Beyond the Dream, THERE'S STILL MORE!

I look at the lives of generals in the faith who have been working in the kingdom for so many years, pursuing their Dreams.  One name in particular is Arthur Bless it, the gentleman who has traveled all over the world literally carrying the cross to share the gospel.  Another name that I don't even have to think about that long is Billy Graham, a man whose passion for telling the world that Jesus saves has touched all of us in some way.  For some who’s Dream is still a burning vision and has not yet come into fruition, the Dream Giver uses people like these to encourage and remind that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH HIM.

 But for those of us who are on the verge of seeing the Dream unfold in some form or another, there are some truths we are challenged to grasp.  Is your Dream something that will bring fulfillment to only YOU, or is it centered around changing and transforming some facet of the despair-ridden Wasteland that we live in?  Are you willing to CONNECT with other Somebodies who have chosen to leave the land of Familiar and shed the title of "Ordinary" in order to fulfill their Dream, or do you somehow think you are the ONLY ONE with enough faith and vision to see it through?  Finally, what will you do when the Dream Giver empowers you to fulfill the Dream?  Will you REST in that place, or continue to follow His leading into NEW TERRITORIES -- just like Arthur Bless it and Billy Graham have done?

 Read with us this week as we conclude our journey into pursuing our Dream and solidify our commitment to live in the Land of Promise according to the Dream Giver’s Plan.

 Week of September 2nd: Thriving In the Land of Promise

 Monday, September 2nd> Genesis 6: 5-22; 2 Timothy chapter 3

 1.  Although we all see a beautiful, finished picture of our Dream, what REALITY does the Dream Giver show us of the world around us?

Tuesday, September 3rd> Mark 16: 14-20; 1 John 3: 11-18

 2.  Even though we have different Dreams, what are some DREAMS the Dream Giver is asking us ALL to fulfill?

Wednesday, September 4th> Ephesians 4: 11-16; Acts 2: 42-47

 3.  What has the Dream Giver given us to make a difference in the lives of Anybody’s who have needs?

Thursday, September 5th> Proverbs chapter 3; Matthew chapter 6

 4.  What strategies does WISDOM suggest we should use when working our Dream so that we don't become overwhelmed?

Friday, September 6th> Joshua 1: 12-18; Isaiah chapter 61

 5.  What role does the Dream Giver expect us to play in helping other anybody’s realize that they have Dreams, too?

Saturday, September 7th> Ephesians 4: 11-16; Acts 2: 42-47

 6.  How important is making CONNECTIONS with Anybody’s in the Body who may have like Dreams or resources that could help us accomplish ours?

Sunday, September 8th> Joshua 1: 1-10; Joshua 14: 6-15

 7.  When we begin to see doors open and success occur in the fulfillment of our Dream, what should our attitude be towards the work of the kingdom that is still to be done?

Giants ARE Real -- But So is MY GOD!!

When I was younger, I remember hearing the story of David and accepting it as any other fact of life.  I figured that if God wanted to use a little boy like David to kill a big giant like Goliath, then He could do just that.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think God would have been preparing me to face great big giants of my own... But He was.

Every sorrow, every trial, every situation that occurs in our lives is preparation for bigger trials and situations.  God never puts more on us than we can bear; instead, He gets us ready for the next fight by equipping us with just the amount of strength we need to fight this one.  In our story The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, we find the main character, Ordinary, struggling with the idea of whether he's even QUALIFIED to be called a WARRIOR, and many of us are in the same place.

How do we prepare ourselves to face the next level of giants who are lining up to oppose our passage to the Dream we've been given?  Do we pretend they're not there?  Hide our heads in the sand, hoping they'll get tired of challenging us and go away?  Or do we arm ourselves with the weapons AND EXPERIENCES the Dream Giver has ALREADY equipped us with, and fight until only one champion is left standing?  Read with us this week and discover,  like Ordinary, the WARRIOR the Dream Giver has placed in you so that you can face every giant with GREAT courage.

Week of August 26th> Facing the Giants

Monday, August 26th> Numbers 13: 17-33; Revelations chapters 7-8

1.   What is the enemy's purpose for making us feel weak, inferior and like victims-- the opposite of the WARRIORS that the Dream Giver says we are?

Tuesday, August 27th> Numbers 13: 27-33; Matthew 13: 54-58; Revelations chapters 9-10

2.  In what way is UNBELIEF a more dangerous enemy to our Dream than the giants that we will face?

Wednesday, August 28th> 1 Samuel 17: 1-11; Revelations chapters 11-12

3.  Why is it important that we ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that our GIANTS are REAL?

Thursday, August 29th> Psalm chapter 3; Revelations chapters 13-15

4.  In addition to giants like "MONEYLESS" and "FEAR", what are some other giants that we cannot afford to run from or ignore?

