Sunday, January 28, 2018


Many of the stories of the Bible include accounts of God communicating with his people through dreams. These seem to be largely night dreams, as we all experience every night, or they may have been visions given to people during times of meditation.

In some Biblical accounts, the dreams were given by God as a means of giving instructions to the dreamer as to what he or she should do. Joseph, the husband of Mary, received a number of these types of dreams to tell him to take Mary as his wife, and also then to instruct him as to when he should relocate his young family of Mary and Jesus to avoid danger. Even the Magi received a dream to tell them not to reveal to King Herod the whereabouts of the child Jesus.

In other Biblical accounts, the dreams given by God often provided a vision to the dreamer of something that was going to take place in the future. The entire book of Revelation is the account of several of these visions that were given to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. 

The Dreamer
It is this second type of dream that is the subject of this post. These are the dreams that give a foreshadowing of events that will take place in the future. The dreams in the Bible story that we are going to look at here were either given to, or interpreted by a man who was even called “the dreamer” by his brothers, albeit not in a complimentary fashion.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


(this is a continuation of the post of 2 weeks ago,
A Place Called Bethel)

How Are We Then to Live? 

It took a direct command by God, but Jacob finally does return to Bethel, to the “house of God.”

You will notice that God told Jacob not only to return to Bethel, but that he also told him that he was to “live” in that place. Other translations of the Bible put it that he was to dwell there or to settle down there. The word in Hebrew is yashab.

This is a much different word than the word God once used when he was speaking to Jacob’s father Isaac at a time when Isaac was in the land of the Philistines. At that time, there was a severe famine in the land, and Isaac apparently had thoughts of going down to Egypt. God told him explicitly not to do this.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


It was 27degrees below zero in Tripoli, Wisconsin this morning (that’s about –33 in Celsius). We canceled our regular service at the Log Church. However, this does not mean a day off for me.

I also this morning received an email from the Log Church of Kenya. I have communication with Pastor Joel from that church at least two or three times per week. His letters are not usually about present hardships that they are facing, but they sometimes are. On some occasions, like this morning, he tells me that they and the orphans who are in their care have had to go to bed without having eaten the entire day. They go to bed with stomachs completely empty.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


The man Jacob was on the run. He had done something that, in his time and place, was disgraceful and loathsome. Now he was fleeing. He was trying to escape the consequences of what he did.

Jacob was the second born of his family, albeit by only a couple of minutes. Nevertheless, if one is inclined to be precise, his twin brother Esau did precede him in his birth. In that culture, this was a distinction of significant importance. Much of the honor and inheritance was vested on the firstborn simply by virtue of the fact of his primogeniture.

Esau however, the older of the twins, had little regard for this custom and even for his own rights as the eldest son. Some time before this latest event, the one from which Jacob had to escape the consequences, Esau had showed his disrespect for those inheritance rights when he uncaringly traded them to his younger twin for a bowl of red soup.

The trade had been initiated and negotiated by Jacob. That exchange alone might be considered by some to be enough to make the older brother angry. This time however, Jacob had done something that had really enraged his brother. Now Jacob had done something extremely deceitful, and Esau was angry. He had even vowed to kill Jacob because of it. It was from this wrath of his brother that Jacob was fleeing.