Imagination of the Heart
This is a 2 part series on the Imagination of the Heart. I’ll not send out anymore devos of mine until February 14, 2020 (Valentine’s Day).
Part 1 of 2.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
A phrase I live by is, “Tell Me I Can’t!!!” This is not a rebellious declaration. I look at it from the Biblical point of view. It is in reference to Philippians 4:13 which reminds me that I can do all things through Christ. So if someone tells me I can’t, then I like to rise to the challenge as long as it fits under the realm of obedience to Christ and His will for my life. I like to explore the creativity that God instilled in my life and see what comes of it. I like to initiate stepping out by faith and seeing where He leads me. I like to imagine becoming something great for Him. No one is going to understand that initially, or they might tell me they believe in me and in the back of their mind consider me nothing more than a dreamer. But in His time He’ll reveal to me and to others what is His good and perfect will for me. No one can argue that. No one can mess with the proven character and choices of one’s life. It takes His strength. It takes perseverance. No one can limit the “ALL THINGS” mentioned of in Philippians 4:13. I know for certain that He’ll provide the strength I need when I feel like giving in and giving up. He’ll help me run the race and see me to the finish line. He’s proven Himself. He’s faithful. So Tell Me I Can’t, Because I Know He Can through me!!!
Steve Harvey used this quote as the main content for a commencement speech he did not too long ago…Albert Einstein once stated that imagination is more powerful than knowledge, because imagination is limitless. Taken from Steve Harvey's Rags to Riches Testimony
- Same speech...just a little more added to it in places.
Consider the red lettered words below. No, these are not Christ’s red-lettered words from scripture. These are all words that I wanted to highlight…words that will suppress and destroy one’s imagination.
There are some videos on-line of Steve Harvey addressing a graduating college class. Sometimes videos are difficult to find later on, so I went ahead and typed this one out for us. Feel free to watch the videos I’ve posted above if that’d be easier for you. Steve looked directly at the graduating class and said, “I’m gonna tell you something, you gotta have a tremendous work ethic to be successful in here. In other words, and you can relate to this, you gotta have a lot of dog in you. You really do, man, if you want to be successful. Because it’s gonna be a lot of trying times. So you have to have a tremendous work ethic. But you’ve got to have faith. Faith without works is dead [(James 2:14-26)]. You hear it all the time. You go to Church and you learn all these scriptures, but then you don’t apply none of them to your life. You’re looking at a man who has made the simple application of three or four scriptures and maxed em out to get here.
Albert Einstein said once, he said, ‘Imagination is everything, it’s the preview to life’s coming attractions.’…Because if you think about it, everything you have – everything we have in this world somebody imagined it. Imagination is tremendous. Somebody was sittin on the phone one day talking with a cord to the wall and said, ‘man, I wish I could just go outside with this phone.’ [Now] Everybody in here got a cell phone. Somebody imagined that. Somebody got tired of riding in a wagon cross-country from slavery to freedom, somebody said, ‘I wish we had something that made these wheels move by themselves.’ [Now] We drive cars. People got tired of driving from New York to LA, somebody said, ‘I wish we could fly.’ [Now] We got airplanes.
Imagination is everything, it’s the preview to life’s coming attractions. Your real life, the one God really got for you, is in your imagination. It is not in your current situation or your current paycheck, and if you’ve been living like that – you have then restricted yourself to a commonality that is really not yours. Because what really God got for you is really in your imagination.
