Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, authors the ultimate book on personal and spiritual success for the 21st century.
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About the Author
Mark Victor Hansen is an author and sought-after keynote speaker whose books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. His charismatic style captures both readers’ attention and hearts. Having spoken to over 6,000 audiences, he receives high accolades as one of the most compelling speakers and leaders of our time. Mark’s exuberance connects via television on shows such as Oprah, CNN and The Today Show, and in print in TIME, USA Today, and The New York Times. He lives in Newport Beach, California.
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The Miracles in You
Recognizing God's Amazing Work in You and Through You
By Mark Victor Hansen
Worthy Publishing GroupCopyright © 2015 Mark Victor Hansen
All rights reserved.
Miracles Are Everywhere
* * *
Do you want to hear about a genuine miracle?"
The question took me completely off guard. My wife and I had stopped at the store to pick up a few things, and I had struck up a conversation with the cashier at the counter. I'd spent the last few months working on this very book, so as soon as he said the word miracle, he had my complete attention.
"Absolutely!" was my reply. "Tell me all about it."
This young man went on to tell me in vivid detail about his wife's recent near-death experience. She was driving down a busy street when suddenly, she realized her car had no brakes! She was cruising along, with cars and pedestrians all around, but she was completely unable to stop—or even slow—her speeding car. Purely by instinct, she began to pray, Please, God, protect me. Stop this car. Keep me from hitting another car. Get all of these pedestrians out of the way. Get us all home safe. After several terrifying seconds, the car had come to a hard stop thanks to the tree that was now firmly planted in her front bumper. Somehow, her car had made it through the maze of traffic and passers-by without incident. The car was wrecked, but everyone, including my new friend's wife, went home safe that night. "It was a miracle," the cashier repeated.
I thought about that for a second and asked him, "So, how do you think that miracle happened?"
His response could not have been more perfect in light of all the miracle stories I had been studying while working on this book: "We're all prayed up, brother. We're all prayed up, and we always have miracles."
I love that answer. "We're all prayed up, and we always have miracles." That young man had no idea that by simply telling me that story, he was actually making a miracle. He didn't know who I was. He didn't know that I'd written several best-selling books or that I was currently writing one about miracles. He just felt inspired to tell his story, and in doing so God worked through him to remind me that He was there with me as I wrote this book. God was reminding me that miracles are everywhere.
Now, you may read this and say, "Mark, you're making that story up. That's the kind of story preachers and writers tell just to get a point across." No, this conversation did indeed happen. Of course it happened. Why wouldn't it happen? Why should we be surprised when we find ourselves standing in the middle of an experience that could only be described as miraculous? Why shouldn't we hear stories like that day after day after day?
Miracles are all around us. Sometimes it's God miraculously moving the immovable obstacles in our lives. Sometimes it's a miraculous healing from a terminal diagnosis. Sometimes, as with this cashier's wife, it is moving people and cars out of the way and putting a tree in the perfect spot to stop an out-of-control car. Those are the kinds of things where we have no choice but to look up to the heavens and say, "God, You did this. There's no other explanation."
But there are other miracles that all too often go unnoticed. These are the miracles that are walking and talking all around us. They sit in the cubicles next to us at work. They share the subway or airplane with us. They're around us in movie theaters or at church. They're in the cars next to us on the interstate, or in line beside us at baseball games, or even behind the counter at the local market. You, everyone you know, and everyone you ever come into contact with have the potential to become miracle makers. And when you embrace the truth that God works miracles through normal men and women every single day, you not only begin to notice the miracles around you; you begin to become the miracle in someone else's life.
The Miracle Mindset
Albert Einstein once said, "Either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle." I try to be miracle minded at all times, so naturally I fall more on the "everything is a miracle" side of things. That miracle mindset changes how you view the world. When you inundate your mind and spirit with the belief that God wants to work miracles in you and through you, your whole being—your mind, body, spirit, and subconscious—comes into alignment and sets the course of your life on a miracle-making trajectory. That's certainly been true in my life.
In 1974, I was a bankrupt twenty-six-year-old former millionaire. I was crushed. I was so low that year that I had to reach up to touch bottom. To be honest, I think it was a miracle that I made it through that year alive.
