IN MUD UP TO THEIR ANKLES

February 20, 2012 2 comments

I recently spent a couple days in Dallas, Texas. I was able to familiarize myself with the Dallas area, which was also helpful in preparation for my trip back in July for Mercury One’s Restoring Love event at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

There were a couple things from Dallas that left an impression on me. It wasn’t the colorful downtown, the gigantic church buildings everywhere, or all the cowboy hats. It was the people and their conduct.

It’s not just a legend; the people really are nicer in Texas. As a whole, they are decent and looking out for their neighbor. I experienced this firsthand and, in a way, it changed me. Here is my encounter with decency.

I was driving a rental car on the highways surrounding Dallas well after dark. By the way, drivers down there are a lot more patient and quicker to let you switch lanes. That now comes to mind–no joke–everytime I have the urge to come in first or have the chance to give someone in front of me on the road a little more space. Anyway, it had been raining all day there. I exited the interstate and pulled into what I thought was a parking lot for my destination.

I could see where I wanted to go, just on the other side of this “parking lot” which I soon realized had no lighting. Turns out, this wasn’t a parking lot, but rather a large, grassy construction sight turned mud hole, because of all the rain.

I was stuck. I managed to do a 180, turning the car back in the direction of the way I entered, in hopes to get back out. I tried putting the car in neutral and pushing it myself (walking in mud up to my ankles), but that did no good with no one there to step on the gas. I did my best to reverse and accelerate my way out, but I was going nowhere.

The car looked as if I went mudding offroad, but that rental car was not the type for Texas muddin’!

After ten minutes of trying, I barely had a moment to think about what am I going to do, because a car pulled up to help. A guy and girl got out and said jokingly, “Having some fun in here?” They asked me how long I was there. I said about ten minutes. They were surprised it took ten minutes for someone to stop and help. I thought to myself, that’s pretty good, considering how long it would take for someone to stop where I come from.

With their help, we got the car out quite effortlessly. We exchanged names and handshakes. And with their willingness to get in mud up to their ankles just to help another person, they showed a powerful example of Matthew 22:39, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I look forward to going back in July.

AMERICAN JOY

December 20, 2011 1 comment

A few of us sat down around the table for dinner and fellowship one evening, like we always do. Then something happened we were not intending.

Matt set this picture on the table, and it rocketed the rest of our conversation in a totally different direction, down a path of inspiration and clarity for what we were to do next.

Step #4 – God uses simple things in life to communicate great things to man.

We just have to be mindful of them. Expect the unexpected. When you’re not convinced of your next step, it’s okay to stop moving, but don’t stop looking.

What is even more interesting about this picture is that Matt felt led to draw it on his own, with no intention of ever showing it to me. Matt creates numbers and numbers of drawings, and I see them all the time, piled on his desk, hanging on the wall.

But one day, I was over at his house and happened to glance down at his desk, and a particular picture–not even a third of the way finished–immediately caught my eye. I said, “Matt, there is something about this picture. I think it is the best one you have ever done.”

So, back to the night that we were around the table–we knew then that it is more than just a good piece of artwork, but a miracle. It tells a story. You can see the joy on their faces, celebrating the freedom of their country, illustrated by the freedom of the open farmland around them.

American Joy is a key to what made America great.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” And the Lord might use something as simple as artwork to serve as a “road sign” on your way.

THE GREATEST OF THESE

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s already happening. Upon Glenn Beck’s announcement of Restoring Love, miracles are happening, and not just since the announcement, but over the past year that have led to this point.

Just days before the announcement of Advancing Honor

A year ago, December 2010, I had the opportunity to speak with Glenn Beck in Wilmington, Ohio, and I shared with him the most significant thing I took home from the 8-28-10 Restoring Honor Rally. 8-28 was the first time in my life that I felt I could make a difference. He told me, “Keep that spirit going. Do not let it go.” He had no idea that what he told me was already underway in a big way–Advancing Honor.

Just days before the announcement of Restoring Love

Earlier this month, I spoke with Glenn again at a book signing in York, PA. Not really thinking about what I would tell him, for some reason, I simply said, “I love ya, Glenn.” He replied, “I love you, too.” I had no idea that what I told him was the theme for his next major project–Restoring Love.

Over the past year

The morning after the Restoring Honor Rally on 8-28-10, I was driving to church and reflecting on hope. Sitting at a stop light, I saw a hot air balloon gracefully rising over the horizon. I thought to myself, Hope Rises, just as the sun and that hot air balloon were doing that morningIt was a new day for America.

The evening of 9-15-10, I was driving to dinner out and reflecting on hope and that hot air balloon. Amid that very thought, I looked out my window and saw a hot air balloon rising over the hill. I was blown away by the “coincidence,” almost serving as a reminder that Hope Rises!

The day after the Advancing Honor Rally on 5-27-11, I was driving home and listening to Chris Tomlin’s song ‘I Lift My Hands’ on the radio. If you know the song, you know where I’m going with this. The very moment I heard the line of the song, “Let faith arise,” I caught glimpse of a hot air balloon rising over the treeline in front of me. It was meant to happen. Faith Rises!

What is coming

This is incredible. Faith & Hope are associated with hot air balloons on separate occasions over the past year. With faith & hope, what’s missing? Love. And now, Restoring Love. I’m expecting miracles! I wrote this in September: “I don’t know what this all means, but you can’t just ignore that it is happening. So far, we have Faith Rises, Hope Rises–both tied to hot air balloons. What’s next? Something is coming!” I expect 7-28-12 to be the greatest stop to this point on this journey that began on 9-12-09.

