Thursday, May 08, 2008

FRIDAY FIVE - Gifts of the Spirit


I'm opening for the Friday Five, because I have the privilege of hosting it! So, I write:
FOR PENTECOST THIS WEEKEND: FROM ACTS CHAPTER 2: 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 " 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

(My personal favorite in this passage is how Peter insists the men cannot be drunk because it's only 9:00 a.m.)

Anyway, it's Pentecost and my very first Friday Five! Thinking about all the gifts of the spirit and what Peter said of the "last days"......

Have you or anyone you know

1. ...ever experienced a prophesy (vision or dream) that came true?

Yup. I've had some visions, but nothing spectacular. "Seen" someone handing me an envelope at a certain place at a certain time, then it happened. "Heard" the phone ring and knew who it was, then the phone rang and that's who was there. And I've had dreams that happened, but it usually didn't help knowing ahead of time what was coming. I think I'm the Rowan Atkinson of visions and dreams.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?

This one used to happen to me ALL the time. Usually inside a very active dream I'll see someone standing at an elevator, or selling me something from behind a counter - something mundane, and then meet them a few days later. I've learned to keep it to myself when I already know their name. And I have friends who have done this too. Seems to be not that unusual.

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)

Not me, but three years ago, when we were driving to a train show, Wonderboy looked up at a very cloud filled sky and leaned into me. He whispered, "Mom, I have to tell you something" and I asked "What", expecting to hear how he needed a pit stop. I was floored when he said, "I just saw the kingdom of God in the sky". I just said "That's nice" and shook my head. Then he leaned forward once more and said "I just saw it again." A week later, while playing in the front yard while I took in trash barrels, after school, he said "I want you to tell the pastors. ALL the pastors." I had no idea what he was talking about and asked, "tell them what?" He said, "That a 6 year old boy saw the kingdom of God." Well, yeah, I got goosebumps, and then shuddered as I pictured myself being viewed as the nut from the third pew. But he insisted several times. So I told all but one of the pastors. Two of the associates told me not to, because he heard this stuff all the time and thought the people were loopy. When I told our youth pastor, she was impressed because they hadn't started teaching about the kingdom of God in Sunday School as yet. If any of you all might know what it could mean, please let me know.

4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?

Nope to this one. No crop circles. No devil sign in rock formations. No bugs spelling out warnings. But the century is young.

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?
I always wanted to be fluent in French without having to study it. But no dice. I got the accent without trying, but the rest of it needed sweat. I have never bought into the glossalalia (sp?) business. I always thought the gift of tongues was in actual languages at Pentecost. Though I have friends and family who do this kind of speaking in tongues. I do allow that maybe it's one of those things I just don't git.

Bonus Question: What would a modern day news coverage of the first Pentecost have sounded like?

".....and now here's Anderson Cooper with a special report......Anderson?
.....Thanks Campbell. At 9:00 this morning, in an upper room at Mt. Zion's hotel and pub, 120 followers of the crucified, and allegedly resurrected Jesus gathered. A huge rush of wind was heard in the pub below. The bartender, Hiram Schlonsky, reported fearing for his life, that a cyclone must have blown off the roof. Rushing upstairs he was astonished and terrified to see some of the gathering swaying and babbling in all sorts of languages. Thinking they were drunk, he rushed down to prepare coffee and brought it back up. Their leader, "Pete", told him they were not at all drunk but just filled with a "holy spirit". Hiram said that he'd sure like to know where that spirit is bottled, because it would probably double his sales. At any rate, the oddest part of the story is the sighting of "flames of fire" dancing over the heads of eleven of the babblers. Hiram was persuaded of this groups' authenticity when one of them told him in his native Aramaic that he would lose something of value that day. Sure enough, Hiram's daughter eloped to Vegas with her boyfriend that very night. Hysteria? Or a New Dawn. We'll keep you posted."

Friday, May 02, 2008

A MOMENT OF CULTURAL EDIFICATION

And now for a cultural moment on a genteel and civilized Friday, I give you:

Les Ballets du Trocadero 
performing from Swan Lake