The following video is about a bunch of people who were all very different from one another. They each did different things, and lived mostly in different times. But they also have a lot in common. They were all rejected by many people, people who were supposedly more knowledgeable and successful than they were. They were told they were no good at what they were doing, and that they should try something else. But all of these people had a vision of what could be achieved if only they stuck with it. And when they refused to give up, people thought they were crazy, delusional, or just wasting their time.

All of these people went on to become legends. They rose to the tops of their respected fields, and changed the world around them. To this day we feel their influences, and I’m sure we will continue to for a long time to come.

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

The Beatles were rejected by Decca recording…but they were also rejected by many other recording companies before they finally found one that would give them a chance. Walt Disney dealt with so many people who thought he could never achieve his dreams. He had this idea for a film project that people thought was crazy. His own wife thought it was doomed to fail. He invested all of his savings into it, and even mortgaged his house in order to pay for it. People around him called it “Disney’s Folly.”  But he had a vision of what this project could do. That film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and turned the Walt Disney corporation into what it is today.

Visionaries are rarely understood by anyone when they’re in the process of making dreams come true. Like everyone, they have their good moments, and they have their bad moments. But even when they’re doing well, people around them don’t always understand the bigger picture. Really though, that’s okay. If everyone understood a vision, it would no longer be a vision, would it? Even after Thomas Edison invented the quadruplex telegraph, did anyone really think he would go on to contribute some of the most influential inventions in history? Even after Abraham Lincoln won his first election and became a state representative, did anyone really expect him to eventually become the president who would keep America from falling apart, while leading it through a crisis in which we saw economic modernization and the end of slavery?

Everyone dreams. Some people dream only at night and when they wake they leave their dreams behind, keeping them only as wishful thinking, often forgetting that they had even dreamt at all. And then there are people who dream awake, who refuse to let someone else’s skepticism bring them down. In doing so they become a dangerous adversary to the opposition, for even if the entire world were to think them worthless, they would be able to rise above it, for the worthy dream of one person is worth far more than the words and actions of millions who were too disdainful to try.

“Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.”

MLB player helps fight human trafficking

Stop Sex Slavery


As you may or may not know, I’m a huge baseball fan. There’s a player named RA Dickey. He came up with the Seattle Mariners (my favorite team), and is now playing for the New York Mets. Unlike some major league players, who were drafted out of high school or college, given big signing bonuses, and touted as “the next big star,” RA Dickey was never a shoe-in to make it big. He worked hard to get to where he is today.

See, Dickey is a pitcher. When he first came up, he pitched the way most pitchers do, using traditional pitches like a fastball, curveball, slider, and change up. But after struggling for years, he reinvented himself, and became a knuckleball pitcher. Knuckleballers are rare, especially these days, since it takes great skill to succeed as one. Professional baseball is a cut-throat process. There’s always someone trying to take your spot. It’s so extremely competitive that scores of players are routinely fighting for jobs. Countless players are cut every year, and are forced to retire. So for Dickey to try something as risky as becoming a knuckleballer took a lot of courage. It was an arduous task he undertook, but his hardwork paid off, and now he has a multi-year contract with the Mets.

During the off season most players go on vacation, or spend time at home with their families. But this off season Dickey decided to do some charity work. He scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise money and awareness for a charity in India that fights human trafficking. The Mets told Dickey that if he got hurt during the climb, his contract would be voided, and he would lose millions of dollars.  But he resolved to carry it out, feeling the cause was worth it.

The charity he did this for is called the Bombay Teen Challenge, aimed at stopping sex slavery in Bombay (Mumbai.)

“I have daughters 9 and 8 years old, so it’s a cause that really rings true to me,” said Dickey.

“Any time I can leverage the platform of being a major league baseball player…You just don’t hear professional athletes doing things like this in the off season. It got a lot of traction, and because of that we were really able to raise a lot of awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge.”

I’m glad to see him say these things. I think it’s really important for celebrities to use their positions of influence as a way of raising awareness for important causes.

What the video doesn’t mention is how difficult it was for Dickey to make it as a major league player. He worked so hard to succeed, and he risked it all for a cause he believed was too important to ignore.

Imagination Shortage

“Can we bring some books with us to the playground?” Alice asked me one day.

“No,” I said. “They’re going to get dirty or lost. Playground is for playing. You’re going to get tired of holding books.”

“But we need books because we need magic books to help us defeat the bad guys.”

“Use pretend books.”

“But I don’t have any pretend books,” she said.

“Well, get some.”

“How do I do that?”

“You hop in your pretend car, go to the pretend bookstore, and use your pretend money to buy some pretend books. That’s how.”

“Oh,” said Alice, laughing.

Book List 2011

Taking a cue from one of my friend’s blogs, I’m going to do a list of the books I read during 2011. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty small list. You would think that writers should be reading a lot, and generally they should. But I really don’t read that much. Or rather, I tend to start reading books, but I usually stop reading them fairly quickly. I guess I have a short attention span. For 2012 my goal is to increase the number of books I read to 15. Seems like a reasonable goal to me.

So here are the books I read in 2011. I think this is all of them. Not sure though. It’s possible I’m forgetting some. But oh well. I’ll also list how long each book is. (Short: 200 or fewer pages – Medium: 200-600 – Long: 600-999 – Epic: 1000+) Listed more-or-less in the order I finished them. Not included are children’s books, because they’re too short and I read a lot of them. (Mostly to kids. Mostly.)

  1. The Case For Christ (medium)
  2. Having a Mary Spirit (medium)
  3. The Red Pyramid (medium)
  4. Crazy Love (medium)
  5. Beauty From Ashes (medium)
  6. Heaven is For Real (medium)
  7. Japanese Children’s Stories (short) [I know it’s a children’s book, but it’s in a foreign language.]
  8. Obama’s Wars (medium)
  9. Family Practice (short) [A super long medical text book. But I only read the first few chapters.]
  10. The Bible (epic)

Here’s hoping I get more reading done in 2012.

All Who Are Thirsty

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”

Isaiah 55:1

“whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

John 7:37

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:21

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Revelation 22:17

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:20