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Bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson shows how to identify and overcome the obstacles that keep millions from living the life they were created for. He begins with a compelling modern-day parable about Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. With the help of the Dream Giver, Ordinary begins the hardest and most rewarding journey of his life. Wilkinson gives readers practical, biblical keys to fulfilling their own dream, revealing that there's no limit to what God can accomplish ...
Bestselling author Bruce Wilkinson shows how to identify and overcome the obstacles that keep millions from living the life they were created for. He begins with a compelling modern-day parable about Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream. With the help of the Dream Giver, Ordinary begins the hardest and most rewarding journey of his life. Wilkinson gives readers practical, biblical keys to fulfilling their own dream, revealing that there's no limit to what God can accomplish when we choose to pursue the dreams He gives us for His honor.
Are you living your dream— or just living your life?
Welcome to a little story about a very big idea. This compelling modern-day parable tells the story of Ordinary, who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream.
You, too, have been given a Big Dream. One that can change your life. One that the Dream Giver wants you to achieve. Does your Big Dream seem hopelessly out of reach? Are you waiting for something or someone to make your dream happen?
Then you’re ready for The Dream Giver.
Let Bruce Wilkinson show you how to rise above the ordinary, conquer your fears, and overcome the obstacles that keep you from living your Big Dream.
You were made for this. Now it’s time to begin your journey.
C h a p t e r O n e
Ordinary Embraces His Big Dream
Not long ago and not far away, a Nobody named Ordinary lived in the Land of Familiar.
Every day was pretty much the same for Ordinary. In the mornings he got up and went to his Usual Job. After work, he ate almost the same dinner he'd eaten the evening before. Then he sat in his recliner and watched the box that mesmerized most Nobodies on most nights.
Sometimes, Best Friend came over to join Ordinary in front of the box. Sometimes, Ordinary went to his Parents' and they watched together. For the most part, not much happened in Familiar that hadn't happened before. Ordinary thought he was content. He found the routines reliable. He blended in with the crowd. And mostly, he wanted only what he had.
Until the day Ordinary noticed a small, nagging feeling that something big was missing from his life. Or maybe the feeling was that he was missing from something big. He wasn't sure.
The little feeling grew. And even though Nobodies in Familiar didn't generally expect the unexpected, Ordinary began to wish for it.
Time passed. Then one morning Ordinary woke up with these words echoing in his mind: What you're missing, you already have…
Could it be? Ordinary looked and looked. And then he discovered that in a small corner of his heart lay a Big Dream. The Big Dream told him that he, a Nobody, was made to be a Somebody and destined to achieve Great Things.
Jumping out of bed, Ordinary discovered something else—a long white feather resting on the sill of his window. Where did it come from? What did it mean? With a jolt of excitement, Ordinary decided he'd been visited by the Dream Giver.
Now, Ordinary had heard rumors of various Nobodies in Familiar waking up to a Big Dream. But he had never imagined that it could happen to him.
He rushed to get dressed, his Big Dream beating brightly in his chest. He couldn't wait to get to his Usual Job and tell Best Friend the news.
But on his way to work, Ordinary realized he had a problem. His Big Dream was too big for a Nobody like Ordinary. He would be embarrassed to tell anyone. Even Best Friend would probably laugh.
Still, Ordinary was too excited to keep his dream to himself. As soon as he saw Best Friend, he blurted out the news: "The Dream Giver gave me a Big Dream! I was made to be a Somebody and destined to achieve Great Things!"
Best Friend looked surprised, but he didn't laugh. "That's very…big," he said. "But if I were you, I wouldn't talk about this Dream of yours too much. Nobodies around here might take you for a fool."
Ordinary didn't want to look like a fool. So after that he kept his Big Dream to himself.
Day after day, Ordinary showed up at his Usual Job. But while he worked, he thought about his Dream. He thought about how wonderful it would be to do what he loved to do instead of just dreaming about it.
Ordinary's longing for his Big Dream grew and grew, until finally he realized that he'd never be happy unless he could pursue it. Why didn't the Dream Giver make it possible?
If the Dream Giver didn't, how could Ordinary ever leave Familiar? He had payments and expenses. He had regular duties. A lot of Nobodies counted on him for a lot of things.
Ordinary felt completely stuck. Time passed, but nothing changed.
He began to hate his Usual Job. This isn't what I was made to do, he'd say to himself. I just know it!
After a while, he began to worry that maybe he hadn't received a Big Dream after all. Maybe he'd just made it all up.
And he grew sadder by the day.
One evening after work, Ordinary went to his Parents' to watch the box. But their box was broken, so the house was very quiet. It was even more quiet because his Mother was out shopping at Familiar Foods.
In the quietness, Ordinary started to think about his Dream again. He looked over at his Father sitting in his recliner, staring at the single page of Nobody's News. Maybe he could help.
"Father," said Ordinary, "I'm growing sadder by the day. I don't like my Usual Job anymore. In fact, I think I hate it."
Father looked up. "That's terrible!" he said. "What happened?"
