text this morning is Joshua 14:12: "Give
me a mountain." That's a fantastic
text for this first Sunday in which we launch the second
half century of this ministry. And the next fifty
years are going to be sensational, unbelievable. It's hard
to believe that fifty years ago, when I was standing on
a roof top of a drive-in theater for the beginning of this
ministry, that we would be where we are today.
you see around here was a gift of vision from God.
And I have a give of vision that the next fifty years are
going to be phenomenal. Christianity is going to spread
in power and in attractiveness to the whole world and the
persons are coming together to make that happen.
this morning I'm preaching on the theme, Living
in the WOW Zone. For the past fifty years this church has lived
in the Wow Zone. The next fifty years are going to
be in the double Wow Zone with three exclamation marks,
because our text is, "Give me a mountain," the words
of Caleb at the age of eighty-five.
Nothing great ever happens on the O.K. Level
are people who live in the "blah" zones - never
excited about anything. How are you today? Just
o.k.? Nothing great ever
happens on the o.k. level! There is no
energy in the o.k. level. No enthusiasm is
oozing out on the o.k. level. How are you today? O.K.?
You are living in the "blah" zone. People
often greet me with, "Have a great day."
And I say, "No, no, no, no, no. MAKE
it a great day." People aren't going
to give it to you. You have to make it happen.
You have to think positively and plan. If
you fail to plan, you're planning to fail."
many people live in the "blah" zone. Then other
people live in the "angst" zone. When anything
happens they get some angst, some anxiety about it, unbelievable.
Still other people live in the "fear" zone.
No matter how good the news is, they're afraid that the
good news isn't going to last. Other people live in
the "suspicion" zone. Anytime they're given
a great idea or a suggestion to think positively, they try
to look for a reason why it won't work and why it can't
be done. It's amazing the different zones people live
in and they're as different as places on planet earth.
But when you come here to church on Sunday morning, let
me tell you that the Crystal Cathedral is a WOW place!
I want to try to help you who live in the blah zone, the
suspicion zone, the angst zone, the fear zone, or the insecurity
zone, to move up and to enter a totally new life.
In these past fifty years four words appeared again and
again in letters I receive from people: "You
saved my life" If you move into the
WOW zone you are going to start living. Now, how do you get the WOW in your life?
by remembering your first wows, the first events in your
life. Guess what? When you took your first steps,
your dad and mom said, "Look, she took her first step.
Wow! You put a wow into your parents' lives.
When you spoke that first word, Mama said, "He said
'Mama'. Wow!" You are born to be a WOW
person, meaning you are born to develop your God intended
gifts and abilities and talents and possibilities so that
you excite people around you.
is the purpose in life anyway? It is to encourage
other human beings who need a wow in their life. How
do you put the wow into life? First of all, remember
you have a wow in your life. First day in school.
Wow. Oh, when you had your first complement from somebody.
What did you do? You ran a race or you made the team.
Congratulations. How many times have people said to
about all the wows you have experienced. Remember
when you wore the hat and the gown and you graduated from
8th grade íK or high school íK or maybe the
university? Wow! Or pick up out of your memory
system a wedding you went to or a special party that celebrated
a big event.
know, to live a wow life you don't have to be the first
or the biggest or the most or the richest, or even, surely
not famous. The wow people are people who smile, who
laugh and exude a generous personality. And that personality
is driven by an inner spirit that comes from God Almighty,
Jesus Christ. Put a little wow in your life.
I'm going to help you put a wow into your life. If
you will come to church every Sunday I guarantee you'll
be a wow person like you've never been. Faith works miracles.
You'll break records; you'll step out of the boundaries
that have trapped you. You'll get out of the ruts
that we all live in too easily. You'll become creative and
then innovative. That's the wow path.
Stay in the WOW zone
is the purpose of this ministry to help you to stay in the
wow zone, because it's easy to fall out of it. It's
easy because of the negative world we live in, the temptation
to be lazy, take the easy way, or play it cheap and safe
and not take any chances. That's a temptation we all
face. But the penalty for that is boredom and ultimate insecurity.
do you keep on keeping on in the wow zone, which is a zone
of excitement, enthusiasm, energy, creativity, and success?
Well, you've heard it from me before, dream an impossible
dream. Dream an impossible dream, make a commitment
to do the impossible dream when it is still impossible íK
and you might fail. That's going to put you on a path
that when it is accomplished and a miracle happens, that
is a WOW! You have to dream an impossible dream.
You have to make commitments when you can't be sure.
You have to enter the contest, join the competition, enroll
in the challenge, try to achieve what nobody ever expected
would come from you.
"Give me a mountain."
Caleb's words? Do you know the story? Moses
led the Israelites out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, into
the wilderness, finally to the edge of the Promised Land.
Then he sent out twelve spies to check out the land.
The spies came back and ten of the twelve said, "Oooh,
Moses, don't go there. Too many giants in the land.
It is too dangerous." (That was true, years later
David would kill one giant called Goliath.) There
were giants there, but of the twelve spies, two came back
and they didn't talk about the giants, they brought fruit.
Fruit that they had never seen before. "Look
at the size of these grapes, Moses." They saw
great possibilities. Wow. Their names íK Joshua
and Caleb. They lived in the wow zone and they said, "Go
conquer the land, Moses."
