Born Again Dreamer

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth,do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert. 

Isaiah 43:19

He can make streams and rivers in our desert times....

He led me to this promise in scripture nearly ten years ago...

Early one morning, as I sat on the balcony of my Arizona hotel room doing my devotions....I felt like I heard Him say to me; "Look out around you Lisa, what do you see?" 

I looked up from my journal and gazed out beyond the edge of my balcony railing trying to see whatever it was that He wanted me to notice. 

The desert stretched on for miles until finally stopping at the base of the mountain range. Okay... not sure, I thought.  However, as I adjusted my line of vision to look a little closer, in fact,  directly beneath my balcony....I saw the bright green grass of a beautiful and perfectly tended golf course seeming so out of place in the middle of the desert surroundings.

"Lord, I see a desert...I see a desert with green grass and life growing everywhere..." and that statement struck me...hadn't I heard that recently... and then that small still voice again.... "I will make rivers in the desert for you...believe Me." He led me to this passage of Scripture...."Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness...and rivers in the desert..." Isaiah 43:19.

I desperately needed a river in my desert...a way through the wilderness of my relationships and emotions... Hope began to swell within my heart. 

He is the Mighty God who can deliver each of us from whatever Egypt we may currently be enduring. 
Trust Him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Awakened Awareness

I was cleaning out part of thegarage one evening, throwing away things that should have been thrown away agesago, when I ran across some old, dirty, crumpled up papers. They appeared to belunch order forms from the kids’ school, and I wasin the act of tossing them when something caught my attention. I noticed thatone of the papers was completely covered in my own handwriting.  Intrigued by what I could have found so compelling that I would have had to write it out on my sons lunch order forms. As I took a closer look I found that it was dated nearly 9years ago, and as I began to read, overlooked strings within my heart, suddenlybegan to actively flutter, arousing some long forgotten words and memories…


If you’renot watching, time passes by like the clouds on a blue sky. If you don’t reallystop yourself, and purposefully observe your surroundings, you might not even realizethat the clouds are in motion.  It’squite possible to spend your whole life ‘doing’ until your end is near, and withoutrecognition, the clouds in your life, have continued to progress to the other side ofthe world…and all along, you never even noticed their silent drifting away.

Father,I don’t want to drift aimlessly with my life. I want to be a part of the beautyof the sky you designed; so graceful and soft. I want to observe and absorb allthe splendor of this world. If only we’ll look, there is so much of it! The gentlenessof a soft flute, the fluidity of a violin, the exhilaration of beating drums…Inspiration, joyfulness, excitement, appreciation; love. But first, before anyof these blessings can be realized, awareness must come. My soul must awaken from its slumber.

I've come alive in Christ. I never realized I was dead! I cannot pinpoint mydeath; but I recognize that my solitary focus for years hasn't been on life orbeauty, but only on my own subjective feelings and fears. Hopelessness hassomehow replaced my excitement for good things in this life.  

But the more Your Spirit envelopes me, themore alive I begin to become. Unexpectedly, I’m able to see as never before. Tofeel as never before. Like a tiny kitten transformed into a powerful panther;sleek and magnificent, yet fierce with loyalty and love for You. Surprising andforgotten desires are bursting within; I long to rise to new heights with you;not wasting another second of the precious time I've been given.

Lord, Iwant to bring everything you've given me to its fullest potential. Savoring myawakening; overflowing with gratefulness that you love me so much you wouldn't allow me to stay dead and buried in my grave. You tore out the grass by itsroots; split open the earth, and broke off the locks keeping me bound inmy prison. In my darkness. 

Light, Your glorious, sweet light has surrounded me.I am being filled with understanding; I can feel the warmth of your heart, thegentleness of your gaze. It’s like leaving a cold, black and white world forone filled with warm brilliant hues and stunning colors.

I’mbeing transformed from dirt, into a majestic garden. From dust to life. Where previously there was lifeless silence; my heart sings with hope.  Recognition of a my forgotten heart emerges; the heart of the child I once was; the child who loved.
What oncewas is once again. 

Restored by the power of His love.

Myadoration forever…

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Leadership Awareness: Be a Better Leader

Over the years I've discovered that there are certain attributes that inspire peoples confidence and loyalty in their leaders. Whether you're the leader of your children, your team, or your organization avoiding these 'no-no's' will help you increase your effectiveness as a communicator, better facilitate positive growth and change, and foster loyal relationship building. 

1. Avoid 'always' and 'never' statements. "You always do this, or you never do that" are communication killers. 

2. Don't approach others when you're negative emotions are high; be patient and wait until you've calmed down. 

3. If you have a genuine complaint, don't go straight for the kill; give some positive affirmations or observations first.

4. Lose the attitude. People quickly lose respect for those that appear to be 'talking-down' to them.

5. You aren't always right so admit when your wrong; don't be that guy.

6. Humility goes a long way toward gaining the trust and attention of others. Do some fearless character inventory and assess this aspect of your personality.

7. Never correct others in public, especially if you're the leader! If you want others to listen to, and respect you, you must first respect them. Save your corrections for behind closed doors.