Friday, August 30th>  1 Samuel 17: 20-37; Revelations chapters 16-17

5.  No matter how big the giants are, how does the Dream Giver PREPARE us for battle through the trials we've ALREADY experienced?

Saturday, August 31st> 2 Corinthians 10: 4; 1 Samuel 17: 38-55; Revelations chapters 18-19

6.  When The Lord tells us to "prepare for battle", what are some ADJUSTMENTS to our thinking might we need to make?

Sunday, September 1st> 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30; Revelations chapters 20-22

7.  What roles do PRAYER, FASTING and FAITH play in the level to which we will be able to witness the MIRACLES The Lord has set in store for us?

A New Place In God

"New levels".  This expression is a catch phrase in our society.  Everyone is excited about "moving up" in the company, "scaling the ranks" on the job, and even "expanding" in terms of our economic status.  But where is the fire when the time comes to apply this same concept in the spirit?  Why do we fight so hard to "maintain", "tread water" or "keep the status quo" when the DreamGiver is calling us higher, deeper, and closer?

These are questions we're compelled to face as we think about where we want our Dream to go.  There are some demands the DreamGiver will put on us -- and rightfully so, since we are His -- that will require these "New Levels".  If you're ready to see where this commitment will lead, and how rich the rewards of submission are, read with us this week as we explore a sacrificial (yet satisfying) new place in God.

Week of August 19th> The Dream Giver Part 3: Finding Sanctuary in Surrender

Monday, August 19th> Psalm 9:9; Proverbs 18: 10; Hebrews 6:18;  1 Peter 3: 8-22; chapters 4-5

1.  Although the Bible describes the Sanctuary of the DreamGiver as a place of refuge, why do many believers tend to avoid going in?

Tuesday, August 20th> Matthew 11: 28; Jeremiah 6: 16; 2 Peter

2.  What are some steps the DreamGiver requires us to take in order to find REST?

Wednesday, August 21st> Psalm chapter 51; Acts 3: 19-20; 1 John chapters 1-2; 3:1-10

3.  As we respond to the DreamGiver's invitation to go higher and draw closer, what are some of the characteristics of the Wasteland that will begin falling away?

Thursday, August 22nd> Psalm chapter 51; Acts 3: 19-20; chapters 4-5

4.  When we allow the DreamGiver's Holy Presence to draw us into this place of refuge, what will we willingly release when He shows us ourselves?

Friday, August 23rd> Genesis 22: 1-3; 9-18; 2 John; 3 John; Jude

5.  Why does the DreamGiver demand that we surrender every Dream to Him rather than keep it for ourselves?

Saturday, August 24th> Genesis 22: 9-18 (ESV); Revelation chapters 1-3

6.  What does our OBEDIENCE in surrendering our Dream reveal about our heart towards God?

Sunday, August 25th> 1 Samuel 10-11; 17-20; 1 Samuel 2: 18-21; Revelation chapters 4-6

7.  In what ways can we expect God to REWARD our obedience and surrender to the DreamGiver?

What Do We Do With Border Bullies?

In chapter 3 of Bruce Wilkinson's book, The Dream Giver, a description is given of certain types of bullies.    Upon hearing the word "bully" in our society, a picture of a big kid picking on a much smaller one comes to mind.  But in this book, the reference that is made  has nothing to do with size at all... rather, it involves a certain mentality within people whom we both know and trust.  It's a certain mindset that threatens to stamp out the fire of our Dream because it threatens or causes THEM to have to change the way they've always viewed life.  Wilkinson calls these people "Border Bullies".

How do we respond to these people who post up and begin to shoot down our Dream from the moment we release it?  Do we put more stock in their words than those of the Dream Giver because they've always known us, thereby backing away from our Dream?  Do we simply dismiss them as "against us" and push on?  Or is there something the Dream Giver wants us to learn from the opposition coming from them?  Read with us this week as we explore the heat and discomfort of Border Bullies, as well as plow through the Wasteland on the way to our Promise.

Week of August 12th> The Dream-Giver Part 2: Bullies in the Borderland

Monday, August 12th> Matthew 13: 54-58; Genesis 37:5-9 and 18-19; Hebrews chapters 3-4

1.  In pursuit of our Dream, why do we find opposition coming from close friends or family-- BORDER BULLIES-- who should be the MOST supportive?

