The Gospel of Good Success: A Road Map to Spiritual, Emotional and Financial Wholeness


Twenty years ago, Kirbyjon H. Caldwell was a fast-track bond broker with an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. But he turned away from a six-figure income to answer the call of his Divine purpose. With the explosive power that comes from combining prayer with action, Caldwell transformed a struggling twenty-five-member congregation into a lean, mean Kingdom-building machine. The Windsor Village United Methodist Church now has more than 11,000 members and 120 ministries for ...
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Twenty years ago, Kirbyjon H. Caldwell was a fast-track bond broker with an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. But he turned away from a six-figure income to answer the call of his Divine purpose. With the explosive power that comes from combining prayer with action, Caldwell transformed a struggling twenty-five-member congregation into a lean, mean Kingdom-building machine. The Windsor Village United Methodist Church now has more than 11,000 members and 120 ministries for everything from job placement and financial planning to weight loss and alcohol rehabilitation.
The transformation of Windsor began with a simple truth: God wants His children to have good success! Not just the traditional concept of spiritual blessings, but redemption in every aspect of our existence: our emotions, career, finances, relationships, health, parenting skills, academic career, and more.
In The Gospel of Good Success, Caldwell shares with you the six steps that transformed his life and Windsor Village. In his own inimitable, energetic style he will show you how to:

• Find Your Calling

• Stage a Comeback

• Take the Faith Walk

• Whup the Devil

• Create Wealth God's Way

• Develop God-Blessed Relationships
There is a road to good success. God does not always offer instant gratification, however. Only if you are willing to make the sacrifices of the journey will you enter the place where all the pieces of your life -- your spiritual, financial, physical, professional, emotional, and relational pieces -- will be in sync, not as pieces of some convoluted puzzle but as pieces fitting harmoniously together as a whole: the place that Pastor Caldwell calls Holistic Salvation.
Let this book be your road map to Holistic Salvation. God has given you the promise of an absolutely successful life. Stand up. Claim it. Attain it. Be Whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Marian Wright Edelman President, The Children's Defense Fund Much more than the dull, ubiquitous "how to succeed" guides weighing down the shelves at the bookstores today, Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell has given us a detailed and proven "road map" for how to reach for the best in ourselves and achieve the success God intended for us...spiritually and emotionally as well as financially...while at the same time helping others to do the same.

President George Bush Kirbyjon Caldwell is a true "Point of Light" in our community. A man of faith, a civic activist, he is a powerful influence for good. When you read The Gospel of Good Success, Pastor Caldwell's faith comes shining through and one feels stronger and better for that.

Patti LaBelle bestselling author of Don't Block the Blessings Kirbyjon is awesome! The Gospel of Good Success will truly help you to unblock God's blessings for your life.

Star Jones co-host of The View and author of You Have to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything All through law school, Kirbyjon Caldwell was my pastor and personal spiritual adviser. His plan of action for spiritual, emotional, and financial success in The Gospel of Good Success is the path that I followed. It will be a great companion to your personal and professional Walk.

Reverend Floyd H. Flake Pastor of Allen A.M.E. Church Kirbyjon Caldwell is one of the most dynamic clergymen in America today. This book presents a road map for any person, church, or institution that desires to live a life of fulfillment and success regardless of their birthright, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Kirbyjon tells us how to create a paradise-like environment wherein we are able to fulfill our innate potential.

Gordon Bethune Chairman and CEO, Continental Airlines Kirbyjon Caldwell provides a unique blend of spiritual knowledge and pragmatic business acumen to demonstrate how we can achieve good success in both our personal and business lives. This book is a joy to read.

Stedman Graham bestselling author of You Can Make It Happen Success can mean many different things. Kirbyjon Caldwell's positive convictions about the goodness of life and the blessings intended for each of us are cornerstones of his advice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684863078
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/2/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,517,365
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirbyjon H. Caldwell is the pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, spiritual home to more than 15,500 members. As pastor, he has implemented many spiritual, social and economic projects in the community, most recently Pointe 2-3-4, a 234-acre mixed-used community that includes the largest residential development constructed by a nonprofit entity in the United States. He lives with his family in Houston.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three: The Faith Walk

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

— John 20:29

He had beaten bullets, Nazis, thousands of miles of treacherous desert, and his own fears and insecurities. But in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indy is still one whale of a leap away from the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus is believed to have sipped from at the Last Supper, a goblet that, the movie promises, blesses those who drink from it with eternal life.