There is a scripture that Albert Einstein took this quote from. It’s like the book The Secret. The Secret is one of the top selling motivational books ever, but if you read the book The Secret it’s all Biblical. Everything comes from the Bible. You really don’t need self-help books. You don’t need [books such as] Imaginative Thinking Being, The Power of Positive Thinking, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Think and Grow Rich, The Winner’s Circle, I’ve read em all. All of that information is in Proverbs, all of it. But let me give you this scripture, you’ve all heard this, right? Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen [(Hebrews 11:1)]. So when I told you a minute ago you gotta have a tremendous work ethic, but you gotta have a lot of faith. I talk to so many people who get older, like some of us are, and they’ve lost the faith. Well, faith is really simple. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. All that means is in the beginning you just hope something pop off. You know, you just kind of hope something happen for you. I was hoping I would get on TV. I wrote it on a piece of paper when I was 10, I want to be on TV. The problem I had when I wrote it at 10, was I suffered from a severe stuttering problem. I could not talk outside of my house. So can you imagine [what mysef and everybody else who read it was thinking] when I wrote on a piece of paper, I want to be on TV, and turned that in? But when I wrote it on the paper it wasn’t factual, it was just hoping. You just gotta start with the hope. Faith is the substance of things that you hope for. It’s just hope something jump. Then what happen is through grace and favor, He give you a couple of them things you hope for, and then you supposed to start believing then. Because now it turns into faith. But if you take the scripture, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, what is the evidence of things not seen? I just told it to you. Albert Einstein said, ‘Imagination is everything, it’s the preview to life’s coming attraction.’ But guess what your imagination really is? It’s the evidence of things not seen, because your imagination, you know why it’s evidence of things not seen, because you’re the only one that can see it. Your imagination is actually God showing you a preview of a coming attraction that He has for you. The moment you don’t believe in your imagination you negate what He got for you. Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attraction. It is the evidence of things not seen because can’t nobody see it but you.
Your problem is, you keep telling your imagination to the wrong people. See if you want to kill a big dream, tell it to a small-minded person. It’s dead. How many times man have you had a tremendous idea? Something you thought was the one, and you went and told it to your loved ones and your so-called friends and they shot it down. I mean you was convinced that it was just, oh man, it just came to you, and you told it to them and they shot it down. And you thought since they was your loved ones and your friends and they got your best interest at heart you believe them, you was wrong…you let them talk you out of what God got for you.
Some of y’all still sitting here with the ambition of opening a business one day, but you scared to go start the business because you got a job and you got bills. Rich people got bills. Everybody got bills…Everybody owes somebody something…You gonna let the fact that you got some bills stop you from opening a business, the thing that God put in your imagination , so you’re gonna squash that cuz you got bills. Everybody got bills. Your real life is in your imagination. Can you grab what I’m telling you?
So I don’t know what you thought I was going to say to you. I’m just a real dude. I don’t even have the education you all have. I flunked out of school. I ain’t got no education. I don’t use full syllable words. Look, what I’m sharing with you is stuff that everybody can apply today. If you’re sitting in here thinking that you’re too old to listen to what Steve [has to say, listen] I’m 60, I’m 60 years old. I know, I know, you can’t believe it. I know. [You’re thinking,] he’s so fly. I know, but I’m 60, but I still rely on my imagination. See if you think you’re too old to make it, [then] let me give you a prime example, Colonel Sanders. Colonel Sanders has been frying chicken his whole life. He was telling everybody he had the best chicken in the world. Ain’t nobody believe him. They turned him down everywhere. Colonel Sanders didn’t get a franchise till he was in his 60’s. Kentucky Fried Chicken sell more chicken than anybody in the world today. So if you’re sitting here thinking cuz you got a little gray on you, that you’re too late, as long as God waking you up in the morning that’s the sign that He aint through with you. So what you trippin for? You sittin up in here like God can’t do nothing for you cuz you 60. Man, you know what I’m asking God for right now, and I’m 60? If you could see my vision board you would be blown away cuz I got enough right now. I really know it. But I ain’t in the need business, I’m in the want business. Ain’t nothing wrong with wanting something. Quit going down to these churches y’all sittin up in here going down to keeping you in these little boxes, [listen] God got a big life for you…Look, and I love church, don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking church…don’t tweet that, ‘Steve don’t care for the church no more.’ I didn’t say that. But don’t go down there, memorize all these scriptures and then don’t apply none of them to your life. That’s what I’m talking about. Quit goin down there just to go, and just get a couple of scriptures and apply them to you.
