The Power of Your Dreams

Woman and horse. Image resource: https://steppinupx.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1334562-2-in-my-dreams.jpg
Image: https://steppinupx.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1334562-2-in-my-dreams.jpg

Yesterday morning I had a dream that encouraged me that God loves and cares for me. Dreams are powerful—both dreams at night and the dreams in your heart. I shared about “The Power of Dreams” in my Periscope yesterday, which you can view at Katch.me/bethmjones.

I believe many times, God is the one who puts dreams and desires inside our hearts. We know that anything that violates God’s Word and His will is not from Him.

For example, if you’re married and you want that hot woman or man at work, you know that isn’t God’s will, because the Bible says God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and one of the 10 commandments is to not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). 

Your dreams and desires need to align with God’s Word, the Bible. God can even change your desires. Our friends Ron and Rhonda Hedrick with Global Community Outreach are missionaries in Guatamala. God began putting it on their hearts to take in orphans on the street to shelter, feed, and love them

Guatamala missionary Ron Hedrick signing papers for his and Rhonda's house
Guatamala missionary Ron Hedrick signing papers for his and Rhonda’s house

Just yesterday, Rhonda posted a picture of Ron signing paper to buy a house in Guatamala, so they will have a safe, loving place for the children they are bringing into their home. Ron and Rhonda have one naturally-born son, Jeremiah, who is on the mission field with them. When they went to Guatamala, this wasn’t their plan—but it was God’s. 

Guatamala missionary Rhonda Hedrick with the mom and the children she & Ron are taking into their home
Guatamala missionary Rhonda Hedrick with the mom and the children she & Ron are taking into their home

Maybe your dream is to be a published author. I believe if you want to write a book or have thought about it, there is a book inside you. There may be many books inside you!

A study shows that 81% of people say they want to write a book. But many never do. Sadly, they die with their book still inside them. Don’t let this be you! Write your book! (Obviously, I don’t agree with Joseph Epstein’s advice in the New York times article to not write it!)

Myles Monroe
Myles Monroe

The late leader, pastor, and author Myles Monroe, founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries, Myles Monroe International, and president of the International Leadership Training Institute, wrote: 

“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, diamond mines, or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted…In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within you.”

woman opening gift with light

Don’t die with your book or your dreams still inside you. Monroe also said, “The poorest man (or woman) in the world is a man (woman) without a dream.”

I see this around me a lot. There are people I know who have given up hope and have no faith. They are depressed and no matter how much you try to encourage them that God has a good plan for their life (Jeremiah 29:11), they still mope around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.

Life and the enemy satan have battered them so much, that they just lie down and take whatever happens and no longer fight. They’ve stopped fulfilling their purpose and aren’t using their gifts for God. They’ve stopped dreaming. It breaks my heart and I’m sure it grieves God’s. 

dream big

What is your dream? Are you fulfilling it? 

If you want to write a book, write it! There’s still time this year. (Sign up for my writers’ virtual training, There’s Still Time, for just $25 with 4 videos, a downloadable PDF, and a downloadable checklist to help you write or finish your book THIS year! It all comes conveniently to you in your email inbox. You can do it!)

Maybe your dream isn’t writing a book. Maybe it’s to start speaking to share your heart message. I encourage you to use Periscope to speak. You can download the app on your iPhone or Android phone. It’s an amazing, free platform to build a global audience. (You can follow me on Periscope @bethmjones.)

Periscope #tagtribes leader Mark Shaw on video
Periscope #tagtribes leader Mark Shaw on video

Just pray, prepare a short message with 2 or 3 bullet points written out, and push that red broadcast button to have an instant audience. If you’re nervous about scoping, you can practice first with your phone’s video “selfie” feature or do a private scope with your mom, best friend, or as Periscope guru Mark Shaw (@markshaw) says, your goldfish or dog, lol.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s actually the beauty and attraction of Periscope: it’s real, raw and authentic. Nobody relates to or wants perfect. Just start. 

my surprised face when Mark Shaw showed up on my scope!
my surprised face when Mark Shaw showed up on my scope!

Maybe your dream is to be a coach. Start using private scopes on Periscope to coach for pay. Or use Skype or Free Conference Call for free tools to begin your coaching practice. You don’t need a certification to coach. I don’t have one, and I coach beginner speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs. (Find out more about my coaching here.)

Whatever your dream is, there’s a reason that it’s in your heart. If you have had dreams and the devil has stomped all over them like the people I know in my life, and if you have given up, ask God to restore your dream or give you a new one. 

Jesus often rebuked his disciples for their unbelief. Remember the father in Mark 9:24 said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!” God knows exactly where you’re at and understands. There’s no condemnation from Him. He wants to help you to have the greatest, most successful, blessed life possible.

That doesn’t always necessarily mean what we think or hope. It’s not always mansions, wealth, and travel to an exotic island. Sometimes God’s best includes hard times and struggles to produce character in us (Romans 5:4), so that we’ll come forth as gold. (Job 23:10) 

I’ve been going through a difficult time the past several weeks. In times like that, it’s good to do self-examination and ask, “What is God trying to teach me through this? What is He wanting to produce in me?” He is the Potter and we are the clay. (Isaiah 64:8)

The potter and the clay
The potter and the clay

Dreams often come from God. Not only Satan but people will oppose your dreams, even the ones closest to you. Remember Joseph in the Bible. He had dreams of being great. In one of his dreams, his brothers’ bundles in the field circled around his bundle and bowed to it. In another, the sun, the moon, and the stars bowed down to him. These dreams angered his brothers and his father rebuked him. But the dreams were from God. 

