Friday, August 24, 2007
I am so full of love that causes me almost as much pain as it does joy. It feels like I will get a surge of pain rise up in my chest and almost make me weep, when an overwhelming relief of joy crashes like a wave and consumes the pain.
At that moment, I am full of joy for where the Lord has brought me.
It is a mix of hurt for how I have acted or how distant I feel from people I love. My heart reaches out to them across the nation, yet I cannot feel them. I remember all of the best memories I have had over the last few years and love them and the people I was with, but then the pang that makes me realize that those same places with those same people will most likely never be again.
It is a longing and a yearning and a loneliness of sorts, all at the same time.
Yet, I am consumed by a warm joy. I am grateful for the time with those who are no longer running with me. I see the faces of those who still are. I see the faithfulness of my closest friends and marvel.
Their faithfulness manifests something of God’s nature that is new and fresh with every day they call or contact me.
I am so satisfied in where God has brought me; totally at ease which mixes with the pains of lost friends and loved ones.
The only thing that I know that can swirl pain and joy at the same time is love. I am consumed by love; a different kind of love that I am used to. This kind of love only consumes me once in a while.
It is a Great love.
It is an immense love.
It is a love so broad that it breaks the borders of my reality.
It spans my entire lifetime and all my adventures.
It encompasses the pain, the good times, the lonely times, the fears of the unknown, and shapes those things into gratefulness, passion for the mission and an intense love.
This is a day of the Great love.
Great love is a brief moment where all silence of our lifetime deafens the static noise of day-to-day life. A silence so disconcerting that I would stop my car in the middle of the road and look to the sky, and up and down the valley for a sign of this silence's origin.
Great love spans throughout our life from beginning to end and in that brief moment, total gratitude, total appreciate for life, total realization of life, hits in the depths of my chest and stops me from all.
I want to praise and weep. I want the moment to stop because it hurts, but I want the moment to never end because I can see everyone I have loved even though I can't touch them.
I want to run with those who are still with me in a vision so big I can't see it end to end; I can only feel it.
This is the day of Great love.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
What was I to do? Walk down the street to the local coffee shop, Java Breeze, and ask for one of course!
Upon arriving, I received a hearty 'hello' from the barista behind the counter. A burly man with a child's voice, I like him immediately.
"I would like a cubano," I said enthusiastically. I HAD to order something. I couldn't get a fork and not give them something in return, could I?
"Well, we don't normally make those," he replied gleefully, "but I can make one for you. I was a barista at another store coffee shop before this one, and I love cubanos."
While he was turned, I noticed that he was reading a book. It's title was 'Gun Ho' and caught my attention.
"What'r you readin'," I asked.
He was all too glad to tell me. He went on to describe a book by the same authors which preceeded this on. He described superior service. He told me about the ideals within the book that spoke of getting your own employees involved. This will ultimately create raving fans with your employees, and when they interact with your customers they won't be able to help but give them not just service, but excellence.
He was so pleasant and excited I couldn't help but just laugh. He was serving ME with excellence. I could see that what goes into the mind comes out of it as well.
This bubbly, burly, boyish barista was serving me preeminence; he was giving me superior service.When he was finished with my cubano (which was excellent!), I even ordered a breakfast wrap. As I walked back to my office, I couldn't help but think of preeminence. I couldn't help but think that if I hadn't inquired of his book, I never would have gotten this double-shot of wisdom.
Being opulent, digging for the gold in others, and abundantly inquiring of others has always brought so much blessing and abundance to my life.
Sipping my cubano, with a warm breakfast wrap in my hand, I couldn't help but laugh out loud again at the whole experience.
All because I needed a fork!
Friday, August 17, 2007
Another opulent thing out there is opulent marketing. (I will be writing about this on my website, IamOpulent.com soon.)
One type of Opulent Marketing is when a company takes a tested model, and makes it even better by making it a Win-Win for everyone.
An example of that is Yuwie.com. This is my new favorite shiny, happy, Stream of Income toy.
Imagine if you got paid for your number of friends and the page views they had on MySpace! This is what Yuwie has done.