Tuesday, August 13th> Proverbs 3: 5-6; John 16: 33; Psalm 46: 1-2; Hebrews chapters 5-7

2.  Through the Dream-Giver's Spirit, what can be POSITIVE about the Border Bullies' opposition?

Wednesday, August 14th> 1 Kings 19: 1-10; Hebrews 8-10

3.  Why does God allow us to reach a place on our journey into our promise where the favor "runs out", and where the Dream-Giver seems to have disappeared?

Thursday, August 15th> 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8 and verse 10; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews chapters 11-13

4.  Even in a season of apparent lack, why should we be thankful for and confident of the Dream-Giver's provision if we are tithers and givers?

Friday, August 16th> Hebrews 11:1; Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 146: 5-6; James 1-3:12

Why does the Dream-Giver send us FAITH while in the Wasteland rather than a quick answer to our prayers?

Saturday, August 17th> 2 Kings 7: 1-9 NLT; James 3: 13-5

6.  What REWARDS await us when we press through until we move out of the drudgery of the Wasteland?

Sunday, August 18th> Genesis 39: 1-6 and 40-42

7. When our Dream is finally realized, in what way will our CONFIDENCE in the Dream-Giver keep us from RETALIATING against the Border Bullies who may have hurt us in the past?

A Quest to Leave the Land of Familiar

Wake up... Eat... Work... Come home... Watch the box... Eat... Sleep... Wake up... And everything happens all over again.   Many of us spend hours in the Land of Familiar, a very big city in the Wasteland, consumed with life as usual.  We live totally unaware that deep within us lays Something Special: a Dream, given to us by someone even more Special -- the Dream Giver.  We struggle to find Meaning in a very Ordinary life, when God designed it to be the very opposite.

What would happen if, all of a sudden, the Dream we've always had come to the surface, giving us a vision of the possibility to fulfill it?  What would it take to get from Here to There?  Would we be willing to break away from Familiar in order to prepare ourselves for the accomplishment of this Dream?  Even more importantly, would we dare to step across the Comfort Zone where the Dream Giver’s Purpose lies?  Read with us this week as we discover how to line up with the Dream Giver's Plan for accomplishing our Dream.

 Week of August 5th> The Wasteland Part 3: The Dream-Giver

 Monday, August 5th> Genesis 1: 26; Romans 8: 29; Psalm 139: 14 (MSG); 2 Thessalonians chapters 1-3

 1.   What characteristics of the Wasteland cause many Christians to believe they are Nobodies in spite of what the Word declares?

Tuesday, August 6th> Genesis 37: 5-11; Jeremiah 1: 5; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy chapters 1-3

 2.  What is the Dream-Giver's purpose for placing dreams deep within us, even with the possibility that they may be aborted?

Wednesday, August 7th> Luke 14: 15-35; 1 Timothy chapters 4-6

 3.  What sorts of DISTRACTIONS and EXCUSES do we allow to consume our time and energy, potentially keeping us from working towards our Dream?

Thursday, August 8th> Genesis 12: 1-9; 2 Timothy chapters 1-4

 4.  What is the FIRST STEP in moving towards the Dream where the land of Familiar is concerned?

Friday, August 9th > Exodus chapters 3-4; Titus chapters 1-3

 5.  Why is it that God deliberately asks us to accomplish some aspects of our Dream that are far beyond our abilities?

Saturday, August 10th> Exodus chapter 16; The Book of Philemon

6.  Although we may leave Familiar with excitement and enthusiasm, what roadblocks threaten to push us back to what we've always known?

Sunday, August 11th> Deuteronomy 1: 6-8; Joshua 1: 1-9; Hebrews chapters 1-2

7.  What TREASURE does The Dream-Giver give us to push past the Invisible Line of our Comfort Zone (where Fear lives) and into the Land of Promise?

No More Surviving!!!

How many of us can identify with just "making it"?  Waiting for the BIG, EXCITING things in life to happen, but barely scraping by while we wait?  After a while, there's a certain attitude that takes over, sapping us of our joy, strength, and eventually victory.  These, my friends, are the trinkets of the Wasteland, and this mindset is the "Wasteland Mentality".

But did you know there's a place in God that we can get to where the dog-eat-dog, grab-all-you-can rat-race has NO INFLUENCE?  So the question is this: are you willing to DIE  for it?  Will you LOSE it all in order for the benefits of Kingdom Living to take root in your life?  Read with us this week as we learn how to shed our former Wasteland Walker identity --and become Kingdom Dwellers-- the way God ALWAYS intended.

Week of July 29th> The Wasteland Part 2: SURVIVOR MENTALITY

Monday, July 29th> John 3: 1-16; Ephesians chapters 4-6
1.  What is the most important FIRST STEP to turning from living as a Wasteland Walker?

