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11/07/10

A Vision Begins With Prayer

A Vision Begins With Prayer

Nehemiah 1:1-2:18

A vision begins as a concern
A vision does not necessarily require immediate action
So what should you do in the meantime to keep your dream alive?
Let’s look at Nehemiah 1: 1-11

When Nehemiah heard about the condition of Jerusalem, there was nothing he could physically do to remedy the situation. It seemed as if he was in the wrong place, with the wrong job, working for the wrong guy.

But Nehemiah was not inactive. The four months between hearing about the condition of the walls and finally being able to do something about it was a productive time for Nehemiah.

Nehemiah did two things to prepare for the time when God would lead Him to pursue his vision.

I. He prayed – Prayer is critical to vision development. Why? Because we see what we are looking for, and often miss what we don’t expect to see.

A. Prayer keeps us looking.
B. It keeps our eyes and our hearts in the expectant mode.
C. When God begins to move, we are only going to see it if we are ready and watching.
D. Notice that Nehemiah did not pray for God to rebuild the wall.
E. He prayed for an opportunity to go rebuild it himself.
F. That is the difference between a dreamer and a visionary.
G. Dreamers dream about things being different.
H. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference.
I. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done.
J. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something.

II. He planned – Nehemiah thought about what would be needed to accomplish this vision (or at least get started).
A. When God has given us a vision, we need to go ahead and start developing a plan.
B. Assuming you had the resources, what would you do?
C. Assuming you had the time, what would you do first?
D. Nehemiah laid out steps of how to pursue this vision.
E. He made sure that if he got an opportunity to present his vision to the king, he was ready.
Pray for opportunities and plan as if you expect God to answer your prayers.

The problem is that many of us fail to pray and fail to plan.
As we pray about and plan for the vision, it seems overwhelming and impossible. When God puts something on our hearts, it always seems out of reach (because it is). God ordained visions are always too big for us to handle.

There are always more questions than answers and more obstacles than solutions.

Nehemiah no doubt felt like he was in the wrong place doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. But God knew what He was doing. He had Nehemiah in the right place doing the right thing at the right time.
God had given Nehemiah a place among the palace servants. Then he maneuvered him through the ranks of influential Persian officials so he would be noticed for his integrity and trustworthiness. Eventually he was recommended to the king and appointed to the position of cupbearer.

On the surface it might have appeared that God was moving Nehemiah in a direction that would make it impossible to accomplish this dream. But actually, just the opposite was true. God gave Nehemiah a job and a relationship that gave him an inside track to the king. Like a master strategist, God was working behind the scenes putting everything in position.

III. God is using your circumstances to position and prepare you to accomplish His vision for your life.
A. Just as this was true for Nehemiah, it’s also true in your life.
B. This is easy to see when we are looking back, but it always takes faith when looking ahead.
C. Often we can not see any tangible connection between our circumstances and the vision God has given us. Even though it may not make sense to us on the surface, rest assured that God is working behind the scenes to position everything needed to accomplish the vision He has given.

IN THE NEWS

OBAMA NATION

Obamacare spurs AARP to raise premiums
http://bit.ly/de9CI5

Obama acknowledges his message didn't get through
http://yhoo.it/ab5uzb

POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Pentagon awards $630m Afghanistan contract to controversial supplier
http://bit.ly/9euhOV

Geithner Visited Jon Stewart Last April to Talk About Economy, Not Comedy
http://bit.ly/9SOx7O

Jon Stewart’s Older Brother, Larry Leibowitz, Is ‘COO’ Of The NYSE
http://bit.ly/bp8g9D

