My Dream Story
In the early 1990s as a young high school student I thought I was going to pursue a career in computer science. Understand that there was no Google for me to find out more about this subject as the Internet was in it’s infancy. Also, I had never actually had any experience with computer science – no courses, no books. I had never talked to anyone that was in the field, but it sounded interesting. I was good with computers. I knew some stuff about science. Well, that came to a screeching halt when I took an introductory computer science course. What the heck?! This is like math! New plan.
I guess computer science was my back up plan as I was also pursuing a NBA career at the same time. Don’t laugh. As a six foot white dude with average hops, I held my own. The pinnacle of my career was dropping 42 points on our rivals my senior year. My dad later told me that he was talking to a parent from the other school before the game. Without knowing that he was talking to a parent of a player, the man made a comment that our team really only had one good player. He wasn’t talking about me. Justice served. Sort of. We lost the game, but man, was I on fire. Despite my heroic basketball abilities, the NBA never came calling. Their loss.
During our high school years we are expected to figure out what we are going to do with our life. We’ve got colleges to choose and subjects to major in. There is pressure, some outward but mostly inward, to pick a life track that makes good money and means something. I was no different. I had some ideas, some dreams, but really I didn’t know why I was put on this earth. I was mostly hoping everything would work out. While I accepted Jesus at 8 years old, I didn’t really make the relationship my own until my college years. This is key. Knowing what you are supposed to do is directly tied to knowing who you are. Through the years as my identity in Jesus has been strengthened so has my purpose in life.
I attended Liberty University earning a degree in Communications which involved graphic design and video production specializations. As a wide-eyed, ignorant freshman I had no idea where this road would lead. I thought I was just learning about something that I liked. Until recently, I did not realize the significance of my major in Communications. I was put on this earth to communicate, to help others communicate, to ultimately help others communicate with God.
At the start of my final year at Liberty I was listening to the president of a missions organization speak at our annual Missions Emphasis Week. As he finished his inspiring talk, he challenged those in attendance to give two years of their life to missions work. I was moved by the challenge and was one of the few to stand up in the basketball arena where we were meeting. I felt a strong leading to do so, but I did not know what that meant for me.
Fast forward to graduation day … I am on my way to Cincinnati to work with my girlfriend’s father who is the president of a mission organization. When I was standing somewhat alone in that arena several months before I barely even knew Jenny and had no knowledge of her dad’s ministry. Working with the organization opened my eyes to the power and love of God in a way I had never experienced. I saw parts of the world I’d never seen. I saw people saved, healed and delivered right in front of my eyes.
During my time working for the missions organization I got engaged and married to Jenny. Not until a few years after my time was done working with my father-in-law did I notice that I had worked exactly 2 years for his mission organization. God knows the plans that He has for you even if you don’t know what is going on!
The majority of my career since that time has been spent in the business world. I’ve always had opportunities to help ministries communicate more effectively through the skills and expertise I’ve developed professionally. My heart has always been drawn towards business and the part it plays in advancing the kingdom of God. As I matured professionally and spiritually I found myself not only having great interest in business but also the prophetic. Marrying these two seemingly vastly different ideas together may be a stretch for some, but for me it is a passion. What does God have to say about our businesses that can help change the world? That is exciting!
A significant part of my journey in hearing the voice of God has to be attributed to John Paul Jackson and Streams Ministries. I discovered John Paul on YouTube in 2008 as I watched a video on the Perfect Storm. He was explaining that major upheaval was about to happen over the next several years in finance, politics, religion, war and geophysical events. Many of the topics he covered during that video have come to pass.
From this point forward, I began to learn as much as I could from John Paul’s ministry. I felt a deep connection with the message God had given him. For the next several years I devoured any training that Streams Ministries produced in an effort to better hear the voice of God. Understanding Biblical dreams is central to John Paul’s teaching and it has become a invaluable addition to my life. Prior to these discoveries, I gave little thought or time to my dream life. Consequently I can’t tell you about any significant dreams that I had before this time.
Things have changed. In the years since I learned about the importance of dreams, I’ve had numerous life-altering experiences during my sleep. They have given me instruction, encouragement and inspiration to go after the things of God. Not only that, I’ve been blessed to help others understand what God is saying in their dreams.
