One Bold Step at a Time


So, as I sit here, I wonder about my life…have I fulfilled my dreams?  Not all of them and some have yet to be fulfilled.

Have I fulfilled the dreams that matter?  Or the purpose/vision for my life?  I’m on my way to fulfilling that dream of going into ministry.

Will I be able to fulfill that vision?  After all, I’m not a perfect Christian (God loves imperfect people), I feel too old to go into a ministry (yet God used a lot of “old” people in the Bible) and I don’t even know where to go to get started in a ministry.

Above all, I am an introvert – that’s right!  Writing in the background of my home office is find; however, if you get me in front of a crowd of people, I freeze up!  Though at one time in my life, I was at an out of town church and urged to get up and speak – I amazed myself as I began speaking to a crowd of people – most strangers!  And, I’ve been told I need to be as bold as a lion so I’m working on that part of me and with God’s help and strength, I can do it…after all, guys like Moses has a speech problem and he ended up going before a Pharaoh and leading a gazillion people out of Egypt – so I guess I can speak up!

Even figuring out how to get credentials will be a long process and I face the challenge of being a divorcee…yet I know God can still use me even if it takes a while to get my credentials.

Questions:

1) So what dreams do you have that need to be fulfilled?

2) What’s holding you back?  Is it minor stuff like being bashful or thinking you’re not the right age?

Well, my friends, in conclusion, I encourage you to fulfill the dreams that matter to you the most and let God handle the “small” or “big” stuff…and take small steps towards that dream like I’ve started doing by volunteering once a week at my church.  It may be simple projects; however, its giving me the experience of working in a church/ministry while working towards fulfilling the purpose of going into ministry…a calling that I heard when I was a kid and my dad was a ministry, nearly 30 years ago as I stood on the steps of another church and swept its steps or preaching in front of a crowd of strangers…

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Knocked on my Noggin to get Focused


Well, we have approximately 7 weeks before we make the move and it is coming up quick. Today was spent organizing some stuff we have stored at my in-law’s garage, where during this process I managed to bang my head on a ladder. Ouch! That hurt but I’ll live.

After bumping my head, I realized we need to slow down a bit even in the midst of this rush to get things ready, we still need to remember what the mission is all about. Recently, I wrote the following for the vision that has been cast on our hearts.

Introductory

My name is Ann Cole. We – my husband Dene and I – share the vision of opening up a community-style coffee shop called Vision 63. We are being called to open this place because we want to make a change in society by reaching out to the lost and those who are considered misfits in this world. These people are hurting, lonely, and they are searching for a safe place to know and be known and to find Jesus.

 When did this vision start?

For me, this dream started when I was a kid watching my dad preach at a local church. My heart and soul has always been to minister to the lost within the community. After all, I was the kid who made friends with the least popular kids, was somewhat respected by the popular kids and enjoyed nurturing animals. Therefore, it was no surprise when I spent a weekend in a neighborhood that was known for its daily shootings during a mission trip in the mid 90s.

This trip would include cleaning up a community center house, evangelizing, and interacting with the kids. I even spoke at a local church and was given the nickname of evangelist as the dream for a community center began to take hold.

The journey towards fulfilling this calling started about seven years ago. During that time, God took me on an interesting journey when I visited the church that sponsored that ministry. As I stood in the lobby, I was reminded of my calling to minister to people within a community. Even more amazing was this church “grandfathered” the church where I was commissioned as a leader, called an evangelist once again while developing the faith to start my educational journey towards ministry.

Currently, I am pursuing a Master in Pastoral Care as it prepares me to reach out to those who are hurting in both the church and the community. I have also been involved with volunteer, and ministry opportunities for different organizations.

Finally, I am highly skilled in technology, administration, supervision, accounting, and analyzing data that will be valuable in setting up a community style coffee shop that will have the following services and programs:

• Coffee and Fellowship for people who may not go to church or anyone else who wants to be involved with the ministry

• Community-style classes such as art, writing, computer, Bible, skill training, etc.

• Meeting the needs of the community through giving of resources such as providing food, training, clothing, and possibly shelter

We are learning that Nevada is one of the least religious states in this country. They need people like my husband and I to reach out to them.

Therefore, with this in mind, what is our next step? Well, stay tuned as we fill in more information with our statements, how we plan to fill in this gap, and more stories behind the mission.

