Tag Archives: dreams

Book Report: ‘Sun Stand Still’

I’ve been reading a very challenging, very encouraging book: “Sun Stand Still,” by Pastor Steven Furtick. It speaks to that part of you that craves more faith, more audacity, and more results from your spirituality. The title references a sun-stopping prayer by the Old Testament hero Joshua. Furtick uses that prayer as a template for embracing the vastness of God and His ability to do the impossible. I have a notebook that is quickly filling up with quotes, notes and various pearls of wisdom. Some are personal; unfit for the blogosphere, but there are some catchphrases and idioms that I found general enough to share. Check out Furtick’s blog here. Check out the trailer for the book, if you’re so inclined (Yup, books have trailers now).

 

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Take Another Step. Then Take Another.

I’m getting better about seizing opportunities that matter. I’ve learned to concern myself less with not failing and more with taking those simple first steps. If my life was a TV series, this current season is much more action-oriented and exciting —  less philosophical and sappy than the last.

Sometimes it is that simple. Sometimes victory is in the first step

I had a job interview the other day. I dressed up, drafted my current resumé, and drove down to the job fair. I filled out the paperwork,  waited in line, and sat through the interview, choking down my nervousness. For the record, the interview went well (I should hear from them soon), but I’ m most proud that I went through the paces, after so many days of….not doing that.

The results are the least important part. The most important part is preparing, showing up and then doing it again and again if necessary.

It does not matter if the goal is creative, physical, financial, spiritual, interpersonal, or occupational. We may not know the gigantic, world-changing, master plan, but we all have a step to take today.

Take a step. Then another. Then another. Then another. (So on and so forth).

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Dreamers

Sometimes, art takes time. My ideas usually have to marinate for a while before they come to fruition. In 2012, I want to learn to cook a quicker creative stew, to effectuate more than procrastinate. That said, the painting I’m revealing here today has been a long time coming, testing  even my considerable procrastination skills. Seriously, you don’t even want to know. 

The piece is called “Dreamers,” and it is a commissioned acrylic painting measuring five feet by four feet.* I was handed a check by a generous friend and simply told to ‘do something.’ After much self-doubt and deliberation, I opted to work from a quote that impacted me in two books I was reading concurrently:

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T.E. Lawrence

Okay. So my girl’s eyes are closed, but you get the point. What began as a lucrative art gig became a monument to my haphazard creative lifestyle. What should have been a two-month endeavor became a project older than some of my friends’ children. What started as sketch in my notebook became an image that speaks to me about self-realization. We create our preferred futures every day with our words and our actions.

Let’s be dreamers of the day.

*(Enjoy photos of the full painting below, with details and the original sketch).

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Take Another Step

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.” C.S. Lewis

I am becoming increasingly desperate for my life to be more than it is presently. I worked a lot over the weekend — entirely too much to call it a weekend in the traditional sense– and I feel like something is changing deep down. There is a tension, a pulling that is occurring. I need more from life, and I’m overdue to get off of this hamster wheel of overworking and not resting. This divine discontent with the status quo combined with an ironclad hope in my future is what keeps me charging forward.

I’ve read so many inspirational, empowering things recently (from scripture, or other worthwhile sources) and my spiritual belly is full. With all due respect to the authors and thought leaders that I love, at some point words need to translate into action. I can’t just hear from God. I have to do what He asks of me.  Theologian Klaus Bockmuehl said, “We are not responsible for success, but we remain responsible for obedience.” What God creates with our obedience is His concern not ours. I need my optimism to gain traction. My ideas and thought life need to grow legs.

My friends and I often refer to our projects/callings/purposes/ideas for self-actualization as our “dreams.” Does that make our day jobs and ordinary lives nightmares? I’m unsure. I’ve heard it said that the difference between a goal and a dream is a plan. Although I don’t have a plan pieced together yet, my first step TODAY is to carve out some time to pray, get centered and start to sketch out a plan. I just need to take a step.

Maybe you’ve been where I am and can offer some advice. Maybe you’re exactly in the same proverbial boat. I’d love to hear from you.

What step will you take today?

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