Posts Tagged ‘vision’

David is one of those characters that I can relate to well. He reminds me of me. David is a strong willed guy who can be pretty self-sufficient. On numerous occasions, David took control of his summit hike. It did not bode so well for him, but he learned a ton of character a long the way.

David was the youngest in his family. He was not so admired by his siblings. This part of the story sounds similar to Joseph’s story. David spent his days as a shepherd in the field, as well as a song writer. He was often excluded from family discussions, or anything that was going on with family business.

One day Samuel comes to visit David’s father, Jesse. I picture the scene playing out similar to that of Cinderella. Samuel is looking to anoint someone to be the next king. He asks Jesse for all of his sons to join him in the house. Like the wicked step-mom, Jesse presents his finest sons. Samuel asks if he has any others, Jesse says, “oh yea there’s my youngest David.”

In my mind the next scene goes something like this: David walks into the house, probably singing a song out loud that he made up. He dances his way into the kitchen where everyone is standing. I can picture David popping a date in his mouth from off the counter top while playing his air harp. His voice fades as he realizes that he walked in on something. Samuel presents David with the glass slipper that fits perfectly and anoints him to be the next king.

Wait what!? If I were David, I would be like, “what just happened?” It’s not like he was then ushered off to the palace and given a ring and robe. Nope. David returned to the field for shepherding and song writing. So how does the dream of being king even happen?

Cue David’s road of wonder.

After some time, maybe even when the dream of king had almost been lost, the tides change. David is sent with a picnic for his warrior brothers. It is on the battlefield that David is presented with an opportunity that makes him one step closer to his summit. David takes on a huge obstacle named Goliath and brings victory to the nation. With this win, David is then ushered to the palace where he is given fame and the one of the kings daughters to marry.

This is the first glimpse we get to David’s dream of being king. Before David ever stepped foot in the palace, God did some character work on him in the fields. God cultivated the character trait of faith in a bigger God. God taught David how to not rely on his own strength. This is a big character lesson for self-sufficient people. It was in the “simple” sheep fields that he learned to care about responsibility, protect the innocent, rise above his fear, and grow in intimacy with his God.

After Goliath, it might have seemed like David “arrived.” He was in the palace, and now son-in-law to the king. Break out the champagne! Sound the alarm for the party, King David had made it to the palace!

But was he king?

David might have been in the palace, but he was far from being king. After a triumphant entry into his new life, he then spent his days playing his harp for the king. David went through more time of waiting for his dream. He could see his dream, but he was playing the harp. Maybe God let David know that even though he was in the palace, he was not too good to play his harp and serve the king. God cultivated his character.

David went through a seasons of taking the reigns of his path, but God cultivated his character every step of the way. At the time David was given the throne, he was ready. Just because he was given the dream years before the actual throne did not mean he was ready for the dream.

How do you take control of your path?

How is God cultivating your character?

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Joseph is a man who’s life bleeds character. Joseph’s story is one of abandonment, heartache, injustice, steadfastness, faith, and redemption.

You see, Joseph had a dream. Joseph was given a dream by God. He had no idea what it meant or how it would even come to fruition, but he had it. Joseph was also a punk kid who didn’t have very many hardships in the beginning of his life. He was the favorite child among his brothers. He was given much freedom and favor from his father. This made for some bitter brothers.

Joseph’s family had a different dream for him. It was not one of success or even joy.

Let me give you the big picture of Joseph’s life.

  • Assaulted by his brothers and abandoned for dead
  • Sold into slavery by those same family members
  • Framed for committing adultery with the wife of his boss, Potipher
  • Thrown into prison
  • Served as prison admin.
  • Forgotten by a man who could have freed him from his prison days.
  • Stayed in prison life for two full years after that hope
  • Went from prison administrator to right hand of pharaoh
  • Saved a nation from famine
  • Reconciled the broken relationships with the same family members who assaulted, abandoned, and sold him into slavery.

That is a ton of bumps in the road for Joseph. He knew deep grief and hurt. Joseph had times of believing in the false summit. Potipher was high up in the kings army, maybe that could be his way to the top? A cup bearer being reinstated to a job even closer to the king, could that be his way out?

God gave Joseph a dream. There was something just for him to do. Nothing about the road that got him to his dream was easy. Joseph never treated God like an easy-button God either. He never asked for an easier situation of circumstance. I am sure he might’ve had unrecorded words with God, but he never took control of his path. Joseph believed in the real summit. Joseph held strong to his dream. Not only did he hold strong to his dream, he held strong to the dream giver.

Everything Joseph did along his path cultivated his character. Everything he was in charge of equipped him for the greater dream.

John Maxwell described Joseph’s process as one “who paid the price of preparation.” He also stated that, “every time Joseph faced adversity, he used it to develop his character. Joseph was able to follow each setback with a comeback.

