#216 (15/01/06)
The WOW of Doing Something Beautiful for God Part II

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest

She’s a junior in high school at Lutheran, at Orange Lutheran School and when she was a freshman, she got an idea. It’s amazing how God works through ideas. The idea was to send a thank you note to a million troops overseas. And so she put together an organization called A Million Thanks and she started collecting letters and she established a website, a million thanks dot com and now as a junior she has collected one million, six hundred thousand thank you letters to our troops.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" There is Sunshine in My Soul Today "
" Now Thank We All Our God "

” O God, Our Help in Ages Past ”
" Now Thank We All Our God "

KERRIS OATES – “I Will Choose Christ”
JUMP5 – “Wonderful”
“Beautiful Savior”

The Message

I'm continuing my messages on "Living in the WOW zone." It seems to me that I・ve been saying "wow" since I was a little kid. I was four years and eleven months old when Uncle Henry said, "You・re going to be a preacher when you grow up." And I think I must have said, "wow" at that point. So I've been saying it all my life and I・'e discovered that too many people live in the "blah" zone. They seldom are energetic, enthusiastic or excited about anything and we want you to know that if you really embrace the Christian faith, you will be excited because God will give you ideas. He created you with a brain that can think and be creative, and when the idea comes from God, you will say,"wow"!

Now last week I shared the wonderful line I learned from Mother Teresa. She shared it with me in a one-to-one conversation, "Do something beautiful for God." What in the world is the purpose of life anyway? Why are you on planet earth? Why are you alive today? Because God wants you to do something beautiful in the world in which we live. So I give you this bible verse.

"Therefore let us continue to offer praise to God, giving thanks, never forgetting to do good and to share." (Hebrews 13:15-16)

That's the WOW of doing something beautiful for God!

Two teenagers led the news stories this past week in city after city. One was Shauna Fleming who gathered 1.6 million letters for our troops in the danger zones of the world. That's a wow! The other is Michael Sessions who lives in Hillsdale, Michigan. Hillsdale is a great town in Michigan of about 7,500 people and the town is depressed a little, so this one high school senior decided to see what he could do to liven the town up a little bit, so he decided to run against the incumbent mayor who is well liked. But when he made that decision, he was still seventeen so he couldn't have his name printed on the ballot. He would have to be a write-in vote. So he spent this past summer selling caramel apples and raised $700. With that he bought signs and posted them all over town and now he has just turned eighteen, a high school senior running for mayor. Everybody shook their heads. That was about as impossible as can be. But this week he made national news. He won the election on a write-in vote. He had a little over 700 votes and the incumbent, who was well liked, had a little less than 700. That's a WOW! And Michael said, "I just wanted to do something that seemed impossible to prove to people in this town that we can do it! We can make it!" That's fantastic!

Two high school kids proved to the adults that ideas that are impossible can be possible and in the process they build faith with the rest of their family and friends. When you build faith in people to attempt the impossible, you are doing something very beautiful for God!

In this ministry, I have tried to put a little twist into the evangelical Christian faith and that twist is to focus building faith in your potential because if we do that, we are glorifying God, because God put the potential in you. And if we attempt the impossible and achieve it, we are doing something beautiful for God. Then our lives become creative and productive, and we make a difference. And when you make a difference doing something beautiful for God, you are glorifying God.

Many years ago I wrote a couple lines of poetry. These are the lines:

"It's the little thing you do, and the simple words you say, that can make or break the beauty of the average passing day."

I want to honor two simple people who made a difference ... John and Greg Rice, two sensational guys. John died very unexpectedly this week and all of Florida turned out to pay tribute to him and to mourn his passing. Why? Because the two brothers were born facing so may challenges, but they choose not to give in, but to stand tall. So their indomitable "I can! I will!" spirit inspired everyone they met. It was an honor to have them on the Hour of Power program to share their story.

Now to whom do we owe the credit for the success of the Rice brothers? Who made them the men that they became? Well, you know, John and Greg are super short. They are little people, only two feet, ten inches tall. They called themselves "the twin dwarfs." They were born identical twins in the hospital. When their parents saw them, they walked out of the hospital and never came back. John and Greg never knew the names of their father and mother. They were left abandoned in the hospital. Then two janitors in that hospital, a man and his wife, finally took the little boys home and raised them in their family. So they grew up as John and Greg Rice in that home, and they attribute what they became to their adopted father and mother.

What can you do? Don't tell me you don't have a college education. Don't tell me you're not wealthy. Are you a janitor in a hospital? Okay. You qualify! Do something beautiful for God. What can you do? Just begin with your spirit. It starts in the heart, not in the head. I've learned that in my study on the development of human personality, and I've come to the conclusion that it all starts in the heart. That's why so many people in this church are such fabulous people. We have a heart for Jesus Christ. Wow!

Do Something Beautiful for God

The other evening Mrs. Schuller and I enjoyed a wonderful evening with Mr. Piano, Roger Williams. He is a dear friend and member of the church. Roger and my wife, Mrs. Schuller, had to plan the Christmas Eve services. Roger Williams donates his piano artistry each Christmas Eve, playing seven Christmas services ... that・s a wow!

