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Confident, Creative Coping—and Conquering--in a Constrictive (E)conomy

Cash seems tight for nearly everyone these days.  Skyrocketing prices, sluggish economy, and unemployment contribute to the difficulty of meeting even the necessary expenses of food, water, and shelter. Unmet basic needs cast a discouraging pall over every other area of life. The cost of living can sour even the most optimistic, hardworking soul, when out-go outweighs in-flow.
 
When it rains, it pours.  Multiple expenses seem to hit all at once.  Inventory runs out. The air conditioner needs replacing (it is 90 degrees--inside), someone breaks into our car and steals, an appliance quits working, we get sick and need a doctor. It all adds up, and we have the tendency to get grouchy.
 
Continual complications compound when we splurge on unnecessaries, or make poor money management decisions that can land us in a widening hole of financial hopelessness.
 
What’s a responsible, honest person to do?
 
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to climb out of that pit of despair.  All is not lost.  There is hard work to be done--to earn, manage, profit, spend wisely, but also to develop the most crucial part:  the Attitude.
 
Use this season to think outside of the grumpy box.  Expand your perspective.  Better yet, include the Creator of the Universe into your struggle—perhaps to reveal the bigger picture of the times.
 
1.  Allow your values and your identity be shaken and tested.  While it is painful, this is a good thing once in a while.  Ask yourself, “Have I gotten too materialistic? Who is my real Provider?  Where do I get my strength? How much of my self-worth belief is tied up with money?  What is going on spiritually in my life right now?” Go ahead and ask God the hard questions, dare to confront and make needed changes. 
 
2.  Determine the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.  We might think we couldn’t live without that new TV or particular cell phone.  Put it in perspective.  We might have to sacrifice and do without something for a while until we get back on our feet.  Eventually we may discover we didn’t need that particular addictive influence in our life anyway.  You can pare your budget down to needs only.  A little discipline never hurt anyone. 
 
3. Keep giving.  You will reap what you sow—so keep sowing into other people, even though it seems you are not experiencing a ‘reaping’ at present.  Give stuff away. Open your closet and give some of your nicest clothing away. This breaks off the hoarding mentality, blesses other people, and makes you feel good!
 
4. Get dirty.  Go out and serve a neighbor or someone also in need. Don’t stay inside and allow depression or self-pity settle in, but go outside and do some sweaty work! You will see others who are worse off than you. You will get ‘grounded’ and feel more balanced as you move out of your own troubles and focus concern on someone else.
 
5.  Ask for help, support, prayer.  You are not alone.  Everyone goes through difficult times—we need to lean on each other.  It is not a character flaw to struggle from time to time, and people cannot read your mind.  Ask for what you need and let people give to YOU.  We all need to learn how to RECEIVE.  Ask God for a miracle--and then prepare to watch it unfold!
 
6.  Develop a thankful heart.  Instead of complaining and focusing on LACK, take stock of the GOOD things in your life.  
 
7.  This too shall pass. Often when circumstances seem the darkest, breakthrough is just around the corner.  Don’t give up! 
 
Crucial character refinement is happening within right now—you don’t want to miss it.  Keep your chin up and learn the art of experiencing increasing joy even amidst trying times.   
 
Remember!  You are in a season of testing and that you will emerge  stronger and wiser in the end.

 

Second photo:  Joe Whiskers Martin and my husband, Jesse, replacing our backyard sewer line last year.  Joe was unemployed at the time, and his wife recently passed away from cancer.  You know he's a good friend who sets his own troubles aside and cheerfully jumps into your sewer-dirt. 

Help! Someone Stole My Wallet!--In My Dreams

"I dreamed my wallet (or purse) was stolen!”  This dream consistently tops the search statistics on Destiny Dreamz’s dream interpretation website.  Questions about possible meaning of this dream abound, as dreamers wrestle with the feelings of panic, loss, and violation. 
 
In real life, a purse or wallet contains vital private information, keys, personal items, and money. Symbolically, a missing wallet could represent an identity crisis regarding issues of personal value, personality, favor, power, or security.  Our communication and contacts (cell phones) could be affected.  A deliberate theft accentuates the bewildered feelings with shock and fear of further complicating consequences.  Theft always seems to sap emotional energy.
 