Joseph spent thirteen years cultivating his character before he was appointed right hand man to pharaoh. By that time his character showed that Joseph was not bitter about any of us unfortunate turns in the road and mistreatment’s. Joseph did not right his wrongs.

One important aspect about Joseph’s story for me is that when Joseph entered into his dream, he did not “arrive.” Joseph still depended on God. He still spent time cultivating his character. In the world’s eyes, Joseph obtained the top job. He made it. But it is in those moments where God will always point upward and say, “keep going, you’re not there yet.

Does your path resemble an unknown way that is cultivating your character?

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Our life stories are being lived out every day. We make choices and choose paths that lead us down new roads and dreams.

I have been thinking a lot about what kind of a read my story is right now. I look back and see many pages filled with adventure, laughter, pain, fear, and realizations. Many characters have been written in and out of my chapters as well.

My life speaks of failures and successes; waiting, doubts, and glimpses of something new.

This got me thinking about my story now and what is to be written on my pages to come. It has been fun to think about what I want my life to be like, and what I want it to say. It is always good to know what you stand for. It is also empowering to really think about the person I want to be. It forces hard questions to be wrestled with.

I would love to think about this with you.

If someone gave you a blank whiteboard to write out the rest of your story what would it say? Who is the person you want to be? What kind of character are you?

We have a lot of say in how our story is being written. This is not something to take lightly. You matter. Your story matters.

How do you want your story to read?

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One step….

One step is all we get.

One step is all we can really handle.

I am a visionary by nature. I see the big picture and get so frustrated with the steps to get there. To a visionary, every step is the one that should be right before the big picture. It usually is far from it.

I need steps.

Steps take courage. Steps take risk to not only just step into, but to believe and trust that the step is okay – that it’s necessary.

Steps require obedience and courage to know I’m not finished. Steps let me know that who I am right now cannot handle the right weight of what is to come. Steps get me there. Steps ready me for the value of the weight.

I have been stuck in Joshua the past couple of days. Joshua is a man of surrendered steps. Joshua was Moses’ successor to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land. He has some big steps to fill.

I have just shaken my head and smiled at how awesome God is to only give Joshua what he can handle. God only gave Joshua each step. Joshua had the choice to obey – he had a choice to surrender and trust, and he did! Without knowing the how or what of anything, Joshua stepped up.

The first several chapters of Joshua are laced with steps. In chapter one, God told Joshua that he must obey and follow after me before any next step can happen. Joshua agreed. God then told Joshua to order the officers to tell the people that they were to pack up and get ready to leave in three days. He had no other information than that. He just said okay.

God then gave instruction on how to advance and the exact order that needed to play out. No other explanation. Joshua obeyed.

In chapter two, Joshua sent spies into Jericho to scope it out. He waited days to hear the report. Joshua did not move until they returned.

Chapter three, Joshua is given one step at a time to cross the Jordan. Everyone was to wait three days and followed the instructions to only go when they saw the Ark of the Covenant pass by. Not before then. Why not? Joshua did not ask.

Chapter four, all pass through the Jordan on dry land unharmed. Twelve Israelites representing the twelve tribes obeyed Joshua as he commanded them to gather twelve stones as a reminder of what God had done for them.

No one moved without the command of Joshua. Joshua did not move without the command of the Lord.

One step at a time. No more. No less. That was the necessary enough.

One step takes courage and risk. One step takes surrender and obedience. One step at a time crosses Jordan’s and conquers nations.

I am learning to surrender to my steps.

What one step are you taking today?

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I hear people say the phrase, “God told me…” a lot. “God told me to” is often used as an explanation for why people do the things they do and make the decisions they make. Sometimes there are no real words to explain the “why” for you other than, “well, I felt like God was….”

What does God’s voice sound like? What does it really mean when someone uses a phrase like that?

A phrase like that sounds crazy to a person who does not have a relationship with the Lord. Brows become furrowed and and faces contort trying to figure out what that really means.

For those who believe, Jesus stated that “his sheep would know his voice.” So what does God’s voice sound like? How do you know it’s him?

I have three questions I ask myself when it comes to hearing from him. Hopefully they will help you as you learn to hear from him.

How am I wired?

This question has everything to do with our personalities. One key question to answer for yourself is whether or not you are a dominant thinker of feeler? Do you process by facts instead of hearing between the lines?

I am a feeler. I feel deeply about everything. This is also linked to discernment for me. I tend to hear what is not being said more than what is. That means something.  When things feel off that means something for me. God motivates me through emotions of restlessness and frustration. I know our feelings can be deceiving, but they are also telling. I hear God by feeling deeply the stories and characters I am reading about in scripture. I know his voice of grace, because I really know what his grace feels like.

What am I drawn to?

What our hearts and passions are drawn to matter in a huge way. God speaks through the things we love. He has wired us uniquely to do something.