Let me give you one that’s real simple. See, these principles of success they’ve taken all of these scriptures and they puttin them in books and they call them Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. Everything in there is the scripture. They just reworded it because people don’t know how to read the Bible. Like [for me personally] I can’t really read the King James Version. I can’t. Four verses of that [and] I go to sleep. Cuz [words such as] ‘hence,’ ‘furthermore,’ ‘whatsoever,’ ‘whosoever,’ [I just sit there thinking] who is you talking about? I need a name, dog, not ‘whomsoever,’ cuz I’m thrown off. I didn’t do good with reading and comprehension in school. The smallest scripture I ever read changed my life. The scripture [is] real simple, you have not, because you ask not [(James 4:2-3)]. Do you know the difference that that could make in your life? I’m just giving you real talk now. I’m just trying to tell you how I got here. See, I have no education. I applaud all of you with your education. I was sitting here talking with so many men who have Corporate, American [titles to their names]. I’m in awe of that, cuz I don’t have it. But you sit here and you take what you have, it could be so much more if you would ask. See, you have not cuz you ask not. When was the last time you really asked Him for something? Or do you keep making requests that’s inside the confines of your paycheck? When you gonna get outside of that? Didn’t I just tell you that God isn’t in your paycheck? Didn’t I just tell you He ain’t in your job title? The life God got for you is in your imagination. Why you still imagining stuff? Why you keep dreaming of a summer home? Why you keep dreaming of retirement, leaving your grandkids money? I’m at the age now where I think about my grandkids. I got seven TV shows. I only need one. One show pay me enough money. I need four for my wife. The other three is for the grandkids. I just need one.
I do not live my life in the confines of what anybody says to me. I let my imagination go, and now imagination is the preview to life’s coming attraction. But what that really means is--is God showing you a preview of what He has for you. So now, if you have not cuz you ask not, do you understand [that] if you up your ask He has to up His give. This period. This is simple stuff that anybody can apply. You ain’t even gotta have no degree to do this. You don’t even have to have no money to do this. You can start this today and change your whole game, cuz you’re going to need grace and favor anyway. You need to dream the faith and then He [will] put His grace and favor on [it, I’m] talkin you gone [to do His will and fulfill your imagination]. But you gotta ask for something. If you up your ask, He got to up His give. Period. You have not cuz you ask not.
Quit asking God for little bitty stuff, ‘Lord Jesus, help me make my rent.’ Don’t He always? All y’all got somewhere to stay. How about this—why you keep asking for rent, why don’t you ask for a mortgage? If He’s going to give you the money for a place to stay [then] what difference does it make to God? But if you keep saying rent, ain’t He fair, He keep giving you rent. If you ask for a mortgage, He’ll give you a mortgage. But you have not cuz you ask not. ‘Lord Jesus, help me fix my car so I can make it to work.’ Why do you keep praying over that raggedy car? Why don’t you ask God for a car that don’t need fixin? You know they roll them off the assembly line everyday. How you can’t get a new car? How [do] you serve God? How [do] you go to church and you can’t get a car? Just a new car. How you can’t get that from God? Know why? Cuz you ain’t asking. You keep asking Him for stuff that fit in your paycheck. Your paycheck say a 2015 Lexus, so you go down there and ask Him for that, and guess what you get? A 2015 Lexus. You up your ask, He up His give. You have not cuz you ask not. This ain’t a magic trick, man. I get tired of rich people talking to people and they make you buy these programs and stuff so they can drag you out for eight years. Listen, I have asked God for some tremendous stuff. Everything He hasn’t given to me is on the way. I have no doubt about it. Why would He not?
