Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dreams and Destiny of Believers - 4

Those who knew Derek Taatjes said he had a larger than life persona and preached every sermon as if it might be his last. It was! He knew life is shorter than you think. Be prepared. Don't wait to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. If he could speak to us this moment from Heaven he'd probably say, 'see, I'm here, so don't wait to accept Him. Why let Satan steal eternal life from your grasp'? Hell will never freeze over.

Youth pastor Derek Taatjes, the young 34-year old died in a house fire with his son and his funeral will be held Wednesday, April 20th at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the East Beltline at 11 a.m. Both died last Thursday of smoke inhalation - a smoldering fire in the basement that didn't set off a tested and good battery working smoke detector. It was an unforeseen accident that could happen in any home. Why him? Why the faster pastor on fire for Jesus Christ? Will his death yield fruit of the Spirit during Passover?

I've never met Derek, but from what I heard he was 'blazing hot for Christ'. The fire burning within his heart and mind wasn't orange or blue, but white hot, the hottest flame and he was destined to share his overflowing love for Christ with all who would listen to him praise the Lord. Derek lit a fire in others when nobody else could. With God's help he rocketed towards the Kingdom of God and his sparks ignited the dreams and goals of all who knew him. He had a burning passion for teaching others about God and Jesus Christ. His destiny was God-given and God-driven to achieve his dreams and goals in life. He was an accessible pastor, a man on a mission to save others for Christ and to help them achieve greater things if only they'd listen and learn lessons from his heart to the Father's heart.

Derek, like Joseph, knew their potential and limitations, but the motivation behind them was their love for God and Jesus Christ. Both were motivated by excitement to share dreams and goals. This motivational desire pushed them through life w/amazing speed. Both were positive men of conviction that what they did for mankind and Christ was far better than concentrating on themselves. Equally both didn't acquire instant success. They didn't veer off course when confronted with difficulties or problems. They kept their eyes on God and Christ.

Derek's goals and dreams must have been similar to Joseph's, the last son of Jacob. Both knew God and both lived their lives hoping that what they did pleased His sight. They poured out their heart for others and shared the Good News that Jesus is their Light of the World. God had a purpose for these men of faith. Neither of them took their eyes off Him.

You could say that Derek was a 'faster pastor' and flew by the seat of his pants. His pre-eminence was destined for God's service. He was fulfilling his destiny by fueling and sharing his life with the promises made by God. He lived his life like an open book that was pleasing God and God put him on this earth for His special purpose. Derek's mindset was that of Joseph and both sought foremost the Kingdom of God.

The youth pastor's candle of love for Jesus Christ burns brighter in the eyes of everyone he touched, that includes God and Christ. They won't forget Derek or Christ. Someone somewhere introduced Derek to Jesus Christ and his heart, mind and soul went ballistic for saving the lost. His goal - to save them for the Kingdom of God, an eternity with Him. I am not a pastor. I am a storyteller and what you read is from my heart today. The story continues... about dream interpretations in the Bible and destinies, dreams and goals in life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Dreams and Destiny of Believers- 3

I've been writing about dreams and or destinies in life. Life is short, but God has our destiny planned since our birth, and yet, he leaves our destiny in our own hands. Some lives are snuffed out sooner because something unforeseen happened. God's plan can be interrupted by an unperceived tragedy in our life.

Case in point, the young 34-year old Youth pastor in Michigan who died with his one-year old son in a house fire. Both died of smoke inhalation - he in the living room, the son upstairs. His wife and two other children were vacationing out East. It was an unknown fire in the basement. He was well loved by the congregation at Crossroads Bible Church. His death untimely? Was the fire divine accident or was it the destiny of the wife and other two children to be saved? We sometimes shorten our own lives before God's plan is realized and yet God welcomes those who pass from mortal life to eternity before the path to our destiny is fulfilled. Was this his destiny - to die so that others might live like Christ? Or was it to remind us that life is fleeting? Is it time to accept Christ as Savior before the unplanned happens to us? Your heart can't work without your mind and soul. The three are companions of life.

