Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (Diet for Dreamers)

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Recording artist John Waller once stated, “Each person has his or her own challenges, life issues, and difficulties and if we could pull back the curtain and see backstage into the real lives of each person, you would see a more accurate picture. You would see how people really get through their daily lives, the decisions they make, and even the why behind the choices they make. Ultimately, when everything is stripped away, it comes down to FAITH.”

We’ve frequently mentioned the importance of faith in the life of the dreamer, the goal seeker and, really, anyone who wants the best possible future. Often the road to reaching our desired goals is long and riddled with the potholes of adversity. Faith is the premium fuel that ensures we don’t “run out of gas” long before we finish our journey in life.

Having faith in something (or someone) means putting your complete trust in it. People almost always let you down — they are, after all, only human — but God never fails. So, who are you trusting with your future and well-being?  Are you entrusting your dreams and goals to the God of the Universe?

Having faith that God will enable us to realize our hopes and dreams means we accept their fulfillment as a “done deal.” And although trusting God seems simple enough, there’s actually a bit more to it.

Having faith sounds easy — until we don’t see anything happening. Months and even years can go by, with nothing to indicate that we’re any closer to reaching our dreams. For a man or woman of real faith, this is where the rubber meets the road.

As A.W. Tozer points out, there is active (genuine) faith and passive faith: “True faith is not passive but active. It requires that we meet certain conditions, that we allow the teachings of Christ to dominate our total lives from the moment we believe.” (In the Dwelling Place of God) In other words, if our faith is genuine, we’ll LIVE LIKE WE BELIEVE IT! We’ll also be able to wait patiently for God’s promises, whether His promises are the fulfillment of a dream, the salvation of a loved one, or the answer to some other prayer.

John Waller waited 17 years for God to fulfill his dream of writing and performing contemporary Christian music. Waller, a Georgia native, started as the frontman for the musical group According to John. All the right people started noticing his talent, and he seemed to be on his way. But then the group disbanded. Waller’s dream was suddenly put on hold — indefinitely, for all he knew.

Waller had to wait in faith…a very long time. Waiting takes faith — real faith — and like faith, waiting is active and never passive. Passive waiting (in passive faith) is just marking the days like a prisoner in a cell: feeling down, whining, wanting the dream to come true while acting like you’re not really sure if it will.

Active waiting (in active faith) means staying positive, being thankful, always doing the right thing, and generally being about God’s daily “business.” After all, if you were waiting to close on a commercial business deal, would you just sit and think about that one deal — or would you be out taking care of your existing business interests?

Waller chose to be active while he waited. He and his wife moved to Colorado and helped launch Southlink Church. Although Waller had put his  dream of being a recording artist on hold, he spent some of his time writing songs for worship services in the new church. “Suddenly” — in God’s perfect timing — Waller found his way back on the radar of influential people. Provident Music Group signed Waller to a contract, and then introduced the talented singer/songwriter to a wider audience that led to a national platform for his music. Waller went on to write and perform the song “While I’m Waiting”  in the movie Fireproof, the most popular independent film of 2008.

“God always provides,” Waller once stated. “He always comes through and one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that God’s plan for each one our lives is not going to look like someone else’s. …God has a unique plan for me. I’ve had to learn to not compare myself to someone else and it’s hard not to do that especially in this industry. You want to measure your success by what you see others doing. …I’ve had to let that go and know that I am successful … by God’s standard and not by man.”

Waiting on a dream? Trust in God’s perfect timing, and focus on doing His will. Jesus said, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13 King James) Then answers to your prayers will come. In fact, good things come to those who wait (actively)!

“He called ten servants of his, and gave them [resources] and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.'” (Luke 19:13 World English Bible)

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A Little Teamwork Can Be a Lifesaver (Encouragement for Creators)

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The cool thing about creators is that we find them in a variety of occupations. Creators aren’t just writers, artists, actors and filmmakers. Chefs create and cook new culinary masterpieces. Crafters design and assemble unique works of art. Inventors and entrepreneurs create new devices, processes and services, and then find new ways of marketing these. In fact, there are as many types and examples of inspired creativity as there are facets on a diamond — or flavors in a pack of Life Savers.

Clarence Crane created the first Life Savers candy in 1912. Not much is known about the Cleveland, Ohio, candy maker, except that he was the father of yet another creator, the famed American Poet Hart Crane. We do know, however, that Clarence Crane invented Life Savers as a “summer candy” that would resist melting. His circular mints were molded to resemble the flotation devices used at beach resorts. Crane didn’t own machinery needed to mold his “Pep-O-Mint Life Savers,” so he contracted a pill manufacturer to press the mints into shape.

In 1913, Crane transferred his “diamond” to Edward Noble, a New Yorker who would further “polish the gem.” Noble bought Crane’s Life Savers formula for $2,900. Noble started a company that had the capability to mix and mold the candies. He also devised a better way to package Life Savers to prevent the candies from going stale. His company hand-wrapped rolls of Life Savers in foil and then affixed paper labels. The process proved to be labor intensive, but in 1919 Noble’s brother Robert, an engineer, developed machinery that completely automated the wrapping process.

A year later, Robert Noble continued to be a creative force in the company. He expanded on his younger brother’s entrepreneurial vision by first introducing newspaper ads and then expanding the company by building larger, more streamlined manufacturing facilities. He also began introducing a spectrum of colorful new flavors.

In 1921 the Nobles created fruit-flavored Life Savers, which were translucent, almost crystalline in appearance. In 1925, the company further improved its manufacturing process and devised a method of actually putting a hole in the center of the candies. The original chalk-white mints were simply molded to resemble lifesaver flotation rings. The new Life Savers were introduced as the “fruit drop with the hole”!

The Nobles continued to promote their candy by creating special box displays that allowed LifeSavers to be positioned next to the cash registers in cigar stores, drug stores, barber shops, and restaurants. They held the price at 5 cents  for years, encouraging shoppers to trade that nickel in their change for a roll of Life Savers. To say the candies were popular is an understatement: during the Second World War, the little Life Savers were a heat-resistant favorite candy among the Armed Forces, and a sweet reminder of life at home. And to make sure there were enough Life Savers to go around, competing candy companies willingly donated their own sugar rations to meet the production demands of the Nobles’ company! That’s teamwork!

Great ideas and savvy innovation are simply facets of the “creative diamond”! One creator may unearth a “gem”; another cuts it; another polishes it. You can be creative, either by inventing, creating, innovating or facilitating. “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.” (1 Corinthians 3:7-8 NLT)

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