dreams

Renewed Focus

kickphoto

 

 

Sometimes we need a swift kick to get ourselves back on track. A couple of weeks ago I got one.

Like most Americans I usually spend the first couple of weeks in January dreaming about the possibilities for the coming year. For me this usually includes three weeks of dedicated prayer and fasting. This year I skipped that part. I knew I needed to do something. But in all honesty the reality of not fulfilling the dreams and goals I’d set for myself last year was having an impact on me. I couldn’t bare more disappointment.

The problem was, I’ve surrounded myself with goal setting friends and one of them wouldn’t let me skip it. She suggested we do it together using a video series on goal setting by Michael Hyatt called, “Best Year Ever”, as our guide. The plan was to spend an entire day going through the material and then hold each other accountable throughout the coming year for the goals we had set.

We met on a Saturday a few weeks ago. The process was harder than I thought. Before we actually set goals for the coming year, we had to look at the past year. It was ugly. My list of disappointments far outweighed my list of achievements. I was stuck.

That’s when I got the kick.

It came in a phone call from my daughter in law. Through her tears I heard, “I need you to come to the hospital right away… my dad isn’t doing good, things look really bad.” Our goal setting session would have to wait. Two days later her father passed away and everything changed.

I was asked to speak at his funeral; it was my first. One of his favorite songs was, “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, and he often requested it to be played at his funeral. I spoke right after it played.

We close our eyes, only for a moment and the moments gone…

All our dreams, pass before us now a curiosity…

Dust in the wind… all we are is dust in the wind…

 

It’s obviously not a Christian song, but who knew Kansas was so prophetic. Look what the word of God says:

The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and he became a living being. Genesis 2:7

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7

You do not know the path of the wind. Ecclesiastes 11:5

 

Indeed, all we are is dust in the wind. Our moments pass before us in the blink of an eye and in the end, the only thing left is the dust of the legacy we’ve created while we were here. Which made me wonder… where will the wind blow my dust? Will my dreams remain a curiosity or will I live them out? Will I die with a book still in me or will I move past the disappointments that have kept me from pursuing my dream?

Our family lost a great man, but in his passing he left an inspiring legacy, reminding us that life is short. In this great loss my focus has been renewed. The swift kick got me moving and I’m inspired to stir up the dust once again.

Dust, land where you may! Wind, blow where you will!

In the meantime I’ll be pursuing my dream and I hope you will too.

Blessings My Friends!

Sheree

 

By |January 29th, 2015|12 Comments|

Pitfalls And Dreams

Pitfall

 

 

Shouldn’t your God-given dream, purpose, or calling come easy?

Seven years ago God gave me a huge dream for ministry. In it I saw myself on stage in a big arena preaching His word and making a great impact for His kingdom. I thought, Watch out Beth Moore here I come! Seven years have passed and so far no big arena, which often leaves me wondering why God gave me such a big dream.

I wish my story was unique, but I meet frustrated dreamers all the time. So why does God give us big dreams and then let us fall into pits of hopelessness over them?

 

One of my favorite Bible stories is about a dreamer named Joseph. God gave him a big dream in which his brothers bowed down to him. The next thing he knew, his jealous brothers threw him in a pit, sold him into slavery, and then he was hauled off to Egypt. I’m sure this wasn’t the outcome he expected.

After studying Joseph’s life and comparing it to mine, I’ve come to realize that a big dream is often what God gives us to get us moving in the right direction.  I have to admit that I wouldn’t have left my successful secular career for anything less than a big dream. In Joseph’s case, Egypt was the right direction and the pit was just the first stop.

I believe every dreamer can make their way out of the pit and back onto the road toward their dream by learning from these three pitfalls:

1) Thinking it’s going to be easy. This is the biggest trap the enemy sets and the place most dreamers quit. Don’t give up! It’s worth the fight or God wouldn’t have given you the dream in the first place!

2) Thinking others will support your dream. Joseph’s lack of support from his brothers was what catapulted him in the right direction even though it may have seemed like the wrong direction.

3) Thinking hardships aren’t part of the process. Joseph faced many hardships before his dream ever came true. These hardships shaped his character so he could be the right person for his God-given dream.

Today if you find yourself stuck in a pit with your God-given dream looming so far ahead that it seems impossible to reach, just remember you are one step closer to it today than you were yesterday!

Keep dreaming my friends!

Sheree

 

By |June 16th, 2014|4 Comments|

A Different Kind of Miracle

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged but I have a good excuse.  It’s because I’ve been feeling so good. All I’ve wanted to do is anything that gets me out of the house and makes me feel normal again. So sitting at home in front of my computer hasn’t been on the top of my priority list. There are however things that have been stirring inside me that I feel I must get out, so here I am.

If you’ve followed my journey over the past eight months you know about my intense battle with cancer. Now that I am on the other side of it and have had some time to reflect I realize that there are things I’ve learned that I must start sharing.

