DREAM WEAVER (MOTHER’S DAY)
MAY 13, 2001
ED & LISA YOUNG
Today is Mother’s Day, so I decided to bring out my lovely wife, who knows a little bit about mothering. You know, Lisa, we have been doing some research together, which is kind of interesting, this week about today’s topic. We came across some stuff about dreams that I think is pretty wild because I read off the internet that every person, every human being, has dreams. I am talking specifically about while we are sleeping, we have these dreams. This one document said that we remember eighty percent of the content of our dreams if we wake up during REM sleep, R-E-M sleep, that’s “rapid eye movement” sleep.
That is a cool thing. If you wake up during REM sleep, you have a pretty good recall. Conversely, this study said if you wake up during non-REM sleep, then you only remember about fifteen percent of your dreams. All of us, if we are human beings, we dream. But I think you will agree that other creatures dream as well.
Lisa: We often are tickled because we have four dogs, four cats, and four children so we have this thing going on with the number four. We cannot give a dog away or a cat or a child, we have to keep that four. One of our dogs is an English Mastiff. Her name is Chloe, and she is nine months old. She weighs about 110 pounds. She sleeps on a large leopard bed in our bedroom. Invariably, night after night, you can look down and see Chloe. I’ll let Ed describe what she does when she is sleeping.
Ed: In the middle of the night, she will wake us up, and she is doing like this (whimper sounds). It’s like she is running through the meadow or something.
Lisa: She’s chasing something. She is definitely in dreamland, but she has yet to wake up during REM sleep to tell us what she is dreaming.
Ed: But if that happens, we will let you know. I promise you. You probably heard Mike Johnson’s name recited as Preston Mitchell did the welcome. Mike Johnson was the person who talked about all the different names of the parents and their children as we went through the line and prayed for these families. Wasn’t it something to see these beautiful families up front? That was awesome. We brought Mike Johnson on as a full-time staff member about five or six years ago. He does a great job for us. He oversees the area from birth all the way to Senior High.
Every year we take at least one staff retreat. We go away to some encampment for a time of strategic planning and prayer and things of that nature. The first time we ever took Mike on a staff retreat, all the pastors were staying in this bunkhouse, you know, bunk beds, this kind of western motif. Owen was in one bed with his candy cane striped pajamas on. (That’s a whole other story.) I was in one bunk bed, and some other pastors, including Mike Johnson, were in the other ones.
About three o’clock in the morning, I wake up to this sound of Mike yelling, and I look and through my grogginess, Mike is on his knees in front of my suitcase throwing the items out of my suitcase over his head. I said, “Mike, what are you doing?” He just kept on throwing the stuff out of my suitcase. Then like that, he walked over to his bed and went right to sleep. The next morning, we all got up and said, “Mike what is up with your sleeping patterns?” He said he has these weird dreams and nightmares. We kind of changed the term nightmare, and we say, “Mike, when you dream, it’s not a nightmare, it’s a Mikemare.” Get it?
Lisa: I guess my weirdest or wildest dreams were when I was expecting our children. I don’t know if other mom’s experienced that, but when you are pregnant, some of the things I would dream were very strange. I talked to your Mom about it, and she had something to say about a dream she had when she was expecting Ed.
Ed: Oh, yeah. When my mother was pregnant with me, she had these wild dreams. One was a pretty regular dream. In this dream, she dreamed that she went to the hospital not to deliver a bouncing baby boy named Ed, but she dreamed she delivered a nail. A nail. That’s weird.
Lisa: Most of the research, as we looked into the study of dreams, was done by Sigmund Freud. In 1900, his works were put together in a compilation called “The Interpretation of Dreams.” So I decided, I wonder what these people who studied Sigmund Freud and his dream studies would have to say about Ed’s mother’s dream. So I went on a search, and typed in the keyword “nail,” and it came back to me that it was interpreted as very stubborn or hardheaded, and I guess you could say that he hit the nail on the head.
Ed: Or the Ed.
Lisa: He hit the nail on the Ed. Actually, there is no website, but he did do a lot of research on the study of dreams. His definition for a dream was interesting to me. Freud defined dreams as “wish fulfillment.” Of course, we are speaking in terms of dreams that occurred during sleep time. But what about dreaming during the day. I can’t help but believe that that wish fulfillment is how we get the term wishful thinking, because so many of us do have wishful thoughts, especially when it comes to our children and what we would like to see happen in their lives. We did a video this week asking some Fellowship moms about their dreams for their children.
