From God-Given to God-Driven: Reclaiming Your Dreams and Fulfilling Your Life

From God-Given to God-Driven: Reclaiming Your Dreams and Fulfilling Your Life


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757301742
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

John Byrne is a best-selling cartoonist, comedian, and comedy writer with over 40 books in print in the U.K. He is the resident cartoonist on Nickelodeon TV (in the UK), drawing live and unscripted with art materials such as sausages and toothbrushes. His live show is much in demand by organizations all over the world. John has been a dedicated and active Christian his entire life, but this is his first book for the Christian market.

Carole Pyke is a marketing and personal development expert from South East London who takes her role as communicator seriously, and her delight comes from encouraging people to enjoy life and make the most of their skills and abilities. She firmly believes that if we would only get out of the way, our lives would be more fulfilling and rewarding. She holds a bachelor of arts in communications with marketing, a master's in marketing communication and is a chartered marketer. Her strengths lie in communicating with people from where they are at and in a language they understand. This has been validated by the fact she is described as making God "user-friendly."

She is no stranger to literature, having run a successful book marketing company for five years, working with national and international authors, and creating several large-scale literary events to mark occasions such as International Woman's Day. She has written numerous articles on personal development for a variety of publications including The Voice newspaper, Woman 2 Woman magazine, LV News and various health publications.

Carole is an accomplished presenter and lecturer, and the creator of the popular "motiv-action" workshop that takes a humorous look at the journey through life while establishing action principles. Carole's personal joy in encouraging people is watered by her Christian faith and was planted by her late mother, Olga Pyke. Carole is a church leader at London's Victory Ministries in Streatham.

Candi Staton is a Gospel Singer and star of the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Let's Be Honest with Ourselves . . .

Let's be honest with ourselves; many of us are happily sitting by the roadside at our own spiritual rest stop watching the world pass us by. We constantly rev our spiritual engine by earnestly reading and absorbing the Word and dutifully praying, but somehow that doesn't seem to be enough. If it were, wouldn't we already be living our dreams and not looking for ways to rescue them?

Until we take off the hand brake and put the car into gear by putting all we claim to believe into practice, we're never going to get anywhere. We are never going to fulfill our dreams. Some of us feel we will only ever have small, insignificant dreams and be destined to a life of mediocrity. But surely that's not the purpose for which God created us?

Isn't our mission to go and make disciples of all nations? And what better way to do that than to be all you were created to be and show the world that all things are possible with God as your guide?

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.

Psalm 37:23

Even though I am a show-business life coach and Carole is known for organizing literary events, what we have both discovered as church leaders is that living God-given dreams doesn't require any acting ability or learning of lines, for you or for us. It's not about 'doing' so much as about 'being.'

And 'being' simply means knowing who we are in God's eyes and then operating from that knowledge. Then and only then do we have the passion and the power to dream big and live those big dreams that Candi Staton mentioned in the foreword.

Everything you have learned or experienced over the years up until this point has been necessary for what you are about to do now. No matter what your dream or your situation, this book can help you. In writing it, we have tried to use everything God has shown us about making our own dreams come true and everything we have seen Him do in the lives of the people we work with. So what are you waiting for?

Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

When the Jews needed someone to save them from a terrible slaughter, God had already placed Queen Esther in the right place at the right time. Everything in her life and everything about her was designed to fulfill this purpose. Maybe, like Esther, you have also been created for just 'such a time as this,' and perhaps this book was inspired by God just for you!

Although this is a book about Christian principles, we've seen these principles work in the lives of believers and nonbelievers alike (how can God's principles not work?). We don't know whether you are a new Christian, a longtime Christian, someone of another faith or even someone who wouldn't be caught dead in a church if it was the last place on earth. But whatever your Christian experience, this book will work best if we make sure at this point that we're all 'singing from the same hymn sheet.'

First, let's be clear about exactly what we mean by a dream. When you think of dreams, what image does it conjure up in your mind? Many people think of dreams as the 'movie show' that occurs during our sleeping hours. American Heritage Dictionary defines a dream as 'a series of thoughts, images, ideas and emotions occurring during sleep.' But although we may long for our God-given dream so much we think about it while we are sleeping, our definition of a dream is much more than what happens when we sleep.