Of course, our hero had already come farther than the soldier who had preceded him into the cave where the Grail is resting. Recruited by the Nazis, the fool had no respect, much less belief. He bumbled his way into the cave with his sword drawn, nervously sidestepping the dead bodies that littered his path. Suddenly, spiderwebs swirled, music swelled, and — snap! — his sword was broken in half by some invisible force and the fool's decapitated head came rolling out of the cave like a bowling ball.

The chief-Nazi-in-charge then looked over to Indy, who is being held prisoner with his daddy, the senior Dr. Jones, played by Sean Connery.

"The Grail is mine and you're going to get it for me," the Nazi snaps, pointing a pistol.

When Indy refuses, the Nazi turns to Connery and fires a bullet into his gut.

"The healing power of the Grail is the only thing that can save your father now," the Nazi cries. "It's time to ask yourself what you believe."

Indy turns toward the cave and begins walking, reading commands from his daddy's diary, knowledge gained from a lifetime of studying about and searching for the Holy Grail.

"The penitent man is humble," he says, sidestepping the dead bodies of previous seekers in his path. "The penitent man is humble before God, kneels before God."

Suddenly, two giant circular blades slice the darkness and Indy gets the message.

"Kneel!" he shouts, falling to his knees as the blades narrowly miss him.

He's passed the first test. Walking farther, his next feat is to cross a cobblestone section of stones, each stone marked with a different letter.

"Only in the footsteps of the name of God will he proceed," he reads from the diary.

"In the name of God!" shouts Sean Connery from his deathbed outside the cave. "In the name of God, Jehovah!"

Indy begins walking on the steps to spell out the name of Jehovah. Only in ancient days, Jehovah is spelled Iaehova. He steps on a J first and — boom! — the square piece of path bearing the letter J collapses beneath him, leaving him dangling over an endless drop. Pulling himself out, he follows the letters, to the other side, only to find himself in an even more impossible situation.

He stands at the lip of an endlessly deep chasm. A doorway, presumably leading to the resting place of the Grail, awaits him on the other side. There are no limbs, no ropes, no stepping stones — just this endlessly deep canyon. Beside him on a canyon wall is a lion's head, and he remembers the words of his father: "Only in the leap from the lion's head will he prove his worth."

"Impossible," Indy says. "Nobody can jump this!"

His father's painful cries ignite an idea.

"It's a leap of Faith," says Indy to himself.

"You must believe, boy!" cries Dad from his deathbed. "You must believe!"

Hand to his chest, eyes to heaven, Indiana takes a deep breath, lifts a leg, and steps into the void. And there — miraculously! — he steps on solid ground. A walkway now stretches before him where, only seconds ago, there was only thin air. He walks across the chasm into the passageway leading into the resting place of the Grail.

Yes, it's only a movie, but it illustrates the concept of a Faith Walk, the next integral leg in your journey to Holistic Salvation. The concept of a leap over an endlessly deep chasm is as old as time. The movie version resembles the ancient fable of King Arthur, in which Sir Lancelot steps out on Faith across an equally bottomless pit. Once he takes the first step, an equally magical bridge appears beneath his feet.

You, too, have invisible bridges waiting to support you in crossing the seemingly bottomless chasm between your present and God's vision for your optimal future. But you'll never see bridges, much less walk across them, until you have the Faith and courage to embark upon the Faith Walk. Those who desire Holistic Salvation walk by Faith, not merely by sight. Like Indiana Jones and Sir Lancelot, you can attain the impossible, cross the uncrossable, defeat the invincible. But the first step is Faith.

"You must believe, boy!" Indiana Jones's daddy cried from his deathbed. "You must believe!"

I love that line. People marvel over the power of rocket fuel, the properties of oil and gas, the propulsion of petrochemical fuels that can fly the Concorde from New York to London in 3.5 hours or send a man to the moon over the course of a weekend. But there is an even more astonishing way of traveling, a fuel that renders gasoline obsolete and makes rocket fuel seem like useless primordial ooze.


