This is a post from a couple of years ago.
Do you have a dream? I’ve been reading a lot about a book by Jon Acuff called Quitter. This book is next on my reading list. It is about being able to eventually quit your job and find your dream job. Jon was able to do this after working eight jobs in eight years. This is has led me to thinking about other dreams than just my job. Do I have a dream?
I think that as kids we dream all of the time. Our dream may be to be a MLB baseball player. It may be to be a mom (not mine, of course). It may be to own a black Angus cattle farm. It may be to perform at WrestleMania. You dream it up and insert it here. After all, I can’t dream up anyone else’s dream than mine.
That leads to this thought: have you quit dreaming? Do you still have a dream? If you don’t, why did you quit? It seems that as I watch people, many have quit dreaming. I think it’s because as we get older we get jobs, have children, have bills and it’s all we can do sometimes to just get from day-to-day, week to week and paycheck to paycheck. And we forget to dream.
So, where do our dreams come from? Being a follower of Christ, I believe our dreams should come from God. A dream is a big desire. Something that gives your life aim. Psalm 37:4 says that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. That doesn’t mean that we dream something up and He will give it to us. No, it means that if we delight ourselves in Him, those desires will come from God. So, if we have this part of our relationship with God right, our dreams will reflect it.
How does that happen? In the Old Testament, in 1 Samuel 3:1, word from God and visions were infrequent. The people were not hearing from God in specific ways, either in visions or direct revelation from God. There was no vision, no word that would fuel the direction or dreams of the people. We have no excuse now. We have the word of God that we can hold tangibly in our hands or, as I have, pull up on our smart phones. We can delight ourselves in God’s word at any time. This will give us our vision for life. This will give us our dreams.
Are you doing this? Are you delighting yourself in God and His word? Do you want to run a marathon? Hike the Appalachian Trail? Become a short-term missionary? A full-time missionary? A blogger? A novelist? Then do it. It’s ok. If you are delighting yourself in God, then do whatever you want to do. It’s ok.
What is your dream? Do you have a dream? What will it take for you to pursue your dream?
No matter who you are or what your age is, I believe I can say something about you. There is something I feel I can I can say definitively about you and me.
We all have dreams. We all have a vision we wish for our lives.
Perhaps you disagree with me. Maybe you think that the time for dreams and visions are over. Maybe you think that’s ok for kids or even for those who are young in college or newly married. Maybe you think that visions and dreams are rare now.
I might agree with you. Except. Except for the fact that there is a Dream Giver. There is someone who is the Visioneer. If we follow Christ we have a source for dreams and visions.
Long before Christ, God told Israel that there was a new day coming. The Lord spoke through Joel and said there was a day coming when He would pour out His Spirit on mankind. He said that sons and daughters would prophesy. Old men would dream dreams. Young men would see visions.
All of this would come through pouring His Spirit out.
Peter quotes this a few hundred years later as he is preaching during Pentecost.
Guess what? This kind of talk scares people. They don’t want to believe it. They don’t want to believe that the Spirit will still give them dreams and visions today.
Why? Why would this have stopped. Nothing is said that implies that this is a one time thing.
I’m not saying that you will get a vision or dream from the Lord a day to direct every action of your life. I’m not saying that we will walk around in some mystical stupor just waiting for a sign, dream or vision.
I’m just asking if you want to have a dream for your life? Do you want your life, marriage, vocation or avocation to have a vision? How about your church?
Ask Him to give you your dreams. Ask him to give you the vision for your life.
He said that He would give dreams to the old. He said He would give visions to the young.
Don’t limit yourself. And for heaven’s sake, don’t limit God.
Do you have dreams and visions for your life? Have you asked the Lord to give them to you?
I don’t know if you have read Jon Acuff’s book, Quitter, or not. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing, buy it and read it. Jon has not paid me to say that.
I don’t know if you have had a Quitter experience. I have. Just not the way Jon advises.
Several years ago I felt called to ministry. I gained support from my pastor at the time. The seminary that I wanted to attend had an extension center in the town I lived in. It was the perfect setup.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t my dream.
My dream was to move to the main seminary campus. I wanted to do this so badly that I became miserable in my job. My performance suffered. I invented scriptural reasons and ways that God was telling me to move.
So, what did we do?
It was a miserable experience. Not to say that we didn’t have some good times there. Unfortunately, I worked three jobs and went to school. I hardly slept. Our financial situation worsened.
Looking back, I should have done it differently. I would have worked harder to be financially in a good position before we left. I would have taken more classes at the extension center.
I can still achieve this dream. It’s just on hold. My dreams have shifted and morphed a bit. My kids are at an age where I can’t pursue that one right now.
It will still happen though. No doubt about it. I will still complete my seminary degree.