Dreams of a missing purse or wallet can stem from financial difficulties (happy Income Tax day today, y'all), loss of a job, position, status, or influence, marriage or relationship hardships, false accusations, or any kind of major shift in life that brings grief and concern. These dreams can show a situation in the past, present, or possible future. 
 
Dreamer must act quickly to prevent further repercussions (think symbolically with me here)—assessing the extent of loss, immediately notifying authorities and people that can help, canceling certain ‘accounts’ so further ‘rip-off’ cannot occur, and making requests for ‘new’ documentation to replace what is gone. 
 
During the recovery stage, the dreamer gets to re-evaluate old habits, to determine how to prevent possible future damage—lock the car doors (be more spiritually and physically watchful and alert), keep the purse out in plain sight (not visible and accessible to everyone), be careful who we trust with our heart treasures. Not everyone will treat us--and our ‘assets’--with respect. Pay attention to these dreams and look for areas in your life where you may be  experiencing 'pillage'.  
 
Look on the bright side.  'Wake-up' calls can be momentarily upsetting, but beneficial for us in the long run, to bring correction to something we are doing that may not be good for us. We learn to appreciate and not take for granted the seasons of security and peace. 
 
If we put a smile on our face during the trying times, we might even get another chance for a driver’s license picture that doesn’t make us cringe. 

 

How to Use Your Seer Gift to Really, Really Discourage People

Do you have a seer gift?  Also known as intuition or a prophetic aptitude, it is the ability to see, hear, or sense beyond normal.  People who have this gift can see into the spiritual realm in various ways.  
 
Hearing God’s voice and interpreting dreams and visions are only a couple of means of prophetic ‘knowing’.  People may possess these abilities, but no one starts out fully mature in handling what they see or sense. 
 
Everything written in the coming paragraphs is sarcasm.  I’ve been on the receiving end of all of these practices.  I’m not hurt, angry, or addressing any particular person.  So don’t email me to ask what is afoot. I’ve been guilty myself of committing many of these no-no’s.  (Sarcasm begins here):
 
If you deeply desire to build friendships, to use your revelatory gift to glorify God, to gain favor for yourself in leadership or ministry, make your best effort to regularly incorporate the following crucial tactics:
 
1.    Point out people’s flaws and mistakes.  God sees everybody’s faults and wants to use YOU to bring conviction and shame.  Show them how they are wrong, and give plenty of advice so they know how to repent and do things right. Point your finger boldly in their face for added emphasis.
 
2.    Add a holy air (err).  Expose and correct people regarding what they say or how they act—and then go gossip about them with other people for “prayer purposes.”  Hold other people to higher standards than you set for yourself. 
 
3.    Tell everything immediately.  Don’t waste precious time interpreting or waiting for further revelation.  It is especially helpful if you speak up without consideration for timing or relevance.  Go ahead and tell people you see ‘orange flowers’ all around them…they should be able to know what that means—and they should feel extremely blessed by your encouraging words.  
 
4.    Blame God.  Leave out kindness and love when you point out people’s faults. You can even act angry so they think God is angry with them, too.  Claim to speak on God’s behalf—and don’t worry if you get it wrong once in a while. If you are wrong, then it was only God’s will, or maybe he changed his mind.  It is especially powerful if you add the words, “God is telling you . . . to send me money . . . "(or whatever). If God is speaking, then the person you are ministering to must receive every word you say, or else they are clearly unspiritual and in the wrong. 
 
5.    Use as many words as possible.  Speak in metaphors and in vague, flowery, religious language so people will assume you are in mysterious, mystical deep state of communication with God.  It is good to take people hostage to your ‘blah blah blah’s’…. their lives will be richer for having listened to your wisdom.
 
6.    Interpret your dreams literally and share them quickly.  It will make your friend’s day to hear that he will die in a car wreck, that his kids are drowning, and that his spouse is pregnant. 
 
7.    Tease them.  Tell people, “God is telling me stuff about you . . . but I am not free to share it right now.”  Your friends will feel blessed and commit to patiently waiting for your next installment of intelligence. 
 