Moses listened to those two positive people instead of the
ten negative, fearful, angst-driven persons. So before
he died, Moses appointed them leaders. They took over
the Promised Land. Forty-five years later the land
was being divided up among the divisions in Israel, and
Joshua was given the honor, the glory and the responsibility
of dividing the land. The land was made up of great
fertile valleys and then there was the land that was made
up of mountains. Caleb, because of what he did, stood
before Joshua to claim his inheritance. "The
land you have walked on will be your inheritance,"
was Moses promise to Caleb at the entrance to the Promised
Land. So Caleb now chose not the valleys, the fruit
and the grapes. No, he looked at those rugged mountains.
At the age of eighty-five he
said, "Let them have the valleys, but GIVE ME A MOUNTAIN."
That's what Caleb lived for. That's what drove
him, the challenge, the possibility of failure. That's
living in the wow zone!
Get in the WOW Zone
I finish my message, I'm going to ask you to pray, "Give
me a mountain." Ask God for a mountain.
Don't ask for the valleys. Yes, there is success,
security and safety there, but you'll be in a rut and you'll
get bored. There will be no challenges and that is
not living. "Give me a mountain."
That's what Caleb said when he was eighty-five years old!
How old are you? What zone are you living in?
What mental climate is around you? Angst? Fear?
Insecurities? Suspicion? Doubt? Unbelief? Blah?
Get in the wow zone.
Pick a purpose in life that is apparently impossible.
It must have a challenge or forget it.
exciting goals. Do you have goals? Are they firm, inflexible?
If not, you're on the wrong path. You're on the "blah"
path and the "blah" path leads to boredom.
And the person on the "blah" path doesn't attract
the attention of great people. Attempt the impossible. Set
exciting goals and you will make the unbelievable happen
and they will say, "I never thought he had it in him."
Raise the bar íK challenge and confront shallow
standards. Commit yourself to excellence, walk away
from mediocrity, anybody can do that.
Don't blend in íK stand
out. Set a new standard for the kids around
you. Move from ordinary which is ho-hum, to the extraordinary,
"Do you hear what he's going to do." "No
kidding!" You'll get attention. Yes, and
Practice bounce-backability. Time and again you won't make it and then
what do you do? You practice bounce-backability.
"Did you hear what he did? He's going out for
Raise your own expectations. What do you expect from yourself? You
didn't get what you wanted? What did you expect you would
have? That's up to you. Walk into the wow zone,
break a record, solve a big problem, discover a new cure,
and invent a new product. Wow.
night I made a hospital call to pray especially for Evelyn
Freed, a dear friend and member of this church. She
recently gave a large donation to build our new theatre.
That was a wow! Well, Evelyn Freed's father left her
a great deal of money, even though he was born into poverty.
As a young man, he couldn't get a job. Seventy years
ago he was told he could always go to Alaska and pump water
out of the mines. So he jumped on a freight train,
like a hobo, to get all the way to Alaska. There he
got a job pumping the water out of the mines, but it was
pumps kept breaking because of the stones that came through
the lines. He became so frustrated and he said somebody
ought to invent a pump that stones cannot get stuck in.
That was a radical impossible idea. He wasn't an educated
engineer. He just put his ideas together to figure
out ways to make it work and he invented a pump that could
pump the water out of the mines without a stone getting
in the motors. It would be called the Wilden pump.
the time Jim Wilden died a few years ago, he was very wealthy.
Every person listening to the sound of my voice has been
helped by a Wilden pump and you didn't even know that.
When you take a pharmaceutical, the Wilden Pumps are used
to purify the medicine. The most expensive ones are
very, very tiny, stainless steel. They're used in
all the pharmaceutical companies to make your medicines
and mine, the IV's, the injections, etc. Well, Jim
Wilden lived his life in the wow zone. He decided
to get out of the rut, attempt the impossible, believed
that he could do it. And he did!
"Give me a mountain." Do you have one? Look for one!
thought of Jim yesterday because Evelyn Freed who has been
such a faithful member of this church, was brought to the
hospital. They took an MRI because she was having headaches.
And I saw her yesterday morning in the hospital. I
prayed with her. They found a tumor on the back of
her brain. It was big, about the size of a baseball.
It is a balloon kind of mass; not malignant. Thank
God for that because it's only been three years ago that
she had cancer of the breast. And we thank God that
she is at UCLA where the best specialist in the world, known
for this kind of surgery is performing surgery this week.
So as we pray for Evelyn Freed, I want you all to be inspired
by her. She comes from a great family, the kind of
a family that believes that you should, "Earn all you
can, invest all you can, and then give all you can."
is facing a mountain íK a real mountain. But I wish
you could have seen her eyes sparkle. I wish you could
have seen her laugh. She is living in the wow zone
and in the wow zone you intuitively, instinctively, intelligently
look for the positive. It is out there and when you
step into the wow zone that is a new life. There is
a God and God wants you to pray the prayer, "Give me a mountain!" Do you dare
to pray that kind of a prayer?
we are stepping into the wow circle. We are going
to be living in the wow zone. This church is a cathedral
to wow people and that is because we have Jesus as our friend.
He is always telling us that we can be more, do more so
that our lives glorify God on planet earth. Amen.