So, How Desperate Are You? Tuesday, Apr 20 2010 

So, How Desperate Are You?

Every last one of us have those certain relatives that are our least favorite.  I know a guy who has this aunt and her husband who top his list of least favorite relatives.

He tells me his reasons are myriad. He says she dominated him growing up and bossed him to no end.  While talking to him one day he told me the craziest story I have heard in years.

This aunt of  my friend and her husband were church goers, and after several years were pretty convinced that God had special assignments for them.  Well, their pastor did not share their opinion when he was informed of their intentions.

Well, naturally, when the pastor could not hear from God, (in their opinion), it was time to launch out on their own and pursue their divine calling.

So no one was surprised when they decided to open their own church, and do things the way God was instructing them.  After all they were unique, and the Man of God in their life was not tuned in to the right spiritual frequency.

So they opened shop quite sure the multitudes would flock their way.  They certainly had known all the answers in their church when they attended there, and now was the moment to put their revelations into action!

Well, something seemed a little wrong after several weeks when they could not get any one to attend their services they were holding in their living room.  It must be the community! Or maybe people just were not aware of the incredible opportunity being presented at their small community of about 12,000.

Whatever the reason, they were convinced they needed “Exposure.”  So they were “Led of the Lord” to have an old-fashioned brush arbor meeting right alongside the highway into town.

Out came the tools.  Ax, saw, hammer, chainsaw all made their appearance as these missionaries to suburban America started in like a colony of beavers! Rough-hewn benches with no backs were fashioned.  Man were they fired up.  Just wait till the passing cars saw this, why there would be a traffic jam on highway 17!

Excitement and faith filled the air their first night as she broke out the accordion.  He had his best striped overalls on, with the bible under his arm.  They were ready for the deluge of sinners that were sure to come running to the altar!

Well, the first night was a bust!  No one stopped.  Faith diminished a bit, but hey, God was just testing them!  They would show their metal, ain’t no quitters in this church!

The second night was the same. Then the third.  The first week brought not a single person to their brush arbor revival.  Hundreds of cars were whizzing by and could see them plainly out there with the striped overalls and the accordion.

Okay God, what is the problem they inquired?  It was then my friend told me the most hilarious revival story I have heard! This spiritually “gifted” man and woman became convinced the only thing standing between them and the deluge of sinners waiting to come ,was a few people in the crowd.

So, how to do that? They thought, they prayed, they fasted.  Finally God showed them the answer (Yeah right!)  They were led by God to go and buy some blow up dolls (life size), to put out on the benches so the crowds would be relaxed to come on in!

After much prayer the husband announced the only place he knew that had such life sized dolls was the pornography place over on the state line!  Assuring his wife he had nothing but the purest of motives, and was making a tremendous sacrifice, he set out to get some “Saint bait”, or “Sinner bait”, depending on your point of view.

It did seem to her he was gone a long time to just buy some inflatable dolls.  He did eventually return though.  Sure enough, he had purchased five life sized female dolls.

These particular models did not come with clothes so they set about to “Pentecostalize” them.  After several hours of huffing and puffing, blowing and wrestling with these dolls, they were ready!

Whew! Just in time for church too!  Then more disappointment struck.  The stupid dolls would not stay upright.  The slightest breeze toppled them every which way.  Their clothes kept getting all twisted up.  They tied the dolls, they taped the dolls, they weighted them down.

Church started a little late that night, with the pastor and his wife sweaty and frustrated, but hope still ruled the night.  Song after song, no visitors! Finally a stirring message wasted on airheads and no visitors.

There were tears that night, but they were the tears of the pastor and his wife!

My friend said the last he heard they still did not have anyone in their church, but they became convinced they were being persecuted for the name of Jesus!

So friend, how desperate are you for revival….:)

For the record, I am not that desperate!

Thanks  for reading today!

P. S. This is a true story!

Do You Have A Controlling Pastor? Monday, Apr 19 2010 

Do you have a controlling pastor?

Max walked up to Pastor Sunday night after service, and asked “ Hey Pastor, would you have time to pop up to the university one day this week and have coffee with me?”

Pastor concealed his surprise and smiled, and said, “Max I’d be glad to.  What day”

So it was a Tuesday as Pastor walked on campus, wondering what this was all about.