8.    Remind people of your abilities.  Call yourself a seer, a prophet, a specialist, a super-spiritual, magnificent master.  Sing your own praises about the times you ‘nailed' someone--and watch the amazement freeze on folks' faces.
 
I’ve only mentioned a few vital highlights.  You can contact me if you are interested in learning more.  I will gladly assist you, because, I am, of course, an expert in my field.  
 

 

My Life in Glamour Magazine

I dreamed that I discovered an article in Glamour Magazine--about me!  I had labored intently to author much of the storyline, but someone else had 'mastered' the finished, published product. The words and accompanying photos stunned my mind as they portrayed me as 'glamorous'--apparently I had achieved much status as a 'beautiful' person who not only made impact on society with my accomplishments, but also with integrity and solid character.  
 
During the dream I also spotted similarly glowing articles about friends and acquaintances, regarding the glamorous aspects of their lives.  With great delight, I sought those friends out to tell them what had been written about their lives . . . displayed for the world to see and admire.
 
In reality, I would by no means describe my life as 'glamorous'.  Glamour Magazine represents the world's defined and photoshopped ideals regarding beauty, fashion, sex, love, health, and shopping. Few people would feel their lives would match up to the popular perfect notions as depicted in Glamour
 
"Glamour" actually means "the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special." 
 
If we consider this definition and take away the popular Hollywood expectation of people's EXTERNALS, we see that glamour may also reflect dazzling INTERNALS.  
 
Isn't what is INSIDE of a person most often that which captivates our eyes and our hearts the most?  
 
If a person has a good heart, loves deeply, is solid in character, and can be trusted, isn't that what makes them truly beautiful? The outside packaging doesn't really matter much, does it?  
 
Rather than caving to the pressure to look fit and pretty on the outside, it makes sense for us to do what it takes to beautify the inside--our thoughts, emotions, issues, our beliefs which cause outward behavior. We get glamorized as we allow God and others to shape and release what is within.
 
Not only that, but what a joy it becomes to get out of 'self-mode' and discover the hidden jewels in our friends' lives--so that we can call attention to those treasures and encourage them in their destinies. 
 
A good friend hears the song in our heart and sings it back to us when we have trouble remembering. The Creator does this for us too.  We are fashioned by a master whose greatest desire is for us to reach our full potential.  
 
We live a glamorous life after all.  
 
(photo from www.Glamour.com

 

Detours of Life

How often do you juggle difficult and unanticipated circumstances in your life while asking yourself, “When did I sign up for THIS?" 
 
Years ago my husband and I painstakingly planned a little family vacation, something we didn’t really have funding for, but we were always up for a challenge—which usually meant . . . CAMPING.
 
Having very little money for a ‘vacation’ meant ‘roughing it’ in a tent, which, for me, is no picnic.  We like to joke about my un-extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language—I know of only one word:  the word for ‘tent’ is ‘OH-HELL’.  Easy for me to remember. 
 
Anyway, we planned our trip from Colorado to the Black Hills of South Dakota, a place we had never explored. We even called ahead to a reportedly nice campground and paid for reservations, so we would not have to hunt for a spot when we arrived after a long drive. 
 
Car loaded with kids and gear, we were halfway to our destination when we realized we had a potential problem.  The highways were swarming with massive packs of Harley Davidson motorcyclists—on their way to Sturgis for their 51st annual national gathering. Unsuspecting, clueless family propels smack dab into Motorcycle mayhem.
 
My husband, at the time, sported an attitude about bikers on highways. It intensified when we wearily arrived at our campground in Sturgis--in our family station wagon—to find every inch of camping turf covered with tents, bikes, drinking bikers, and biker babes! We inquired about our campground ‘reservation’ and were told we could set up anywhere we could find a spot among the thousands of ‘Harley Huts’. All other campgrounds nearby were similarly filled…no vacancy.  
 
We had planned for a quiet family vacation, didn't have money to change plans, and we had to wonder if we could possibly enjoy our week with 400,000 (no joke) black leather-clad strangers on their very noisy motorcycles. What to do?
 
Get angry and fuss, or adjust and turn it into an adventure.  We ended up discovering the most beautiful, secluded, large campground, a little further drive away…with tall pine trees and a creek and only one biker, a drunk, angry one, but he left after only a day.  We bought Harley Davidson T-shirts and bandanas so we would better ‘fit in’ (ha), and tried to make the best of it.  We even made some friends, and discovered that most of the scary-looking people were actually quite friendly.  My husband changed his attitude and we enjoyed one of the best cheap trips ever. 
 
