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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My Friend Pete: In Trouble Again

My friend Pete had a dream the other night, or maybe it was a vision. Or a trance. I dunno. It was strange. It was filled with repetitive images of food and bed-linens. Apparently he fell asleep without having enough to eat and the result was a Freudian mix of images that didn’t make much sense. He woke up confused and began to wonder about the meaning of what he had seen. Then he had the strangest feeling--really strong and clear--that he was going to have to leave on a mission trip immediately.

My friend Pete has had a history of impulsive and emotional behaviors but this one topped them all. Three strangers came to the door and asked for him. The strangers said that another guy (who Pete had never heard of) was told by an angel that Pete was the man to come and speak at a meeting.

Personally, I thought the whole affair was crazy. The guys at the door had never been to church a day in their life. Apparently “Mr. I-Saw-an-Angel” had read a bunch of religious books, but he’d never been to church, either.

So Pete takes a few friends with him and leaves with these guys the next day. A few days later everyone comes back and says God did amazing things on this “mission” trip, but the only thing I could hear in their description was that they broke nearly every rule in the book and then tried to slap a God-label on the whole affair.

Finally I took matters into my own hands and brought Pete’s actions up before the church leadership because even though Pete is one of the leaders himself he doesn’t have the right to just fly off the handle like this. Breaking the rules and blaming it on some emotional God-experience just won’t do.

We had a big meeting about it, but that will take a long time to explain, and I’m out of time, so if you want you can read about it here. Jeez. I’m thinking of going back to my old church.

Reader Comments (3)

Those gentiles, what do they know? Lucky thing God chose us to protect Him. Thank God for setting up so many inspired organizations to keep it simple and to speak to Him for me. amen

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

Wow. I skimmed this in my reader, and my first thought was, that guy is crazy! Is this for real? So I clicked on it to read it slower...and duh. This was a great way to write the story....and the reaction by everyone else makes more sense now. I totally would have been on their side and not with Peter. oops.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaris Adel

Hi Caris: Yeah, "Oops." The events of Acts 10 & 11 are so instructive for us. Sometimes I teach as an adjunct at a nearby university. When I mention to the full-time professors that the early church sometimes based their doctrines on subjective experience, they look at me like I'm crazy (which I am. just not about this!) :-)

Hi Herm: The issue for me is not the "inspired organizations," (if I understand your teasing). Jesus himself established the Church--the crazy, messed-up, petty, dysfunctional church. Talk about throwing us a curve ball--apparently Jesus values playing nice together above "getting it right."

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

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