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“More than any other organization or movement on this planet, the church should be a safe haven and incubator for audacity. Everyone else talks big, but in reality they have limited resources. For us, there is no limit to what we can see God do through us other than our faith to believe Him for it.” Steve Furtick

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Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?   With this small rectangle I can call someone, text someone, check my bank account, have photos of my kids, videos of my kids, can book a movie, view a menu, watch youtube, listen to Spotify and get directions when I am driving.

A few years ago, it feels like back in the olden days now, before I had a phone like this, when I would get lost, I would be LOST.  I would have to rely on maps, which is not an application on your phone, but a piece of paper with squiggly lines and squares and street names and on friendly service station people.

Now days, you just need to pull over and click on the app button and boom.  It can even use your location to pin point right where you are.
But have you noticed, when using this app we see the map just as we are.  Just our little square of location.  But God can zoom out and see the whole map.  He sees every part of your journey.  He sees where you are today and the final destination and everything in between.

Today we are going to explore what it looks like to wake up and live your dream.

Dreaming can be a lot like driving or going on a road trip and today I want to give us 5 ways to wake up and live our dream, to awaken a fresh sense of vision for our life and the potential that comes when we are awake on the inside.

Each of us are wired in different ways by God for a reason, which means that no two dreams are wholly alike.

What may be a dream for me may seem like a nightmare for you!

Your dream might be involve a specific career, a ministry, a relationship, a way of life.  It may be to travel the world, to go to university, to be an entrepreneur, own your own home.   You may dream of being famous, of “making it”, of being successful, of changing the world.  You may dream of being married, having kids, being a grandparent.  Your dream might involve being happier, more stable, more settled, more joyous.

Whatever it looks like and more importantly however you define the success of your dream it’s important to begin with that acknowledgement that God is the dream giver and the dream fulfiller and that He is at work in our lives on a much larger scale than our own personal agenda and happiness and that what matters today is not perfection but progress.

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I adore this post!  I just had to share it and file it as it may pop up as an example in a message somewhere someday….

How to Carve Out Your Life’s Passion – John Maxwell

Sculptor Ra Paulette has an unusual passion—he digs caves by hand and then turns his newly created spaces into works  of art. Using only a pickaxe, a scraper and a wheelbarrow, Paulette has been digging caves for nearly 30 years. His multiroom structures are remarkable; they are sculptures and art galleries in one. Filled with paintings, pools, skylights, furniture and waterfalls, Paulette’s caves are redefining the way art can be experienced.

For the Academy Award-nominated documentary Cavedigger, director Jeffrey Karoff follows Paulette as he carves into the earth, one shovelful at a time. In the film—which you can find at CavediggerDocumentary.com—Paulette explains, “When I’m working on a project, I’m totally obsessed. I’m thinking about it all day long. All night long, I’m dreaming… digging dreams. Most people who are engaged in physical labor aren’t having the fun that I’m having.”

I can’t say that I’d ever want to spend time digging in a cave, but I certainly admire Paulette. He has passion. He loves what he does, and he does it with exuberance.

When you think about or talk about your work , are you like Paulette? Does it consume you? Do you wake up excited about it? Do you go to sleep thinking about it? If not, your life may be missing an ingredient.

Paulette is 74 now and still digging caves. Recently I turned 68, and like Paulette, I am still on fire. While other people my age may be slowing down, I’m revving up. I wake up early, excited to meet the challenges of my day. I’m like a kid. Let me tell you something: You never have to drag a passionate person out of bed!

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Sometimes, when God places a dream right in front of us, all we need to do is be bold enough to take the first step toward it. – Lindsay Greb McPhail

Dreamers, we must build.

We must prepare to live the dream.

We must take the first step, the next step.  Be in step with the Holy Spirit who is at work in you to finish what He has begun.

We must grow into who we are called to become.

Dreams don’t develop in the comfort of waiting, they develop in the fire of intention.

