Samuel’s Farm

As is clear from the date, I had this dream awhile back. However, it is still fairly vivid in my mind. I realize that it is a teaching dream, but some of it makes me wonder. For instance, I am overly helpful and tend to take over. I don’t always give others the opportunity to show what they can do. Many times, this causes conflict. One of the parts I wonder about is the entire music room scene. At the time of this dream, and even today, I am in limbo where I fit in the music area of my life. The moving from place to place until the right room was found rings true in a sense for my life. As for the farm itself, I do not know if this is suppose to happen, will happen, or if it really is just a dream….

March 15, 2011

I had a very vivid dream in the night that I wasn’t ready to wake up from this morning. I don’t like it when your conscious mind begins to try to figure out how to do things in your dream. I am writing this down as best I can remember because I get the idea that it is (or will be) important somehow.

I was standing with another woman when we were approached by someone who asked if there was any way that we could help out. (I got the feeling that a schedule rotation didn’t work out properly, or something to the affect). We walked into what appeared to be a very large house and we were immediately in a huge kitchen. There were several children of various ages running around, but not an overwhelming number. I, somehow, was aware that this was not a single family dwelling, but a home-like institute of sorts. The woman and I began to wash dishes, put items away, wipe down the table and counters and prep items for the next meal (which I knew to be lunch). I then had peas on the stove and two other pots of things cooking, when a man (I believe this was the same person who approached us) came in with two others. Apparently, I had caused some confusion because I had done more than I was suppose to. Yes, there were 2 of us, but I was the one who was being schooled about not overdoing and thereby causing confusion with the rest of the staff. I was only suppose to prep the items that were laid out for that purpose, not cook what I wanted to and take over the kitchen. I remember thinking, ‘I see; the night shift preps for breakfast, but the breakfast shift prepares it and preps for lunch; the lunch shift prepares lunch and preps for dinner and the dinner shift prepares dinners and preps for breakfast.’.

As soon as the confusion was cleared up, we were led from the kitchen farther towards the back of the house and my companion and I were split up and I never saw her again. The rest of my day was spent in a rotation of rooms doing different things with kids of every age, size, color, creed. This was sort of like changing classes at school, but there was also a lot of trying to figure out what worked best. For example, there was music room where the kids not only played instruments, they made them. This class kept getting moved from room to room because the noise was disturbing the other classes. Finally, it was settled where the music class was going stay and it worked out great. I remembered walking in from another class and seeing this tiny child so excited that he had made a tambourine all by himself. I also remember that the teacher was a large black man whose young daughter was in the class and the drums hurt her ears and she went running into her dad’s arms; but I’ve never in real life met these folks. Although I rotated through several classrooms, once I came to the music room, I never rotated out until the dream took a turn….

While I’m watching what is going on in the music room, a little boy rolls a ball out the door and into the room I had been in before. I went to retrieve the ball but my going in disturbed the class, so I went back through the door to the music room and explained that I couldn’t retrieve the ball. As I’m going through the door, however, I noticed the door jams needed work. Then I realized that everything needed LOTS of work, and that it really wasn’t a house. It was more like several rooms had been built and situated on a piece of property. Some rooms were attached to each other, while many more were not.

So I was back in the music room and it was time to change classes or it was recess–I really don’t know, but we all went out double doors located on the side wall of the music room. When I stepped through the doors, I was outside on a large piece of property and kids and adults (more kids than adults) were everywhere. I was walking away from the buildings on a pretty green lawn, asking myself, ‘what is this place?’ I was all sorts of buildings with different types of activities going on everywhere. In the distance, I saw a huge brick building (somehow I knew that we weren’t suppose to be on that property–my mind believed it to be a public school). Then a youth came up to me (the only person I recognize in the entire dream) and says, “Can we go out there to that building?” I said, “Well, I don’t know, let’s go see.” So we walk down to what looks like a box truck without the truck part. There are youths sitting on a bench or boxes very close to the building I know we aren’t suppose to mess with. They are all staring at me and the girl, and they are sort of making fun, but nothing crazy. We walk around to the back of the truck and roll up the door and there are several teens in a weight room of sorts. I told the girl with me that I guess we were allowed to be there. But I got the impression those kids were doing things in the box truck that they weren’t suppose to, so I left the door up!  As I began to make my way back to where I had been, I noticed I was weaving around many small garden sheds with little gardens that were sectioned off with railroad ties. They were perfect, and each one had an adult and a child or two working in them. The entire outside setting was just so lovely, from the way the buildings were set to the little gardens, to the manicured lawn. As I continued to walk, I just kept asking this one question: “What is this place?” Finally, out of nowhere, but dropped into my spirit was this: “Samuel’s Farm.”