Life is full of the unexpected—you never know what is just around the corner.  Sometimes the things we try to control in life get out of control.  Usually these things can turn into priceless treasures, if we take it all in stride and use the opportunity to stretch, learn, and change.  We get to discover beautiful ‘back road scenery’, build strong bonds with our loved ones, and make new friends and memories that bring smiles and laughs for years to come.
 
*************
 
Question:  What situation/s  in your life are you trying to make the best of right now?  What steps can you take to embrace the change and enjoy the detour, instead of letting it devastate your preferred plans?

 

Quiet Moment Revelation

We live in a busy world.  Endless necessities compete for our time—work, school, family, friends, guests, mealtime, housework, meetings, phone, bills to pay.  We find it difficult to keep up with it all, much less to fight against the distractions that whittle away at our focus ability.  Constant TV, computer chatter, mail/email onslaught suck energy and time.  We often go to bed exhausted but sleep restlessly because our brains continually exist in overload mode.
 
As the pressures increase, it becomes critical for us to make wise choices regarding which things to say, “yes” to, and which ones to deny, from long-term decisions, like which career to choose—to snap decisions like “do I watch a movie, or work on my assignment that is due tomorrow?”
 
How often, during times of chaos and storms in our lives, do we inwardly cry out, “Help, I need direction!”?  But we find it difficult or impossible to turn off the noisy turmoil, be still for a period of time, and release the tension and agendas of the day to seek deeper revelation for the big picture of life.
 
It is in the still, quiet moments of reflection where we receive a deep, centering peace.  The saying goes, “Peace is the potting soil of revelation.” When we slow down our thoughts, Spirit can alight, plant seeds in our minds and hearts, nurture them, and then activate BLOOM. 
 
As we still ourselves and silence the pressures of the world, we discover WHO we are, WHAT we should do, HOW to respond, WHERE to put our time and energies, WHEN to make a move or speak up about something, and WHY we are here.  We discover our purpose in life—for the moment, the day, the decade. 
 
It all becomes more clear.  We let go of the ‘trivials’ and re-commit to the ‘most importants’.  Who doesn’t want that? 
 
A competition exists for our attention—we must deliberately choose peace, or chaos will win by default.  As we choose to welcome Spirit’s wisdom, we can embrace a better quality of life and long-term joy amongst the hustle.  So, go ahead and plan that lunch-time walk or schedule an electronic-less evening for a change. The more often we seek that place of tranquility, the easier it becomes to return to it.  
 
We might even discover that Spirit’s calming presence is way more addictive and soul-satisfying than the TV or computer.  It’s even commercial-free. 

 

Five Things NOT to do in Dream Interpretation

If you are reading this blog, you are probably a dreamer or hold an interest in dreams. Dreams are often quite weird or puzzling.  Dream interpretation can be a confusing process, something that many people don’t try because they don’t know how.
 
Help is available!  Find a class, read a book, check out a website, get help in interpreting your dreams…your life will be richer for the effort, I promise! 
 
As you work your way through learning how to interpret, keep in mind these common mistakes that can keep a dreamer from arriving at the best interpretation. 
 
Do not: 
 
1.  Dismiss your dreams as being insignificant.  Dreams that seem ‘out there’ still have meaning.  Journal them so that you don’t forget them.  Often in writing them down and giving them a title, the interpretation comes to you.  Dreamers have told me hundreds of times, ‘My dream is so weird, it can’t possibly have any meaning.”  Wrong! 
 
2.  Interpret literally.  Sometimes dreams may have literal meaning, as in ‘I dreamed my house is messy.”  However, a messy house dream probably indicates an area of my life that needs some organization.  That way, I will know to focus on clearing up my schedule instead of hiring a maid.  Always think symbolically first!
 
3. Get lost in the details.  Many dreamers have epic dreams that could take hours to journal each day, with hundreds of details to include.  Not necessary!  It takes practice, but a dreamer can learn to identify the most important 3-7 elements in a dream and arrive at the right interpretation.  Details will support and add depth to the main theme—but it is crucial to sift through and prioritize.  Simplify as much as possible. 
 
