Week 32 Friday

Dream Reader

Today’s scripture selection: Daniel 1-6

Key verse: Daniel 1:17

When a young man named Daniel was sent, along with three friends, into captivity into a very foreign land, they weren’t alone.  God was with them.

This is made very clear, right at the beginning of their story, as told in the book of Daniel.

“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.  And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”

Now, this meant Daniel was a whole lot more than some phony carnival show psychic.  He was the real deal.

So he ended up interpreting some very important dreams – for the king.

There’s a lot more to his story and I invite you to look it up for yourself.

But right at the beginning, I am struck by something.

Daniel and his friends, from the very beginning of their captivity, refused to become like his captors.  They even refused to eat the king’s food – a bold move that could have cost them their lives.  But that was how deep their faith and commitment to God went.

Would we be so bold?  Would we take our faith so seriously – under penalty of death?  I don’t know.

It’s a good lesson in how faithfulness gets God’s attention – and protection.

So, if you feel sometimes like you are in your own “foreign land” – far away from the comforts of home – remember…be faithful, as best you can.

And God will hear your prayers.  He always does.

Prayer: Lord, when I feel I am in my own private Babylon, move in my heart and spirit to strengthen my faith in you.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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