I woke up and all I could think about was who was Samuel in the Bible besides a prophet of the LORD, and how did his story relate to this dream?

The Change Inside

March 7, 2011 at 9:43pm

In the late 80’s and most of the 90’s, I was completely into the cowboy scene: I attended every rodeo I could, hung out at Billy Bob’s, The Country Connection and The Electric Cowboy. I worked in several bars, listened to the music, hung out with the musicians, wore the clothes, and had the attitude. And all you cowgirls know the attitude I’m talking about. I took it all very seriously–I was not a weekend warrior. Even in my daily life there was a country song for every situation I was caught up in, and being raised in the country on a working dairy farm only added to my authenticity, in my opinion. The folks I ran with all had common interests, attitudes, and attire.
Then I met and married a man who was more into a different scene. So, towards the end of the 90’s my look changed into something a little more sophisticated and we began hanging at places like Strictly Taboo and Sambuca’s, both Dinner and Jazz clubs. My attitude was a slightly different too, but only a little. Let’s face it, Deep Elum is not the place to loose your ‘tude or your nerve! We associated with people who shared our common interests.
For the last several years my husband and I have been involved in CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association). We have the clothing, have stickers on our bike, attend the rallies and have adjusted some of our speech to reflect the changes (i.e. we don’t ride with a club, we are part of an organization). You know everything we’ve participated in by looking at our vests, but they aren’t just for show. It is very important to wear the proper gear–the right leathers could save your life. We are still associating with people who have our same interests, and we all dress alike and talk the same.

Now that I am living a Christian life, I hear a lot of people outside my faith say that we don’t use our brains to think for ourselves, that we follow blindly, that we act like and believe whatever the preacher tells us, and that we are dangerous because of this. Well, it is true that I read the same Book that most Christians do, I listen to Christian music, and usually what comes out of my mouth reflects what I have been hearing from our Pastor other Christians that we hang with. This is absolutely no different from my Country days or Jazz days when I was in no way living a Christian lifestyle. However, this, too, is still just a lifestyle. I am no different from you. If you are into racing, you surround yourself with people who enjoy racing, you attend when you can, watch it on TV, work on cars, talk shop, even have the clothes that show what you are in to. The same goes for martial artists, rock musicians, mountain bikers, weight lifters…take your pick.  The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is true in more ways than one. Whatever you take in as a steady diet is what you are in your heart and mind.

I jumped into the country scene with both feet. I did the same with the jazz scene, the Christian Motorcyclists scene, and even the church scene. None were just a hobby for me. Because of that I was changed from the outside and it affected me on the inside. I conducted myself by what I surrounded myself with.

Today I am a changed woman but it has nothing to do with what I have done, what I wear or what I am into. All the other changes have been lifestyle changes. But this thing has given me a CHANGED LIFE. I read the same Book, visit the Christian stores, wear the clothes, listen to the music, talk the talk and yes, what I surround myself with and take in as a steady diet does change and renew my heart and mind. But this change is something I could never do on my own. I could never have made myself into a good, upright, moral, just person. I truly did try and when I failed, I was thrown into a horrific depression that nearly killed me. I did the whole church/religious thing and I could talk the talk with the best of them. But my core self was not changed. Thank God my goodness is not based on the same things that made me good at all the other things I was into. My goodness is based upon what Someone did for me, not what I have ever done. Once I accepted that, He began to change me from the inside out.

