quiet a few times myself. Though I wouldn't have thought the subject had been on my mind recently, I was surprised to have my husband tell me yesterday that I had been trying to discourage someone from having an abortion in one of these "night talks." I haven't slept talked in quite awhile. But, as usual, he said he questioned me about what I had said, and I repeated once more that it couldn't be done, before becoming silent. I find this intriguing. I don't remember the dream at all, but was told I had said that in my sleep, so apparently I was dreaming about it. I guess this surprises me to find that something that bothers me when I read about it, even causes me to have dreams and talk in my sleep sometimes.
This set me to thinking about the question of when I first heard about abortion. I don't remember when I first heard about it, but the only person I ever knew personally who had one was a friend I met in Brunswick. And, she cried and begged her parents to let her keep the baby, before agreeing to have the abortion, or to never come home again. This was unbelievable to me at that point in my life, when I was already dreaming of one day having babies of my own. I couldn't imagine killing a baby in the safety of its Mother's womb. It is definitely a savage practice, though condoned by our government... murder definitely. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that I would have dreams about such nightmare practices.
What should be more surprising is if abortion doctors and advocates aren't having bad dreams about abortion. If they could only turn from their cold indifference to human life in their sleep, maybe we would all wake up to a better life tomorrow.
I call heaven and earth as witness this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live: Deuteronomy 30:19
Our weakness reminds us of the strength and power of God. My latest podcast episode is ready at http://reason2believehim.libsyn.com/ and on the player below. I read in a variety of versions; KJV, NKJV, NIV, and the Living Bible. For a complete transcript of Scripture references, see the Podcast Page.
"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
Job 34:20 In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
The Bible was written as a map of hope and direction. In your darkest hours, there is where you will find deliverance and righteous judgment. It is notable that often need and deliverance came at midnight in the Bible.
Moses and the Israelites were delivered from Egypt at midnight. David gave thanks for God's judgment at midnight, Jesus told parables of the coming of the Bridgroom at midnight, and of a man needing bread at midnight. And, of course, Paul and Silas were delivered at midnight, while singing praises in prison.
1 Samuel 3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed
himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
Noon, on the other hand, is dinnertime. It can therefore be seen as a time of communion and revelations. Joseph revealed himself to his brothers at noon. Solomon's beloved was looking for him at noon time (on their lunch break?) to spendtime with him while their flocks rested. And, the Apostle Paul had his life changing vision of Jesus at noon on Damascus Road.
I believe that God has something to say to us at morning, noon, evening, and in the dark of night. His Word is here, right in front of our face. Deuteronomy 30:14; Romans 10:8
Sad times we are living in. So many voices and we are often unsure which one to follow. The Bible speaks clearly on this issue, though the issue goes beyond religion to morality and integrity. Jesus and others in the Bible had quite a bit to say about divorce.
Then there is the fact that Abraham and Sarah were separated, living in different cities when she died. Genesis 23:2 Abraham was still married to her at this point and came to mourn for his wife, and buried her. He bargained for her buriel site and laid her to rest, sent his servant to arrange a marriage for his son Isaac to help him move on with life, then he took another wife and moved on with his life, giving birth to six more children. When he died, he was buried with his wife Sarah. No reasons were ever given for a separation. It could have been that she became too feeble to move from city to city with him. It could have had something to do with the plural word "concubines" in Genesis 25:6. Whatever the reasons were, he still saw himself as her husband.
I have myself been divorced and remarried. Every single marriage vow was broken long before I filed for divorce. I don't see the act of signing a paper as any more wrong than anything else that took place before the papers were signed. But, my dear Mother-in-law from that marriage cared for her husband until his death, though he was stricken with Alzhiemers for more than a decade, and he forgot everybody. He was violent at times, and yet she kept him in her home. She was, you could easily say, a better woman than I am.
There are many reasons people choose to get a divorce, and people often speak of the "Biblical Divorce." That is an odd construct, considering that the only time divorce was permitted in the Bible was for the case of a man marrying a woman who he found to not be a virgin, and she had lied to him. Even then divorce was not commanded. The problem seems to be the fact that people are looking in the Bible for the word DIVORCE. That's like looking in a medical journal for advice on assisted suicide.
The reality of the matter is that God joins couples in marriage, but He is not in the divorce business. So, not only is it a bad idea to look for a Biblically justified divorce, but it is just as bad of an idea to look for the Biblically unjustified divorce. It is even worse to assume that divorce is the "unpardonable sin." Sin is anything that goes against God. Clearly, when a marriage is severed, something has been done against God. The sins, usually many, took place well before anybody hired a lawyer. Chances are that what happened before the divorce papers was a much greater sin than the divorce.
