Friday, August 28, 2015

Born to Thrive

Jeff Johnson Pipeline Surfer
On May 25th, 1992 in Guarapari, a small city tucked away in Brazil, a son of a prayer warrior was born. 

His surfing father had big dreams for his child and hoped that he would be a world class professional surfer.
As the lad grew his father’s prayer didn’t look like it would come to pass, but when his son turned seventeen everything changed.  The young man decided to do something no one else had ever accomplished. His goal was like most that have a passion for surfing; to ride the biggest waves on earth and undergo the challenge of the “Pipeline” on the Northern Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
His name is Derek Rabelo. Taking on an adventure like this could change his life forever.  He would travel the globe and surf with the best surfers inspiring everyone he met.  There was one obstacle that made Derek’s goal seem impossible ... he is completely blind.

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBFiji; Nakambala, Southern Province, Zambia; Nellore, Andhra Pradesh & Gaya, Bihar, India; Nairobi, Kenya; New Plymouth, New Zealand; Kampala, Uganda; Makati, Manila, Philippines; Mexico; Ecuador; Ethiopia.
USA Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Wildomar, San Diego & Riverside, CA; Ayden & Grifton, NC; Corinth, MS; Colonial Beach, King George, Ruther Glen, Culpeper & Stafford, VA; Marcella, AR; Sarasota & Stuart, FL; Mountain View, MO; Littleton, CO.
Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
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“Shore” Living
In the United States summer is coming to an end. For those who live on the coasts, it’s time to get in a few more days of sun and fun at the beach. 
However, if you live in the Tri-State areas near New Jersey we aren’t headed for the beach, but for the shore!
I was privileged to grow up on the oldest and longest highway in America. There were times when the road was less traveled, but on certain days the truckers were non-stop.  We’d sit out on the front porch and watch them pass, while seeing who could get the driver to honk his horn.
Holiday weekends were another story. Traffic would pour out like a thick cake batter onto the highway from Maryland, Delaware and Philadelphia. Movement would come down to a trickle with cars, trucks, cycles, motor homes and boats backed up for miles as they made their way to the shore. 
Come any weekend, everyone I knew made their way to the water.  Family picnics, reunions and even church functions included meeting at a lake somewhere.
Fall is hurricane season on the East Coast, and it’s the best time to make the waves in South Jersey.  It was many years ago that I came to respect the water and all it offered.  Whether it was on a photo shoot or a simple date, I was able to watch some of the best surfers.  I can tell you this, although they may be risk takers, not one of them would dare to attempt the task if they were blind because it’s too dangerous and purely impossible.
So why would someone without vision think they could accomplish such a feat?
Pipeline Faith
Born with congenital glaucoma, Derek was 100% blind. Having four surgeries that failed, he refused to live as if he were disabled.  The sound of the ocean called him from his bedroom window.
Determined to surf like his father and uncles, Derek signed up for surf lessons and began to picture himself surfing in Hawaii. At first his parents were concerned about what their son set out to do. 
The only one in his corner was Fabio Castor, his surfing coach.  He was living by faith for something he couldn’t see.  One surfer compared what he was about to do to as a boxer going in the ring with his hands tied.
Not long after Derek expressed his surfing dream to his parents they did what they could to help their son achieve his goal.  They raised the banner to the most High God and went forward with the challenge.
Derek never said that at times he didn’t get scared, but he chose not to live those emotions. When asked how he thought he would succeed Derek boldly responded,
“We need to walk by faith, not by sight.  Our lives have to be connected to the Lord with open hearts. Let God take direction of our lives and let His will be in our lives and not our desires.
If we have problems in our lives, this is normal, but if we have God in our lives, we can do anything.”
With scripture the sure foundation for his journey, it would take over three years for Derek to train with a surf coach as he worked toward what seemed to be impossible for a blind person. In February 2012 God opened numerous doors for Derek when he visited a local Brazilian church in Hawaii, where he met photographer/film maker Bruno Lemos.
Oahu North Shore Pipeline photo by Paul Nicklen
A local Christian Production team (Souls 4 Jesus) aspired to help Derek realize his dream and recruited local surfers to help him surf Pipeline.
During one of the sessions, Bruno recorded Derek surfing and decided to post it on You Tube.  It didn’t take long before it went viral and instantly the world fell in love with this young surfer from Brazil.
Derek knows what it means to live by faith, facing the impossible with a God where all things are possible.  He doesn’t see fear when he faces the giant Pipeline waves, nor does he let his disability dictate what should or shouldn’t happen.
God has found a young soul who truly believes what he says he believes; others see him walking out that belief.  He relies on his faith in Jesus to be his guide and eyes on this difficult journey. That’s what keeps him going and why he has found such favor from God and mankind. 