Joseph’s brothers secretly sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites after they threw him into a pit. Later Joseph was raised up by Pharoah to be in charge of Egypt, and saved his father and his brothers from starvation in the great famine, bringing them to Egypt to live in abundance.

Dreams are powerful. Dreams matter. Don’t let anyone steal or stomp on your dreams. Keep dreaming big because we serve a big God! Take one action step to fulfill your dream. Paint a picture. Make a piece of jewelry. Write a chapter on your book. Speak on a scope. 

The Cinderella Story: The Power of Dreams eBook cover Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net
Copyright 2015 Beth Jones, BethJones.net

I am soon working on the second book in The Cinderella Story series, The Cinderella Story: The Power of Dreams. If you’re not already on my personal mailing list, sign up today at the top of the page on the right hand side so you’ll be first to hear about its release on Amazon.

“Today carve out a quiet interlude in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams can give birth to change.”–Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

 

 

 

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The clay: fit to be used

Today is Day 29 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The suggested blog post was to reprint an article you’d written. But I decided to write about clay instead.

I’ve only taken one clay class before. I was surprised to discover how difficult it was to shape and how it got so hard when dry.

From the rectangular slab, with a lot of the instructor’s guidance and help, I made a platter out of it like the one below, only I wish mine had looked 1/10 this good. I either used a fish stamp or painted a fish on it; I don’t remember which. But it was very crude-looking and ugly.

However, it was an accomplishment since I’d never taken a pottery class before. I would love to take a pottery wheel class one day.

clay platter
clay platter

This event happened over 20 years ago, and I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I believe I had to leave the clay platter at the building to finish drying or maybe it was for the firing. Whatever was needed, I had to leave my first pottery piece there at the shop and planned to come pick it back up later. Between having our baby Leah in November, Thanksgiving dinner, heavy snow, and then eventually Christmas, I forgot all about it.

When it was time for our family to open our Christmas gifts, Ray told me in front of everyone that he had been secretly setting a lot of money aside to get me  a very special gift. He said he had visited many stores until finally he came across this extremely rare piece of art that was very valuable.

I curiously and carefully opened the present, and when I saw the rectangular platter with the fish on it, I was completely bewildered.

I had seen that somewhere before. I also couldn’t figure out why Ray had paid so much money for something that looked like this. He busted out laughing at my totally confused expression and speechlessness. Then he explained the art studio had called to say my platter was ready and he had gone to pick it up before they got rid of it.

I’m not sure where the fish platter is now. Maybe I gave it away or threw it away. Maybe it’s time to take that pottery wheel class and make a beautiful pot. But clay teaches us some very important lessons.

The Potter and the Clay 

God created man out of the dust of the earth (clay – Genesis 2:5-7). From Ray C. Stedman, The Pot and the Potter, from Death of a Nation, Jeremiah  the prophet saw the potter and the clay and knew he was looking at a picture of himself, of every person, and of every nation. God is the Potter and we are the clay.

The potter’s wheel is constantly turning, bringing the clay against the potter’s hand. The wheel stands for the turning circumstances of our lives, under the control of God the Potter. Our lives and our hearts are being shaped and molded by Him. (Stedman)

Here is another message to Jeremiah from the Lord:  Go down to the shop where clay pots and jars are made, and I will talk to you there. I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel.  But the jar that he was forming didn’t turn out as he wished, so he kneaded it into a lump and started again. Then the Lord said: O Israel, can’t I do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” – Jeremiah 18: 1-6

A potter knows what kind of vessel he wants to make with the clay. God knows what kind of vessel He wants you and me to be. He has the right to decide. And sometimes we protest His shaping and His will:

Paul says in Romans 9: 19-21: “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”  Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”

I  am not very pliable. God wants to form me into the image of the perfect Christ-man, but I often balk at the process of being thrown on the wheel and pressed, shaped, and reworked – God wanting me to submit to His all-knowing Wisdom and His loving, strong, powerful hands, and stubborn, hard-headed me wanting things to go my own way.

Again and again, God the Potter attempts to use the turning and trying circumstances of my life to cause me to yield to His Lordship, and again and again, I won’t bend. I have an iron will. 

The Potter presses harder. I fight. I shout,  “NO!”

I squirm out of His hands. I run. I grumble like the stiff-necked Israelites who wandered in the desert 40 years, when God just wanted to deliver them and take them to the Promise Land.

Will I never learn? Will I never submit and yield to God and His purposes? Do I want to become like Jesus or not? Why is it so hard?! Why do people act the way they do and stress me out so bad?

“When the pressure the potter applies is successful in turning the clay in the right direction, the potter seems to repent, the pressure is relieved, and the clay is allowed then to remain in the form it has taken. But when something in the clay resists, the potter then seems to repent of making a vessel at all, and he crushes it into a lump, and begins again to make it yet into the vessel he desires.” (Pots, Potter, and Clay, http://www.ldolphin.org/clay.html)

I don’t want to be crushed. I want to be the vessel God desires.

I don’t want to be an ordinary vessel either – but one for honorable, even extraordinary, use. 

” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.  Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 2: 20-21

God the Potter, help me the clay to yield. When the circumstances happen tomorrow that test my patience so, let me be a vessel consecrated to you, fit for use.

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