God, though he is not in the divorce business, is still in the Grace business. He not only forgives all sins and washes us clean, but He leads us by the Holy Spirit to the place where our walk will match His Word. All that can be done with divorce is all that can be done with any "ugly situation" in our lives. And, yes, Christians have some ugly situations in their lives. But, they know the route to the foot of the cross. I firmly believe that anyone who tells a person they can not remarry, because they are still married to a divorced spouse, is speaking from their own bitter heart, and not from God. First off, Jesus acknowledged civil divorces in His time on Earth. He acknowledged them as broken, and as causes for grief in our lives. And, second, it was listed as sin in the Law to go back to a spouse who had already remarried someone else. Deuteronomy 24:1-4. If Calvary washes away sin, the divorce, and the bad marriage, is in the sea of forgetfullness. Matthew 19:11 Jesus acknowledged Himslef that not everybody would be able to live up to this commandment. He knew many would need forgiveness. Grace has no limits today.
Marriage is usually entered into with stipulations, as in vows. The words "in sickness and in health...till death do we part" are easily recalled to mind. That makes Pat Robertson's words bad in the eyes of many Christians and non-Christians alike. How can we as Christians choose to justify sin? Are we in the place of God here on Earth? No, only God can justify. So, the best answer Mr. Robertson could have given would have contained directions to the Cross of Jesus, and the greatest commandment.
Naturally, I don't have either a justification nor a condemnation for anyone who divorces for any reason. I do, however have a question to leave you tonight. Which husband from this video would you choose for your Golden years: Pat Robertson or Saul Rogers?
Weary. Too tired after 3 days out of the house in a row to function on my laptop even. I have 3 more days of appointments next week, two at specialists, and one for IV removal at the Infectious Disease Center. I was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis Thursday, a neurological disorder that damages nerve cell fibers in the center of the spinal cord. This damage causes nervous system scars that interrupt communications between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body, and is what causes the paralysis and limb weakness. I was given my first IV Infusion of Steroids today at the CDC. The IV needle and cord stays in my arm, and I give myself the other infusions in this round once a day through Monday.
My doctor is using this as one of the treatments for the symptoms. There is no cure, but the good news is, that means I won't need a surgery for it. There is a 33% chance it could go away completely with time, in the first three months if diagnosed early. I've had the symptoms for much longer than that. Another third of the cases never go away at all and can end up worse. The last third show some improvement but lingering symptoms. So, prayer is the best course of action, as usual. The good news is, the bladder and other nerve damage problems I'm being treated for are symptoms of the larger Myelitis, and could disappear as well, if the Myelitis heals itself.
I'm just relieved that the infusions don't require me to give myself shots, which is what I thought I was going to have to do today. I thought it would be a daily shot, but it's an hour long infusion once a day that I can just hook up to the IV and doesn't require me to stick myself. That's great! I'll pass on the cycling jokes, but the doctor said it wouldn't have me riding my bike yet. Darn! It worked for Floyd. (And, I said I was going to pass on the cycling jokes.) Laughter is like medicine.
Well, my bike is still beautiful. And, it rides like the wind, theoretically and historically, just not at the moment. And, God is still God, even centuries from now when my bike and I are both dust. I read today that athiesm as a belief dates back potentially to about 1500 to 500 BC, to the time of the Vedic Period in India, as far as recorded history goes. That's roughly from between 2 and a half centuries to 3 and a half after God set the planets in the heavens and created mankind with a front row seat. So soon we forget God. That is such a sad thing to think about, God crying throughout the Old Testament, "You don't even know who I am," as in Isaiah 45:4. 5
If I never ride a bike again, I know the voice of God, something I have heard people complain of before, that they couldn't hear God. I think that is what I value most in this life, that connection with the Holy Spirit. I can't tell you why God cares to speak to me or you. Deuteronomy 30:14 But, I can tell you why I care to listen. His words are life. And, life is precious in any form because it issues from the Spirit of God...God breathed! Psalms 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up
your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains
righteousness upon you.
What a beacon of hope imbedded in this passage of judgment! It begins in
verse ten with God longing to punish. Then comes the harvester metaphor. Then
this gem of a promise in verse twelve, and then a reversal of the promise is
given in an indictment against the people of God who have not listened.
