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Space Invaders

It is where they launch rockets into space. No, not Cape Canaveral. The other place. Yes, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Soyuz spacecraft with two Americans and one Russian on board lifted off from Kazakhstan.

Along for the ride was American computer game millionaire Richard Garriott. Atop a Russian rocket, it soared out of sight. Guided by U.S. astronaut Mickael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, the space traveler was in good hands.

But let’s go back to Richard Garriott. What was he doing there? Why would a man who had millions of dollars blast off into space? Well, Richard has an answer.

“I have about everything there is in this world. But it’s not enough,” he said.

Wow! What a statement! He had everything of this world, and it was not enough. So off he went, chasing after other worlds.

Here’s the good news. God has invaded our universe and our planet, with his love and with his Son. Trust in him. Give him your life. He’s out of this world!

One Man

Terry Fox was just 18 when doctors discovered bone cancer in his right leg. They amputated his leg six inches above the knee. After undergoing chemotherapy and seeing other people, particularly children, suffer with cancer, Terry decided to make a difference. Fitted with a prosthetic leg and supported at first by just a few friends and family members, this brave young man set out to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Terry began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980, in St. John’s, Newfoundland. When a recurrence of cancer ended his cross-country run at Thunder Bay, Ontario, on September 1, 1980, Terry had run 3,339 miles in 143 days, roughly the equivalent of a marathon every day. After a courageous battle with the disease he had worked so hard to defeat, he passed away in June, 1981.

This would be an amazing enough story if it had just ended there. But it doesn’t. Participants from around the world keep alive Terry’s dream of curing cancer with the Terry Fox Run held annually in 52 countries. In the years since Terry died, participants have raised more than $350 million for cancer research around the world.

Nothing is more remarkable than what one person can accomplish. Whether his or her name is George Washington, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, or Thomas Edison – one person can do so much.

By yourself you aren’t much. But with God as your partner, you become a majority.

Titanic

Robert Ballard was a man on a quest. He wanted to find the Titanic. And on September 1, 1985, he discovered the sunken ship in the North Atlantic, more than 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

I got chills when I read his account for the first time. He sent down that bright probe light and saw that sight more than two miles below the surface of those icy waters. “My first direct view of Titanic lasted less than two minutes, but the stark sight of her immense black hull towering above the ocean floor will remain forever ingrained in my memory. My lifelong dream was to find this great ship and during the past 13 years the quest for her has dominated my life.”

What quest is dominating your life today? What do you dream about when you are laying in bed late at night? What would you do if you could do anything? What is the carrot that keeps you going?

God created us with passion. Ask him to give you a passion worth committing your life to.

The Red Paper Clip

The red paper clip from Canada just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Do you know the story? