January 19, 2014

What Might Your Dreams Mean?

I typically write and post reviews of books I've read within a couple of days of turning that last page.  I finished this book four months ago.  Every time I purposed to put my thoughts down, the time just didn't seem right.   No, this one needed to stew a bit over the heat of real life experiences. Not the kind authors use to support their theories, but my own experiences.

I should warn you that we are a dreaming sort.  My mom, her mom, and who knows how many women before them have regularly dreamed things before or even while they happen.  We remember our very vivid dreams and often have a clear idea of what they mean, if not immediately, then soon thereafter.  We're not spooky people, nor are we superstitious.  This dreaming thing is just something that's always been there, so we don't think much of it.

Just this past week, I've had two experiences with dreams.  I dreamed a family member was afraid, and she explained why in great detail.  Despite the scary things happening around us in the dream, I took her by the arm and led her outside, telling her that she couldn't hide out inside because God had things for her to do outside.  When I awoke, I called to tell her about the dream.  It turns out that God was speaking directly to her about her current situation, and I was privileged to be part of relaying that message.

The next day, I was contacted by a woman far away who had dreamed of Paraguay, then asked around until she found someone who knew of missionaries living here.  After getting our names, she sent me a message to tell me about her dream.  It was clear that her dream represented our situation here,  I shared with her, and she was assured that God wanted her to partner with us in prayer for the work in Paraguay.

So while I tend to shy away from certain things that get labeled as revelation or God's voice, I can't help but believe that God does use dreams to speak to us. 

I was especially interested in reading this when I heard about the author, Cindy McGill, and her ministry of dream interpretation.  I'll let her tell you about it:
I've had the privilege to interpret thousands of dreams at events in the United States and abroad, including the Olympics, the Sundance Film Festival, Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, other expos and festivals, or just one-on-one with people I meet day to day. I've also enjoyed appearing on various media, including radio and TV, teaching on dreams and interpreting the dreams of others. I'm a keynote speaker and have also authored numerous articles for magazines and online media outlets.

In 2011, my team and I were featured in
Dreams, A Documentary, which chronicles live dream interpretation encounters that took place at the Sundance Film Festival at Park City, Utah, and won awards at various independent film festivals around the world.

When I picked up this book, I expected to read of people like us.  I expected some stories of their dreams and maybe even some, like my grandmother, who have had what I'd consider the next level--visions while awake.  Instead, I found a guidebook, a manual of sorts that walks the average person through dream interpretation.

Included are very practical chapters that untangle the mysteries of dreams by explaining things such as the various types of dreams, how to determine the source, and what to do with the message.  Common themes are analyzed, and an appendix includes symbols that may appear regularly. 

Plenty of scriptural and modern examples help you hone your skills at interpretation, and a dream journal at the end gives you direction in what parts of the dream might point you toward a certain message.  For those who don't think they dream or those who only wake with vague remembrances, a whole chapter is dedicated to helping you reawaken your dreams. 

Not only is this book interesting in the theory it presents, but it is extremely useful as a handbook to dream interpretation.  I've kept it close since I began reading it and imagine it will continue to be a great reference.  Special thanks to Chosen Books for sending me a copy for review.

You can pick up an ebook copy here or click the names to read more about the authors (Cindy McGill with David Sluka).

What do you think about dream interpretation?  Got any experiences you wanna share?

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