“FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT YOUR DREAMS”

4. DREAM BEYOND YOURSELF

As I began writing this blog series, I based everything off of two things.

1. The dreamers in the Bible

2. Personal Experiences

There are such amazing people in the Bible who achieved great things in God by dreaming and keeping their dreams alive. Once they realized that it came from God, they became passionate and committed to the responsibility of seeing it come to pass. In addition to that, there is one more thing I see in them. Without fail, they all dreamed beyond themselves. In other words, they knew what their limit was, and they made sure their dream extended beyond what they could achieve. They understood that if it started with God, then it needed to end with Him too. Their job was to use their ability to work in between the start and finish.

For you and I to be successful in the Kingdom of God, we must follow that same pattern. For me, I’ve had to learn how to dream beyond myself. Is it scary? You better believe it is, but for it to become what God intended for it to be, I have to connect my dream to my faith. When my dream and my faith team up, it then moves from what I can’t see to what I’m hoping for. If what I’m trying to accomplish never requires faith, then I’ve never given back to God what He entrusted to me in the first place. It’s our job to receive the dream He has given, use our passion and responsibility to make sure it’s in operation, then with faith, give it back to Him and watch it grow beyond what we could ever imagine.

What is the current status of your dream? Are you still passionate and responsible, or have you given up on it? Perhaps you’ve replaced it with your pursuit of education and career. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with going after those things, but if it cost you what God gave you, was it worth it? My encouragement to you would be to start over again. Ask God to revive that dream in you. Think about how you felt when you first had the dream and all the things you wanted to achieve. Instead of giving up on it, dream beyond yourself and let God work out the details that you have no control of. Stop stressing over what it will take faith to accomplish.

Remember, it came from God, so give it back to Him. That’s how you dream beyond yourself.

NEXT LEVEL TALK

So many people talk about going to the next level, but very few make it. It sounds good, but the reality is, it doesn’t feel good. There is nothing easy about taking what you do for God, to a whole new level. To get there, you will have to endure challenges, bumps and bruises. It will require you to give it everything you have. You’re in for a fight, but once you arrive, you’ll look back and say, “It Was Worth It”!!!

Maybe you’re not there yet, so let me encourage you as you climb, to not give up. Though you are facing extreme opposition, the enemy is afraid of what God is going to do through you, once you make it to that next level. This is exactly why you are having to deal with certain things currently. Gather up all of your strength and energy and stay in this fight. I promise you…you’ll be glad you did.

Stop talking about the next level and start fighting to get there!!!

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?

When I opened Facebook this morning, I read something that was a little scary. It asked me this question: “WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND?” Wow…you don’t want to always know the answer to that. However, it did get me to thinking about some things. If you are a blogger or someone that frequently posts content on social media, (selfies excluded), I have a few questions for you. What is the plan for what you are getting ready to post? In other words, is there a purpose in what you’re writing, if so, what is it?

One of the reasons I ask, is because when I read some posts, I can’t help but wonder why that was even said. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Stirring Up The Pot”? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a friendly debate on certain issues, I just think we should be careful about what hot buttons we push on social media. I don’t want to be misunderstood, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having some fun and causing people to laugh, in fact, we could use a lot more laughter these days. I guess for me, I’m just tired of personal agendas and so many people that want the world to know that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

I guess blogging and posting on social media is just everyone’s personal opinions about things in life. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about it. Perhaps I’m taking it too serious. However, what if Christians started writing with purpose? I’m not saying that we should all start posting scriptures daily, but what if a certain percentage of our words were intended to bring encouragement and hope to someone?

Before I start a blog, I ask God to help me write something that will help someone that day. There is nothing I enjoy more than to receive an email from somebody that says, something I wrote was a blessing to them. If a few hundred words in a blog can make a difference in someone’s day or outlook, then it’s worth the time spent putting it all together. I have other friends that feel the same way. Just this morning, I read something that a friend of mine posted and I thought to myself, what a great inspiration that will be for someone today. I want to be on a team of game-changers that are making a difference in this crazy world, one post at a time. Would you like to join the team?

THE CORNER

It’s the dead end of where two walls meet. The stopping point for anything caught in it. You can’t go any further once you’re there. This is why we hear the famous phrase, “I’m Backed Into A Corner”. This saying is defined like this:
To be forced into a difficult situation which you have little control over.

Many times when I’m writing, I try to visualize what I’m talking about. In this instance, I couldn’t help but see the old cartoon of Tom and Jerry on one of their famous cat and mouse chases. I can just see Tom running after Jerry and finally getting that little mouse backed into a corner and just when Tom thinks he’s got him cornered, Jerry discovers a way out of no way.

