Letting Hope Sprout
Life can be hard. I’ve learned the hard way that the circumstances of life have a way of bulldozing our hearts down to the point where we don’t want to get up anymore.
But I’ve also learned the power of hope. It was after a season of my life where the proverbial bulldozers of life had taken multiple runs at me and I was facedown in the dirt, pinned down by depression and confusion that I finally recovered the power of hope.
I used to think that hope was something that was conjured up. I thought that by clenching my teeth and trying hard to be positive that I would feel hopeful in dire situations. But hope is not something you strive to attain. Hope is something that grows as you steward the God-given dreams that you already have in your heart. Yes, faith, hope, and love are choices, but at the same time they are not things that we can conjure up on our own accord. They sprout to life as we steward what God has already given us. Hope is the joyful expectancy of what God is about to do. That means that unless you have something you are joyfully expectant for God to pull off in your life, hope will not sprout up. In other words, in order to have hope you first have to dream. Ask yourself what you are excited about in life; what you are looking forward to God doing. It can be small or big, possible or impossible, spiritual or unspiritual. Then, you have to give an honest answer. For some people, this is very hard to do. This can be a scary endeavor because we can feel that if we admit our dreams, there is then the chance that they may not come to pass and thus, more letdown. This is the risk of hope. Hope comes to us and asks “Will you dream again with God?” If our answer is no, Hope gently waits along our side until we are ready to take the plunge into the bliss of what could be if we ask, think, and imagine.
It takes dreams to have hope. What are you joyfully expectant of God to pull off in your life? What are the things that you really care about happening in your life? This is the place where hope, vision, and strength is grown and birthed. If you can let hope sprout, it isn’t long before it becomes an oak of righteousness that you can rest and take shelter under.
Below I shared my life goals and dreams. Can I suggest that you take some time and make your own list of life dreams/goals? What do you want to do in your life? If you don’t decide, someone else will decide for you.
Psalm 57 says, “God will accomplish all things for you.” Take your dreams to God and watch Him make them come to pass. It is that simple.
Throw a huge crusade in a 3rd world nation: I have spoke to crowds of thousands of people, but I would love to see hundreds of thousands of people entering into the Presence of God at the same time. I am excited to see thousands of people receive Jesus and thousands healed in just one night.
See hundreds raised from the dead: Pretty self explanatory.
Be invited to Ni'ihau: “The Forbidden Island” southwest of Kauai.
Own a house in Hawaii: Hawaii is the place in the world where I come alive most. I love the culture, the land, the people, and everything else. I used to go there with my dad and it is a place where I remember him when I am there. It is the only place in the world I have felt the feeling of “home” apart from when my family and I are in a dogpile in our livingroom.
Ride a hammerhead shark: I have dealt with a phobia of sharks all my life (sharks and needles are my kryptonite). Then 4 years ago I was scuba diving in Hawaii and swam past a cave. I saw that there was a shark inside. Something that I did not understand happened next: I suddenly swam straight into the cave as if possessed by some spirit of Jacques Cousteau mixed with a healthy dose of William Wallace. I don’t think I was being suicidal…I think I was tired of fear ruling a part of my life…ANY part of my life. I swam up to the shark, he advanced, and I stood my ground. At one point the shark’s face was less than two feet from my own. I felt absolutely no fear at all. The shark gave me no feeling of threat at all. I reached up to try to touch him and he swam off. It was amazing, beautiful, and quite a rush. I saw a video of a guy a few years ago luring a hammerhead close enough to him where he could grab his dorsal fin. Then he rode him. HE RODE A SHARK. From that moment on, I knew that someday I would ride a shark.
Face to face encounter with Jesus: I have been to heaven numerous times. It is wonderful. I would love to have Jesus step into this realm and just talk together. This, above all else, is my greatest life desire.
Eat every exotic fruit in the world: I’m doing well on this one. There aren’t many fruits that I have heard of that I haven’t tried. The crazy thing is everytime I am in a new country, I discover more wild fruits. The last one that I tried was a incredibly hard “woodapple” in Sri Lanka and before that was a fruit that looked like a stick in Peru. When you broke it open there were large seeds wrapped in a cotton-like substance. When you ate it, it was unmistakably like eating cotton candy, but better. Thank you God for making cotton candy before we did. Yours is healthy; ours is like eating insulation drenched in high-fructose corn syrup.
Drive a Bugatti Veyron: Yep. Any person that watches Top Gear gets this.
Land an accurate mile long shot with a Barrett .50: Because it is a Barrett. And because it is a mile.
Be faithful to God & ministry for life: I meet people that have been faithful to both for 40 years. That blows my mind. I want to be like that.
Raise a family that loves each other: I want a family that actually enjoys being with each other. My own family kind of fell apart when my dad died. We still like each other, but we have no idea how to unite over something and execute things together. I would love to raise a family who are also best friends. Maybe idealistic, but my wife’s family is pulling it off quite well.
Scuba dive The Great Barrier Reef: Self explanatory.
Stay at the Grand Waileia: When we go to Maui we literally walk around this place for fun because it is so amazing. So staying there for even just one night made the list.
Write The Good Book: I can’t really talk about this one. It is too private and too big of a deal to my heart. You will hear about it someday though!
Own a Barrett M82a1: So I don’t just want to land the mile long shot, but own the gun too. If the government ever falls apart, you know whose house to come to.
Be a good dad: Obvious, but many dads don’t put this one on the list. I mess up ALL THE TIME as a dad, but I still want to pull this off. I would love for my kids to actually like me when they are 20 years old. What a concept.
Help Christine walk out her dreams: Christine loves using her brain, more specifically, medically. She is brilliant. She believes that science is the study of how God does things. She actually feels God’s presence when she reads a three inch thick medical textbook. If that isn’t miraculous, I don’t know what is. I am helping her right now by watching the kids and setting aside the stuff I need to do while she is at school to eventually become a nurse doctor. It feels good to give up my life for her. She does the same thing for me all the time.
Live long: If men lived to be 400, 500, even 969 years old in the Old Covenant and Paul describes the New Covenant as a “more glorious covenant” then 115 years is far too short of a life to live. I am aiming for much, much more.
Buy houses for my kids: This gives kids such a huge head start in life. I would love to give my kids every advantage to succeed that I can.
Stay at The Poseidon: An underwater hotel. It is very expensive to stay there. But dreams don’t take into consideration how much something costs in order to be a valid dream.
Abundant finances: The inheritance of every believer. Our Daddy owns it all anyways.
Publish a fiction: We have self published our fictions, but I want to go more wide scale with a big publisher. With a little help I believe that the fictions I wrote can become wildly popular.
Go to India: We pulled this one off in 2014. It was a dream of my wife’s for 17 years. It felt really good to see it through. We will be going back every year until we hear otherwise.
Swim with dolphins in the wild: In 2011 I was on a large boat that was cruising along when suddenly a group of dolphins came up beside our boat. I grabbed my mask and just jumped off the boat. The captain saw me do it and told others they could follow. By the time they got into the water the dolphins had already passed, but they had swam right below me as I watched. It was breathtaking.
Go to the Amazon rainforest: Got to go to Peru lately and my friend Michael led me and some friends out into the rainforest. It was everything I had wished for. At night it was so loud due to the animals and insects that it was hard to sleep. Eerily beautiful.
Become best selling author: Our first book, “Stories of the Supernatural” made it to Amazon’s #1 in early 2014. It was a surprise and a delight. I have amended this life goal and added the word “again” to the end of the sentence. We always need to be moving forward and dreaming more.
That’s it! Thanks for reading about my life dreams. I hope they inspired you to dream as well.