#195 (21/08/05)
If you can dream it, you can do it! – Part III

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

Kenneth E. Behring
The establishment of the Wheelchair Foundation marks the most recent chapter in the Kenneth E. Behring's philanthropic efforts to improve the lives of disadvantaged people around the world. From his successful career as an automobile dealer in Wisconsin, Ken entered the world of real estate development in the sixties and over the course of the next thirty-five years, his companies created numerous successfully planned communities. After purchasing the Seattle Seahawks football team in 1988, Ken established the Seattle Seahawks charitable foundation, which benefits numerous children's charities including The Western Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association. During his years of travel around the world, Ken has made it his personal mission to help those in need. His donations of food, medical supplies, clothing, toys and educational materials have helped people in some of the most impoverished nations on earth. In 1999, Ken donated shipments of wheelchairs to relief organizations in eastern Europe and Africa. Since then, he as traveled the world delivering wheelchairs. Ken and his wife Patricia reside in California. They have five sons and ten grandchildren.

Eugene Fodor
Eugene Fodor has captivated audiences for three decades. Great orchestras that he's performed with in America, and around the world. His recital venues have included Carnegie Hall's Violin Virtuoso Series, Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series, Royal Festival Hall in London and major summer festivals in France and America. He was awarded full scholarships at Juilliard School of Music, New York, Indiana University and the University of Southern California. At the age of ten he made his solo debut with the Denver Symphony, playing the Bruch Concerto and he began touring at the age of 12.

Special Music

"Joyful, Joyful..."
"I Will Sing of the Mercies of the Lord"
"Only Believe"

"Hymn for our Time" by CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL CHOIR

VIOLIN SOLO -"It is Well With My Soul" and "Scherzo-tarantella, Op. 16" by EUGENE FODOR

"Hymn Fantasy on Amazing Grace" by HOUR OF POWER ORCHESTRA

The Message

Ever since this ministry began 48 years ago we have been trying to motivate people to believe that they can be more than they ever expected they could be. We call that possibility thinking where we challenge you to open up your mind to unbelievable possibilities. And that's what I want to do today, so I ask you the question ... Did you make New Year's resolutions? I asked that question of someone recently and he said to me, "No, I don't make resolutions. I used to, but I break them all the time anyway, so why make them?" That's a very depressing, pessimistic, and negative comment. If I were your teacher and you were my student, I'd give you an "F" for that remark ... You would fail! Sorry about that, but you will need to take your Possibility Thinking course over, and I'll give you another test tomorrow. Hopefully, then your answer will be, "Yes, I made resolutions!"

Resolutions are very important to those of us who are believers because a resolution is a commitment to do something and to be somebody that God wants you to be. Then you will set goals. You become goal managed. It is very simple ... when you pray to God, you ask Him, "What do You want me to do with the one life I have to live? What do You want me to accomplish? How can I make a difference?" When these are the kind of prayers you pray, then God will answer your prayers and give you the grand ideas. Probably that will happen by looking in the mirror. That's what happened to me in this New Year. You see, I made a resolution only a couple of weeks ago to lose 15 pounds between now and Easter ... and I'm sure I will ... because we are into the bran diet at our house.

Somebody sent me a funny story about this man and woman who were married for 60 years. They were a fabulous couple. She made sure they ate right and that's why they lived so long. They probably wouldn't have died as soon as they did, but there was a plane crash and they went straight to heaven. St. Peter welcomed them and said, "Well, let me show you your place." It was a mansion and the maid was hanging their favorite clothes in the closets.

It was ultimate luxury, and the man said to St. Peter, "I don't know if I can afford this."

But St. Peter answered, "This is heaven, this is your reward. It's free!" (This story has lousy theology, and it's not biblically correct at all, but it has a fun ending.)

The husband saw the most beautiful golf course and he asked, "What are the fees?"

And again, St. Peter replied, "This is heaven, it's free. But wait 'til you see the brunch."

And they came to the brunch and it was beyond imagination ... the hot foods, cold foods, and fattening desserts ... all free! The couple had been very careful about what they ate, no fats, no sugars, no sweets, no frostings, and very low carbohydrates. The healthiest eating ... and it was boring! But they lived long. Now, the husband said, "What's with all the fattening food? We don't eat these desserts. Where is the low fat stuff? Where is the healthy food?"

And St. Peter replied, "Don't you get it? You are in heaven. You can eat anything here and it won't hurt you. You won't get fat. This is heaven, and it's all free."

By this time the husband became very angry at his wife and said, "If you'd cut out those bran muffins we'd of come here 10 years ago!"

So with my resolution to lose 15 pounds I might not get to heaven soon, but I'm serious about my resolution ... and I'm affirming that "I Will!"

I Am! I Can! I Will!

I'm a great believer in dreaming dreams, setting goals, and then making them happen. And through this series of messages I just want to help you. I want to motivate you. That's what this ministry does week after week, all over the world; we motivate people because that's what real religion should do.

Real religion should turn people into the kind of persons who glorify God in their living, in their generosity and in their intelligence. The purpose of religion is to turn out persons who will glorify God and enjoy Him forever. How do you do that? You glorify God when you let God tell you what He thinks you should do with the gifts that you have and the talents that He created in you. Then you look at these possibilities and you say, "Wow, God, I don't know if I can do that!"

And that is where this ministry comes in. Hopefully we will help you to make your God-given dreams come true. Then you will experience joy and meaning in every day as you live a life that will glorify God.

"If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It!"
I Am! I Can! I Will! I Believe!

