Do You Have The Courage To Dream?

by Alexandra Tresch

Think back to when you were a child. Do you remember your childhood dreams? All 5-year-olds know how to dream, just ask one!

126f02624c3cb224d68ce12c9363ca57You know the typical fantasies: dreams of becoming a firefighter, princess, doctor, superhero, astronaut, ship captain, artist or rock star. I wanted to be a veterinarian.
I have always loved animals and wanted to help them, so when I was a child I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian. All throughout school I maintained stellar grades, knew the scholarships I was going to apply for, and knew what college and grad school I was going to graduate from. I had my whole life planned out and was on track. My plan and dream was going well and on course…until my Sophomore year of highschool. It was at this time that I enrolled in a Career Placement Program, and was thrilled to be paired up with a local animal hospital. It was also at this time that I realized there were specific duties and responsibilities required of veterinarians that I wouldn’t be able to handle on a regular basis. I felt as though my heart and soul were crushed. Can you relate?

It takes courage to dream, as there is always the possibility of disappointment. Fear, uncertainty and failure can all be difficult and crippling. Maybe you will be told that your dreams are silly, that you aren’t smart enough, or that you’ll never make it. There’s a chance that a whole life planned out can come crashing down before you.

It takes courage to dream, as the danger in not dreaming is we run the risk of not fulfilling our potential. Those with courage continue to dream. It takes courage because the danger in not dreaming is we run the risk of not fulfilling our potential. I want you to let that sink in for a moment.

Often times, we dream dreams that we think are reachable and attainable. We tend to lean towards what we know and see. We can get comfortable and settle for mediocrity, or give up on our dreams all together. As a Daughter of The Almighty, you need to know that you were not created for mediocrity. You were not created to be average. You were not created to settle or give up. You were created for extraordinary things. You were created to be courageous and fearless. You were created to stand out. We have to have courage to dream and step out in faith, knowing that God will see us “through” it.

It takes courage to dream, as God’s dreams for us are beyond our understanding. 

Did I eventually get over my disappointment of not going to vet med school? I sure did! As I got older, I realized that I dreamt ofAlexandra Tresch becoming a veterinarian because it made the most logical sense. I loved animals and wanted to help them, and that’s what veterinarians do. The critical part I missed was that my dream wasn’t to be a veterinarian: love, compassion and servitude was what I was called to do. I had set myself on the path to become a veterinarian because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do.

Since then, my family has rescued and adopted birds and parrots, and are large advocates of pet adoption. I have also volunteered at animal rescues and rehabs. I have had heart- fulfilling experiences of being face-to-face and caring for an injured red-tailed hawk, bottle fed baby opossums, held and spoon fed an orphaned porcupine, and the list goes on. I also met my amazing husband, started a business, and we use our business to reach out and help those in need. These are experiences I never would have had if I had chosen to be defeated. I may have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but God took my heart and ambition and gave me so much more. He has a different dream for me.

God’s dreams for us are beyond our understanding, greater than anything we could ever dream for ourselves! Don’t miss the blessing God has for you around the corner- or right outside your comfort zone. When God gives you a dream, He often makes it SO big there is no chance you can accomplish it—on your own. You aren’t meant to walk alone. I encourage you to dream big and never stop dreaming. I want you to dream so big only God can fulfill it, and be open to God’s dream for you.

A little bit about Alexandra: Alexandra Tresch is an animal lover, health enthusiast and CEO of Fragrant Elegance Soy Candle Company. She is passionate about educating others on how to expand their God given dreams and visions into their businesses. In her free time, she enjoys breakfast with her husband, and snuggling with her pet bird. She also enjoys attending Christian Womens Conferences like Women of the Word. She can be contacted at ATresch@FragrantElegance.com or at www.FragrantElegance.com 

 

An Appeal to Heaven

by Dr. Lynn Lucas

Genesis 22 starts with “after these things, God tested Abraham.” So what are “these things” referred to in verse 1? In Genesis 21:33 Abraham plants what the King James version declares is a “grove of trees in the wilderness,” and declares he has come to know that God is the Everlasting God. In the original language Everlasting God actually should be translated “God is the Self Existent Life Giver,” Who Was Before Time, and IS After Time, Who therefore Walks with You Through Time. God was declaring to Abraham that as the Everlasting God, He will never say that something will happen unless it will happen. This revelation empowered Abraham’s faith so that he could pass the test when God told him to sacrifice Isaac. He could say with confidence to those servants with him “the lad and I will go yonder and worship and will return to you” (v.5). He expected to return with Isaac because God had made the covenant that depended on the birth and life of Isaac. Hebrews 11:19 says that Abraham expected God to raise up Isaac from the ashes AND RETURN HIM TO ABRAHAM.

We, therefore, should realize that the God who walks with us through time is the One Who already knows how things will end. He makes promises and gives us words based on the things He sees as completed. Jonah’s conversation with God in Jonah 4:1-3 is a practical example of this truth. Paraphrasing Jonah’s words to God, Jonah said, “I told you that you would cause me to be a success, and there would be a great revival here. That is why I went to Tarshish. They are our enemy, and I did not want them saved.” Jonah knew he would be a success before he started out because God had given him the job and hadn’t warnd him, as He had other prophets, that the mission would not succeed.

 A practical example from our country’s history occurred during the Revolutionary War when General Washington looked at his situation and said, “We are outmanned, outgunned, and out-supplied, and our country can never be independent and become what it was founded to be unless we win this war, so our only hope is an APPEAL TO HEAVEN.” He then commissioned his top aide to create an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, imagesa very simple flag with a tall evergreen tree on an all-white background highlighting the words “Appeal to Heaven.” That flag few over every American fort, every American ship and every American troop who marched into war as a reminder that as we Appeal to Heaven, God will change the outcome. God has promised and what He has promised and planned, comes to pass in and through our lives.

Since we know that the foundation of our country was based on biblical principles, we should not find it strange that the story of Abraham explains the design of Washington’s “Appeal to Heaven” flag. The Hebrew language clarifies the reference in Genesis telling us that Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at the well of the sevenfold oath. The tamarisk is one of the few trees that can thrive in an arid place. There are two types of tamarisk trees: one growing 10 to 15 feet tall, the other 20 to 30 feet. The Bible also indicates that he did not plant a grove, but a single tree. The tamarisk is an evergreen tree that produces a small white flower. People called this flower manna, long before God provided manna in the wilderness. Abraham marked the seven clauses of the covenant God made with him, some fulfilled and some not, by planting an evergreen tree, which would draw people in an arid place to a well of refreshing water. He planted it as a reminder to generations to come that the God Who Was Before Time is the God Who is After Time; therefore, He is the God Who Walks with Us Through Time. As we admit that we are outmanned, outgunned, and out-resourced, God intervenes and miracles happen when we make our Appeal to Heaven.

Click here to hear an audio discussion on this topic. 

img_lucasDr. Lynn Lucas holds doctorates in Theology and Ministry. She is the Senior Pastor of Fountainhead Congregation on Long Island. Her congregation has witnessed the miraculous as they have stepped out in faith to do what God has commissioned them to do in reaching the hurting and lost. Dr. Lucas is a regular speaker at Women of the Word, a Christian womens conference ministry.