Not all of us are Christian's. Some refuse to believe there is a God Almighty and refute the life of Jesus Christ as our Savior. That is there loss and my gain. As Christians we have no right to brow beat unbelievers. In America it's freedom of religion. To believe or disbelieve. We simply must pray for the unseen and trust that they will see that the real 'Light of the World' is faith in Jesus Christ. Many times priests, rabbis, pastors, etc. preach for years to Congregations and it seems to them nobody is growing in the faith. Many see smoke, but no burning fires. They see no sparks and become frustrated thinking that with all the flapping of their lips they don't see any flames or the burning desires to service the church. As a congregational member I can see their frustration when week after week they preach get more involved, but it falls on deaf ears. Churches need plenty of new help - volunteers to fill posts of the 'burned out' who've given of their own time and talents in excess and need a rest. Why?

I think it is because preachers turn religion into a cult where they think it best to put all eyes and hearts on Jesus or God and forget about the mind dreams of parishioners. It is fine to put God and Christ at the head of your own household, but not if it robs the parishioners of their own dreams and goals of life. People who don't strive to reach goals in life or invest time in their own dreams, well, they seem to wander in life as aimlessly lost. They've got nothing to grab onto and never seem to accomplish anything of much useful value. Many times they let parents, friends, associates, colleagues and preachers tell them what they can, should or shouldn't do in life instead of going on a fabulous adventure to find out for themselves. They are afraid to trust what God and Christ has given them - trust in themselves and prayer. Simply put too many dreamers give up on their dreams. Some put too much emphasis on faith rather than understanding that God-given voices and visions rise from dreams. Never ask others to interpret your dreams. They destroy your life. Seek out possibility thinkers.

What others think isn't always important for they will always tell you why your dream is impossible to attain. If it's your dream, vision or prayer never allow them to bury your dreams. It's your dream - not their dream. Never give someone else the chance to destroy your dream or vision. Forget their opinion. What others might believe is wrong you must forget and believe in your ability to reverse that opinion. Don't let anyone beat you into their submissive life style. Discover your own talents and life style. Never let someone else decide your life, because you are afraid of what others might think. Whose life is it - theirs or yours? Be bold - find out!

Dreams are, I believe God-given, but in order to realize a dream they need nourishment and letting friends, parents, associates, etc. decide your life isn't nourishment, but lazy fodder. Without go-go food dreams die. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers - that's what Dr. Shueller, of the Crystal Cathedral in California always preaches. Rise above difficulties and impossibilities - soar like an eagle on eagle's wings. Be aggressive. Trust your own subconscious feelings and you might achieve a lifetime of rewards that others lost. They'll steal your dreams. God and dreams can coexist.

Have you gotten any visions from a dream? Trust your own instinct, the gut-wrenching feelings. Visions in dreams don't always pan out and many dreams die an untimely death from those who don't put forth the effort needed to support the vision. Dreams die because of lack of personal confidence in our own abilities to understand what it is we are trying to achieve. To make dreams succeed rise above the criticisms from others. Dreams are like postage stamps for we must stick to something until we achieve our end goal. Trust that you are right and everyone else is wrong - I mean legally right or wrong. God is the ultimate judge.

Where and what would the world look like today if Bill Gates, the Creator of MicroSoft never followed the voices in his head? He had a dream and despite his father's demands that he get a college education he acted upon his own dream that made him almost the richest man in the world. His father didn't like young Bill spending so much time playing video games. Something clicked in his mind, soul and heart. Bill's dad never believed that anything good would happen without college. Bill went six months or so then when his father went to visit him at the dorm he found out he quit and had started his own software business. Gate's life went ballistic because he followed the gut-wrenching feelings from his dream. His dream caused a revolution that challenges millions of dreams and countless billions of other dreams. Remember dreams are God-given challenges to us. You just need to find the right encourager's to go beyond what others believe is impossible. Our dreams and goals need nourishment. Go in peace. Dreams and destiny of believers continues...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Dreams and Destiny of Believers -2

If my oldest high school teachers were living and if you asked them about me and what I was like in our school days they'd tell you, "I was a big dreamer like Joseph, the Son of Jacob." My mind left the classroom ten minutes after it started." It did. I was floating down the Mississippi River with Huckleberry Fin and Jim on a raft or off exploring with Tom Sawyer. Anyplace was better than listening to boring teachers - but it wasn't the teacher's fault. It was the building contractors fault. Let me explain my rationale'.