A few years ago, I was driving home from church with my family. I mentioned to Jenny that I believed that the two major passions of my life were business and the prophetic and that God would use those together somehow. Sometime later I had a dream in which my pastor said that I had two dreams and that he wanted me to stand up and “pray them over the church.” There were several other elements to the dream but at this time I knew very little about interpreting dreams. I knew the dream had significant meaning but was not sure what that was.
Meanwhile, I was a regular viewer of a new online program John Paul was producing called Dreamipedia. He would take dreams that had been given to their ministry and use them as teaching tools on dream interpretation. I submitted two of my dreams at different times, one of them being the aforementioned dream. To my surprise, Streams Ministries eventually used both dreams as examples of elements that often show up in dreams.
The interpretation that John Paul gave for my “prayer dream” changed my life. Several parts of the dream spoke to the very heart of who I was and where I was going. John Paul said that my pastor was symbolic of God’s voice and that God was telling me to pray my two dreams into existence. I knew exactly what he meant.
Losing A Mentor
Early in 2014 I learned that John Paul Jackson was battling an aggressive form of cancer. I prayed and believed with many others who had been touched by his life that God would raise him up. By September 2014 John Paul was back to recording his online programming. I traveled to Dallas, Texas to participate in his first show recording since his health issues. His testimony was inspiring as it told of the goodness of God and His miraculous power. I had the opportunity to share about one of my recent dreams and John Paul gave his insight. The whole trip was a great experience and built my faith immensely.
February 16, 2015 I received an urgent prayer request for John Paul Jackson saying that he has taken a turn for the worst. Previous to this I had no knowledge that he was having any difficulty. I was shocked but as I prayed I thought this would be another failed attack from the enemy.
The next night I had a dream where basketball great Michael Jordan was giving a commencement address that I was attending. Later in the dream I was talking to MJ and he asked me what I did. I said that I was about to finish a marketing degree. Later that day I told Jenny my dream and she said, “Isn’t today Michael Jordan’s birthday?” Growing up I was a huge Jordan fan, so I actually knew that his birthday was February 17, but I never put the two things together until Jenny mentioned it.
February 18, 2015 John Paul Jackson, one of my greatest mentors, left this earth and it’s mortal toils. I was heartbroken as were many others. The early morning hours of that day before he passed I had another dream. In this message from God, I was gathering supplies to go back to school in a store. While shopping I saw a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes that someone had discarded in a pile. I picked them up and saw that they were size 12, which is one size bigger than what I wear. The shoes were in great shape, nearly new, and I knew I should be able wear them. While I was doing this people were boarding a train to go to school. The train left without me.
It became quite clear to me that along with John Paul Jackson’s physical death, my training was now over. It was time to step into bigger things and soar to new heights. In my heart I knew that John Paul was the grain of wheat that falls to the earth, dies and bears much fruit. This same thought was confirmed and repeated by other minister friends of John Paul.
From Trainee to Trainer
Since that time I’ve had several opportunities to encourage others about the dream God put inside of them whether through dream interpretation or simply sharing the heart of God with them. It has been an exciting step into the larger shoes that have been left behind. I’m just one small part of the heritage that John Paul Jackson left behind. Many others are going forward with the message of God that awakens the dreams inside of His children. I, for one, am elated to fulfill my portion of this awakening.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”
As a young lad my dream was to be a horse rancher. I do not know where this idea came from. Maybe, it was the Bonanza reruns. To this day I’ve never ridden a horse. As a kid, anything is possible and we have altruistic ideas of our future life: nurse, doctor, firefighter, police officer, president, explorer … maybe even a horse rancher. We want to do something heroic and adventurous. No matter what path our life has led us on, we are still made to be heroes and adventurers. God has instilled in us all a desire to be like Him and save the world. Better yet, we get the astounding privilege of working with Him to make other people’s dreams come alive.
Making someone’s dream come alive can take on many different forms. It could be speaking encouragement to the brokenhearted or maybe it is providing a warm meal to a homeless person; sponsoring an orphan in Africa; succeeding in business to bless the Kingdom of God; serving selflessly at your church and the list goes on indefinitely. God has knitted inside of your heart a custom fit dream for you to pursue and achieve. The broken world needs whole heroes willing to say yes to the impossible and make an eternal difference with what has been given to us. Your dream is worth going after. We all need what God has put inside of you.
About the Author
Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.