One of my favorite people in the world is Pastor Matthew Barnett from the Los Angeles Dream Center. We have learned many things in our visits to LA and continue to plan implementation through our local Dream Center.
The biggest parts that stand out to me in the inspiration I have gotten through following, listening to and learning from Matthew and many of the people he works with. I believe you would encouraged by his passion to serve hurting people and the messages he shares.
This past fall he published his most recent book Misfits Welcome. Again, much of what I have consumed (and underlined) from the book hits close to home. Today I share some of these with you…
“your feelings of inadequacy are actually a qualification of usefulness … we can often identify with people’s failures even more than their success.” (page 3)
“One of my greatest fears for Christian people is that we will start valuing safety over danger … the prevent lifestyle way too much attention to the possibility of failure.” (page 13)
“Some of the greatest ways we choose to serve are often the ones that do not make sense … When an idea comes to your mind and it has something to do with the simple acts of service, here’s my advise: do it! … The beginnings of great ideas and transformational concepts usually come in short bursts of inspiration.” (pages 15-16)
“Most ideas that make a difference are outside of our comfort zones…” (page 18)
“Talking yourself out of compassion usually leads to regret … If the idea doesn’t make sense, there’s a good chance it might make history.” (pages 21-22)
“If it’s spontaneous, full of love, and will make a difference, then move in faith. And don’t waste time.” (page 25)
“God doesn’t always ask us to do what we can do, but rather to do more than we can do. He told this man to do something he was totally incapable of doing, but it turned out well for the man! … Jesus didn’t speak to this man’s need but spoke to his potential. Meanwhile, the man could have considered Jesus’ request to be some kind of sick joke. But he moved, and he got his miracle.” (page 26)
“Jesus had a way of noticing them and then believing they could be so much more. As a result, people were changed. Jesus surrounded Himself with some pretty bizarre characters. He sought them out. Then they flocked to Him and became the people who would start a revolution.” (page 33)
“I used to look at people with lifelong drug addictions and think, Maybe I can help them survive. Now I look at them and say, “One day they are going to thrive.” I’ve learned that being loved and believed in are the only things most people need to turn a corner.” (page 34)
“The truth is, the way we treat others in this world is a sermon in itself.” (page 49)
“Embracing misfits is often risky. All good things are. Sure, people will walk over you. But if you want to be a bridge of hope, you have to be willing to be stepped on. Yes, people will take advantage of you. But compassion often throws caution to the wind, and that wind takes us to some pretty exciting places to serve.” (page 54)
“Generosity is a great way to live. Generous people don’t think about what they lose when they give; they think about what they’ve multiplied in someone else. Loving people unconditionally is sometimes difficult because they don’t often get up as fast as we want them to, or even take advantage of the lifeline we give them. Don’t get frustrated when someone you choose to embrace won’t change. Just keep showing up in that person’s life as a bridge of hope.” (page 55-56)
“The church is not a social club of fake perfection. It’s a place where broken people fall in love with a perfect God. People who have learned the power of restoration have learned to love people where they are, not where they’re supposed to be.” (page 59)
“Deciding that we will allow God to be God is absolutely liberating. Don’t praise Him for what you can see; praise Him that He’s simply God, and that even in the cave He has a plan. As a matter of fact, the cave is often where He’s preparing us to be stronger for the palace later.” (page 66)
“I have learned to serve the hardest when I’m feeling the most selfish; that helps me press through to the other side.” (page 71)
“People really become dangerous to the devil not when they see their dreams come into focus, but when they unlock dreams I their hearts they never knew they had – dreams that can only come about through serving.” (page 79)
“Influence is pointless if it’s not lifting people up along the journey … we were born to serve, born to make a difference, born to use our influence for good.” (page 83)
That is just through six chapters, and I have been challenged and encouraged. But what I most need is to be reminded that the dream in me is to help others reach for their dreams.
May our lives make a big difference and set free our potential and the potential in others!
Proverbs 29:18 NASB
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.