He spotted Max sitting at a table in the student center and was greeted by a genuine smile of welcome.

Max asked Pastor if he had ever been on campus before and Pastor admitted he hadn’t.

“So Max, what is this all about” asked Pastor?  Max sobered up and began to explain.

“Well sir, you know two weeks ago when you talked to me about that situation God spoke to you about?” Pastor was nodding slowly now.  Max continued, “Well I feel like I was gone, falling and on my way to being lost when God talked to you.  Honestly Elder, I do not ever want to even get close to the edge again.”

“I thought I had everything concealed and no one would ever know I was starting to see that unsaved girl.  It never went very far, but we did hang out together and even met and went to Sonic once.  We sat in the car and began to kiss.  I knew it was wrong.  I have been born and raised in the church and I have been taught never to date anyone outside the church, but I messed up.”

“It started slow.  We were in an English class together.  I saw her in the library and stopped to chat.  I sat down not knowing the path I started down that day.  Honestly Pastor, I never intended for it to go anywhere, or end up like it did.  Somehow I got more and more involved with her, and then that day at the Sonic: when we kissed for a long time.”

“I was pretty shocked when you came up to me that Sunday and told me God had talked to you about me.  Then when you began to tell me exactly what I had done and that God had revealed it to you, well that was, uh, well, to be honest I was dumbfounded!”

“So I asked you here today because I have decided to take some steps to make sure it never happens again”. Max slid a piece of paper across the table to his pastor. “That sir is all my information and passwords.  I want you to monitor every email, every text message, every phone call I make until you feel I can be trusted not to fall into this trap again.”

It had been many years since the seasoned Man of God had been this bamboozled!  He was speechless.  He looked down at the paper on the desk.  Listed were Max’s email address with his password.  Next were his cell phone number, the carrier, and the password to log on and check his calls and texts.

Pastor said, “Max are you sure about this? “ Max slowly nodded his head and replied, “Looking back I now realize that I had already backslid even though I still never missed a service. I was already in freefall Elder and you and Jesus reached over the edge of the cliff and snatched me back to safety.  Pastor, I never want to get anywhere near that close to going to hell again as long as I live.”

“Pastor I would also like you to walk the campus here with me today.  I would like to show you where my classes are and invite you to stop by any time and see me when I change classes or when I am on this campus.”

Pastor felt a tear begin it’s decent down his cheek as he looked into the eyes of the young man he had pastored for the last 22 years.  “Max, I just have one more question.”  Max  looked up, “Sure Pastor, anything.”

The Man of God chose his words carefully. “Max, what about your father? He is a good man, and a member of our church for many years.  However, we both know he feels like I control our people and their lives.  Won’t he see this as me controlling you by monitoring your emails and texts?”

Max smiled.  “Yep, I am pretty sure he will.” Pastor said, “So how will we handle that?”

Max answered, “Maybe he needs to learn the difference between control and accountability. This might be the best opportunity for my dad to stop trying to protect his son from what he misidentifies as control.”

Max continued, “Pastor I asked you here today.  I willingly gave you my information, and I ask you to hold me accountable so I do not end up lost.”

As the pastor slowly walked back to his car on a beautiful spring day, it seemed the sun was shining like it hadn’t in many, many years.

Max had learned a lesson no university could teach, a valuable life lesson.

Holding someone accountable is not controlling them, it is protecting them.

Thanks for reading today.

The Daily Grind. Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

Good morning blogging world!

Sleepy and bleary eyed, I wonder again how many people in the world keep the crazy schedule of an Apostolic minister? 🙂

Returning home after being at 33rd annual meeting in Beebe Arkansas. Too much food and too little sleep!

Dr Scheel and his family and church are never surpassed as hosts.  They are incredible!

44 years ago, a 17 year old, single young man, hitch hiked into Beebe with his worldly belongings in a cardboard box and a paper sack.  He was starting a church.

This was to be his second church.  He had already pastored one church and even built a new church building at 14 years old.

2 and 1/2 years later he married a young lady named Vicki, and they started their family.  A couple of years later and their firstborn came into the home.  A son followed four years later, then  three years later the baby girl joined the growing family.