Doris Scoggins: At this point in my life, my dream would be that our children would continue the legacies and traditions and dreams even that we have had. And for our grandchildren that they would not get sidetracked, but ask what God would have them to do in their life.
Denise Jordan: I think my biggest dream for Bailey at this point is just that she will grow up in a home where she feels very loved and accepted. My parents were great about encouraging me to try lots of different things and not pushing me in any one direction. So, I think for Bailey that is my biggest hope and dream right now is that she feels that too, that we will support her no matter what avenue she goes down.
Lacretia Neff: I think probably the biggest dream that I have for my children right now at this stage in their life—I have one who is, of course, about to leave college, graduate from college, and start a career, start a new life, she is going into her next phase of life. Obviously, my dream for her if marriage is part of God’s plan for her is that she would have a man in her life that is the spiritual leader of her home and treats her as Christ would treat the church. For my son, who is just starting out in college and discovering what it is that he even maybe wants to do the rest of his life, for him I would hope that he will be the spiritual leader in his household in his home, and that he would find the woman that God has planned for him.
Cole Johnson: My biggest dream—y’all are going to choke me up—my biggest dream is so basic right now. You all have children with personalities, focus, and direction; and I am just praying for a happy, healthy baby and thanking God for the opportunity to bring our child up in a church home with the blessings of Fellowship and the strong children’s program that we have.
Denise Jordan: I know Justin and I were in shock a little bit that we had gotten pregnant so soon after we were married. A friend of ours really put it into a good perspective for us. She said, “Get over it. It’s not about you. That baby is going to come in God’s timing, and she or he is going to be here because there are lives that they need to impact for Him.” That really helped us to look at the whole pregnancy a different way and know that, well now we know it’s Bailey, but when she got here, that there is a definite time for her to be here. Regardless of whether it was in our plan or not, it’s God’s timing that she be here to impact others for Him.
(End of Video)
Ed: We all have dreams. I think if we could somehow see all the dreams that these moms and these dads had and have for their little ones who are standing down front and also the dreams that many of us have today for our children, we wouldn’t believe it. Dreams are great. It’s great to dream while you are sleeping, but also I think there is a bigger side to dreams, Lisa, and that is the ultimate dream. Because no matter how much I dream for our children, and no matter how much you as a mom dream for your children, our finite dreams always have a ceiling as opposed to God’s dreams. God’s dreams are out there. They are the ultimate. They are not just good. They are the best. There was a song that was pretty popular a couple of years ago by Gary Wright called “Dream Weaver.” Remember that one? Raise your hand. Don’t be shy. “I just closed my eyes again. Climbed aboard the dream weaver….” You know I love music. Frustrated singer.
Lisa: Yeah, drummer, singer….
Ed: Yeah. A lot of things. I don’t know what that song is about, but I do know this. We need to be about the business as parents, specifically as moms, to take our dreams and weave them into God’s dreams.
Lisa: Because God’s plan and His dream is much bigger than ours could ever be. I looked at my dreams that I have for our children, and I know that they are well intended, that they are good, but they pale in comparison because my dreams are limited by my family, environment, how I grew up, and also by society. In my eyes, I think about it, the kids could grow up to be a doctor, a lawyer, or something like that, which that pales in comparison to how God sees their life.
Ed: That probably shocks a lot of people to know the fact that God dreams, that God has specific dreams for their lives, but also for their children’s lives. I think the question that begs to be answered is what does God dream, what are his plans, what is his agenda for our lives? I think we need to understand several things about God’s dreams, because if we are going to be successful parents, successful moms, since this is Mother’s Day, we have got to become a dream weaver. We have got to weave our dream with God’s dream. Right up front, we have got to understand something. God’s dream is intentional. That’s big. Now, I am going to read a section of scripture out of the book of Jeremiah, an Old Testament book, Jeremiah, Chapter 1, specifically. And I will go through Verses 5-10.
To give you a little bit of background of this text, Jeremiah was in his late teens, and he is actually recording what God said to him about his dreams. Because Jeremiah, Lisa, had some godly parents who…what was his father’s name?
