John George Brown
Heroes of every kind are needed in our culture today. Those who would be courageous to bring God's kingdom principles to bare in all realms of life: government, medicine, education, the arts, business. Leaders who own integrity every day in their lives, but whose vision causes them to serve others to bear in bringing righteous into their arenas.
Yet, heroes are shaped by the input they receive into their souls. Mamas are so busy with chores, school, feeding and clothing children, that often this powerful influence is lost in her home. Yet, Davids, Daniels, Abrahams, Josephs, Eshters, Marys are common folk that God used to bring His miracles of salvation and provision into their lifetimes.
At my age, I can see how many ways God drew Clay and me to become world changers. And as we risked in order to start a publishing house, to start mom's conferences, to write books and to homeschool and train our children to become leaders in their life times, it came from dreaming for God's Kingdom to live through our lives.
Mamas have great ability to shape their children into world changers. But it starts with capturing the hearts of children who were made to see the miracles of God in and through their own lives.
Dare to Dream and Nurture other Dreamers
Ten years old marked a time of dramatic change in my life. Living in the same town, going to the same church, swimming in the summers at the same pool and going to the same school had provided a kind of sweet stability for my young life. I had a sense that we knew a lot of people and that my mom and dad, and all of us were well-liked.
We had a "place" in our community that gave rhythm to life. But, in the Spring time of that year, my father, who was an executive with IBM, was asked to move to Houston. This was my first experience of moving and having to start life and reputation and friendships all over again. Yet, for me, Houston provided another dramatic change.
It was the beginning of an onslaught of pneumonia-- which would attack my body four times in the next year. I had been born about two months premature and respiratory problems and asthma had followed me most of my life, but this pneumonia thing, with hospitalizations and oxygen tents, was all new. I am sure, looking back, that it must have been a time in my parents lives, that was quite stressful. After just four months in Houston, they requested a transfer to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the air would be drier and they thought I would be healthier.
The funny thing is, though, I remember my illness with pleasure. Perhaps since everyone thought I was going to die, I got more attention. I received presents and cards. Yet, one of my favorite memories, as I might have mentioned before, was lying in my four poster bed, looking out the bay window at a forest of trees and reading, reading, reading.
It was the first time I discovered, "The Childhood of Famous Americans." I read book after book of people who, in some way, became a hero. There were men and women who disciplined themselves to become great athletes, doctors and nurses, war heroes,--it didn't really matter what their story entailed, but each one brought to my heart a sense of accomplishment--of people who lived a purposeful life and made an impact on their world. These stories excited me and brought me great pleasure--I wanted to do make something of myself. I began, then, to dream about what I could accomplish. I didn't want to just let life drive me through the routines, I wanted to mount up in my life and contribute something big, somehow, someway.
The next time I remember feeling this burning excitement in my heart, was when I was in college. I had committed my life to Christ and was in a leadership group and was being personally discipled by a sweet young woman named Hope. She would meet with me and talk about scripture and pray with me.
She would often say, "Sally, I wonder what great things God has in store for you. You have such a gift of communication and encouragement and such a grasp on scripture. I know God is going to use you to change the world. Dream big!"
Perhaps these words were what led me to choosing a path where I would be privileged to be a part of a ministry through which the Lord would use me in the lives of others. I am not sure, but I know that when she said these life-giving words, it stirred in my heart and made me want to live up to her expectations. It excited me to be a part of God's miraculous work. I look back now on passages like the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, and I, too, wanted to be one of those who sought and knew God and loved Him in such a way that my life would make a difference in this world.
Part 2 Tomorrow--how are you shaping God-sized dreams in the hearts of your children?
What has given you a vision for yourself--living God-sized dreams?