Monday, May 13, 2013

Dreams and Deadlines

Growing up there was a cartoon that I loved to watch about a little boy named Ralph Phillips.

Some of you older folks (like me) may remember it…

Ralph Phillips was a day dreamer. Day by day he lived an ordinary life through ordinary circumstances but imagined
his life the way he thought it could be. Ordinary circumstances became extraordinary events!

He was eventually snatched out of each day dream by reality but NEVER stopped dreaming!

I’m sure that many of us can relate to Ralph, living out our lives, day by day under ordinary circumstances but dreaming of the adventure that could be!

Some of us are hopeless day dreamers, always imagining but never daring to believe that our lives could ever be anything more than the "time to make the donuts" drudgery of our daily existence.

It seems the more monotonous our lives become the more we "dream" of a different life, an adventurous life, an unobtainable life.

My dream is to open up my own art studio and to spend my days painting, creating, writing, inspiring and encouraging others. Not so adventurous I guess, but my dream nonetheless.

I suppose if this were to become my reality it could open doors to more adventure, giving me opportunities that I wouldn’t have in the everyday 9 to 5 reality within my cubicle "walls".

If I were to be honest I would admit that my dream is not so far out of reach but in reaching for that dream I would have to be willing to let go of the "safety" of my cubicle and willing to take a leap of faith to an adventure outside of the security of what I know. I would need to be FEARLESS, but am I ready for that? Are you?

What’s your dream? What do you wish you could
do? (instead of what you think you have to do)

Is your dream so far out of reach that it’s unobtainable or is it that fear of letting go that snatches you back to reality each time you dare to drift off?

Share your dreams, tell me your fears, and let’s ponder the "what if’s" and "what could be’s" together…
Let’s encourage one another to dream big dreams! Dreams of adventure, dreams that require God to intervene. After all, He is the One who put the dream in our hearts to begin with and He is the One who can see it to completion.

"Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God." – Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker.
I’ll begin with the first "what if"- what if,
to achieve our dreams we need to give ourselves some deadlines to reach our obtainable goal?

A deadline will cause us to take action and action combined with faith can open the door to a great adventure…

"You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing to accept closed doors, because one leads to the other."- Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker.

"A goal is a dream with a deadline." – Napoleon Hill

Ephesians 3:20 – God can do anything, you know- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working withing us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beauty beyond the noise and distractions

The day began as it normally does as I hit the snooze on my alarm for the countless time, not wanting to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed.

My only saving grace was the faint smell of coffee wafting into my room, the same coffee I reluctantly prepare each night as I fight the urge to stay awake just a little longer.

Although I know that my mornings would benefit greatly from a little extra sleep, I stubbornly refuse to give in and so it goes night after night. I make the coffee, set the timer and force myself to go to bed. 

I'm not sure why I resist sleep, maybe I feel as if I might miss something or that there may be something more that I should accomplish. Regardless of the reasons, morning means a new day, new responsibilities, new accomplishments.

As I finished my daily routine and headed off to work, this particular morning the sky was dark and gloomy, foreshadowing a coming storm.

Lightening lit up the sky revealing it's magnificent power as it flashed from cloud to ground and cloud to cloud. I was in awe and entranced by the beauty of it until the rain came, steady at first and then a torrential downpour.

I arrived at work and with umbrella (lightening rod) in hand ran inside. Safely tucked inside my cubicle I could still hear the pounding of the rain but was no longer witness to the beautiful display of lights.

It wasn't until later in the day that I realized that the storm had subsided and the sun was brightly shining.

On my drive home that evening, I couldn't help but notice the differences in the surroundings compared to my morning commute.

The sky was so clear and blue with just an occasional wispy white cloud. The grass had become so green and the trees were finally budding.

With my windows down, enjoying the warm breeze and as I slowed to a stop, I could hear the loud chirping of the birds.

The rivers and creeks, still swollen from the recent flooding had become a perfect home for two large majestic white swans.

As I reflected on the beauty I found in both scenarios I wondered how much I miss on a daily basis amid the distractions of my busy life.

Too much busyness and too much noise.

Could it be that the reason I fight so hard to stay awake is because I AM missing something? Am I missing the glory of God that my soul so desperately seeks?

What if I were more intentional in seeking God's presence and just being still? Letting go of the busyness and turning off the noise and distractions, would I feel most accomplished knowing that I gave my time, my energy and my focus to the One who created ALL of this?

I plan to find out. I purpose to seek Him. I intend to be witness to all He created
by looking and listening, purposefully, for the beauty in this world.

And resting in His presence.

Luke 10:38-42

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.

And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.

But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;

There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.