From DSC:
After reading the book entitled “Love & Hate” by Bill Halamandaris — a book about Henri Landwirth, the founder of the Give Kids the World Village — and “On Purpose” by Pamela Landwirth, I was struck with several thoughts. Below are just some of them:

  • There is enormous power in a vision.
  • People want purpose and meaning in their lives. They want their lives to count. To matter.
  • People want to work for an organization that is concretely making the world a better place in which to live.
  • People want to buy from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world.
  • Both love and hate are powerful. But let’s choose to go forward with love.
  • Parents, grandparents, and/or other guardians of critically-ill children carry enormous, hidden burdens. Let’s try to notice those burdens and help them out.
  • Life is precious.

Let's remember this -- Despite what we may hear and see, life is precious.


From DSC:
Recently, a group from our church went to serve down at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimee, Florida. I wanted to relay the specialness of this place and say a few words about the Founder of the Give Kids the World Village: a man by the name of Henri Landwirth. Over the last few weeks in the Orlando area, the Holy Spirit helped me to think about the power of a vision, as both Walt Disney and Henri Landwirth were visionaries.

But first, it’s important to note that Henri survived FIVE concentration camps during WWII. He had no name there. He was known only as B4343.

Henri:

  • Was in concentration camps from ages 13-18
  • He lost both of his parents to acts of mass murder
  • Henri survived FIVE YEARS of hunger, torture, and horrendous conditions
  • He faced what looked like certain death several times

Yet as I was reading the book entitled “Love & Hate”, I kept wondering if I was seeing the fingerprints of God on Henri’s life.

After the war, Henri went in search of former Nazis, for whom he was filled with hatred. And while I don’t have time to relay the fateful day that changed Henri’s perspective and his life, the bottom line was that he didn’t want to become like his former captors the Nazis. Surprisingly and amazingly, he chose love, not hate.

Fast forward to Henri’s coming to America, working very hard, and climbing up the ladder of the Holiday Inn organization.

Then fast forward even further to the time Henri was looking for a location to build his vision. Quoting from page 139:

Henri took his checkbook and began looking for a location for Give Kids the World Village. He found it almost immediately in Kissimmee. When Henry looked at the lot, he could already see the Village there. Where others might have seen rows of burned orange trees and wetlands, Henri saw villages, a place for kids to fish, and a castle. “I could see it all,” Henri says, “as if my dream had already come to life.”

A few last notable things about the Give Kids the World Village:

  • According to the book by Bill Halamandaris, the Village was built with ZERO CONTRACTS and NO ADVERTISEMENTS from those who helped create the village! This is underheard of for $60+ million worth of facilities and the millions of dollars’ worth of donated services.
  • The Village has thousands of volunteers and it takes 160 volunteers per day to keep it running
  • Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 188,000 families from all 50 states and 77 countries.

So I want to leave you with the idea that we were witnesses of – and participants in – the tremendous power of a vision.

 

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Proverbs 31:8-9 New International Version

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 13:34-35 (New International Version)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Psalm 145:8-14 New International Version

8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[a]
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

 

From DSC:
As a bit of context here…

After the Jewish people had been exiled to various places, the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins until the fifth century B.C.E.. At that point, a man named Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem as the provincial governor and completed the repairs of the walls. The verses below really stuck out at me in regards to what a leader should behave/look/be like. He was a servant leader, not demanding choice treatment, not squeezing the people for every last drop, and not using his position to treat himself extra right.

I don’t like to get political on this blog, as I already lose a great deal of readership due to including matters of faith. But today’s leaders (throughout all kinds of organizations) need to learn from Nehemiah’s example, regardless of whatever their beliefs/faiths may be.

14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. 15 But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels[a] of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. 16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we[b] did not acquire any land.

17 Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. 18 Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.

19 Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.

 

 

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. — from letter.visualgrowth.com by Ash Lamb
If you let other people plant those seeds for you, the garden, no matter how big or colorful, won’t be yours, it’ll be someone else’s.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.

What you think, you become.
.

Here’s a powerful mantra.

“I won’t outsource my thinking.”

Don’t let that popular influencer decide how you present yourself to the world.

Don’t allow some generic business guru to decide what type of business you should be focusing on.


From DSC:
I thought that Ash Lamb had some solid points here. And as I’ve read the Scriptures through the years, I’ve realized that ideas are like seeds. Like seeds, ideas can:

  • start small
  • take root
  • grow
  • become powerful, while transforming something bit by bit

So ideas can start small and be fragile. Many get squashed and never make it. And others don’t have healthy soil in which to grow. But other seeds grow roots. 

I’ve learned that we are transformed when our THINKING is transformed.

Here are just a couple of verses of scripture that emphasize that point:

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So ideas and thoughts/ways of thinking can be good/helpful or bad/not helpful. I just like the point that Ash Lamb made — to NOT outsource our thinking to others.

NOTE: The above thoughts aren’t just about our spiritual lives. People working in many types of organizations have witnessed some of these dynamics/phenomena with new ideas as well.

 
 

Isaiah 7:14 (New International Version)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Jude 24-25 New International Version
Doxology

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Psalm 140:12 New International Version

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.

I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.

 

Psalm 136:1 New International Version

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

John 1:1-5 New International Version
The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

1 Chronicles 16:8 New International Version

8 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.

Daniel 4:37 New International Version

37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

 

Proverbs 27:17 New International Version

17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.

Psalm 95:1-2 (New International Version)

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

 

Exodus 23:6

“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Proverbs 26:12

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

Psalms 119:108

Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

 

2 Samuel 7:22

“How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

1 Timothy 3:16

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Proverbs 9:10

The fear (i.e., respecting/honoring) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Psalms 119:64

The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.

 

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.

Proverbs 19:20-21

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Jeremiah 18:7-10

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.

 

Proverbs 4:23 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Psalms 115:1

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Psalms 117:1-2

Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.

 

Proverbs 23:12

Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.


Isaiah 53:1-6

53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.


Ephesians 3:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.



Isaiah 55:6

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.


Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


 

 

Isaiah 42:1-4

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Isaiah 38:17

Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

Isaiah 40:11-14

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 
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