The Naked-Fear Dream By Sydney Avey

Dreams come out our deepest anxieties. In a classic fear dream, you stand naked in a public place and no one hands you a cover-up. Often this dream calls you to face the unknown with a sense of confidence.

It was not my dream to sing on a praise team. I’ve been hiding in the church choir for years, but our choir aged and our numbers shrank. When the choir disbanded, I found myself on a small worship team…behind a microphone…in front of guitars and drums. Now I could really be heard!

Praise music and hymns have different rhythms. Contemporary worship songs go places I can’t always predict. It’s a challenge to invite our congregation into an experience I’m unsure about. Like a job retraining program, it requires new ways of thinking.

One Sunday after I’d missed rehearsal, a string of unfamiliar words appeared on the screen. I had no idea how to sing them. A still, small voice whispered, “Give yourself to the music. It’s a conversation. Sing it that way.”

In business, we refer to that sudden clarity as a paradigm shift. A song vocalized in a conversational tone instead of poetic meter becomes an informal prayer. One musical expression isn’t inherently better than the other. They are different worship experiences.

Singers unsure of their voices often step back from the microphone. “Lean into the mic,” our worship leader says. “The farther away you get, the more the sound distorts.”

As a writer I’ve learned when I step back in fear, my writing loses power. But I can lean in with confidence,  “…for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very time what you should say” (Luke 12:12 NIV). The Naked-Fear Dream no longer has the power, I do.

Sydney Avey, Author

Sydney Avey, Author

Sydney Avey is the author of three historical fiction novels that explore the passions that drive women to live unconventional lives. She enjoys theater, travel, and choral singing. She and her husband divide their time between the Sierra foothills near Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

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Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in Southern California near Palm Springs. The weather is perfect this time of year and all our rains have brought out the wildflowers.

I’m a People Pleaser. It’s hard to admit sometimes but the truth is, I’m motivated to please others for a variety of reasons and one main one is thinking I should never say “no.” Why? What is my thinking?

1. What will they think of me if I’m not the Super Woman who can say “yes” to everything?
2. If I don’t say “yes,” then I’ll miss out on the fun!
3. If I don’t say “yes,” the opportunity won’t get done to my standards!
4. If I don’t say “yes,” they might not ask me the next time.
5. (Put in your own reasoning).

People Pleasing is all about depending upon the opinions of others for our approval, rather than God. We fear making other people unhappy with us or think poorly of us. So we strive to do everything we can to appease other people and promote ourselves as important, valuable, or whatever vow we’ve made to promote or protect ourselves.

There are many examples of People Pleasing in the Bible. The most known one may be when King Saul succumbed to this strategy. His reaction is featured in 1 Samuel 13:8-14. Remember the story?

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