No engine, whether it's an airplane's or a human brain, can get off the ground without it. Without Faith, no pilot would ever climb into a cockpit. Without Faith, an astronaut would be crazy to even suit up. Without Faith, who would dare to step across a green light on a busy urban street corner, much less begin the long and arduous journey toward the hallowed gates of Holistic Salvation?

In this chapter, I'm going to tell you how to embark upon a Faith Walk, in which Faith combines with action in an incredible explosion of power. Every great achievement is the result of a Faith Walk — a one-step-at-a-time trudge toward the God-given Vision for your preferred future. Whether it's the Vision of the great explorers who crossed mountains, continents, oceans, and eventually moons, or the inventors and entrepreneurs who revolutionized twentieth-century business and industry, Faith in the power of God is a prerequisite for achieving the vision.

A Faith Walk is a journey that has the ability to rocket every aspect of your existence into brave new realms. By aligning your desire with God's preferred state for your future and by walking confidently and obediently toward that Vision, you will find the impossible becomes possible in startling ways. The first step is, of course, usually the toughest. Most Faith Walks begin in darkness: you just don't know where that road will lead you. This uncertainty, this fear, leads the majority to abandon their Faith Walks before even beginning them. If you have any doubt about this, a brief glimpse at the armies of easy chairs parked in front of television sets on any street will give you all the proof you need. These folks spend day after day, year after year, stalled at the starting gate.

Fear, however, can be a mere mirage. Remember: its individual letters stand for False Evidence Appearing Real. Still, fear stops many folks, and many Faith Walks. The opposite of a Faith Walk is, of course, a Death Stall, and Death Stalls begin in the same place as Faith Walks. Only the people in a Death Stall become bogged down in fear, secured by Satanic cement. This inaction invariably leads in the opposite direction of God's preferred state for your future.

So how do you begin the march toward your Vision, toward your dreams?

You have to literally step out on Faith.

The Power of Faith

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have

And take that step into darkness of the unknown,

We must believe that one of two things will happen.

There will be something solid for us to stand on


God will teach us how to fly.

— Patrick Overton

Faith is a gift from God. Are you using yours or squandering it?

Some folks deny their gift of Faith. Others believe, but not enough to act upon their beliefs. Action is as important to Faith as the wind is to the sail of a ship. Like the wind, you can't see Faith. But that doesn't mean you doubt its existence. Just as a ship is propelled by wind, a life can be propelled by the power of Faith. Faith is not bound by fact or intellect.

Faith is sailing off the edge of a world that everyone else believes is flat; it's leaping from a cliff with metal wings strapped to your sides when everyone else is saying man was not meant to fly; it's creating a new TV sports network by borrowing the $8,500 start-up fee on your Visa account, then have your Vision evolve into the sports powerhouse ESPN while everyone else is saying that your idea "will never work." If you want to know the power of Faith, just ask Bill Rasmussen, who created ESPN, or Ted Turner, who publicly announced his twenty-four-hour CNN network before he knew for sure how it was going to happen.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen," says the Bible.

"Faith without works is dead," reads another passage.

"Faith is believing what you know ain't so," wrote Mark Twain. To which, I would add that it's believing what you know ain't so, "at least not yet!"

Many of us pray in wishes, mired in the childlike view of God as grantor to those who pray hardest and most eloquently. But Faith is not wishing. It's way deeper than that. Faith is like alchemy, the practice of the ancient scientists who sought ways to turn base metals into gold. The alchemists never found the secret. But we have the ability to turn ordinary existence into something very close to gold by employing the Alchemy of Faith. Faith is your connection with God. If you believe enough to act without a guarantee, to believe against all logic, evidence, and advice, then you can activate the energies of Faith, the "God confidence" to realize that God has your back and you can move forward.

Faith is like a tree seedling, constantly fighting the elements for its survival. It is a battle for Faith to survive amid the constant storms that life rains down upon it. You must guard your almost childlike ability to believe like a flickering candle in a hurricane.

If your Faith has waned, perhaps you can pinpoint the stage where your Faith was not nourished. But always remember this: as it is written in the Bible, "The Kingdom of God is within you." Faith is within you, not without. No matter how many times you allow evil to extinguish your Faith, you have to choose to exercise your Faith over and over again. The devil specializes in extinguishing your Faith. That's his job! When your Faith begins to waver, you must reignite it by first fully understanding the circumstances that caused your Faith to wane.

