August 18, 2017

Doer, Dreamer, or In-Betweener? Which are you in the New Year? A Life Resolution?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)

In the last thirty turbulent days of the year through the holidays, a mixture of emotions stir in my heart and in my mind, often with a blank stare at my mirror in the morning. I wonder about my life direction as this year ends and begins with 2013. I am especially fond of the number thirteen because I love Taylor Swift, and she loves me! My number one New Year’s resolution is to marry Taylor as soon as writes another song about us. She was wrong when she wrote those “we will never ever, ever, ever get back together” lyrics.

With this ridiculous fantasy aside, I believe that people fall into three categories daily, monthly, and then of course yearly: 1.) The Doers 2.) The Dreamers 3.) And The In-Betweeners. And as I ask myself who I want to be, I ask you the same.

What do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered with your legacy? Do you want to Do? Do you want to Dream? Or do you just want to chill In-Between the two realities as you feel like it?

Do you seek to raise your arms in the Glorified Presence of God? Do you want to watch television and sleep all day as a modern day Homer Simpson?

I am active as most know me in personality, but this year I especially want to work hard, real hard. An earth-shattering moment awakened my senses at the beginning of December that I really have only begun to dig into the potential God has in store for my future. I have only touched the surface of amazing blessings. If you are anything like me, I tire of living in complacency when I believe God means so much more for me in the realization of what we can do with Christ in us!

If we truly realize and pray for the power of Christ, our level-reaching potential overflows with a supernatural confidence to touch thousands and possibly millions of lives. That is the mindset of a Doer! A Doer does not limit himself or herself! A Dreamer stagnantly thinks about what to do next, never really taking that step forward! We all know those types – “I think I want to be this.” “I think I want to do that.” “I think God is calling me to do this.”

The only problem with thinking too much is you often get stuck with all the In-Betweeners who never walk forward with their life. An In-Betweener is close to the break of a Doer but remains stuck in place for many reasons, probably but not limited to the ideas of fear and what others think. Those two observations have been the largest hindrances in my relationship with God as a Doer, instead of just a Dreamer.

Seriously, as a believer in Christ, can you imagine the power of God alive in you with the Holy Spirit, rising through the magnification of your personal gifts? Superhero movies are not all fictional. We are capable of becoming the movement makers of this country when we realize Christ in a Joshua-Sun-Stand-Still moment!

This liberation is simply what I want (and of course hope and pray) for the church in 2013! I want Christians to rise with higher heights as Doers, not Dreamers, and certainly not stuck in the middle with the In-Betweeners.

To further grasp this concept, another visual imagery involves the subject interest area known as politics. Yes, I said that ugly word. I believe that most politicians fearfully remain in the middle of my diagram above In-Between to win votes and serve their own interests to keep office. Many loquaciously speak with big words as dreamers, but never live up to the level of a doer. I think fear inhibits leaders from often doing the right thing because they fear unchartered waters and new hard decisions that need to be made. I believe if a Christian politician truly understood the nature of Christ-filled-doing relationship with Jesus, then fear of simply occupying office for another day would no longer be their focus. Serving the people of this country would, one nation under God!

I certainly do not want to be thought of as the cliché negative term that comes with the word politician. I want to be a Doer for Jesus that chases with action my dreams with everything I have. I no longer want to live in the in-between moment. I want to bring the Kingdom to this earth, and most times that requires us to act with deliberation, without the pause of best wishes or a “that’s not my problem” attitude. This world need more Doers, and that is what is what I plan to be in 2013. That is my number one life resolution, not a New Year’s resolution, a life resolution! Rise up with Christ in 2013!

My Friend Dave Wood from Lifeline Children’s Services – Orphan Sunday Series, Part 2

Orphan Sunday, occurring on November 4, 2012, is a national movement joined by churches all over the world though an organization known as The Christian Alliance for Orphans. These three upcoming blog entries introduce three dear friends I met through this Alliance with brief information about their respective organizations. My last entry highlighted Larry Bergeron of A Child’s Hope International.