When they finished their planning, Roger took us to dinner. We were reminiscing about our families and Mrs. Schuller said, "I don't remember you telling me about your siblings, brothers or sisters." And Roger said, "No, I was an only child." "An only child?" "Yes," he continued, "My dad was a boxer, a fighter, then he became a Christian, and then he became a preacher. He was a great dad. And anytime he heard that some kid was in trouble with the law, my dad would go to court to take him home and be a foster father. He was a foster father to probably a few dozen kids. I was the only child in that home, but sometimes I didn・t even get a bed." He said, "My dad saved so many kids because he would just look for those who were hurting and tried to help them."

That's the secret of success ...

Find a need and fill it ...
Find a hurt and heal it ...
Find a problem and solve it.

That's so simple, do something beautiful for God. It doesn't take much, you know.

Russ and Holly Bailey live in the state of Washington. Just a few weeks ago they came to the Cathedral. They arrived in their mobile home to spend the winter here. And instead of just relaxing in the sun, they came with the purpose to be volunteers at the Glory of Christmas. Holly is a nurse so she is volunteering her skills whenever she is needed. Russ is volunteering as an usher, tour guide, etc. Thank you Russ and Holly. What a gift you give.

"It's the little thing you do, and the simple words you say, that can make or break the beauty of the average passing day."

Just be open to God.

Bruce Fitzgerald, one of our dedicated members and volunteers, had a customer in his men's clothing store in Beverly Hills. This customer poured out his heart to Bruce that he was dying unless he could get a kidney transplant. If only he could just find somebody with a kidney that matched. Bruce thought and prayed about that and got the idea that maybe his kidney would work, he didn't really need two. So Bruce was tested, it was a match, so today Bruce has only kidney. And Bruce keeps on giving. Now I have about four different pulpit robes, they all look alike. But none of them fit right, except one, and I keep wearing it. The robe doesn・t wear out, but the velvet in front wore out. I tried to find somebody who could replace the velvet. That, believe it or not, is a complicated and skilled task. No one could do it. Bruce heard about it. So Bruce took it and said, "I can fix that," and so my favorite pulpit robe has all new velvet. Perfectly done. Thank you, Bruce.

It's the little thing you do, and the simple words you say, that can make or break the beauty of the average passing day.;

Wow. What can you do? Do something beautiful for God. As I traveled around the world throughout my lifetime I decided that I would learn "thank you" in every language of every country I visited. "Spasibo" V Russian ... "Doh je sin" V Chinese ... "Arigato" V Japanese ... "Komapsumnida" V Korean. It goes on. It doesn・t take much to learn the words "thank you." Wherever you travel, learn those two words. Begin in your home. When someone opens doors for you, go ahead and say, "thank you, thank you." At this Thanksgiving I repeat for you again the Bible text, Hebrews 13:15, 16:

"Therefore let us continue to offer praise to God, giving thanks and never forgetting to do good and to share."

Years ago I heard the true story of a pastor who, walking home one night, turned onto a street through a section of the city that was becoming a slum. And he became dismayed as there, under a street lamp, he saw huddled a pathetic figure of a human being. Was he drunk? Was he dangerous? The pastor didn't dare to approach him, and for one shocking moment, this negative thought came into his mind:

"Oh God, if You are alive, and if You care, how can You allow that man to just lie there? Are You alive? Do You care?"

Then he heard the message, loud and clear, "Yes, I'm alive! Yes, I Care!"

The pastor answered, "Then why don't You do something about him?"

And he heard the answer, "I am doing something about him. I just called him to your attention."

Do something beautiful for God and you will be living in the WOW zone!

I was a child when often in our country church in Iowa we sang this Sunday school song; the words are from John R. Clement*:

Somebody did a golden deed, Proving himself a friend in need;

Somebody sang a cheerful song, Brightening the sky the whole day long V

Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

Somebody thought ・tis sweet to live, Willingly said, "I・m glad to give";

Somebody fought a valiant fight, Bravely he lived to shield the right. V

Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

Somebody filled the days with light, Constantly chased away the night;

Somebody・s work bore joy and peace, Surely his life shall never cease V

Was that somebody you? Was that somebody you?

Do something beautiful for God. I don・t know what that is for you. I can't tell you, but I can tell you that God gave you a brain, eyes to see and ears to hear, so that you could feel around you, the hungry, hurting, lonely desperate world, where people are lost in sin, lost in loneliness, lost in despair, lost in depression and you・re probably the only person who can connect with them and give them the lift they need.

Prayer: Dear God, You are giving me inspiring ideas. Yes, they are impossible, but You make them possible when I grab hold and exercise the faith. So God, turn me into the kind of person who radiates the Spirit of Jesus to all I meet. Do something beautiful through me. I want to live in the WOW zone. Amen

* Hymn, "Somebody Did a Golden Deed," Words, John R. Clements, Hope Publishing Company.

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