In a nutshell, those tacky ads on MySpace pay them a big chunk of change to advertise to all of the little people clicking around all day.
Yuwie saw this as an opportunity to both bless their clients, themselves, and their advertisers; a true Win-Win-Win for everyone.
I LOVE this type of marketing because:
- It is mostly residual
- It is easy to do.
- You don't have to be a genius.
- You don't have to be rich to get involved.
Also, if you are interested in other ways to make money on line, or doing bigger deals, just contact me.
Thanks, and have an Opulent Day!!
Monday, August 13, 2007
For about a year or two in the making, I have been working on a book on servanthood. It started as an account of some of the crazy occurrences that have been a part of my serving my mentor over the last 6+ years.
I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the introduction. Read it over and tell me if it is something that piques your interest at all, or if it causes you to want to read more. Give some feedback.
Without further ado:
A quick note from the author.
Straight at ya’:
Servanthood ain’t easy, friend. Period.
For the last 6-7 years of my life, let me give you the superficial summary:
- Criticism on every side.
- Kicked out of prayer meetings. (Is that even possible?)
- Broken off 2 potential engagements.
Why do I paint such a difficult picture? To share with you a truth. To share with you the reality of servant hood. You may experience the same. Along with that, you will suffer the same fate as your mentor, which is not always a good thing.
You will be called for service in awkward situations. (Try having to skip a flight to see your girlfriend, which had been planned months in advance, to be a part of your mentor’s service which popped up suddenly.)
You will be stretched. You will be drawn and quartered. You will be hated by the world. You will sacrifice the dearest things to you.
Plan on marrying the girl? Try God asking you to breaking up with her instead. It happened to me… more than once.
Like your career path? Imagine having to quit and go on unemployment.
Enjoy your free Tuesday night ‘guy’s night’ out? Get over it.
Think you will have a lot of great ideas? Try getting shot down at every turn.
Do you like working out 6 days a week and eating right, staying fit and attractive? Try skipping meals, fasting 4 days a week, loosing your physique, and eating ramen every meal.
‘Sounds tough but it won’t happen to me.’ Maybe, but be mentally prepared for it.
When you seek to be mentored, when you seek to serve an anointed man of God, they will push every button you have and those you haven’t thought of yet.
‘Well, Grant, it doesn’t have to be that way.’ You know what, you’re right.
And people in Hell shouldn’t want ice water. But they do.
And if your mentor ISN’T pushing your buttons, then I would say that your mentor is soft and not really mentoring you. Look at them deeper, because they may just be making you “twice the son of hell” that they are.
Why do I say that? Growing up spiritually is plain and down right tough. Maturing is difficult. If we are not being stretched, we just aren’t growing. Besides, I think I heard it said once that “the Lord chastises those he loves.”
And not all of the conflict will come from your mentor.
Reminder: this is a Christian walk.
Simply put, that means the “world will hate you.”
Our one and only Rabbi said that life would be tough. It was tough for him, and it’ll be tough for you too.
What is the GOOD news?
The good news is: You will survive. (well, maybe.)
Now, allow me to give you the REAL results of the last 6-7years:
- Exponential Growth.
- Traveled around the world.
- Preached in foreign soil.
- Met anointed and famous men.
- Seen prophesies come to pass.
- Joy unspeakable.
- True companionship.
- Loyal friendship.
- Hearing the voice of God.
- Dreams and visions.
- Avoiding pitfalls and a stagnant life.
- Meeting some of the wealthiest people in America.
- Surprise checks in the mail.
- Becoming the man God has created me to be.
- Not to mention passive income streams, business savvy, and other material blessings
- And so much more daily!
Most of you reading this may have already seen these types of frustrations, and for you seeing the payoff is impossible. Maybe you haven’t hit the wall yet. Trust me, YOU WILL!!
Let me encourage you, though. Stick it out! Run the distance. Fight the good fight! Run that you may attain the prize! Stand firm, and after that, stand some more. And all that stuff!
What is the prize? The ultimate you! The ultimate that God has planned for you.
You will live the adventure that God has.