I met Dave Wood, the Vice President and International Director of Lifeline Children’s Services, briefly at Summit 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky, and I think we had an instant connection through our comedian-like routines. While serious in both our advocacy efforts for the orphan, the joy of Christ is evident through both our hearts with our laughs and smiles to encourage those we are around. Many in the Lifeline alumni and staff network mistakenly think I look like Herbie Newell, the Executive Director of this adoption ministry, however after meditation and prayer, I really believe my heart and personality resembles that of Dave. I still imagine the day we work together in director-position nonprofit ministry peacemaker roles. Perhaps then we will really through the power of God provide a healthy home for every child in the world, all 147 million of them. It is in fact possible! Sometimes you just in fact have to believe in yourself and your eternal cause and vision!

Dave and I have that big faith that this dream of fate could really happen. We both write. You will notice one of my favorite pieces by Dave in this blog entry, entitled Lifeline. I believe the piece will touch your heart. We both like to laugh and goof off. We both live with an eternal mindset. I hope that as Dave reads this he does not mind my comparison, but he is indeed the kind of person you hope to emulate and be like.

Dave has long had it on his heart to publish a book. Well, I believe it is time we encourage and push him to get there. It is not a matter of whether his material is great enough. It certainly is that and more! I believe in the preaching of the Hip Hop preacher, Eric Thomas. Now is the fourth quarter. Publishing books and advocating for orphans is not easy. If it was, everyone would do it! Let’s pray, push, and press Dave to publish his book through accountability. That is indeed on my list of goals in 2013. So be looking out for one of my favorite people’s writing, Dave Wood! His is book is coming because I believe in his hard work, his real hard work. When you want to be successful as much as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. Eric Thomas informs us to “not talk about it but to be about it.”

LIFELINE!

by Dave Wood on Monday, September 5, 2011 at 12:28am •

Oh darkness lies entrenched within my heart
Fears, like ocean waves flood over my soul
Drowning in the abyss of a sea that is all mine
These black storms have left me without hope
I’m a sinking ship that is listing and all alone
So desperate this very moment for a lifeline
But in this churning flood there is not a lifeline
Only sorrow upon sorrows drowning my heart
The rising sea billows have washed over any hope
Speechless and unattended I am a mortified soul
And though I hear the cries of others I am alone
A vanquished life with nothing left that is mine
I do remember a time when things were mine
There was no thought and no need of a lifeline
I sometimes felt lonely but never really alone
There wasn’t yet a broken and battered heart
The future was still unknown to my naive soul
Back then my tomorrow’s were filled with hope
Skies were clear and a bright magnificent hope
As if a postcard that said the world was mine
The warmth of the sun was peace to my soul
The gentle breeze upon my sails a steady lifeline
Calm waters brought comfort and gave me heart
Too taken to realize I was enjoying this bliss alone
Then one day an unexpected storm cloud rose up alone
This tempest would only grow overtaking all my hope
A fierce head wind pushing against my anchored heart
Waves of thunder burst threatening all that is mine
An ominous beast and not even a compass for a lifeline
Lightning strikes illuminating the hidden dread in my soul
The ship that carried me has now abandoned my soul
Broken into pieces an orphan castaway that is all alone
Longing through tears to be thrown a life saving lifeline
Looking for a brilliant lighthouse to point the way home
All that I ever dreamed for was a family that was mine
To be rescued from this storm and save my dying heart
Oh what my sad soul would give for such an abiding hope
No longer alone and fully loved by parents that are mine
A family is my only lifeline and the sole desire of my heart

Sestina Poem
Copyright © 2011 Dave Wood

I am fired up, pumped up, and motivated to know Dave and his family. He changes lives through his written words, his speaking, his traveling, and his role in ministry. There is something extremely satisfying about living for others, instead of living for retirement. Dave just gets that idea. Dave works at a ministry headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama known as Lifeline Children’s Services where I believe he will complete his journey in faith perhaps until the day he dies. Dave lives for others and has often dedicated his valuable time to point me in a positive direction through mutual discussion and belief in each other. I believe in Lifeline! I believe in Dave! And I believe together one day we just might live with a fourth quarter mentality to push all barriers to publish our books and save orphans. Now is the time to change lives of the youth we work with, and while in different ministries with different purposes, Dave continues to change the lives of thousands. Admire him. Know him. And support his ministry!

Listen and learn, readers, through this video! My hat is off to Dave and his lifetime of lifeline desires and ministries!

 

A Simple Message and Current Theme in My Life – Success Comes Finally! DO What We DO!

When I first graduated with my Masters from Auburn University in Communication, I thought I would catch fire in both the job market and publishing my first major book. I got somewhat sidetracked with two brief anthologies of twenty-three poems and successfully published both collections with book signings and what continues to be a consistent following on a redesigned blog. However I eventually ran out of money and needed to work somewhere, anywhere.