Dreaming of becoming a worship leader?  Have singing lessons.  Upskill.  Join the worship team.

Dreaming of becoming a preacher?  Read preaching books.  Watch ted talks.  Write messages.

Dreaming of becoming a leader?  Volunteer.  Learn.  Listen to podcasts.

Dreaming of becoming a missionary?  Get a passport.

Be ready for that tomorrow.

Be ready for that opportunity.

Go the next level.

What are you doing today to prepare you for the dream?

IF YOU SEEK THE LORD
This term at HKC we’ve asked the 3 big questions. …

Who am I?
Where am I going?
How do I get there?

In week 1 we looked at how God made us on purpose with a purpose, that he likes us, loves us and that is not about being a copy of anyone but about being you.  The world needs you, not a fake.

In week 2 caleb talked about how God has about plan for our lives…. Jeremiah 29:11, in fact the bible says that before you were born ….

So, we know that God made us on purpose and with a purpose… but how do we get there?

Earlier this year I went for a bit of a road trip to visit my friend Fee who lives in Gulf Harbour.  I had never been to Gulf Harbour before.  In fact, I had probably only driven over the harbour bridge about 5 times in the whole 15 years I’ve lived in Auckland!
Anyway, I had her address written down.  I knew from the map on the net what streets to take in her little township area.
But as I drove over the bridge and started looking at the motorway exit signs I noticed one thing that made me half freak out.  They didnt have suburb titles, like how the rest of Auckland does.  Like Manukau.  East Tamaki.  Greenlane.  It had road names.  I was heading into unfamiliar territory and the road signs made no sense!
Then I saw another sign that made me freak out even more.  Probalby a 3/4 freak out on the scale of freaking out.  Toll bridge ahead.  We had been driving for over an hour and there were less and less houses and more and more grass and more and more cows.  I was like oh my word!  Perhaps we totally missed where we were going?  Perhaps I was totally lost!  

So i pulled over and rung my frirend.  Hey Fee, Claire here.  Help I’m LOST and um, yeah that toll bridge thing.