It will just happen differently than I originally expected.
Do you have a Quitter experience?
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained
Do you have a mission? A dream? A vision?
If not, there is a good chance that you are unrestrained. Or perhaps you like the above verse in another translation where it says the people die.
No vision. People die. People are unrestrained.
I like to think of it this way. If you have a vision, you will stay on the path toward life. No vision? You will wander around toward death.
I spoke with someone the other day who said that they needed to find their passion. They need to find their dream. They need to find their vision.
They aren’t happy with where they are in life. They’re going through the motions. They’re slowly dying.
Moses was leading the Israelites from Egypt toward the Promised Land. He kept the Vision in front of Israel as they traveled. He went up on the mountain to speak with God and receive the stone tablets. The Vision was not out in front of the people. What happened?
The people went into a frenzy. They had Aaron make a golden calf. They became unrestrained. They died a little. God even told Moses that He was going to wipe them out. They were near death.
That’s what happens when we don’t have a Mission, a Dream, a Vision.
What’s your Vision? I can’t answer that. Pray about it. Ask God to reveal it to you. Don’t expect writing in the sky. Don’t expect lightning and thunder. Don’t expect a burning .
Just expect a Vision from the Lord. Something that gives you Life and Life to your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Do you have a Vision? What are you doing about it? What are you doing if you don’t know what you’re Vision is?
Welcome to the first Leftovers blog post. It has nothing to do with the old jam band, Leftover Salmon. However, it will be here that you see all of the ideas that didn’t quite make the cut to a solo blog post.
The first idea that didn’t quite make was going to be called My Theme Song. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all had a theme song that began playing any time we entered a room. In fact, if you could come up with one for me, what would it be?
Another idea was going to be called Dreams Need Honesty. You might recall that I wrote about dreams on Mondays for a while. The problem with many of our dreams is that we simply aren’t honest with ourselves about what our dreams really are.
The third idea that didn’t make the cut was called Honesty In Blogging. What makes a great blog? One thing is honesty. People want you to blog the truth, but like Jack Nicholson might say, some people just can’t handle the truth.
I wanted to write another blog post about bathroom stalls. I tried to write it three or four times. I was inspired by my employer building new stalls in several of our restrooms. I know this one sounds like one of the greatest blog posts of all times, but I just couldn’t make it be the normal Deuceology blog post. I even had a great picture of silver bathroom stalls to go with it.
Another was called Guilty Pleasures and Besetting Sins. I did my best to compare The Carpenters, Diet Mountain Dew and sin. I began giving up Diet Mountain Dew and found that was much easier than giving up sins. I still like to listen The Carpenters.
I wanted to write a post called The Tonight Show Pastor. This was about pastors who attempt to entertain their congregations through stories and humor, kind of like a Johnny Carson monologue. There isn’t anything wrong with stories or humor. The problem is when a pastor relies on them and not enough on the word of God.
I tried to write a post called Word(s) Matter. I wanted to compare the words that come out of our mouths with Jesus being the living, breathing Word of God.
I don’t know about you, but I really like some good old Creedence Clearwater Revival. I wanted to write a post based on their song, Fortunate Son. I did write it. It was ok. The problem was that it just didn’t connect emotionally with anything I’ve been doing or where I’m at in my life right now. It was true, though, so it qualified as honesty in blogging.
You might remember the TV show Fame. I wrote a post called,, obviously, Fame. It compared us with wanting our 15 minutes of fame versus God wanting us to glorify Him or proclaiming His fame to the world.
I wanted to write a post based on the old Uncle Remus story about the tar baby. I just couldn’t make that one work. I gave up.
Are you a fan of the Fast and the Furious movies? I tried to write a post using the Tokyo Drift movie as inspiration. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.
Alright, so that’s all for the first edition of the new Leftovers series. Now, here is where it gets interesting. Maybe you think that one of these should really be a full-length post. Comment and vote for it. The leading vote getter will get its solo shot at last.
Which one of these ideas should be developed into a full-length blog post?
Cadel Evans won the Tour de France yesterday. He had been runner-up twice, but finally broke through to win the race. It had been his dream to win the Tour since he was 14.
What was my dream when I was 14? To be an accountant. Exciting, huh? Actually this had been my dream since I was much younger. My uncle was an accountant, so I wanted to be like him.
Actually, this wasn’t my dream. It was the dream some well-meaning family members had for me. They wanted me to have a good job and make good money. So, at a very young age they encouraged me to follow in my uncle’s footsteps and become an accountant. So for years my dream was to do that very thing.
The problem was that I woke one day in college and realized that I didn’t want to be an accountant. And I didn’t know what my dream was.
So, what do you do if you don’t know what your dream is? Here’s what I would suggest.