I started off with any-whatever-job I could find two years ago, selling ladies’ shoes at the Belk Department Store at Brookwood Mall in Homewood, Alabama (a suburb outside Birmingham, Alabama for those of you not from here). I quickly decided retail was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life with a Masters education. Then I moved forward six weeks later as an admissions representative at Virginia College Online Division. While Virginia College has been extremely good to me for the last eighteen months, it was again apparent that this was another venture I did not want to pursue also for the rest of my life, selling education through a proprietary mindset. It was a great place for me to learn business corporate policy from management from those who worked in industry far longer than me. In other words, Virginia College Online became a stepping stone to move forward for where God would have me now, the Salvation Army.

I know I applied for well over 500 jobs before the right fit came along. I took on several interviews and was offered several positions but never felt spiritually at peace about anything that presented itself until just now. The Salvation Army Headquarters in Atlanta offered me a job, as a Creative Marketing Strategist for their youth development department. I knew confidently and peacefully that God called me to move to Atlanta for this new opportunity to change adolescent lives through the influence of Christ and Biblically founded beliefs. In addition to this pursuit, I continue to push hard with both my writing and photography endeavors and online teaching.

In the pursuit of passions, I was often discouraged from what appeared to represent a lack of movement and upward mobility. I am not always sure what to do with my time to move forward in growth with my own life. Often times I just do what I do (advice I learned from Tony Dungy). I implement both a short term and long term vision plan and with each day push as hard as I can beyond my day job to make dreams happen. I write when I do not feel like writing. I exercise when I do not feel like exercising. I get up and go to my day job when I do not want to. I study to reach another graduate degree to stand apart from those in the masses. I do what I do even when I do not want to. Those who become the most successful still do what they do even when they do not want to. That is true motivation. Motivation is not a bright Tinker Bell feeling. It is doing what you know you need to even when you do not want to.

You may lose sleep. You may become frazzled. You may need to pull some hair out when you want to quit. But please see my life as a small step forward in the right direction. Finally after two years of completing my Master’s degree at Auburn University, I am moving to the BIG Atlanta CITY for a job I REALLY WANT, but it took two years. It may take another two years to complete another Master’s degree, to get my photography business off the ground, to attain a book contract, and continue performing a meaningful day job. But my day job will turn into my dream job as the transition continues in the right direction. I will continue to do what I do even when I do not feel like it. And with that approach, I will inevitably be successful in any goal I pursue. Just do what you do to honor God, and I firmly believe and know He will honor your work for His Glory. My life stands as a testimony to His Scriptural Promises. Speak it into existence, and watch the magic happen!

Tony Dungy’s words continue to resonate with me through his testimony here! If you love football, you will love the Quiet Strength expressed through this video!

 

The Call From the Orphan – God’s Heart! Why Do Churches Hesitate to Rise Up?

I once heard Chris Hodges, Senior Pastor of Church of the Highlands, ask his 15,000 member congregation, “Do you know why some people are gay? I think I figured this paradigm out.” We all sat on the edge of our seats with the expectation of some Scripture revelation, the secret this long debated question about to be answered. Hodges continued, “I think it is because they are lazy.” The building audience erupted into laughter at his proclamation. He asserted that a relationship with the same sex was much easier than one with the opposite gender. I must agree that my guy friends and I never fight! I really cannot remember the last time I fought with a guy, seriously. I admit that a relationship with a significant female other is real hard work. I understand Hodges’ logic on some unusual levels. After his awkward moment of humor, Hodges began his Sunday sermon.

Does this same statement apply to churches that ignore the cause of the fatherless (in addition to the widow, the poor, the diseased, the underprivileged, and so on)? Are church leaders and passive congregational members lazy? Most will claim that the temptation to fall into complacency in Pop Culture Christianity is easy. How many people genuinely volunteer and serve in capacities outside of a Saturday Southern football tailgate? In my opinion with where I worked in the past two years (not the Salvation Army headquarters), most settle for each night’s schedule of sitcoms and sporting events on ESPN. Many don’t do anything outside of family and watching television for the local community and international relief. Even my own family is guilty of this epidemic on several accords. We conduct ourselves according to convenience.

