Monthly Archives: December 2014

Dreams Do Come True: A Story of Encouragement with Jesus

No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has the ability to dream. What do you dream about deep within your heart? As Christians, we have the honor and privilege to dream BIG with God. If you haven’t had a chance to read yesterday’s article (The Permission to Dream BIG with God”), you’ll want to check out that post (directly on our site) before diving into this one.

During a recent trip to Spain and France, some of my long held dreams finally became a reality. For me, these particular dreams began as a teenager. On lazy Saturday afternoons, I would prop myself up against my pillows and metal bed frame, with journal and pen in hand and the sound of the fan softly drumming away. I was dreaming of what my life could be, and my thoughts turned to Spain.

Like most 14 year old girls, I dreamt of romance, adventure, and beauty unlike anything that I could experience in my hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. I longed for a warm, salty breeze carried in from the Mediterranean sea, Spanish-style homes lining cobblestone roads, swaying to the sounds of Flamenco on the street, crimson wine sipped by the sea shore, and tropical flowers engulfing my every view.

As a young teen, these dreams seemed completely within reach. However, as time progressed and my fragile heart became calloused from life’s hardships, this dream became a long-lost memory and seemed more like a far-fetched fairytale.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

Can you relate? What did you dream of as a child? Or even as a young adult, before your imagination was restricted by cynicism from the broken world that we live in today?

May today’s post be used to awaken your own imaginations, to revive those dreams that were buried long ago (after feelings of defeat and despair from the trials of this life), and to surrender them to the Almighty.

Here is one scene that that I will never forget. A gentle breeze carried the strums of flamenco from the guitar straight into my soul. The evening was warm, and the last rays of the Spanish sun glimmered through a few leaves of giant palms. Flowers stained with bright violets and deep crimson cascaded down white-washed Spanish homes. There was a huge tree decorated with light purple buds, and small kittens playfully pounced on each another. This was my dream.

A few hours earlier, our afternoon was like a scene from a movie. As we prepared lunch with a Spanish chef and a French woman with Julia Child’s mannerisms, classical guitar and sunshine filled the kitchen. We snacked on goat cheese and fig jam (from their farm). While I relaxed on the back patio, plump olives marinated in garlic and lemon burst in my mouth with robust flavors. Just like a small child, I could swing in her back yard beside a giant lemon tree and stroll through the groves of almonds, olives, orange trees, and apricots. This was my dream.

Then there was the early morning stroll through a small public park right by the Mediterranean sea. A plethora of surprises awaited my heart, hand-crafted for me by the Father. A line of baby chicks greeted me from a small bush at the park entrance. Then came the butterflies and dragon flies, fluttering through the air around me while various birds chirped to a stunning melody. Suddenly, we came upon a peacock with gloriously long feathers studded with vibrant colors and oval shapes boldly strutting along the small path as though we weren’t even there. Two beautiful swans glided, along with the baby turtles, in sheer curiosity of who we were. As we approached a goat family, there was a lively bunny hopping to and fro. And wouldn’t you know, one little baby goat began nuzzling his sweet little nose to my finger, reminding me of  the Garden of Eden. This was my dream.

One night in particular I’ll never forget. As though God had not done enough already, He prompted us to go to an unknown restaurant located in a small village hanging on cliffs above the sea. As the Argentenean hostess guided us through the rounded corridor, she excitedly revealed that we’re stepping into the Secret Garden. My heart leapt. The place was lined with ivory candles, lemon and lime trees, flowers on trellises, and a small table with a crisp linen tablecloth that was awaiting us in the back. Never in my life have I experienced such romance. On the walk back home, with the stars looming above and the ocean breeze kissing my skin, Jesus began to speak. It was as if He was on my right side, while Keith was on my left with my hand firmly resting in his. Both of them were telling me how much they love me. Whoa. My mortal and eternal husband were wooing my heart under the Spanish night sky. This was my dream.