What do you do when your Faith wavers or wanes? You decide to believe again, in spite of whatever circumstances caused your Faith to wane. There are a number of ways to "insure" your Faith against circumstances or the constant attacks of the devil that all of us face. First, feed your Faith by reading God's Word. Second, fortify your Faith by fellowshiping with folks of like-minded Faith. Third, fuel your Faith by acknowledging and celebrating the wonders and works God has accomplished in your life. Fourth, pray. Prayer increases your dependence upon God, heightens your sensitivity to God's voice, and encourages your obedience to God. Don't allow the devil to lock up your mind so that you only remember the pains of your past.

Realize that Faith begets Faith. All who have Faith ought to do good works. Those good (and faithful) works produce more faithfulness. In other words, your Faith should give birth to faithful works, whether it's creating an inner strength within yourself or within your family or community as a whole.

Walk by Faith

Come now!...Were everything clear, all would seem to you vain. Your boredom would populate a shadowless universe with an impassive life made up of unleavened souls. But a measure of disquiet is a divine gift. The hope which, in your eyes, shines on a dark threshold does not have its basis in an overly certain world.

— Marcel Proust,

By Way of Sainte-Beuve

Okay, you've identified the Faith within you. Now, it's time to Walk by that Faith into the uncharted waters.

It's easier said than done. A Faith Walk involves an acceptance of things you can't prove scientifically or empirically. After all, if it can be proved scientifically, what need is there for Faith? Arguably, then, a Faith Walk is a stepping out on what God has promised you. It's believing God is going to do what God said He was going to do in the Bible — meet your needs, make provisions, heal your body, bring you joy in the midst of sorrow...and much more.

The pioneer psychologist Carl Jung wrote that around age thirty-five or forty, "Youthful illusions are shed, repressed childhood ideals resurface. Early interests and ambitions lose their fascination and more mature ones take their place. A person gropes toward wisdom and a search for enduring personal values begins. Either we begin a quest for meaning at midlife or we become simply an applauder of the past, an eternal adolescent, all lamentable substitutes for the illumination of the self."

In the end, we really have no other choice. To move forward, we must walk...but to where? Toward a place that you can only imagine with the eyes and ears of your soul. Most folks deny the guidance of the heart and soul. But then most folks never arrive at the destination of their God-given dreams. In doing so, they deny themselves of the blessings of wholeness that flow as a result of being in God's primary Will. It takes incredible trust, the trust of a child reaching up to his parent's hand. You must learn to look to God with that same brand of trust, with that kind of heart. That's what Faith is all about. It's an equation: Trust = Belief + Action. Trust puts your belief in God into action. Belief is static; trust is dynamic. Remember that childhood is where the Faith development process begins; it's where, if you've lost your Faith, you must return in your heart to retrieve it — and then move forward with maturity and determination.

In the case of our Church, we began our Faith Walk on the first day. When I stood before that dwindling congregation and delivered my first sermon about the prophet and the prostitute, we began a collective Faith Walk. We did not leap from a place of safety or security, just as you probably won't. But we began. We walked from a mostly empty Church while rumors of our imminent demise swirled around us, surrounded by seven acres of land about to go on the market in hopes of paying off my predecessor's salary.

As I said before, we had Faith, and that Faith led to action. But before we could act, we had to have a Vision. This is the prerequisite for a Faith Walk. To put it simply, a Vision can be defined, according to the author George Barna, as "God's preferred state for your future."

In previous chapters, we discussed a Calling, which is the crucible for the Vision. A Vision is the outcome, the destination, the realization of God's preferred future. If your Calling involves your career, then your Vision is a specific pinnacle of achievement. If the Calling is the path, the Vision is the destination. If you're an entrepreneur, you ought to have to have a Vision for your business. If you're the head of a household, you ought to have to have a Vision for your family. If you're a student, you ought to have to have a Vision for your educational accomplishments.

Remember this: Once you hear lots of folk saying, "No," you might have found your true path. One way a true Vision can be recognized is that everyone around you will not agree with it. By definition, a Vision stretches reality; it's not a quick and easy fix. It's a mountain that rises up in your line of sight, at first foreboding, seemingly impossible. But the closer you get, the more attainable it becomes — if you can persevere in the face of the negative forces that are going to rise up against you.