You will be in awe and wonder more than anyone you know.
You will not have the curtains drawn over your eyes as so many others have.
You will become the very Remnant, called to be the awakening the Body of Christ will need!!
Being a servant will take you to the furthest continents and villages.
It has for me.
Being a servant will introduce you to the most anointed people.
It has for me.
Being a servant will allow you to see the miracles of God, supernatural events that cannot be explained.
I have seen such things. I have even participated in some of them.
I never would have preached in Kenya, been kidnapped in India (and survived), met and learned from people who make $200,000 a day, or finished my degree if I had not continued to endure the service.
Why serve? ‘Cause the Body needs Servant-Leaders and not another degree-bearing pastor.
We are all called to serve.
Our one and only Teacher told us to.
It isn’t easy, but the payoff for those who endure is huge.
Welcome to the race. I hope you learn a little bit about how to serve the man of God in your life.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Can one be so extreme and not rest? Anything done to the extreme degree needs Extreme Rest!
For the last week, I have been pushing almost non-stop to achieve a new level of opulent health for opulent abundance. I have been studying, studying and studying some more.
Yesterday, however, I woke up with a strep throat that just wouldn't quit. Drinking orange juice was like swallowing nails on fire!
So, I took a bath in Vick's Throat Spray and pushed through the day. Then, before bed I coked up on Nyquil, Vitamin-C, ecchinacea, turned my alarm off and passed out.
This morning was amazing! The sky was blue, birds were singing, and I was ready to take on the day!!
Remember, even though we are all pushing for opulence, pushing for more, pushing through new mental barriers daily, we MUST take time for some extreme rest.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
If the population today is 300+ million: that’s 300,000,000.
The Christian population made up 88% in 1990. Today it is only 79.8%.
At some point we need to address the fact that the Christian population dropped that much, but let us look at another statistic for now.
Percentage-wise, we lost 8.5%. "BUT," the Census Bureau tells us, "there is hope! You have increased in actual numbers by 5.3%." (See footnotes.)
So, that would put the modern Christian population at around…let me do some figures…237 million.
237 million people that claim Christianity.
How much of an impact we could make!
Think in terms of the EXTREME leverage we have in terms of political, economic, and humanitarian sway. Imagine millions of Christians, acting in unity, defining and shaping American into the world-saving force it was meant to be!!
It is hugely exhilarating!
Think of the resources!
The median income in 2000 was $42,100. A tithe of that is $4,210. Multiply that by the 237 million of us that would be tithing!!! The numbers are staggering: $997,770,000,000!!
That is $997 billion dollars to do the work of the Lord! Amazing! That’s almost HALF of what the entire IRS pulls in. (But think of the voting power to get the IRS under control!)
Think of the voting power to put trusting people in power on the local, state, and federal level!
(By the way, Ron Paul for prez!)
Want a Missionary Holiday every year to send our families to neighboring countries to spread the gospel for a week and a half? We would just have to vote on it in unity!
Imagine every Christian writing their representatives when a bill came up that they wanted to back. Imagine the flood of letters and e-mails of Christians who took their citizenship seriously enough to act in unison.
And if it still didn’t take, imagine a march on Washington to have our voice heard. Not a million-man march, but 237 million American Christians voicing their opinion.
Do you think that would get some things changed? I think so!
Franklin would do it!Imagine the ability to sway other world-powers into treating their people with humanity.
Jefferson would do it!
Washington would do it!
Lincoln would do it!
Yesterday I spoke about the story of Yun, the Heavenly Man. His story of persecution, torture, and spreading the gospel happened in modern China! His story was unfolding while the U.S. Census Bureau was taking these statistics!!
Imagine if 237 million Christian Americans boycotted all Chinese-made products and services for 2 weeks. What would that do to the nation when they asked “Why”?
We could deliver a strong message to any country that mistreated their own people.
‘Grant, quit dreaming! You need to be realistic.’
Uhm, reader, start dreaming! You need to be idealistic! You need to start believing in the dream!
