WRITE THE VISION (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #1)

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We all have dreams: goals we hope to achieve, things we want to accomplish, even relationships we long to develop or repair.

We may be creators working in words, music, graphics, film or other media. We may be innovators or entrepreneurs, trading in better ideas and great inventions; researchers, analysts, or computer programmers, searching for new solutions to life’s pressing needs and problems. We may be parents or grandparents, teachers or youth workers, shaping attitudes and training the next generation of pioneers; public servants or spiritual leaders — all working together to build a better world.

Wherever we find ourselves, whatever we’re doing, chances are, we’re working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. We may have talent and abilities, intelligence and good looks — and more ideas than we know what to do with. We may have money and connections. Then again, we may possess none of these things!

Regardless, whether we’re well on our way to accomplishing great things, or just getting started, the road to pursuing our dreams can be long and arduous. Along the way we can hit speed-bumps and encounter roadblocks. And often, when “life happens,” we’re forced to take detours or, worse, pull over and park for a time. So it’s easy, and also very tempting — while struggling to achieve our goals, or waiting for a promise that seems to be taking forever — to mutter “Enough!” and give up. To throw in the towel and just walk away.

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Talent and ideas always help. However, in the “long haul,” such things are never enough. Life always demands more, and takes more. It’s never enough to chase a dream. We need a plan … and stamina … and still something more. We need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves.

Here is the first of several important spiritual steps toward reaching your goals and fulfilling your dreams. Consider this the first session of “boot camp for creators and dreamers.” Ready?

  1. Write the vision [your hopes, dreams, goals, and creative ideas].

Sounds like so much hocus-pocus, and yet God admonishes us to do this — and He would never lead us astray. He commanded one of His prophets to “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come….” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 ESV)

There’s so much truth in these two verses, about being prepared, focused and determined. But for now, let’s simply concentrate on the phrase, “Write the Vision.” Authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen state, “Just writing them down [ideas, goals, plans, and dreams] will set into motion an amazing process of bringing these things into your life.”

How? Well, Words have spiritual power, to encourage, to create, or to destroy. In fact, the spoken word holds “the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21) Imagine how much spiritual power resides in the written word. Which is why legal contracts are rarely based on verbal agreements; words on paper are far more influential, carry far greater weight, and are far more binding.

But from an entirely practical standpoint, writing down information and ideas aids the learning process (the mental acquisition of these ideas) — which is why teachers encourage students to take written notes; writing down information and ideas helps us to focus and refine them. Hence, the creators of the Chicken Soup books state, “The more you write about [your dreams] and talk about it, the more clear and believable it will become.”

When it comes to formulating and solidifying your ideas, plans, and goals, writing the vision is extremely important. Innovations and inventions, the seeds of great plots and plans, begin to take shape and grow when properly recorded.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book….'” (Exodus 17:14 NKJV)

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme…; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” (Psalm 45:1 NKJV)

“Moreover the Lord said to me, ‘Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man’s pen….'” (Isaiah 8:1 NKJV)

Once you’ve recorded the vision [your hopes and dreams, plans and goals] you’ll be ready for the next spiritual step in the journey … along the path to fulfilling the vision!

Join us Friday for more Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers.

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The Worst That Could Happen (Diet for Dreamers)

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A while back, during the television show Hour of Power, host Bobby Schuller asked his guest, an entrepreneur, to share a few details about his journey to success. The young man related how he’d mailed out 250 letters asking different people who’d made it big, if they could help him to realize his own dream. Out of those 250 requests, he received only a single response! Not very encouraging, but nevertheless the enterprising young man should be applauded for doing something few of us seem to have the courage to do these days: he needed help, so he asked for a helping hand.

Somehow, during the journey from childhood to mature adult, most people lose the confidence or the boldness or the freedom to ask anyone for anything. Adults actually hate asking. Most assume the answer will be a “no” anyway, so why waste the time. At work, there’s even an old expression, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission”!

Nobody likes to face rejection, and a “NO” leaves us out in the cold, standing there with our hat in our hand, looking stupid — or so we think. At worst, a “no” is simply a “no” and often only means “not now” or “not here”; but at best, a “no” is just one of the tiniest words in the English language that means “keep on knocking, keep on trying”! And yet, adults fear the word. In fact, the thought of getting a NO paralyzes them to the point where they’d rather be drawn and quartered than ask for something, especially help.

Pride may also play into their stubbornness, as well as the idea they might be inconveniencing someone. If only we could recapture the freedom and fearlessness of childhood. Kids don’t worry about silly stuff, and they don’t hesitate to ask for anything. If a child’s friend has only one cookie, most assuredly the child will ask if he can have half of it. An ice cream cone? “Can I have a lick or two?” True, most kids have no sense of propriety, but they also aren’t limited by the fear of a “NO”!

Sons and daughters know it never hurts to ask mom and dad for a new bike or, a few years later, if they can borrow the car. Why should they? The worst that could happen is they hear the tiny word NO. But to a child the sky’s the limit: the answer just might be a glorious, filled-with-possibilities YES!! God wants us to have that same childlike faith. He wants us to view life as filled with possibilities. God also wants us to ask Him for the things we need and even some of the things we simply want. After all, He’s our Heavenly Father, and it never hurts to ask. Sometimes His answer is “NO”; but when it is a “No” God has His reasons — and they’re always good reasons. Perhaps we’ll discuss a few of these reasons in a future post.

Nevertheless, God expects us to be confident and make our requests known to Him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NLT) Now, if we can ask the God of the Universe, then why can’t we ask each other for things.

We’ve asked store managers to honor their sales beyond the deadline — and received a YES. One of us once asked to be considered for a job that required far more experience — and got both a YES and the job! Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained! So ASK already! Want a raise, or time off? Want a date with someone you think is special? Want to marry that special person? Want a loan? Want a customer to buy your new product or service? Want a publisher to buy your book?

Want the kids to help out at home? Want your spouse to change a bad habit? Have you asked? Again, the worst that can happen is you hear a “NO.” But imagine a YES, instead. Remember: “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2 NASB)

Do you need a “Barnabas” to help you reach a goal or fulfill a dream? Then open your mouth and ask! You just might make the connection you need to get to the next level. That’s the power of asking! Remember that young entrepreneur we mentioned? The one who asked 250 people for help. He didn’t even get the courtesy of a response from 249 of them. But none of that mattered, because the single response he did get was a “yes” from Donald Trump — years before he became the 45th president of the United States.

So yes, it definitely pays to ask.

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