Consider the story of the unnamed woman in the book of Luke, who had been bleeding for twelve long years. In the ancient culture in which she lived, any woman bleeding was supposed to stay indoors. She had spent all the money she had on doctors; the medical industry had given up on her. Socially, she was viewed as a nobody; in those days, women couldn't even own property. She had been ostracized by her cohorts and exiled by her culture to stay inside for twelve years. In every area of Holistic Salvation — physically, socially, financially, educationally — she was flat broke. Busted. But she had Faith. She pressed her way until she found Jesus, who, she was convinced, could and would heal her. Jesus had so much power and she had so much Faith that when she touched the hem of his garment, her bleeding ceased and she was made whole.

No matter how depraved, devoid, or discombobulated you might be right now, you can still exercise Faith. But of course you must also walk by Faith. More often than not, that means walking against the prevailing winds or status quo.

This is where some folks literally fall off the Faith wagon. They basically refuse to give themselves permission to succeed. They are afraid that somebody's going to talk about them, scandalize their names. Well, let me tell you this: They're going to talk about you anyway. So you might as well — what? — pursue good success!

Until you make the decision that you don't care what evil-oriented, myopic-minded, low-or-no-vision folk say about you, you're wasting your life on them, instead of giving your life to God! If the first time someone threatens your Vision, or doubts your Vision, you're ready to turn tail and run, you're not going to get anywhere. I decided a long time ago that if I cared about what folks say, then I might as well bow down to them. You must ask yourself, Do I want to hear God say, "Well done my good and faithful servant," or do I want to hear my colleagues, my so-called friends, affirm what I'm doing? I dare you to take a God-given Vision to some human for affirmation.

If God gives you a Vision, you do not need affirmation from some human being!

1. There are Visionaries among you. Listen to their wisdom.

The Bible states, "Without a Vision, people perish." I have discovered that without the right people, a Vision can perish, as well.

Once God gives you your Vision and you begin your Faith Walk, you never walk alone. Others appear to walk at your side. People with talents crucial to your cause appear. At this point during your journey, your Faith Walking will attract other Faith Walkers.

God frequently meets our needs through people.

It happened to our little Church, just as it can happen to you.

When we received our Vision for the reincarnation of Windsor Village as a powerhouse of Holistic Salvation, helping our members meet their needs in every aspect of their lives, we were joined by an army of allies to help us in our cause. Once we took the first step on our Faith Walk, a flood of extraordinary folks arrived to join us.

Some might have seen it as a coincidence. But we knew better. We knew that once a renaissance begins — either in a Church, a nation, or an individual — the right people show up to share in it.

Renaissance. That is one beautiful word! Derived from the French term for rebirth, it's been used to describe peak moments in history. In the mid-fifteenth century, a Renaissance of art flowered in Northern Italy, led by great artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Titian. In the sixteenth century, a literary Renaissance was sparked in England, and from it came the works of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Christopher Marlowe. More recently, in 1940s New York, the Harlem Renaissance produced a great confluence of African-American art, music, and letters, an amazing gathering of remarkable talent settling in the same place at once.

Whether it's great artists, musicians, or the blue-jeaned armies of the computer revolution, when like minds gather together, they can accomplish what a single mind cannot.

At Windsor Village, we discovered that a Faith Walk could produce a renaissance when a group of people begins to move toward a common Vision, a common goal.

All you have to do is ask — and walk.

"We asked God for everything we needed," remembers Pam Calip, one of the original members of our Building Committee, "and God delivered."

We needed an attorney, and one day, a man named Sherman Stimley, a Harvard-educated attorney, approached me after services and asked if there was anything he could do for the Church.

We needed an accountant. We were sent Rodney Graves, who at the time was a partner at one of the largest minority-owned accounting firms in Houston, and J. Otis Mitchell, a CPA with awesome strength and talent.

We needed an investment banker, and my old cohort from the investment banking business, Gerald Smith, offered his assistance.

Do you see the pattern? We asked and it was given.

Our ministries did not go to waste. The Parking Ministry soon had plenty to do. With an average of fifteen people joining the Church each Sunday, the parking lot was crowded with cars. We started a Greeters' Ministry, figuring that if supermarket chains can greet customers coming into their store, surely the Church can, too. People catch enough Hades from Monday to Friday. When they come to the Church, they ought to be surrounded by smiling faces and positive affirmation. Pretty soon, the Greeters' Ministry was bustling; the Church was filled with new and expectant faces. The Music Ministry was ordering new choir robes and sheet music and filling our little church with resounding musical manna from heaven each and every Sunday.

