“Are your dreams CRAZY enough?”

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I remember as a 7th grade girl I went to my dad and told him I was going to run for the class officer secretary position. I was so elated and nervous to step out in faith for this class position that I could not wait to tell this dream to my dad. As I was explaining with excitement and energy about this role that I wanted to take on, I noticed his demeanor was not moved by my 7th grade buzz. So to pull a response out of him, I asked my dad what he thought about this next endeavor I wanted to pursue. With love in his voice and a warm embrace around my waist, I will never forget the words that came out of his mouth next. He said, “If you’re going to run for an office, why not run for president?” Stunned, I looked at him blankly. I had no answer. In fact, the response shocked me and completely shifted my thought process. Why didn’t I think of that before? If I was going to dream, why not dream big!

I look back at the scenario in my early childhood to remind me to dream crazy dreams. Moreover, our Heavenly Father is saying the same thing to us. “God is offended by anything less than your biggest dreams and your boldest prayers.” As Mark Batterson put it, “If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God…because they don’t require divine intervention.” God is waiting to move miraculously on your behalf and most importantly for His glory!

Before I got a chance to run for office, my father passed away suddenly from a fight with Leukemia. That next year I ran for class president and titled my speech, “Why not me?” I won the election and will never forget the lesson my father left me that day when I spoke to him. Our heavenly Father is welcoming the same invitation in our lives. Why not you?

So, answer this question with honesty and truth…”Are your dreams crazy enough?” If the answer is no, “then you haven’t really come to life yet.” As I was finishing up the book I was reading called “The Circle Maker,” I came across the new Nike commercial released a few days ago as well. They both echo a message that we all need to desperately grasp. Are you dreaming bold, daring, crazy dreams? Are you living your life to its fullest potential? Are you relying on and inviting God to intervene and show His faithfulness in your life? Today is the day to begin if you have not started. I encourage you to pick up the book and dive deep into the pages. Then read it a second time, and again, and again. Batterson outlines 10 practical steps to goal setting and writing down your life goal lists. Below are a few highlights I got from the book. So dream crazy big dreams. Dream daring bold dreams.

If you want, comment below on some of the dreams you are believing for in your life. Be Blessed. Be revealed!

The Circle Maker

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

  • Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.
  • Do the best you can with what you have where you are.
  • When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter in prayer?
  • After you pray through, you need to praise through.
  • Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming, The more you pray the bigger your dreams will become. And the bigger your dreams become the more you will have to pray.
  • May imagination overtake memory.
  • Circle makers are risk takers.
  • If you give beyond your ability, God will bless you beyond your ability.
  • Today could be the day. When you live in prayer mode, you live with holy anticipation.
  • I’ve never met a person who didn’t experience some big disappointments on the way to his or her big dream.
  • How desperate are you for the miracle?
  • We do know that 100 percent of the prayers we don’t pray won’t get answered.
  • Pray through the Bible.
  • Pray like it depends on God; you also have to work like it depends on you.
  • It’s the hard times that teach us how to pray.
  • What seems like an unanswered prayer means that God has a better answer.
  • Dream Big. Pray Hard. Think Long. Prayer is the inheritance we receive and the legacy we leave.
  • The only way you can fail is if you quit trying. If you’re still trying, even if you’re failing, you’re succeeding. God is honored when you don’t give up.
  • Your greatest legacy is the prayers you leave behind. It’s also your longest legacy.
  • God will still be answering your prayers long after you are long gone. And the ripple effect will only be REVEALED in eternity!

 

Go Big or Go Home

lion-chaser

 

There will never be a “perfect” time but there will always be a right time to dare greatly and go after the dream in your heart. That time is now. Live a life of 100x and believe in something so grand that it will take God’s hand of favor and intervention to make it happen. There is nothing too big for God. In fact, he will surpass our wildest and biggest imaginations. I believe God is pleased with our God-sized dreams. My dad used to say to me “go big or go home!” Friends…I’m telling you the same. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

From Mark Batterson’s “Chase the Lion”

“The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto”

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

Run to the roar.

Set God-sized goals.

Pursue God-ordained passions.

Go after a dream that’s destined to fail unless God intervenes.

Start pointing out problems, become part of the solution.

Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.

Face your fears.

Fight for your dreams.

Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go.

Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Burn sinful bridges.

Blaze new trails.

Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.

Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.

Don’t try to be who you aren’t.

Be yourself.

Laugh at yourself.

Dare to fail.

Dare to dream.

Dare to be different.

Chase the Lion!

 

 

The Hidden Places Where God Develops You

This book probably couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Founder of Jesus Culture and Pastor of Jesus Culture Sacramento, Banning Liebscher, wrote his first book titled “Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You.” It spoke to my heart and I believe it can also speak to yours.

For those of you who believe that they were born to make an impact in this world and feel it deep down in their bones…this book is for you.

For those of you who have a hunger to be great and meaningful change keeps you up at night…this book is for you.

