The Dreamer cover

The Dreamer

By


“I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed!” - Robert H. Schuller
Dr. Robert H. Schuller passed from this life on April 2, 2015, but what remains in my spirit is that spark this dreamer lit in me years ago.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars on 1 review




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The Dreamer

The First Meeting

We met face-to-face one Sunday morning after a service held for over 2,500 people.

Our eyes locked together, as we shook hands, unexpectedly I was the only person in this long line of visitors he greeted with a broad smile as we left the church. Who was this man?

His sermon moved me emotionally, much more than expected. With a booming voice and the wave of his hand he proclaimed,

“Today's accomplishments were yesterday's impossibilities.”

Beginnings

Beginnings

October 22, 1988

Captivated

His ministry had stood the test of time and ridicule. Seated in a magnificent all glass structure, with blue sky above, surrounded by a garden of palm trees, I examined the expressions of the people around me.

They too were captivated. Listening intently. His passion for his calling was inspirational.

“If you can Dream it, you can Do it!” he would say.

Now standing at the entrance to the church, only the third time we met and he remembered my name . . . Out of multitudes of people this man sees every day - how was that possible? Many called him a dreamer. I would come to know him as Dr. Schuller. The lead pastor of Garden Grove Community Church, or at that time The Crystal Cathedral.

First Thought

Little did I know this pastor would have a profound effect on my thinking and my life. “Possibility Thinking”, he called it.

A philosophy with a pragmatic approach to positive results. To me this practice had always been known as positive thinking. Decades of young people and I had read Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book; The Power of Positive Thinking. While living in Los Angeles in 1986 the Los Angeles Times had announced that Dr. Peale would be speaking at The Crystal Cathedral. This I wanted to see.

My first thought was; The Crystal what? Where is this “Cathedral?” To my surprise Garden Grove, California was less than 50 miles from my apartment in Santa Monica. Sunday morning traffic in Los Angeles was light, not the typical freeway parking lot. The drive would be an easy one.

Crystal Cathedral

Crystal Cathedral

Image by Arnold C

Early Look

So without hesitation Lori and I decided to make the trip to Garden Grove one month before Dr. Peale was to speak.

“I’m sure there will be a crowd, let’s go early to get the lay-of-the-land.” I said to Lori. “Maybe, we can find a way to guarantee a seat for Dr. Peale's presentation.”

We made the journey and that Sunday morning changed my life. How you ask? Seated in the balcony, listening to Dr. Schuller, I became enamored with this idea of possibility thinking; the presentation, his body language, the use of his voice, his facial expressions.

Positive Affirmations

This pastor focused on the positive possibilities for your life. Not the typical, “You’re a sinner! Repent!” What every person listening that day experienced were positive affirmations like this one;

“I would rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed!” - Robert H. Schuller

So, it was that day, from the thrill of the experience, we decided, YES, we were coming back to this church - every week. Through this man God was changing the world. Or maybe it was the creator changing me? It didn’t matter.

A New Path

A New Path

Lights Are On

Suddenly the lights were turned on; ideas began to leap through my mind, a powerful affirmation of my worth, my new found awareness of “possibility thinking,” my innate abilities, and my aspiration to be the best young educator.

No, it never came to me in those words but the commitment was engaging and absolute.

It’s hard to believe that was over 29 years ago.

A New Vision

Much has changed, Dr. Robert H. Schuller passed from this life on April 2, 2015, but what remains in my spirit is that spark this dreamer lit in me years ago. A flame that is growing into a new vision for my life.

We all dream. What’s yours? The magic of possibility thinking is renewed every day through faith. Believe in yourself, today is a new day, you were put on this earth for a purpose. Discover your purpose, you too can change the world. How will you touch someone’s life today?

It starts with a dream . . .