Before he could stop himself, Ordinary started talking about the Dream Giver, and about his Big Dream. "I was made to be a Somebody and achieve Great Things!" he said. And then he told his Father the Name of his Dream. As he spoke, his voice trembled. He was sure that his Father would laugh or call him a fool.
But his Father didn't. "I'm not surprised to hear you say these things," he said.
"You're not?" said Ordinary.
"No," his Father said. "You've had that Dream ever since you were little. Don't you remember? You used to build that same dream with sticks and mud in front of this very house."
Then Ordinary did remember. He'd always had his Dream! It was what he'd always wanted to do, and what he'd always thought he'd be good at doing. His eyes filled with tears. "Father," he said, "I think I was born to do this."
Ordinary and his Father sat together quietly. His Father seemed to be remembering something, too. After a while he asked, "When you woke up to your Big Dream, Son,
did you happen to find…a feather?"
Ordinary was shocked. "How did you know?" he asked.
"A long time ago, I woke up to a Dream, too," his Father said. "And it came with a long white feather. It was a wonderful Dream. I kept the feather on my windowsill while I waited for a chance to pursue it. I waited and waited. But it never seemed possible… One day I noticed the feather had turned to dust."
Of all the sad words Ordinary had ever heard, these were the saddest.
Before he left that night, his Father hugged him. "Don't make the same mistake I did, Son," he said. "You don't have to stay a Nobody. You can be a Dreamer!"
When Ordinary got home, he went straight to the window and picked up the long white feather. He turned it over carefully in his hands. He thought about his Father and the Dream he'd left behind.
Then he had a surprising idea. Could it be that maybe the Dream Giver gave every Nobody a Dream, but only some embraced their dreams? And even fewer pursued them?
The more he thought about it, the more he thought it had to be true.
One thing Ordinary did know for sure: He didn't want to repeat his Father's mistake. He wouldn't waste another day waiting for his Dream to seem possible. He would find a way to pursue it.
Time passed. Ordinary worked hard on his plan to begin his Dream. He made hard choices. He made difficult changes. He even made big sacrifices.
Finally, one morning, he was ready.
Ordinary ran all the way to his Usual Job, his Dream pounding hard in his chest. As soon as he saw Best Friend, Ordinary blurted out the news: "That Big Dream I told you about—I've decided to pursue it!"
Best Friend looked concerned. "You know as well as I do that Nobodies who pursue their Dreams leave Familiar," he said. "They set off like fools into the Unknown, in search of a place where—"
"Yes, yes, I know," Ordinary broke in, "and I can't wait to get started!"
"But Ordinary, that journey is anything but sensible or safe. Why leave Familiar? It's so comfortable here. And besides, you've always lived here."
"I've thought about all that, too," said Ordinary. "But my Big Dream is too important and too wonderful to miss."
Best Friend shook his head. "So you're going to become a Dreamer," he said.
"I am a Dreamer!" answered Ordinary. "Today I'm going to tell my Boss that I'm leaving my Usual Job. Tomorrow I will begin my journey. Hey, Best Friend," added Ordinary eagerly, "you can have my recliner and my box!"
And with that, Ordinary walked away, humming a tune that he'd never heard before.
The night before he left Familiar…
Ordinary decided to use the long white feather to help him remember the Truth. He pulled out a notebook and wrote "My Dream Journal" on the cover. Then he dipped the quill in permanent ink, and wrote on the first page:
• The Dream Giver gave me a Big Dream before I was even born. I just finally woke up to it!
•My Dream is what I do best and what I most love to do. How could I have missed it for so long?
• I had to sacrifice and make big changes to pursue my Dream. But it will be worth it.
• It makes me sad to think that so many Nobodies are missing something so Big.