I serve as the current Christian Alliance for Orphans State Coordinator for Orphan Sunday. I am responsible year round for gearing and managing events, seminars, discussion panels, and anything related to the cause of the fatherless, even radio interviews. We specifically focus on Orphan Sunday, November 4, with a concentration for a national and international movement where thousands come together for one day to stand for the orphan. The Christian Alliance for Orphans stands as a joint coalition of over one hundred organizations who commit themselves to save every orphan for the sole sake of God’s Glory. We were after all adopted by our Heavenly Father!

Recently I approached several churches in the Greater Birmingham metropolitan about participating on Orphan Sunday, November 4th. Between last year (2011) and this year (2012) with this annual celebration in advocacy for the orphan, I definitely received more “No’s” than “Yes’s,” sometimes even with simple requests for orphan-focused prayers, still to receive another “No.”  I even had ministers commit to events this year with their given word without following through, some things I worked hard on through my own free time through volunteering, only with nowhere to implement my hard work.  A great example of someone who fights for the orphan is Jon Walden, Executive Director and on air personality for Revocation Radio, a nonprofit radio station who plays Christian music that honors God, healthy for the ears of youthful listeners (as opposed to the cussing of gangster rap or any other colorful music).  Jon is interviewing five individuals over the air with leaders from five different orphan-related organizations. Walden remains busy with public appearances, youth rallies, a family, and his own mission with his nonprofit ventures. He makes the extra effort for the sake of ministry, not excusing the assistance with his own busyness with life responsibilities. Many could learn from his diligence for all the causes he stands for simply for the sake of Christ. Nothing more else motivates him so. Jon Walden rises to the challenge, and I wonder if other nonchalant ministerial leaders will do the same.

Another example to emulate as a country is Rwanda who seeks to eradicate orphanages, YES, THERE WILL BE NO MORE FATHERLESS in the next twenty years within this country! I mean no disrespect to this country or any other African country, but in the eyes of western politics, this is a third world entity. Countries with much more economical means stand still while those less fortunate pave the way for something many should have initiated a long time ago! Leaders in Rwanda have risen together as The Church to train citizens within their country to raise orphans. Rwanda does not ship their troubles to other countries. Internally they seek to improve as a country within their own borders. Nothing wrong exists with international adoption; however I am inspired when a country heals an epidemic for the fatherless at home, for example our failing foster care systems, which we still have yet to remedy in the United States.

While hosting events is not necessary with commitments, fighting and caring for the orphan worldwide is not an option. In fact, God commands it through His Biblical Word. For those of us who lack initiative, reference the following Scriptures:

Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

“Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.”

James 1:27 (NIV)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Exodus 22:22-24 (NIV)

“Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.”

John 14:18 (NIV)

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Psalm 82:3 (NIV)

“Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”

I think the question remains worthwhile to consider: Are leaders in ministry too lazy to fight for the cause of the orphan? The blessing and burden to carry the cause cannot fall solely on those who actually rise to acknowledge the world’s fatherless. The rise for change is not easy. Anything for the sake of Christ will never be easy. But leaders like Jon Walden step up to play for eternal reasons often beyond those who live more on earth than in heaven with human indulgence. I grow tired of fighting without the support of local church leaders. I challenge the next time a door opens for church leaders to rise, instead of offering lame excuses for why this conflicts with a year round sermon scheduled series, year after year ignoring our call to solve the problems of this world. If Rwanda can, I am confident any United States congregation can as well. It is time to stop the laziness and to work hard for God’s Glory. Together we can and together we will fight for the fatherless and end the orphan epidemic. It is not impossible! It is very doable! And if you make the decision to lead and take a stand, God will honor our hard work for His Heavenly Heart.

Personally seek to feel the CALL of the ORPHAN through this video about Orphan Sunday, 2012! We are adopted! God never abandoned us! And we should never abandon them, the fatherless!

Orphan Sunday 2012 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! ….my own rise in down times.

Ephesians 5:13-14 (NIV)

But everything
exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes
a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Have you ever sat in your cubicle wondering to God, “When will my time come to rise and fulfill my passions’? The battle of everyday survival floats around bills paid and the suppression of dreams. With the unwise decisions of leaders in this country, opportunity for young professionals appears dwindling! …the truth is it is!

I applied for at least four hundred jobs before something of true dreamlike essences patiently prevailed. I skimmed all over the country for hope where my day-to-day existence became more than routine. It became dreamlike. Eventually the monsoon rolled where the hard work snowballed. Each day brought a new surprise and phone call from a prospective life-changing moment. I am also almost complete with a three hundred page manuscript of my first major memoir, each chapter edited seven-ten times, a two year project in the making.