The first and biggest lesson I learned was on the definition of a miracle. I don’t mean the literal definition, but my own definition.  You see, from the onset of my diagnosis I assumed God was going to show me something amazing through my battle. I was sure I would experience a miracle. The only problem was, my definition of a miracle and God’s were two different things. In my limited capacity of understanding I thought God was going to somehow miraculously spare me the pain and suffering that traditionally comes with chemo and radiation. He didn’t. In fact, every side effect they mentioned could happen did; and some they never mentioned happened as well.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to get discouraged. Where was my God? Why wasn’t he coming to my rescue? What had I done to deserve this harsh treatment? Discouragement soon turned to despair as I waited in vain for the miracle that never came.

About the time my treatment ended I really began to seek God as I tried to make sense of it all. Why had He allowed me to suffer so much? As I pressed in to God I felt as if He whispered into my soul, “My Son suffered even more, He didn’t deserve it and he never complained”. It stopped me dead in my tracks. My whining immediately stopped too. How could I have expected better treatment than Jesus received? Why did I think I deserved a miraculous deliverance from pain and suffering when God’s own Son wasn’t spared?

Reflecting on this truth opened my eyes to see that Jesus’ suffering was for others which made me realize that perhaps my suffering was for others too. Once I took my eyes off of myself and started looking for the upside in my adversity I soon saw that there were great lessons that I could glean from my pain.

My change in perspective was a miracle, perhaps the miracle that I had been waiting for. While it didn’t look like I expected, it was far greater than I deserved. I am now a changed person with a new outlook on everything.

Below are the top 5 things I learned:

  1. What the enemy meant for harm, God intended for my good. If it sounds familiar it’s because it’s an adaptation of what Joseph said to his brothers twenty years after they sold him into slavery. Sometimes it takes us a while to see the good, but we serve a God who is always in control even when it doesn’t look like it.
  2. Don’t complain about your lot in life.The enemy can’t do anything to us that God hasn’t given him permission to do. That means when life is hard, God is allowing it for a reason. When we complain we are basically saying to God that His plan for our spiritual growth is wrong. Instead of complaining we should embrace it with the attitude to learn from it.
  3. Love is the most important thing. I’ve never experienced love like I did though my battle. It was incredible.  But it exposed my own deficiencies in loving others. Through receiving love I learned how to give love and how truly important it is.
  4. Always check your motives. Somehow when God strips everything away from you, you begin to see that your motives weren’t always as pure as you thought. Having to completely step away from ministry for a couple of months helped me put things in proper perspective. It’s not about the numbers, but instead about each woman I have an opportunity to serve and love.
  5. Don’t let your tomorrow get in the way of your today. I’ve spent years pursuing the dream that God gave me, making the dream my goal and not enjoying where I am today. When you suddenly don’t know if you will make it to tomorrow you realize how important today is.

My challenge to you is to take another look at your life. What hard things have you gone through that are really miracles wrapped up in a different package than you expected?

God Bless!

Sheree

By |August 10th, 2012|12 Comments|

Pressing On Toward the Goal

I’m a dream chaser. I’ve spent the last six years chasing the dream God placed inside me of becoming a published author and speaker. Some weeks I make great strides and other weeks it seems I am at a dead stand still or even taking a few steps backwards. Despite the slow pace I refuse to give up on the dream God gave me. Like the apostle Paul “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Jesus grabbed me and has not let go, therefore I continue to press on. But what am I actually pressing on toward? Listen to what Paul said in Philippians 3:14…

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Paul pressed on to get the prize. The prize he referred to had nothing to do with with being an author or speaker, although that’s what he was. The prize he pressed on toward was a heavenward goal.

You and I live in a culture that encourages us to keep the prize in view as we run toward it and yet our ultimate prize is something we rarely think about. Instead we get all hung up on things that really don’t matter eternally.

When you dream of the future, is heaven in the picture?

When we focus on the temporal we will always be disappointed in the outcome. But when we focus on the eternal prize that awaits all believers in Christ Jesus we will never be disappointed in the end prize.

So today I choose to think bigger, to run harder toward my prize of eternal life with Christ Jesus in heaven.

Lord,

Help me today to keep an eternal perspective and not get sidetracked with the details of the work you have called me to.

Amen

 

 

 

By |November 12th, 2011|0 Comments|

The Fence That Holds Us Back

Is fear of the unknown holding you back from following your dreams? If so you’re not alone, it held me back too.

If you’re like me, you’ve taken a few steps towards your dream and even spent some time investigating it, but for some reason stopped short of actually engaging it. It’s almost like there is an invisible barrier that keeps us locked out of attaining our dream and locked in to the life we’ve settled for. The barrier is our fear and unfortunately most of us will never make it past it.

You and I aren’t the only ones to stop short of our dreams; two million of God’s chosen people stopped short of their dream too. After living in bondage for 400 years God sent Moses to deliver them and bring them into their dream land. Miraculously God opened the door, actually the Red Sea, and they moved forward toward their dream. Then, when they got close enough to actually see it, they froze in fear. I’ve always wondered what caused them to freeze in fear when God had so obviously brought them out of bondage.

By |October 3rd, 2011|2 Comments|