Never Let Your Dreams Die

“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” George Lucas

Never Let Your Dreams Die. You know what that dream is, and you know how big your
dream is. I’m talking about more than goals. Goals are dreams with deadlines. Beyond deadlines your dreams define your lifeline.

T.S. Eliot said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Father: How do you like going to school? Son: The going bit is fine, as is the coming home bit too, but I’m not too keen on the time in-between!

It is the same with our dreams. How exciting it is to start dreaming about tomorrow. It’s thrilling beyond words to realize our dreams. It is the in-between time between start and finish that is difficult, and we often give up during that critical time.

Some people call that  “in the oven time.” And it fits. When you are baking cookies, your recipe can be perfect, but it still needs that in the oven time and patience. Only then can the mixture rise and become ready.

The most important thing about DREAMS is having ONE.

Think about this question.  Has your dream been lost? Have you given up on it, for some reason, sometime, somewhere? What would it take to get that fire burning in you, again? What would it take to make that dream come alive, and most of all, to make you believe that it could come true?

Mary Kay Cosmetics was founded upon dreams fueled with enthusiasm. Mary Kay Ash said, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”

Not only pray for dreams but pray for the enthusiasm to manifest them. There will always be people who tell you why you can’t realize your dreams. But with you, there is always ONE that will help you realize your dreams, that ONE is God.

Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” What gives you courage? It is God. Your awareness of the Divine power may be dormant, but I tell you, it is with you RIGHT NOW. God wants you to realize your dreams. God wants you to dream big, dream many dreams, and have the courage to go after those dreams.

Steven Spielberg says, “I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.”

Free yourself from a prison of excuses. Go to God and have a serious talk, and ask God’s help for empowering your dreams. And don’t forget to pray for the stamina, faith and courage during the in-between times. Never let seeming barriers stop you from realizing your dreams. God is bigger than any barriers.

Let me tell you a story about a Vietnamese fellow. His name was Le Van Vu. During the day, Le worked in a bakery, and at night, he and his wife listened to audiotapes to learn English. They slept on sacks full of sawdust on the floor in the back room of the bakery.

Going back a few years in Vietnam, the Van Vu family was one of the wealthiest in Southeast Asia. They owned almost one-third of North Vietnam, including large holdings in industry and real estate. However, after his father was brutally murdered, Le moved to South Vietnam with his mother, where he went to school and eventually became a lawyer.

Like his father before him, Le prospered. He saw an opportunity to construct buildings to accommodate the ever-expanding American presence in South Vietnam and soon became one of the most successful builders in the country.

On a trip to the North, however, Le was captured by the North Vietnamese and thrown into prison for three years, with practically no food, whatsoever. He escaped by fighting with his bare hands an entire regiment of soldiers. He made his way from the North lines back to South Vietnam, where he was arrested coming across the border. The South Vietnamese government assumed he was a “plant” from the North. After serving time in prison, Le got out and started a fishing company, eventually building the largest cannery in South Vietnam.

When Le learned that the U.S. troops were about to pull out of Vietnam, he made a life-changing decision. He took all of the gold he had; he loaded it aboard one of his fishing boats; and he sailed with his wife out to the American ships in the harbor. He then exchanged all his riches for safe passage out of Vietnam to the Philippines, where he and his wife were taken to a refugee camp.

After several years, they gained access to the president of the Philippines. Le convinced him to make one of his boats available for fishing and Le was back in business again. Before he left the Philippines, two years later, en route to America [his ultimate dream], Le had successfully developed the entire fishing industry in the Philippines.

En route to America, he thought of all the time he had had success, and all of the times terrible things had happened to him and he had lost everything. He became distraught and depressed. He walked over to the railing of the ship and it was obvious to his wife, who saw him from the front of the ship that he was going to jump.

He thought to himself, “I have lost my dream; I am tired. I have had so many dreams manifest and then all of a sudden, they have left. What am I to do? I just don’t have it in me to do it, anymore. Even though I wanted to go to America and I wanted to start again, I just don’t have any energy left and I have lost my dream. It is dead in me and I am dead.”

He started to climb up the railing to jump off the side of the ship, and his wife ran up and said, “Le, if you do jump what is going to happen to me? You have got to think about me. You know, together, we have gotten through everything and we are going to do it again.” Le said, “I just don’t have it in me, anymore. I have lost the dream.”