Here’s the thing…we must allow God to establish a root system and foundation in our lives so that what God develops through us will produce fruit that remains. Here are some great nuggets I picked up from reading this book. Enjoy this Appetizer! Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

Rooted

  • Everyone champions accomplishment, but not many people champion the journey. ~ Kelly Clark, Olympic medalist
  • Anybody can start a race. Finishers are impressive.
  • Unfortunately, many believers today don’t live with forty years in mind, let alone generations, or eternity.
  • Neither appearances nor short-term success impress God.
  • God always develops us before He develops our vision.
  • We’ll never thrive in the process unless we accept the place where God put us, because that is the only place He will work with us.
  • Are you more passionate about pursuing a dream or about following Jesus?
  • Do what’s in front of you, and do it well.
  • You must understand that getting out of sync with the timing of God’s seasons puts you in danger. Don’t rush.
  • If you’re not there, it’s because He doesn’t want you there yet.
  • We can trust Him with the deep things of our hearts because they are also the deep things of His heart for us.
  • God is not interested in your comfort; He is interested in your growth.
  • It’s not my responsibility to build or maintain what God opens. It’s my responsibility to follow Jesus.
  • So many people are driven by the need to prove themselves. Rest in the fact that God chose you and you have nothing to prove.
  • There are many areas where God develops your root system, but none is more important than going deep in the Word of God. The Bible Reveals.
  • Perfection is not a requirement to lead. Growth, however, is.
  • Everything you will ever need is found in the presence of God. Everything in your life must be birthed from the revelation of His love for you.
  • There is an anointing that is found only in one place. If you want to receive, you have to separate yourself to the inner room of prayer.
  • You are called to greatness. But greatness looks different than you think. If you really want to be great, here’s how you do it: become the least.
  • Love looks like serving.
  • Any increased blessing in your life is so that you can better serve others.
  • The most joyful people I know are also the greatest servants I know.
  • You were never meant to live life alone. You were meant to live in community. Isolation is a killer.
  • We do get hurt in community. But we also get healed in community. Community is where we grow. We cannot live without it.
  • You don’t need more teaching; you just need the courage to do what God has called you to do.

August 2016 Reading List

It was John Wooden that said, “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.” Nothing can replace the Bible and all of its purity, richness, and treasure. No other book can transform your life like God’s Word. However, we should also be learners of all things, including people, places, and things. My goal is to broaden my scope of reading in the next few months, but here is my list for August. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

 

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Grit is the number one determiner of success. Gritty people focus on one thing and continue in the face of adversity. They may get disappointed, but do not remain so for long. They continue to practice despite setbacks because they are not only interested but also find meaning in what they do.

Grit

Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You by Banning Liebscher. You were born to make an impact in this world and you know it. You feel it deep down in your bones. Apathy is your nemesis and your hunger to change the world keeps you up at night. But no matter how deep this hunger growls, you can only make a meaningful impact if you are rooted in Jesus. God is not interested in developing your vision first. He’s interested in developing you.

Rooted

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life.

Parker-Palmer_Courage-to-Teach

The Way of Faith by Joseph R. Sizoo. I can’t wait to break open this gem for two reasons. For one, it was written in 1935. That’s right…and secondly, it was my grandad’s book. I came across it as I was recently in Philadelphia visiting family. My grandfather was a pastor, doctor, and founding pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church. When I found this book, it also had his old sermon notes, notes written in on the sides of the book, and other great nuggets. Thanks to my granddad for leaving me with his wisdom.

The Way of Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is the day! No Excuses!

Focus

FOCUS.

Set your gaze on the prize and don’t let it go.

Your destiny is too important not to lock in to what sets your heart on fire.

So I want to encourage you to make every step count.

That may require you to let go of somethings, some people, even the good….

so God can take you to great.

The word FOCUS has been buzzing around in my ear for some time now. In this season of transition that I am in, I realize that self-discipline and focus are key to taking me to what is next. I read this book by Brian Tracy called No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline. Here are a few nuggets I got that has been transforming my thinking and has allowed me to refocus in some areas where I lack discipline. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!

  • The development of self-discipline and self-mastery is the high road that makes everything possible for you.
  • Most successful people are long-term thinkers. Short-term gain can cause long-term pain.
  • Everything is hard before it’s easy.
  • The ultimate end of life is the development of character, not the things you acquire.
  • Learn from the experts. Read their books. Attend their seminars. Write to them.
  • Be a lifelong student of your craft.
  • Reading one hour per day in your field will make you a national authority in three to five years.
  • If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, what one person would you choose? Why? Why would that person want to spend an afternoon with you?
  • You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.
  • Don’t delay. Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the thief of life.
  • The difference between successes and failures in life is simply that winners take the First Step.
  • Leaders have courage and they have staying power. It is the ability to hang in there and fight after you have gone all in and before you have seen any results or rewards.
  • Before you begin any major undertaking, tell yourself, “I never give up.”
  • Nothing can really stop you but yourself.
  • Develop the reputation for being the hardest-working person in your business.
  • The reason why so many entrepreneurs under-achieve and fail is that they lack discipline and the ability to delay gratification. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Practice CANEI Formula: Continuous and Never-Ending Improvement.
  • There are no shortcuts. It takes what it takes.
  • Discipline yourself to act every minute of the day as if everyone were watching you.
  • You cannot manage time; you can only manage yourself.
  • Go through your life regularly and practice “creative abandonment.”
  • There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.
  • The quality of your thinking largely determines the quality of your life.
  • Leadership is the ability to solve problems.
  • The happiest of all people are those who feel that they are doing something worthwhile and important with their lives. They feel they are stretching and moving beyond anything they’ve ever done before.
  • To be an effective listener, feed back what the other person has said and paraphrase it in your own words.
  • The greatest gift is LOVE.
  • You are mentally and emotionally healthy to the degree that you can freely forgive anyone who has hurt you in any way. Everyone needs peace of mind.
  • The discipline of forgiveness is the key to the spiritual kingdom.
  • You have a wonderful mind. You can use your mind on your behalf or you can use it against yourself.