Time Sensitivity: none


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The late Congresswoman from Texas, Barbara Jordan once said something that speaks great truth. She said, “I don’t want to be run-of-the-mill person.” I don’t either, or I know that you don’t. Isn’t that why we are here this morning? It is because we want to shine with God brilliance in our lives. We want to live in the very best ways we can and enjoy life more.

I share an affirmation with you. “Who I am makes a difference.”

I like to look at that in the morning and I like for that to begin my day. Feel empowered by God to go beyond where I would ordinarily go. I realize that God is with you, and you can do things that alone of your human self, I might not be able to do. You want to make a positive difference in this world. You want to make the world a better place.

A simple commitment that is very easy and very rewarding, every day, say to yourself, I will make a difference in at least one person’s life.

Small differences accumulate adding up to major changes in people’s lives. You can make a difference; you can add to the equation to someone’s positive life. Do you know how easy that is? How profoundly it changes your life when you make that commitment? It is so joyous when you go out there and go on your search. You wonder who is going to be “the one” today. You wait to find that person.

Let me tell you a story. There is a small village in Nigeria, West Africa, which is an agricultural community, a farming community. This village is in a large valley, plush with trees and vegetation. The villagers live in houses of dried mud which women decorate with colorful designs each year during the harvest festival.

Surrounding the village are fields filled with crops of yams, corn, and other vegetables. Just beyond the fields is a deep river that the villagers call “Baba,” which means, “Father.” The river has been a friend to the villagers and a provider for the people. The men fish in it. Women wash clothes on its banks. Children play in its waters. But, in the rainy season, it can overflow, and the people are very fearful of its power. It could wipe out their crops and even threaten their safety.

There was a man in the village named Modupe, which means, “I am grateful.” Modupe was a shy, quiet man whose wife had died and whose children were all married. Modupe lived all alone, so he moved to the top of the mountain overlooking the valley. There he built a small hut and cleared a small piece of land to grow his vegetables. The people did not see Modupe often, but they loved and respected him.

One year at harvest time, there were unusually heavy rains. But because the crops had done so well and there was much work to do, no one paid much attention to the rains. One morning, Modupe went outside his house and was looking out over the valley when he noticed that the dam had been damaged.

The heavy rains were pouring down and the river had become so swollen from the rains that the dam was going to break. Modupe knew he did not have time to run down to the village to warn the people. It would be too late and all would be lost. Even as he watched, the wall of the dam began to break and water started to seep through in several places. Modupe knew that his friends in the village, their crops, their homes, and their very lives were in danger of being lost in the flood. He had to warn them. But how was he going to do this? An idea came to him. He rushed to his hut and set his own home on fire.

When the people in the valley looked up, they saw Modupe’s house on fire. They said, “Sound the alarm. Our friend is in trouble. Let’s go help him.” Then, according to the custom, men, women, and children ran up the mountain to help. As they reached the top of the mountain, a loud crashing noise from behind caused them to turn around and look down into the valley. Their homes, their crops, everything was being destroyed by the river, which had broken the dam and flooded the valley.

The people began to cry and moan about their loss. Modupe said, “Don’t worry. My crops are still here. We will share them while we build a new village.” The people began to realize what had happened and they began to give thanks. They knew that in coming to help a friend, they had saved themselves.

When I help you, I save myself, because God comes through me. When you help me, you save yourself because God comes through you. How wonderful God is! When we stand alone, and we become so independent that we do not care about another person, that is when we all fall. United we stand. Spiritual people are not independent; they are interdependent. We are a blessing to other people. When we go out and say, “OK, God, today is my day. Today is somebody else’s day, too. I am going to look for someone and You tell me whom I should bless, today.” The blessing could be in 10 million different forms. It does bless the other person when you do something for them. It comes back to you, pressed down, shaken over. It comes through you and yet, it comes back to you from the outside, too. Wow! You are the blessor and the blessee. You serve God by become a blessing in your world.

