Barbara Millicent Roberts, or Barbie for short, is likely one of the world’s original influencers. Who else could be credited with showing a five-year girl that she could be a CEO, a Spanish teacher, a fashion designer, a pilot, or a marathoner? Or that she could wear jeans, shorts, and ball gowns all on the same day? Barbie had a lot of friends, pets, cars, and a couple of houses, but the Malibu dream house remains iconic.

When I was six years old, a sixty-second walk down the doll aisle of a toy store gave pictures of this life of endless possibilities and became integral to a series of yeses to God’s plan for my life. Think what you want, but Barbie’s world is one of wonder.

So, leaving one of my favorite lunch spots in #SantaMonica , I could not resist the urge to take a quick photo in front of the #theworldofBarbie.

I know the life lessons came on many levels, in many places, from many people, and all of it  worked together to allow me to honor God with my life and experience his blessings; but for this effort, let’s consider Barbie and a few points about the power and purpose of imagination.

First, you must believe that God has been with you and for you your entire life. He loved you before you knew him. He chose you and had a plan for you before you learned to ask, and he was working to get you to see him so that you could trust him. Why is this important to believe this? Well, it is the beginning of understanding grace. God’s kindness or unearned favor is shown to us. The wonder of his grace must penetrate and overtake your heart to truly surrender. You begin to acknowledge. If you loved me when I didn’t know you, didn’t want you, and disobeyed you. If you showed me kindness, then. If you moved to help me see you, seek you, and come to you, how much more will your grace do now? 

We take grace for granted, but I do not doubt that after today you will want to know more and go deeper in understanding and respecting the grace of God.  Don’t be too quick to dismiss something as irrelevant or unimportant. Be stable and evaluate things. Seek the Lord’s position. He’s working in it, on it, or through it.  You must learn to truly be still and know that He is God.  Also, be grateful for all the opportunities, situations, and circumstances you’ve seen in life.  You are here today, and hopefully what you’ve gained out of the situation surpassed what you may have lost.  If not, keep letting him heal you.  He’s not finshed.

Second, remember that God created time, and he does not waste it.  God dwells in eternity. There is nothing before him, and there will be nothing after him. He created the construct of time for man. Therefore, everything matters and impacts. The goal here is to learn to know and heed God’s instructions to use the time wisely.  If you maintain an attentive ear and ensure your heart is set to obey his will, you know his timing for your life. I wish I could tell you that obedience and knowing God’s timining makes your life less complicated, but that’s not true.  It’s not always pie-in-the-sky and hallelujah.  Sometimes people won’t understand your obedience to God’s timing. They will think this or that.  They will be wrong.  However, I can tell you that  you never really have to worry about that.  God gives so many promises with obedience that when those promises become  your reality and not just words on a page, you will obey as if your life depended on it. Obedience to God is the bedrock of spiritual growth and the key to a life of true freedom.

So, as I stood in front of this #Barbie  sign just a few steps away from the Pacific Ocean, I looked up and heard, “Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or imagine according to the power that works I you.” And I knew at that moment that the life God plans for you exceeds your imagination.

My heart is filled with gratitude, knowing that the God who was with this little girl is with this very adult woman, and more importantly, filled with joy in reminding you that HE is with you now. The same God who held and breathed into my dreams spoke above my imagination and ordered my steps today is the same God who wants to do the same for you. He wants you to know him better. He wants to do so much more for you. Today, I hear the Spirit of the Living God encouraging you to DREAM AGAIN, UNLOCK YOUR IMAGINATION. Let Him, who has the breath of life, renew your strength, vision, passion, courage, tenacity, and purpose. He is reorganizing, reestablishing, and reforming to set you in a new season of unshakeable power and influence. It’s not solely for you and yours but for the most significant work of the church. (There is so much more but in due time.)

Today, I encourage you to remember the dream, make peace with the past and pursue the future. You can be and do more because He is able to do more than that, but it starts with what’s in you today. Hand your dreams back to the authentic influencer, and watch him work.

Blessings to you,

Pastor MC