- Formulate a dream in the context of God working in their lives.
- Better understand their character to see how God’s plan encompasses their whole life, not just their spiritual life.
- Do the self-assessment required to establish specific goals in pursuing a job interest that is both grounded in their relationship with God and a match for their character.
- Set a plan in place for approaching life planning, resume writing, interviewing, job searching, and other aspects of starting a spiritual, full-life for God and career trajectory .
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About the Author
Phil and Beth Bruns have been engaged Christians for all their adult lives. Phil has successful careers in real estate and construction management. Beth has a successful career in chemical engineering. They design and lead workshops around the country on this topic. They support mentees in self-assessment, self-awareness, and career exploration that enable an intentional plan to write a great resume and deliver a great interview. They actively mentor and coach all ages with Christian perspective regarding life, career choice, and development. They have served in church leadership in the areas of children’s, middle school, and teen ministries. They have also led small groups in married and family ministries with a variety of demographic participants.
Read an Excerpt
DARE TO SOAR
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).
This Isaiah passage is a favorite of many faithful men and women today. It's a Scripture that speaks of God's eternal presence and His unwavering power, and it carries a grace-filled promise for us. These are inspirational words about dreaming in Him. They also call us to go to God, to lean on Him, and to allow Him to change us into people who impact the world. In pursuing God we have hope, and, specifically, hope to dream. In fact, because of Christ, we should be less afraid to dream. We should expect Him to use us and we should desire for Him to do things with our lives that only He can do.
In the introduction, we briefly discussed the transition in Peter's life. Now consider the change in his dreams and goals. Early in his life, before what we read about him in God's Word, what would have been the focal point of Peter's dreams? Did he have hopes for his life? If he did, they most likely changed to a much higher calling anchored in God's grace and for God's purposes. Among many others, we find Jesus calling Peter and the other disciples to go to "all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20), substantially farther than they ever thought to travel before. And just as when Jesus first called him, we see again in John 21:15-23 that his Lord looked Peter in the eyes and personally called him to "follow me!" Both moments came near the end of Jesus' time here on earth, and both were a call to dream, be faithful, and have a life of impact for God's glory.
We'll come back to Isaiah's amazing text further, as well as provide other inspiration in God's Word. But there are contemporary stories of significant accomplishments to consider as well. Let's pause for a moment and look at what it takes for dreams to come true. Let's explore a story of two dreamers from recent history — their efforts and their achievements.
It is a story of two brothers, both early in their careers, who stood on the eastern shore of the United States in the early years of the twentieth century. They had been working on their dream for a few years. For starters, they were consumed with an exhaustive study of birds. Libraries and other resources had been a help to them, but on this day, they watched several species of birds flying around the ocean's edge. A flicker. A pelican. But mostly gulls glided in the stiff ocean breeze or walked on the sandy shore in front of these brothers. They were watching these birds closely, but they were also illustrating them and their corresponding movements.
Because they spent significant time at the ocean's edge over a few years, the brothers built a small shop along the shoreline, a safe distance from the water's edge, but in the middle of their "dream space," which was among the birds. At the shoreline they lived, slept, and worked their dream. With their location on the beach, sand found its way into their workshop and rain leaked through the roof during coastal storms — but still, this space was enough for them. Sometimes one brother would be in the shop, the other outside, or many times they were working together either watching the birds in the sun or inside the shop doing their work. To the casual observer, they always seemed to be busy doing ... something.
Periodically, the locals would stroll by and hear or see them at work. Mostly, they observed the men talking, sketching, or engaged in woodworking, all in service of some sort of project happening inside the shop. Their intention was not to be secretive about their work and dreams, but most locals had no idea what they were doing. They just found the men curious; at times, just plain entertaining.
One day, the stiff breeze gusted inland while the clouds floated overhead against the blue skies. A few coastal residents happened upon the two men. Once again, the two men were observing the birds intently. Although the men were a reasonable distance away, their strange movements caught the residents' attention in a different way.
The taller one had a notebook out and was sketching and writing as he pleased. The other man was seen humorously flapping his arms and hands as if he were a bird! Some thought he was foolishly playing; others felt the pair were just odd. A few snickered. Suddenly, the taller one set his notebook aside and, together, both men engaged in the arm-flapping, hand-waving game, causing more chuckling and even starting rumors. After watching for a few minutes, the locals just shook their heads and went on their way.
The townspeople didn't know or understand the details or purpose of what the two men were doing, and, for the most part, they didn't care. They were blind toward their work and critical of them. In time, though, they continued to observe the men and their persistence, their trial and error, and the determination regarding their work. As still more time passed, it became clear they weren't acting like birds on the beach for mere entertainment; these men were trying to emulate the birds' movement. They were sketching details and illustrations of the birds and their wings and applying what they learned on their project inside the building.