Let me tell you a story. Once there was a heavily booked flight out of the Denver airport that was cancelled. The single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the front and slapped his ticket down on the counter. “I have to be on this next flight and it has to be first class!”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the agent replied, “You are going to have to go to the back of the line, because I have to take care of these people first, and then I’ll be happy to help you.”

The passenger was unimpressed. He said, “Do you have any idea who I am?”

Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and picked up the public address microphone. “May I have your attention, please? We have a passenger here at the gate who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate.”

The man retreated and the whole terminal burst into applause.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever gone to another person, wanting them to be impressed with who you are, and said, “Do you have any idea who I am?” If you really want to show another person who you are, become more interested in them than in you. They will be impressed.

Have you ever caused trouble because you thought you were not being treated as you should be because of who you are? If they only knew. You are willing to tell them who you are.

May you be known only by the positive difference you make in other’s lives. That is really what counts, isn’t it? We passed their way and we made their life better because we took the time to make their lives better.

Recently actor Paul Newman passed away. He was a great actor, but it was interesting that people said what he’ll really be remembered for is his humanitarian work. 40 years ago, he formed a food company “Newman’s Own.” All after-tax profit of what now $150 million year company is goes towards helping humanity. He had an illustrious career but is known best for what he did outside of his career.

Bill Gates will probably be the same, as will Warren Buffett. Live a life so large in positive shadow and it will be impossible for you ever to be forgotten.

So many times, we want to tell people what we have done in the past. We want to hand someone a resume and have them look at it and say, “I see what you are. Wow, am I impressed!” That is not who we are at all. We are not our biography, for the stories of our lives have not been fully written yet.

It is the difference that you can make in your life NOW that counts. You make a difference in your life as God directs. That is who you are.

May we take the pledge, today, to make a difference in at least one person’s life, every day, and find that happiness and bliss.

Let me tell you a story. One time, there were students of a rabbi. They approached their spiritual leader with a complaint about the evil that was everywhere in the world. They were intent upon driving out the forces of darkness. They requested that the rabbi counsel them. The rabbi suggested they take brooms and attempt to sweep the darkness out of the cellar.

The bewildered disciples applied themselves, using all their vigorous energy to sweep the darkness out of the cellar, but to no avail. The rabbi then advised his followers to take big sticks and to beat vigorously at the darkness to drive out the evil. When this likewise failed, he counseled them to go down again into the cellar and to protest against the darkness by lighting a candle. When they kindled their lights, the darkness had been driven out.

It is the same with us. When we kindle our light, something very special is going to happen.

Mark 4:21. “He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lamp stand?'”

In other words, were you born into this life to hide your light?

Are you supposed to hide it deep inside of you where no one could see it?


“‘For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ And He said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.'” (Mark 4:22-25)

For to those who have, more will be given. When you are giving more blessings every day, you are going to have more blessings come to you. When you give nothing, even what you have will be taken away. You will lead an empty existence. We all want to do God’s will, but are we willing to walk in God’s footsteps.

You do not need to go off to a distant land. You do not need to become a missionary in some foreign country, you are needed right where you are. Each is called two different service. Know that God needs you right where you have been placed.

Do not have faith in anything less than God in your life because there will never be an end to God in your life. God needs you to be a missionary in ____________ (your State). God needs you to be a missionary in ____________ (your City). God needs you to be a missionary in your own home and business by becoming a light; to walk into a room and to have everyone in that room turn around because you have walked into that room.

They are glad to see you because of what you bring into their lives. You are always there to make it better. You are always there to say something positive and to make their day better. Because it comes through you, you will have a better day, too.

We all wish we were able to give gifts to others which would add to their joy and happiness. One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of blessing. Everybody wants to feel blessed. When you get up, tomorrow morning, how much more alive you will be as you crawl out of bed if you think, “I’m going to meet my good.” How much more alive you will be if you crawl out of bed and say, “I’m going to do good.” Because, as you do good, you are going to meet good. I am needed.

Do you know when it is the most fun to be a blessing? It is when you are a blessing to people who are hard to bless. That is where it really becomes entertaining.

Allow to me share some poetry with you.