Around that time, someone gave me an inspirational audio program by Cavett Robert, the Dean of Speakers and co-founder of the National Speakers Association. The audio was titled Are You the Cause or Are You the Result? In that life-changing presentation, Cavett struck me with one of the most powerful truths of my life: "Either you are the creature of circumstances or the creator of circumstances. You cannot be both." That message cut me to the core. It was as though Cavett was speaking directly into my despair, asking if I wanted to be a victim or a leader. Did I want to be someone whom things happened to, or did I want to be someone who made things happen?
Over the course of the next several weeks and months, I kept a record of how many times I listened to that audio program, like a western gunslinger putting notches on his pistol. I listened to that message 287 times. I knew in my heart that Cavett was feeding my soul and reprogramming my misguided mind.
One morning, as God was putting my life and mind back together, I woke up with a start. Out of the blue, I knew without a doubt what God's destiny for my life was. I had a vision for where He was taking me. I came through that dark time in my life with a clear goal: become a professional speaker and author. From that point on, my mind was fixated on that goal.
At the time, I was sharing a rental house with four other guys. Over breakfast one day, I asked them if anyone knew any professional speakers whom I could talk to about how to get started. My roommate John said, "There's a dynamic young guy named Chip Collins talking this morning to all my real estate colleagues." It was 8:30 a.m. when I heard this announcement. Less than thirty minutes later I was taking my seat in the real estate group, ready to experience Chip wow the crowd for the next three hours.
I took Chip to lunch after his presentation and asked if he could help me get started in the world of professional speaking. He agreed, as long I stayed out of his market. He thought I'd have better luck targeting what he called "the bottomless pit of motivational training needed in the life insurance business." He told me that day that I had a one-in-a-thousand chance of succeeding, but to do whatever I could over the next two weeks while he was out of town. He said, "The chances of you making it are very low, but if you do, I'll see you when I get back."
Two weeks later, Chip got back into town—and I had twenty-eight paying clients in the life insurance industry for my new speaking business. I was already doing four one-hour talks a day, and I spent the hours in between running around town trying to drum up more business. I was speaking for a living, and I was in heaven. Of course, I had no real experience in speaking or training, and I certainly didn't know anything about the life insurance business. I couldn't tell the difference between term and whole life. I didn't know what a premium was. I didn't even own life insurance at the time, but here I was spending all day every day providing life training and motivation to rooms full of insurance professionals!
You see, the one thing I had was the one thing that mattered most: desire. I had a white-hot desire to learn and master the fine art of speaking, training, and writing. It was my magnificent obsession. It was my miracle mindset.
As I focused more and more on the call God put in my life, and as I trusted Him to move the mountains out of my path, miracle after miracle paved my way. It was a miracle that I met Chip Collins and that he was willing to coach me in my new enterprise. It was a miracle that one of my very first clients was the most influential and successful leader in his company, and that he got me in the door with more willing prospects than I could have dreamed of. It was a miracle that I was paid for more than five hundred talks in that first year. It was a miracle that every one of those clients invested in me by either educating me on the insurance industry or introducing me to new prospects.
I was living in the flood of God's provision and miracles, and I loved every minute of it. I was reminded of the apostle Paul's words to the Ephesians, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" (Ephesians 3:2021). God was indeed doing immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine, because His power was at work within me—just as it is within you. Fully grasping that truth—truly embracing the miracle mindset—changes everything.
Your Miraculous Story
I'm telling you this part of my story for one reason, and that is to convince you that we must never underestimate the power of our stories. They have the potential to change the world. How do I know? Well, collecting powerful stories has been my passion for decades. Years ago Jack Canfield and I created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and since the first book released, thousands of people have felt compelled to tell me their stories. I've heard incredible stories of how God used our little books to change people's minds about suicide, to change the direction of the whole nation of Lebanon, to seek out adventure in foreign lands, to start a new enterprise, to find the perfect spouse, and so much more. It is unbelievably humbling to see what God has done simply because we have helped people tell their stories.
So, as you go through this book, I want to encourage you to think about your own miraculous story. Later, we'll spend several chapters examining how to see the miracle, or trace God's miraculous provision through your life as you seek ways to be the miracle. But for now, I want to ask you to simply believe the miracle. God is actively moving in your life. He is doing wondrous things, not only in the supernatural realm, but also in the day-to-day interactions you have with other people. Even something as simple as a smile from a stranger or a helping hand from a neighbor could be the evidence of the Creator of the universe coming alongside you and moving you forward.
If that seems like an impossibility to you, I ask only that for the next thirty days you believe that miracles are possible for you. And if you believe that, even if it's only because I'm asking you to, then spend time each evening reflecting on how God may have touched your life that day. Take notes. Pay attention to the "random acts of kindness" you see. Open your eyes to what God may be doing in you, through you, and around you. That is how you develop the miracle mindset, and that's how you start to develop your own miraculous story.CHAPTER 2
* * *
Do you believe in miracles? YES!" cried the thirty-five-year-old sports announcer Al Michaels as the crowd counted down the last five seconds of what Sports Illustrated named the top sports moment of the 20th Century during it's 20th Century Sports Awards show in December 1999. The moment, of course, was the U.S. Olympic hockey team's defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics, a game that immediately became known as, fittingly enough, The Miracle on Ice.
The Soviets came into the games with nothing but confidence. Their team was comprised of professional players and even some active-duty soldiers. They had access to world-class training facilities. They had won the gold medal in six of the previous seven Olympic games. In all of their Olympic matches going back twenty years, the Soviet team had won twenty-seven out of twenty-nine games, with one tie and only one loss.
In contrast, the American team was made up of college players and amateurs. Only one of the twenty members of the U.S. Olympic team had played in the games before. The team was young too—the youngest team in U.S. Olympic history and the youngest team to play in the 1980 games at all. Several of the teammates were former rivals from their respective college teams. Just two weeks before the American victory on February 22, 1980, the Soviet team demolished Team U.S.A. 10–3 in an exhibition game.
All of this led New York Times columnist Dave Anderson to write a hopeless appraisal just one day before the U.S.–Soviet matchup: "Unless the ice melts, or unless the United States team or another team performs a miracle ... the Russians are expected to easily win the Olympic gold medal." There's that word again: miracle.
Well, you probably know the end of the story. The U.S. team did, in fact, perform a miracle. With ten minutes left on the clock, Team U.S.A. took a 4–3 lead and held on to it for ten long, tense minutes. The crowd was at such a fever pitch that all 8,500 spectators screamed the countdown in the final ten seconds. With five seconds left on the clock, when it was clear that the Americans had secured the victory, sportscaster Al Michaels simply couldn't contain himself any longer. He cried out his now-famous words.
Do you believe in miracles?
Yes, I believe in miracles. I believe that God does amazing, supernatural acts of beauty and wonder. And yes, I believe that a team of hard-working, idealistic young adults can do miracles too. Isn't it interesting that the whole world immediately made the connection between a simple hockey game and one of the most powerful words in the English language? There was even a movie made about this story. When the producers and studio executives were considering titles, they settled on one single, all-encompassing, all-inspiring word: Miracle. Why? Because they knew how powerful the word was, and because they knew moviegoers—and the rest of us—long to be reminded of the presence of miracles in our lives.
What Is a Miracle?
As I have heard literally thousands of miracle stories from people all over the world, and as I have matured in my own faith journey, I've faced all the questions you no doubt have yourself:
What is a miracle?
Do miracles really exist?
Are miracles something that happened only in the Bible?
Are miracles wholly divine intervention?
Or do some miracles start out with God and then find completion through us?
Such great questions! And they contain traces of the tension between the human element and the divine element. Culture and Scripture each view the miracle question a bit differently, so let's look at both for just a minute.
The Bible never outright defines what it means by "miracle." However, if you consider some of the more common miracle tales in Scripture—Moses parting the Red Sea or Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, for example—you can see a common theme. The term miracle there refers to a supernatural act by which God, the Creator of the natural world, intervenes and temporarily alters the natural order He established. If you don't believe that an intelligent Creator brought the universe into existence, then you can't believe in this type of miracle. After all, if the natural laws are preexistent and have no Creator, then there is no force that can interrupt them. However, if you believe there is a God with the power to make mountains, then you must necessarily believe He also has the power to move mountains, right? And that is how God acts supernaturally in the world, stepping in and, for the benefit of His children, altering the natural order of things in specific instances.