44 years of victory and tragedy, joy and pain, and through it all a great work for God.  There is now a beautiful church plant and congregation.  Congratulations to Dr Scheel and Pastor Scheel for this landmark celebration.

Janice Alvear spoke the first night.  The day speakers were Greg Riggen and Tim Bourn.  William Davis was the night speaker.  All the messages were outstanding.

No one surpasses Lighthouse Pentecostal Jesus Name Church in christian hospitality.

Lighthouse Jesus Name Pentecostal Church, Beebe Arkansas

My thought today is the “Daily Grind.”

We have a fireplace in our sanctuary.  When we have tried to use it the ventilation is poor and our members with asthema have not been able to stay in the room.  The fumes were offensive to their sensitive allergies.

Someone suggested we use logs made from coffee grounds.  I did not know there was such a thing.  I checked. There was.

We tried it and every single person with allergies felt comfortable with the “new fire.”

Someone had found a use for used coffee grounds!

Coffee beans grown and harvested somewhere thousands of miles away, now ground up and used, still had a life!

The grind and purging had taken any irritant out of them and they are perfect as unoffensive fire.

Isn’t life like that sometimes?

The grind of life wears off our rough edges and makes us tolerable to people who might be sensitive.

Even though Life is so “daily”, the daily grind has a benefit.  When our fire burns after the daily grind, it is an acceptable fire.  The toxins of pride and self will have been flushed out with the brewing.

The man who walked across America was asked what discouraged him the most.  Was it the mountains?  Was it the burning desert? His reply……

It was the sand in my shoes, that almost drove me to quit my journey!

May I encourage you today to see the “Daily Grind” as part of God’s brewing process to remove the offensive particles out of your life?

Is it possible that someone can now tolerate, and even enjoy, the warmth of your life, because of that “Daily Grind?”

Just one more reason for that tantalizing, wonderful cup of brew every morning!

Thanks for reading today.

It’s A Slip And Not A Fall Friday, Apr 16 2010 

If there ever was a tale of American Leadership and perseverance, it is that of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was born into poverty in 1809.

Throughout his life he continually faced setbacks and defeats.  He twice failed in business, lost eight elections, and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Defeat and failure were often beckoning him, inviting him to quit, but he refused that invitation, and his story is one of extraordinary perseverance.

This is the sketch of his life:

In 1816, Lincoln’s family was forced out of their home, and he had to go to work to support them.

In 1818, his mother died.

In 1831, he failed in business.

In 1832, he ran for the Illinois House of Representatives and lost.

In 1832, he lost his job.  Later that same year, he decided he wanted to go to law school, but his application was rejected.

In 1833, Lincoln borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business, but by the end of the year he was bankrupt.  He spent the next seventeen years paying off that debt.

In 1834, he ran for state legislature again and lost.

In 1835, Lincoln was engaged to be married, but his fiancée died and it broke his heart.

In 1836, Lincoln suffered a total nervous breakdown and was confined to his bed for six months.

In 1838, he sought to become Speaker of the state legislature and was defeated.

In 1840, he sought to become elector and was defeated.

In 1843, he ran for Congress and lost.

In 1846, he ran for Congress again; this time he won and finally made his way to Washington.

In 1848, Lincoln ran for reelection to Congress and lost.

In 1849, he sought the job of land officer but was rejected.

In 1854, he ran for Senate of the United States and lost.

In 1856, he sought the vice presidential nomination at his party’s national convention.  He got fewer than one hundred votes and lost.

In 1858, he ran for the United States Senate again and lost again.

Then in 1860, Lincoln decided to run for president….

I mean, based on what?

His track record?

He won and went on to become one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States and one of the finest models of leadership in modern times.

In a speech, Lincoln said, “The path was worn and slippery.  My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself,

‘It’s a slip and not a fall.’

Prov. 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Failure is never final.

If you have failed, get up and try again.

“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up” Anonymous

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try” Anonymous

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at His feet”  Mahatma Ghandi.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” Walter Brunell

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby

Thanks for reading today!

Today’s Gossip Blog! Thursday, Apr 15 2010 

Today I just update you on all the gossip! Howbeit, it is good gossip! Is that an oxymoron? A conudrum? You judge!

