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Summary: I want to talk to you about dreams! Specifically, the dream that God has given me for this youth ministry. This morning, when I woke up Caleb to get him ready for school, he mumbled, “Can I just finish my dream?” We all want to finish our dreams.

I HAVE A DREAM! (VISION 2006-2007)

OPENING: Tonight I want to talk to you about dreams! Specifically, the dream that God has given me for this youth ministry. This morning, when I went to wake up my son Caleb to get him ready for school, he mumbled, “Can I just finish my dream?” We all want to finish and accomplish our dreams, don’t we?

KEY TEXT: “God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Eph. 3:20).

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” Proverbs 13:12).

• Basketball superstar Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

• During its first year of business, the Coca-Cola Company sold only 400 Cokes.

• Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book was rejected by 27 publishers. The 28th publisher, Vanguard Press, sold 6 million copies of the book.

• Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.

• Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4 years old and didn’t read until he was 7. His teacher described him as mentally slow and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.

STORY: I want to tell you the story about a boy named Sparky. For Sparky, school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, algebra, and English. He didn’t do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season. There was a consolation match; he lost that, too. Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward socially. He was not actually disliked by the other students; no one cared that much. He was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours. Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates… everyone knew it. So he rolled with it. However, one thing was important to Sparky—drawing. He was proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it. In his senior year of high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down. Despite this particular rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to become a professional artist.

After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios. He sent some samples of his artwork but when the reply came from Disney Studios, he had been rejected once again. Another loss for the loser. So Sparky decided to write his own autobiography in cartoons. He described his childhood self—a little boy loser and chronic underachiever. The cartoon character would soon become famous worldwide. For Sparky, the boy who had such lack of success in school and whose work was rejected again and again, was Charles Schulz. He created the “Peanuts” comic strip and the little cartoon character whose kite would never fly and who never succeeded in kicking a football—Charlie Brown. (Bits & Pieces, Vol. T/No. 17).

MY DREAM: to raise up a generation of radical disciples of Jesus Christ who...

1. Tirelessly contend for the next revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst: “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring.” (Isaiah 44:3).

2. Confidently rest in the knowledge of the Father’s love, knowing that they are children of God who are accepted in the beloved: “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

3. Passionately worship God with undivided focus and reckless abandon, both in private and in public: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37).

4. Aggressively pray powerful, Spirit-led prayers that impact our generation and extend the kingdom of God: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24).

5. Faithfully read, study and meditate on God’s Word for at least seven minutes every day - the 7-up challenge: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).

6. Unconditionally love, accept and forgive all people who God brings into their lives: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32).

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