Hard Facts, my friend:
• Only $211 billion was donated in 2000. That is $786 billon less than it could have been. And much of the $211 billion went to salaries and building programs. It is reported that only 2% made it to overseas missions.
• Even though the older we get the more we vote, over all the voter turnout is decreasing rapidly. Only 41.9% turned out to vote, and only 62.1% are even registered. The numbers are daunting for the 18-24 crowd (18.5% voted.)
• That 2% that made it to overseas, humanitarian causes amounts to only $4.22 billion. That sounds like a lot, but when you account for salaries and infrastructure, only a fraction of this number actually translates into food and supplies.
I am fully aware of the real situation, but what if we Christians were to wake up and realize that we were actually in the power position, in the most powerful, equipped nation in history?!
What would the mobilization of saved-America look like in a spirit of unity to save the world?
A GOOD statistic I just read said that only 27% of the world had not yet been reached with the gospel! That is good news! It said that 33% includes Christians of all kinds, and 40% had heard the gospel but rejected it.
As sad as the last figure may be, the good news is that only 27% is left!
Back to idealism:
If we mobilized and kept evangelism efforts in front of population growth, we would have delivered the word to the world before I die!
That would be an exciting day.
So, I simply ask you to broaden your mind for what is possible for us. Dream of where we are at today, and where we could be were we to unify.
And it wouldn’t take us acting in unity. That sounds like the impossible goal: unite the churches! Good luck!
What DOES sound realistic is this: what if we all started acting like a Christian? What if we all started simply doing the little things that we know we ought to, simply because of the rebirth?
It would be nothing short of divine! And THAT is Extreme Human Capital Leverage.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I recently read the story of Brother Yun (also referred to as “The Heavenly Man”) and was deeply moved by it.
The heroism that he and his family displayed by enduring extreme persecution in
- His wife was forcibly sterilized.
- He was beaten until his legs were broken, needles rammed under his fingernails, running from dogs, being urinated on, surviving a 75 day fast, etc.
- He was put in prison several times, once so long that his son didn’t know who he was.
- They were ostracized.
- His mother was marched through the streets as a “Christian separatist”.
- He was an enemy of the state.
You know, the normal stuff…If I sound like I am being sarcastic, I am!
This is a man who endures the hardships that we associate with the dark ages instead of the information age, yet here is this man, as recently as 2001 fighting for his life because he insists on preaching the Gospel.
He recalls a story of hearing about 9/11. He was on an airplane on his way to
WHERE WERE YOU?
How did he, a poor Chinese preacher, get there? The Lord told him in a dream that he should run or he would be killed. He didn’t have any money or a passport or any resources at all.
At a secret prayer meeting, a man walked up to him and said, “The Lord just told me to give you my passport.” They look nothing alike, mind you.
Then Yun had a dream that he should not speak while going through customs. He thought that was odd, but he was obedient to it.
It turned out that the Chinese had voice-recognition software, and if he had spoken they would have captured him. And neither the Chinese nor the German customs agents stopped him from using this other man’s passport.
He made it on the plane to
This put some perspective in my mind. It made me wonder, where was I on 9/11?
I was in my office, watching the event unfold on internet television. Our boss then sent us all home.
I think I went surfing and watched movies the rest of the day. That week I went to work, prayed and read my Bible to myself like normal, and ate 3 square meals a day.
And here was Yun fighting for his life from people persecuting him for not denouncing Jesus!!
What is wrong with this picture:
- Christians throughout the rest of the world are persecuted by governments, Muslims, Hindus, and non-believers alike for preaching the Gospel.
- Christians in
are persecuted by Christians for preaching the Gospel. America
IS THAT MESSED UP, PEOPLE?
I do not believe that we all have to be poor and wretched beings, but can we do anything? How can we actually get involved and help?
What courageous thing could we do to help believers throughout the world?
How can we get caught doing something brave like Yun had done over and over?
Then, a good friend of mine had a brilliant idea.
What if Christians put together a video and .MP3 version of the Gospel, along with study materials, a digital version of the Bible and loaded up onto a thumb-drive (jump drive, whatever) or an iPod shuffle.
