Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Who funds your imagination?

Some people are realists, others dream. I want to be both kinds of people: first I want to dream, then I want to bring reality to what I’ve seen. I have a dreambook, more popularly known as the Bible. I go to that book like I go to the bank: it is the source of funding for my heart-dreams.

Jesus understood the power of imagination and dreams. His teaching invited people to combine their thoughts with his words and imagine a world born anew. I believe this is how we should listen to the word of God: combine our imagination with his words, producing Biblical dreams of the way things are in heaven and should be on earth:

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:27-32)

Can you imagine living a life convinced of the Father’s good intentions toward you? How would such a life differ from one in which we worry about daily needs? It’s like throwing your anchor into the future. With each passing day you are pulled closer to reality, swayed less and less by the currents of this life. But hearing his words requires that we engage our imagination, and see ourselves living such a life right now. It produces hope: Godly hope sprung from a Biblically-informed imagination.

Walter Brueggemann emphasized the idea that our dreams must spring from a source other than our wants and desires. He reminds us we are not free to imagine just anything. We receive the Biblical witness and become invested in the vision. Nor do we do it alone. Brueggemann suggests that the church becomes “a place where people come to receive new materials, or old materials freshly voiced, which will fund, feed, nurture, nourish, legitimate, and authorize a counterimagination of the world.”

The Apostle Peter said it this way: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4) There is enough astonishment in these few words to change your life forever. Can you imagine a life infused with his divine power--a life where he has given us everything we need? Can you imagine the possibility that we can participate in his divine nature--merely by embracing his promises to us? Can you imagine escaping the corruption and decay of everyday life--being freed from evil desires?

The possibility of living into these possibilities begins with our imagination--an imagination funded by God’s words whispered in our ear. Our hearts are lit by our imagination. The source of that imagination makes all the difference.

Both realists and dreamers face the same questions: What is the source of your reality? Who funds your imagination? What is the source of your dreams? What dreams have you derived from God’s promises? How have those promise-dreams changed your life? I’d love to hear your story.

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    Who funds your imagination? - Home - studentsofjesus

Reader Comments (6)

Ray, you ask and I respond.

My imagination runs constantly as our Lord nurtured me in troubleshooting spiritually, physically and socially. This is the short version but necessary to share. God made the unique educational and experiencial opportunities available throughout my life; I could not have as the truth in the fruits is far beyond my conceptual maturity.

You hit upon many questions we all have to ask inorder to utilize our God given imaginations productively and not destructively. You hit upon what I consider the most important in the last paragraph.

I struggled early to find Truth beyond my parent's, church's and community of birth's truth. I cognitively rebelled at eight years of age and found that I could not lead myself out of the seemingly infinite number unrealistic imagination bombardments I was subjected to daily. I was 17 before God began my structured education and I began to learn to accept His direct counsel. I learned to pose my direct questions to "My Father in Heaven" and to ask that I be protected from destructive imaginations being imposed upon me from other sources.

This is the synopsis of my very fruitful 68 years. I yearn for eternal life only because I enjoy a very real relationaship with my Father in Heaven every day in everything I do to be productive spiritually (which I view as the ultimate reality), physically (which I see as the tool necessary for me to develop into a mature spiritual being not unlike the womb) and socially (which I understand to be real life in any realm).

What I know is that my body will die but the body of Man does not have to. I am effectively equal with all of my fellows of Man. I am not special and still have the promise of fulfilment of all I could desire to the furthest my imagination could extend. I am a child of God and that distinction is available to every cognizant human soul on Earth. That is not my imagination speaking but is the message of reality I want to share with all minds and hearts who are receptive. All any of us have to do is completely summed up in Luke 10:25-37 and we can under His authority and readily available leadership.

... and this is the short version of my response to the great visionary questions you pose.

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

You mean, like, beyond television? Ha! I've been working on rediscovering the Divine Hours. I need a little more structure and a lot more Psalms in my life. I don't read them on my own, so I need someone to force feed me a different approach to God beyond narratives.

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd Cyzewski

Ed, I mistook my calling and thought for certain I had been chosen to be of the elite professional clergy. Today I still empathize with the stress and discipline our pros must deal with daily.

I was sitting in counsel with a couple looking to me to direct them in new ways to overcome struggles in their relationship. The image popped into my head that I really didn't sufficiently know life to be an effective steward for the Holy Spirit. I gave up my ministerial deferment and enlisted in the USAF to gain another trade and to find reality.

I thought, again wrong, that I would learn to produce in ways my future flock did and then return to the full-time ministry. God used me in so many ways to minister for Him without me having human credentials to do so that I have since lost count. Occasionally something will stimulate a memory and I get to appreciate even sweeter how our Lord works through us all when we can relate to Him; not always structured pretty but always as lovingly effective as we allow.

I remain a child of my Father in Heaven but never was I funded by nor subject to any one church doctrine. I have worked amongst many competing religious structures but always in a lay capacity. I can repair broken furniture much the same as I believe Jesus could even in His last three years on Earth. I can repair any size computer (unless created disposable) as I envision Jesus would have during these days. The physical fixing skill became my lifetime occupation while my serving in relationship with the Spirit to fix (minister to) spiritual breaks remains my eternal vocation; I just couldn't pay physical taxes with what I earn from my vocation.

As an accomplished writer, which you are, it seems that narritives might not represent an approach to God but rather a medium of relationship with God. God is available to force feed us the sustenance of nutrition physically, spiritually and socially as long as we sit still in our high chair long enough to get the spoon in our mouth. If our the eyes of our heart and mind are looking to Him we will find manna from television and even some from all the competing religious narratives of this world.

You are doing well as are most here who are drawn as students of Jesus.

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

I love thinking about it this way: "I believe this is how we should listen to the word of God: combine our imagination with his words..." Thanks for putting it into words. So often, as Christians, we're afraid to consider that any of God's words could be so fluid as to mix with our imaginations, but I believe that's what it means to be co-creators with God. That level of participation is at the core of my active relationship with God and his creation.

Hi Ed: I love the divine hours. I've done them on retreats, in small groups, but I come away with the feeling that we've rushed through them. What if divine hours actually took an hour?

Kristin: I was challenged once when a friend observed that God himself has an imagination. His point was that before we existed in reality, we existed in God's heart and mind--and he created out of those feelings and thoughts. Why shouldn't we?

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

Hello! Who is the artist of that picture, it's beautiful!

November 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShan

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