I Started a Riot in England

kangaroo fightSomething I said started a riot. The melee left me dumbfounded. Men and women picked up wooden chairs and hurled them across the aisles at one another. The conflict left me numb, as if an injection of strong Novocain had been administered to my brain. After all, this was a house of worship in England, a church, a place to meet with God. It wasn’t a fighting rink.

How answering one simple question could come to this…well, I just couldn’t figure it out. Really, I hadn’t meant to push an (obviously) over-sensitive nerve. I was there to bless these people, to serve the Lord and them through the ministry of the Word and the power of His Holy Spirit, not to start World War III.

The interior of the old church—with its weathered, grey timbers across walls and ceiling, and rows of wooden benches filling the first half of the sanctuary, followed by rows of wooden chairs in neatly arrange rows clear to the back wall—had left me with the sense of being in a worship house with spiritual and historical value. It couldn’t have been any less than a hundred-years-old.

Perhaps you wonder how this riot began? It all started when I answered a British man’s straight-forward question. “Aren’t you charging for the meetings?” he asked me in front of the entire congregation. “No. I wouldn’t charge a fee for Christian meetings or conferences,” I answered.

This was a dream, thankfully. Something like this wouldn’t actually happen. So, breathe deeply; everything’s well.

While in that state of deep sleep, where messages sometimes come to us from the Lord, I watched with disbelief at the congregation’s reaction to my personal conviction. Half of those present agreed with my sentiments and the other half disagreed.

A fight erupted. Everyone stood and exchanged angry words. Yelling grew to shoves. Then a man hurled a wooden chair at his fellow believer, standing two rows across from him. Someone else lifted a chair high over head and lugged it at his “brother.” In a flash, the air filled with flying chairs, as one enraged person launched the wooden weapon against another.

My friend Phil looked over at me with his eyes large and unbelieving. “Sista, we’ve gotta take it on the road,” he said. (Which in his lingo means, let’s get out of here.) “I know someone in Salisbury. I’ll take you to Salisbury.”

Dream End.

What’s the source of this dream? In the Bible, we’re shown through numerous examples and taught through Scripture that sometimes God speaks to us in dreams. I believe that the Riot Dream is from Him. If it is, then we need to ask, what is He saying?

This is one of those rare times when I’m not doing all of the writing. I have my own ideas about what the dream means. But I’m not providing the answer, because I want to hear from you. This is your opportunity to chime in with your perspective or dream interpretation. Go for it.

Let’s talk.

Pamela Koefoed, Author and Evangelist

(Genesis 37:5–10); Joseph, the husband of Mary (Matthew 2:12–22); Solomon (1 Kings 3:5–15); and several others (Daniel 2:1; 7:1); (Matthew 27:19). There is also a prophecy of dreams from the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28)

via Living Outloud. 2/06/2015

When Walking Becomes Total Body Resistance Training

Picture in the public domain.

Picture in the public domain.

Vern and I speed walked and jogged this evening before sunset. At the end of the pavement, where our road becomes gravel, we turned for the mile walk home and within seconds a strong head wind transformed our activity into something more like total body resistance training. The more I stick to my exercise commitment, the more I admire those of you who’ve been doing this for years. This get your body movin’ movin’ movin’ thing is tough. Especially since it’s not in my DNA to enjoy a consistent routine over a length of time.

“…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”–Romans 5:4

Although the apostle Paul was writing about persecution, the Romans 5:4 principle can apply to lots of things, such as working out several days a week, eating healthy, and other mundane or difficult tasks that we faithfully do in order to be well body, soul, and spirit. For me, staying on an exercise routine takes a great deal of perseverance. Sometimes, I’m an unwilling participate who needs encouragement to get moving. For instance, tonight Vern practically dragged me away from my comfortable seat in front of the warm and cozy fire to join him on a walk. Boy! It’s amazing how fast attitudes can change. As soon as we neared the first mile, I was grateful for his cheerful enthusiasm and that he had prodded me to join him. Why did my silent grumbling change to appreciation at the mile marker? Because I had hope of completing the two-mile walk. Perseverance builds character, and character builds hope. In the original language of the Bible, hope is defined as a confident expectation. Hope is a powerful tool to keep you moving forward in your commitment to complete something that’s worthwhile. Including exercise in your week will require some perseverance. You’ll have days when you’d rather sit on the sofa with a good book than get up and follow along with an aerobics instructor for thirty minutes. Or walking for twenty minutes may seem like a real drag when the weather’s not ideal. But have hope, and stick to your commitment. Just as Vern prodded me to join him for a walk, this article is an encouragement from someone who cares about your health. Have hope. Expect good results. And get up and get going. Just like me, you’ll be glad you did. Wishing you wellness in every way, Pamela