We could then distribute them to known Christian leaders in closed countries like
What if, instead, we did something crazy? What if we just mailed them to the people in China?
We could make friends with them through services like Skype and internet games like Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc, and then mail them these gifts.
The digital age has brought to us the power to deliver the word of the Gospel to all the nations, right on our little laptops.
It would be possible to start up a charity that collects old MP3 players and iPods, load them with the basic package or more, and then ship them all over the world with donations or their own funds and tithe money.
(Now don’t get uppity! Your church has enough pews and pretty enough carpet. Puhlease!)
If someone like Yun is facing what he is facing in the modern age, don’t you think we could do something about it; something to help the effort?
If you have your own ideas for Extreme Christianity Now!, do this:
- Put your name on our list at ChristianCrunch.com, and
- E-mail me your concepts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Leverage is when you use a fairly small amount of resource and turn it into some serious results.
The American dollar (though sliding lower at an increasing pace) is still powerful around the globe. When I went to
$2 moped-taxi rides across town.
$2 silk wallets.
$2 museum tickets (to the Vietnam War museum, to be exact.)
When I got into the museum, I saw something I didn’t expect. In the guest book were names from all over the world. In the Comments section was a sight that made the hair stand on the back of my neck.
“Kill all Americans.”
And on and on. This blog is not about politics and war. Let’s leave that for another time.
However, I point this out because we have used our leverage not to win over the world, but to strong-arm it. “Why do they hate us?” (how generalized is this statement?)
They don’t hate us because of our freedom. They don’t hate us because of our wealth. They hate us because we don’t leverage for good.
We don’t Loverage.
It was striking, though. No matter how much they hated us, they LOVED our monetary leverage.
Our dollar goes so far.
The statistic that says that over 1 billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day is at the same time misleading and true.
This is the true. There are MANY poor people. But do you know that often times it is not JUST because they are poor that they live on less than a dollar a day? It is not that simple.
They live on less than a dollar day because they can meet their needs because they aren’t entertaining all of our American luxuries.
I stayed with an Indian family once in Chennai. They lived on less than a dollar a day.
They had running water.
They had a nice house (paid for, mind you. No debt.)
They had a chauffeur.
They had a loving family, and fed me and my two friends very well.
How do I know that they lived on less than a dollar a day? I asked them! I have been fed that line for a long time, and I wanted to know what was the truth.
That being said, I can hear the people picking up stones to lynch me.
Hear me out first. I am ALL FOR GIVING MONEY TO THE POOR. The point of this blog is to bring some gritty reality to the mix, though.
The “less than a dollar a day” phrase is used up. We’re sick and tired of hearing it. Get a new line.
The problem is that it is true. People ARE living VERY POORLY.
As Christians, what can we do? We can USE the disparity for good.
A Christian family can support a missionary family in
for $15 a month!
Reread that line above. Now, reread it below.
An American Christian family can support a missionary family in
for $15 a month!!!
Look, if you don’t feel you can minister here in the States, I totally understand. And if you feel that you don’t want to find a way to bring Timmy and Suzy to the missionary field, I can understand that a little bit also.
What I CAN’T understand is why we can’t find the time or money to pay someone else off to do it for us.
There are PLENTY of willing and passionate missionaries throughout the rest of the world who just don’t understand why Americans sit idly by.
They will be more than happy to receive your $15 a month to do what we are not willing to do.
Being born in
Our tax laws are written in a way that we can benefit the world by them.
Our dollar still translates to wealth in developing countries.
Our technology can help train, empower, and raise money for those in the field doing the work (usually nationals.)
We have no excuse other than ignorance and apathy for not getting on the front lines, or at the very least being a supply line for those on the front lines.
Now, am I recommending that we should simply increase our giving?
Do NOT DO THAT.
If that is your solution, just go back
to the remote control and switch me off.
What I am recommending is that you INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS. Visit the websites at the end of this chapter to find an organization that works for you. Give to them.
Extreme Christian Battle Plan:
Get an in-your-face experience with the need. Go there.