To us a dream is this: a strongly desired goal or purpose; an aspiration, something that fully satisfies a wish. Your dream is the ­intention that drives you forward. It is your mission statement, what you want out of your life. It is the desire of your heart.

Do you remember as a child when you dreamed of being a model, a football player, a movie star? How did it feel? Perhaps you have a specific dream right now about your career, your family or just your life in general. Whether it's your childhood dream or one you are experiencing right now, the only factors that have dictated and will dictate whether you are living out your dreams is your application and your belief that it really is possible.

Of course, if somewhere along the line your belief in the possibility of your dream has been attacked, whether by fear or actual events, it may have become harder and harder to apply yourself to reach your goal and manifest your dream.

Another way to talk about God's dream for you is to call it 'God's purpose for your life,' the unique reason for which God created you. This purpose is the reason He gave you, and you alone, the combination of skills and qualities you have within you (even the ones you may not have discovered yet!).

For many dreamers we work with, this quest to follow their dream or purpose has become almost a millstone around their necks. Maybe this is your situation, too. You know you have been created for a greater purpose than the one you are experiencing right now, but try as you might, you have been unable to get a clearer definition of it.

Don't despair. It is important to know you are not alone; most of the people we work with start off in that place. In fact, as we'll be sharing later, we were there ourselves up until recently.

We also want you to know what we discovered to move us on from that space: One of God's greatest desires is for you to step into your dreams and walk in the purpose for which He created you. And He wants to help. All He has been doing is waiting for you to give Him permission to help you, and by reading this book you are doing just that. Now He's going to use our time together to communicate with you directly.

And, yes, we know the claim that God is going to speak directly to you by the time you finish this chapter is a big one. But it's true. Maybe it would be clearer to say that in actual fact God's been speaking to you nonstop on this topic 24/7 since you were very young. He has spoken through Scripture; He has spoken through other people. All of your life experiences have been related to your purpose. Sometimes we are just too busy trying to fulfill our dreams to listen to what God is actually saying.

As we set out to reclaim our dreams, another thing we need to clarify in our minds is the difference between becoming 'childlike' as Jesus suggested and being 'childish.' This difference is important when we are in pursuit of our dreams. Children live in the belief that all things really are possible. The Bible says, 'Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 18:3). But it also says, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things' (1 Cor. 13:11).

So what's the distinction? The word 'childlike' conjures up images of innocence, of trust, of a refusal to think negatively and an unshakable faith that what God has said, He will surely do. 'Childish,' on the other hand, conjures up images of temper tantrums, selfishness and a 'me, me, me' approach to life. Which of these descriptions currently fits you more?

We have all experienced childish qualities in children (irritating) and in adults (even more irritating) . . . and if we're honest, we all know we've sometimes behaved this way ourselves, too. It's certainly true that some of the most childish individuals are found in the boardrooms and back stages of the grown-up world rather than in the kindergarten or the cot.

Another kind of childishness is a point-blank refusal to take any kind of responsibility—the bills need to be paid, the mortgage is overdue, but hey, let's spend $100 on tickets to see our favorite team or go on a credit card spending spree to 'cheer ourselves up.' That's not dreaming—that's creating financial nightmares for the future, and it's certainly not the kind of 'positive thinking' this book supports.

Childishness is often both the cause of, and the result of, settling for small dreams. Just as Abraham and Sarah couldn't wait (or believe) that God would provide them with a child and conspired to produce an Ishmael, childish people can't wait or believe that God will bring into being the dreams He has spoken about, so they take matters into their own hands. To do this they will take any shortcuts, cut any corner and step over anyone who they think is in their way. They want it all, and they want everything now! Carole refers to this as the 'ping-ping generation mentality' where we are expecting all aspects of our lives to operate in the same way as the microwave—instantly.

We may well achieve some temporary success in this way, but as Jesus said, a house built on bad foundations will not weather the storm. As their small dreams fail to satisfy them, childish people will either blame everybody else or withdraw further and further into themselves, in both cases cutting themselves off from anyone who can help them. Believe us, we know.