I am in Beebe Arkansas at Dr. Scheel and Pastor Jason Scheel meeting.  Absolutely beautiful day here.  80 degrees and sunny.  I stopped at a motorcycle shop and asked if they rented, and they don’t! bummer.

Last night Janice Alvear, missionary to Brazil spoke on “The journey of a handmaiden of the Lord”.  It was her personal story of going to Brazil and her 40 plus years there. She and her husband can now celebrate over 10,000 converts to this wonderful Jesus name message.

Today we will hear from Greg Riggen, and Tim Bourn.  Tonight is Brother Bill Davis from Macon, Georgia.

The Scheel family are incredible hosts and their church just does everything to make you feel special! It is truly old time pentecost.  it is so refreshing and contrasting to some of the plastic pentecostal meeting I have attended.

On another note….

We just finished our Anniversary services.  The speakers were “In a Zone” this year.  That is the term when a sports person plays at a level they have never reached before.

Friday night Garry Streeval from Noblesville, Indiana spoke on “Have I done enough?” He challenged us to introspect and face that question.  It was deeply moving.

Saturday night the one and only, inimitable Jerry Rowell preached about “Aware”.  For me to tell you how good it was would be a travesty to that sermon.  Simply Incredible!

Sunday morning, the prince of preachers, Martyn Ballestero, spoke on “God Deviseth Means”.  It was classic Ballestero. Beautifully delivered, annointed, and unforgettable.

Sunday night the cleanup batter was Glen Burgess, and Brother did he ever hit a grand slam!  I still get chills thinking about it. He preached “Keep walking”.  Whatever you do, do not let the title lull you to think it was ordinary.  He made us laugh, then cry, then stand on spiritual tiptoe and say, I will keep walking.  He told heart wrenching stories of tragic failure by people he tried to save. Honestly, I recommend every child of God to hear this message.

FPC was so generous to me this year.  They have been the most giving church I have ever known, but this year was off the charts.  They bought me a trailer for my Harley and Goldwing.

New Trailer FPC gave me to pull behind my motorhome 🙂

I told my friends, because I do not have a wife, I will put a sign on the back of it that says “This trailer has my wife’s clothes and shoes in it, so we can travel in this motorhome”.  We had a laugh about that!

Thank you FPC, You have been am amazing group of people to pastor and share my life journey with.

Lastly my blog….

I have been doing this for a little over a month now and over 7,000 times someone has clicked on to read the blog.  I am stunned, amazed, and so thankful.  I wanted to share some of the information with you of who read, and which blogs were the most read.

The biographical blogs have had the most interest.  The blog about Brother Terry and Brother Ballestero have the most reads.

After that the story of my mother’s murder was read the most.  The blog on Athiests also was right there.

The Bible blogs were well read, and I appreciate every one of you who have joined me.

Special thanks to all the men on CAF who have read and commented.  They have been friends and supporters.

From my heart thank you! Get some coffee in the mornings, and let’s blog.

Thanks for reading today!

Now is your time! Tuesday, Apr 13 2010 

Now is your time!

“I am too old.”

“I’m too young.”

Tiger Woods was three years old when he shot 48 for nine holes on his hometown golf course in Cypress, California.

Julie Andrews was eight years old when she mastered an astounding four-octave singing range.

Mozart was eight years old when he wrote his first symphony.

Charles Dickens was twelve years old when he quit school to work in a factory, pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish, because his father had been imprisoned for debt.

Anne Frank was thirteen years old when she began her diary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was fourteen years old when he enrolled at Harvard.

Jeremiah was 14, Isaiah was 18, Ezekiel was 17, Daniel was 18 when they began their ministry.

Paul McCartney was fifteen years old when John Lennon invited him to join a band.

Bill Gates was nineteen years old when he co-founded Microsoft.

Plato was twenty years old when he became a student of Socrates.

Joe DiMaggio was twenty-six years old when he hit safely in fifty-six consecutive games.

Henry David Thoreau was twenty-seven years old when he moved to the shore of Walden Pond, built a house, planted a garden, and began a two-year experiment in simplicity and self-reliance.

Ralph Lauren was twenty-nine years old when he created Polo.

William Shakespeare was thirty-one years old when he wrote Romeo and Juliet.

Bill Gates was thirty-one years old when he became a billionaire.