See, can I tell you what really prompted this thinking in me? When I was homeless I lived in a car for three years. I made some decisions in my life, man, and threw myself off a cliff. My decision in October the 8th, 1985, I walked into a comedy club for the first time, only there from [an invitation from] a girl…I walked into a comedy club for the first time. Had never heard of a comedy club. All my life I wanted to be on TV. Had never heard of a comedy club. October the 8th, I walked into…[a] comedy club in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, that’s right outside Akron. I signed up for the following week cuz I just wanted to see what the comedians did. Man, I saw live stand-up for the first time. They had 10 acts supposed to go up, 9 of them went up, the 10th guy got scared and ran out the door. So I had signed up for the following week. The guy says, listen, we lost our 10th act, we’re going to go to the phones, we’re gonna go to the week from next week, if Steve Harvey’s here, come on up now. And the crowd starts clappin. I was eatin a chicken wing and drinkin some grapefruit juice and I turned to the girl, and said, ‘…[there’s] a dude in here [whose] got the same name I got.’…So I ran up on stage, I don’t even know what to do, but I just started talking about boxing and stuff that happened to me. Audience [was] hollerin, [and] laughin. They brought all 10 of us back up on stage. They had a clap off, and I won the clap off. I won $50. I cried from Cuyahoga Falls to Cleveland. The girl kept saying, ‘why you crying it ain’t but $50?’ I said, ‘no, you don’t understand. There’s way more than $50. This what I do.’ She said, ‘what you mean this what you do, this just your first time.’ ‘You don’t understand, something happened to me, I won amateur night. I went to work the next day, October 9th, 1985 and quit my job. You’ve all seen this book I got out in this video called Jump. Whoa, I jumped. Now I don’t recommend that you do it that way, because two years later I was homeless. Because the first year comedy I made $3,400. The next year I made $4,800, and third year I made $5,300. I got a wife, a set of twins. I’m sendin every dollar I got to them. So I tried to live on $50-$75 a week. Gas was 38 cents per gallon back then. I just stayed in my car.
So I lived in my car for 3 years. 3 years I lived in my car. And what happened was…I used to fish all the time to eat because I’m a fisherman, I’m a bass fisherman. So I used to stop at lakes and ponds and just fish. And every night, every month, I [would] get run off from somebody’s land. [They’d say,] ‘Hey, get away from here.’ ‘Hey, move along, that’s not yours.’ ‘Hey, stop fishin here.’ I just get run off. And he didn’t understand. The one time I had fish on the line. He said, ‘you got fish on that line?’ I said, ‘yeah.’ [He said,] ‘throw him back.’ I had to throw him back. Because I used to stop at rest areas with them little cast iron grills. I kept charcoal in my car. I start a fire and I eat fish. There’s some days I wouldn’t eat. So they thought I was just fishin, but I was eating. So I said one day, ‘I said, man, you know what, one day man, I’m gonna give myself some land, buy me some piece of dirt.’ So fast-forward, God blessed me. I get on TV when I’m 38, I’m on Showtime at the Apollo. Lord have mercy. They gave me my money. I saved my money up. I saved $250,000. I said, ‘I’m going to get me some land.’ I went to Texas and I’m about to buy some land, but before I went to buy the land I was curious. I just had the thought, I said, ‘man, how much land is on earth? How many acres is on earth?’ Because you know it’s not gonna change. You know God lets you fly. God let you dive under water. [But] God don’t let you make dirt. Can’t make dirt. So I looked it up. It’s roughly over, just a little bit over 36 billion acres of land. 36 billion acres of land. So I just got a little bit more curious and I said, ‘well, how many people on earth.’ I looked it up and there’s about 6 billion people on earth. So I did some Steve Harvey thinkin. I said, ‘okay, if there’s 36 billion acres of land and it’s about 6 billion people on earth, [then] everybody ought to have 6 acres of land. I [was] just thinkin. So I asked God, ‘could I have 6 acres?’ That’s all I wanted. Cuz you know the one thing I wanted? I didn’t care if I put a house on it or nothing. I just wanted to be a staying somewhere and couldn’t nobody run me off…I was in a world of hurt, so sick of just getting run off anytime I stopped somewhere. Got this money, man, I saved my money, I saved $250,000. I’m going and I’m looking for some land. The first day I get there I see a piece of land in Texas. So beautiful. I couldn’t believe it had rolling hills, had a pond on it where I could fish. The dude took me over there, I look at the land, and I’m looking and I said, ‘man, this is great right here.’ I said, ‘Sir, how much is this right here.’ He said, ‘well, it’s about $600,000. I said, ‘man, I ain’t got that kind of money.’ He said, ‘well, how much do you have?’ I said, ‘I got $250,000.’ He said, ‘let me think about it.’ And I was standing there, and then I stopped and I said, ‘Sir, can I ask you a question, man. How many acres of land is that?’ He said, ‘this is six acres.’ Six, six years ago I just asked God, ‘just give me six.’ See I didn’t want a whole lot of acres I just wanted my cut. Just give me my six. And so I said [to myself], ‘ain’t this crazy.’ So I thought about it. I said, ‘man, what could we work out.’ Right before I got ready to say it, the guy that took me over there said, ‘Steve, let me show you something right quick. He took me over to this hillbillies house…named Jerry Campbell…I was really nervous about meeting him man, cuz I didn’t like the way he talked, but mess around turned out to be one of the finest men I’ve met in my life. [He] Became a father figure to me. This old white man…He took me over to show me this land and it was massive. It had three lakes on it. It had rolling hills. It had trees. It was unbelievable man. I said, ‘man, this is incredible.’ I said, ‘now how much is this?’ He said, ‘this 16 acres.’ I said, ‘hey man, I ain’t got that kind of money. Let me go on over here to this dude where I might could cut a deal.’ He said, ‘let me ask you something, ‘what was you gonna give that man over there?’ I said, ‘well, I hadn’t worked it out yet cuz all I got is $250,000.’ He said, ‘well listen, I’m in a little bit of a tight right now. See if you can bring me $250,000 cash by tomorrow [then] I give you this 16 acres. I showed up next day, $250,000, 16 acres. See that’s grace and favor right there. That’s what that is. So my first piece of land was… acres. So I said, ‘man, this is the land that I’m gonna save for my family. I’m gonna fish on the rest of my life. I’m gonna be an old man.’ So then, I got to thinking, I said, ‘hold up man, you mean, you have not cuz you ask not.’ I asked for six, six years ago, He showed me six, but he gave me 16. Next thing you know, I had 270 acres of land. Now let me tell you something, I’m so busy now, I don’t even get to go to that ranch. I never can go, and I thought I was gonna be fishing, and save it for my kids the rest of my life. But God had another plan for me. That’s the ranch that I have my mentoring camp on. I bring a thousand black boys out there with a thousand single mothers, and that was the purpose of that ranch. I never go there to fish at all, but see that’s what I wanted, I thought that’s what it was for, but God got another plan. His way is way bigger than yours. You can’t even see His way, but you gotta start the hustle. You gotta give God something to work with. Look, if you start hustling and grinding, He’ll fill it up for you. But if you ain’t got no hustle and no grind, He can’t fill it up. So guess what? I don’t ever go there to use that land for fishing or not, but I’m changing boys lives over there.
My story is really a story about faith, really is man. I come out of the dirt. I have no college degree. All of my children do. I got seven kids and I sent every one of them to college. I’ve got three boys, two boys come out of Morehouse, I got a daughter that come out of Spelman and Berkeley. I got two daughters [that] went to Hampton, and then graduated from Ohio State. I made sure all my kids went to college, cuz I know they gots to have that education. ‘But daddy, you didn’t go to college.’ ‘Well, you…ain’t got no jokes.’ It’s been important for me to empower my children, but not only my children, but thousands of young people across the country. And education is the key for a lot of people. But when I speak into colleges and stuff, I tell people number one thing in your world is not your education, it’s your dream. So what you dreamin about child? What you still dreamin about?
[I’m just going to throw this insert in at this point…it’s from the movie Kung Fu Panda. In this movie, “Po might just be the laziest, clumsiest panda in the Valley of Peace, but he secretly dreams of becoming a kung fu legend.” Info about the Movie
“You can hear this line at 00:13:55 in the Blu-ray version of the movie.
Mr. Ping: What are you doing?
Po: What does it look like I'm doing?
Stop! I'm going to see the Dragon Warrior!
Mr. Ping: But I don't understand. You finally had the noodle dream!
Po: I lied. I don't dream about noodles, Dad.
I love kung fu!” Po speaking with his "Father"
Someone once said, “Love what you do and never work a day in your life.”]