Ended up that I wasnt lost, I just wasnt there yet.  And we didnt have to go the toll bridge, we had to take some off ramp with a weird name that didnt relate at all to the area she lived in.
Now I bet you’re wondering what on earth does that have to do with my life and my dreams?  Its a nice story, but hello….
You see, just like how I was on a journey we are all on a journey.
I had a destination, but I was driving unfamiliar roads and didnt really know how to get there.
I was pointing in the right direction, but some of the signs were confusing and made me unsure if I was on the right track.
And in the end I phoned my friend for help.
And yes, we made it there in the end!
We are all on a journey.  Life is a journey.  Every day counts.    But the good news is that God knows the destination, and He knows how to get there.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
You can be confident at every age and at every stage that God loves you and that He made you on purpose with a purpose.  God isnt random.  He didnt make you and then throw you into humanity to see what would happen.  He made you on purpose, with a purpose.
But sometimes it feels like we’re driving unfamiliar roads.  What will I study at high school?  What about university?  Or apprenticeship?  Who will I marry?  Should i do an OE?  Buy a house?  The red pill or the blue pill?     Big questions.
Philippians 1:6 says that God will finish what He starts.  He started something in your life.  And He will see it through to the destination.  God is the dream giver and the dream fulfiller.  He gives us dreams….  those desires and thoughts you have are seeds of God’s plan.  And He doesnt just leave us to do it ourselves, He on purpose is at work to make the dreams come true.
Sometimes there are confusing signs though.  Some of the confusing signs could be what other people say.  You’re not good enough.  Why would you do that?  Sometimes its what we say to ourselves.  Man we can be mean to ourselves eh?  Sometimes we’re saying we’re not good enough.  Sometimes there is life stuff that happens that shakes us a little bit.  Sometimes its also a timing thing, that God knows the perfect time for things to happen and so He keeps on working on us from the inside out so that we’re ready for the challenge and the task.
Though we may not know exactly what the map is like, we can be confident that God will show us what to do at the right time.
So how do we do that in real life?
1.  Habit B.  Reading the Bible.  Psalm 110:105 says Your Word is a lamp unto my feet.  Its a light to show us where to put our feet.   The wisdom and cool stuff in here will show you what steps to take.
2.    Habit H: Hang out with God.  Remember Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. God hears us when we pray.  Keep drawing close to Him and hanging out with God.  He is so wise, so amazing and knows all and sees all.  He sees your journey from the beginning to end.  Blows your mind eh!  By hanging out with God He gives us the confidence to step out of our comfort zone when we need to, and the peace and strength to keep going.  Sometimes He shows us a better way to do things.  Sometimes He shows us that we’ve been heading in the wrong direction totally and He helps us U Turn and get back on the right road.
3.  Talk to someone.  I phoned my friend.  Talk to a big person in your life, someone who perhaps is further down the road of life than you.  Ask them what they know to be true about God.  Ask them how they got through the rough parts.  Ask them how they figured out what to do next.
I am further down the journey that you.  I have had some epic plot twists.  I have had some interesting detours.  I have had some seasons where it has felt like I was going the long long long way round and that I was asking God every 3 minutes “are we there yet?”  “are we there yet?”  “are we there yet?”
We see the map just as we are.  Just our little square of location.  But God can zoom out and see the whole map.  He sees every part of your journey.  You can trust Him.  He never gets lost.  He never takes a wrong turn.  He doesnt need to ask for directions.
Tonight put your journey in the hands of God, whom you can trust, and who loves you…
You might however be at that point of wondering if God is real.  If He loves you.  If He knows your journey.  Yip, He does.  He loves you.  He knows your name.  Jesus came for real and lived for real and died for real and rose from death for real to prove that love.  Life without God is like not even getting in the car, to spin the analogy.  Yip, it may feel scary to think about God.  Yip, it may be scary to get real about it.  But its so worth it.

"Don't compare your beginnings to someone else's middle"... keep your head up, stand tall & work hard for what you want

How Goals Can Help You Define Success – 

  1. Define your success. Let’s say you have a “priority” of family. Fine. But what relationships make up that family, and how would you define what success means for those relationships? More specifically, ifyou are married, what would having a “successful” marriage look like? What characteristics would it have? Think about it and write down your thoughts.
  2. Make an action plan. Go over what you’ve written down and be honest about what needs to take place for this success to happen. Continuing with the example of marriage, if success is defined as having clear communication, quality time, and deeper intimacy, you need to choose actions that foster the growth of those attributes. In this case, scheduled date nights, family business meetings, and other ideas specific to your marriage will make this success a reality. Be sure to communicate clearly with those who will be helping you make these changes. It is really important to have support from others. You can’t just change an important area of your life overnight.
  3. Put it on the calendar and do it. Jerry Seinfeld became a better joke writer by writing daily. To maintain discipline he used a wall calendar which has the whole year on one page and hung it on a prominent wall. After he did his work, he used a big red magic marker to mark each day he’d done his task. Can you do that? Or something similar in your own life?

 

 

How Do You Know When You’re ‘Successful?’

How do you know when you’re ‘successful?’ Is ‘success’ internal or external (i.e., a feeling or recognition)? Is it a journey or a destination (i.e., a process or an event)? Though my search for answers admittedly continues, here are three truths about success that have helped me wrap my head around the concept and be more appreciative of my own accomplishments. I hope you find these ideas helpful and encouraging too!

 

 

THE SECRET PART OF BRAVERY PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH MOST – Michael Hyatt

Jon Acuff Explains Why We Need to Step Out When We Feel Like Holding Back

  • Bravery is a choice, not a feeling.
  • Being afraid isn’t failure, staying afraid is.
  • Bravery has two parts.