Honestly, sometimes I feel like my life has so much in common with Jerry. Running here and there, trying to find a way out of so many situations. That mean ole cat keeps chasing me and will not let up!!! After so long, I just get tired of running and then I find myself backed into a corner, with no way out. As crazy as it sounds, I can somehow hear the theme music to the Tom and Jerry show playing as I’m typing.

Truthfully, sometimes I feel like God allows us to get chased or backed into a corner. You may ask, why would He do that? One of the reasons, is because that saying means you now have no control. There are times that God can only take over when we’re at a dead end. There is a big difference in someone praying when they realize they are out of options. I could start a list of names from people in the Bible who experienced the corner. We could visit Joseph in the bottom of a well or Moses standing at a Red Sea. We could look at David standing in front of a giant or Hannah praying for God to give her a baby. Check out Simon Peter locked up in a prison cell or John the Revelator left alone on an island. There are countless names, but they all have one thing in common…they were all backed into a corner and knew that only God could bring them out.

You have either been there, or you’re there right now. If this is your current situation, maybe God is allowing this to happen because He wants you to let Him take control. You’ve been trying to fix it yourself, but it’s not working and it won’t. Give this situation to God and I promise you, He will not leave you in the corner. Sometimes He waits for a situation to become impossible before He shows up, because you can’t fix impossible. Once He makes a way, out of no way, you will look back and say, “Only God Could Have Delivered Me Out Of That”. Come on, give it to Him…it’s time for you to get out of “THE CORNER”!!!

GO BACK

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation that you are not sure where to go. You want to move forward, but it’s easier said than done. You’re not at a stand still because you want to be, you just feel like you can’t move on. You would love nothing more than to be out of the current situation you are in, but you just don’t feel a release to move forward. How do you move on from where you are?

As strange as it may sound, sometimes the best way to go forward is to go back. I know you might be thinking, to go back means you’re giving up ground that you’ve already traveled, but understand, I’m not talking about going back to live, I’m only suggesting that you visit where you’ve already been. What is ahead of you is unknown, but what is behind you has already been conquered.

Going back means, you want to be reminded of how you got where you are. You’ve made it this far because God has brought you through so many adversities. As you look ahead, you may not know what the road is going to look like, but behind you are steep mountains you’ve crossed and dark valleys that God has brought you out of. There are past healings and miracles you’ve experienced and you will remember them when you go back. There is no way I can write everyone of your blessings that you’ve had, but I’m sure you’re starting to remember them as you’re reading these words. Perhaps you’re on your way back now.

You are going to come out of this trial, but sometimes the strength you need to move forward can only be found in the faith that you have already used in your past. So don’t worry about moving forward today, just take a little time and go visit where you’ve already been.

ALL THE WAY

Everything you need to serve God, will eventually be tested.

  • Faithfulness.
  • Patience.
  • Love.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Happiness.
  • Trust in God
  • Faith in God.

You are more than welcome to add more words, but rest assured, the words on this list is where every child of God will be tested. These are the things that you must have to finish the course that is set before you. So, like any smart commander, the devil is going to strategically attack you in the areas that will cause the most damage and effect. From the cares of life and even your job, the enemy is working and looking hard for ways to cause you to stumble.

If you’re are struggling in one of these areas today, just remind yourself that the enemy is afraid you’re going to be victorious. Lift your head up, put your trust in God and be determined to make it all the way!!!

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

While talking to a friend of mine last night, we began to share goals that each of us have that we’ve not reached yet. I’m sure you know about that too. He is being very successful in real-estate, but is still not where he wants to be and even wishes he was further along than where he currently is. He told me that there are so many people that come to him about getting into the business and wanting to start flipping houses. They will ask him what they should do to start flipping houses. The problem is, he said, that they have their eyes set on the wrong target. They see where they want to go, but they fail to realize where they are. The advice he gives to them is, know where you are now and work from there. In other words, what is your credit score? What kind of skills do you have in home repairs? These are just to name a few, but I thought his advice was excellent.

I shared with him that although he was in real-estate and I am in ministry, the same advice applies. When people dream, they envision where they want to be, but very seldom do they wake up and realize, they have to figure out the next step. The first two letters in the word goal is, GO. A goal doesn’t just happen, you have to go after it and to do that, you have to know where you are. You must work toward a goal in order to get there. The reason a lot of people never reach their goals is because they only envision the future and not the present.

So, what do you want to do? What do you want to become? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Would you like for that dream to become a reality? If so, then figure out where you are right now. Every little thing you do in the present is determining whether or not you reach your goal in the future. Maybe it’s time to stop dreaming and start working. Your dreams are constant, but your discipline may not be consistent. The longer you wait to get started, the more you are going to deal with regrets. Even if you don’t reach all of your goals, you’ll still be able to say, you gave it everything you had. The only real failure, is to not even try.

Since we all have dreams and goals that we have yet to reach, let’s allow these words to encourage us and get started from where we are now.

