Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Back at it this week. I have 2 weeks worth of worship orders to prepare since we are going to be in Arkansas the majority of next week. It will be a busy one.

I received an email from a friend this morning concerned about me after reading my blog entries over the last two days. Kimmy, who used to sing in our ministry here and now attends the People's Church which is closer to her house, has always been a great compass for me. I really miss her. Kimmy, if you're reading this and you and Wade Stapleton haven't gotten involved in the amazing music ministry out there yet, consider this a kick in the rear to allow them to be blessed by you as I have!

No need for worry. I sometimes feel exhausted about the pettiness of certain issues, but over the last year, I have been rejuvenated by a new passion and leadership from our Shepherds here to tackle the things that truly matter. I am SO blessed to be working under this leadership. I just wanted to try and spill out some of the things that were in my head after reading some of the comments. I should make a huge disclaimer at the top of this web page that says..."Warning, enter at your own risk! Spillage from the mind of BST ain't pretty!" :)

I thought I would close today telling you about a recent dream I had. Scott, who is a close friend and fellow minister here at Otter, is in training to be a "spiritual director". That may sound a little weird or different. Frankly, it's really just training to be the kind of minister we're all supposed to be--listening more than talking, praying for discernment, and dedicating yourself to prayer. Anyway--I shared this with him and he asked me what I would name the dream and helped me think through several parts of it. I named it "Hope".

In the dream I was sitting and Bud Arnold was in front of me. Bud died two years ago yesterday and was the music minister here for 30+ years before I came. He was a great mentor and fatherly figure for me. His wife, Bernie, holds a very special place in my heart and I often get to sit with her on Sunday mornings--one, because I know from my own mom how hard Sundays can be after losing a spouse, and two, because it is such a blessing for me to be around her. As Bud talked with me I was sobbing because I was so glad to see him and so heavy over the state of the world right now. I was asking him how long we have to wait, why Bernie has to endure such a hard road without him, how to continue being a leader and man of God, etc. In the background was a woman named Laurie Netterville who also attends OC. She was just standing in the background the entire time pointing toward the sky. Bud kept saying, "the time is almost here--not much longer now." (until the Lord returns) Laurie just was standing back there pointing to the heavens. Finally, at the end of my dream, there was this nuclear like explosion and that was it--Laurie had this huge smile and I was filled with this overwhelming sense of anticipation.

Weird, huh? Well, as I shared with Scott, he asked me if I was afraid of the end or death or something. I told him I wasn't--at lest to my knowledge. His read on it was that Bud representing someone in my past who held great hope and encouraged me toward the Lord. Laurie was the representative of the present and future--pointing to the heavens essentially saying, be ready! That's why I called it, "Hope". We live in a world that can easily suck us in with worries and concerns and everyday trials. We have to continue to live in a way that allows us to engage the people we meet and share the love of Christ with them while also keeping our eyes on Jesus and waiting in anticipation for His return.

I don't know if that is encouraging or not. It may be another one of those "for BST only" types of things that isn't meant to be shared. In any case, it left me feeling very encouraged and thankful for the people in my life who point me to Jesus. What a great cloud of witnesses surround us! This world is the Lord's--this world and everything in it. How grateful I am to serve an awesome Ruler who still holds my sinful heart in the palm of his hands and cares for me like a Shepherd. We are a blessed people!

4 comments:

judy thomas said...

Sheryl's dreams are rubbing off on you. It was a terrific look into your future. Love Mom

judy thomas said...
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judy thomas said...
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Donny said...

You must be on a different level than me. My dreams are about how my 3rd grade teacher and my HS football coach are taking on a trip to Sea World... or weird stuff like that. I tell my wife that I don't like to hear about people's dreams because they don't make any sense and are too confusing for anyone to have an intelligent thought about. (try watching my wife offer an explaination of my trip to Sea World!) However, the comment from your friend was a great response. I had a conversation with a friend the other day where I asked her about dying. She was surprised when I said that I've already planned my funeral in my head and are anxiously awaiting the call. Guess that's HOPE to me !! Bless you brother !! -donny-