Posted May 11, 2009
This book is absoultely wonderful!!! It is encouraging and inspiring to anyone who does not wish to remain ordinary and lost in the shadows of life. It is helping me to move closer to my goals so that I can have an impact on others around me.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 13, 2005
If you find yourse0lf daydreaming about a bigger and better LIFE, then you don't need to hesitate to get this book. The Dream Giver spoke directly to my life. Because of this book, I decided to leave South Carolina and the life I've always known, my mom has always known and my Grandma had always known and, move to NYC to pursue my dreams. I have always drempt of becoming a model and owning my on enterprise as an entrepreneur, and by the power that God has put in me, I'm not going to stop until I am living my dream. I refuse to punch someone's clock or work in a plant my whole life like I saw my family memebers do. Since I don't read a lot, at first I thought, Okay, how is a book going to be influential enough to change my life. But after I started reading and heard the voice of God speaking through the author, I was amazed at the way it impacted me. This is a book for everyone, young and old, believers and non believers. GET IT! You will truly be changed.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2014
Posted June 25, 2013
Posted June 22, 2013
Fantastic. It was part of the materials that helped me achieved my goal. Today, I have a PhD in Civil Engineering working as an expatriate.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2012
Posted April 29, 2008
I loved this book. I literally felt like it was written for me. It's brought me to a new point in my life and I truly believe that there is a plan for us. We need to step out of our comfort zones and go after our dream.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 25, 2006
This book forever changed my life! I always knew I was destined for greatness. Long ago, when I was a little girl, God planted a seed, a big dream for me to help many people in need and become an individual with a servant's heart. As life takes its toll on a person, we sometimes can forget our dream, or think we are not important enough to accomplish it. I was one of those individuals. But as I began to turn the pages of this incredible book, I remember the dream I had been given as a little girl... to become a great server to many. I now know how to accomplish this dream due to this amazing book!!! A MUST READ!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 28, 2005
If you really want to understand that 'What God has for you is just FOR YOU...then The Dream Giver is a must read (over and over and over)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2005
Posted June 18, 2005
Posted January 29, 2005
I was so encouraged by this book! I had already started on the journey for my dream, and this book helped me understand why I was having such a difficult time, even though God's peace has never left. I am so thankful to my good friend for giving this book to me. Everyone should read this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2004
This book was exactly what my husband and I needed to head toward the dream we feel God has given us. Yes there are border bullies and we are experiencing some of the wasteland but thanks to this wonderful book ..... we know what to expect and we just keep putting one foot in front of the other heading toward our dream which will encourage others and glorify God. I suggest every Nobody read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2004
WOW! This book has instigated several awesome conversations with people. People want to accomplish their dream, its those border bullies, and the wasteland that make going forward so hard. This book has inspired me and my family so much that we started our dream-we are building a company that will fund missionaries and seminary students who need financial assistance. We are also in the process of building a new urgent care in our growing rural community. We never would have started the process if Bruce had not encouraged us to move beyond the border. Furthermore, we started a new small group meeting and will be using the study series. We will be helping so many people accomplish their dream, we are very excited! Praise God, He is Good and His love endures forever!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2004
i just finished reading this book and i have set my goal. he was right when he said that acomplishing your dream would be hard. i have lost one of my best freinds yet my relationship with christ has improved beyond words.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2004
Although this work seemed to have a great idea going for it, I was a bit disappointed in the finished result. Dreams and goals are important to all of us, but life does not allow us to reach all our goals, nor would all our goals necessarily bring us success ( e.g., winning the lottery) if we achieved them. While I enjoyed the authors' use of characterization by way of description (can you say: Pilgrim's Progress'?), I would have enjoyed the lessons a bit more had they used actual Biblical characters, and their lives. If you enjoy such prompts which teach goal-setting, achieving success, dealing with hardships and other 'need to know' (and nice to know) principles for life--or want to give such to a graduate just starting out--this book pales in comparison to works such as 'With Joseph in the University of Adversity' (if you can find it!), or 'The Purpose Driven Life'.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2004
When I came to Christ I asked Him what He wanted me to do with my life & He showed me in a dream. Ironically, it was a busines venture that I was about to call it quits on. But, understanding the revalation of what Christ endured for me I accepted His Vision for my life because when it is fufilled so many will have benefitted because I was faithful to Him. Now, 2 1/2 years later, the death of a parent, the loss of a child and the almost constant fear of rejection and disapproval, I asked Him to do whatever needs to be done within me & get it over with so His vision for my life in spiritual can become a reality in the natural.Can you say, 'Ouch!'? This book puts into words almost everything I have been experiencing and offers not only encouragement but solutions that are simple. Sometimes, we complicate things that are really as easy as 123 with our perfectionism ( like we could ever be perfect enough for God. That's what grace is for.) This book will help anyone whose heart aches for something more out of life but doesn't know where to start and once begun how to handle those things that threaten to crush you and your dreams. I love that this book is so simple yet so profound. I also am so greatful the author himself found the courage to pursue his dream in spite of his fears so that I could be inspired by his work. To God be the glory!I'm going to put this review wherever I can.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2003
Bruce Wilkinson solidified himself as one of the greatest Bible teachers of our time. This book is clearly different and surprising. His use of a story section and then a teaching section was so effective. I have given copies of this book to over 10 people. All have concluded that they needed the push to go after the BIG dream that God has given to each of us.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2003
This book stongly encourages one to pursue hidden dreams and to perservere. It's about overcoming fears and achieving personal fulfillment. This book should come with a warning label, 'Reader will not be able to put this book down!'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 14, 2004
A radio DJ mailed this book to me on the day I resigned from a six figure income to launch www.workingmom.com (a ministry to introduce Working Moms to The Lord)...Bruce Wilkinson has been an incredible 'champion'. This is his best book so far, and the others where phenomenal. God has used this book to provide encouragement...when encouragement is sparse. I learned two invaluable things from this book...the first was I learned to expect 'Border bullies' (and he was right, they came out in full force) Second, that present difficulties (or wilderness experiences) are temporary, ultimately useful and above all, God is in control. Here's the bottom line: GET THIS BOOK for yourself or someone you love. You and those whose lives you touch will be blessed by it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.