Making 2013 Significant

Watermelon Smoothie“Nothing significant happens by chance—be deliberate!” When I read that tweet by Pastor Femi Monehin back in the fall, I retweeted it and wrote it in my journal. This week I am reflecting on it again as I look over my list of goals for the new year…

  1. Explore opportunities to reach my full potential within God’s plan.
  2. Seek God’s next adventure for Crosspoint Church and help lead Crosspoint through it.
  3. Write to inspire others, through my blog and other avenues.
  4. Publish “One Smile, One Arm,” my collection of short stories about life experiences with one arm.
  5. Travel to the 50 states.
  6. Get/stay fit.

#1 and #2 are really big and really nebulous. (I felt “nebulous” was the right word to use, but I looked it up to be sure. The definition is: Lacking definite form or limits. Yes, it was the right word to use.) These two goals will begin with thought and prayer, followed by searching and seeking, followed by waiting and watching to see what unbelievable things might happen!

#3 is something I love to do. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for real-life stories that might spark encouragement in even just one person. Then I’ll pull words together to tell those stories to others.

#4 will be a challenge because I’m not sure how to do it. I’m registered to attend a writers’ conference in April with some breakout sessions on publishing. I’m hoping that will help.

#5 is SO MUCH FUN. I have 14 states to go. The writers’ conference in April will knock out Kansas and Oklahoma. Tim and I are cruising the Hawaiian Islands in June with friends Alton and Melissa Downs. And maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze in another state or two before the end of the year.

#6… Well, that means fewer cookies-and-cream milkshakes and more watermelon smoothies. I think I can handle that.

Have you written your goals for 2013? Time to get busy. 11 days are already gone. Be deliberate—nothing significant happens by chance!

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“I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” (Philippians 3:14 MSG).

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Dream Blockers- Part 2

I take dreams seriously. That’s why I recently posted “Dream Blockers.” I wanted to see on paper the things that were swirling in my mind, the things I realized could prevent my dreams from becoming reality. In other words, I needed a checklist to work from. What things am I ok on and what things do I need to improve on? One evening while contemplating this, I decided to ask someone I respect for input: I tweeted Bishop T.D. Jakes. I asked, from his experience, what he might add to my list of Dream Blockers. He responded with these five excellent points that I would like to pass to my fellow dreamers.

1. Self-Sabotage- Often we don’t really believe we can achieve, based on past mistakes or experiences.

2. Lack of Exposure- We tend to believe that God can do with us what we have seen him do with others.

3. Fear of Failure or Rejection- No one accomplishes what they are afraid to try.

4. Not Dreaming Within Our Means- Have we assessed properly our God-given skill sets?

5. Procrastination- Dreams take time like childbirth. Wasted time can kill the gestation period of a real dream.

May you have a week of dreaming big and of removing any dream blockers!

A dream becoming reality… I’ll be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC this year!

Dream Blockers

My favorite paper weight
My favorite paper weight

I spend a lot of time in the dream process—dream creation, dream initiation, dream execution, dream celebration, and dream evaluation. Some dreams never make it past creation. Others fade during execution. But a few make it all the way to celebration. From my time spent in dream evaluation, here are eight things that I’ve concluded can block our dreams from becoming reality.

  1.  Distance- We’ve got to stay close to the Dream Maker Himself! When our lives get crazy busy, it’s easy for the distance between us and God to gradually increase without detection.
  2. Unpreparedness- I heard someone say recently, “Luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.” Think about your dream. If you got ‘that phone call’ today, would you be ready?
  3. Hesitation- The moment of opportunity may be just that—a moment. Don’t let fear or doubt cause you to miss it.
  4. Misalignment- On more than one occasion, I’ve had dreams that were not aligned with God’s plan for my life. Wow, am I glad they didn’t materialize!
  5. Rigidity- Dreams can’t be set in stone. They must be fluid and flexible. A friend posted on Facebook, “Sometimes you think you see the whole picture and then God opens your eyes even wider!”
  6. Pride- The Bible says it in four words: God opposes the proud. No dream can break through that opposition!
  7. Disobedience- We can’t expect success if we have areas in our lives where we knowingly choose to disobey God’s commands.
  8. Selfish Ambition- Some dreams are for personal gain—fame, wealth, power. But what if we stepped beyond ourselves? What if we had dreams that could help another person or thousands of people or could touch the world in some positive way? Those are the kinds of dreams that God likes to make happen.

What is your most extravagant dream?

 

(If you would like to dream further, check out these Bible verses that inspired this post: 2 Kings 18:5-7, Psalm 37:4, Proverbs 19:21, Philippians 2:3, and James 4:6.)