So, what is your vision or purpose for life? Are you rushing to get it done but not looking at the picture of what needs to be done? Maybe slowing down and remember that God is in control of the vision and He will help you get what needs to be done finished.

ANNOUNCEMENT COMING UP – My husband will be releasing his own blog called PrayingMan63 so stay tuned for its launch.

Vision 63


Do you have an unquenchable thirst for a dream, or vision?

Do you have an unquenchable thirst for a dream, or vision?

Psalms 63:1: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; earnestly I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

Not too long ago, my husband and I traveled through Death Valley. The place was hot and I soon became very thirsty. Two bottles of water later and I still felt dry and thirsty. On the other hand, when I focused on God’s creative beauty – even in Death Valley – my thirst began to lessen as I longed for God.

As we focused on God, my husband and I realized that the desert is where our vision is taking us…to help others who are thirsty. We do not know the next step in our path; however, we do know God is leading us along that path as He prepares us for a new journey in our lives.

Where is your vision leading you? Is it to a place where you do not expect to go? Do you have a thirst for something that cannot be quenched? If so, pray about it and long after God who will lead you to water and give you rest.

What is your vision?


Proverbs 29:18 (NIV) “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”  This verse is talking about a vision and how people without a vision, lack wisdom.

Vision – what is a vision? 

According to dictionary.com, a vision is one of several things:

(1) The act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight; (2) The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur; (3)  An experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency: a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision; (4) Something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience: The vision revealed its message; (5) A vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.

Furthermore, my professor at Hope International University described vision as something where a church is going while providing a snapshot of its direction.  At the same time, it challenges and inspires people to accomplish a ministry for God as it touches their emotion (Bigelow 2013, n.p.).

Such a vision occurred with my husband Dene when he was a fourteen years old as described below:

The Dream by Dene Cole

The dream woke me up from a sound sleep, I was so excited from the dream I went and woke my mother up and told her about the dream.

I was walking around a large building, cannot remember the dimensions but it was big.  I could smell brewing coffee and cookies baking.  I walked out of the building and saw four more buildings as if I was in a small village at least that was what my fourteen-year-old brain perceived.  Then I heard a voice telling me that I will give all this to you when the time is right. 

Now that I am fifty years old, I comprehend the dream a little different.  First off, I know the voice was from the Lord Jesus and I am still trying to figure out if the time is right.  Now being married to Ann, I believe the time is at hand for both our dreams and visions to take place.  That dream is leading me to open up a coffee, hopefully within the next year or so.

My husband and I share this vision of opening a coffee shop that will be more than a coffee shop.  We hope to turn it into something that serves the community while meeting the needs of people who are experiencing hurt and talk about Jesus while fellowshipping with each other.

What is your vision?  Were you given a vision that you have forgotten about?  Is there something that is inspiring you to serve in a ministry and keep casting it aside in hopes of getting back to it someday? 

Coffee Clutch and encouragement


On a weekly basis, my husband Dene (pronounced like Gene but with a “d”) meets with two older men for coffee. These men have been a part of Dene’s life for over twenty years. One man is recently widowed and the other is struggling with his wife’s chronic illness. My husband and these two men discuss the related issues as well everyday stuff along with their dreams and hopes for children, grandchildren, and the future. These men, like others who meet my husband, go away encouraged and ready for a new day.

Looking at my husband, one would think he needs the encouragement; however, he continues to bless people with this gift of encouragement. Dene was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 5 and he just celebrated his 50th birthday. Doctors did not expect him to live past the age of 30, yet he continues to out beat the doctor’s expectations even as he suffers one medical crisis after another related to the disease. The disease has taken his eyesight, kidney function, his first wife, as well as other complications that include a heart attack, stroke, double knee and partial hand amputation.

Yet, Dene continues to praise God and pray for other people as he encourages them through a time of fellowship. He even writes books and recently published a book called What Jesus Says to You, which is available at amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. This book is filled with scripture intended to show you what Jesus says about you and your faith.

Both Dene and I would like to take this a step further and our dream is to open a community type coffee shop where other people can gather for coffee, relax, and enjoy community gatherings as we minister to people.

So what is your dream? What is keeping you back? Are you staying in your box, afraid to come out? Well, take courage to come out of the box and praise God for the next steps He has for your life.

Side note: Dene would like to speak to other groups and encourage them. If you would like him to speak at your church or other group function, please contact him via email at dene.cole@comcast.net or facebook.com/The Praying Man.