An Evening in Mijas, Spain

But, the truth is, that was no longer a dream; it had become my reality. Jesus granted me my dream in His way and in His timing. And He had provided it all. I could never have made any of those things happen. Nor could Keith.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts’.” Isaiah 55:8-9  

Allow me to boast in Christ for a minute. Jesus is Kind. Jesus is interested in YOU. Jesus is Powerful. Jesus is Creative. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is EVERYTHING we could ever want in this life. Everything good is found in Him. He deserves your heart, beloved.

He is the One who longs to make your dreams come true in His timing and in His way. He knows best. You can trust Him with your deep desires and the things you dream for today. He’s faithful, good, true, and trustworthy.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

Jesus has caused me to fall deeper in love with Him because of His extravagant giving (once again).  Will you allow Him to be Lord over your dreams? And will you start dreaming again?

God is the safest, securest, most powerful, most brilliant, and most wise Person that we can ever share our hearts with. Do you know why? Because dreaming isn’t even about the dream; it’s about you and Him. I want to strongly encourage you to surrender your dreams to God – whatever they may be. Ask Him to purify them, to direct them, to guide you in pursuing them, and to allow your dreams to draw you closer to Him. You will never regret this decision.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms 23: 1-3

Has this post inspired you, challenged you, or encouraged you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! Please share this with anyone struggling with dreaming BIG with God. To God be the glory! 

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The Permission to Dream BIG with God

For the past few weeks, I have been marinating on this post and waiting for the right time to share it. Along with tomorrow’s post (“Dreams DO Come True: A Story of Encouragement by Jesus”), my hope is for you to be inspired, wildly encouraged, and filled with a dose of truth to empower you in drawing closer to Jesus, the Great I AM.

If anyone were ever cynical, it was me. Dreams only existed in fairytales, and fairytales didn’t exist. As I watched happy couples walk by – laughing, holding hands, and eating ice cream – I would simmer in frustration, angst, and self-pity.  After being disappointed by life too many times to count, I was now facing more major trauma in my life.

I was in a place of brokenness. A desert of sorts – a place where the wind was harsh, the air was dry, and there was nothing in sight to quench my thirst.  In this place of suffering, I learned to give God a real chance. I learned to get real with Him.

 “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” Isaiah 42:18 

But I want to be clear: this post isn’t a happily-ever after story of love and romance (though God has given that to me each day with Keith – a dream come true!). No, this article is about something different. Something broader that we can all relate to, regardless of age, race, gender, or socio-economic status.

That something is the ability to dream. Along with the idea that they can eventually come true. 

After years of surviving thunderstorms (or maybe hurricanes is a more appropriate term) followed by a season in the desert, I was sure that I’d never experience a life bursting with sunshine and the sounds of birds chirping melodious tunes. Maybe others would, but that was not what I saw in the cards for me. Can you relate?

Then God asked me to dream. He posed these questions in my heart: “What do you want to experience in this life, Christy? What do you want to accomplish with the time that I have given you here on earth?”

“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving towards all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalms 145:13-16

As you can imagine, these questions ran deep. They forced me to stop and really evaluate what I desired in this life. Have you ever done this before? Beloved, this weekend may be your time to dream.

Now, the truth is that this little activity was not easy for me. All of the human “what-if” questions were lurking in my mind, waiting to pounce on my warm and fuzzy moment. “What if it doesn’t happen? What if you get disappointed again? What if this future husband you long for doesn’t exist? What if God doesn’t answer your prayers?” These thoughts quickly began to bombard my mind.

Over the years I’ve learned that dreaming is not merely writing a few short-term goals down on paper; dreaming requires making your heart vulnerable before the Living God. For us as mankind, dreaming can seem risky because it’s unpredictable (some perceive it as a wasted effort). More accurately, it’s a leap of faith. To dream, we must tap into our God-given imaginations, use our hopes and desires, include our personal values, and trust fully in Jesus before we can produce that fabulous product known as a dream.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4 

Dreams are highly personal and intimate; who better to include and surrender our dreams to than the Living, Breathing, Mighty and Powerful, Ever-Loving God of the universe? Yes, there is no better person to trust with our entire being than Jesus.   