I faced the largest challenges and adversity when I felt no motion in my life, no momentum towards a given goal in my mind. I incline to feel the least motivated in life when I see no growth, no movement forward. At this moment in my life I never measure life monetarily as a single Christian but instead through growth to reach a level of leadership unprecedented by all before me. It is those who are most motivated who continue to do what they need to, even when they do not feel that motivation emotionally, or simply “just don’t feel like it.”

I cannot describe the sudden drive in my life or where it came from. However when I tasted a sweet notion of success and saw God’s work in my life, I wanted it all the more. I realized that many individuals, including me, wait to rise up. We can wait forever for things to look up, to feel better, or to achieve the dream constantly on our heart. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! We fail more than we succeed, but with each failure we step closer to success. As I tasted success with a recent life victory, then the failures faded into the background. We cannot forget the sweet tastes that come with a new job, an upper level graduation day, our firstborn child, our wedding day, or in my case, a first major book contract. Those successes push us to yearn for more, but not for ourselves, but rather for God’s Glory.

LATER IS NOT THE TIME! NOW IS! When you doubt where to start, just go! When I cannot think of a blog entry or chapter to write, the best strategy begins with just starting. Eventually while maybe not at first, meaningful words flow.

If you are like me, I am tired of sitting on the sidelines. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! ….not tomorrow but today, starting with simple progression through small steps. We bring world change one small step at a time until the snowball launches down the ski slope. On the 400th job application, we get that interview offer we want. And then we feel the rise and crave to rise in the moment this very day.

Through Christ, we are truly risen! With our personal resurrection, we already live in the light through salvation. Now with each blessed day, rise with me! Rise together! Rise up! Now is the time to rise! And with Christ, it is up to you! Do not procrastinate. Do not quit. Do not put the project down. Rise to become more and reach your fullest potential! …for that is the only place where God truly will have us!

Believe inspirational speaker, Eric Thomas, when you realize GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! This video WILL FIRE YOU UP! He coincidentally happens to be speaking to the Auburn football team. WAR EAGLE!

The Conclusion of the Greatest Spiritual Series Ever! – The Growth Track

THE CONCLUSION!

This series applies to my life as much as it also applies to yours. I believe some of these steps will speak to you if you read the Scriptures and contemplate the main points. I seek growth in my life and witness as I focus more on eternal matters, doors seem to open, or at least I get leads for promising future ventures with a focus on God in relationship as my number one priority.

I pray that my readers become touched by my words and the hours I spend actually constructing words of inspiration as I struggle with my own journey for personal advancement.

I often rush through moments pressing on forward to the next goal in mind. I believe while chasing growth in opportunity this series also reminds me to slow down and appreciate where I am. I am in a good stable situation seeking doors to open. I believe that remains a much better situation than those who do without, those desperate for any way to provide. It is a matter of a paradigm shift to remain grateful for what you possess and have.

Pursue growth as I do, but also do not forget to enjoy the moment and what we have now. Our present moment often leads as a platform to the next endeavor closer to the dream we seek to accomplish. With all things considered, reach out, connect, and grow. After growth with roots planted, discover your passion with a definite focus on God. Pursue the dream and chase forward towards your eternal direction. Then I promise with obedience to God’s calling for your life, success is evident and inevitable. Sometimes it just takes time and a patience to wait on God’s timing.

The GROWTH Track Series – GO and DO! (Step Seven)

GO and DO!

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the plan provided below.

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream

VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

Once you connect, grow, and discover your passions in the body of Christ at an individual and/or group level, I really think you will find your vision to pursue your life purpose. Of course, with time that certainly may change, but once found yourself in this capacity, then GO and DO whatever God calls you to! Realize the friends and family in the relationships you formed, reached out to, connected with, and grew into, will in good consciousness support you in your life’s journey when you go and do.

FIRST Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points

1.)    “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

2.)    “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you.” 1 Corinthians 14:3 (MSG)

A.) The Great Commission calls us to ALL nations.

Scripture in the New Testament calls us to reach out to every corner so that God’s Name becomes glorified. We are meant to travel in country and out-of-country to every corner where the Gospel has not yet reached indigenous peoples. Your passions in dreams rendered will determine if this is your dream to be had.