4.  Fail to discern the purpose and focus.  Most dreams are about the dreamer, not about someone else.  If I dream my house is messy, I cannot make the assumption that the dream is about my messy husband--I would miss the point! The focus is on me and my own situation, and possibly how I would need to respond.
 
5.  Forget to pray about it.  All dreams are not from God, but many of them are, and if he is the giver of dreams, is he not also the giver of interpretations?  If we ask, we will receive the keys to unlock our nighttime dream messages. 
 
For further help with your dreams, see our Resource links, peruse the Destiny Dreamz Dream FAQ’s, schedule a mentoring session, submit your dream for an interpretation, or contact us—we LOVE to help! 

 

Everybody, Anybody, and Nobody

Everybody said that Anybody could do
The important things Somebody should do.
Everybody knows that Anybody could do
All the good things that Nobody did.
 
Somebody tells me, “Here is something I don’t have time to do, so I better give it to you.” 
 
Why me? 
 
No, I’m not going to do it, don’t look at me!
 
I’m too busy, so I tell Everybody it could be done by Anybody.
 
The work’s got to get done by Somebody...
 
But Nobody, Nobody, Nobody did….
 
Consider all the good things in this world that Anybody could do, that Somebody should do, but Nobody DID.
 
A Nobody can make a difference!
 
 
--adapted from “Everybody Said” by Acapella
 

 

To Stew—or Not to Stew?

You’ve got a message or a special gift to dish up for someone in particular.  You have cooked up a rich blend of spicy ingredients, simmered up a savory, enticing aroma with a meaty constitution that could satisfy and add zest to their life.  But timing and presentation is everything—how warmly do you walk in relationship with them so that what you share is easily digested, and not bitter, too raw, overly pickled, or otherwise unpalatable? 
 
Sometimes issues in relationship need to be coddled a while, basted with real and positive conversation from both sides, kneaded with respect--but things can quickly sour and curdle.  The need arises to steep awhile in what you know to be good and kosher about the person, clarify what is really being said, and boil it all down to address the feelings that may have been sliced and diced in the preparation process. 
 
Sometimes you speak up, sometimes you bite your lip and say nothing because there is simply nothing that can—or should--be said. Silence can be the ultimate garnish upon a friendship.  
 
How do you know when it is time to stir it up, dish it out, or let it roast awhile longer? Or, scrap it altogether and start afresh, perhaps with a different recipe?
 
Know and practice the difference between marinating and smothering, word-mincing and puree, warming and flambé. Stewing can be a good thing—flavor increases and what is shared can be rich and tender.  But we can let it go on too long and boil over, creating a messy disaster.
 
It is all about timing and gentleness, things we can be prayerful and deliberate about.
 
Bottom line—if we serve what we have to give with love and a desire to bless the other person, seasoned with the salt of honesty and kindness, chances are good for a gentle melting of defenses—so that we end up with ‘heavenly hash’ instead of ‘devil’s food’.

 

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Esteem Your Dreams

10.  The supernatural becomes real—you can walk on water, give a speech with ease, walk around naked without anybody noticing, or successfully fight off Ninja warriors
 
9.  You receive insight into the lives of people you know—and yes, there will be a ‘test’
 
8.  You gain instant conversation starters with your spouse, co-workers and friends
 
7.  You can fly anywhere in the world, or even to outer space, without having to pay airfare or mess with airports
 
6. You might discover a book to write, a song to script, or a new invention to develop
 
5.  Mommas missing their grown children can hold on to the ‘little ones’ once again—cry, laugh, wonder, reminisce, heal
 
4. Your ‘issues’ are exposed so that you can deal with them and move forward.  Yahoo!
 
3.  Perplexing puzzles get solved, like where you might locate those missing keys
 
2. You can get your basic instructions before leaving the house for the day
 
1. Your spirit is encouraged, strengthened, and refreshed from interacting with God’s spirit every night while you are zonked out, welcoming those life-changing dreamzzzzzzzzz…
 
 
If you are a dreamer, what are some of YOUR 'top ten' or favorite things about dreams?   

 

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