The Harvester Metaphor points out the loving care God has given to His
people. They were like a heifer that has been trained gently how to thresh the
corn in the threshing barns. This is quite an easy job for a cow, considering
the care the heifer would get. They were fed all they could eat, and were not
yoked together to plow, which is very hard work for a cow. They were not
muzzled, but were allowed to eat as they worked.
Deuteronomy 25:4 You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain.
1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that
treads out the grain. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
But, now due to the sin of the people, God is going to “yoke them to a
plow,” so to speak. They will be sold into bondage to another country, and
forced to work, backbreaking work. Sin is never easy on the flesh or spirit of
man. And, sin makes our life much more difficult than God intended it to be.
Take the Fall in the Garden of Eden. God promised life for obedience,
and death for sin. Adam and Eve chose “Door #2.” So now we work with the sweat
of our brow, suffer in childbearing, and eventually we all will die. But, that
was not what God had planned for us, was it? No. And, now what have we gained?
We have worked for 6,000 years, and the job is not finished yet! We toil day in
and day out, and we’re getting nowhere fast. The earth spins around one more
time, as we work and toil at our labors. But, the job isn’t completed. Pointless
work… work that is forever incomplete, as earth spins.
Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion:
when he shall roar, then the children shall come trembling from the west.
Notice that God is comparing Himself to a ferocious, destructive
Hosea 5:14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to
the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them
away, and none shall rescue him.
Next He compared the tribe of Ephraim to a silly dove. But in chapter 11 the
lion is no longer behaving fiercely, nor is the dove acting stupidly, like it
has no sense. But, the lion is sounding a call to bring His people home. Oh, can
you hear that call of the Lion of Judah??!! He is calling His children home from
afar! And, now the silly doves are no longer muddleheaded in sin, but they are
winging their way home from the land of bondage, following their Lion-Savior’s
God transacts a change in our lives as we allow ourselves to be changed.
Only by listening to His call can we ever escape the bondage of the world. Only
a birdbrain would choose “Door #2.” We must not allow ourselves to remain in
this land of bondage, but we must break free into God’s Kingdom. One day soon we
will wing our way home.
Walking through the woods this evening, I saw a tree that had been knocked over by the tornados. This particular tree was different from all the other "downed trees." It had started a chain reaction. It fell over, knocking over another tree, and that tree knocked over another. The total wreckage of these three trees end-to end was over 20 yards distance. But, looking at the root structure of the middle tree, with the catylist tree trunk lying through it, you could see that those two trees were victims of collateral damage...fallout from one big collapse.
I'm sure we've all suffered collateral damage at some point in our lives, but some can be more devastating than others...and all seem so needless. It seems that God allows such damage to affect our lives, even when we are spared from the storm itself. But, riding by Berry College's old Gate of Opportunity a couple of days ago, seeing again the myriads of trees down, it struck me how odd for nature to attack nature! The wind destroyed the trees...nature was unleashing itself on itself. Such a strange state of affairs. And, God allows it to happen.
Deuteronomy 23:5 "... but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because the LORD your God loved you." We often can not see further than the ground level destruction. We do not see what lies beneath the surface, what lies above in the canopy that is affected by the fall of the tree, or even what lies ahead for the land, beyond these days of wreckage. All we see is the fallen. Geronimo! We would be surprised to see and hear the living in store around the corner, that stems from our collateral damage. The damage is merely nature's way of recreating nature, the blessing from the curse.
Remember our look at acceleration? If motion defines life, and biologists do see motion as a characteristic of life, then the soul is a living thing . We are on our way to eternity; the trip has begun. Since we are already in effect, in limitless acceleration, eternity is here and now, as well as yet to come, in much the same way as I have defined the duality of the Kingdom of Heaven. So, it is apparent that the Kingdom of Heaven is in eternity.
This has great ramifications for you and me. If eternity has already begun; if the Kingdom has already started motion; then what are we waiting for? Does that dangling "for" look odd to you in a grammatical sense? It should because it leaves the sentence open...hanging. Our limitless acceleration has a purpose. We are not only moving forward to eternity and the Kingdom of Heaven, but we are bringing in eternity and the Kingdom of Heaven. We are the vehicle of the kingdom. We are the chariots of God.
Psalms 68:17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
God is using us as vehicles to move, or usher in the coming Kingdom. It is not a waiting thing, but a coming thing. God is seen in Deuteronomy as riding on the heaven...or the air.
Deuteronomy 33:26 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.