I wrote those affirmations nearly 50 years ago and they have been quoted and used by many, and I'm grateful and I have just written a little book with that title. It has only four short chapters:

I Am A Person! God can do something through me because I am a human being. I am a person. I am a person created in the image of God.

I can make decisions.

I can set my goal.

I can do more than I am. I can be more than I've ever imagined.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)

We have shared these first chapters the last two weeks and today we will look at the third chapter ... and this is the scary chapter.

I Will!

I'm preaching from experience, I know what I'm saying. It is pretty safe to dream your dreams to say, "I am," and then to fanaticize what you can do ... "I can" ... but it is in this third chapter where the pressure comes. When you say "I Will!" you put your name on the box. You sign the agreement. You go public. This is scary because when you tell others about the dream that God gave you, you have no guarantee that it will succeed. It's God's way of keeping you humble. And God does that very well. I know from experience.

During the first years of this ministry, I was preaching on the rooftop of the snack bar of the Orange Drive-In Theater week after week, month after month, year after year. Then I was invited to preach the morning sermon in the most prestigious church in the world, the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City where Norman Vincent Peale was the pastor. Wow, was I honored! It was then I began to think ... maybe I can build a church that would be as great as that one. But it would be very different ... maybe it was possible to build it with all glass ... after all, I lived in California. Maybe I could build a church where the doors would open and people would sit outside in the garden and in their cars. I was already very interested in art and architecture, so my imagination went wild, and it scared me stiff! I was up to the "I will" part of my ministry. I didn't want to tell anybody about it.

I was scared. Once I went public, I'd either have to succeed and pull it off or be called a windbag, a phony and a promotional con-man. Then in Dr. Peale's study dressing in the pulpit robe for the service, I saw a calendar on the wall ... on the calendar was a line and I've used it ever since. I didn't put the words together, I don't know who did, but this is the line:

"I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed."

That took the fear of failure out of my heart. That embedded in me a concept that the only failure I should ever be ashamed of is that people would said, "Oh, he had great ideas, but he never dared to try. He was so afraid of failure."

I think one of the most difficult things in life is to overcome the fear of failure. I asked somebody, "Why are you afraid of failure? Failure is not going to give you cancer." "Oh," he said, "I'll probably lose a lot of money. I said, "So what? Money can be earned again. You don't worship money, so why are you so afraid of failure?" I challenged him. I think it's because you don't want to be embarrassed and ashamed. If your friends knew that you blew it and didn't make it, your ego would suffer too big a blow. Your self esteem would be in the pits.

The fear of failure based on embarrassment is a very real fear!

Fear cannot control you. It cannot make your decisions. Fear must not manage you. You have to overcome it. It cannot control your future. You cannot let the fear of failure control you. You must not surrender leadership to fear!

Affirm: I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed. Let God use that affirmation to cure your fear of failure as He did for me. The only embarrassment that you should be embarrassed about is if you never had the courage to try. Affirm: I will ... I will begin to take action ... to do something. I will solve what is probably my biggest problem and that is inertia. (Inertia is when you sit back and you make no public commitment.) I will break loose from my inertia.

I will make a commitment and run the risk of failing! What is a commitment? I define commitments this way:

A commitment is taking action without an exit strategy!

That means I will never walk away from my dream. I will never walk away from my marriage. I will never walk from my commitment to this ministry, I have no exit strategy ... I leave that up to God! He can come up with a lot of exit strategies. That's commitment.

I will dedicate everything I achieve through my goals and decisions and give it all to God Almighty. It was His idea to begin with.

Now start applying these principles to your life. I have a different life than you do, but all of us have the same kind of a challenge ... a challenge to become the kind of a person that can change the world.

I Am! I Can! I Will!

How do you make your dreams come true? Obviously it is a given when you are in touch with God. In Deuteronomy 31 read how Joshua is called to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua is called to replace Moses. How does anyone replace such a great leader? How does a Joshua replace a Moses? That's scary!

Then God gave Joshua this message through Moses.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Live with those words of courage and you will never surrender leadership of your life to fear!

I close this message with ten possibility thinking affirmations to motivate you to do and be in the one life you have to live.

Affirm I Am! I Can! I Will!

Affirm: I am God's idea. God planned me to be born ... I didn't. He picked my parents ... I didn't. He picked the time of life when I would be born. He picked this place for me.

Affirm: I am somebody that God can give dreams to!

Affirm: I have a dream! It comes from prayer. It comes from God.

Affirm: I will make a commitment and run the risk of failure!

Affirm: I will make the big decision that God wants me to make!

Affirm: I'm in charge of my dreams. I will not surrendered leadership to my critics, to the doubters, or to all those who see something wrong with my dream and nothing good about it.

Affirm: I will decide today to move ahead or to back up; to quit or to succeed.

Affirm: I will dedicate my success to God and to Jesus Christ. That includes my life.

Affirm: I will believe in my tomorrow.

Affirm: I will become the kind of a person who can change the world!

Become a Christian if you are not. What the church needs more than anything else in the world are followers of Jesus Christ. We need that more than we need money ... or things ... or more stuff! The church needs more saints ... we need simple people who look at someone in need of help and say, "Can I help you?"

The church of Jesus Christ needs your support. It really needs help all over the world. I pray that God will give you a challenge. Make the right decision. Set a goal. Let's pray:

O God, thank you. I am alive for some good reason that You know better than I do. And I thank You that You give me challenges and that as I rise to them I come alive and I become the hands, the feet, the mouth, the voice, the arms, the body of Jesus Christ in the world giving hope under the cross. Amen.

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