I will never be great at administration at all. I actually hate it! Nothing about that job stirs my heart in anyway. However, get me in a crowd of people talking about hard life topics and truth…I’m IN! That means something. That is vision defining for my life. What we are drawn to means everything. Our passions are his voice in and through us.

How do I receive in my life? What gets into my heart?

How do you hear things like love, truth, and respect? How would you answer the question of knowing your loved? How do you receive?

These are huge questions to recognizing God’s voice in your life. Finding the answers to these questions builds a huge bridge between his voice and your heart.

I am still learning this one about myself. I am not good at receiving. This puts a wall up between God’s voice and my heart. How I answer these questions is making all the difference to knowing him more.

Our personalities are wired uniquely to hear him. Our passions and the drawing of our hearts means so much. How we really receive is huge to hearing from him.

Try out some of these questions and see what happens. Would love to know if you start to hear from him more as you get to know yourself more.  

How do you hear from him? How do you recognize his voice?


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I would consider myself to be a big dreamer. I am a big picture thinker, and have always struggled with breaking down my dreams into something with form.

I have realized that there is a big difference between dreaming and having vision. Dreams are the glimpses of something  your heart wants. Dreaming gives voice to something that would be nice to do or accomplish.

Vision is the process that gives our dreams form and steps.

I have been camped out in Andy Stanley’s book called, “Visioneering.” He does an amazing job at breaking down what vision is, as well as, how to think through the steps of a vision.

I am still fumbling around turning my dream into a vision, but wanted to share Andy’s process of turning dreams into vision. Hopefully it will help you get your dreams started!

The point of vision:

The point of vision is to start giving your everyday life more meaning. I am currently sitting in a job that is far from resembling anything about the dreams that I have. It has been amazing to think through my vision. It changes the perspective of the mundane and seemingly “meaningless things in my day”. Vision ignites movement.


Passion is the emotion behind our visions.” Passion is what drives our dreams to vision. Have you ever heard someone talk about something they are excited about, or believe in strongly? There is some serious passion behind their words. I LOVE listening to people who are passionate about their dreams. I think passion provides the hope for our vision. Passion gives us glimpses of what our dreams would feel like. It’s awesome!


A person with vision is motivated.” People, who have a clear vision for what they want to do, make it happen. I have heard people be described as driven. It is very true that people who have vision and passion will begin running in the direction of making it happen.

Motivation gives us the why behind our vision. Motivation starts to make meaningless things in our day more meaningful. The mundane parts of life start to fade when motivation is present.


Vision sets the course for our actions and decisions. Vision needs direction to arrive at a destination. Direction looks like lifestyle changes that might need to be made in order for vision to happen. Vision provides structure for our decisions.

After having thought through drafts of vision, I can see directions and steps I want to take. These are some scary new steps, but exciting because I can feel passion and see direction. It’s so fun!

God has wired everyone for something unique and specific. No two dreams are the same. No two visions will be either. Some might sound a like, but God has something just for you to do. Once we risk to find out what that is, you will be amazed at what follows!

 What does your vision look like? What are you doing with it?

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Ever had those times where you realized that where you are is not where you need to be? I have had a lot of these moments when taking on big mountains in Colorado.

Colorado has mountains called 14’ers, where the summit of the mountain sits 14,000 feet above sea level. Hiking 14’ers gets in my soul. It takes all day to hike to the summit of one of these mountains. The terrain is rigorous and unpredictable. The hike is hard with challenges at every turn. But the view is something I cannot even describe. I have never known another view to physically take my breath away and bring tears to my eyes. Summitting a 14’er never fails to stop me in heavenly awe.

These mountains also come with what is called “false summits.” False summits are just that, false. Being that high above sea level it is hard to gauge what is the “top.” There are plenty of high up places along the hike that can be disguised as the top, but they are far from it. There is nothing like reaching a false summit, cheering for the top, and another passing hiker points upward and says, “that’s actually the top.” Dangit!!

Life is filled with false summits. These are the places where we feel like we have “arrived.” False summits seduce us with victory and the exhale of finishing what we set out to do. False summits seem so great until God comes along, points upward and says, “that’s actually where we are going.”

Lately, I have been spending a lot time just reading scripture. I have read story after story of false summits. There are so many times where difference characters think that they have “arrived” to what God has led them to do, only to realize God was still pointing.

I have realized that in this world, we strive to obtain the top job. With a world view,  you can actually get there, but with God there is no top job. Even if we obtain the dream job or top position, God is still the real top we want to summit.

God has a plan promised for everyone. We are all wired to “do”something. God cares about cultivating our character to get more than what the job is. With God there is no “arriving.” We will always need to depend on him no matter what we are doing or where we are going. Our character is always being developed to be the person he wired us to be. God is always working on our faith and character more than our achievements and end result.

This week, I am going to talk about a couple of people who’s story illustrate the heart of cultivating character.

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