Book an airline ticket to somewhere in the
. Go with a few friends for safety or find an organization that doesn’t offer a sterile Club Med experience. Americas
When you get there, serve until you can’t serve any more. Serve until exhaustion. Smell the filth. Smell what the rest of the world outside of our borders smells like.
Taste the often-bland food that they eat (which is WAY more healthy for you than your Whopper.) Feel yourself straining in the sun and sweat, and smile as you pass out at night.
Feel what your brothers and sisters in the rest of the world feel, and figure out how they still know how to smile. Find out their secrets to a Christian walk that is effective and loving.
Now, build relationships while you are there. Get their e-mail address. Get their phone numbers. Do whatever you can to keep a line to the reality of spreading the Gospel around the world.
When you return home, send them money through PayPal (quick and easy for both of you, if they have a bank account.) Or, write then a check. Or send them a care package once a month with money in their currency.
Having been there you will know much better what they need.
Having built a relationship you will know that your God-given resources are going to good use.
Having broken away from
This is reality folks. This is the power of Extreme Christian living in the area of Leveraging Finance.
Excuse Breakers (Resources):
Spirit Airlines $9 club: Go almost anywhere in the
File for your passport today. Go to travel.state.gov, download the application, write the check and send it off. It will take a few weeks, but with your ticket that you bought with Spirit Airlines, you may get preferential treatment. Once this is in hand, you will have knocked down this obstacle.
Visit charitynavigator.org to review any of the organizations you considered giving to. This site will rate their responsibility with money.If you would like to hear more on how to live an Extreme Christian life, living the adventure of giving back, go to my website www.christiancrunch.com and sign up to reserve one of the first copies of my book on extreme christianity.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Recently I watched a powerful film on YouTube.com called 'Zietgiest'. A look into the truth of our society, the creators have put together a masterpiece. From the Federal Reserve to 9/11 to the Egyptian god Horus, 'Zeitgeist' stands to challenge the very things you put faith in.
Despite being a much-appreciated work to seek truth, several comments were made that could not go unchallenged. At one point, the creators state that:
"Jesus Christ was a myth. He never existed...there is no historical proof that Jesus existed."Being an optimist, I figured that the creators were well-intended but quite mistaken. Could hundreds of millions of believers from the last 2 millennium and all over the world be simply misled?
Since they were asking us, the viewers, to uncover the truth behind our world view, I took them up on the challenge.
My goal was to find any, even 1 sliver of historical evidence that Jesus called the Christ at least existed on the earth. The evidence needed to be from a non-Christian or anti-Christian source, the author had to be alive very near the time (no more than 5-10 years difference) so that his or her account was reliable, and it had to identify Jesus by name.
With a quick Google search I found that there were, in fact, many historians who mostly fit the criteria and affirmed that it is a fact that Jesus Christ did exist.
The most popular was Josephus the Historian. Whether or not he was a devout Jew or an informant to the Romans regarding the First Jewish-Roman War is unclear. What IS clear is that he was not a Christian.
Yet, Josephus acknowledged the fact that Jesus Christ existed and even confirmed many events that occurred in the Bible (bringing some added validity to the accuracy of the Bible.) In fact, Josephus mentions Jesus Christ in Book 19 AND 20 of the Jewish Antiquities.
There are others which are worthy of being researched for your own edification, but I would like to come back on task.
How accurate and reliable can 'Zietgiest' be as a factual analysis of society when it makes such a definitive statement ("there is no historical record that Jesus ever existed") and an average person like me can find proof with the least amount of research?The answer is: not much. It is not much more reliable than any other fiction conspiracy theory. Though it is well made and the creators frame their position as that of reliable authorities, it cannot be trusted as such.
But, if the creators do not believe that Jesus existed, they would also not believe that the devil is in the details, huh?
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
WOAH! If you didn't see it already, Spirit Airlines has .05 Flights all over the Caribbean and Americas!!!
That is NOT a typo. 5 CENT FLIGHTS with Spirit Airlines.
They typically have great fares anyway: $15 each way fares in the Caribbean and the Americas. But, once in a while, they go nuts and have 5 CENT Specials!!!
Go there now: www.spiritairlines.com.