#193 (07/08/05)
If you can dream it, you can do it! – Part I

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Dr. Chuck Wall
Dr. Wall is the founder and president of the Kindness Foundation, also known as the Random Acts of Kindness movement which has received international attention in countries such as Canada, England, Singapore, Australia and South East Asia. His work with the creation of this movement has been recognized by the Untied States House of Representatives, which instituted an act of kindness awareness week for the United States. To date some ten nations have now adopted the kindness concept as part of their humanitarian efforts. Dr. Wall is currently professor of Communications and Human Relations at Bakersfield College. In 1992 he receive the prestigious Hayward Award for teaching Excellence in California Community Colleges. Even though he has lost his eyesight at the age of 19 to retinitis pigmentosa. He does not consider himself disabled, but merely must extra spend time dealing with one of life’s little nuisances.

Special Music

"Joyful, Joyful..."
“I Sing the Mighty Power of God”
“God’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”

“To God be the Glory” and “The Majesty & Glory of Your Name” by CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL CHOIR


The Message

My father and I are delivering a series of four messages from a small book that he wrote recently entitled, "If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It." There are four powerful affirmations in this little book to motivate you: I Am! I Can! I Will! I Believe! Today I・m sharing the first affirmation: "I Am!"


"Do I Know Who I Am?"


If you can dream it, you can do it. The dreaming, the doing and the accomplishing that God wants from you begins with the "I Am."


Who am I? That・s the big question that distinguishes human beings from all other animals. There isn・t another living organism on planet earth which would ever even dream of asking the question, "Who am I?" But at the core of every human being that very question is asked. It・s asked either cognitively, instinctively or reactively. But it is always asked, and depending upon how you respond to it, determines how you act, how you live and what you become.


"If you can dream it, you can do it" begins by asking and answering that question, "Who am I?" Now when I think of who I am, I open my Bible and choose a text from the writings of St. Paul. In Romans 12 we read these words:


"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God・s will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)


You might be asking, "So what does that verse have to do with who I am? "Don・t conform to the pattern of this worldK." There are many perceptions about who we are. Let・s begin with your wallet. You and I are required to carry some form of ID with us because it is required by law. Where do you usually carry it? In a wallet? In a purse? Or a money clip of some kind?


I used to carry a wallet; in fact, I grew up as a young man with a wallet in the back pocket of my Levis. But the pocket always wore out. Then a chiropractor friend of mine said, "You shouldn・t put your wallet in your back pocket because when you sit on your wallet, it throws your hips off and over a period of years of doing so, you can dislocate your back."


You Are More Than Your Possessions.


So I said, "O.K., I・ll carry it in my front pocket." But because it was so big and uncomfortable, I had a problem. Then I tried a money clip, but I had too many cards to fit in it. Then, my dear friend Roger Williams, the pianist, showed me an ordinary paper clip and said, "That・s what I use. They can be purchased by the dozen and they work perfectly for me." So now I, too, clip my ID, my credit cards and my money together with a large paper clip!


Who am I? My ID says that I am Robert Anthony Schuller. In what do I put my trust? My credit cards? They give me some confidence and I see some cash which also gives me confidence. Ah hah! My insurance card V yes, I・m in good hands. I have security. My bank cardKYes, our wallets tell us a lot about who we are, but they are all worldy things. It・s all material value that can be replaced.


Who am I? Who are you? Do all our worldly possessions determine who we really are? I don・t think so.


It reminds me of a story about a Baptist, a Presbyterian and a Catholic who were out in their fishing boat, waiting to catch some fish. They talked about everything as fishermen do, and then they started talking about Jesus Christ. And one of the fishermen asked the question, "Where do you think Jesus would go to church if He came back today?"


The Presbyterian said, "Of course He・d be a Presbyterian!" The others started arguing about why Jesus would be a Presbyterian. The Presbyterian answered, "You know we Presbyterians have a great theology, fabulous educational institutions, our pastors are the finest trained, and we have incredible music. Jesus would attend a Presbyterian church."


The Catholic replied, "Wait a minute. You have to remember that the Catholic church has the history. It・s the historic church. I don・t think He would leave the Holy Father and the historical reality of the established church of Jesus Christ."


To which the Baptist said, "You guys could be right, but let me ask a question: Do you know who baptized Jesus? John, the what? John the Baptist!" And he continuedK "Do you think Jesus would change His membership?"