Ed: Hilkiah. Is that a great name? No doubt the all-name biblical team. Hilkiah was a priest. Jeremiah was going to be a priest. I’m sure Hilkiah and his mom, Mrs. Hilkiah, wanted Jeremiah to kind of do what his father did, to follow in his footsteps to do the priestly thing in the temple. Yet God’s plan kind of exploded off the pages of Scripture and took Jeremiah to another level, and we see how intentional God’s plan is. Let’s begin reading with Verse 5, Jeremiah 1:5. If you have your Bibles, turn there, if you don’t, check this out on view-a-verse, “Before I formed you in the womb,” this is God speaking now, “I knew you.” So God said, “Jeremiah, I knew you.”
Now, remember the Old Testament predominantly was written in Hebrew. Hebrew is the language of the verb. Everything is about the verb. If you understand the verb, you will understand Hebrew. I remember taking Hebrew and going through all those weak verbs, and it about wore me out. But anyway, this word “knew” in the Hebrew is more than just intellectual knowledge. It’s not like, “Hey, Lisa, I know you. I met you.” It’s deeper than that. The picture behind this word “knew” is the picture of a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, in an intimate relationship. The meaning is a close intimate connection between God and man.
That’s how God knows you and that’s how God knows me. His dream is so intentional, it’s so intimate, it’s so detailed that I think it would really revolutionize our lives and our parenting skills if we knew how specific God’s plans were. So it says, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Before you were born, in other words, before you were conceived, before you were a gleam in your parent’s eyes, “I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” This phrase “set you apart,” means to take something and set it aside for special service. That’s what God wants all of us to do and become, and that’s what happened in the life of Jeremiah.
Lisa: I love the picture that God knows us better than even we know our children. God knows our children better than we know them. For those of you who have kids, you can identify with this. When you are in the hospital, and your child has been born, and you go view through that nursery window and peer through; and all those little beds are lined up, and they have the name plate on there, you know which one is yours. But let’s face it, they all have the same cone-shaped head. They pretty much have that Mohawk thing working, if they have hair, and the same color. They look a lot alike. So what would happen if you took away those name plates, and they mixed the babies up? Would you really know which one.
This really hit home with us with our twins. Our twins are fraternal, but when they were first born they looked so much alike. They had on the wrist bracelet and the ankle bracelet on them. Before we left the hospital, Ed and I were like, you know, you might want to leave that ankle bracelet on just so we would know which one was which. One of them was on medication, so we definitely needed to know which one was which. We knew which one was which, but God knows even better than we do.
God says he knows the number of hairs on our head and our kids’ head and that is changing daily, that number. But he knows it when it changes. He knows it. I think if he knows us and our children that well, then how much better are his dreams for us and for our children than our dreams? Again, my world of dreaming for my children is limited, but God’s is unlimited.
Ed: I believe, Lisa, when parents grasp that fact that God is so intentional and so specific, his plans are so awesome, and they begin to do the work it takes to weave their dreams into God’s, then they will understand, I believe, what parenting is all about and what it means to live in concert with God’s will.
Lisa: I think the first step, though, is understanding that even though I know my dream is good, it pales in comparison to God’s. Then to say okay, what exactly is God’s dream for my child or for my life. And that is where Jeremiah comes into play.
Ed: That’s right. Also, Jeremiah says that not only is God’s dream intentional but also says that God’s dream is conditional. There are specific conditions on God’s dreams. It’s not like he just says, “Here are my dreams, here are your dreams, you do the dream weaver thing and weave your dreams with mine, and everything will be fine. That’s it. See you later. Bye, bye.” There are conditions.
Check out our boy, Jeremiah, in Verse 7, “But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a child.”’” Now to explain this, when God had talked to Jeremiah about the greatness he would achieve, Jeremiah’s first response was, “Oh, I can’t do that. I’m not eloquent. I can’t speak. I’m just a kid. I’m in my late teens. I can’t do it.” “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’”
Here is what God says, “You must go to everyone I send to you and say whatever I command you.” So right here, Lisa, obedience I think is the condition, because Jeremiah went. Jeremiah said what God wanted him to say. He had that choice, and we have a choice to either obey God’s dream, and obey his agenda, or not. If we don’t, our dreams will be dashed. God’s dream will be dashed. If we do, then something else will take place. We will achieve what the Lord wants us to achieve. In Verse 8, “Do not be afraid of them,”—that’s what God says—“for I am with you.” Now that is really cool. “I am with you and I will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Lisa: When we think about the entire obedience piece, I mean, it’s pretty difficult sometimes in our society to rear and raise children. And to show them how to be obedient to God, and to show them how to fully trust him in every aspect of their life. It’s difficult for me in that realm. But what God tells Jeremiah in this passage is, “Jeremiah, you don’t have to do this alone.” “Lisa, you don’t have to do this alone. Lisa and Ed’s children, you don’t have to do this alone. I will be with you.”