What is God still showing you in your imagination? What are you so afraid of? Why would you not take that leap and go forth before you mess around and die. Why would you not go and see what God really got for you before you leave this world? Why would you hang on to a job? Here’s what happens with the job—if you livin paycheck to paycheck right now, when you retire, they’re going to give you one third of what you can’t live on now. They’re gonna give you a gold watch and a turkey, and they gonna set you on out to pasture. If I was you, before I leave this world, I’d go see what God really got for me. Just take a chance.
Now here’s why you should take the chance--name me one time God has not pulled you through. Just name it. Name the one thing God has never pulled you through. If He ain’t pulled you through it, He’s currently pulling you through it right now. And the reason I know I’m telling the truth is cuz you sitting in here. If God was through with you, He wouldn’t wake you up no more. When He wakes you up it’s because He ain’t through with you yet, He’s got something else for you. So why don’t you go see what that is? Man, you owe yourself something. Go be free. Go see what God got for you. ‘Ah Steve, that’s easy for you to say, you rich.’…Did you hear me? I lived in a car for three years. On October 8th I won $50, October 9th I quit. How big a jump you want to take…A lot of y’all got savings. You may not have three years [saved] up, but you only need a little bit. Just jump. Go see what God got for you. Quit sittin here in your life pasturing like it’s okay. Quit funkin the faith. Quit faking the funk. Quit got people thinkin you something you ain’t man when you really know you want to be something else. I’m just telling you just like it is. You ain’t gotta believe me, but you look at, I’m telling you there’s proof in this here now—that the God you serve really will give you what you ask for. He will! I’m not your preacher, I’m a hood dude. That the messin around with no education. The messin around got to the top of the TV world. Ballin out of control. And I’m telling you I was homeless and living in a car, and I ain’t got no education. Now y’all in here got degrees. I see it on your forehead. I see it on you. I feel when I’m around educated people. I know you know how to study, and [able to do] math. I can look at you and I’m so proud of you, but hey man, the next level—go make yourself some money. Bible says, a man without a dream or vision shall perish. It never mentions if you don’t have an education.”
Celebrating the Success of Others
When I was in one of my preacher boy classes in College I had a professor that said something I’ll never forget. He said that if we ever become senior pastors and one of our assistant pastors receives a gift from someone in the congregation, but we didn’t receive anything, that we should be happy for our assistant pastor. That should be a moment of genuinely celebrating the success of others.
Luke chapter 15 contains examples of celebrating the success of others.
What if the other person received the promotion that you thought you deserved? What if the other person received the starting spot on the team that you thought you deserved? What if the other person moved into a really nice house or bought a new car and are excited about it – will you choose to show them that you’re genuinely happy for them? Or will you choose to be silent, distant, bitter and jealous towards them?
The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (NIV)
So please allow me to encourage you to celebrate with someone who just experienced a success moment. Be a rejoicer, rather than a “prodigal son’s brother.” Who do you hear asking you to come and rejoice with them? Will you choose to join them?
Be looking for someone to celebrate with in their success today. Maybe you can be the one to initiate congratulating them and to initiate the celebration event. Enjoy!
Practicing His Presence,
We've added a new Ministry through Ox Strong called "BROWN STRONG." Check it out under our ministries tab.
The meaning of the color brown is..."stone, wholesomeness, reliability, elegance, security, healing, home, grounding, foundations, stability, warmth, and honesty...stimulates the appetite." https://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-brown/ All descriptions of Christ and His word. He is our rock and foundation...remain grounded in and hungry for more of Him and His word.
At our last Ox Strong get together brother Kent Brown challenged us to be memorizing God's word. Our mission statement is Men Helping Men Grow In Christ. What a perfect way to grow...by memorizing His word. We named this one after Kent Brown. Each week he'll provide for us a verse(s) to memorize. For some of us this will take getting out of our comfort zone. Rise to the challenge, we won't regret it. Write it on a 3x5 card and each time you reach into your pocket pull it out and keep working on memorizing it. If you lose the card, then someone else will pick it up and maybe read it...nothing wrong with that. Let's continue helping each other grow in the knowledge of Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 (NIV) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Facts about being Rabid:
What does it mean to be rabid?
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter