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(Pixabay/xiangying_xu)

Stacey Linsalata was present in my seminar last weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at Heartland Church. As I taught the adults on hearing God's voice, Stacey taught the children on how to overcome nightmares. I have asked Stacey to write a blog, so I could introduce her and her ministry resources to my friends.

Imagine this with me. Joseph goes to bed one night. Nothing unusual led up to what would unfold as he drifted off to sleep. The usual meal was served, the nightly dinnertime stories were told. We can't blame what would soon unfold on eating too much pizza before bed. That night Joseph has a dream. This wasn't the type of dream you just wake up from and shake off. This was the kind of dream that sticks, the kind that you're still thinking about days later, the kind that carries weight in your soul. I believe that is the kind of dream that Joseph had that night.

I know Joseph gets a bad rap sometimes for telling his brothers about his dreams too soon. But in his defense, these types of dreams are pretty hard to keep to yourself!  However, here's the part of the story I want you to zoom into: Genesis 37:8. After Joseph shares his weighty dream with his brothers, his brothers reply with, "Will you really reign over us, or will you really have dominion over us?"  Do you see the significance of their response? They didn't say, "Joseph, it was just another pizza dream, Bro!" Or, "What could this dream mean? We need to find someone gifted in dream interpretation and have them tell us the meaning!" Even worse, "It was just a dream, Joseph. Your imagination was going wild last night. It doesn't really mean anything."  Instead, their response to Joseph's dream was the interpretation.

This doesn't happen by accident. This happened because a culture of dreaming had been created in Joseph's home. This shouldn't surprise us considering his father was Jacob, the same Jacob who dreamed of the ladder going to heaven and angels ascending and descending on it (Gen. 28:12). I have no doubt in my mind that Jacob sat around the table with his sons, discussing dreams that he had and how God had interpreted them for him. I can even imagine his sons saying, "Dad, do we have to hear the ladder dream again!" However, recalling dreams and encounters like this were most likely a regular part of their dinner conversations at the earliest ages of Jacob's children. I bet he even passed down dreams that must have been told to him by his Grandpa Abraham. Because a culture of dreaming had been created in Jacob's home, his children were now able to respond to dreams with their interpretations.

This story is what drives my passion: to restore the lost art of dreaming in our homes. And, this passion is what led me to write Culture of Dreaming—A Family Workbook. I wanted to provide busy families with a practical way they could slow down each night and stir up a passion for dreaming in their homes. This is a testimony that came to me after a family completed a one-week sample of Culture of Dreaming:

"Stacey! I am loving the lessons and so are my kids (ages 7 and 9). My son was over the moon when God spoke 'I shield you' on his whiteboard. Both of them are so gung-ho and ask every night to do another lesson. They loved the visualizing exercises. I love how 'open and go' it is and how experiential it is. Love seeing my kids hungry to hear God's voice. I cannot wait to get your whole book!"

A couple days later, I received another email from the same mom. She told me her kids didn't want to stop so her 9-year-old offered to lead worship and a listening exercise that night. Her kids were so stirred up by the sample lessons that they wanted to keep going until the rest of the book arrived. This is a perfect reflection of my heart for this family workbook. It was never written to have an ending, but to be a launching pad for dreaming and connecting hearts as a family so that the lessons will continue far beyond the last page of the book.

I have studied how other cultures value dreaming, past and present, and it's a whole topic on its own. The one thing I do want to point out is this: America probably values dreams less than any other culture I have read about. I want to do my part to restore the value of dreaming in our culture, starting in the home, and that is why I have felt lead to create resources for families. You can purchase Culture of Dreaming—A Family Workbook at Amazon and begin creating a culture of dreaming in your home.

This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.

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