Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tough Times Don't Last

“Tough Times Don’t Last but Tough People Do”

     That is the both the name of a book and a familiar saying by Robert H Schuller. I have lost count of how many times I’ve read the book. I tell myself that several times a day. Now the beautiful church and ministry that Rev. Schuller started has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. I am not surprised, but very sorry. “The Hour of Power” meant a lot to me in different times of my life, some happy times, and some difficult times.
    I think I watched “Hour of Power” from the first time it was broadcast in my hometown. For years before that I’d read everything the Norman Vincent Peale had written, starting with “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Robert Schuller always seemed to be speaking straight to me. Yes, his sermons were filled with theatrics, but his message came through in a positive, gentle way that the “hell, fire, damnation” preachers didn’t.
   I could fill a book with “Hour of Power” stories. One I like to share is how I met Venna Bishop, a real live flying angel. After the Crystal Cathedral was built, the church started doing the “Glory of Christmas” pageant. There were flying angels, lovely women rigged up with pulleys and ropes that flew above the audience. Venna was one of the angels for many years. One Sunday she did an interview on the program, and I was so touched I wrote to her in care of the church. I was going though one of those “tough times”. I was thrilled to get a letter back. Several weeks later I took a job in Southern California, and a few weeks after that actually met my friend, the flying angel. My mother passed away while I was in CA, a very sad lonely time. Venna happened to be flying then at the Christmas pageant, just when I needed a friend. She also arranged for me a ticket so I could see her fly. She is now a motivational speaker and an author. There's a short video on YouTube. 
   The Crystal Cathedral was the first place I visited when I got to Huntington Beach, CA. At the first opportunity, I visited the Sunday services, and attended when I could. (I worked Sundays) One of those Sundays the marvelous pianist Roger Williams was there. Be still my heart! (Fast forward several years to my meeting Mr. Bruce, who happened to have a Roger Williams CD of love songs.)
  Speaking of Mr. Bruce, he celebrated his 70th birthday attending a Sunday morning service at the Crystal Cathedral. That was exactly 5 years ago. I’m so very happy we did that.
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