The men were not playing after all. They were dreaming about doing something never done before, about going places never previously explored. They were dreaming of flying. They were brothers from Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright. After a few years of research on the Kitty Hawk, North Carolina shore, including many failures as they trekked their path toward success, the brothers would create the first controlled flight of a machine. Air travel was born.
The amount of effort and clear, focused dreaming can't be overstated. The success of their dream took consuming work over many years. They needed support and help from a few others, including their sister Katherine, who stayed home in Dayton to manage the Wright family affairs. She was a stronghold for the brothers for many years. And while the Wright brothers are better known, Katherine was invaluable to the team for years. Her contributions to their efforts were no less important than Orville's or Wilbur's. In a unique role while the brothers labored in Kitty Hawk, Katherine nearly single-handedly ran the family bicycle shop back in Ohio while serving as a conduit of information for the brothers to their father and the local press, among others. Both a college graduate and a school teacher, she would become one of the first woman ever to fly. In the years following the first successful flights, Katherine gained notoriety as she often accompanied her famous brothers in their travels throughout Europe and America. Big dreams often require teams or families or churches to make them concrete, to turn them into reality.
Other visionary people had the same dream: to fly a controlled machine that could carry a man or woman. Four hundred years ahead of the Wrights, Leonardo Da Vinci created machine designs in hopes of flying, but he never saw success. In the years leading up to the notable day of the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk — December 17, 1903 — there were others who made attempts to fly. In most cases, however, their efforts came crashing to the ground — often literally, sometimes ending their lives.
WHY THEY WERE DIFFERENT
What was the difference? Why did the Wright siblings attain success where many others failed? Was their dreaming that much better? There are several reasons why fortune fell their way, but mostly it can be credited to their study of birds and its application to their flying machine. And despite the Wright brothers not being a story of faith that we read in God's Word, there are numerous principles here we can take to heart. We know it took much study and preparation, as well as perseverance, to overcome the unknowns and failures. Before their time in Kitty Hawk, the brothers spent months reading and studying about birds. They would sketch and make numerous diagrams.
It also took a bold, non-traditional vision. There were no books to study on flying machines or airplanes, no information on the mechanics of wings or the effects of air pressure on an aircraft. The brothers were envisioning what no one else could. The Kitty Hawk locals had enjoyed those same birds for many years, but only for entertainment. The Wrights saw a vision. They observed the birds with a desire to learn and create something that would leave an impact on this world. They dared to act on that dream. This vision led to deliberate efforts in each of their roles to make plans, communicate, and work efficiently. The brothers were willing to face the dangers, the difficulties, and the rough days. They also determined to keep after their goals and dreams when failure struck. They worked long hours crafting each part for the plane, and when those failed, they made new ones. They continued to persevere — more and more toward that splendid day when they would make their first flight.
It's easy to read about the dreams of others, to do so simply to find a good story or an interesting read. We can sing songs about dreaming or listen to Dr. King speak his majestic words in the famous "I Have a Dream" speech. But it's an entirely different matter to make things personal and go beyond being a dream spectator to participating in your own intentional work of realizing a dream.
God wants us to make things personal. He believes in us and wants us to dream. And while the Wright brothers' accomplishments are amazing, and historical, there is no more enduring inspiration than a dream that comes from God. The passage in Isaiah 40 that we first read is about dreaming. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength"; "they will soar on wings like eagles"; "they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." These are all inspirational words about dreaming. They inspire us to strive to make possible what we think is impossible. The challenge is to open our eyes to things not seen. They are God's words that give us hope of an extraordinary future and endless possibilities. But as it was with the Wrights, victorious dreaming takes passionate effort on our part. We need focused ambition and the ability to make deliberate decisions to realize a great dream. And, just like the Wrights, we will need to learn to overcome setbacks. It's not always easy, but God is there to provide the path.
ONLY YOU CAN DREAM FOR YOU
As you launch into the early part of adulthood or the next stage of your life, think about your future. Where can God take you and what impact can you make that can only come from you? Where will you be in one year? Five years? We advise you to focus on dreaming in the one- to five-year horizon. Because there are so many variables in life, it is very difficult to think about time much further than five years into the future. The important thing is to realize that it begins with you; no one else can dream for you. For sure, you may have a loving parent, a close sibling, a friend, or a spouse who has high hopes for your future. And yet even if the whole world has high expectations for your life, your future comes down to you and your thoughts and choices for your life. God chose Peter, but Peter also chose God and decided to follow Jesus.