There was an old man from Blackheath
Who, when he sat on a set of false teeth,
Rose with a start and said,
“Lord bless my Heart.
I’ve bitten myself underneath.”

I know a man who had the people skills of a hornet. He would constantly come to me and say, “How come people don’t like me?”

If you say what you think, don’t expect to hear only what you like.

He would put others down to make himself look better.

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person.

True nobility is being superior to your previous self.

Over time, as the man prayed to change, he started to care for others and show it in his words and actions.

Last year, he was going to be honored. He was a changed man. The president of this large corporation was there.

He made the discovery overtime that he had a natural ability, but he was using it in a negative way. If he could just turn that around and use the power of his words to be a blessing, he could change his world. He was doing it. His was a totally changed and blessed life.

Huxley, the British author of “Brave New World,” spent most of his years observing and commenting upon the meaning of human life. In the last decade of his own life, after all those years of philosophizing, he confessed, “It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has not more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.'”

Try to be a blessing. The Dalai Lama said the same thing. He said, “Religion is basically, three words: blessing, love, and kindness.” I agree. You have to imitate God. You have to be willing to follow God so closely that you are doing the will of God and you are doing it automatically by imitating.

A Welsh friend once shared his experience of working in an armaments factory during World War II.

The management had posted signs throughout the factory with just five letters on them: I A D O M. He told us that everyone knew the meaning of those letters. They stood for:

I It

A All

D Depends

O On

M Me

It all depends on me. The management used the signs to impress on the workers that each of them had to work as if the whole war effort depended on what they did individually. Each day, they had to think that victory depended on what they did that day. In a very real sense, I A D O M is a metaphor for individual growth. It all depends on what we do this day. If we want a better world; it all depends on us.

Late Hall of Fame catcher, Roy Campanella was one of professional baseball’s African American pioneers. Playing with Jackie Robinson on the Brooklyn Dodgers, Campanella won three Most Valuable Player awards in a 10-year career that was cut short by a crippling automobile accident.

Campanella was one of many stars on the powerful Dodgers teams of the early 1950s. He was confined to a wheelchair after an accident. He had a terrible time with the fact that he could not walk any more. He cried himself to sleep every night, as he thought, “What use am I to the world?”

The doctor came to him, one day, and said, “You are not doing very well with your own healing and I need your help. You have to feel alive again.”

Roy said, “No doctor, I just want to die.”

The doctor said, “No, Roy, you can still be a tremendous asset everywhere you go. Be a blessing to people. Get out of yourself, out of your own mind, and out of your own body, and think about other people more than yourself.”

Roy is still in a wheelchair, but he says, “I am more alive now that I was when I had two legs and was running around the bases. Now, I make other people’s lives better.” What a joy it is when you do. We often say, “God bless you.” God says, for you, to bless others.

Author Og Mandino wrote “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” which still sells 100,000 copies a year. But did you know there was a time when he was a drunken bum, living from gutter to gutter?

Do you know how he changed his life around? He changed his life around by getting out of his head and daily pity party and deciding to live for others. But he had to trick himself in order to do it. He went into the library and started reading success books and he got the idea to be a blessing. He wondered how he could be a blessing to others. He said, “Here is challenging advice. Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.

“Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”

There was once a bus driver who hated his job. He resisted getting behind the wheel every morning. He attended a seminar and was asked why he hated his job. He said, ‘Well, I think it is that seven minutes at the end of my run. At the end of my run, every day, I am next to this unofficial dump where everyone throws their trash. It just shows how bad humanity is.”

They said, “Oh, seven minutes out of your run. Other than that, is it OK?” He said, “It’s not bad, except the seven minutes there by the dump.”

One day, he got the idea that instead of complaining about it, why didn’t
he do something about the dump. He began to go in there and pick up cans. He looked forward to the seven minutes at the end of every run. It became his favorite place, because he knew if something was going to happen, he had to do it. During the spring, he picked up all the trash and then he started to plant flowers. Do you know that it became such a place of beauty that he had full busloads, not riding to their destination, but riding to the end of the run? He received an award from the city, but more than that, the city bought the property and made it a city park. The difference you can make with your life if you take the responsibility of I A D O M.

