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Pursuing Your Dreams

SERMON STARTER

It was 1998 and Lois and I were on one of American Airlines’ twin engine turboprops out of Dallas. We were on a sad journey to say our final goodbyes to our beloved dad Harvey. A young lady served us a snack when we reached 22,000 feet and handed each of us a napkin. Mine has neatly printed these words,

“Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it takes to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

My daughter Lisa tells me she is expecting. Lisa’s recent conception is a fulfillment of a special promise that came to me in two dreams in 1990. That year was one of the most stressful of my entire vocational career. I attempted to “mop up” behind a failed church plant. The plant failed miserably because of the pastor’s failed moral behavior with women and money. When I thought of the congregation’s original call for help, I saw myself as a rescuer. Now, what seemed originally so easy became a thankless, hopeless task. I was pressured on every side and considered leaving the church and the pastoral ministry altogether.

God gave me the two dreams that came with a promise. The first dream was of me holding a little dark-haired girl of about four years of age on my knee. I knew the child was my grandchild. I understood her to be a child of promise. There was great joy.

The second dream involved my sitting in the front of the “Shepherd of Love Church.” People were coming to me one by one and family by family. They were kneeling and weeping, trying to persuade me not to leave. The church was filled with people, maybe 350 or more. I awakened with tears in my own eyes. I realized I had unfinished work here to do. And, remembering the former dream, I realized that God had unfinished work to do.

            God gave me this scripture as I have attempted to fulfill God’s Call on my life over the past seventeen years:

Habbakuk 2:1-3

2:1  I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.

2  Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.

3  "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

January 21, 2007, Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

Pursuing Your Dreams

Joel 2:28 – Genesis 41

“'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

 

“Everyone must have a dream. Pursuing your dreams of accomplishment for God will give fulfillment, meaning and purpose for your life.”                                            Pastor Phil

 

THREE SOURCES FOR YOUR DREAMS:

1) SOME DREAMS ARE FROM YOUR OWN HEART

            a. Deep longings of the Human Soul

            b. Human Lust, Greed and Passion

            c. Human Brokenness: Unresolved Issues from the past

2) SOME DREAMS ARE FROM THE ENEMY

            a. Revenge and Destruction

            b. Morbid and Taunting: Filled with Fear and Unbelief

3) SOME DREAMS ARE FROM GOD

            "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I

            speak to him in dreams.” Number 12:6

            a. Prophetic in nature: God is speaking through the dream(s)

            b. Joseph and Wise men warned in a dream – Matt. 2:12,13

 

I.  CREATIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DREAM

    A. If you could do anything else, what would you do?

    B. What has your heart always longed to do?

 

II.  CREATIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR GIFTS

    A. What are your natural strengths?

    B. What are your weaknesses?

    C. Do you know and understand your spiritual gifts?

        1. 1 Corinthians 12:7-10

         2. Romans 12:5-18

 

III.  CREATIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER

    A. Joseph’s Patience – James 1:2,3; 1 Timothy 6:11

    ”My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the

testing of your faith produces patience.”

“But you, O man of God . . . pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love,

patience, and gentleness.”

B. Joseph’s Righteousness -

C. Joseph’s Faith in God

D. Joseph’s Mercy with his enemies – Genesis 50:20

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to

 bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Fifty One Liners of Wisdom

By Regina Brett

 (a columnist for "The Plain Dealer," Cleveland , Ohio )

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.

9. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others; you have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties.  Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes.  If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up  to you & no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take 'no' for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion.  Today is special.

22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now.  Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  "In five years, will  this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time doesn’t heal anything.  Only God does.  Give Him time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends  may.  Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of Who God is, not because of anything you did or  didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.  Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

 

A PRAYER

Today, God, help me not judge or limit my future by my past.  Help me be open to all the exciting possibilities for change, both within and around me.  Amen