RELATIONSHIPS

Everything comes down to relationships.

Relationships can take you to highs you’ve never experienced, but they can also bring you to lows you’ve never experienced.

If you have some good relationships, be thankful and make sure you let the one’s you’re close to know how grateful you are to have them in your life.

If you’re in a bad relationship and you’ve done all you can to strengthen it…walk away and stop letting it drain your energy.

Make sure you know the levels of relationships. Being close to someone doesn’t always mean they’re close enough to trust.

If you are in a restored relationship, take it a day at a time and do not get in a hurry. Rebuilding takes a while.

Relationships are vital to our existence and it’s imperative that we strengthen the good ones and end the bad ones.

A NEW YEAR’S TO DO LIST

Instead of focusing on the problem, start looking for the answer.
Stop worrying about the people who have left you and invest in the ones that just entered.
Quit fretting over how you got in your current situation and make your plans on how to get out.
Don’t let a bad decision cause you to give up on your dream.
Make sure the hurt you’ve suffered doesn’t take the lead in how you treat others.
Ignore your age and pursue your passion.
How you see yourself will affect you more than how others see you.
Practice making peace.
Strengthen the important relationships in your life…you will need them and they will need you.
Commit to being positive.
Don’t engage in senseless social media wars.
Realize the greatest gift you have is today.
That’s when everything will begin to change.

I HEARD A RUMOR

Whether it was on the grapevine or the rumor-mill, we’ve all experienced those moments when someone asks, “Have you heard about…?” The person will then explain that they heard it from someone that is a viable source, so it must be the truth. It gets real interesting when you start asking questions, then whatever can’t be answered, gets filled with assumptions. By the time everyone is finished with it, it’s a big, colorful story filled with drama and suspense. There’s only one problem. Nothing has been proven, just assumed and added to.

Rumors have no respect of persons. It can be about a marriage, a minister, a friend or even a family member. Then, like a cancer, it spreads everywhere. Some rumors can even last for years. It doesn’t matter if the rumor turns out to be untrue, some people still believe what they heard. It’s almost like there are certain people that want it to be true. I know that’s a harsh statement, but sadly enough, it’s true. I mean, why mess up a good story with the truth?

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, get ready, because it will. Believe me, no matter how many friends you think you have, it’s just hard for some people to ignore a rumor. From time to time I hear things that have been said about me. When this first started happening to me, I became angry because of the lies that were being said, but after some time, I realize that it may actually be helping. I know that sounds crazy, but at 47, it makes it easier for me to know who my real friends are and who aren’t my friends. Sure, it hurts your feelings when you hear things that are being said about you, but you need people around you that you can trust and sometimes God allows the wheat and tares to grow together, then in time they are separated. Some things just take time.

What’s interesting to me is that I seemed to be talked more about than talked to. There are people that haven’t spoken to me in years, but seem to know so much about me. Now, how does that happen? I don’t mind to answer any questions that someone may have about me. You can follow a rumor or you can call me and I will be more than glad to answer your questions. Of course, if what you’ve heard or said about me is incorrect, you would then need to make sure and straighten the story out with the ones you told. I know, that’s a lot of trouble to have to mess with. If you haven’t spoken directly to the person the rumor is about, you have absolutely no right to tell what you have heard as truth. Unfortunately, It is easier to tell a rumor rather than go to the source.

I’m not writing this to defend my self, because it wouldn’t matter what I said, I’m not going to change the opinions of certain people. What I would like to do is encourage someone that may read this blog that is being talked about and the rumors are just untrue. It’s for that person who feels overwhelmed by all of the assumptions people are having about them. Whether it’s friends or family, you can’t chase down every rumor and really, you don’t need to waste your time doing that. Do what you do and don’t allow yourself to get drawn in the mud with people who spend their time slinging it.

Also, don’t forget, Jesus was a victim of rumors too. What’s interesting, is the ones that talked about Him the most, were the ones who claimed to know so much about the Word of God. Imagine that. Their traditions kept them from receiving a revelation. The truth is, Jesus warned His disciples about them and referred to them as hypocrites. Jesus didn’t chase all of the lies that were being said about Him, He just kept preaching the gospel and bringing healing and deliverance to people. We can learn so much from His actions. As a man, you know Jesus was upset that these false things were being said about Him, but He also knew that if He took the time to set everyone straight, it would take time away from what He was sent and called to do. That’s what I want to encourage someone to do today. God didn’t call you to deal with people who spread rumors, He called you to a specific work and don’t be distracted by false stories.

Even the Apostle Paul had to deal with this. In some of the churches he started, their were people who turned on him and started spreading false rumors. How did Paul respond to that? He summed it up in one chapter.

1 Corinthians 13 (THE MESSAGE VERSION)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

No matter what is said about you, don’t let anyone or anything cause you to compromise the true love of God that we are all commanded to show.