 

 

Stop Reacting and Start Responding

Virtually all of your thoughts and feelings are conditioned responses to past experiences. It’s a normal strategy for dealing with new opportunities. But if your strategy is flawed, you’ll continue to get low returns on your efforts — both in your personal and professional lives.

Eventually, something will pop up and push you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a strategy to deal with new challenges, it won’t be long before you buckle under the pressure.

Stop reacting and start responding.

 

 

 

FIVE POWERFUL “C’S” FOR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS – Leadership Freak

  1. Cultivation: Grow as you go, not before. Find new capacity by embracing inadequacy. Sufficiency is the enemy of growth.
  2. Curiosity: The second solution is often better than the first. But, you can’t find the second solution when you’re defending the first. Stay open minded after you find an answer.
  3. Compassion: Show compassion while getting things done.
  4. Courage. Older leaders often say, “If I had it to do again, I’d take more risks.” The fear of failure motivates. Running from discomfort is the end of achievement.
  5. Celebration: Celebrate the contribution of others. You aren’t always the smartest person in the room, regardless of how smart you think you are.

Attitude determines altitude.

Kittens

How Jimmy Fallon Catapulted To Hosting ‘The Tonight Show’ Through Exceptional Networking

In the span of about five years, Jimmy Fallon went from a “Saturday Night Live” alum unsuccessfully navigating Hollywood to a late night star to the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” one of the most respected franchises in entertainment. It’s not by accident.

Fallon’s meteoric rise is partly due to his intense focus on developing relationships with people who could advance his career, according to Shane Snow’s book “Smartcuts” and a recent interview with the comedian.

And he proves that this type of networking doesn’t have to be some kind of Machiavellian manipulation, but rather can be based on a genuine interest in personally connecting with influencers.

 

 

 

Leader Heart

Leadership is a complicated thing.

I often get chances to speak at conferences for student ministers. I love to do them. I love to share ideas and learn from everybody. And, because I run a large ministry with many volunteers I often get questions about leading volunteers. In fact, I can’t remember a conference where I wasn’t asked about them. Furthermore, I can’t remember a conference where I wasn’t asked this specific question that gets to my point.

Here it is.

“What are some good ways I, as a leader, can value my volunteers?”

Now, this can be a great question!

But . . . this can also be a terrible question!

And there is a fine line between this being a good and bad question—that line lies at the heart of the person asking it.

 

 

MARRIAGE IN LIGHT OF FOREVER

FRANCIS AND LISA CHAN ON THE SECRET TO RELATIONAL SUCCESS

The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage.

Not the sort of advice you’ll find on a bestseller rack near you.

In their new book, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, Francis and Lisa Chan set out to reframe the entire way we think about relationships, marriage, and parenting. The marriage union is great, they observe, but it’s not forever. Therefore, we must approach this sacred relationship from the zoomed-out vantage point of eternity. And when we do, it changes everything.

 

 

7 Steps To Becoming A Professional Speaker

  1. You need to start thinking of yourself as a speaker.  You must grasp the fact that you have something to say. This is a mindset shift you must go through in order to become a professional speaker.
  2. You must find your niche.  Business coach, speaker, and author, Jane Atkinson refers to this as “picking a lane.” She recommends choosing “a topic area to focus on, based on your expertise.” Don’t waffle around from one thing to the next. Finding your passion or area of interest is essential to building your speaking career. As a speaker in this area, you will be known as a subject matter expert, so it’s important you do your research and know your stuff.

 

 

1 surprising lesson about dream chasing from a Heisman Trophy winner  – Jon Acuff

The world’s ability to understand your dream is not a reflection of whether you should chase it.

The world’s ability to support your dream is not a reflection of whether you should chase it.

Throw the passes when no one is watching. Write the pages no one sees. Work through the business plans people don’t believe in yet. Hustle long before the spotlight finds you.

