The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

If You Believe

“If you can believe it, you can receive it.” How many times have you heard this in the past few years? I’ve read it in books, and heard it from many inspirational speakers and “visionaries”. I wonder who originally penned this thought. I wonder if he received everything that he believed. I wonder if he believed in God.

I agree with the basic, stripped-down, bottom line of this message: a positive outlook does increase the odds of good things happening in your life. And conversely, walking around expecting doom and gloom will result in…you guessed it; doom and gloom.

I feel that the adage has one glaring omission, so I’d like to offer you my version of “believe and receive”.

If you believe that God can give it to you, only then is it possible for you to receive it.

 I am so happy and grateful now that I have peace of mind. Jackie and I are happy and healthy. Our salon has ten stylists and is one of the best salons in Birmingham. I have a great job with Redken. It gives Jackie and me the opportunity to visit cities around the world. We have money in the bank beyond our wildest dreams. I have my new Corvette. I am a good man. I am making me proud. I am a star that shines for others. I am a good Christian and I spread the good news of what God has done for me whenever someone will listen. I am full of life. I am a leader. I am a follower. I inspire others. I love living. I am finding oneness with God. I am.

I wrote those affirmations on November 6, 2006. I had only shared those particular thoughts with my wife Jackie and a handful of close friends. This past week I had the privilege of talking to a group of people that attend Church of The Highlands here in Birmingham, where Jackie and I are also members. I don’t know why, but I felt lead to share it that night with them, just as I have with you today.

You see, what I wrote on that November day was everything that I dreamed that I would one day see, feel, and be. Apart from Jackie and me being happy and healthy, none of the rest of it was really true!

A couple of weeks earlier, Jackie and I had watched this movie titled The Secret (definitely a topic for another day!), and the essence of its message was the “believe it-receive it” thing. This movie "planted the seed" for what transpired on November 5th (see the post title The Epiphany 11/24/08).

So the very next day, and every day thereafter, without fail, for the next two years I would offer my intentions…to God, to His universe, and in hindsight, to myself ! You see, I didn’t really believe that those things were possible, at least not for me. I always figured that those kinds of things, the rewarding things in life, were for everybody else. I wouldn’t even read self-improvement books that talked about the greener grass, because seeing the other side would only serve to make me more miserable.

For the first couple of weeks I’d get up early in the morning and have a seat in “my” chair in our kitchen, say a few prayers, and then pull out my sheet of paper. I read the list of affirmations with as much conviction as I could muster. I don’t know if it was my conscious or subconscious mind, but one of them kept on whispering “You don’t really believe any of that do you?”

Here’s where it gets a little hard to explain…

Of course I knew that what I was saying wasn’t true, but deep down inside I believed that it was gonna come true. It was gonna take some time, but it was gonna happen. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when. All of it. I’d heard the term “blind faith” through the years, and thought that I knew what it meant…until I began reciting my affirmations.

I had faith…blind faith…unwavering, unquestioning faith, that God was gonna help me do this. So every morning I’d read the paragraph. It wasn’t long that I had it memorized. Looking back now, I think that it became a prayer that I offered up to God; a prayer that I believed would be answered.

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

And life as I knew it began to change.

October 12, 2009

It’s been almost three years since I grabbed pen and paper and wrote my “dream list”. What has happened since has been, well, it’s been quite amazing. Everything on my list, or least all the important stuff, has come true.

First, let’s take a look at the insignificant:

I have a great job with Redken. It gives Jackie and me the opportunity to visit cities around the world.

At the time I thought that Redken was the only vehicle available to get the “God-message” bottled up inside of me to others. The idea of using the Internet, and more specifically The Seed of Hope as a means of reaching people hadn’t crossed my mind.

Our salon is one of the best in Birmingham. We have money in the bank beyond our wildest dreams. I have my new Corvette.

We work every day at making our salon one of the best, and who’s to say that it’s not? And look, when I was a kid our family was poor…any money in the bank was beyond my wildest dreams. Thing is, I don’t really dream about money anymore. Nor do I worry about it; it’s just not that important. Same thing goes for the Corvette…I could have one if I really wanted one, but hey, it’s just a car. Our 2003 Infiniti and 1998 Forerunner get us where we want to go just fine!

That’s it. Everything else on the list has either happened, or is continuing to happen. So remove all the tangible things from the list…the job with Redken, the salon, the money in the bank, and the Corvette from the equation.

What’s left?

Life Traits

I haven’t heard of life traits either…I guess I just made that one up! I’ve heard of personality traits, character traits, and genetic traits, but none of them describe what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the way that I live my life and what I strive to be each day. My state of being. Who and what I am. These intangibles, these things that matter most to me, may seem petty to you, but they have become the foundations of my life.

I AM…

Happy…grateful…healthy…at peace…a good man…a light that shines…a good Christian…a messenger…a  leader…a follower…full of life…loving life…inspiring others…finding oneness with God.

I am finding oneness with God.

Your Life List

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Bucket Lists, which consists of things that we want to do in life, i.e. see the Grand Canyon, travel to Australia, etc. Buckets lists give us incentive to be successful, something to shoot for in life.

Today I’m suggesting that you make a Life List; a list of what you want to be and who you want to be. Offer that list up to God every morning, with the expectation that He’s gonna answer your prayer…that He has answered your prayers. Make a commitment to God, and more importantly to yourself, that you will use the gifts that He gives you to live the life that you were meant to live. Then just do it!

“ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23

I don’t care how old you are…you’re never too old, or too young, to be happy.

 

See you next week!

 

 

 

Comments

Mike Burnett wrote on 10/12/09 11:03 AM

Sam, Great Stuff as always! I have been exploring the whole concept of belief myself and wanted to share a little. Martin C Jischke said "The height of your success will equal the depth of your belief" Which I translate as, the deeper your belief the more obvious it will be in your words and actions. And to quote Ralph W. Emerson "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" Basically belief means "to be in love with" a concept, thing or idea. Things don't have to be perfect or make totally sense to believe in them. We just need to love it!
Shelia Spencer wrote on 10/17/09 12:02 AM

I have enjoyed reading your Monday updates... It seems God is talking and you are listening.. I'm Kellie's mother. I've prayed for a long time for people like you and your wife to be part of her life...my friends tell me I prayed yall up...ha thanks for being a Godly man.
Donna wrote on 10/18/09 9:52 PM

It seems that with spiritual maturity (not that I've reached it yet) comes a feeling of contentment with what God chooses for us. I haven't lowered my expectations, hopes and dreams, but I have adjusted them in an attempt to fit them into the pattern of life God is laying out for me. Thanks for prompting me to think about this.
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