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Dream of Your Potential for Greatness
by Mark Shields
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Many famous people give us examples of how a dream can turn into reality even with many obstacles in their way. Christopher Columbus didnít know the world was round but he had a good hunch it was so he acted on that belief with courage. As he set out to find a better route to China, he discovered America. Thomas Edison failed over 9,000 times before he invented the light bulb. Yet from that point forward he went on to receive 1,093 patents, more than any other person in U.S. history. Ray Kroc was 52 years old and in bad health when he started McDonaldís. At its high point, a new McDonaldís was opening every 5 hours somewhere in the world.

Leonardo De Vinci was a great artist but he also had a system for getting things done. The man that painted the ďLast SupperĒ also created the parachute, bicycle, and helicopter. He acted on his ideas. The system he followed every time he began a new idea consisted of a specific goal that was measurable. He made sure someone kept him accountable for attainment of his goal and that it was realistic and relevant. The goal always had a timeline. If you take the first letter of each part of his system, you have the word SMART and thatís exactly what De Vinciís system was.

You have the potential to do something great like the famous people mentioned above. Set your imagination free and free your creative powers. Consider this fact. The sun travels at a speed of 155 miles per second, but it still takes 230 million years for it to complete a single revolution of our galaxy. Thereís nothing up there but sky and with God, the sky is the limit! My pastor, Steve Ramsdell once said in a sermon that each morning, we have a fresh start with God. We have a chance to be freed from the pessimism we may have had and can use the unlimited power, amazing grace, and unquenchable love He has for us. Itís not always easy and we have bad days but think of all the inventions that have come about because of someone having a bad day. Bad days make people think up new ways to create better days for someone else. According to amusingfacts.com, it was after dropping and breaking a bottle of milk which spilled all over his floor one morning that John Van Wormer invented paper milk cartons.

The Bible Study Guide mentioned in lesson one called "Realizing Your God Given Purpose" is a tool that allows you to be creative and set your imagination free. Like the creativity of small children with curiosity and the questions they ask, we can ask God questions. As we get older, sometimes we stop listening to ourselves and to others because we become boxed in to this certain way of doing things. We become closed minded to new ideas. We lose our curiosity and shut out the adventure, excitement and thrill of gaining wisdom from God. Imagination is a tool for a successful and rewarding life. As you read from the bible each day and go to God in prayer, see a bright future; one in which you are on Godís side and are having winning days as you work together.

Happiness is something you decide upon ahead of time. Itís a decision you make every morning you wake up. In Psalms 23:6, David expected goodness and compassion, not part of the time, but all the days of his life. Davidís attitude was that God will always provide and I just canít get away from the good things of God!Ē Davidís attitude was to build up the house of the Lord; a house where every need is met and all people are cared for. He encourages us to take the lead in promoting Godís goodness. This is the same David that faced the giant Goliath. Many thought the giant was too big but Davidís only thought was about how big a target the giant was and that he couldnít miss this big target. How should we face our giants each day? Do you see your targets like David did?

To have optimism, itís important to go after things with a passion. People accomplish much more when they act on things that they have a passion for. A person can be the most skilled at their profession but unless they have the passion, they will not be at their best. There are six major beneficial emotions that help change goals to action and ultimately to success.

ē Faith
ē Desire
ē Love
ē Enthusiasm
ē Hope
ē Rewards

Many people pray with their minds filled with fear and doubt. Prayer is kind of like sound when communicated by radio. If the mind is cluttered with fear and doubt, the answer from God is hard to receive. The positive emotions act as an antenna to receive the plan from God.

From a website called howstuffworks.com, it was explained that the Voyager spacecraft transmits radio messages long distances because there is a large antenna on earth that is pointing directly to another one on the spacecraft. Optimism is like that big antenna pointed in the right direction. We can also be optimistic when we are pointed in the right direction. When our thoughts are pointed to God, we are prepared, confident, and feel an inner peace because the Kingdom of God is within us. If you want to be happy, work on your relationship with God, believe that you will receive Godís favor, and expect your future to be bright. Apply your faith by seeing a picture of success and help others as you work together; trust God for peace of mind, abundant joy, and rewards beyond measure.

I love pulling for a local sports team like the Cowboys. The only thing is that they donít always win. Itís better to pull for Godís team. The victories keep coming in. The championship for His people is a prepared place in Heaven for all who are faithful to him. His people are even assured of the power over death. So let God conquer worry by believing in His son and receiving spiritual wealth. He can send the Spirit of His Son into your heart and touch you with divine power.

A book series that has sold millions of copies and produced income of billions of dollars is ďHarry PotterĒ. The series of books and movies are about how the study of witchcraft leads to an amazing, fun, and adventurous life for a young boy. We all are writing a book as Christians. Each day, we are writing sentences to our book about how the study of Christ leads to an amazing, fun, and adventurous life. Millions of people will read this book you are writing over your life time and the reward you will receive is beyond comprehension.

They say that the earlier you plan for retirement the better. Well itís the same with your Spiritual life. The sooner you start collecting the treasures from God, the wealthier you become spiritually. In Godís timing, things will be made right. Know that God is for you and believe you can do everything. Be at peace and focus on the good that will happen because you trust in Him. We can receive encouragement to help us manage our daily living. Be reinvigorated by Christís power and believe that tomorrow will always be better than today. Recall the blessings you have received and give praise. He has much more to give. If you are having difficulty, receive the hope. Be assured by a clear picture of victory. One use I have found with the Microsoft application called PowerPoint is to put together a slide presentation. I try to run this at least three times a week to get me on track. I have written down goals and included quotes and other inspirational affirmations. I use this tool to help me see my part in Godís plan.

As a believer, you share from the same nourishing food for the soul that not only improves your life but also those around you wanting to join in. As we relate to others, we can be optimistic because by the grace of God we are allowed to stand firm in Christ and possess His Spirit in our heart. This resource is only a deposit securing what is to come. So donít worry if you havenít received the promotion or big project Ė donít be upset. You may find out that you are better off without them. I heard this saying on the Paul Harvey radio segment one time and it went something like this Ė itís always the second mouse that gets the cheese. Friend, itís Ok to come in second if God is number one. You are so much more prepared today to handle lifeís challenges than yesterday. Youíre getting better and better each day and closer and closer to the ultimate reward.

We live in abundance. The world is filled with abundance of opportunity which the dreamers of the past never knew. A while back, Scientist discovered that the universe is still growing at a rate of 45 miles per second. This reminds me of a Bible reading I had recently. In 1 Kings 17:10-16, a widow was running out of cooking oil and flower. She was going to make the last meal and then God promised to provide flour and oil. Godís resources are plentiful. He has made the earth productive and His people acquisitive. In obtaining knowledge, the goal is to maintain what you have and to want more. Have you ever just looked up at the moon and thought ďA person has walked on thatĒ? Itís amazing and it makes me think that God will let us achieve the impossible if we just want to bad enough. According to the book ďGuinness Book of World RecordsĒ, there are over 100 billion galaxies with each galaxy having billions of stars.

Many may have potential but without a goal, nothing materializes. How does one start setting goals? First, goals must be clearly defined. Even the greatest high jumper didnít begin at seven feet. They may have to start at four feet and work their way up. A good first step is to put on paper a list of dreams. If you want to break a bad habit, put it on your list. Do you wish for a bigger home or a certain kind of car? If so, put it on the list. Do you want to travel or do you need to provide for a childís education? Would you like to develop new skills, grow a business, or figure out some new invention? Anything you can dream about should go on the list. Plan for what you can become, believe you can, and look forward to the reward. You are the most qualified to decide for yourself what to do with your life.

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