Thomas Jefferson was thirty-three years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Coco Chanel was thirty-eight years old when she introduced her perfume Chanel No. 5.

Mother Teresa was forty years old when she founded the Missionaries of Charity.

Jack Nicklaus was forty-six years old when he shot 65 in the final round, and 30 on the back nine, to win the Masters.

Henry Ford was fifty years old when he started his first manufacturing assembly line.

Ray Kroc was a fifty-two-year-old milkshake machine salesman when he bought out Mac and Dick McDonald and officially started McDonald’s.

Pablo Picasso was fifty-five years old when he painted Guernica.

Dom Pe`rignon was sixty years old when he first produced champagne.

Oscar Hammerstein II was sixty-four years old when he wrote the lyrics for The Sound of Music.

Winston Churchill was sixty-five years old when he became Britain’s prime minister.

Nelson Mandela was seventy-one years old when he was released from a South African prison.  Four years later he was elected president of South Africa.

Michelangelo was seventy-two years old when he designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Auguste Rodin was seventy-six years old when he finally married Rose Beuret, whom he met when he was twenty-three.

Benjamin Franklin was seventy-nine years old when he invented bifocal eyeglasses.

Frank Lloyd Wright was ninety-one years old when he completed his work on the Guggenheim Museum.

Dimitrion Yordanidis was ninety-eight years old when he ran a marathon in seven hours and thirty-three minutes, in Athens, Greece.

Ichijirou Araya was one hundred years old when he climbed Mount Fuji, 12,388 ft. tall.

Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you.  You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future.

Now is your time.

Thanks for reading today!

The Book Of Acts, The Bridge. Sunday, Apr 11 2010 


Oft times I have wondered about certain books of the Bible.  I have thought, what if we did not have this book in our Bible?  How would that affect the whole?  When I place the book of Acts on that pedestal, and consider, I am certain of the answer.

Only Acts and Genesis seem to hold the place of absolute.  Without them we simply could not survive.  They are both irreplaceable.

The book of Acts was written by Luke.  Luke is the only Gentile writer in the Bible.  It is interesting to me that Luke is responsible for 25% of the New Testament.  His two books equal one fourth of the volume of the New Testament.

I am not positive, but it appears to me that Luke wrote at the bequest of a wealthy patron named Theopholis.  His two books address this individual.  This was a common practice that carried well into the middle ages.  A wealthy patron would sponsor someone to write a book or thesis. This is how men like Voltaire and Rousseau were supported financially.

To me, Acts is about three men.  Those men are Simon (Peter), Saul (Paul), and Stephen. The book is evenly devoted to the ministry of Peter and Paul with Stephen being the bridge from one to the other.

The contrast of these two men is stark.  Peter is a country fisherman.  Paul is a polished cosmopolitan.  Peter was ignorant and unlearned.  Paul was a trained rabbi, having studied at the feet of Gamaliel. Peter spoke Aramaic, the common language.  Paul could speak that language, as well as Greek.  Peter was a country Jew, Paul was a Hellenistic Jew and a Roman Citizen.

The first twelve chapters of Acts are about Peter.  In chapter 13 the spotlight shifts to Paul and never moves back to Peter again.  Peter, the great apostle fades from view in Acts.

How important is Acts as a book?  It is irreplaceable! Without the book of Acts we would go from the Gospels to Romans.  We would wonder who is Paul?  What is the church?  How did it start?  Acts is the link to all of the New Testament.

Acts begins with the ascension of Jesus.  It moves on to choosing Judas’ replacement. It then tells of Pentecost, the beginning of the church, and eventually documents the church’s emigration to the Roman Empire.

Christianity conquered the Roman Empire, period.  The Roman Empire paved roads, established peace and continuity, and through this open door walked the church.  The church flourished during the Pax Romana, the empire wide peace. Within 300 years 10% of the Roman Empire was Christian.

The book of Acts documents the beginning of this conquest of the church.

When the spotlight shifts to Paul in chapter 13, Luke begins to relate Paul’ missionary journeys.  Paul made three journeys.  ( Some scholars say up to five).  The dates of these journeys are:

  • 46-48, first journey
  • 49-52, second journey
  • 53-57, third journey

It is simply amazing that in 47AD there were no churches in Asia Minor.  In ten years there was a ring of churches that included every major city in Galatia, Macedonia, Asia and Acacia.  This remarkable achievement has never been repeated anywhere globally.

