While I hope that ALL may know that I am a sinner, and lower than the least of all sinners… desperately dependent upon God’s grace, mercy, and love daily… I also know that I am saved, sanctified, and redeemed daily. While I, as many humans do, struggle to be the best that I can be for the glory of God, I also have many successes and triumphs in life. My life has been filled with some unbelievable and incredible opportunities… opportunities that many would see as success, and even I myself may feel successful because of them. Let me list just some of them them…
- Worked alongside a Governor, Commissioner, and Senator to improve Foster Care System
- Served as Student Body Chaplain in college
- Had lunch with Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop in South Africa)
- Shared a lunch table with Benjamin Netanyahu
- Played soccer with professionals in Portugal in 2004
- Shot a world tour visual with Akon and Tyrese
- Traveled in 23 countries
- Been with the Royal Court of the King and Queen of Malaysia
- Am an evangelist and licensed minister of the Gospel
- Help lead a nonprofit organization that fights for precious children
- Have an advisor/mentor/dear brother who formerly served closely with President George W. Bush
These are for sure some incredible opportunities and successes in my life. But today, as I reflect on and consider many people that the world has called successful… Marilyn Monroe, Curt Cobain, and many others that seemed to have it all… I am reminded of the emptiness that many of them struggled with and expressed, though in the world’s eyes they seemingly had completely successful lives.
I am not ‘rich’ financially, and probably will never be. I will not be world famous, nor someone of great importance by the world’s determination. However, I am very successful. My success is not what the world looks at for success. The ability I have had to hold, love, speak to, challenge, and encourage children has been a great success… of immediate AND eternal value and peace. As an advocate for and minister to children, the success of seeing smiles, growth, change, and advancement fills my heart and life beyond words. While results are often considerably less than the world (and even at times people of the church) expects of me, the pleasure and approval of God resides firmly upon me, and He delights and dances over me.
As an evangelist, motivational speaker, and licensed minister, the innumerable times that I have been able to share the Gospel and invite others into an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord has been one of my all time greatest successes. Counseling youth and adults to really pursue a love relationship with Jesus has been amazingly successful. No one shall know, this side of heaven, how many lives my life has impacted (whether just 1 or many), but I am sure of this… eternity has been touched and changed because I gave my heart and life in obedience to Jesus Christ to use to touch and bless others for His glory.
I recently fulfilled a dream of mine that I have had since I was just a little boy… I have always wanted flower gardens and a rose garden. At my house I now have both, and feel very successful because of this.I daily enjoy their aroma and beauty, and my rose garden is one of my greatest successes.
I share all this not to sing my own praises. May it be far from me to gloat, brag, or be prideful. I share because I believe we need to redefine success as followers of Jesus. Sometimes success is just being faithful to plant seeds of love wherever God invites us to. Sometimes our greatest successes will never be seen by this world. The genuine love that God has given me for precious children, as expressed by holding them, playing with them, encouraging them, and sharing with them carries a far great success to me than how many homes Abogar will create, how many famous people I have met or know, or what things I have created. The rose bush behind my house that continues each week to bud new roses holds a success for me that none will ever really understand, except God alone. Kids shouting ‘Papayas’ at me holds a success that many may never fully grasp. Kids telling me that they remember to LALOL (Live A Life Of Love), or still have a penny in their shoe, is a success for the glory of God that many will never see or know of mine. One of my greatest successes of life has been to love people, as Jesus calls you and I to do each day!
Are you chasing the world’s model of BIG successes today? Are you hoping and pursuing being wealthy, famous, seen and promoted to consider yourself as having arrived at being successful? I challenge you today, hug a child in need. Share the love of God to a homeless man or woman. Visit a local jail/prison and share God’s undeserved, unmerited, unconditional love. Give a surprise gift to someone having a hard day today. Open your mouth and share words of blessings and encouragement to someone struggling today. To share love, genuine and pure godly love, is of the highest form of success that you and I will ever know… whether or not the world or people around us see it or not! Go be love today… Go be successful!!