we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our television ministry.
This anniversary is proof that optimism delivers achievement,
success, and accomplishment. Without optimism, one neither starts, sustains nor succeeds.
Optimism is the bedrock of enthusiasm and energy that sets
goals. Optimism makes things happen!
across the country we have watched in awe as the Iraqi people
came forward in the midst of violence to vote in Iraq. Two
prominent daily newspapers carried negative headlines focusing
on the attacks, the dangers and the anxiety in Iraq during
the voting day. They almost gave us the impression that
it could be a disaster. They unconsciously were laying the
emotional soil for pessimism. I don't think anything is
more dangerous than when the media focuses on the black
side of a news story.
as I watched on television, the news was quite different.
It showed a hundred or more people walking down main street,
the most dangerous street in Baghdad. Unafraid, they were
coming out to vote.
One man went up to a newsman, and as he held up his
voting card, he said, "This is the bullet against the
common people of Iraq want freedom and only freedom gives
security. So I'm very optimistic about Iraq, and I'm praying
for the best as I am sure you all are too.
Optimism: We all need it throughout all of life. So
today, I share some thoughts from my newest book, Don't
Throw Away Tomorrow, from the chapter entitled:
"Start and Succeed with Optimism."
thinking + possibility thinking = optimism
ask, "Is there a difference between positive thinking
and possibility thinking?" Yes, in my philosophy there is a difference.
I learned positive thinking from Norman Vincent Peale,
my mentor. Positive
thinking comes first.
It is the positive mental attitude that replaces
a negative mental attitude.
It replaces a lethargic mental attitude.
Positive thinking sets the stage.
Your dream is conceived.
But at this point it is only wishful thinking.
You must then go forward to the next step. Your mind
must move from positive thinking to possibility thinking.
thinking sets the ATTITUDE.
thinking sets the ACTION.
Positive thinking asks the question, "Is it possible? Possibility
thinking then asks, "How do I get ready to act? How can I make it happen?" Possibility
thinking puts wings on positive ideas. It puts legs under
the positive attitude. And if you get positive thinking
+ possibility thinking, you've got optimism! Don't
throw away tomorrow! Start and succeed with optimism!
day Stephanie, my teenage granddaughter, reminded me of
all the times I said to her, "What dreams would you
have, Stephanie, if you knew you could not fail?" Her
eyes got big as she asked me, "Grandpa, didn't you
ever think you might fail?" "Oh yes," I answered.
"I have often faced the reality that I might fail.
But I never knew that I would fail. Because I believed that
as long as I was trying and hoping and believing, then I
was not failing. I knew that if I wasn't risking failure, then for sure I would fail!"
I said, "all through your life you are going to go
through decisions, processes, phases or arrangements and
you will have to choose in all of them, whether you are
going to be an optimist, or a pessimist."
know, positive people shun pessimism, but they are attracted
to optimism. They want to be a part of an optimistic person's dreams and
goals. When pessimism takes command in a life, or in a family,
thoughts of failure seep in. Then guess what? You become
physically fatigued. Pessimism saps energy out of living.
Pessimism drives creative people away, and you are left
alone. Pessimism is the toxic soil where worry, fear and
anxiety sprout and choke your life's dreams.
drops the curtain on tomorrow!
Optimism raises it back up and we see new doors opening.
Tomorrow looks hopeful. All of us position ourselves for where we
will be in life. If we position ourselves with optimism
and hope, we are going to live in a different world with
different kinds of people, who are not cynics. Instead,
they are creative thinkers. That happens when we exercise
options íK that is faith.
may remember that my autobiography, "My Journey"
starts with the sentence, "I was born on the dead end of a dirt road that had no
name and no number." I know what it is like
to come from nowhere and go somewhere! My wife and I came
to California fifty years ago this month with only $500
in our pocket, and today this ministry is proof of what
happens when we believe in tomorrow. Look at what God has
done through all of us. You believed me not because of who
I was, but because of what God's dream was for this ministry:
to bring a message of the Gospel that would bring people
emotional health and wholeness.
my newest book, Don't Throw Away Tomorrow, I give twelve reasons
why I am an optimist.
Today I have selected six of those reasons to share
I'm an optimist because I'm positive that the sun will rise
very simple, but very basic.
And it gives me the power to go to bed and know that
the sun will rise tomorrow íK and babies are
going to be born tomorrow.
As long as one new person is coming into the human
family there is no reason for anybody to be a pessimist.
I'm an optimist because I know that
happens tomorrow I can be a part of it.
someway I can make a difference in the world and proclaim
the kind of a faith that gives people hope and dreams. Each
of us can make a hopeful and helpful difference.