You don’t need the whole world on your side to create something that changes the world.

– See more at: http://acuff.me/2014/12/1-surprising-lesson-dream-chasing-heisman-trophy-winner/#more-1561

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“Research assistants posed as jam suppliers and set up sampling tables at a gourmet store. In one condition of the experiment, six flavours of jam were available. On another condition, twenty-four flavours of jam were featured.”

This experiment proved to be an ideal method of understanding career choices. By giving the customers a variety of options, they noted how the quantity subconsciously affects the pattern of purchase more than the variety of options.

After laying out the choices, the researchers noticed that the twenty-four-flavour table have attracted more attention from the customers, but very few went on to purchase from the set. While, at the six-flavour set up, more customers were able to pick their choice easily and proceeded on buying a jar of jam.

Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.

Based on the study, Meg Jay explains that one of the reasons we feel stuck on our dilemma is because of the overwhelming thought that we can do anything we want, if we want to. “Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.”

But she elaborates that the idea of a ‘twenty-four-flavour table’ is just a myth. This much amount of options hardly exist even for those gifted with multiple talents. At best, each of us is choosing from our own six-flavour set.

So how do you begin to decide, really?

Well, “you’ve spent more than two decades shaping who you are. You have strengths, weaknesses, experiences, interests, diplomas, hang-ups and priorities…You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.”

You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.

Each bottle of jam represents bits and pieces of your ‘self’ reflecting your past, present and desired future. Choosing your options is merely just laying out the flavours of jam in your life and picking the one that tastes best for you. You can even go back to pick another variety next time.

from CHOOSING A CAREER IS LIKE PICKING A BOTTLE OF JAM by Dreamlist

and first read in Meg Jay’s book THE DEFINING DECADE

::: check out her TEDTalk HERE

This is such an incredibly inspiring true story.  I have read it a few times and with each read I stand a little taller and want to “run” a little harder and further.

I havent written this but wanted to share it with you all, so that you too are inspired to start, and never give up.  Let nothing be an obstacle.

The beauty of this image and that word together, sum up what I feel like when I have an entire morning free to run and explore and think and just be.

from http://paddyupton.com/newsletter/the-remarkable-story-of-cliff-young/

Cliff Young is hardly known outside of Australia. His remarkable story is worth knowing. All of Australia thought he was a crazy old man to undertake an almost impossible feat. Most feared that he would die trying. 

Every year, Australia hosted an 875 kilometer endurance race from Sydney to Melbourne – considered at the time to be the world’s longest and toughest ultra-marathon. The few highly-trained world-class athletes that participated averaged around 30 years old, were sponsored by major brands and thus competed with the latest and finest running gear. The race usually took a week to complete.

In 1983, everyone was in for a surprise. On the day of the race, a guy named Cliff Young showed up. At first, no one cared about him since everybody thought he was there to watch the event. After all, he was 61 years old, and was wearing overalls and gumboots.

As Cliff walked up to the table to take his number, it became obvious to everybody he was a participant. He was going to join a group of 150 world-class athletes and run! They all thought that it was a crazy publicity stunt. Curiosity was raised as he took his number 64, tore it off the vest, pinned it to his overalls, and moved into the pack of runners kitted in their special, expensive racing outfits. The camera focused on him and reporters started to ask:

“Who are you and what are you doing?”

“I’m Cliff Young. I’m from a large ranch where we run sheep outside of Melbourne.”

“Are you really going to run in this race?”

“Yeah,” Cliff nodded.

“Got any backers?”

“No.”

“Then you can’t run.”

“Yeah I can,” Cliff said. “See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or four-wheel drives, and the whole time I was growing up – until about four years ago when we finally made some money and got a four wheeler – whenever the storms would roll in, I’d have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2 000 head, and we have 2 000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I’d catch them. I believe I can run this race; it’s only two more days. Five days. I’ve run sheep for three.”