B.) God watches over us when we choose and pursue our calling through the Great Commission.

The Scriptures say and show we remain guarded by God’s protectors when we follow the calling portrayed before us in the Great Commission to do and go wherever we are led. Our guardian angels step into action so to speak. I believe if one has never traveled overseas for mission purposes that you should do so to open doors and become more like-minded in Christ. Our minds tend to open when we have seen beyond our front doors. The world suffers, and your life will be changed forever when you see it in person.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT)

A.) The Good News perpetually spreads forward each and every time shared.

When we go and do, salvation continues with a pay it forward effect. Each person who receives the Gospel is likely to spread it to the next person. God’s Salvation is just that good and promising that we want to continue sharing it with others onward from the very moment we become saved.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious
standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple.
That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” Colossians 1:28-30 (MSG)

A.) God through Christ lives in every single one of us, and through Christ in us, we accomplish God-Size, Purpose-Driven dreams.

It is through Christ in us that we attain the Bigger Dreams through remembering the Bigger Picture. Christ lives in us as part of the Body, and our perfection through His Body in perfection gives us the means and power to achieve Greatness for Kingdom purposes. It is Christ in me that gives us the power to rise above and achieve.

The following are five more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“Yes, Lord, walking inthe way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8 (NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” Daniel 12:3 (NLT) 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NLT)

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a  lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)

I believe we are meant to follow the steps of the growth track to go and do whatever God calls us to. I also believe we are most fulfilled when we follow God’s calling for our lives. It takes an extra grit and mile worth of work to achieve dreams. I am learning that as I grow older I must almost work twice as hard to separate myself apart from the rest of the pack. Personal success for me involves growth and progression in the pursuit of my dreams. This growth came to me this year as I turned thirty working each level of Scripture to pursue where I know I need to be.

These three videos creatively illustrate concepts of going and doing your mission through The Great Commission. The videos ask relevant questions and are extremely short. I think you will find them relevant to struggles we face every day as we seek to shine through with Christ-likeness in commonplace environments.

The GROWTH Track Series – Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction (Step Six)

Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the plan provided below.

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream
VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

Once our dream and vision becomes revealed, God provides us with the choice of free will to pursue our eternal direction. The steps synchronize to work together to the final step where you choose to GO and DO whatever dreams, passions, and eternal directions led you to choose and pursue.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points -“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)

I think when we pursue a Kingdom-building eternal purpose, God grants us peace in doing so. He is the author of our universal eternal story. As writer of our journey, peace comes in growth to discover our passion and then pursue the dream thus culminating into our eternal direction.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”

Proverbs 24:16 (NLT)

A.)  When you fall down in pursuit of your eternal direction, God will pick you up.

I believe it is a given in our life as believers that we will fall time and time again. As a choice to live with a higher code of morality in mind, we choose the high road to live through the adversity that pursuit in relationship with God brings. God picks us up time and time again when we can no longer carry ourselves through the fire. I believe I would rather be the one who jumps into the fire in pursuit of my eternal dream rather than the one who simply stands outside the fire watching.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-pointsJesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27 (NIV)

A.)  When you pursue your eternal direction, God will fulfill the impossible.

We or most often other people believe that things are impossible with societal given limitations; however as the Scripture demonstrates nothing is impossible with God. If Joshua can make the sun stand still with prayers and pleading to the Lord, I know we can accomplish more than sometimes we think we are capable of. We can and will accomplish the impossible if with faith we believe God will work such miracles through us.

FOURTH Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points – And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

A.)  When you pursue your eternal direction, God will give you all you need to do every good work.

When you live in the shadows of God’s Grace, the blessings come down in abundance. God gives us what we need every time even when we believe we can bear it no longer. When we pursue good works, God blesses the choice of an eternal direction. In the stride for good works, we might fall down, but then God remains there to pick us right back up.

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

“Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

A.)  Even when tired, God renews our strength to reach our very best and highest potential. We will not grow weary or faint and will spread our eternal wings towards heavenly songs.

I think this simple truth sums up that God follows through when we approach our upmost truest desires when we reach, choose, and pursue our God-appointed eternal direction. We remain strong because we know that what we pursue becomes the right and moral course of action that fulfills our dreams’ calling.

The following are two more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

Regardless of what you think about Joel Osteen, his message about the power of believing should point you in the right direction when you
realize your eternal direction. When we believe in true faith without doubt, God shows up to answer our long expressed prayers!