In culmination of Restoring Love, the past year is explained perfectly in the Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

STOP AND LOOK BOTH WAYS

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

As you follow “God’s breadcrumbs,” be willing to change directions along the way.

Step #3 – If you’re not convinced of your next step, you don’t have to take it. Stop and consider it, but don’t stop looking.

So, I stopped, and as I waited, another idea came to me. Any idea with any potential tends to CLICK in my mind, like you know it’s right.

Each of these ideas that CLICK often tend to fitly join together in the end. As I explore this new path, I haven’t forgotten what step #3 would have been, because it might have a part to play at the end of the day.

FOLLOW THE SIGNS

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

When you have an idea, start, even when it doesn’t make sense. Be confident you will accomplish what you are meant to.

Step #2 – Look for “God’s breadcrumbs” along the way. Be willing to follow them and also backtrack if you find they weren’t from Him.

As I had a burden to go back to the days of Peter and Paul in building up fellow churches–not connecting the two–I started planning an event. It came together when I read Galatians 6:10. You will see how in step #3. I don’t know if step #3 is going to even go my way. I’ll know in a week.

STEPPING TOWARD REVIVAL

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

As the journey begins to awakening hope in the hearts of people again, I am going to track the process for you here, to serve as a blueprint for whatever it is God produces through us.

Step #1 – Start, even when it doesn’t make sense. Just start.

Start talking about your idea, even when people react with a funny look, blank stare, or “Yeah, that’s nice.” Start planning, even when you don’t have all the pieces. Start creating, one step at a time. It will seem outside the box at first, but that is exactly what you want.

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

November 15, 2011 1 comment

abc.com

There were some great moments in last Sunday’s episode of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, some valuable lessons that we can learn from this show’s version of Cinderella and her real world counterpart, Ashley.

The way to watch this show is under the context of when you compare the real world to fairy tales, there could be more to the real world than we allow there to be, by learning from what we like in those stories.

I have said before, anything that comes out of movies, books, fiction, whatever–anything created by man, good or bad, comes from somewhere, making the principles behind the fictional story line real. Everything produced on this earth has a source. But know where it comes from. I am coming to the opinion, the show is portraying that life is meant to be lived somewhere between the two worlds, but that’s just an opinion and could change. Or, maybe it’s that the two worlds are beginning to merge in the show.

At one point in the show, Henry, the “kid,” asks Emma about Ashley, “What’s her story?”

As you read this blog post, I ask you, “What’s your story?” Your story might be a lot like Cinderella’s before she put on those glass slippers.

My life, it’s wretched,” said Cinderella.

Rumpelstiltskin replied, “Then change it.” She did. We find that Cinderella’s real world counterpart, Ashley, was in a similar wretched state, but went about changing her circumstances the wrong way. You know, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

As the show continues, Regina, the cruel mayor confronts Emma, which would later serve as fuel for Emma in helping Ashley fulfill her destiny. Regina stated…

Emma vs. Regina, abc.com

In order for something to grow, Ms. Swan, it needs roots, and you don’t have any. People don’t change; they only fool themselves into believing they can.”

You don’t know me,” Emma states back. Regina shot back…

No, I think I do. All I ask is as you carry on your transient life, you think of Henry and what’s best for him. Perhaps consider a clean break. It’s going to happen anyway.”

Do you ever feel like Emma, like you never really belonged anywhere, like others even want to keep you feeling that way? Like Emma, you will find your place. You will find your purpose. As Henry told Emma near the end of the show…

Henry, the “kid”, tvguide.com

You’re different. You’re the only one who can do it. You’re the only one who can leave Storybrooke. If anyone else tried to go, bad things would happen. You CAN go.”

How interesting, it is her weakness of a transient life that could ultimately be her greatest strength, in just the right place, at just the right time.

Continuing with the story, Cinderella is about to have a baby, but is afraid, because she was tricked by Rumpelstiltskin in a deal made with him. Watch how her husband handles this major crisis that could potentially break up the family. Cinderella cried…

Now I’m going to lose it all, my life, you.”

No…magic may have brought us together, but it didn’t create this love,” said Prince Thomas.

But I made a deal?” Cinderella responded.

Then the answer is simple. We make another deal,” reassured Prince Thomas.

Compare that to the real world version, explained by a waitress friend, Ruby…

That would mean the boyfriend was involved with her at all, which he isn’t. He left right after they found out they were expecting. Hasn’t spoken to her since.”

Surprised? Without her boyfriend around, Ashley confides in Emma…

It’s just that when the baby comes, no one thinks that I can do this. No one thinks I can do anything. Maybe they’re right.”

Emma turns around, looks Ashley in the eye and says…

Screw them. I know what it’s like–everyone loves to tell you what you can and can’t do, especially with a kid, but ultimately whatever you’re considering doing, or giving up, the choice is yours.”

It’s not exactly what you might think it is,” suggested Ashley.

It never is. People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, no, this is who I am. You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things? You’re going to have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world,” said Emma.

Ashley with child, abc.com

The enemy will tell you that “people don’t change.” Turn that channel off, and turn on Once Upon a Time. In the show, both Snow White and Cinderella came from unfortunate situations. There was a particular scene where the two of them were dancing together in the palace–a picture of two people who beat the odds and found themselves in a special place.

Do you realize what inspiration you are to everyone?” Snow White asked Cinderella.

All I did was get married,” suggested Cinderella. Snow White concluded…

All you did was show that anyone can change her life. I’m proud of you.