VIDEO Creating a healthy new normal after the death of a dream

A broken dream isn’t the greatest tragedy, but a life forever defined by it is.

Creating a healthy new normal after the death of a dream is essential. In this condensed version of their documentary, Sheridan and Merryn Voysey understand facing a new normal. In A Journey Through Broken Dreams, they candidly share their struggle with infertility, the decade of medical procedures they endured to try to conceive a child, and the decision to redesign their lives with career changes and a major move to another continent. Their life didn’t go as planned, but ultimately they found peace in their marriage and with God.

Don’t Look for Treasure You Already Have

 

In his book Souls on Fire, Elie Weissel tells a remarkable tale. In far away Krakau, in days when sleep was often disturbed by dreams, there lived one Isaac, son of Yechel. Isaac was a poor man whose family seldom ate their fill. One night in a vivid dream, he saw the distant city of Prague. He saw a river flowing through the city, and under a particular bridge he saw a buried treasure. When he woke the next morning, the dream had not faded. Its clear and vivid images remained etched on his mind. That night the dream returned. And the next night. Every night for two weeks, Isaac had the same dream in which he saw the city of Prague, the river, the bridge, and the buried treasure hidden beneath the bridge.

Finally, he decided to walk all the way to Prague to see for himself if the dream might be real. After several days he arrived in the city. Even though he had never been there, he recognized it and knew it well from his dreams. He found the bridge, went under it to search for the treasure, and then suddenly was grabbed firmly at the back of his neck by a soldier who dragged him away to prison for interrogation.

The soldier sat him in a chair and said, “All right, Jew, what were you doing prowling around under that bridge?” Not knowing what else to say, Isaac decided to tell the truth, “I had a dream that there was buried treasure under that bridge, and I was looking for it.”

Immediately, the soldier burst into mocking laughter, “You stupid Jew, don’t you know that you can’t believe what you see in your dreams? Why, for the last two weeks I myself have had a dream every night that far away in the city of Krakau, in the house of some Jew by the name of Isaac, son of Yechel, there is a treasure buried beneath the sink in his house. Wouldn’t it be the most idiotic of actions if I were to go all the way to Krakau to look for some Jew that doesn’t exist. Or there may be a thousand Isaacs, son of Yechel. I could waste a lifetime looking for a treasure that isn’t there.” With uproarious laughter, the soldier stood him up, opened the door, gave him a good kick, and let him go.

Naturally, Isaac, son of Yechel, walked back to Krakau, back to his own house, where he looked beneath the sink in his own kitchen, found the treasure buried there, and lived to a ripe old age as a rich man. The treasure was at home all along.

This truth applies to Christians as well: our treasure is in Jesus Christ, who resides in us. We don’t have to look anywhere else. Paul wrote to the Colossians because false teachers were telling them that Jesus Christ was not sufficient; they needed some additional spiritual experiences. They taught that Jesus himself was inadequate and this inadequate Jesus couldn’t provide all they needed for a full spiritual experience.

Paul countered this claim by telling the Colossian believers, as well as their modern counterparts, that Jesus is the fullness of God and that because of their relationship with him, they have been given fullness. The treasure is Christ, who is in them. Paul tells them in this chapter not to look for other treasure when the true treasure is already theirs.

 

Finding the Will of God

John 14:23-27

Discovering God’s will is an ongoing adventure with rewards along the way. His Word is our map for the journey, and the Holy Spirit is our guide, who provides “road signs” as we travel.

Circumstances. God may use situations—even negative ones—to communicate with us (Phil. 1:12). To discern the meaning of a situation, we must relate biblical principles to our circumstances. God never contradicts His Word, and His will always upholds it.

Counsel. God may direct us through counsel from other believers (Prov. 1:5). To assess what they are saying, ask yourself, Do they honor the Lord in their attitudes and choices? Are their decisions based on scriptural truth? Do they offer biblical principles to help me find God’s will, or just their own opinion?

Conscience. Once our “inner alarm system” has been programmed according to scriptural foundations, we can use it as a resource to determine God’s plan for our life (1 Tim. 1:19).