8. Don't interrupt. Wait until the person is finished speaking before giving your opinions and/or observations. Interrupting says: "My opinions are more important than yours" 

9. Smile!

10. Be real. Others are drawn to those who can be who they are no matter who's in the room. No one admires pretense.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Perfect Joy

Where Christ is truly seen, there must be full and perfect joy in the Lord, with peace of conscience, which thus thinketh: Although I am a sinner by the law, and under condemnation of the law, yet I despair not, yet I die not, because Christ liveth, who is both my righteousness and my everlasting life.

Martin Luther quoted by Tim Keller in Gospel in Life

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cause of Spiritual Failures

Christians who know the gospel in principle and who have been changed by it nevertheless continually revert to works-righteousness and self salvation in a myriad of subtle and not so subtle ways. A basic insight of Martin Luther's was that "religion" is the default mode of the human heart. Your computer operates automatically in default mode unless you deliberately tell it to do something else. Luther says that even after you are converted by the gospel, your heart will go back to operating on the religious principle unless you deliberately, repeatedly set it to gospel-mode. This then is the basic cause of our spiritual failures, uncontrolled emotions, conflict, lack of joy, and ministry ineffectiveness. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we continue to operate as if we are saved by our works.
Timothy Keller - Gospel in Life

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Really Living

God never says that we can be and do anything. But when we fully embrace His design for us and grow into exactly what He created us to be, we'll really be living.

Tony Stoltzfus

Friday, September 14, 2012

Beth Moore: Journey of Faith

"...the point of temptation is not the ideal time to decide whether or not to stick with Christ. The most effective time to resolve to obey Christ is in advance of the difficulty. Planning to stay faithful can greatly enhance victory."

Born Again Dreamer: The Antidote

Born Again Dreamer: The Antidote

The Antidote

Faith is the antidote to fear
Hope is the antidote to depression
Joy is the antidote to stagnation
Love is the antidote to meaninglessness

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Ways Fear Paralyzes Christian Leaders

Most of us recognize by now that fear is a powerful controller in our lives. But are you aware that fear is disguised as many other common emotions? Emotions like confusion, embarrassment, insecurity, helplessness and discouragement, all are fueled by fear.

Fears can run rampant in our minds if we
allow them to...
Because fear is such an influential and pervasive weapon against growth, it's vital to our personal progress that we recognize how these fears manifest themselves in our day to day lives. Attention should be particularly given to the damaging impact on our faith these negative feelings can have when allowed to languish in our thoughts.

Over the years I've found in my own life, as well as the lives of many others, that the kinds of fears which can extinguish a leaders confidence present themselves in a diversity of similar hues. Below I've created a list of 10 of the most common expressions of fearful thoughts in the minds of Christian leaders,  entrepreneurs and pioneers. 

  1. Anxiety: Allowing others opinions define what you can or cannot do. "I saw the way she/he looked at me when I told them my dreams...they don't think I'm capable...they probably think I'm crazy..."
  2. Confusion: "Am I really doing God's will...maybe I'm not?
  3.  Bewilderment: Doubt about the peace which God gave you initially: (If the Lord gave you the peace to do something He hasn't changed his mind; He's not wishy-washy).
  4. Embarrassment: "If others knew about the kinds of sins I struggle with they'd think I was a fraud." 
  5. Insecurity: Afraid of looking like an idiot; of being humiliated in front of others. 
  6. Insignificance: "I'm a nobody; I'm not educated enough, or important enough, attractive enough, or eloquent enough..."
  7. Discouragement: "I'm too sinful to be used by God."
  8. Rejection: Wanting to avoid the pain of rejection from others.
  9. Inadequate: Afraid of having a past mistake or sin exposed.
  10. Helplessness: Your current circumstances don't look the way you've envisioned your dream happening, and you feel powerless to make things conform to your plan (which of course you are, but that's good news not bad news!)  

One reason these feel like such significant hurdles is their potential validity. It's quite possible that if I do what God has asked me to do, I just might look like an idiot to some people (in fact I'm quite certain I have!). However, the cause of Christ must be bigger in our hearts than our own fears of pain and rejection.

The chance does exist that you're in error about what you believe God has called you to do. If you then step out in faith and obedience and do that thing; do you really believe that you serve the kind of God who would abandon you for trying to be obedient? Of course not! He loves you!

     My only admonition to you in pursuing your dreams and casting your fears aside is if you're trying to move forward in His will for your life alone. If you're not connected to other godly people in accountable and transparent relationships then it is wise to be fearful as you are ignoring clear biblical instructions. Let me underscore this warning again: you cannot do the big things of God without the help of others. We all need the body of Christ; the church.

 Aside from that precaution; be encouraged! Even our mistakes can be a part of His plan! If we are moving toward Him, and we make an error about His directions (and who hasn't?), He will teach you through your choices

So, today, I want to encourage you to examine your thoughts and share your fears not only with God, but with another safe godly person, or better yet,
     ask that person to pray with you! As you seek His kingdom in thanksgiving and praise, watch the power of God lead you through the doorways to your hearts desires.