They stood there by the railing of the ship and they prayed. They prayed in their own way, probably not the way we pray, but it is to the same God. All of a sudden, something was rekindled. It was just a spark, but it was rekindled. He walked away from the railing holding his wife. They said, “With God, we can do this. We can try one more time.”

They got to America and landed in Houston in 1972, where they had some distant cousins. In Vietnam, family takes care of family; it was the same in this country. Le and his wife soon found themselves with family, in the back room of his cousin’s bakery. Le’s cousin offered both Le and his wife jobs in the bakery. They lived in this back room, bathing in the restroom, working day and night and always praying and keeping the dream. By holding on to the dream, sacrificing by living in the back room for years, they were able to buy the business from his cousin and build from there.
In 1996, Le Van Vu, 24 years later, became a multimillionaire. A real change occurred that night on the ship as Le was climbing up that railing. He found God. Change happens in us when we find God. God can rekindle your dreams. More than that, God can give you guidance, every step of the way, to guide you to your dreams. Nothing is impossible with God, and with God working by your side, empowering you , nothing is beyond realization and success.

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. You are working, wisely, toward your dreams because you are guided wisely toward your dreams. Before success and work, in the dictionary and in life, comes the word God. God will never let you down and God will never let your dream die. One of the keys is to again believe in yourself. God created you; you are God’s creation. God can co-create your life.

A few years ago a man bought a 21-speed bicycle. He had grand dreams of using that bicycle.

But do you know what he has noticed recently on a ride? He used the firstgear and then he used the high gear, missing 19 speeds in between. He thought to himself that life is a lot like a 21-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we have never even dreamed of and we have never put into use.

No dream comes true until you wake up and go to work. Keep your heart open to dreams.  For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.

Let me tell you a story about a young man – Monty Roberts. He was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who went from stable to stable, racetrack to racetrack, farm to farm, and ranch to ranch. They had very little money. One day, in school, Monty was asked to write a paper about his dreams. The teacher instructed each of the students to tell her their dreams. What were they going to do with their lives?

Monty went home and worked on his paper for two full weeks, thinking about what he wanted. He wrote it down in a paper that was seven pages, single-spaced, in length. In the tale, he wrote about a 200-acre ranch he wanted to own. He drew a diagram showing the location of each of the buildings; and in the middle of the property, was a four thousand-square-foot house, where he could invite kids to come in and experience what life was like on a ranch.

As he finished the paper, he felt good. He said, “This is it; this is what I am going to do with my life. This is my blueprint.” He handed it in and waited with great pride for a good grade from the teacher.

The teacher handed back the paper in about five days, and on top of his paper, there was a large red “F,” and a note at the bottom that read, “See me after class.”

The boy with the dream went to see the teacher. He said, “Why did I receive an “F” on my paper?”

The teacher grabbed the paper and said, “This is an unrealistic dream for a boy like you. You have no money; you come from an itinerant family; and you have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and then, you have to pay large sums of money for stud fees. There is no way you could ever do it.” Then the teacher added, “Listen son, if you rewrite this paper with a more realistic approach, I will reconsider your grade.”

The boy went home with tears in his eyes. He thought about it for a longtime. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, “Look son, you have to make up your own mind on this one. However, I think it is probably the most important decision of your life.” Finally, after  thinking about the paper for over a week, the boy turned in the same paper with this written at the top. “You can keep the ‘F,’ but I’m going to keep my dream.”

Years later, the man sat reflecting on this in his 8000 square-foot house in the middle of a 200-acre horse ranch. Over the fireplace in his house ,he has the original school paper framed for everyone to see. Every summer, he invites students into that 8000 square-foot house. Recently, the same school teacher came with 30 children for summer camp. When the teacher was  leaving, he said, “Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was a dream stealer. During those years, I stole a lot of kids’ dreams, but fortunately, you had enough gumption NOT to give up on yours.”

Every one of us has had dream stealers who have robbed us blind, but we have to take personal responsibility because we were the ones that let them do it. We let them be the authority figure in our life. We took on their opinions and we believed them. It can be repaired, today. Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Never let the negative thought people in your own mind steal your dreams. Follow your dreams with God’s help.

No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.  What do we do with critics? With God, you are strong enough to handle your critics.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat, and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short, again and again, because there is no effort without effort and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself or herself in a worthy cause, who, at best, knows in the end the high achievement of triumph, and who, at worst, if he or she fails while daring greatly, knows their place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Life begets life; energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes a success. Thinking about all the criticism in the world, agree with me to do two things:

1) Accept your dream again.
2) Don’t criticize your dreams yourself.
3) Never be a critic of another person’s dream.