What the Fed's $600 Billion Plan Really Means
http://yhoo.it/aLvTKS

Watchdog: ACORN bankruptcy a 'hoax'
http://bit.ly/dBQsyh

CAIR sues Oklahoma for banning Islamic law
http://bit.ly/aUrokx

North Ireland lawmakers deemed too fat for Afghan trip
http://apne.ws/94N2pl

Clinton rules out a presidential run through 2016
http://yhoo.it/a0Uqqy

GOP gains set stage for national security battle
http://yhoo.it/bpGnI9

POLICE STATE NEWS

Former inmate recalls daring escape from Auschwitz
http://bit.ly/9RHLLQ

Lock Up Profits — in Prison Stocks: Analyst
http://bit.ly/dmLZLS

Opt Out of a Body Scan? Then Brace Yourself
http://nyti.ms/93KznD

Group slams airport naked body scanners
http://bit.ly/9LVN13

Most California parolees back in prison in 3 years
http://bit.ly/bAHSdL

Jury Dings File Sharer $1.5 Million for 24 Songs
http://bit.ly/9emD9i

ECONOMIC NEWS

Pending home sales drop 1.8 percent in September
http://yhoo.it/dvuVtD

Cotton Clothing Price Tags to Rise
http://nyti.ms/aY0ndI

Montana voters cap payday short-term loans at 36%
http://usat.ly/ccjpUT

Retailers Tally a Mixed October as Sales Rose 1.6%
http://nyti.ms/aoF1MR

China says flood of dollars could spark new crisis
http://bit.ly/8Z3MBr

HEALTH NEWS

Censored Gulf news: Secret 90-day emergency supply mobilization questioned
http://exm.nr/aWW7Hu

Florida asks doctors to be vigilant for signs of cholera after outbreak in Haiti
http://bit.ly/a3uNP5

Bill Gates Funds Approval of GM Mosquitoes to Combat Dengue
http://bit.ly/cYgi2q

IMMIGRATION & BORDER NEWS

Border crosser put glue on fingers to hide identity, officials say
http://bit.ly/b6scrw

911 caller needing taxi, plane ticket to Guatemala is jailed instead
http://bit.ly/cJ2lAZ

Flight school students arrested Concerns raised on antiterror net; 34 immigrants allegedly illegal
http://bit.ly/aun0uC

The hi-tech drug tunnel with its own electricity supply and even a miniature railway line
http://bit.ly/agHfRP

MISC NEWS

Young Man Boards Flight to Canada in Astounding Old Man Disguise
http://bit.ly/atCQ30

Nicest Canadian couple in world dole out lottery winnings
http://yhoo.it/bYVLzR

05/08/09

Where Does Your Hope Come From?

People are worried about the ecconomy and the Mexican Swine Flu "epidemic." Folks email me and tell me they have hope but things just don't look good. They are struggling in all aspects of their lives and they need to hold onto hope.

My question to them is where does your hope come from? Is it the power of positive thinking? Just think happy positive thoughts and things will look better and brighter and might actually turn around?

I am a realist, I look at things and analyze the situation. I then try to formulate a plan or several in case plan a does not work out. However, I don't rely on my abilities and skills to help me get through, I put my faith in God. he is the one who gives me the mind that I have, the ability to think and utilize the thought processes and come up with a solution.

My Hope comes through my faith in God knowing that He is the one who will provide for me. His word promises it and we must stand on that faith during good and bad times.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (KJV)

Know that no matter where you are at in life, that if you put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of your sins, He is just and will forgive you of those sins and you will have the hope that all of us who proclaim to be Followers of Christ have.


IN THE NEWS

HEALTH NEWS
New, Fast-Evolving Rabies Virus Found -- And Spreading
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090504-rabies-evolution.html

ABORTION NEWS
BREAKING NEWS

Keyes and 10-20 other abortion protesters arrested at Notre Dame 5/8/09
http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090508/News01/905089945&template=247art

Abortion: Video of Dr. Alan Keyes Warned by Police; then Dr. Keyes Warning Police 5/8/09
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8520210313.html

OBAMA NATION

Obama Slashes Slain Officer Family Benefits in Half 5/8/09
http://www.policelink.com/news/articles/105063-obama-slashes-slain-officer-family-benefits-in-half

ECONOMIC NEWS

Toyota First Annual Loss In Years 5/8/09
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/54e38034-3b93-11de-acbc-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

The total number of unemployed now stands at 13.7 million!! 5/8/09
http://www.cnbc.com/id/30638052

Layoffs might ease, but firms in no mood to hire 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=521978

India Cheap Labor Garment Export Industry 5/7/09
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13530

Ron Paul's Audit the FED Act, HR 1207
http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1241711064.php

NY Fed chair resigns amid stock purchase questions 5/8/09
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090508/pl_nm/us_usa_fed_friedman

Credit-card debt rises as more students charge college costs 5/7/09
http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_12311909

