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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Book Review of What Every Dream Means


What Every Dream Means” is not what I expected nor is its’ author Scott M Shafer. What I expected was a dream dictionary with commentary; it is not. I also expected an author who would give biblical interpretations to justify various statements without actually citing a particular verse; this was not the case. Incorporating personal experience, years of study and much prayer the author has put together a biblically based argument for the importance of understanding dreams as well as foundational information to do so.
The author, Scott M. Shafer, speaks at seminars, workshops and retreats as well as hosting private dream interpretation sessions. His website the viewer to the potential of dream interpretation by providing such workshops as: “Dreams and The Professional Community”.
Scott’s journey to understanding dreams began as a young man. In examining the significance of his own dreams he noticed a relationship between his conversations with God and the proliferation of dreams. This gave birth to years of study and as opportunities presented itself the interpretation of the dreams of others. Through experience he learned the importance of listening to the details of the dreamer as well as listening to the Holy Spirit. “What Every Dream Means” incorporates the knowledge of 20 plus years of studying dreams.
“Scott’s intention and purpose is to build knowledge into others in order for them to properly understand and interpret dreams.” (see: About the Author)
Though dreams have been around as long as mankind existed it is not a recognized “ministry” in most Christian churches. In discussing how people receive what he does Scott shared the following with me:
“…As a result they assume that it is New Age or occult based.
I recall a pastor’s wife who came to a dream interpretation table in a bookstore where I was interpreting one evening. After to talking to her she admitted that she could not find answers to her dreams in the church and when she saw the interpretation table at the bookstore she thought or assumed it was New Age but she was desperate to find answers for her dreams. So she came to the table and immediately took the opportunity to share her dreams.
I have another person, probably a well-meaning person; say to me recently that they thought what I did was ‘psychic’. Again I think the reason is that they have never been exposed to who I am and what I do and on the surface they are only familiar with what the New Age has become known for. “
Obviously there is a need for dream interpretation yet as with many areas of ministry the laborers are few. “What Every Dream Means” is a beginning. From the Introduction forward Mr. Shafer walks the reader through the dream process which does not begin with going to bed. There is a biblical basis for dreams and throughout the book there are both Old and New Testament references to corroborate various points.
The book is 159 pages full of much needed information. (Generally speaking; I hate reading the introduction to most books yet I found Scotts’ to be very thought provoking and a necessary read.) Chapter 1- “DREAM RECALL: Remembering Your Dreams”, has subchapters that include: Passivity Can I Really Change This?; “God Speaks in Dreams”: “The Night Season: Sleep Preparation”; and “Improving Memory”. Though chapter one could be a book by itself there are eleven subsequent chapters each building upon the other.
In preparation for dreaming Scott teaches the reader the importance of exercising his or her “memory muscle” by memorizing bible verses. When asked to suggest a few mentioned the Psalms of David and also Romans.
“Romans 12:1 reveals the light that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. As we meditate on this verse at night it will have a profound and deep influence on our conscience and gradually as we come to believe the verse it will set us free from any nagging sense of accusation, guilt or fear. Fear, stress, worry and guilt are some of the things that negatively affect the quality of our sleep at night and can erode our dreaming experience.”
Scott makes it clear in this book that God speaks to us in our dreams no matter who we are or what we believe:
“The things that I recommend about sleep preparation are not intended in any way to become ‘law’ or some kind of legalistic burden to people. I do believe it will enhance their sleep and dreaming experience but I am ultimately confident in the Sovereignty of God. When he wants to speak to us in a dream He will do it. There are examples of this kind of thing happening and being reported in the mission field. Muslims are reporting Jesus appearing to them in dreams and being converted by reason of their dreams.”
He, Scott, also makes it clear that there are no rules etched in stone as to how we are to interpret dreams. Which is why; I don’t use the dream book that I have.
“This is the genius of God that keeps us dependent of Him and His Spirit and not on some methodology of interpreting by knowing a list of symbol meanings from a dream dictionary.”
Each of us should have a personal relationship with Father God. Knowing that He speaks to us in various ways including dreams it is important that we know how to get the most out of our sleep. What is presented in “What Every Dream Means” is the compilations of biblical principles supported by scripture to help you interpret you own dreams as well as the dreams of others.In case you have not determined it yet: I am recommending you purchase this book. Review Written by Marsha L. Randolph

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