I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, January 17, 2011

"I have a Dream"

Martin Luther King Jr., born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, is best known for leading the civil rights movement in the United States. Watch as he delivers his famous "I have a Dream" speech after leading a march of more than 200,000 people from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

Or read a transcript of the speech here.


*1954 became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
*1955 received a Ph.D. from Boston University.
*1955-56 led an effort to successfully desegregate buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
*1957 helped found and served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
*1964 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway at age 35--the youngest man to have received it. He gave the $54,000 prize money to civil rights groups to secure the rights blacks deserved.
*1964 became the first black American to be honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year.
*1965 created national support for federal voting-rights legislation with a mass march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
*1968 assassinated while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

You might say King was a busy man. From 1957 to 1968, he traveled more than six-million miles and spoke over 2500 times. Yet, he still managed to write five books and numerous articles. He dared to dream and then achieved it.

What's your dream? To become a published author? What's keeping you from achieving it? Do you have commitments to a day job or raising a family that limit your time to write? How can you carve time from your schedule to write every day? I'm told Frank Peretti completed his first novel, This Present Darkness, by writing two pages--and only two pages--every day.

Are you afraid of failure? Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times. Julie Lessman's first novel, A Passion Most Pure, was rejected more than 40 times, including rejections after it was accepted for publication. J. K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book? Yep, rejected by Penguin and HarperCollins. Yet, those authors eventually sold because they believed in their novels and persevered through rejections.

A lack of discipline? Discipline--the daily exercise of writing--turns into delight or desire as you see your efforts pay off and as your word count grows. Make time to ponder, then make time to write. Eventually, to be a published author, you've got to follow the Nike motto: Just do it!

Sometimes we're ill. Sometimes people in our lives need us. Bills need to be paid. Errands need to be run. Life interrupts. But every time you choose television over writing time, every minute wasted that could be used writing is a conscious choice of that pursuit over your dream. At the end of your life, do you want to know the top ten finalists of every season of American Idol or be a published author?

Let 2011 be the year of declaring your dream, then finding concrete ways to achieve it.

~Roxanne Sherwood


  1. Lovely, lovely post, Roxanne. MLK changed a nation with his passion for equality.

    Never give up on the power of believing in your dreams and in yourself because you never know when God will throw that door of opportunity wide open!

  2. Sometimes I get discouraged and my dream seems oh,so elusive. The best thing I can do is watch others who have faithfully followed their dreams--who still pursue life with a passion. Their determination reignites mine.

  3. Thank you for an excellent example of what you can do even when the odds are stacked against you.

    And you're right--everytime I choose television or just plain doing nothing, I'm losing precious time I could be writing. Thank you for helping me shape my priorities today!

  4. Pat, I'm trying to reshape my priorities too.

    Beth, Watching a friend succeed after working hard also reignites my passion.

    Lisa, You're right. I need trust God's timing.

    Thanks for the comments, ladies.

  5. Outstanding, Roxanne, especially since I see in you the inspiring example of someone pursuing good dreams until they wonderfully come to pass, and not letting bad ones take hold. Keep it up. We all appreciate.

  6. Thanks for including the video of MLK's speech. I try to watch it every year. It's so uplifting and it's good to see people actually caring about something important.

  7. Roxanne, thanks for the post! It is good to look at what Martin Luther King accomplished in his life, and how he pursued with passion that dream God gave him.

    Like Pat, I am convicted when I choose facebook over writing. Thanks for the exhortation to do what I need to do to pursue my dream. :)

  8. Dee, Jeannie and Jeanne, Thanks for your comments.

    MLK Jr.'s accomplishments are so inspiring, especially since his life was cut so short.

    May we use our talents today in whatever work God has called us to do.

  9. Wonderful post, Roxanne! I loved the part where you noted that discipline forms into delight and desire. Now, if only I can get that discipline thing down...

  10. Ouch. Does that mean no more tetris??? But I got to level 30! :-) Great reminder, Roxanne!

  11. Oh Rox! What an awesome post! It was both poetic and practical. And exactly what I needed to hear. Last night my husband and I were talking about how much time it took us to watch all the seasons of Psych. 43 minutes per episode...22-ish episodes...it adds up to nearly 1000 minutes! 16-1/2 hours. And that's just for one season! If I had written 1000 words for every episode I watched, I'd have a full length manuscript. OUCH!!

    Thank you so much for reminding me that I have a dream, and that my fulfilling my dream needs to be a priority in my life! Bless you, my friend!