Frankly speaking, in our society today, if you peruse the pages of the newspaper, or watch the news, you are thinking, how in the world do we raise children, or rear children, in this day and age? It just seems impossible. Putting them on the bus to go to school can be a scary thing. Yet God says, “I will be with you.” Not long ago, Ed and I were in old Grapevine perusing, going through, browsing in some antique shops. It’s Ed’s favorite thing to do.
Ed: Oh, I love antiquing. Wow.
Lisa: Really puts wind in his sails. But he was doing a really nice thing.
Ed: But at least it’s not Preston Mitchell. You remember Preston, when he took Dedo on a date the other night to the grand opening of the Winn Dixie? At least I’m doing better than that, Preston.
Lisa: Oh, well.
Ed: It’s just a joke.
Lisa: He’s doing better. But anyway, we could tell other stories, places that we have gone on dates. But we were in these antique stores, and they had religious artifacts. So Ed really kind of got interested. One of the things we saw was this iron piece of the head of Christ, and it had the crown of thorns. Obviously, it looked like it came from three pieces and this was just the top piece. It was shaped like this, about that tall, and it really caught his eye. I thought, “I’m going to come back and get that for Ed. I know he would rather have that than a fly rod or anything like that.”
I went and got the iron Jesus for Ed. The man helped me take it to the car and put it in the back of my SUV, and I kind of forgot about it, because it was heavy and hard for me to lift, and I knew I needed to get it to the church. I wanted to surprise him and just put it in his office. So, I just kind of forgot that Jesus was in the back of my car.
My mom came in town, and she and I were headed to some fabric stores in this warehouse area, and there was a lot of road construction and we got turned around and a little bit lost. Before I knew it, I said, “Oh, mother, there it is.” But I didn’t realize that to get from the point where we were to the point where we needed to be, that I was so focused on that fabric store that I overlooked the curb that we were going to hop on the way down. It was like (sounds). We got there, and I was like, “Oh, I hope Jesus is okay.” My mother just looked at me like what are you talking about? I told her, I said, “Well, iron Jesus is in the back of the car.” So I looked, and he was fine, and now he has a nice resting place in Ed’s office.
That’s a humorous story, but we do forget throughout the bumps in our lives, and the off road things that we do, that Christ is there with us. It’s a great word to know that, sometimes I forget, that he is always there. There is not any task, or any level of obedience that he requires of me that he does not equip me for and give me the strength to do.
Ed: I think it’s profound how you said, “How’s Jesus?” You were worried about Jesus. We need to, as parents, worry about what does Jesus think about the way I am talking to my spouse, or what does Jesus think about where I am going, or what does Jesus think about my values, or what does Jesus think about how I treat this church? Those are huge questions to ask. So often we forget…theologians call it the omnipresence of God because God is everywhere. We can’t shake him. We can’t get away from him. He is always there. That is a comforting thing to know as a parent that Jesus is always there giving us that power and that focus to achieve God’s dreams.
Lisa: Parenthetically, when we talk about being obedient and having this wonderful dream that God has for our children, we cannot overlook the fact that it starts with us.
Ed: That’s right.
Lisa: Jesus in my life and how I am participating and reading God’s word and being involved in church and having a right relationship with my spouse and with my friends, and it goes back to that modeling that they see in me. But there again, Christ is with me and I have the strength to do it, and then it trickles down to our children, more so than we even realize. Then he also promises to be with them as well.
Ed: So God’s dream, I hope you are tracking now, is intentional. We are to weave our dream with his. God’s dream is conditional; conditional upon what? Our obedience. It’s not to say that we don’t disobey God—I do, Lisa does, every day—but we should live a lifestyle of obedience, and that is why the church is so important. Christian friends are so important, and leadership, techniques from the Bible, are so important.
But also, I want you to look at something else. God’s dream is also monumental. We chose that word because God’s dream is big. It is the best. It is the ultimate. You can achieve some good things, some wonderful things, some kind things, if you dream on a humanistic playing field, but your dreams always have a ceiling. Conversely, you dream God’s dream, you weave your dream, parents, with his, it will be monumental. Now this word “monumental” is not just monumental in the world’s eyes, but this means a monumental dream in the eyes of God.
