Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. Wikipedia article.
For Reflection/Discussion: What are some of the foundations people build their lives? Which are solid and which are sand? What have you been building your life on? How solid is that foundation? How does your relationship with God affect your decisions and day-to-day life?
"I Have a Dream" is a public speech delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement. Near the end of his prepared remarks, singer Mahalia Jackson shouted out to Dr. King, "Tell them about the dream, Martin." King pushed his manuscript aside and began preaching improvisationally, punctuating his points with the memorable words "I have a dream."
The term 'Big Hairy Audacious Goal' (BHAG) was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. In it they write, "A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines." Wikipedia article.
When John F. Kennedy became president in January, 1961, many people believed that the US was losing the Space Race with the USSR, which had successfully launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, almost four years earlier. The perception increased when Russian cosmonautYuri Gagarin became the first man in space in April. Convinced of the need for an achievement which would demonstrate America's space superiority, Kennedy stood before Congress on May 25 and proposed that "this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Wikipedia article.
For Reflection/Discussion: How would you like your life to be different? How would you like the world to be different? Do you have a God-given, God-sized dream? If so, what is it? If not, why not? How do you feel as you read Ephesians 3.20-21?
For Reflection/Discussion: Read Matthew 7:24 and think about how it applies to your life. What keeps you from taking action on Jesus' words? On your God-given dreams? What motivates you and moves you to take action? What role can worship, a daily quiet time with God, and being involved in a group play in keeping you focused and motivated? What are some actions you can take this week that will bring God's dream for your life or for the world closer to being realized?
"We need spiritual friends who are close to us, who understand us, who will encourage us and counsel us, who will carry our burdens but also get in our face when we’re being disobedient or harmful. We need friends who care about the way we are becoming (or not becoming) more like Christ." —Darrin Patrick, "The Vital Importance of Spiritual Friendship" For the Church, April 22, 2015.
For Reflection/Discussion: Are you the kind of person who likes to act alone or work with others? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Who are the people God has placed in your life who help and encourage you? Who are some people you can encourage?
For Reflection/Discussion: Do you ever feel discouraged? Have you ever felt like giving up? How can God and other people help us weather life's storms and challenges? How can we show support and encouragement to others when they are down? Who do you know who could use some encouragement and what can you do to help them?