News Corp will charge for newspaper websites, says Rupert Murdoch 5/7/09
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/07/rupert-murdoch-charging-websites

POLICE STATE NEWS

US threatens 'military force' against hackers 5/8/09
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-threatens-military-force-against-hackers-1681327.html

Georgia Officers to Get Quicker Access to Your Driver's License Photo 5/8/09
http://www.newschannel9.com/news/driver-978114-law-enforcement.html

Spying on Individuals and Organizations: Anglo-American Defense Giants Entrusted with "Mastering the Internet" 5/8/09
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13540

Prosecutor rebuts mom's claim of 'Patriot Act' detention
Says teen being held on allegations of sending a threat 5/8/09
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=97376

The police state of Massachusetts 5/6/09
http://www.dailycollegian.com/editorial-opinion/the-police-state-of-massachusetts-1.1746184

Georgia officially turns into genuine police state 5/7/09
http://newsfromrussia.com/hotspots/conflicts/07-05-2009/107512-georgia_opposition-0

TORTURE USA

Waterboarding 'unethical,' says So. Baptist leader 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=520728

Pelosi Was Briefed on Interrogations 5/8/09
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/washingtonpostinvestigations/2009/05/see_what_else_were_reading_2.html?wprss=washingtonpostinvestigations

REAL ID & IDENTITY THEFT NEWS

Hackers breach UC Berkeley computer database 5/8/09
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/05/08/state/n110100D61.DTL

Hackers Threaten to Expose Va.'s Private Info 5/7/09
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Hackers-Hijack-Personal-Information.html

Sensitive US missile defence data found on computer disk bought on eBay 5/7/09
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5289638/Sensitive-US-missile-defence-data-found-on-computer-disk-bought-on-eBay.html

Should the DNA database be trimmed? 5/7/09
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/8037389.stm

Boost national cybersecurity without stifling freedom 5/6/09
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0506/p09s03-coop.html

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS NEWS

Obama requires no accountability for union dues 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=520416

U.S. funds HIV transmission study in Argentina - Wasteful government spending 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=520722

Did you say 'Aloha'...or 'Allah'? 5/7/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=520304

Millions, Billions, Trillions 5/7/09
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/millions-billio.html

FRAUD & CORRUPTION

ACORN under fire for alleged voter registration fraud 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=521294

7 Pa. ACORN workers charged in voter probe 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=521014

2ND AMENDMENT

Montana Governor Signs Revolutionary New Gun Law 5/4/09
http://www.republicmagazine.com/montana-governor-signs-revolutionary-new-gun-law/

HATE CRIME BILL

Hate crimes bill is full of swill 5/7/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=520544

RELIGION IN THE NEWS

Chris Matthews Portrays GOP as Anti-Science 5/7/09
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/colleen-raezler/2009/05/07/chris-matthews-portrays-gop-anti-science

Dobson regrets Obama's snub of prayer ceremonies 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=522028

Outrage over Bibles destroyed in Afghanistan 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Security/Default.aspx?id=520684

Teacher comes up short in student-filed lawsuit 5/7/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=519126

STATE SOVEREIGNTY NEWS

19 more Sheriff's posse members trained to carry weapons 5/7/09
http://www.abc15.com/content/news/phoenixmetro/central/story/19-more-Sheriffs-posse-members-trained-to-carry/lJdgcVXIqES_-PbxQibKkA.cspx

HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA

Obama urged to appoint first 'gay' to Supreme Court 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=520518

Lesbians look to boot Boy Scouts from own facilities 5/6/09
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=97248

EMINENT DOMAIN

Government to condemn land for Flight 93 memorial 5/7/09
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090507/ap_on_re_us/us_flight93_memorial

FOOL ME ONCE...

Student's Wikipedia Hoax Fools Newspapers 5/7/09
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519283,00.html

TRANSGENIC NEWS

Dog gives birth to mutant creature that resembles human being (photo)
http://english.pravda.ru/photo/report/mutant-3050

MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE NEWS

Shooter's surrender ends fears of Va. Tech repeat 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=521976

CRIME IN THE NEWS

Child porn websites on the decline 5/8/09
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=519548

TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT

Disabled veteran closes in on London Marathon finish 5/7/09
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/07/veteran.marathon/index.html