We think we know who we are by those we associate with and what we do, but it・s not a matter of being a member of a certain church that tells us who we are. We・re not Christians because we・ve joined this church or that church. We・re not special because we・re a part of this association or that association. There・s nothing unique because I have $145 and someone else has $1,054 and you have $2. Nothing about my net worth has any value of me. I am who I am, not because of my wallet, but because of my relationship with Jesus Christ!


"Don・t conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This ministry is about helping people understand that we have more value than what other people say about us. We are more than what we see in the mirror.


Teilhard de Chardin said it this way: "We are not human beingsK" Isn・t that an amazing thought?... He said, "We are spiritual beings on a human journey." That is what I call a transformation from the human to the divine. "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."


Renew Your Mind!


Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is one of my heroes. He wrote one of the greatest books ever, "The Power of Positive Thinking," published in 1952. That book has been read by millions throughout the years and is as popular today as ever. It has a tremendous impact on the way we think and act. Dr. Peale really helped my father in the early years of this ministry as he came to the drive-in church when my father was trying to build up the church. Dr. Peale absolutely packed the drive-in church to overflowing and that gave my father the help to promote his work, and this church, to new heights.


I heard Dr. Peale speak numerous times. I must have been only 10 years old when I first heard him tell a story which became a favorite of my father・s, and he used it frequently as an illustration. The story is about how Dr. Peale walked into a tattoo shop in Hong Kong, looking at all the different images people could have tattooed on their bodies. And as he looked, he found one tattoo that read, "Born to Lose." Dr. Peale asked the owner of the shop, "Sir, do people actually want .Born to Lose・ tattooed on their bodies?" The owner looked at Dr. Peale and replied, "Sir, before that is tattooed on their bodies, it is already tattooed on their minds."


This ministry has a positive faith. We believe that the glorious saving grace of Jesus Christ erases that "Born to Lose" spirit and changes it to "Born to Succeed." We are children of God. We・re not human beingsKwe are spiritual beings on a human journey. We have been called by God for a purpose and a reason. So the negative thoughts that imprint our minds to tear us down are transformed with the Positive Power of Jesus Christ.


You are a Child of God!


Today, tattoo this affirmation on your mind: If you can dream it, you can do it! You are a child of God. The Gospel of John says this:


"Yet to all who received Jesus, to those who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. Children born, not of natural descent, nor of human decision, but born of God." (John 1:12-13)


What I like most about this Bible text in St. John is the word "right." God gave us the "right" to be children of God. Now the Greek word for "right" is actually a word that means "power and authority." So when the Bible tells us that God gave us the right to be called His children, it says that He gave us the power and the authority to be a child of God. Can you comprehend that? God gave us the power and the authority so that we have the ability to do what God has called us to do and be what He has called us to be.


John Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, tells a story about Doug Nichols who was the Director of International Ministries. In 1967, Doug Nichols was working as a missionary with Operation Mobilization in India. While he was there, he contracted tuberculosis, spending several months in a tuberculosis sanitarium. It was not a pleasant experience as you can imagine. He tells the story of an old man there who was extremely sick. When the missionary first arrived at the sanitarium, he tried to pass out little booklets of the Gospel of John. But none of the people in the sanitarium were interested. In fact, nobody even wanted to talk to him. He was known as a rich, snobby American. Nobody cared. Each day he would again try to pass out the Gospel of John, but nobody would take it.


One night the old man, now very ill, had a serious problem. He was much too weak to go to the restroom, and he soiled his bed. The nurse came and beat him for not getting to the restroom in time. She changed his bedding and linens which caused a lot of work for her. The next night the missionary heard the old man moaning, trying to get out of bed to get to the restroom, so the missionary got up, helped this man, then helped him back to bed. There was another patient who saw the good deed the missionary had done, and the next morning he asked the missionary if he could have one of his booklets. The word spread about what the missionary had done for this old man, and soon other patients also came and started asking for his booklets. They, too, wanted to know about this Jesus of which the missionary spoke. They realized that it was more than just a "book." They saw that it was an act of love beyond human nature.


When we find out that God has given us the power and the authority to be His children, our lives are transformed. Our minds change from "me" to "we" and to "you." Our call, today, is not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.


"If you can dream it, you can do it!" Begin by realizing who you are -- a child of God. You are a spiritual being created by God to be a success on your human journey.


Next week we will look at Chapter 2: I Can!


Today I conclude with this prayer from the book, "If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It":


As I become a success with Your help, Lord, let me never forget that what I am is more important than what I do. Faith stimulates success. Hope sustains success. And love sanctifies success. So I cannot, and dare not, succeed without Your power, peace and presence in my life, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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