Category Archives: Dreams

Season Finale

“To everything there is a season. . . “ so says the book of Ecclesiastes. And this blog is no different. At the beginning of ’09, I committed to several goals this year. Unfortunately, in the process of juggling all these ambitions, I have dropped some along the way. Of course, I may pick them back up but it’s not long before one drops again. I have learned in life that when you are overwhelmed with all the things you are juggling, you can do one of three things: you can keep doing what you’re doing with the hope that you eventually “get it,” you can juggle with less balls until you have mastered that level, or you can just quit juggling.

I have decided to juggle with less balls. Here’s the thought process: If I drop just one ball even periodically, and more than likely it’d be a different ball each time, I fail at juggling period. In other words, I may not reach any of my accomplishments or it will certainly take me longer to get there. On the other hand, if I juggle with less balls dropping none, I am a success, albeit I am a less accomplished juggler than if I were to hit all my targets in the first example but my odds are better. If I stop juggling all together, not only do I fail at juggling but I fail at even trying; failure is certain. Rhetorically, let me ask you this: would you rather invest in a long shot, a sure shot, or a dud?

I want to be a sure shot! And it is for that reason that I am regretfully postponing my blog posts. I have been focusing so much on ensuring a post three times a week that I have  neglected the writing of my book. Writing is my dream. And I have been accomplishing my dream through you, the readers of this blog. But at the same time, the true realization of a writer’s dream, at least this writer’s dream, is publication. Just like our life here on earth is a dress rehearsal for Heaven, this blog has been a dress rehearsal for publication of a book. I appreciate all of you for aiding and abetting me in testing and reforming my style through this medium. While I am not a perfect writer (and never will be), my heart is ready. And quite frankly, that is all that is needed for the realization of a  dream. A heart that is ready will let nothing get in its way. A heart that is ready will not quit or back down. A heart that is ready will not bargain for second best; it will not rest until it has reached its destination; it will not be denied.

This is not a series finale, it is merely the end of a season. I will live to blog again; you have not seen the last of Brian Shaw. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I am taking my series to the big screen if you will. I am taking my passion and purpose to a higher pursuit. Please keep your eyes peeled for the release of my “feature film” in the near future. This is not the end, it is just the beginning . . .

Oh, and if by remote chance there is a published author who has any great advice or contacts he or she would like to share, or better yet, a publisher with some interest in my work, feel free to comment now. (LOL)

To all of you fellow dreamers: I encourage you on your pursuit. Make sure you take time to pause from time to time to compare your map and your current location to make sure that you are still on the shortest distance to your destination. If so, pursue relentlessly. If not, make the necessary adjustments and get back on the road.

Please keep me in your prayers. I am working on writing a 30 day devotional. Pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and continual revelation. Pray that he would guide my pen to position words in a way that will speak encouragement and hope to a multitude of people, not for my own profit but for kingdom profit, that those far from God may be drawn into greater intimacy with the Father through the Son. Pray that He keep me ever so humble and grateful for any talent that He has blessed me with. Finally, pray that I keep “first things first,” not neglecting my own spiritual walk or my own family.

Thank You and May God Bless You Abundantly!

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6 Minutes to Impact

It was kind of ironic––on Tuesday, the local Christian radio station here in Charlotte mentioned that the last two years had been one of the safest stretches of time for commercial airline travel in the US and then, of course, two days later, Charlotte-bound flight 1549 plunges into the Hudson River. Astoundingly, everyone survived and there were no serious injuries.

Can you imagine though?

3:24:00  You’re 1 of 155 passengers sitting in a plane on the tarmac waiting for a routine flight to take off.
3:24:54  On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for takeoff.”
3:27:01  At 3,000 feet in the air, you hear an explosion on one side of the plane and feel a jolt followed by another with the plane beginning to go down.
3:28:05  On the intercom, “This is the pilot, prepare for impact.”
3:30:30  Your flight impacts the Hudson River.

Life can change drastically in 6 minutes. Friday, the same radio station interviewed Mark, a listener that was on that flight. He said that he had determined that “this was it” and that he was ready to die. The DJ asked him what was going through his mind. “Regrets,” was Mark’s response. Would that be your response? Sure, Mark has been given a second chance to turn those regrets into results but most of us wouldn’t be so lucky.

If you knew that you were going to die in 6 minutes, what would be your regrets?

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

What will you be doing 6 minutes from now? Loving on your spouse. . . playing with your kids. . . pursuing your dream. . . calling a friend or family member that you haven’t talked to in a while. . . living a life worthy of your calling. . . eliminating your regrets.

Don’t go back to idle, casual, regrettable living. Live a life with intensity, intentionality, and fulfillment. Live a life where your regrets are laid to rest long before you. THIS is your second chance. Start now––who knows what might become of you in 6 minutes?

Follow the Leader, Maybe

The other night, I was sitting behind another car in the turning lane of a road that I don’t  frequently travel. It was dark and there were construction barrels at the intersection so as the light turned green, I followed the car in front of me across the intersection. About midway across the street, the road became rough and I quickly found myself on the opposite side of the barrels. Suddenly, I realized what I had done. I blindly followed someone of whom I had no idea where he would take me. He lead me down the wrong road in a potentially dangerous area. Fortunately, I recognized my error and was able to put myself on the right road before approaching any conditions that may have been detrimental to my car.

Who is it that you are following? Is it a person of integrity, knowledge, and trustworthiness? Are you cognizant of the direction in which you are being lead or are you following so closely behind that you are oblivious?

Be careful who you choose to follow. Even followers need to have a sense of the leaders vision not only to avoid deception but to foster momentum.