I'm an optimist because I see positive possibilities
around me even in the problems
E. Moss Kettering, an inventor at General Motors years ago
said to one of his colleagues, "Problems are the price
of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble.
Good news weakens me."
are never real problems, unless they cause you to take your
eye off the goal. Negative experiences aren't bad, unless they motivate you to
become a pessimist!
And that is a choice you don't have to make. You
look over the problem. You look beyond the problem. You
look around the problem. You look underneath the problem,
and you give God time to work it out. It has always worked
for me. That is my testimony as we celebrate our 50th anniversary
in this ministry.
(4) I'm an optimist because
I believe we can always
new dreams, even if one has been delayed or set aside.
hopes for tomorrow can become achievements. Optimists never
accept failure as the last word. I have had projects and
dreams that didn't materialize. But I don't call them failures
because they might come up again. Twenty-five years ago
I had a dream of the Glory of Creation, where through high-tech
we could recreate the drama of Creation as it has never
been done before. Even with our contacts with the very talented
people in the Hollywood industry it didn't come together.
But now, twenty years later, it is being staged this summer
here in the Cathedral. With all the latest technical and
special effects that will come together. It will be a most
awe-inspiring drama of the greatest miracle íK "In the beginning, God íK"
accept failure. Optimists don't use the two word sentence,
"I quit." Only God is allowed to say that.
I'm an optimist because love
outweighs hatred in the human family
time a tragedy happens, whether it is the horrific tragedy
of the Twin Towers in New York City, or the Tsunami, everybody
shouts, "Where is God?" But God is there. He
is constantly alive in the hearts of millions and millions
of people who rush to help!
Overwhelming millions of people respond. God is always
there wearing a fireman's suit, a policeman's uniform, or
a person standing in line to give blood or to pick up the
broken, bruised and dying bodies. God is there!
27:13 says, "I would have lost heart unless I believed that I would
see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
am I an optimist? Because I believe in the Bible. It is
a Holy book. Don't look for its faults. You can find faults
anywhere. Look for the truth you find there. In the Bible
I read Psalm 23 íK
"Even though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
son called to my attention that God doesn't lead you "to"
the valley of the shadow of death to leave you there íK NO! But when you get there, God will lead you "through the valley."
I'm an optimist because I've
seen in my lifetime the awesome power of the human spirit
a pastor, I have lived through wartime where I would call
at a home when their son wouldn't come home from Vietnam,
or a husband wouldn't come home from Korea, or a loved one
wouldn't come home from the Gulf. This has been my calling
as a pastor. I'm not an evangelist. I'm not an educator,
nor a researcher. I am a pastor and I have lived where life's
trouble and tragedy is real. And it is amazing how the human
spirit can arise when you think how can they come through
have to say the real reason I am addicted to optimism is
the Spirit that I have in my heart. And it comes from God.
That Spirit came to me as a child. And it comes from the
Bible. It comes from my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my
Lord and my Savior, how He went through hell on the cross.
But He never lost His faith when He cried out, "My
God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" He still believed
in God even when He couldn't touch Him or feel Him. How
about that? That is the Lord and Savior we have. Embrace
Jesus Christ. Decide today: "I'm going to become a
follower of Christ." Hallelujah. Optimism
Baker was a professor of physics who attended this church.
He was a teacher at one of our colleges here in Orange County.
When he was getting his degree íK a PhD in physics, he had to write a thesis.
In his thesis he wrote how he and the teachers always would
laugh about the kids who failed, they flunked out. He said,
"I always had to fail fifty percent of the freshmen
in my physics course every year. It was always fifty percent.
would tell my students that fifty percent of you are going
to fail. Don't let it be you." You see, he was feeding
his students pessimism and they were believing it so they
failed. Then he said, "I started going to this wonderful
church. It was this church. Every time I went there, I was
told to think positively, to be optimistic. I was told that
I should tell people not what they really are, but tell
them they are what they wish they were. They will become
what you hoped they would."
listened. He said, "OK, I am going to try that principle
in my class." So the next fall he said to his incoming
physics class, "You are a rare group of students. Every
year fifty percent of the students fail, but I've checked
your backgrounds and I am impressed.
You are a miracle class. Every one of you will pass
this course. There will not be a single failure and I'm
going to help you. I won't let anybody fail. Together we
are all going to get through this course and we are going
to have fun doing it." At the end of that semester
Dr. Floyd Baker, the physics professor, reported that every
student passed. One received a C+ and one received a B-
íK the rest all got
B's and A's and he said, "I
never changed my grading procedure one bit!!! Wow!
for it! You are going to be an optimist! Congratulations!