Windsor Village was on a roll. Pretty soon, our little sanctuary was bursting at the seams. People were literally lined up in the aisles, searching for a seat. It was obvious to everyone that we needed a bigger sanctuary. We had to grow merely to contain the people who were joining us. We had a small, intimate setting through which the Holy Spirit made a big, wall-shaking, ground-rumbling noise. Our enthusiasm, music, ministries, and prayer began attracting dynamic folks from across Houston, some of whom would drive an hour or more to join our worship services.

With a Vision of a new sanctuary in our minds, we began walking by Faith, trusting that God would deliver. We started a feasibility study to check out what it would take to build a new sanctuary. Meanwhile, we did not wait on a new sanctuary to accommodate our growth. When the first service filled up, we started a second, then a third. It's important to blossom wherever you're planted, even while you're waiting for something better to come along through your faithful response. Be a good and faithful steward of what you already have, even while you're stretching to grow.

Our Feasibility Study Committee returned with a number that was staggering for a small Church — $2 million. Still, we didn't close the door on the possibility. We created a finance committee to study how to get $2 million, and the finance committee returned with the conventional reply: you get that kind of money from bank loans. So we began knocking on the middle of the Texas oil bust, when banks were going under and once-wealthy oilmen were seeking shelter in bankruptcy. The slamming of doors served as a steady backbeat to our dream.

"Church financing?" the beleaguered bankers would say. "Not interested."

We didn't know it then, but we were thinking halfway instead of holistically. We were missing out on our fair share of blessings, because of what we did not know. Knowledge is power, and if you don't have the current knowledge, whatever your Vision, then you're probably keeping your life stranded in the familiar instead of reaching up to the fantastic.

But we had something great in our corner, something that is critical for you to instill early on in your own Faith Walk. We had what we began calling The Audacity to Believe, borrowing a phrase from Martin Luther King. That audacity, coupled with the knowledge that we couldn't do it alone, opened up the floodgates of possibility. This is the true secret of champions. They're willing to seek help. They aren't deluding themselves — or being deluded by the devil — that they know it all. They checked their egos at the door, enrolled in the vision, and decided to walk by Faith.

One of our new members, Sherman Stimley, a Harvard-educated attorney who was one of the few African-American attorneys authorized in Texas to serve as bond counsels at that time, had the perfect answer to our situation with the new sanctuary.

"What about Church bond financing?" he asked.

What about Church bond financing? Could there be a style of financing specifically designed for growth-oriented Churches? Well, yes, there was. Sherman taught us another lesson. When you embark upon your Faith Walk, the ground where you're walking is likely to have already been well tread. There are answers, resources, valuable information to be gained merely by researching, understanding, and then implementing what others have done in similar circumstances before you.

Bond financing was perfect for Windsor Village. While traditional financing involves payments to a bank or mortgage company, bond financing involves payments to a coalition of investors that may include individuals and institutions, even members of our own Church. The Church would pay the bond holders back through tithes and offerings over a period of fifteen years. In a sense, we were borrowing from ourselves, instead of being beholden to a bank, which, to me, is the essence of Holistic thinking — the unconventional yet empowering, instead of the conventional route.

In our case, even getting the approval to obtain bond financing — before we could secure the actual financing — was no easy task. We had to convince our Houston Board of Missions to approve our financing plan. The board, empowered by the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to approve or deny Church financing proposals and architectural plans, was at first taken aback. A Church with big, challenging, unorthodox plans? This was something new and different! It took us three petitions on three different occasions before the board would approve our financing plan.

Finally, when the financing was secured in 1986 and work on the new sanctuary begun, we felt a surge of power, a shared knowledge that we had moved into a new economic realm. By the time we got our new sanctuary built, it was already too small. The congregation had outgrown it. Once again, we had to think creatively. We came up with a schedule of multiple worship celebrations: four services on Sundays (one at 8:00 a.m., two at 10:00 a.m., and one at 12:00 noon) and one on Saturdays (6:00 p.m.), each service with a different flavor and different appeal.