When the marathon started, the pros left Cliff behind. The crowds smiled because he set off in his gumboots, and his technique was “incorrect”. Instead of running, he traipsed along with a leisurely shuffle.

 

All over Australia, people who watched the live telecast kept on praying that someone would stop this crazy 61 year old farmer, concerned that he would die before getting even halfway across Sydney.

Every professional athlete knew for certain that it took about 7 days to finish this race, and that in order to compete, you would need to run 18 hours and sleep 6 hours. The thing is 61 year old Cliff Young did not know that!

When the morning news of the race was aired, people were in for another big surprise. Cliff was still in the race and rather than stopping to sleep, had jogged all night down to a city called Mittagong.

When asked about his race tactics, he said it was “to run to the finish line.”

And so he kept running. Every night he got just a little bit closer to the leading pack. By the last night, he passed all of the world-class athletes, while they were sleeping. He remained ahead until the finish line. Not only did he run the Melbourne to Sydney race at age 61, without dying; he won first place, breaking the race record by 9 hours!

Sixty-one year old Cliff Young finished the 875 kilometre race in 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes. He didn’t sleep because he didn’t know that he was supposed to; he just kept imagining that he was chasing sheep and trying to outrun a storm.

When Cliff was awarded the first prize of $10 000, he said he did not know there was a prize and insisted that he had not entered for the money. He said, “There’re 5 other runners still out there doing it tougher than me,” and he gave them $2 000 each.

In the following year, Cliff Young entered the same race and achieved 7th place. While running, his hip popped out of the joint socket, his knee played up and he endured shin splints. But those didn’t deter him from finishing the race. When he was announced as the winner for most courageous runner and presented with a Mitsubishi Colt, he said, “I didn’t do it near as tough as old Bob McIlwaine. Here, Bob, you have the car,” and gave the keys to him.

Cliff never kept his race winnings or any of the numerous gifts he received, he rather gave it away to someone who seemed to need it more.

Cliff came to prominence again in 1997, aged 76, when he attempted to become the oldest man to run around Australia and raise money for homeless children. He managed to complete  6 520km of the 16 000km run before he had to pull out after his only permanent crew member became ill.

In Cliff’s last race he completed the full 921 km, not bad, considering that he was 78 years old!

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Have you seen the movie The Bucket List?

Two elderly men create a list of adventures to have before they die.  It’s become a phenomena with people all around the world writing their own list of goals and inspirations.

Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr have taken it to a whole new level though.  They have a fabulous podcast / blog / facebook group appropriately named #LiveYourList which empowers and challenges people to look beyond day to day living and to discover purpose and passion, to become more.

A bucket list isnt just about goals and a glorified to do list, but its about making intentional choices to be who you are and seizing the opportunities life opens before you.

“We are what we repeatedly do. I am a firm believer in aspiring to Live Your List everyday. It’s not about doing crazy stuff for the sake of adrenaline.  It’s about living to your full potential every day. It’s about being the best possible version of you.” Ryan Eller

So here is my list:

1.  Visit friends far off (particularly my Leading and Loving It ConnectLIVE women!)

2.  Be published again

3.  Host a neighbours table afternoon event for my neighbours

4.  Watch Krull with my kids (it was the first video I ever watched!  Ever!)

5.  Speak at a women’s conference or event

6.  Holiday on a tropical island

7. Buy a dining table & chairs (that fit all our growing legs!)

8.  Be at a live cd recording

9.  Have a family photo shoot

10.  Speak at a kids conference

11.  Become a  life coach

12.  Visit times square

13.  Holiday away with antonio (and no kids!)

14.  Have a girls weekend away with my friends at a bach – that has cafe’s close by!

15.  See Star Wars 7 in the theatre

16.  Watch a movie “in the flash seats”

17.  Eat a Mrs Higgins cookie

18. Do a 5k

19.  Be at an All Black game at Eden Park

20.   Go to Armageddon

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