Less Is More

If I had to describe my New Year’s resolutions for this year in one word, it would be “constructive.” I want the things that I do to serve a useful purpose. That’s not to say that I’ve been useless in previous years, it’s just that I haven’t been as effective as I’d like to be (welcome to the club, right?). This year, I want that to change. I desire to be more productive in the things that matter. I want to love more, give more, save more, lose more, and just plain accomplish more. Oh, and did I mention that I want to do it all with less? “More for less”––sounds like a TJ Maxx ad. Here’s what I mean:

Less impatience, more restraint

Goal: Too subjective to measure so get off my back already! (Sorry, I guess I got my work cut out for me.)

Less calories taken in, more pounds taken off

Goal: Me minus 20 lbs. (or 5 slices of pizza per week, same thing)

Less spending, more saving

Goal: Cut my specialty coffee / dining out expense in half (my belt size too)

Less debt, more freedom

Goal: A slave to lender no longer (except for mortgage)

Less TV, more time (for God, family, and my dream)

Goal: Read through entire Bible, do not neglect my family, post blog three times weekly, and write a book to have ready for publication

Less of me, more of Him

Goal: Take up my cross daily. (And two aspirin ‘cause I’m already getting overwhelmed.)

WOW! Sounds like less leisure, more exhaustion. What about you? Are your goals for 2009 big or small . . . audacious or cautious . . . lofty or puny . . . ambitious or attainable . . . more or less?

Here’ s some inspiration from Pastor Steven Furtick:

I’m sorry to say that your dreams are too small too. You serve the God of inexhaustible, all sufficient, overflowing resource. Whatever you might imagine God wants to do through your life in your most faith-filled, bold, reckless moments, multiply it by 10. Take it to the 100th power. Double it again. Now you’re starting to uncover a fraction of the blueprint God has already drawn up.

Sometimes, under the guise of getting wiser, growing deeper, or waiting on God, we let our audacity atrophy and set the stuff that made us special on the shelf. That must really insult God.  After we’ve already seen Him part seas, kill giants, and multiply fish and loaves, we should be more inclined to push our chips to the center of the table, not less!

It turns out God isn’t intimidated by my big requests. He is insulted by my puny ones.

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Carpe Diem (or Seize the Day), as exclaimed by Robin Williams in the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society. I love a good movie, a good quote, a good blog post, or any good piece of media that aims to inspire. I heard a great poem a few years back that reminds me of the saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Each day we get is a blessing, question is, will we waste it or will we use it for the glory of God? Either way, it is your choice. Whether you find yourself in a sea of success or up a creek without a paddle, make today count; make today the day that you will forge ahead in the direction of your destination! Paddle your own canoe!

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Voyager upon life’s sea,
To yourself be true,
And whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.
Never, though the winds may rave,
Falter or look back;
But upon the darkest wave
Leave a shining track.
Paddle your own canoe.

Nobly dare the wildest storm,
Stem the hardest gale,
Brave of heart and strong of arm
You will never fail.
When the world is cold and dark,
Keep your aim in view;
And toward the beacon work,
Paddle your own canoe. …

..Would you crush the giant wrong,
In the world’s free fight?
With a spirit brave and strong,
Battle for the right.
And to break the chains that bind
The many to the few
To enfranchise slavish mind,-
Paddle your own canoe.
Nothing great is lightly won,
Nothing won is lost,
Every good deed, nobly done,
Will repay the cost.
Leave to Heaven, in humble trust,
All you will to do:
But if succeed, you must
Paddle your own canoe.

by Sarah Bolton, written in 1851

Commit Yourself

When I was in management, I determined that there are basically two types of people that “succeed” at work (or at church, or on a sports team, etc.)–this could probably apply to any group of people. By success, I mean that they are able to continue in their endeavor indefinitely; it’s a rough definition. To better clarify, there are actually three types of people in a group, it’s just that the third type is functionally irrelevant. They are the ones who aren’t very good at what they do and end up fired from their job, leaving the church, quitting their team, and such. Based on my observations, I developed the following list to describe the former two types of people. See if you identify with either. Maybe you’d be able to add a few of your own? Would like to hear them if you do.

committed

Being compliant is acceptable; you’ll stay under the radar which will “get you by” until the sweet bye and bye if you so desire but your accomplishments will be mediocre at best. Being committed is exceptional; you’ll be all over the radar, elevating yourself to a higher level where your accomplishments will be masterful (that is, full of the Master). Paul knew the value of being committed when he said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corintians 9:24) Why walk when the Word says run? Commit yourself today!

The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it. ~Mack R. Douglas, accomplished author

When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient.  When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. ~Ken Blanchard, accomplished author

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ~Jesus Christ, Luke 17:10

Don’t Drink the ‘T’

You’ve probably all heard the quote that “your attitude determines your altitude.” (if you haven’t, remember that you’ve heard it here first) Often, it’s words that we allow to shape that attitude, good or bad. “Can’t” is one of those words that will trip you up. Can’t we take “can’t” out of the vocabulary? I’ve compiled a few passages that will help inspire you not to drink the ‘t’ (CAN’T – ‘T’ = CAN)–it’s cheesy, I know, but that’s why I’m using the inspiration of others to help me out today . . .

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn’t but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin
On his face; if he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least, no one has ever done it.”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing he knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of the chin and a bit of a grin.
Without any doubting or ‘quiddit’,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done . . . and he did it!

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done.
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that await to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That ‘cannot be done’ and you’ll do it.

~Edgar A. Guest

Every time a person puts an idea across, he finds ten people who thought about it before he did—but they only thought about it. ~Alfred Montapert

Do or do not . . . there is no ‘try.’ ~Jedi Master Yoda

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing , you’re right. ~Henry Ford

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to “the can” that lies within us. ~my paraphrase of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous words

What can you do?