Ask God. Ask Him to plant it in your heart. Ask Him to reveal to you. Ask Him to make it clear. Don’t expect audible voices or burning bushes. But ask Him to make sure you know.
Ask people who know you what you are good at. Being a car mechanic would have been a poor dream of mine. If I had asked people if that would be a good dream, they would have told me to go in some other direction. Fortunately my dream was never to be a car mechanic.
If you’re a parent, encourage your children. Tell them to dream. Make sure that they are dreaming their dream and not yours. I have never told my daughter what to be or do when she grows up. She wants to be a nurse/nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant. She’s heading in that direction. Want to know when she first began dreaming of this? When she was around four. We watched a video of her when she was young a while back. She told us on the video back then that she wanted to work in a hospital. She still wants to. I do everything I can to encourage her in her dream.
How about you? Have you ever had someone else’s dream? Have you asked God for your dream? Do you encourage your children to pursue their own dreams?
It’s Twitterific Thursday, where I write 140 words or less about one subject.
I don’t know what you expect from God. Maybe your expectations are high. Maybe they’re low. However, I’m going to list some things that you should not expect from God.
Being told to build an ark.
Dreams about seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.
A burning bush experience.
A sea to part.
Walls of a city falling.
The sun to stand still.
A fleece being wet or dry to guide you.
An unending supply of oil and flour.
A chariot of fire showing up to take you to heaven.
A big fish to swallow and drop you where you are supposed to go.
Those are just some things He’s done in the past. He’s never done them since. Your experience will probably be different.
What might He do through you?
I’ve been taking Mondays to talk about dreams. If you’ve noticed, I believe that for believers in Christ, our dreams come from God. So, once you believe that He has given you a dream, how do you make that dream a reality? I think something you need are anchors for those dreams. They will keep you grounded and not just float away in any direction with the dream. Below are the anchors I have for my dream(s). Yours may be different, but I hope that mine will give you some ideas.
- God and Christ. I don’t differentiate between these. I try to measure all of my dreams by what will honor and glorify God and His Son.
- Family. If my family can’t behind my dream, then I need to rethink it.
- Work. Unless my dream can take the place of my day job, I must give my all to my day job so I can pursue my dream.
- Church. I want to share my dream with those in my church so they can pray and support me.
- Finances. I must be a good steward of my finances so tha I can pursue my dream.
- Personal Growth. I will seek to grow in the area of my dream so that I can excel and pursue it with skill
- Time. It takes time to pursue a dream. I may have to sacrifice time for some things in order to pursue it.
- Health. I cannot pursue my dream to the detriment of my health.
- Recreation. Sometimes I need to take a break from my dream, in order to be more creative in pursuit of my dream.
Those are the anchors that I have established in order to pursue my dream. They are there to keep me and my dream from just drifting away. You may have others. Don’t limit yourself to mine.
Do you have anchors for your dreams? What are they?
I have blogged recently about dreaming. No, I’m not talking about what we do when we sleep. I’m talking about having dreams for our lives. The dreams that keep up going. The dreams that make life worth living.
Something that has struck me as I’ve been thinking about this subject are the whispers. You’ve heard them, haven’t you? The whispers that say your time for dreaming is over. The whispers that say that dreams are for kids. The whispers that say that you are too old to dream.
In about three weeks I will be attending my twenty-fifth high school reunion. I will see people who have achieved some dreams. I will see some people who haven’t. Some will still be dreamers. Some will not. I have one message for all of us.
We are not too old to dream. God never says we are too old to dream.
How do I know? I know of a story where a Godly man is still dreaming. He was older than most of us. In fact, he was about twice as old as me. His story doesn’t say anything about him having a dream. But that’s what it was. And I believe that his dream came from God.
His name was Caleb. He was one of two who wanted to invade the Promised Land about forty years earlier. His vote was vetoed. He wandered around in the wilderness with the rest of the Israelites for forty years. He was one of two who didn’t die while a new generation took their place. His dream was to get to the Promised land. He was in his eighties when he got there. He helped Joshua take over the land that God had promised them. He lived the dream. The dream was achieved. That was it, right? He retired to a life of ease, didn’t he?
Not a chance. He asked Joshua for the hill country. Why? There were giants there. He wanted to go take them on. He wanted to continue cleaning up that area. He wanted a challenge. He had a new dream.
If Caleb can dream of chasing and killing giants at eighty, what about you and me? I’m forty-two for four more months today. What dreams have I achieved? What more do I want to achieve? What dreams has God given me? I’ll share some dreams that I have next Monday. They may not mean a thing to you. That’s ok. They’re my dreams. Go ahead. Dream the dreams that God has given you.
Do you have dreams? Have you sought God in your dreams? What dreams might He have for you through Christ? Are you living the dream?