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We were on a bus ride between a couple of towns in Uganda when my wife Erica and our 4-year-old daughter started playing the, “I see,” game. They would take turns describing what they saw outside their window. Naturally, the adults described the beautiful trees and hills they saw. When Téa’s turn came, she came up with some pretty funny things that had us howling with laughter. My favorite was when she said, “I see a tiger doing push-ups.” Our minds have an almost endless ability to take what we know, augment it, and come up with amazing new things! We see this most clearly demonstrated in children and those few fortunate adults who remain dreamers. Most adults, however, have lost this most awesome of gifts because society frowns upon the impractical and celebrates those who conform to the ideas widely accepted by all! Only when an idea becomes a success are dreamers truly celebrated!
Jesus recognized the value of this God-given ability to see beyond what is, to what can be when he declared:
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17 (NIV)
In order to do what God calls us to do we need to see our surroundings not simply as they are but as they could be. While speaking to Jeremiah, God said,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
This indicates the great prophet was preceded by a thought in the great mind of the Creator! Because we are created in the image of God we have this ability, which is most clearly seen in children. As adults though, with the help of a God, we can tap into His limitless strength to make these dreams come true!
Of course, this doesn’t apply to every crazy thing our minds can conjure up! Everything is ultimately subject to God’s heart. Just like I won’t help my children with a project that would harm themselves and others, God will not help us accomplish selfish dreams.
When we subject our lives to the Creator, we are free to dream big because in the fulfillment of our God-centered dreams others too can find joy.
A great example of this is Joseph. In Genesis 37, he had dreams of being a leader. While that dream greatly benefited him, his family and nation were saved because his dream was fulfilled. Hannah, in 1 Samuel, dreamed of a son. God gave her Samuel who brought joy not only to her, but also to countless others. When we dare to pursue our dream under the leading of our Creator, we are not only blessed but we become a blessing.
What is it in your life that makes you come alive? How can that passion help someone else? It may not be directly. Joseph became second in command in a foreign nation, which led to his family finding refuge there. You may build a great business and use your resources to advance God’s kingdom by going and/or sending others to go! Today I challenge you to reach the deep recesses of your heart and unwrap the silent hopes, give them to the consummate Dreamer, and together build real castles in the sands of everyday life!
By: Rachel Minton
“In the United States alone, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is projected to jump to 16 million by 2050. One in every 3 seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause among the elderly” (Alzheimer’s Association). Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia and it is also the most prevalent type of dementia. Nearly 85% of all dementia is Alzheimer’s.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. There is also a tremendous amount of fear and stigma surrounding both dementia and Alzheimer’s. For many, Alzheimer’s and dementia are dirty words, never to be spoken or acknowledged. Ultimately this fear and stigma keep people from getting the help they need and deserve.
The Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, the R&R Respite Care Center and The Place have teamed up to bring a half-day workshop on Alzheimer’s and caregiving to Wickenburg. If you or someone you know is affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s time to learn the facts and dispel the myths and stereotypes. The workshop will focus on the following three main topics: (1) The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease; (2) Difficult Behaviors: What Do I Do?; and (3) Legal and Financial planning for Alzheimer’s disease.
The workshop is being held at The Place on Friday May 30th from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Light refreshments will be offered. There is no cost to attend the workshop and it is open to the public. If you are a caregiver, free respite care will be available through the R&R Respite Care Center; however you must pre-register with the center at least one day prior to the workshop. You can register for the conference by calling Rachel Minton, Program Manager of the R&R Respite Care Center, at 928-684-3480 or by calling the Alzheimer’s Association at 602-528-0545.
Jeff Young and Sarah Flynn have recently accepted leadership of The Place for Kids.
Sarah graduated from Wickenburg High School in 2004 and said that she has always been drawn to young children. While she is working experience in the recovery field, she is presently pursuing her teaching degree at Rio Salado College.
“I’ve always been drawn to kids ever since I was a frequent baby sitter for my older sister,” said Flynn. “I started volunteering at The Place a couple of years ago, and am excited to be a part of leading this new and exciting effort.”
Young has more of an administrative background having a bachelor degree in psychology from Grand Canyon University and now administrating an outpatient recover program in Prescott.
“We both are totally excited about the opportunity to work with such wonderful children as we have in this program,” said Jeff. “What we do today shows up in our adults tomorrow. If we teach them how to live Christ-centered lives at a young age, they will follow those directions all their lives.”
“I experienced a lot of pain in my younger life that I believe I might have avoided if I had experienced good Christian training,” continued Young. “Consequently, if I can help a child make better choices in the future and avoid some of that pain, I have accomplished something important.”
The Place is known for effectively using the Internet and social media in its ministry. Consequently, this is carried into the children’s ministry using a website, video, a Facebook page, and other creative ways to connect with both the children and their parents.
“We know that we only have the children for an hour or so a week,” said Flynn. “But, with this program we have unique ways to support the parents by connecting with them and helping them reinforce the lessons through prayers, discussion questions, and other aids that can be used during the week.”