Having decided to compensate for not being the 'cartoon hero' I wanted to be and ending up simply drawing cartoons instead, I vowed to make myself the best cartoonist in the world. I worked every hour of the day and achieved rapid success—many books published, cartoons in all the top magazines. Not satisfied with the recognition I was getting in print, I launched into comedy writing and performing, producing and managing. Some things I did well, some not so well, but no matter what success I achieved, it never quite satisfied me. Of course, since I had decided it was 'my job' to make it all happen, my only answer to this dissatisfaction was to work even harder, at the expense of my marriage, my parenthood and virtually every other aspect of my life.

Then one dark day when I was forced to face up to the realization that no matter how hard I tried, I simply wasn't capable of making my own dreams come true—nor could anyone else do it for me, even if they wanted to—my original 'Bigger Dream' came back into my life in dramatic fashion. No, I didn't get bitten by a radioactive spider. I accepted Jesus into my life as my Lord and Savior.

Kapow! I didn't know it at the time, but I'd just become born again. As I began reading God's Word and praying in the spirit—and as God began to heal my marriage, my family life and my finances, revelation began to come to me. The reason my dreams had never come true in a way that was comfortable and viable was that they were never 'my' dreams in the first place. They were given to me by my Father, and it was his job to make them come true. All I needed to do was wait and be obedient. (I sure wish I could have spoken to Joseph, who knew this vital fact from the beginning— 'And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace' Gen. 41:16.)

In addition to my own work, I'd always had a gift for coaching and mentoring other creative people—writers, artists, actors, musicians—in one-to-one sessions. I had even written several books and hosted many workshops. (Ever found yourself giving great advice to others that absolutely never works for you? Later on, we'll find out why that is!)

Yet although the people I coached would often attain a degree of success very quickly, the success was never sustainable, or if it was, it was at the expense of other areas of their lives. Looking back, all I was doing was trying to make other people do well so I would feel good. Small dreams are selfish dreams that begin and end with 'me,' and all I ended up doing was multiplying my small dreams in other people.

Just as Jesus taught me that it wasn't entirely up to me to make my dreams come true, I learned that it wasn't my job to make other people's dreams come true either. Instead, what I could do was communicate the blessings that came into my own life after my dreams and gifts were transformed from being not just God-given but God-driven. And that's what I've been doing ever since.

For Carole the path was a different one, but the end destination was the same. She shares, 'I realized that knowing God had a plan for me, reading His word and learning about the experiences of others was not enough. (I even bought a book called Bad Girls of the Bible to help me.) Frankly, I felt stuck. It was only when I chose to let go and let God take control that amazing things started to happen, and the dream I thought was dead and buried was in fact alive and well, and I could clearly see the pathway that God had illuminated for me. All the experiences that I thought were small and insignificant were part of God's master plan and just stepping-stones to where God had planned and purposed me to be. God's dream for each of us is not only bigger than we think; it is intended to bless a lot more people than just ourselves.'

Now that you have a better understanding of what we mean by dreams, close your eyes and imagine: What would you be doing if you had all the tools you needed to make your dream happen? If we told you the answer was a simple one, would you believe us? Well, we are going to tell you the answer anyway. The answer is simply 'knowing who you are.' But do you know who you are? No, we don't mean the standard religious answer Christians give to explain their connection with Christ and God; we mean who you really are.

Are you not the child of a King? If you are ready to claim your birthright, let the journey begin, because now is the time to act that way. The route to this understanding and inner knowledge could not be easier, and God has provided you with everything you need to make that exciting discovery and enjoy your journey.

You are a mighty (wo)man-child of God, born to live big dreams. What's more, your dreams are not just about you. Your dreams are God-given, and living those dreams will affect all those around you and more. Your dreams are a visual sign that you are a true child of the living God. So are you ready? Fasten your seat belt, because you are about to begin the most important journey of your life—you are about to rescue your dreams so you can live your powerful future.

©2008.John M. Byrne, Carole D. Pyke. All rights reserved. Reprinted from From God-Given to God-Driven. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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