I still like Jazz and I completely enjoy a well-made, beautiful pair of boots and even a good rodeo. I have traded in my Mo Betta shirts for leathers that fly my CMA colors and a  Harley,  and those “somebody done somebody wrong” songs for music with a joyous, uplifting, chain-breaking, yoke- destroying, gentle, loving agenda. Who knows, if I keep this walking thing up, this time next year I may become a marathoner with the proper attire! But what will not change, since I’ve accepted His gift, is who I am in my Savior and Messiah, Jesus. He began this good work in me and He will see it through to the very end. What I find amazing is that because of what Jesus has done for me, I am better at any and everything else I put my hand to. I can’t take any credit for this, God gets all the glory!

Thanksgiving

Image

When I was in high school I wrote a lot of poetry, but the most special times were when God would drop title, words and music into my heart and my hand could barely keep up as the words flowed! This is one result…

Thanksgiving Day 1983

Thank You, thank You,

Praise Your Holy Name!

All through the ages You’ve never changed.

Hosanna, hosanna,

Shout, let it ring!

Hosanna! Hallelujah! Praise God our King!

I want to thank You, thank You

for my special song.

Oh how You love me

Even when I go wrong!

Hallelujah, hallelujah,

Praise Your Holy Name!

Praise God, You are faithful,

You’re always the same.

Hosanna, hosanna,

Let praises ring!

Hallelujah, hallelujah,

To Christ let us sing!

Hosanna, hallelujah,

Lift your voice to the King!

(Written by: TBrightDuncan)

A Little Story

November 27, 2012 at 10:35pm

I want to acknowledge that I am a blessed woman. There are too many ways in which I am blessed to list, but the second largest blessing in my life is my husband, Steve. Our road has not been without conflict from within and attacks from without, but he has never given up on this new walk, on us, on me or on himself and that is the epitome of true courage and raw strength of the man.

I am sure that you know blessings do not come without responsibilities attached, and on their heels comes a thief. The other day I was talking with my Mom and told her that I had not had a migraine or felt bad in about three weeks. I went on about how good it felt to wake up in the morning and not hurt and what a blessing that was. The next morning I awoke feeling fine, but I barely made it through my work day. By the time I pulled into our driveway I could hardly get out of my car and I was that way for three days. That ol’ thief came to rob me of my blessing, but I had three weeks of feeling great that he couldn’t undo. The next best thing he could do was rob me of joy, cause me to get on the pity-pot, or sneak doubt into my mind of who/Whose I am. I tend to fall for these tactics and I honestly don’t understand why. They are old and worn out, yet I get caught in the same play nearly every time. The responsibility of the blessing of health is to not squander it by sitting around doing nothing and not allowing the enemy to destroy my faith.

I am not a prayer warrior. I sometimes think I want to be, but the truth is I am more comfortable and seem to do better hanging out around the fringes of the lives I intersect with than I am in the middle of them. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but I’d be lying if I claimed to be anything different. I observe from arm’s length and if I can do something to help, I’ll be happy to and do it with all my heart. But I want to get in, get it done, and get out. Prayer warriors are amazing! They are disciplined and routined, fervent and effective and although that doesn’t describe me, this is not to say that I don’t pray. I pray for those the LORD lays on my heart when He puts them there, for those I know are sick or in need, or for salvation of those I know who need it, and for specifics as they arise. But the truth is, my prayer life needs work and I need to learn diligence where it is concerned.

