It’s amazing to me that as soon as I have a snippet of a little dream or desire/idea for new things to do, and I rapidly race to write it down, it quickly (and that’s not the best word) gets snatched by one little ding! Yes, the ding of the iphone…sometimes mine, sometimes others. It’s the largest interruption of life! What was a happy thought and sent me into a huge smile and carefree moment, just got robbed, belittled, considered less important, and squelched as the process of “tending” to the maybe urgent information just became premier! It dings in the morning, it dings at night, it dings during meetings, conversations, prayer, and when I’m in the shower! I put it on silent and it still calls for my attention! Or maybe I’m with you and yours does the same thing! I’m starting to call it my little thief! Suddenly, the happiness subsides as the thief transmits reality, and calls me into the present. No! I shout in my mind, just give me a moment! I absolutely hate losing a creative idea, thought or a chance to dream of the future! It’s death for me! What frustration!
I can see many problems with this scenario.
You see them, too?
Technology has taken over and conditioned me to quickly respond. I feel like Ian Pavlov’s dog. I’m working on correcting that behavior so please don’t get mad if I don’t quickly respond to your ding! By the way, I do love hearing from my friends so please do not regard this as a reason not to bother me! My friends are never a bother. I love you!
Or, another problem is maybe it’s the need to feel important. People need me; therefore, they contact me! I must have important thoughts, insights, or wisdom! What a proud bighead! I’m sure one of the causes for this is the lack of “friendly-just calling because…” calls. Typically when I get contacted its only for gathering information. I do have a couple of friends that call to check up on me! For that I’m thankful! We should all learn the art of friendship and relationship building…call just because you care and want others to know that you are thinking about them.
Something else that you may see as a problem with the above scenario is thinking that dreaming is important. I used to get into trouble at school for daydreaming. My folks used to tell me that I lived in a fantasy and needed to “come down to earth!” As a young adult, I was always ridiculed for my big ideas and enormous visions (that are typically out of reach!). Sometimes this still happens! This is the sentence that would always follow my imaginative idea, “There she goes again!” I can’t help it! I’m a big dreamer and my mind is full of creative ideas! Sure, they may not be feasible but that doesn’t really stop me. God is greater than my dreams and can make them happen! It wasn’t until later in my life that others began to appreciate my creative dreaming brain. I remember a few times during prayer with different friends and the funny feeling that came over me as they actually prayed over and thanked God for my brain! It was always startling to me. Then I would smile inside because they knew me best and appreciated my quirks. I have learned to be careful about sharing too many dreams, visions, and ideas. It exhausts and wears others out, especially Brian who tries to figure out how to make them a reality! His brain is designed to quickly analyze, problem solve and decipher every aspect and angle and then discover potential means of achieving a goal. In the four minutes it takes me to blurt out my idea, his brain is already at work and worn out by the many ways to improve my brainstorm. Most often my ideas include his ability to help execute them. He gets so tied up with my visions that he seldom gets the opportunity to carry out his own.
Dreaming is one of the ways things (businesses, ministries, relationships, jobs, travel, visual or performing arts…you name it) get started. But before the creative process begins, one must become silent before God and allow him plant the seed and begin the procedure of cultivating. He desires to do a work in us and through us. Realizing God’s dreams for our life and allowing them to become our dream is not an easy task. Hardship and spiritual attack often occurs as your attempt to move forward. It is as a seed planted in the soil. You know it’s there, but God has to do the growing. While we wait and assume that nothing is taking place, there is a miraculous event happening that is done in secret by God…germination! The conditions must be just right before that seed peeks through the ground. God takes care of the watering of the dream, the fertilization, the pH balance, and the amount of sunlight. The old crows also come out and try to steal the seeds. Satan, like the crow, seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. Spiritual warfare is always taking place when we are seeking the will of God. Fruition happens on God’s timetable.
