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The Dream-Centered Life: Discovering What Drives You

Paperback|Aug 2017
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:Wake Up to Bigger Dreams! Have you stopped pursuing the life of your dreams? Did someone or something steal the passions that made your heart beat fast? It's possible-for the first time or once again--to become that...

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:Wake Up to Bigger Dreams!

Have you stopped pursuing the life of your dreams? Did someone or something steal the passions that made your heart beat fast?

It's possible-for the first time or once again--to become that wide-eyed, visionary dream-chaser!

It starts by realizing that God has specific, amazing plans for you. Once you discover what drives you at the deepest level, you'll overcome any barrier that stands between you and your new reality.

The Dream-Centered Life isn't about wishful thinking. It offers practical ways to be an effective dreamer, no matter where your starting point. Through personal experiences and fresh insights from world-class dreamers, Luke Barnett discusses these and other topics:

• Where Do Dreams Begin
• Characteristics of a Dreamer
• Habits of Dreamers
• Dream Lifters
• Dream-Busters
• Dreaming with Confidence
Are you ready to discover-and live--your God-sized dream?


  • Catalogue Code 472525
  • Product Code 9780735289659
  • ISBN 0735289654
  • EAN 9780735289659
  • Pages 192
  • Department General Books
  • Category Christian Living
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Waterbrook Press
  • Publication Date Aug 2017
  • Sales Rank 53665
  • Dimensions 203 x 132 x 15mm
  • Weight 0.163kg
The Dream-Centered Life eBook
The Dream-Centered Life
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Dreamless in Disneyland

Everything starts with a dream, and if you don’t have a dream of your own, you will live someone else’s. I was doing just that as I clung to the cold metal fence that surrounds Disneyland, with friends I probably shouldn’t have been hanging out with. My mom and dad’s words rang in my mind: “Luke, you’re going to college. Please, don’t hang around with fools.”


Oh, well. Blew that one, I thought as I hoisted myself up and over.


It was 2:00 a.m. How had they convinced me to sneak into the “Happiest Place on Earth” in the middle of the night? The idea had seemed crazy when someone first mentioned it, but after a few hours of psyching ourselves up, it felt almost normal. Now I was jumping over the fence and landing on the vegetation on the other side. I was officially in Disneyland. I expected alarms to go off or something—laser beams, bright spotlights, men with dogs. But there was nothing. No security alarms. No electric fencing or bright lights.


Maybe this won’t be so bad after all, I thought. We can walk around a little while, then come out the way we came in. No sweat.


My buddies and I crept inward toward what appeared to be Frontierland. We hopped over the railroad tracks, carefully staying in the shadows. Strangely, the park was brightly lit by huge industrial lights, but nobody was there. Everything was awash in a kind of acid-white work light. No rides were running. There was no music. The silence and stillness were ghostly.


Speaking of ghosts, we walked first into the Haunted Mansion. It was no longer dim and spooky. Instead it looked like a hotel lobby at night, even somewhat inviting.


“Hey, let’s see what Pirates looks like,” said a friend. We all followed him toward the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Sure enough, the inside was all lit up and empty. Gone was the night sky, the dancing fireflies, the southern ambience, the music and rushing water. It was simply a big room, still impressive, but no longer mysterious. I could hardly believe it was the same place.


“This is crazy. There’s nobody here,” a friend said, and as we exited the way we came in, we felt bolder. Instead of hiding in the shadows we walked down the middle of the street toward Adventureland.


That’s when a security guard appeared, riding over the hill on his bicycle. “Guys! What are you doing! Stop!” he yelled.


We screamed, panicked, and scattered. I found myself sprinting toward the Jungle Cruise. There I found a place to hide among the plants. A tiger was staring me in the face, and hippos were coming up out of the river. I could smell the dirt and bleach from the water.


I hope they don’t use security dogs, I thought. I’m a sitting duck.


Within moments, dozens of security people were scouring the park for us. I could see their flashlights and hear their voices. Gone was my sense of excitement and bravery. Now I felt desperate. I fashioned one escape plan after another in my mind as I listened and heard the guards apprehending my buddies. After a while it just didn’t seem worth it anymore. These guys knew the park and knew how to do their jobs. They were going to find me. I preferred to surrender myself peacefully than be caught on the run. Also, my conscience was working on me and I wanted relief. I stepped out of my hiding place and into the street. Guards came over and took hold of me. We began walking…somewhere.


I was just eighteen. I wasn’t a bad kid, just young and naive and not really committed to anything. I had come as a freshman to a Christian college in Southern California to play baseball. For a short season I fell into some bad habits and less-than-awesome friendships. Whatever notion I had that my Christian upbringing would rub off on these guys proved the opposite: they rubbed off on me a lot more. I was finding that sin was fun for a while but in the end it always exacted a higher price than I wanted to pay.


Now my friends and I got to see the inside of the security building at Disneyland. It didn’t look nearly as fun as the rest of the place. Nobody felt like putting on mouse ears, that’s for sure. A police officer soon arrived. She asked us a bunch of questions. Why did we sneak in? What were we trying to do? Was there anyone else in our group? Where had we entered the park?


Finally, she said, “I’m going to write you a citation for trespassing. Don’t you ever come back to Disneyland again. Now show me your ID.”


I reached in my pocket. Nothing. I tried another pocket. Zilch. I had failed to bring any identification.


“I don’t have any on me,” I said, gulping my fear down and hoping this was not a major problem.