It was if my mind went to sleep and I was floating away discovering new things. I wasn't visited by alien beings from outer space, but it was my bodies way of overcoming the allergens in our new school. It wasn't until twenty years after high school during genetic testing we found out I was allergic to minute particles of formaldehyde poisoning. That's below minimum levels detectable by environmental testing equipment. Formaldehyde is in everything under the sun, it still is, and the warning signs of formaldehyde allergens are warming cheeks, difficulty breathing and loss of concentration and confusion. High levels of formaldehyde gave me excessive migraine headaches within twenty minutes. It short circuited brain cells making it difficult to focus on studies. Trying to remember in excruiciating pain made learning impossible. I was physically and mentally "tripping" on formaldehyde fumes like a drug addict. Learning how to avoid this addiction has taken another twenty-five years. Learning how to avoid it, well that's the cure. It is extremely difficult since formaldehyde is everywhere you go.

Despite what you might think just because a person dreams in class doesn't mean we stop learning valuable lessons. The brain still records what is being said, but puts it in different context. Persons in a coma are locked in dreams. Time spent is no longer a constant. They can understand the chatter of those talking around them. That's why its important for people to talk nicely with respect to those in a coma or sleeping. Talking stimulates the brain cells that repair damage. Those in a coma may awaken with the snap of a finger.

I still do lots of dreaming like Joseph, the son of Jacob, but his character is for another time. In dreams we can recall the good as well as the not so good remembrances of our life. I had another dream lately. I've been remembering my days at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Spent four years in the ward. Recently I went back to the old place to buy a new leg brace. The old one has lasted fifteen years and the springs were exiting the brace material when I exercised riding a cycle at the gym. The other night I felt like Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), when he was running away from childhood bullies, the rods in his leg braces flying off.

Well I returned to the hospital this week. My reoccurring dream has been pestering me to return. My wife had previously found several other numbers, but I said "How about the brace shop." She dialed the number at MFBH and I got an appointment within 18 hours. Have you ever gotten a non-emergency doctor visit in 18 hours? It was dream destiny. I obeyed the gremlin in my mind. It said return to the brace shop at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. I walked in the door and bypassed the historical display cabinet. It was filled with old pictures of structures over more than 100 years. I didn't tarry, but left for my scheduled appointment.

Upon returning I by passed the historical display, but when going outside the gremlin said, "Go back, something inside the cabinet you need to see." I obeyed the voice. The first picture my eyes saw was "two nun nurses sitting at a table with a clustering of several of my ward friends." That photo was taken in the early 1950's. I was standing between the two nurses. My how time flies. I could remember all the names of the patients, but not the nurses. Fifty-six years had passed, but could still recall their voices from the past.

Was the voice I obeyed to return to the cabinet one of destiny or was it the living God, the God I believe in making sure I had rekindled an old memory from the past. I remembered my roots. How about you? Do you listen to what is being said in your dreams? Do you obey the voice or do you cast it off because you are afraid to explore your dream or afraid of what others might think. Never allow life to rob you of dreams. Many people and circumstances in life rob our dreams. Dreams are God given, but they need to be nourished. Listening to the voice in the dream is food that yields great rewards. Not all yield fruit.

In II Kings 17: 21-22, in the Holy Bible it says that Elijah cried to the Lord (in reference to the widow's son brought to life), "O Lord my God, let this child's soul come to him again. The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived".

Walking together Elisha (meaning, God is Salvation) asked Elijah (meaning My God is Jehovah) for double-shares of your spirit. As they walked a chariot of fire and horses passed between them and Elijah was swirled up by the passing whirlwind into Heaven. This wasn't a dream, but Elisha was impressed by the power of God to raise Elijah. Elisha may have been more powerful than Elijah, but Elijah is mentioned more than 27 times in the New Testament. God does listen to our prayers. But, I think too many times those asking the prayer are beating their drums so loudly they fail to listen or hear what can be told in dreams. Many dreams aren't practical, but do trust what the dream says. Trust the dream. Listen to the visions and voices in dreams. Follow what your heart and mind tells you to do, but don't listen to those who will try to destroy what your dreams tell you. Till next time, "Keep on dreaming and may all your dream come true."