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

What do you dream about? If you haven’t dreamt in a long time, then get ready to be encouraged this weekend. Join me tomorrow (Saturday) as I share the story of how God took my cynicism and transformed my heart into believing that dreams do come true. Not necessarily dreams as the world defines them (e.g. Walt Disney movies, which are still incredible for entertainment and the imagination – I love the Little Mermaid!), but rather dreams that impact us for eternity. These dreams can cause our hearts to overflow with goodness and draw us closer to Jesus.

Long-lasting, fruit-producing dreams are only possible through the Great I AM. And they’re possible for every single one of us. Including YOU. 

See you tomorrow! And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! Please pass this post along to anyone you know that would be encouraged by it. Thank you!

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Why Jesus Never Married

During a recent conversation among friends, Keith and I shared the wisdom of valuing the marriage covenant over ministry. Someone else made a comment in regards to this that sent my mind spinning: “There’s a good reason why Jesus remained single: He could focus on His ministry alone.” I was left completely dumbfounded by the thought of my sweet Jesus being married to a mortal woman while on earth. That very idea is unsettling, don’t you think?

Which brings us to today, and a discussion about Jesus and the idea of marriage. With hot tea in hand, I began to seek the Lord for His thoughts concerning this idea. He shared some brilliant insights about both Jesus and marriage that brought warmth to my heart.

First of all, the Bible tells us that the bride of Jesus is the church, and I believe this in a very literal sense. Jesus is the Word made flesh, and the Word is truth. He died for the entire church (His bride) to set her free from the bonds of sin and offer eternal bliss in the form of salvation. Using this very example of Jesus and the church, God’s word gives specific instruction that a husband is to be about the affairs of his wife and that he is to lay his life down for her. The idea that Jesus could also pledge His life to one particular woman alone, in addition to the church, as His bride would thus contradict the idea that He came for all of us. Not only is the idea of Jesus having a wife weird, it would show extreme favoritism of man, which directly contradicts His word. Not going to happen with Jesus.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

“‘Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God’.” Revelation 19:7-9

There’s something else about marriage to consider: marriage between man and woman means sex. As part of marriage, sex has two purposes: procreating the human race, and providing intimate pleasure between husband and wife. Neither of which Jesus needs to partake in.

Think about it. In the beginning, God created the human race from the dirt of the earth and the breath from His nostrils. The actions of the omnipotent God are so perfect that they never need redundancy, and His plans are permanent. He has no need to directly act again to create human offspring. In the same way, we do not need Jesus to die all over again to gain salvation. Once it’s finished, it’s finished.

“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

When we talk about pleasure, we must remember that Jesus is love. He’s the epitome of love, and He fully encompasses all forms of love in His divine being. As part of His love, sexual pleasure was created for the human race to experience within the loving covenant of marriage. The divine Son of God absolutely has no need for it. Jesus wasn’t sent here to experience a woman; He didn’t need one. Jesus didn’t come to be served or to feel good. He came to suffer so that we could be saved and experience righteousness. And once we’re with Him in eternity, sex will no longer be necessary to fulfill any desire or need for love and satisfaction that we once possessed. He will be enough.

“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” Isaiah 54:5

Obviously, Jesus was no ordinary man; He was both human and the Son of God. He chose to limit Himself to come live with us on earth in fallen vessels. The Word says that Jesus was tempted in every way, which probably includes sexual temptation. That’s incredibly powerful (especially for men) because He can thoroughly sympathize with His followers. He knows what it feels like to be tempted, but He also knows what it’s like to turn away from sin. We serve a God who understands us, and who is extremely comforting and powerful. Don’t take this for granted, beloved.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

As the Son of God, Jesus came with the full intent of paying off the world’s debt of sin by hanging on the cross. His mission in life cannot be equated with anything in our lives. He is still and will always be the King of kings and Lord of lords. He’s earned that title. First He led by example (which gives us hope), and then through the cross He became our Savior. And He deserves every ounce of honor, praise, respect, and admiration we can muster. Give praise to your King, who knows and understands you! He alone has the power to save!

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2
Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose today! Please feel free to share this post with others as a source of encouragement and admonishment. Thank you!
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