 

The GROWTH Track Series – PURSUE THE DREAM! (Step Five)

Pursue the Dream

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the plan provided below.

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream
VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-points -“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)

A.)  Pursue the dream with ALL YOUR MIGHT!

If we stay the course to never give up, God’s Word promises us that our work will be rewarded. We cannot give into complacency which becomes so easy with discouragement faced in daily survival mode. Would a dream be worth fulfilling if easy?……probably not if you think about it. The things we work the hardest for tend to be the things that are most fulfilling. Give it all you got! God will give you the extra inch when exhausted to reach the finish line.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

A.)  Pursue the dream with all your prayers!

Pursue God intentionally with your prayers. He will show up to answer the requests presented before him. Remain on your knees in gratefulness, and the dream will come. If you desire God, you will desire to speak time with Him in prayer. Pretty simple here….He loved you to call your name. So we shall therefore call on his as well.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Matthew 7:7-9 (NKJV)

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking!

 

A.)  If you never ask, you may never receive.

I think sometimes we know the desires of our heart, but we never ask God. This includes myself especially. And then we wonder why such prayers are never answered. We must ask in order to receive God’s Blessings. He delights in hearing from us. So why not talk to him with any requests that may be on our hearts?

FOURTH Relevant Scriptures for these sub-points

“Joseph had a dream….”We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”… Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” Genesis 37:5-9 (NIV)

…and the story continues…

“‘Here comes that dreamer!’ they said to each other.” Genesis 37:19 (NIV)

…and the story continues…

“We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us.” Genesis 41:12-13 (NIV)

A.)  BE LIKE JOSEPH!

Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters! His stories of tribulation to fulfill the dreams of God’s provisions on his life inspire me! I believe he is a true example of patience for dreams to become fulfilled. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers and family and then told to be dead. Potter’s wife then lied so he was thrown into jail among an onslaught of many other escalated and harsh consequences for troubles that were not his own. Eventually he rose to become second on the planet only to Pharaoh in the worst drought the area witnessed in the history of the region. It is Biblical giants like Joseph we must remember to emulate when our dreams seem stagnant. It was twenty years before God granted the original dreams sent to him. Now that seems like forever to me right now especially since I hope God answers a dream prayer request as soon as possible.

In a previous entry, I wrote a strong blog entry about Joseph that touches on more Biblical principles with his life as related to this growth sub point. Check it out!

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points

he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.”

Numbers 12:6 (NIV)

A.)  You are a son or daughter of The Most High God while will reveal your dreams and visions to you.

We really are prophets of the Most High God, and God informs us here in this Scripture that he will deliver our dreams to us through signs revealed in personal and profound ways. While it is hard to wait, sometimes it is all we can do to pursue – wait for God to give us that green light. God sometimes requires us to wait to learn the lessons of today to prepare us for tomorrow.

SIXTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points– “At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered… ‘Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’ The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.” 1 Kings 3:5-15 (NIV)

A.)  Ask for the right dreams, and ALL shall be given to you.

Solomon asked for discernment through wisdom, an unselfish spiritual gift and blessing to serve his people. When you ask God for an unselfish dream in order to really serve others, I believe with pure and genuine motives in heart you receive all the more. Your original intention like Solomon also intended to ask for further wisdom or spiritual gifts to make an eternal Kingdom-Building difference. That is the heart of a matter that God yearns for and loves. He rewards us when we seek him pure in heart. What it comes down to is this: when you serve God for the sake of His Name, your dreams and more come forth into reality, fulfilling your innermost joys.

AND THAT IS A POINT WORTH ENDING ON – the pursuit and choice of receiving God’s joy for our lives!

The following are two more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23(NIV)

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ ” Romans 4:18 (NIV)

I would consider Jon Acuff, the author of Quitter, a modern day expert on the logical pursuit of a dream come true achievement. He advocates keeping your day job until that job becomes a dream job. Acuff may in fact be the reason I did not recently quit a commitment I made. Our cubicle day job serves as a platform to reach for our next dream job. You are capable of pursuing a dream with the pursuit of Christ. Acuff works for Dave Ramsey, and I think his book will change your life much like the growth track here on the blog. I would recommend Quitter with my most sincere regards. If you like his advice in the videos below, you will love his book! Dream big, and eventually together we can quit the day job to leap into our dream job!