Thrive Movement
If you do your research you will find that there is an ongoing “thrive” movement that the world is flocking to concerning the future of the Universe. The problem lies with this … it’s not scripturally based, but fear oriented.
When you look up the word thrive in the dictionary it’s described as an action word. For something or someone to have thrived, it has developed extremely well to the point of going beyond normal into the realm of flourishing or being prosperous.  Our hopeful professional surfer fits this description I’d say.
God has called the end time generation to be more than earth dwellers, but earth movers, shakers and faith walkers.
“So Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you would say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will be moved; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 NKJV)
As we grow in the Lord our life should reflect us going from strong to stronger, becoming more successful and expanding our vision as God takes us through our journey for Him.
I think back on one year ago to the day of this post that my husband went into surgery for his first heart surgery.  What satan wanted for harm, God turned into good.  People have witnessed how the Lord has wrapped His  favor shield around us changing each situation into something extraordinary. We’re learning to thrive no matter what the circumstance.
We can either get caught up with the fear issues or make a difference by doing the impossible by faith.  God has placed something special inside us that can inspire others to be the best at what the Lord has called them to be. Can people really tell we're faith walkers and mountain movers by what they see in us?

Dream Breaker or Maker?
What’s happened to all those dreams and plans you had for your life?  Why did you stop dreaming?  I’ll tell you what happened; you let fear overtake your faith.  Make all the excuses you want, but if you aren’t living your God dream, then fear has taken root along your journey. We’ve forgotten that Jesus is along for the journey.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God
is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV)  

It’s not too late to accomplish what God has for you in this life. The pipeline of Heaven to you is still open and operative. Scriptures remind us in the book of Saint John that Jesus has already prayed, and His dream for us is to be amazing.
As believers we have the living waters of God flowing through us, which never run dry.  We aren’t to be settling for trying to survive, but thriving in His favor to accomplish the plans He has made for us. Our problem is that the desire to move forward in our dream has been squelched by the devil.
We’ve allowed people to talk us out of what we believe we are meant to do. Finances have prevented us from moving forward. Unbelief and not having someone to believe in us have contributed to our not succeeding.  We’ve settled for just surviving, rather than pushing forward to thrive in the favor of God.
Derek living his dream surfing the Pipeline.
There is no doubt that although Derek is blind, he isn’t living in darkness.  What others see in him is that he believes God when circumstances say it cannot be done.  His testimony isn’t that he is a blind person who surfs, but a surfer who thrives on God through his blindness.
Yes, it’s true that Jesus healed the blind, and still is doing so today.  However, like the Lord said to the unbelievers, Derek’s inability to see is being used so that God may be magnified and cause people to believe in Him.
This Week's Challenge:
Move Beyond Sight
We’ve learned about the faith of a child as he grew into adulthood, and what God will do for those who believe His Word by stepping out into the world of impossible. 

Our challenge this week will have us digging deeper in the Word to believe God as we step out in faith.  Instead of listing a bunch of excuses as to why we can’t do the impossible, we’re going to begin anew and take the first step in living our dream.
For years I wanted to be a professional writer.  I would write and write, but never do anything with it. One day God spoke to me about why I stopped moving forward in my writing, and it was because of all the rejections I had received in the past. 
There wasn’t anyone in my corner cheering me on to pursue my dreams, but I had God and He was enough.  When I obeyed the call of God on my life, it opened doors to His favor and blessings. 
There are millions of Derek’s out there who have a story, the difference is he didn’t want to remain ordinary. People put limits on their lives, not God. He never created us to be less than He planned.
What is Derek up to these days?  As of now he is riding a bike, water skis, golf cart drives and downhill skateboarding for the world championships, and thriving at it as well.  He says with God all things are possible. He’s living his dream and God is getting the glory.

“The only thing holding you back is yourself.” – Derek Rabelo

If you are reading this, you are one of those people God has called. Stop waiting for everything to fall in place before you begin doing what you know to do.  Start and God will give you what you need as you go.  You only have to do one thing to get going, what is it? Until you take that step in blind faith you won’t receive the next step from the Lord.  Believe and begin walking by faith, not by sight.
God wants us to have joy unstoppable, thriving inside us to the point it drives us to step out in faith achieving what we’ve been called to do.  Anything is possible to those who believe.  It’s time to move beyond sight and merely surviving. It’s time to thrive!
Thrive - Casting Crowns
                                      Until next time, thrive in God’s favor!

Check Messages throughout the week.

“If you believe I will help your dreams come to pass.”
Jesus Christ 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
by Jack Hayford

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior. 

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Jeff Johnson Pipeline Surfer Derek Rabelo  New Jersey Shore
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Notes: Quote from Christian Surfers UK interview.