Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Schuller's Vision Beyond "Tough Times"

On Sunday, September 28, 2008, Rev. Robert H. Schuller, minister at The Crystal Cathedral, preached, in a television broadcast, an extraordinary sermon entitled "Ten Commandments for Possibility Living" that I recommend for reading by everyone, regardless of religious belief, particularly now during our mutual crisis.

Given the record-breaking decline in the stock market that occurred the day after the sermon's broadcast, when the House did not adopt an initial plan to address the national financial crisis, the principles spoken in Dr. Schuller's sermon -- which support his vision of a
debt-free America -- stand out as even more relevant and hopeful.

Possibility thinking is the ultimate need of every single person!" said this 82-year old orator & author of more than thirty books. "No matter how rich or poor you are, how educated or how uneducated you are . . . you need Possibility Thinking!"

He then focused upon Possibility Thinking in the context of our national economy:

In fact, I even applied possibility thinking to our national debt. That was ten years ago, when I wrote a book called The Power Of Being Debt Free. It was published by Nelson Publishers and sold a few hundred thousand copies.

We gave one to every senator and every congressman. At that time they all laughed at me because of the way I concluded the book.

I wrote, "If our country doesn't change course, I predict that by the end of the century our federal debt will go from $1.6 trillion to over $5 trillion." Yes, they laughed at me because I was just a television preacher. The debt couldn't go that high. * * *
Well, according to the National Debt Clock website, as of September 29, 2008, the national debt of the United States is nearly $9.9 trillion. Since September 28, 2007, this debt has increased by approximately $2.42 billion per day. Since the estimated population of the United States is 304,818,443, that website calculates each citizen's share of this debt at $32,466.92.

Despite this situation, which the world's financial markets now recognize in a crisis response, Rev. Schuller -- an older American to be sure -- still spoke about his dream:
Now that book has just been re-written and brought up to date. This time Washington is very interested. The senators have it and they are reading it.

I changed the title: America's Declaration Of Financial Independence, because I have a dream for my seventeen grandchildren!

I have a dream that they will be able to experience financial independence that when they reach the age of twenty and thirty they will be able to buy a house with a twenty or thirty year mortgage and a fixed rate of only three percent!

That's my dream and it is possible for America to become debt free. * * *
Since every dream should have a dealine too, Schuller stated one for his vision:
I have a dream that when we celebrate America's two-hundred-fiftieth birthday in the year 2-0-2-6 (I will be a hundred years old if I am still alive), we could be debt free.

Surely by the year 2-0-7-6, our three-hundredth anniversary America would be a debt-free country. * * *
He then explained "Ten Commandments for Possibility Thinking" that should be applied immediately to the financial crisis experienced by us -- both individually and collectively:

#1 Never reject a possibility because you see something wrong with it.

#2 Never reject a possibility because you won't get the credit.

#3 Never reject an idea because it's impossible.

#4 Never reject a possibility because your mind is already made up.

#5 Never reject an idea because it's illegal. * * * [Instead,] change the laws.

#6 Never reject an idea because you do not have the money, the manpower, the mental power or the muscle.

#7 Never reject an idea because it will generate conflict.

#8 Never reject an idea because it is not your style.

#9 Never reject an idea because it might fail!

#10 Never reject an idea because it is sure to succeed.

In the current financial environment characterized by fear, we need possibility thinking such as that promoted by Dr. Schuller:
Possibility thinking transcends politics, races, creeds and theologies. Yes!

Possibility thinking is the ultimate need of every single person. We are all the same! We have a brain. We can think! We can dream! We live in a free country. We can get an education!

We can do anything we want to do if we look at all the possibilities. * * *
Read his entire sermon here or watch it online here.

"If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, say to your mountain MOVE and it will move
and nothing will be impossible to you.

-- Holy Bible, Matthew 17:20