The GROWTH Track Series – Discover Your Passion and FOCUS on God! (Step Four)

If unfamiliar with my model here, click here to understand the introductory blog entry that explains my novel and original concepts that bring and promote growth through this track into your life by different means through the track plan provided below.

Discover Your Passion

and

FOCUS on God!

I. Reach Out
II. Connect
III. Grow
IV. Discover Your Passion with a FOCUS on God!
V. Pursue the Dream
VI. Choose and Pursue Your Eternal Direction
VII. GO and DO!

I think we especially begin to grow in life when we discover our passions and pursue them with unmatched vigor and inspiration to become more. I am not sure how you might feel about the fact, but I refuse to settle into normalcy for a subpar lifestyle to simply pay bills and exist. Through good decisions and a focus on God, I will accelerate to my full potential to discover those passions to fulfill the dreams in my own heart.

FIRST Relevant Scripture for these sub-pointsA desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” Proverbs 13:19 (NKJV)

A.)  When we accomplish our desires, our souls become satisfied.

This seems like such a simple principle that when our desires reach fulfillment our souls find joy in such. I often feel that I must work twice as hard to reach this stage of development. While I will never use a bad economy as an excuse for new jobs, financial support, and personal advancement, growth for me often becomes blocked with limited opportunities. I think that sounds like a better way of mentioning things. Sometimes all we can do is make the most of where we are. Our passions with a focus on God when accomplished satisfy the soul.

SECOND Relevant Scripture for these sub-points For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

A.)  When you discover the passions of your heart, your soul remains quenched in its thirst to become MORE inwards and outwards.  

I believe we all seek to become more than what normalcy would define for us through unfulfilled passions. We only truly feel quenched as we reach our desired destinations to reach the more our soul seeks. Remember our focus towards, forward, and upwards in the direction for God brings this level of fulfillment and sufficiency. Our thirst no longer continues when passions are discovered and put into practice with our everyday roles.

THIRD Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9 (NLT)

A.)  Our good pastures only come through the gates of our hearts in salvation.

In our salvation living in the Grace of God, we find those passions in good pastures (in our heartfelt sweet spots). While living in the fast lane, we ride the journey through the gates of life. This is such a simple verse and concept but so profound at the same time. In our salvation with our relationship with God, good things are yet to come.

FOURTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

A.)  Your passions must involve vision because without direction your discovery to your passions will perish.

This is a deep but valuable thought based on this powerful Scripture. The discovery of your passions relies on the ability to develop and sustain your passion through a vision for your life. As you experience growth in relationship with Christ, you will then discover your passions. Let go, and let God. It will then come. Perhaps even through a personal epiphany will God deliver a vision for your life. The pursuit of growth for the discovery of your passion then really starts to show as you focus your life on relationship with Christ.

FIFTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7 (NIV)

A.)  Discovery of your passions comes with your shouts of praise to God.

When your heart longs for God, you will discover passions in your own shouts of praise to him through worship. When you praise God, I believe then in that moment that we will then discover our passions in him. In praise we become one with him.

SIXTH Relevant Scripture for these sub-points“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

A.)  With our shouts of praise to God, our delight in God becomes our true joy. The floodgates of Heaven then pour blessings to fulfill the desires of our hearts when you FOCUS on God in the discovery of those passions

When our praise reaches the heavens, God hears our songs of raised voices. While at times it becomes hard to see, feel, and taste within our souls, God hears our praises and our prayers. He hears us, and we must believe in His Goodness to reach beyond and as high as our arms can reach. When our praises feel genuine in the Spirit of the Lord with God’s heart, the desires will come. Keep praising God. Keep focusing on God. Keep your vision on Him to discover your passions, and you will!

The following are three more verses that I find relevant to discover your passions with a focus on personal growth and your own personal relationship with God. Make note and take to heart God’s Word here.

1.)    “But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (MSG)

2.)    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you shold go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

3.)    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Now with these messages concerning passions you will encounter three amazing leaders in ministry: Kay Warren, David Platt, and Jon Piper. Each in their own approach shapes lives for Christ on a global scale touching hearts around the world. I enjoy Kay because her communication style remains straightforward. I understand her message right away. If you seek more provoking and heart shaken thoughts about discovering passions and desires, these two messages by both David Platt and Jon Piper will rock your world! You might want to get a TV dinner ready for some of these messages that will change your life in addition to the words of these blog entries. Pray and Enjoy!