Something That’s Been on My Heart

clipart-medical-pulse-512x512-a71aTonight, I won’t be talking about exercise. Don’t worry! I’m not slacking; each time I rise from my chair, for the first ten steps or so I walk as though my legs are strapped to boards. My sore thigh and abdominal muscles testify that I’ve worked them pretty hard.

Neither Vern nor I stretched out enough after Faithful Workout’s killer leg and abdominal routine that we whole-heartedly participated in Saturday evening. And now, we’re paying the price for our oversight and learning a good lesson–after putting them through their paces, muscles need some T.L.C.

There’s something of greater importance on my heart than exercise and nutrition that I want to talk with you about.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, possibly the result of the Epstein Barr virus of which I tested positive.

For five years, my energy level was so low that a simple activity like brushing my teeth drained the little strength that I had. During that season, I visited doctors, a nutritionist, and I spent hundreds of dollars on health products.

Eventually, I found a nutritional supplement that alleviated my suffering. But if I stopped taking it, my energy level did a nosedive into a dark and scary pit.

I wish I could describe the intense joy that I experienced on the day when the Chronic Fatigue suddenly vanished. It was as if someone gave me a second chance at living.

Nutrition, lots of good water, exercise, some sunshine, and rest were beneficial, but these things didn’t cure me.

How did I get well? My miracle came from the Lord as a direct answer to prayer.

If you have chronic poor health and have done all that you can to find a cure, I want you to be encouraged. Miracles happen for other people, and they can happen to you.

Put your trust in the Lord and pray. A person who learns how to pray and to rest in the knowledge that God hears prayer is a person who has learned to be without fear.

Fear, anxiety, and worry–typical conditions of modern society–contribute to disease. At the opposite end of the spectrum is faith. Trusting in God contributes to improved quality of living, and is beneficial for this life and for the one to come (1 Timothy 4:8).

So, as we each pursue better health, let’s remember to keep going after God.

Wishing you all the best,

Pamela

I Don’t Care for Religion, but I Love God

DSCN1970I really don’t care for religion, but I love God and Jesus my Savior.

Does this sound like a contradiction?

By reading the Gospels one can easily see that Jesus wasn’t too thrilled with the way in which the teachers and enforcers of God’s Word performed their duties—They had become very religious.

Those religious leaders were the caregivers over Jesus’ Fathers’ house. They were in His house as sons, but they didn’t know the homeowner. They could recite large amounts of Scripture, but they didn’t know the writer of the Book. Because of this disconnect with God, they misrepresented Him and used His Word as an iron fist over the people.

Jesus said, woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone, Luke 11:42.

Like the Pharisees, religious people tend to follow the Word without showing justice or the love of God, and they tend to over emphasize the avoidance of sin versus walking with God in mutual relationship.

Another reason I dislike religion is because worldly principles of acceptance exist in its cryptic background. You give to get. You work to earn. Promotion is based upon performance. Those who do not perform well are rejected. The really messed up people are ostracized. The beautiful people are those with money and great achievements.

It would seem like we should work really hard to be good so that God will accept us. But His economy doesn’t function the way we often think it should. He invites us to Himself through the sacrificial gift of His Son. We are forgiven based on what His Son did and our acceptance of that gift. The same grace that’s available to someone devout, such as Mother Teresa, He also offers to those who break every one of His commandments. He didn’t come to condemn, but to save.

Our behavior matters and keeping His commandments is important, in fact it’s one of the demonstrations of our faith, but He loves us because that is Who He is.

On occasion, people have replied to something that I’ve said by telling me that they aren’t very religious. I’ve given a hearty hallelujah to their confession before explaining that God doesn’t invite them to a religion, but into a relationship with Himself through Jesus who is the bridge between us and God.

The way has been made for anyone to know God. The gift is being offered–accepting His gift is up to each of us.

I’ll close with my opening statements. I really don’t like religion, but I love God and my Savior Jesus.

Growing in relationship with them is the foundation of my life.