With God, who is to say it is not possible, because WITH God, all things are possible.

I want to tell you the story of a wife who used encouragement. The woman’s name was Sophia. She encouraged her husband. He came home, one day, and said, “I quit. That’s it. I give up on my dreams. I have tried, struggled, and sweated in life and nothing has ever come to me. I have never realized my dreams. Sweetheart, I am a failure; I have just been fired from my job in the customs house.”

Instead of getting down in the deep rut with him, Sophia exclaimed with joy, “Praise God you have been fired. Now you can go after your dream. You are a genius of a writer, and I know you can write and do great things. Now, you will have the time to do it and there will be no excuses.”

The man said, “Oh, you think so? What are we going to live on this year?” His wife opened a drawer and pulled out a substantial sum of money. He said, “Where on earth did you get that?”

She said, “Every week, when you gave me household money, I believed in your writing ability so much that I held back a great deal of it. Now we can live on this an entire year, while you write your great work.”

So, from her trust and confidence came one of the greatest novels of American literature, “The Scarlet Letter.” The man was Nathaniel Hawthorne.

We constantly say we don’t have it in us to realize our dreams. I want to share with you a little bit about the potter and the clay.

We say, sometimes, we are a child of God, and then in those times when we need it the most, we say we don’t have it. We just can’t do it.

In Isaiah 64:8, it says, “. . . Father, we are the clay and you are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” It means that each one of us has been formed and fashioned, uniquely, by God, to do wondrous things.

Isaiah 45:9-10says, “Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles?’ Woe to anyone who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ Does God punish you for that or is the punishment in the moment when you say, ‘Woe to me because I am the way I am?'”

And Jeremiah 18:1-6 writes also, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand . . . .'”

So many times, we think that because we have lived through the failures we have lived through, and various things that have happened, well that’s it. That is the way it will always be; I am condemned like a prisoner. Yet, God can rework our lives in the moment, if we are willing.

We are not dry clay. We are in the process of a human becoming. We become by giving ourselves to God. When we are willing, our real purpose and our dreams come through.

Romans 9:20-21 says, “. . . what is molded say to the one who molds it, ‘Why have you made me like this’? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use?” God can come through you and can rekindle in you great things.

Your most prized possession as a human being is your dreams. It makes you rich to have a dream.

In Ephesians 4:23-24, it says: “. . . be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God. . . .” Do you know what God wants of you? God wants you to dream big dreams and to dream many dreams.

What I would like said of me, more than anything else, is that I am a person with a thousand dreams. I always will be. I like living life that way, and I encourage you to do the same. As I get older, I hold on to my dreams; you do the same.

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “A person with 100 interests is twice as alive as one with only 50, and 4 times as alive as the one who has only 25.” Friends, what God can do through you is amazing. What God can realize in your life by working in you will create a brand new life for you.   Forget about the obstacles you think will come up. Oh, there may be some during those “oven” times but realize that God will renew you and empower you.

Henry Ford once said that obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. Even if you are on the right track, you are going to get run over if you just sit there. You have to get up.

Think about this when you think about your dream and any obstacle that gets in your way – “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

Yesterday is but a vision, and tomorrow is only a dream. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a dream of hope. Wind to thy wings. Light to thy path. Dreams to thy heart! I have this quote laminated and on my bulletin board in my offices in the prison. I often pray with the prisoners that God bring their dreams back and keep them on the path focusing on the light ahead, the light of Jesus Christ who has granted the ultimate dream – that of eternal life.

Please join me in prayer.

We believe God is the source of all we ever need. We believe as God’s child, we are heir to all that God is. We believe this is true for all God’s children, everywhere. We believe we are meant to live life in peace, joy, and plenty. God’s will for us is happiness and the richest of blessings from the dreams we hold.  We hold on to the dreams God gave us and work toward fulfilling them with You, God, by our side.

We act on our belief. We speak words of faith and trust in God for ourselves and for others to help them realize their dreams. We hold positive, uplifting thoughts about others and ourselves. We give what is ours to give. We use the talents and the abilities with which we have been blessed. With God’s help, today, we begin to dream – again.

In Jesus Christ’s name, we give thanks. Amen.

God bless you!

Thank You, God, for peace in every area of my life, and for peace
on my quest of the realization of my dreams. Be with me, Lord, as I continue to dream.

In Jesus Christ’s name, it IS so. . . Amen.

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