Tuesday, July 30th> 2 Corinthians 11: 1-3 (NET);  Philippians chapters 1-2

 2.  Even after the awesome miracle of salvation, what is the "deadly leftover" from the Wasteland that we must get rid of DAILY in order to truly CROSS OVER into Kingdom Living?

Wednesday, July 31st> Ephesians 2: 1-10; Philippians chapters 3-4

3.  What are some strategies and schemes we tend to come up with to SURVIVE in the Wasteland when our minds are not renewed in Christ?

Thursday, August 1st> Galatians 4:3 (NET); Colossians chapters 1-2
4.  In what ways will we begin to see TRANSFORMATION in our lives when we simply surrender to God's formula for rejecting the Wasteland Mentality?

Friday, August 2nd> Galatians 2: 20 (NLT); Mark 8: 35-37; John 12: 24-25 (NLT);  Colossians chapters 3-4
5.  What IS God's formula for MOVING from the Survivor Mentality of the Wasteland into that of being a KINGDOM DWELLER?

Saturday, August 3rd> Revelation 12: 11 (NET); Ephesians 3: 8 (NET); Romans 8: 31-37 (NIV); 1 Thessalonians chapters 1-2

6.  What are God's PROMISES to us for persistently LEARNING and APPLYING the principles of Kingdom Living?

Sunday, August 4th> Genesis chapter 13; 1 Thessalonians chapters 3-5

7.  In what ways will succumbing to the Survivor Mentality, even after being exposed to the TRUTH, affect us and our FAMILIES?

Is There Hope of Crossing Over?

I keep seeing glimpses of two different images from television... On one hand, I see a thriving METROPOLIS with shiny skyscrapers, sophisticated highways and fancy cars (like the opening scene of CSI Miami).  But underneath all that gIitz and glam, I picture drab desert devastation -- broken-down vehicles and abandoned houses, everyone walking around in dirty clothing... Food and water being rationed out, and no sign of anything green or full of life (like the scenery in "The Book of Eli").  Such is the spiritual reality of life on this earth: sin created A WASTELAND of death, dread and despair that we can't simply escape by clicking our heels 3 times and wishing we were home,  like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz.  We were doomed to be Wasteland Walkers, subject to its laws and lifestyle...

But a KINGDOM DWELLER named JESUS showed up on the scene!  Find out what we really LOST, and how new life in Christ allows us to CROSS OVER into the KINGDOM of a Loving GOD.  Read with us this week, learn just what rights and privileges you possess as a JOINT HEIR and KINGDOM DWELLER...and never look at life the same way again.

Week of July 22nd> Crossing Over From The WASTELAND: Living In God's BEST

 Monday, July 22nd> Matthew 25: 34; Genesis 1: 26-27; 2 Corinthians chapters 4-6

1.  In what way do these passages reveal  the fact that God's design has always been for us to RULE, HAVE DOMINION, and  walk in AUTHORITY OVER everything on this earth?

Tuesday, July 23rd> Genesis 1: 28; John 15: 15-16; 2 Corinthians chapters 7-9

2.  How does God's blessing to be FRUITFUL, MULTIPLY and PRODUCE in the Original Kingdom (Eden) prove His intention for us to be successful in everything we do?

Wednesday, July 24th> Genesis 1: 29-30; 2 Corinthians chapters 10-13

3.  Contrary to the deception that mankind has been left to fend for ourselves, what does this passage tell us about the CONSTANT PROVISION God established in the Original Kingdom?

Thursday, July 25th> Genesis 2: 18-23; Galatians chapters 1-2

4.  In what way does the MANNER in which Eve was created SHOW God's design for the wife to be a PERFECT MATCH for her husband?

Friday, July 26th> Genesis 2: 15-17; Genesis 3: 16-19; Galatians chapters 3-4

5.  After Adam and Eve's sin drove them from the Original Kingdom into the Wasteland, what did mankind lose, and what was our  new inheritance as WASTELAND WALKERS?

Saturday, July 27th> 1 Corinthians 15: 20-28 and 53; John 3: 3; 1 Peter 1: 23; Galatians chapters 5-6

6.  Since Jesus has come to RESTORE us to our rightful place as KINGDOM DWELLERS in the Wasteland, how do we "Cross Over",  and what do we gain?

Sunday, July 28th> Daniel 7: 27; Isaiah 51: 3; Isaiah 41: 18-20; Isaiah 43: 18-20; Ephesians chapters 1-3

7.  What happens when we refuse to succumb to the laws and lifestyle of the Wasteland, but STAND instead in the authority of the KINGDOM?