Jesurun is a nickname for Israel that means "upright." This is very ironic, when you consider "Israel." Israel was the name change Jacob the deceiver received. The name means "He will prevail and rule like God." But, now he is called "upright." That is a big name change! Though we are not Israel, we have prevailed as well, through the victory of Jesus' cross-work. We have been made upright through the power of His blood. Our name has been changed to "upright." Don't forget that Jesus was a Jew. He was of the seed of Jesurun. So, in essence, Israel brought in the salvation of we Gentiles. They are the chariots of God. Where would we be without Apostle Paul, and other early era Christian Jews who ushered in Christianity, as the very chariots of God?
When you act or speak for Jesus, you are a chariot of God. When you praise and worship at church, you are a chariot for the Spirit of God. When you preach or teach in His name, you are a chariot of God. This realization changed my whole view of what church is all about. Heaven should not be thought of as a waiting, or purely an advent...something yet to come. It is a journey. You and I are citizens of the Kingdom...we have dual citizenship in this country and the eternal city.
Joel 2:4-5 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Yes, Joel is prophesying about the Day of the Lord, and those strong people in battle array are the chariots of God; you and I. Ironically, chariots are not self-propelled. They are driven by horses. Christians don't run by their own might, but by the Spirit. If we had to run by our own fuel, we would run out, give out, or burn out. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit living inside us fuels us as we try to act as vehicles for the Kingdom. It is a beautiful picture to realize that God will use all of us for His Kingdom. Each of us has a purpose and a place. The key is to find that place and start rolling.
Deuteronomy 4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
The past was the future. Everything that has happened in your lifetime, from the day that God created you, to the eastern horizon, to the sun now setting on the edge of the western skyline, this plane of existance wraps you in space and time, and defines your very life. Sure it does. Three points define a plane in the science of geometry. Time is a place...a position around the sun. So it can be said that our personal geometrical plane (our very existance) is in limitless acceleration. Acceleration is a change in direction or speed. (It doesn't matter whether you speed up or slow down...either way is termed acceleration in physics.) We are in motion through our days, which began the day that God created us. We have not stopped, since the last time I checked I am still breathing. We can therefore incur acceleration through our plane of existance, can we not? So, since we are going somewhere, the question left to answer is, will we ever reach a stopping point?
We know from Newton's laws of Motion that an object (or being) in motion tends to stay in motion. The last open casket funeral I attended I noted, as did everyone, that the body was not moving. I believe it was Kate's funeral, a dear friend who died of cancer in McDonough, Georgia. I knew Kate pretty well, enough to hear her pray, talk in tongues in the Spirit, and well enough to see her cry tears of human frustration. She was in tremendous pain before she died, there in the hospice. I had been there earlier that day, and every day for about a month, but the hospice director called me around midnight to tell me my dear friend had died, and I visited her again then. I watched her body for awhile, laying there in her bed, and her body never moved. I read her favorite passages to her from her Bible again, though I could see that she couldn't hear me. I kissed her forehead and told her goodbye. Her body remained motionless and was obviously no longer in pain. Her muscles were not capable of lifting her from that bed. Her skeleton could not have supported her if her muscles had lifted her up. Her mouth was unable to speak. Her heart was no longer pumping blood, and even her brain had stopped all function. Everything that you think of as part of her kinetic locomotion was no longer movable.
You see, contrary to the way we view the human body, the muscles, bones, and sinew are not responsible for motion. Those parts of her body were just the same as before, but were not moving. What was missing was her soul. The living being was no longer inside the body. Nothing had stopped her soul from it's acceleration when her body's clock stopped.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The living Word of God had spoken to give her life. And, now the same Word had spoken, had pierced like a sword separating her spirit and soul from her body. Her soul kept going, on into eternity. Her body lay right on the bed, unmoving without the locomotion of the spirit. If her soul moved from her body, it was in motion. So, it stands to reason it went somewhere, and is still living, there in eternity. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, right? If it didn't move, it would still be there in her body, moving her off that bed.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
God lives in Eternity...there. Eternity is a place, remember time is a place around the sun as I said before. Kate is dwelling there with Him in the place of Eternity. Her soul is eternal. Souls will never die. Though spirit is defined as breath, or the life in us, and soul is the part that lives on, the two words are used interchangeably in Scripture.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
How do we know that the soul of man will live forever there in Eternity? The Bible tells us that we will live with God forever.
Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
In this place of new heavens and new earth, time will no longer exist and our souls will cease to be defined by a plane of existance...a mere 3 points, since east and west will be immaterial with no sun to rise in the east and to descend in the west. Eternity is a place...not time....a place without time. A place without limits of acceleration. Yes, we are therefore right now in limitless acceleration, from the day that God created us, to one end of heaven and to the other, eternity.