Only you can dream for your future and put great intentions and then planning and action in place to allow God to do astonishing things through you. Perhaps you are in your last years of college, or maybe you've finished and you're ready to move on. If you are already working in your career, perhaps you've found your dream job. Or possibly, like so many others at the beginning of their careers, you're not on a path that is entirely working for you. Regardless of where you are on your journey, we've written this book to help you dream, plan, and act toward that dream now. And just as the Wrights had to assemble their plane to achieve their goal, this book is intended to help you gather the parts of your aircraft and discern the specifics needed to help you meet yours. We're written this book to help you see and define a dream, plan through a transition to act on your vision, and inspire you to launch to a phenomenal time ahead, enabling God to use your unique gifts for Him.
THE VALUE OF TEAMS
Dreaming is infectious! Like a stone plopping into calm water, clear inspiration from God for yourself, combined with hope in the Lord (Isaiah 40), will produce a ripple effect for those around you. Working our dreams into the context of groups can provide additional dynamics to examine and inspire. Nothing is more fun than spending time with a group on a joint mission, and many times, dreaming as a group or team project produces something better than would emerge from an individual. For example, if you're working on a group project in class, your desire to do well on the project will unquestionably help the group toward that end, especially if your underlying goal is to glorify God. If you are employed, you probably work with others, and your group will have goals or a specific project you are working on concurrently. If you are dreaming in a small group in your church, it shows in your spirit and actions, whether you're the leader or not, because the effect on your group will be aspirational. The key is to dream and dream in a way that creates intention and forward progress toward the goal.
The effect of the Wrights' success was enormous. It led many others to fly, and within a short few years this newly created industry blossomed into transatlantic flights and new generations of people dreaming of flying higher and faster. It all started with two visionary men who took notes in a tattered journal and studied birds on a deserted beach in North Carolina. But that is just flying! Consider Jesus as a dreamer, hopeful of the future while He walked the earth. He chose twelve men, including the fisherman Peter, and dreamed for these individuals. He had visions for what they would do — even greater things than He had done. He helped them grow from living by what they see to living by the unseen and becoming dreamers for God. Over time, others would be inspired to follow. His disciples increased in numbers because of the hope that Jesus gave and the forgiveness only found in Him. Jesus taught, shared, and loved many. And in Jesus' final days, He gave a vision to His disciples to take His words to the world. Shortly after that, Peter stood in front of the crowds in Acts 2 and called them to listen to him. The impact was profound.
Let's again consider Katherine Wright and her role in the Wrights' pursuit. While not known as well as her brothers (after all, everyone knows them as the Wright brothers), her role was critical to their success, and it was a role she happily accepted. Sometimes it isn't always obvious what part you play in the dreams God has for you, or you don't see your value in a group, especially if you are not in the leading role. However, that does not make you any less valuable. Consider the early disciples who listened to Peter on the day he stood up to speak to the crowd. We do not know the names of most of the men and women present, but to God they were no less important or any less a part of the story. They just played a different role in that incredible, magical time. Dreaming for God, ultimately, is done in service of His dreams for the people He created, and we should be receptive to the part we play in God's dreams for our lives and fully trust Him along the way. Regardless of your role, be a dreamer! Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." You are essential in your role with the exact gifts you possess.
Because the phrase "dreaming for God" can be a bit vague, especially with what seems like a long future ahead, it's important to discuss productive dreaming and how it should show up in our day-to-day living. The truth is dreaming should touch every area of your life, and our dreams should drive us day to day in our spirit and what we choose to do. We want you to recognize the gifts you have received from God, including your talents, experiences, and spiritual gifts and give them entirely to Him for His use. This surrendering to God should inform your college choice, your employment, your relationships, and more.
If you love God, you should dream that He uses your life in a way that fits with His will. The creator of all that we see wants to use you! This fact is simply incredible when we can see and believe this. In response to God's love for him, Peter lived this example. His role was unique to Peter, just as God has a position unique for you.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Launch Your Life"
Copyright © 2019 Philip E. and Elizabeth J. Bruns.
Excerpted by permission of Carpenter's Son Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I-P-A: What Is That? 11
If Peter Can Change 15
Part I It Starts With God
Chapter 1 Dare to Soar 21
Chapter 2 Prepared By God 39
Chapter 3 The Foundation Formula 57
Part II You And Your Intention
Chapter 4 The Complex You 87
Chapter 5 Your Brand Equity 103
Part III Taking Action To Move Forward
Chapter 6 Practical Planning and Spiritual Choices 133
Chapter 7 Journey On 165
Chapter 8 The Lion and The Gazelle 207
About the Authors 217