“That’s bad news,” she said. “I’m going to have to take you downtown for the night.”


With that she slapped handcuffs on me and walked me to her police car. I got in the back.


I’ve been out of my dad’s house for a few weeks, and here I am heading to a jail cell in Anaheim, I thought. I don’t even shave yet. My heart stayed down near my shoes for the entire ride. What am I doing? What are Dad and Mom going to think?


When we arrived at the jail, the officer walked me through the women’s cellblock first. There were all the prostitutes who had been arrested that night. I had long blond hair and looked about twelve years old because I was such a late bloomer. I weighed 112 pounds and stood five foot five.


“Whoo, baby!” they whooped and jeered at me. I kept my head down and watched my feet carry me across the floor.


“Bring him over here!” some taunted. Others whistled at me as I passed between their cells. They were getting a good laugh out of seeing a kid hauled in.


The officer ushered me to a cell where three men stood around talking: a very large white guy who looked like he’d been dragged out of a Dumpster; a stocky African American guy, and a Native American guy. They were in a huddle talking about why they were there. The door clanged behind me.


“Barroom fight,” I heard one guy say.


“Domestic violence,” said another. Then they turned to me and seemed not to believe their eyes.


“Why are you here?” they asked, probably wondering why I wasn’t in the juvenile ward.


I wanted to say, “I’m a serial killer,” but I told the truth.


“I snuck into Disneyland. They caught me in the Jungle Cruise,” I said.


That mystified them more than impressed them. Thankfully, they left me alone. I sat there awake the rest of the night, wondering why I hadn’t been carrying any ID, why I had let myself be persuaded to do something so dumb as to trespass. Finally, as day broke, an officer retrieved me from the cell and took me into a court hearing where the judge looked at me and said, “Sneaking into Disneyland wasn’t as fun as you thought it would be, was it? Time served.” The gavel came down.


Some friends of mine were in the courtroom and drove me back to the college campus. When I arrived, the dean of the college called me into his office, and we had a very serious conversation about why I had come to that college and how I should conduct myself as a student. For reasons I still don’t understand, the college didn’t punish me and didn’t even tell my parents. Life went on as usual.

In Need of a Plan

But the experience summarized my life in some way. At that point I was directionless and had no real identity, so I was defined by those around me. Like so many in this world, I was wandering around without knowing who I really was, where I was going, or what my dream in life was.


I moved home after that school year to try a different path. In high school I had done well athletically. I’d been selected for the all-conference team in baseball and had helped our golf team win the state championship. But I hadn’t been able to compete well at the college level. It was time to seek a new direction.


One evening at dinner back in Phoenix, Dad randomly said, “Luke, I heard about what happened to you over in college.”


I blushed to my collar.


“You did?” I said. “How come you never said anything?”


“I hear things,” he said.


That’s amazing, I thought. I thought I hid it so well.


“If you already know, then let me tell you how it really went down,” I said and told the whole Disneyland story in detail. My mom and dad and brother, Matthew, listened with great interest, and when I finished, Dad shook his head and laughed for a long time.


“Luke, I had no idea about any of this,” he said. “I just said that to see what you would say. You spilled all the beans right there.”


I blushed again. I could never snooker my dad.


I think Dad could see how frustrated I was with trying to find my life purpose, because one day he sat me down and said, “Luke, what do you feel energized about doing?”


“I love to play golf,” I said. “I’m pretty good and would love to play on the PGA tour one day.”


“I think you ought to pursue that,” he said. “I’ll support you and pay for it. Just in case that doesn’t pan out, I’m going to send you to Arizona State University and you’re going to get a business administration degree too.”


“It’s a deal,” I said.


I had already told him that I didn’t feel called to ministry, and Dad discouraged his kids from going into ministry unless we really felt like we wanted to. He knew we couldn’t sustain it if the desire didn’t spring from our own hearts.


With a new plan in place, life improved for me. I attended ASU, played a lot of golf, and earned my local professional tour card.


In addition, Dad began taking me all over the world on his ministry trips, and I got to see great sights.


During that time some wealthy Christian businessmen arranged to bring leaders to different world-class resorts for special meetings. Some of these resorts were incredible, sought-after golf destinations such as Pinehurst in North Carolina, Pebble Beach in California, the Broadmoor in Colorado, and Kapalua on the island of Maui. My dad couldn’t go because he was building the Los Angeles Dream Center (more about that later) and traveling almost every week. But he asked me, “They’re footing the bill. Would you like to go and represent our church?”


Of course my answer was yes. I was in my twenties and traveling to amazing resorts, enjoying the finest things life had to offer. But I began to notice a common theme as I traveled from one to another. Couples in their sixties and seventies would walk around holding hands and saying things like, “Here we are, honey. We finally made it. Forty years of saving and working, and we finally arrived.”


I thought to myself, These people have worked their entire lives to arrive at this place, and I’m here at age twenty. If this is the best life has to offer—if this is “‘IT” and I’m already experiencing it—I’m in big trouble.


I was surrounded by luxury, but I began to feel I was dying on the inside. All my friends thought I had it made, but the truth is this season got old really quick. I sensed a slow wasting away in myself. All those perks lost their punch. One day I put my finger on why: I wasn’t living out God’s script for my life. I was just living out a script that Dad and I had written one day. Even though I technically had a set of plans and goals, I felt a sinking, perishing feeling.


I don’t think I can stay fired up about my plans for the next forty or fifty years, I thought. What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

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