Back in May, I envisioned Steve and I selling everything we own and living a very simple life. I know people who would argue that our life is fairly simple as it is and there are those who would strongly disagree! But what I saw was us willingly selling all the stuff we have accumulated in 8 1/2 years of marriage, rather than it being taken from us. I should state here that Steve and I are not always on the same page! You see, I am sure that God gave me a little inside information and that was all I needed to get started. I was completely ready and quite willing to sell it all and live in the RV. Yes well, Steve, on the other hand was not about all that! I didn’t stop to pray about it or anything because I had (and have) faith in the vision I believe He showed me. So, I simply began to make preparations in my mind and around the house of what all we would be selling and what I could decorate the RV with, while Steve was busy explaining that it takes time to sell things and that to sell some things would not be prudent. Well, of course, Steve is right and there are some things that do take time to sell and things that shouldn’t be sold — for now, at lease. But we are on the same page that it is time to scale down and get rid of all the excess and to use those proceeds for a higher purpose.

During this time, I prayed for God to help us work our way out of debt. I told Him that I didn’t want to owe anyone anything and that what we chose to keep I didn’t want anyone to be able to take from us because we couldn’t meet our responsibilities or because we were neglectful. I specifically asked to be debt-free. Good grief, Charlie Brown! Father works very quickly when our requests further His plans for us and when we begin to cooperate with Him. But blessings rarely come wrapped in familiar paper. Sometimes they are even disguised as problems to be despised!

I didn’t realize what all I was asking for when I asked Abba to help us become debt-free. If I had realized, I may not have asked because it has opened a can of worms. But if I hadn’t asked, we may not be as far along as we are now (and there is quite a way to go). I just keep thinking that God must have something much more important for us to spend our time, effort and money on because, once He got our attention and we lined ourselves up with His plan, He is moving things along at near break-neck speed. He is also providing all that we need along the way, even though the thief is doing all he can to eat up the provisions as quickly as they are given. It is frustrating really, but at the same time, fascinating  when I step back and see how God is moving all the pieces into place to bring  things together for our good and for His glory.

I realize that as I am writing this and praising God for all that He is doing in our lives that the enemy is going to do all that he can to rob me of my joy, or try to cause me to focus on any problems, cause me to feel sorry for myself when things don’t go according to my plans, or sneak doubt into my mind about God’s plans for my family.

So, how many blessings are disguised as problems in your family? I encourage you all to praise through any and all issues….

Do You Wanna Hear a Funny?

I am going back through all the Notes I posted on FaceBook and blogging them here if I think they are worth it. This is a day-in-the-life-T story from November 16, 2011:

After threatening to rain all day, we had a fairly bad storm very late in the afternoon/early evening yesterday. A young friend and I were visiting the office of another friend and while there, the weather turned nasty. We, however, were unaware of it until time for us to leave. That is when the thunder and lightning was really bad and very close (like striking in the parking lot close). My young friend is afraid of storms and we were trying to reassure her that all was well, and that if God is the God of the sunshine, He is also the God of the storm and He is in control….

This all sounds great, huh? Well, allow me to let you in on a LITTLE secret. Mrs. T does not like to be out in stormy weather! If I am home, I am perfectly fine…as long as I don’t have to drive in the mess, the thunder and lightning isn’t striking at my doorstep, the wind isn’t whipping up chaos, and the lights don’t go out — I’m perfectly fine and calm and all is well. I’m not scared–reassuring myself, here! 🙂

