Two dreams in the past couple weeks have impacted me. Neither of them contributed much detail, but the impact came from the feelings conveyed.

The first involved a view of the heavenly realms. In this spirit dimension there was a whole lot of activity occurring. There were huge numbers of beings of various description, all going about tasks. Although the activity level was way up there, there seemed to be no sense of frantic attempts to meet deadlines or anything of that sort. It was just that everyone was very busy, going back and forth in the carrying out of their duties. There was a sense of calm, peaceful busy-ness.

The scene tended a bit toward being somewhat vague. Colours were subdued. It was not totally black-and-white, but leaned in that direction. And right in the midst of all this activity, I became aware of one individual who stood out from the crowd in brilliant colour. And it was my father from this life! He was involved in all the activity; he was very busy, like everyone else in the scene. But for whatever reason, I was meant to notice that he in particular was there, working.

And it became very apparent that the work being carried out by all these heavenly beings (think of the “. . . so great a cloud of witnesses . . .” which surround us {Heb 12.1}) was all happening for our benefit. Heaven is busy at work assisting us who are presently incarnate on earth in bringing about this great shift in consciousness. And my father is involved in that work! There is a lot going on, a lot of effort being expended, for our benefit!

I was greatly encouraged by this!

The second dream had certain similarities. I was working with a group of fellows on a project of some sort. I am not sure what we were doing, exactly, but we were moving lumber around, obviously building something. The people I was working with were of indeterminate identity. But I felt in place; I belonged there. I was known and recognized as one of the numerous workers.

Then, walking diagonally toward us was an old man. It was as if we were situated next to a school yard, athletic fields of some sort, large, open, level playing grounds. As this old man neared us, it became clear that this was J. B. Toews.

J. B. Toews was the most influential leader in my church conference throughout my life. From the 1940’s onward, he carried huge power in our church. Behind his back he was often referred to as “the pope”. When he would walk into a church conference office everyone would immediately drop whatever they were doing to attend to his needs. He could be a quite intimidating presence.

I had encountered him a few times over the years. But my most involved contact was when I attended our denominational seminary in the early eighties. He was a professor emeritus, teaching at most, one class per semester, or perhaps only one per year. My encounters with him were completely positive. By his own admission he had mellowed over the years, crediting his sons for that. I found him to be a very wise leader of our church, full of incredible history and stories, and emanating a great love for our church.

Now here he was, walking by this group of working men, who all recognized who he was. Then he paused briefly in his walk, looking toward us, and said, “Dennis Voth!” It was tremendously affirming of who I was. And my fellow workers certainly looked at me in new light! To be recognized by someone of the stature of J. B. Toews was really something!

So, two dreams. Both tremendously encouraging and affirming of who I am. Both reassuring that the spirit dimension is actively involved in what we on earth are about, ensuring that what comes will result in positive changes in society. The message from both is to know that we are not alone in our struggle to bring about change on earth. We are involved in activities viewed as very important from heaven’s perspective. And we are completely supported in our efforts. What we do is definitely not in vain. Everything we do is important, no matter what it may look like from an earthly point-of-view.

Red Rover

Man, I just finished a most interesting book! This is a bit outside the usual subject matter on Urban Monk, but I have to post something anyway!

Roger Wiens is a cousin, related both to my wife and to myself. He is a scientist working for NASA in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This book details his involvement with developing one of the instruments on the Curiosity rover currently exploring our neighbouring planet Mars.

Attending family reunions over the years I always viewed the two Wiens boys from Minnesota as really, really bright kids. They both ended up with PhD’s, experts in their own fields. I particularly remember one reunion in the nineties where either Doug or Roger gave a talk on ways in which science and the Bible agree, and that we don’t have to divide ourselves into camps on one side or the other. In the setting of fundamentalist mindsets of many of those present I always viewed this as a tremendously courageous talk! I was proud to be related to these brilliant people. But I had no idea of the extent of their work.

Until the last few years. A couple years ago we were alerted to a television appearance by Doug, an earthquake expert, following the devastating Japan earthquake. And now this book, detailing Roger’s work in space exploration.

The book reads like an adventure novel! It is very well written, surprisingly so for someone as highly educated as Roger Wiens! (Sorry, Roger!!) It is an articulate telling of the compelling story of one particular aspect of the Mars rover story. Roger was in charge of an instrument called ChemCam which uses lasers to analyze the composition of rocks and soil on the Mars surface. All of the gritty details of their problems, failures, disappointments, getting cancelled at one point, and successes, are told in a very entertaining way. It is a real page turner, for sure!

Even if the reader is not in the least interested in space exploration, it is a very good read. And for me, who has always been interested in space, flight, the cosmos, etc, I could hardly put the book down!

Check it out! Red Rover, by Roger Wiens. You will not be disappointed.