Let’s pick up in Verse 9, “Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth”—this is Jeremiah talking—“and said to me, now I have put my words in your mouth. See today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot, tear down, to destroy, and overthrow, to build and to plant.” It’s amazing, Lisa, remember God’s plans for Jeremiah were huge monumental. I am sure his parents were plans were limited. I think his parents must have woven their dreams with God’s because their dreams for the “J man” were pretty much to stay right there in the temple. God, though, had him prophesying not only to Judah, but also to many Gentile nations. So Jeremiah in our modern day vernacular was living large in the eyes of God.
Lisa: He was living large in the eyes of God, but history will tell us that Jeremiah was not a famous person in his society. You’d like to think, “Okay, great he was big in God’s eyes, but what about the parent’s dreams that probably he would have some prominent position in the community.” That wasn’t the case. In fact, we know that he had received no notoriety at the time of his death. No notoriety in the society in which he lived. But what we have to realize is that God’s dreams are bigger than anything we know in our world today. That’s where he received his great reward was what he did for God and his obedience there, and that dream that God has was so much larger and as you say, monumental in comparison to what his parents might have had.
Ed: Lisa, tell the story that occurred last summer when we went on vacation to the Gulf Coast of Florida and how that relates to dreams.
Lisa: Well, just to illustrate how limited we are, but how God is just so gracious to provide his dream for us, we went to Florida last year to the Gulf Coast. We were real excited about taking a break. Our children had been to the beach, but the twins had never been to the beaches like in Florida where you have the big white beaches, with sand and shells.
Ed: You mean better than Galveston?
Lisa: It was better than Galveston. So we had talked about the shells that they would find and how fun it was going to be. We drove down this street, and finally found our duplex where we were staying. It was typical of a Florida parking lot covered in those crushed shells that they just dump and spread. That is what you drive on and park on. We pulled up in the carport and hopped out just as the sun was setting. We left the bags in the car and just got out and said, “Let’s go to the beach and see the sunset.”
We all headed that way and Ed and I thought someone was missing. We turned around and the twins were on their knees in the garage picking up cracked shells. They were going “Oh, there’s shells. Look at the shells we read about, we talked about, and here they are.” They were just so enthused about these bleached white pieces of shell in the carport. We were like, “Come on, guys, the real shells are over here. The beach, the sunset, come on.” They wouldn’t come. They were just picking up cracked shells.
Finally, they weren’t obeying our voices very well. Ed and I just went straight back to the garage, grabbed their hands and said, “Come on, we want to show you what is on the other side of this sand dune. It’s really spectacular.” So we headed down the boardwalk with the twins in tow, and E.J. and LeeBeth, and the view was breathtaking. The sun was just dropping behind the horizon of the ocean. The shells on the beach were incredible, whole sand dollars, conk shells. It was just beautiful. And to think that the twins were over picking up cracked pieces.
But that is so illustrative of our lives. We tend to stop short of the sand dune, stop short of one thing and settle on the cracked dreams. Whereas, God has just this awesome view for us. He promises us that he will grab us by the hand and carry us there, that we don’t have to do it alone. I am confident that as well intended as my dreams may be, they pale in comparison to what God has for my children. I can only trust him and say, “You know what, God? I just want them to be all that you want them to be and to live the life that you want them to live because that will be true dream fulfillment in their lives.”
Ed: If you are a mom, I am going to ask you to stand right now. Just stand if you are a mom. I want to lead in a special prayer for you because I truly believe based on God’s revealed truth the Bible to us, that there is no occupation with the kind of responsibility, accountability, there’s no occupation that takes the kind of gift mix and the skill set that it takes to be a mom. So we want to pray for you and with you on this special weekend.
God, I thank you so very much for all the moms. I thank you for my mom. I thank you for Lisa and I thank you for the moms represented here at Fellowship Church and the moms around the world on this special day. Father, I pray that moms will really get serious about doing this dream weaver thing that they would understand the intentionality of your dream, God, the conditions of obedience on it, and also to understand, God, how monumental, how big and how broad and how complete your dreams are for their lives and also for the lives of their children. God, we want to be people who walk in your footsteps. We love you and again we thank you for our mothers. We voice this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our living Lord. Amen.