Common Sense. When decisions need to be made quickly, the Spirit helps us think through which choices will honor God (James 1:5-6).

Compulsion. Sometimes God gives us compelling desires to see certain things happen. If we see no contradiction with Scripture and our inner feelings remain strong over time, we should move ahead (Ps. 33:4 NIV; 1 Cor. 9:16).

Contentment. God gives peace when we accept His choices for us (Isa. 26:3).

With your instruction book in hand, are you watching for the “road signs” that God places in your path? The heavenly Father does not want you to miss His perfect will for your life.

Instruction Contrary to Knowledge

“Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27)

One of the saddest realities in the modern world is that many of the leaders of evolutionary and humanistic thought were raised in Christian homes, where from an early age they were exposed to the truths of Scripture. Testimonies without number have been chronicled of Christian students going to universities where they were taught to doubt and then to disbelieve the faith of their parents. Perhaps all these students ever knew of Christianity was a set of rules; maybe they never understood the reasons their parents held certain views or the basis for these beliefs. Certainly the foundational teaching of creation has been missing in many Christian homes and churches.

Our primary goal as parents should be to establish a godly heritage—to teach the truths of God in such a way as will be believed and cherished by our children, so that they will “keep that which is committed to [their] trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20).

Certainly a more effective way of teaching is to continually point the child or student back to foundational principles rather than to list a set of dos and don’ts. We must teach those under our influence to be grounded in the Word so that they can make sound judgments when away from our watchful eyes. No greater aid to serious study, no better primer in careful reasoning exists than in Scripture. Using it and other supportive materials, a child can learn to think carefully and critically. Not only will they learn information, but here they can learn wisdom and knowledge and understanding. “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6). JDM

He’ll Hold You Up

For with God nothing shall be impossible. —Luke 1:37

I cannot for the life of me see any reason in the world why anyone should be fearful and timid, saying, “I’m afraid I can’t make it; I’m afraid God can’t keep me.” God can keep the stars in their courses and the planets in their orbits; God can keep all His vast display of might everywhere throughout His universe. Surely God can keep you!

It’s like a fly perched on a seat in an airplane, moaning and trembling for fear that the plane can’t carry its weight. That plane weighs several tons and it has several tons of people and baggage on it. That fly is so light that it’s impossible, outside of a laboratory, to even weigh the little guy. And yet we can imagine him sitting there, flapping his little wings and saying, “I’m just afraid this plane won’t hold me up!”

The great God Almighty stretches forth His broad wings and moves upon the wind.

God will hold you up. He’ll keep you if you turn yourself over to Him! He’ll hold you when nothing else can; nothing will be able to destroy you.

Lord, I’m reminded of the words of Psalm 3:5: “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” I’ll rest calmly in Your power today. Amen.

Have You Been Bragging About God?

That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion. (1 Peter 4:11)

Basic beliefs about the Person and the nature of God have changed so much that there are among us now men and women who find it easy to brag about the benefits they receive from God—without ever a thought or a desire to know the true meaning of worship!

I have immediate reactions to such an extreme misunderstanding of the true nature of a holy and sovereign God, for I believe that the very last thing God desires is to have shallow-minded and worldly Christians bragging about Him.

Beyond that, it does not seem to be very well recognized that God’s highest desire is that every one of His believing children should so love and so adore Him that we are continually in His presence, in spirit and in truth.

Something wonderful and miraculous and life-changing takes place within the human soul when Jesus Christ is invited in to take His rightful place. That is what God anticipated when He wrought the plan of salvation. He intended to make worshipers out of rebels; to restore the place of worship which our first parents knew when they were created!

Meadows may be occasionally flooded

Meadows may be occasionally flooded, but the marshes are drowned by the tide at every return thereof.”

There is all this difference between the sins of the righteous and those of the ungodly. Surprised by temptation, true saints are flooded with a passing outburst of sin; but the wicked delight in transgression and live in it as in their element. The saint in his errors is a star under a cloud, but the sinner is darkness itself. The gracious may fall into iniquity, but the graceless run into it, wallow in it, and again and again return to it.