One Vision had been realized, but our Faith Walk had just begun. We kept the Faith, believing that before long another, even greater gift would arrive in our field of vision and we would be ready to walk confidently toward it.

We were not disappointed.

2. Give your Vision a name.

When you begin your Faith Walk toward your God-given Vision, you have to give your Vision a name. Because few things happen without language.

"In the beginning there was the Word," reads the Bible, "and the Word was God."

A rocket's blast requires a countdown.

A marriage begins with a spoken vow.

A journey requires a destination.

A Vision — like light, marriage, rockets, or journeys — must first be declared to be attained.

During World War II, if a soldier was encountered by the enemy, the first question would invariably be "What is your mission?" If that soldier could not state his mission immediately, he would be shot on sight. No further questions asked.

Now, that was a way to get a soldier to know where he was going! These days, a great many of us would get the bullet. We bumble through life, taking whatever we can get, accepting instead of striving, getting by instead of glorifying our lives by becoming all that we were meant to become. A mission statement is your purpose for being, your mission described in an easy-to-remember sentence, or even better, a phrase.

If you phone my sister, Dorothea Caldwell Pickens, you'd probably get her answering machine, and in her outgoing recording you'd get an anthem-like statement of her mission:

"Oooh, we're blessed that you called! Be driven to your dreams! This is Dorothea Caldwell Pickens, future million-dollar director of that awesome and powerful Multi-Million Dollar Divine Dynasty! You can if you think you can! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Faith, focus, and follow-through! Puttin' God first! Live your dream. Have an awesome and powerful day. Leave a message at the end of the tone."

In the middle of that entrepreneurial war chant, my sister, a sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, illustrates the power of naming your Vision. In Dorothea's case, the Vision is to lead her sales unit to a million-dollar sales year. But she doesn't merely say, "A million." She makes it emotional, visceral, exciting. She calls her vision "Dorothea's Divine Million-Dollar Dynasty." Each of those five words has intense meaning to her personally, so that merely voicing her mission statement gives her a real sense of empowerment.

"The name gives me something to focus on," she says. "A million dollars is too general. Be specific in the language you use. By defining what you want, what you want will be done. I truly believe that God doesn't give you a Vision without also giving you the means to make it a reality."

By giving your Vision a name, you make it real. As the adage says, "What you can imagine, you can achieve." Whether it's a business success, an athletic goal or victory, a straight-A report card, or a Million-Dollar Dynasty, naming your vision transports it from the realm of dreams into the territory of reality.

3. Set your Vision to music.

This sets the mood for the Faith Walk. If you like to exercise, you know that it's far easier to ride a stationary bike or climb a Stairmaster if you have inspirational music in your ears. The same is true for the Faith Walk. Like a human life, a worship service can be a conduit, an instrument — a piano, a horn, or a bass drum — that draws us closer to God. Few lives, and even fewer congregations, grow in absolute silence. Triumphs usually occur in loud, clanging, full-voiced symphonies of success, capped off by loud anthems and victory marches. Think of the stirring melodies from the movies with those inspirational names like "Chariots of Fire" and the inspirational theme song from the movie Rocky II, "Eye of the Tiger." The heroes of these films marched to their victories in blaring music, not deafening silence.

You, too, can energize your Faith Walk simply by adding some music. Music is an integral component for movement, for motivation, for growth. Just ask any sports figure training for a championship match: music jump-starts the mind and makes the muscles move! Think about it: what sports team goes onto the field without music, whether it's a theme song or a send-off from the band?

Stop here for a moment and consider your own life. Is it set to music? Is that music a riotous song of celebration or a dirge? If it's a fune

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Miracle

1 Finding Your Calling

2 Staging a Comeback

3 The Faith Walk

4 Whuppin' the Devil

5 Creating Wealth God's Way

6 God-Blessed Relationships

Epilogue: Becoming Whole


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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2001

    An Awesome and powerful Experience

    The Gospel of Good Success provides not only a road map, but an atlas to spiritual, emotional and financial success. As I raced through each line, each paragraph, each page, I was encouraged, inspired, excited and yes, empowered by the energy, the reality, the wisdom of each line. So powerful were the images that I could hear the author personally deliverring each word. I was spell-bound and awe-struck and at the same time, I was encouraged to take 'the walk', to begin to make the difference in my life, and in the lives of others.

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