So we sit there for a few minutes hoping the worst of it will pass because I’m worried about driving in the torrents of rain that are coming down. I finally tell my young friend that we should really go to the restroom before we get into the car. As we walk down the hallway she says, “I’m scared. Oh! what if the lights go out while we are in the bathroom?” Now mind you, our friend, who has an office in the building, has already assured her that if the lights go out a generator will turn them back on quickly. So, as we are walking I am reminding her of his words, trying to console and calm her. We opened the door to the restroom, flipped on the lights and headed to the stalls. In mid-sit the lights go out! It is so black that you can’t make out anything at all. Oh man! was there some excited talk happening! Can I tell you I nearly missed the seat? Now I was doing my very best to stay calm and speak reassuredly so I didn’t alarm her anymore than she already was, but I couldn’t find the latch on the stall door and my heart was in a panic . I was doing my level best not to think about every single scary movie I watched as a dumb twenty-something kid, and tell myself that God does not give us a spirit of fear, that fear comes from the devil and that he was doing his best to get me to doubt. But I swear to you that if anything had brushed my hand as Ireached out into the darkness to grope along the wall, I would have screamed like a chic in a B-rated movie! My young friend found her way out of her stall and I directed her to grab my hand. I seriously don’t know how I was being so calm. We began to walk along the wall and as we passed the end of the stalls, I saw a reflection in the mirror of light framing the doorway from the hallway. Just as I brought it to her attention, we heard our friend outside the door ask, “Do you need a light?” Dang! teenagers can move fast when they are motivated! That girl had the door open, the cellphone with the flashlight app. out of his hand, and our purses picked up within seconds! Looking back on it today I realize how funny it was that she took the phone and stepped back into the restroom to get our things and left him standing in total darkness in the hallway! Funnier still is how quickly that child busted down those halls with his cellphone flashlight firmly within HER grip — seriously she was like a half  car length ahead of us! I’m pretty sure she reminded him about telling us there were generator lights while she was moving, too!

Well, we all made it to where we were suppose to be–safely. But I’m telling you the truth,  I don’t know how I didn’t come unraveled! I choose to believe that what His Word records is true: “He gives power to the tired and worn out and strength to the weak. Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” –Isaiah 40:29-31

The Hero

August 2, 2013 at 9:22am

Steve and I started watching “The Hero” about 4 episodes ago, and I believe the best person won on last night’s finale. As I went to sleep I asked Father what made someone a hero in His eyes. I thought I’d hear about those who witness and are even in chains for their faith, or those who sacrifice for the sake of the destitute, or those who obey without question. The answer I got instead was Micah 6:8. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

I think growing up in America we are at a disadvantage when it comes to walking humbly. Humble is not something we are taught here in the States. Now mercy is a little easier to understand. It is definitely something we all want from others, however, we do not give it out as freely as we expect it back. None of us completely understands the mercy in the message of the Cross. But I latched onto “act justly”. I know the Scripture tells me that God is a just God, yet He has NOT given me what I justly deserve. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. He hasn’t given you what you justly deserve either. I lived a hellion’s life, and this after I was raised in the church. This is no figure of speech, I should be dead. The cold justice of my own free will should have landed me in the morgue, yet the mercy of God did not allow the consequences of my actions to be as severe as my actions deserved. Maybe that is the difference between justice and justNESS.

Still, trying to understand what acting justly looks like in the real world, Father reminded me of these picture:

About these photos: Keisha Thomas received national attention in 1996 in Ann Arbor, Michigan  as reported in a retrospect this spring, “Then 18-year-old Keshia  Thomas of Ann Arbor shields a man wearing a Confederate T-shirt from an  angry crowd during a Ku Klux Klan rally on June 22, 1996, outside Ann  Arbor’s city hall. Thomas, who won national attention for her act, later  said: “People don’t have to remember my name. I just want them to  remember that I did the right thing.” (AnnArbor.com, March 12, 2012)

She did the right thing. She acted justly. She showed mercy to someone who probably would have shown her the bottom of his boot heel.

I asked God what it takes to be a hero in His eyes and He said, “Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with Me.”

The Alternative Life Style

9.02.13

Labor Day is here and I had several plans for this day, but it is raining. This only serves as a reminder that our ways are not God’s ways. As I was thinking about all the ways our plans differ from His, this thought came to mind: The true Christian walk is truly the alternative life style. I know that most Christians take offense to all the ‘rules’ of the Old Testament. No one wants to be bombarded with a bunch of “thou shalt not’s”. We want to know what we can get away with. We are told that we live under Grace and therefore we are not bound to the legalism of the Old Testament. We are told that man cannot keep the commands of the Lord and that is why Jesus had to die for us. And besides, we are saved by Grace and not by works, lest any man should boast. I must be an alternative thinker, because I believe Jesus lived His life out before us to show us that a pure lifestyle is possible, even in a world of reprobate. But I do not believe He came because we couldn’t follow the rules. I believe He came because we could not be saved by following rules. In other words, the Law couldn’t save us, only a perfect blood sacrifice could do that. And that is why Jesus chose to come on our behalf. I don’t believe that it is legalistic to follow the rules either. Jesus taught us to follow the rules of God and those set in place by government. He taught that ALL the Law and the Prophets were wrapped up in two commandments. And He taught us that we were to be set apart from the world. It is those rules that teach us what ‘set apart’ looks like.