On his first journey, when he gains his first convert, the Apostle Paul jettisons his Hebrew name Saul, and forever becomes know as Paul.  He was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he bore his Gentile name to his death.

Luke is a gentile, writing a book about the gentile revival by the Apostle to the gentiles.  This fact shows up in the book repeatedly.  It is very clear in the story of the appointment of the deacons.  When the division came and the controversy showed itself, out of the seven men chosen, 5 were Greeks according to their names.  Luke makes this point, or rather the Holy Ghost does.

The final chapters of the book of Acts are concerning Paul’s last days.  I am left with one of the biggest questions of my life as to why the book ends so inconclusively.  With the Holy Ghost inspiring the man called Luke, why no closure?

My only hypothesis is that the book is still being written in heaven.  Maybe the final words were something like “to be continued”.

What chapter will you write to add to the book of Acts?

Thanks for reading today!

I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart! Friday, Apr 9 2010 

I will greet this day with love in my heart

Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men.

My reasoning they may counter, my speech they may distrust, my apparel they may disapprove, my face they may reject, yet my love will melt all hearts liken to the sun.

I will love the sun for it warms my bones, yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit.

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.

I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart, yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.

Always will I dig for reasons to applaud; never will I search for excuses to gossip.  When I am tempted to criticize I will bite on my tongue, when I am moved to praise I will shout from the roofs.

It will lift me in moments of despair, yet it will calm me in time of exultation.

And how will I confront each whom I meet?

In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You.

Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and his heart will be opened.

Most of all I will love myself.  For when I do, I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body, my mind, my soul, my heart.

Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh; rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.

Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter.

From this moment all hate is let from my veins for I have not time to hate.

If I have no other qualities I can succeed with love alone.  Without it I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

Thanks for reading today!

Luceat lux vestra! Wednesday, Apr 7 2010 

Luceat lux vestra is latin taken from the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel.  It means “Let your light shine”

Thirty days ago tomorrow Martyn Ballestero encouraged me to write a blog.  I was hesitant.  He had seen great success with his blog, in my opinion. He persisted in encouraging me, and even set up my blog to get me started.

So here I am, on the brink of thirty days later, very surprised at how many wonderful people have taken time to visit my blog.

I would like to take this moment to say thank you.  I know you all lead busy lives.  It is so gratifying to have people visit and leave comments.  I thank you.

Writing this blog has given me a new perspective on life.

We all need a new perspective at least once in our lives!

In the late 1960’s there was a young man who had a dream of becoming a famous musician.  He knew what he wanted so he dropped out of high school and began to play his music. He was one credit short of his diploma.  His thought was, I am not going to Columbia University, I am going to Columbia records!

The opportunities came slowly.

He found himself playing in small dirty clubs.  He was playing his music to drunks night after night.  This was not his dream!

He had dreamed of playing to sellout crowds across America.  He dreamed of his music in the stores.  He even had the courage to dream of playing to a packed baseball stadium.  No one had ever thought of that or dreamed it.

It was not an easy road.  He had come on difficult times.  He was broke.  He was a failure.  His only joy in life was his girlfriend.

He and his girlfriend slept in laundromats to save hotel bills.  Finally one day she got sick of all the travel and failures.  She had dreamed of being married to a famous musician and singer. This was not the life she had dreamed of.  She left him.

This young man felt like there was nothing left in life for him. The night she left him he made an attempt to commit suicide. He drank a bottle of furniture polish and a bottle of vodka.  The next day, very sick, he checked himself into a mental institution.

Less than three weeks later he checked himself out.  He was a new man. He was refreshed and excited about life. He was cured!

He had not been given any medication of any kind. It was not anything the doctors or nurses had said to him.  The mental patients had cured him!

They told him how gifted he was, and they made him believe he could have so much more from life!

He was given a new perspective on life!

He walked out of that mental institution resolved to pursue his dream.  He would do whatever necessary to achieve that dream.

Three years later he wrote a song called “The piano man”.  Today most people in America have heard of Billy Joel.