Sometimes I think that God gives us a vision, idea or dream and we place it on the back burner thinking that just someday we will get to it. Then life happens! Our dreams become dormant. I know in our own life, (me & Brian) we have deeply buried ourselves with other things and our visions/desires get redirected, lost, and out of focus. The weight of the “dirt” burying us has become heavy and we have needed help to realize our passions yet again. It is interesting how God tills up the ground, removes weeds, and re-fertilizes, using friends, family, circumstances and His Word. Sometimes it takes unburying…resurrection if you will! Most often, the process is painful.
The story of Nehemiah is a great story of a man with a vision/dream/desire. He took His idea before the king and the king financed it. Nehemiah began working on the dream at night when everyone was asleep to evaluate and make preparations. He wasn't ready for everyone to know what was in his heart. Some ideas have to be protected and saved until the perfect timing. When the time came, and work began, persecution and ridicule was present. He had to fight for his dream. Long story short, restoration took place and Nehemiah's vision was fulfilled. It took persistence and many helping hands.
Need + Passion + Opportunity = God's Calling
I read this equation somewhere and I think it relates to Nehemiah's story. Did he have the skill to complete such a large task? No! But he surrounded himself with others who in turn joined his vision and made it happen. I suggest that you take time to read the very short chapters of Nehemiah to gain revelation for yourself.
I do not believe that we should jump into every opportunity that comes along. That is another reason why God provided us the Holy Spirit. It's to help lead and direct us. Trust his prompting. Don't be afraid if the size of the thing God lays on your heart is huge! He knows it is outside of your physical, mental, or perhaps emotional capability. He is offering you a chance to trust Him, to grow your faith, and lean heavy on Him. He will pull together all of the puzzle pieces. Remember that He is faithful and He that has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! Philippians 1:6
Over the past two weeks, God has once again stirred up dreams and desires in my personal life. I desperately want to protect what He has placed in my heart from the “dings” (distractions) of life or by covering myself with “dirt” to be buried yet again.
As I reflect on Restore Ministries, Inc., I am reminded that with God all things are possible. What began as an idea moved into a meeting of the hearts and a brainstorm that was bathed with much prayer, dialogue, and planning. The next stage was a walk of faith as Kathy and I faced many questions about how to go about what we believed God placed in our hearts independently and then corporately as we collaborated together. From there, the questions didn’t stop but grew and God provided the answers to our questions and the finances needed to move forward. We are still dreaming and continue to walk by faith as we discuss future retreats and opportunities for soulcare. We desire for God to continue to plant dreamseeds, cultivate them, and grow them. Who knows what ultimate vision God has in mind for Restore Ministries?! I do know that it is to bring Him glory as we help others renew their heart of worship, transform the mind with the Word of God, and provide opportunities to rest the body and soul. As I look back over the first sentence of our mission statement, I am amazed and humbled that God would entrust us with a ministry designed to offer opportunities for you and others to get to know Him intimately!
Three things this week have promenaded around in my thinking. This scripture has helped me to move forward and begin dusting off the dirt from a quickly self-inflicted burial and a silencing of the phone. The sad thing that I have found to be true is that when you are buried, most often you don’t realize how deep until the load is lifted. What was dark and unlit suddenly is illuminated. A sudden jolt from darkness to light is staggering and requires slow movement to regain balance and perspective! Reread that statement. That’s a sentence with powerful spiritual truths!
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Is. 43: 18,19
I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
Jn. 10:10 Amplified
The most pathetic person in the whole world is someone who has sight but has no vision.”
Vision is what drives us and without it, we perish! You know that verse…Proverbs 29:18
“Faith is choosing and believing God’s dream for your life. Nothing starts happening in your life until you start dreaming. God gave you the ability to dream, to create, to imagine. Dreaming is an act of faith. Everything you see on this planet started as a dream.” ~ Rick Warren
“Now glory be to God, by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Ephesians 3:20 (LB)
Dreaming Big...as always,
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