Bear with me for a moment as I interject something here. Have you ever read the original copy of the Constitution of the U.S.? I was surprised by it’s relatively short length considering it’s purpose was to govern an entire nation. What is striking is how much has been added to the original over the years. People seem to need tight-fitting boxes when a general application will suffice. For instance, there is an amendment to the original that abolishes slavery. However, the wording of the original is clear — ALL men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. There is another amendment giving women and people of color the right to vote. But again, the spirit of the Constitution has always been the same, with every citizen enjoying the same rights. But not everyone sees things so clearly, so we are dependent upon others to rightly divide the truth of and the spirit in which our Constitution was written. The farther we get from the thoughts and actions of the writers, and the more we change the events of history to suit ourselves and our selfish agendas, the more oppressive and legalistic our beautiful Constitution becomes, giving ever-more power to government and taking it from the hands of the people for whom it was intended.

Now, consider The Ten Commandments. When they first appeared on the biblical scene in Exodus, they were written on stone tablets. Ten Commandments — the Covenant of God with His people. By the time the book of Leviticus was being played out, God had established proper Temple etiquette and the government of the people. Yet, the spirit of the Law was written in only Ten Commandments. By the time Jesus began His ministry, the religious authorities had placed so many amendments and restrictions to the Covenant of God, that it was barely recognizable — and that is where the legalistic, ritual-following part came into play.

The rules that governed ancient Israel were to help them realize how important it was to stay pure in heart, mind, and body, to be consecrated and set apart from every common or perverse thing, because the God they served chose to dwell among them and He is set apart, consecrated and pure in heart, mind and being. He didn’t ask the people to be anything He is not Himself. The government He established was to keep them from falling into the ways of the governments around them and taking part in their ways of life. Do you really believe the “rule” to have no other god before Jehovah was because He is so power-hungry? He already has all power. Certainly nothing we do can add to or take from that. But, when you consider the religious practices of the people around them for their gods, you understand that Our God was saving generations of children and diverting heartbreak in parents. You see, child sacrifice was a common practice among the ancient civilizations, but was never to be part of Israel’s history. Another custom was cutting oneself as a sacrifice for their gods. But Jehovah God said we are made in His Image and we are not to do such things to ourselves, His creation. Why is it so difficult to follow a God whose desire is to give life abundantly, but so easy to follow after many gods whose demands we cannot bear and that ultimately ruin our lives and those around us?

So the Law cannot save us, it can only point out our short-comings. Does that mean we are to throw it out? Heaven forbid! Be an alternative life-style thinker and begin to live by the spirit of the Law in truth. That spirit is Love. Don’t you realize that what the world is screaming in our ears is to be like them? All this “I wanna do my own thing and be my own person” looks exactly like what everybody else is doing and saying and being.

I want to be the one who, when put into a crowd of people, stands out because of my alternative life style — a life style of holiness, governed by God in Truth with love. I don’t want to have my thoughts dictated to me by mass media, university professors, government officials, and especially not by my own negative, destructive thought patterns! I want to be able to think alternatively — meditating on the Words of the Most High God and allowing His ways to be my ways because I want to look, think, act and react completely different from the world at large. Instead, I want to emulate my Father.

I’ll take those Ten Commandments over all the restrictions that government and man have placed upon life, and in following those simple rules in the spirit they were written and in truth of heart, man, animal and nature will all be preserved, protected and cared for and my Father will be glorified.