Of course, that's not necessarily how culture defines the term. We use the word miracle to refer to almost any situation that is a combination of happy, exciting, surprising, and unexpected. That's why the word miracle was universally applied to a specific hockey game. If you see the word miracle in Scripture, someone likely just walked on water or was healed from leprosy. If you hear it out on the street today, it may just mean that someone got a good parking spot. There seems to be a wide gap between the biblical view and our cultural view, but I'm not convinced it's a gap at all. Why couldn't God bless us with a good parking spot? If we're stuck on the side of a seemingly abandoned road and a friendly passerby appears out of nowhere to help us change a flat tire, why couldn't that be God working through someone to bring blessing into our lives?
Excerpted from The Miracles in You by Mark Victor Hansen. Copyright © 2015 Mark Victor Hansen. Excerpted by permission of Worthy Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Foreword Dr. Ben Carson xi
Part I Believe the Miracle 9
1 Miracles Are Everywhere 11
First Miracle Scroll Miracles Are Natural for Me 23
2 Understanding Miracles 25
Second Miracle Scroll I Am One of God's Greatest Miracles 37
3 God Makes Miracles 39
Third Miracle Scroll I Am Miracle Minded 49
Part II See the Miracle 51
4 Focusing on Miracles 53
Fourth Miracle Scroll I Am a Unique Miracle 65
5 Looking for Miracles 67
Fifth Miracle Scroll I Expect Miracles 85
6 Doubting Miracles 87
Sixth Miracle Scroll I Start Each Day with Love 99
Part III Be the Miracle 101
7 Called to Make Miracles 103
Seventh Miracle Scroll I Am God's Great Masterpiece 115
8 Working Toward Miracles 117
Eighth Miracle Scroll I Have Unlimited Potential 127
9 Team Up to Make Miracles 129
Ninth Miracle Scroll My Tomorrows Are Extraordinary 139
10 Be the Miracle You Never Know About 141
Tenth Miracle Scroll I Will Survive and Thrive 155
11 Making Miracles for a Living 157
Eleventh Miracle Scroll I Am the Love That Creates Miracles 173
12 The Miracle Question 175
Twelfth Miracle Scroll Today I Am a Miracle Maker 189
Conclusion: The Miracle Challenge 191
The Miracle Scrolls 199
What People are Saying About This
Inspired by the powerful, true stories in The Miracles in You, you will begin noticing the amazing wonders in everyday life. And you'll see how God works His miracles through ordinary peopleincluding you!
—Mark Victor Hansen, #1 New York Times Best-selling Author of Chicken Soup For The Soul
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mark Victor Hansen in his new book, “The Miracles In You” published by Worthy Publishing gives us Recognizing God’s Amazing Works in You and Through You. From the back cover: Believe The Miracle. See The Miracle. Be The Miracle. Did you know that you are a miracle? Or that your life can be a miracle to people around you or even on the other side of the world? Inspired by the powerful, true stories in The Miracles in You, you will begin noticing the amazing wonders in everyday life. And you’ll see how God works His miracles through ordinary people–including you! When Jesus was here He, no doubt, did supernatural activities that we call miracles, like healings, raising people from the dead, kicking out demons. For Jesus it was easy after all He was the Son Of God. However He told us that we could do greater works. Have you ever considered that we can do miracles too? After all Jesus, Himself, said we could. Mark Victor Hansen examines what we can do in three parts: Part One: Believe The Miracle, Part Two: See The Miracle, Part Three: Be The Miracle. The stories presented here show us what has happened in other individuals lives. Since God is no respecter of persons what He did for them He can do for us as well. To become a miracle worker you just have to decide you can be one. And when you decide, God will provide. It is time we fulfilled God’s purpose through us, for us and for others. “The Miracles In You” is going to help us do it. This book will probably be referred to over and over again. It is also a wonderful gift to give to family and friends to help inspire them as well. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”