Our motto would be modified. I A D O M A G – It All Depends On Me And God – that is 1000 times more powerful than “me” alone.

Charles Harvey tells this true story. He said, “I made a commitment to being a blessing. Then, that very morning as I was driving to a job interview, running 15 minutes late already, I saw a middle-aged woman stranded with a flat tire. My conscience made me stop. I changed her tire and headed to the interview thinking I could just forget about getting the job now.

“But I filled out the job applications anyway, and went to the personnel director’s office. Did I get the job? Sure thing! The personnel director hired me on the spot. She was the woman whose tire I had just changed.”

That is the way God works.

I close with this.

The Day’s Result

Is anybody happier because you passed their way? Does anyone remember that you spoke to them today? The day is almost over, and its toiling time is through; Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you? Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along? Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said? Does the one whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead? As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God would say, “You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?”

My friend don’t be a person that lives just for self-betterment. Make a difference with your life in the lives of others.

Let us pray. I give this day the God-touch and I glory in God’s blessings. I pray that I bless others as God’s love is reflected through my thoughtful acts, my gentleness, and courtesy, my words of praise and gratitude. The God-touch of my words and actions has an expanding, uplifting quality.

Thoughts held in mind create and produce after their kind. Today, God, with Your help, I give attention to others. I hold only positive thoughts. I think of the many blessings that I can give, and I am constantly blessed.

God’s order is gentle and continuous in me. I become an imitator of God’s orderly, gentle ways. Harmony prevails and soothes each step on my path. I feel my oneness with every living expression of God’s creation.

In Jesus Christ’s name I DO THIS.

Thank You, God. Amen.

God bless you!

PRAYER / MEDITATION____________________

Listen to these words of Jesus spoken about you: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before humans that they may see your good works and glorify your God in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

God created you. You are special, In all the world there is nobody like you. Just is your fingerprint is unique so is your soul. Since the beginning of time, there has never been another person like you. Nobody has your smile. Nobody has your eyes, your nose, your hair, your hands, your voice. You are special.

Accept this in the silence of prayer …

No one sees things just as you do. In all of time, there has been no one who laughs like you, no one who cries like you. And what makes you laugh and cry will never provoke identical laughter and tears from anybody else, ever. You are the only one in God’s creation with your set of natural God-given abilities.

Accept this in the silence of prayer …

There will always be somebody who is better at some of the things you are good at, but no one in the Universe can reach the quality of your unique God-given combination of talents, ideas, natural abilities, and spiritual abilities. Like a room full of musical instruments, some may excel alone, but none can match the symphony sound of the Body of Christ. God set the members – every one of them – in the body as it has pleased the Creation. You have been sent here to be a blessing to your world. You are empowered by God to be a blessing.

Accept this now in our time of silence. In the silence of prayer …

Through all eternity, no one will every look, talk, walk, think, or do exactly like you. You are special. You are rare. And as in all rarity, there is great value. Because of your great, rare value, you need not attempt to imitate others. You should accept – yes, celebrate your differences. You are special.

Continue to realize that it is not an accident that you are special. Continue to see that God created you special for a very special purpose. God called you out and ordained you to a calling of being a blessing that no one else can do as well as you. Out of all the billions of applicants, only one is qualified, only one has the best combination of what it takes. YOU are God equipped.

Rest in the silence of prayer …

Just as surely as every snowflake that falls has a perfect design and no two designs are the same, so within the Body of Christ it is, also. No two believers are the same, and without each member, the body would be lacking. God’s plan would be incomplete.

Ask God, today, to teach you your Divine plan for life. Let it unfold in perfect sequence and in perfect order, in such a way as to bring the greatest glory to God!

Rest in the silence of prayer …

May you be Divinely empowered to be a blessing to all you meet. You are also, an endangered species of blessing unless you decide to bless.

We pray, this morning, in the name and through the power if Jesus Christ.


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