June 22 and 23, 1990, Billy Joel played to sell out crowds of ninety thousand people at Yankee stadium.

Billy Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.

Billy Joel had Top 10 hits in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and has 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote singlehandedly.

He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Billy Joel

We all need a new perspective at least once in our life.

I have a new perspective because you have read my blog.

Thank You!

Luceat lux vestra!

Thanks for reading today.

I would give anything to be able to……. Tuesday, Apr 6 2010 


To play an instrument?

To sing?

To be a soul winner?

To be independently wealthy?

Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak  Perlman plays the violin.

He might just be the greatest violin player on earth today.  In fact, he might be the greatest violin player in history.

When he plays, it is so much more than music.  It is an experience.

Was he born with some rare gift no one else has ever possessed?

Why don’t you decide!

Every morning Perlman wakes up at five-fifteen.  He showers, has a light breakfast, and begins his morning practice session, which lasts four and a half hours. He has lunch, reads for  a while, exercises then begins his afternoon practice session, which lasts for four and a half hours. In the evening he has dinner with his family and relaxes.

This is his schedule every day of the year except on days he plays concerts.

On concert days he wakes up at five-fifteen, showers, has breakfast and then practices for four and a half hours. He then has lunch, reads for a while, exercises, and then takes a ninety minute nap. When he wakes up he gets dressed and goes to the concert venue.  They perform a sound check, and have a brief rehearsal.

Forty-five minutes before the concert Mr Perlman goes to his dressing room and locks the door.  Two security guards are posted outside his door, no one is allowed in under any circumstances!

What do you think he does?

He prays.

Itzhak Perlman prays.

He spends one minute asking God to help him play the violin that night.  He spends the other forty-four minutes praying for the people who will attend the concert that night.  He does not doubt God will help him play the violin brilliantly for the concert. Why?

Because Itzhak Perlman plays the violin brilliantly for nine hours a day, every single day, day in and day out, in an empty room,  for nobody but his God!

Itzhak keeps his part of the bargain.  He has passion, dedication and faith. Therefore he has confidence God will keep His part of the bargain.

Itzhak Perlman makes people cry when he plays the violin, and they do not know why they are crying. He makes people feel and hear things they have never felt or heard before. He shares his excitement and passion through his music.  He motivates people.  He touches people.  He moves people. He changes people. He makes a difference in people.

Itzhak Perlman has found a way to touch other people’s lives, to raise them up, to share his passion.

Listen to the theme from “Schindler’s list”, and you will feel the passion.

Several years ago Perlman agreed to attend a charity event  in Vienna, after one of his concerts. Tickets were five hundred dollars each. The guests were allowed to speak to Mr. Perlman and get his autograph.

One man entered the roped off area where Perlman was and stretched out his hand to shake hands. The man said, “Mr. Perlman you were phenomenal tonight. You were absolutely amazing.”

Perlman smiled and said “Thank you.”

The man said, “All my life I have had a great love of the violin, and I have heard every great violinist, but I have never heard anyone play the violin as brilliantly as you did tonight”.

Perlman smiled and said nothing.

The man continued, “You know Mr. Perlman, I would give my whole life to be able to play the violin like you did tonight”.

Perlman smiled once more and said,”I have”.

Itzhak Perlman at the White House

What would you give to….

  • Be a soul winner
  • Be a prayer warrior
  • Be an intercessor

I would give anything to be able to…..

Thanks for reading today!

Perlman was born in Tel Aviv, in what was soon to be Israel, where he first became interested in the violin when he heard a classical music performance on the radio. He studied at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv before moving to theUnited States to study at the Juilliard School with the great violin pedagogue, Ivan Galamian, and his assistant Dorothy DeLay.

Perlman contracted polio at the age of four. He made a good recovery, learning to walk with the use of crutches. Today, he generally uses crutches or an Amigo POV/Scooter for mobility and plays the violin while seated.

The world falls in love with music when Itzhak Perlman takes up his violin. A superstar by any standard and a rarity in the classical field, Perlman has taken hold of the public imagination as few violin virtuosos ever have, bringing joy to millions with his playing. Having lost the use of his legs after falling victim to polio at the age of four, Perlman always sits as he plays. But he never fails to bring audiences to their feet.)

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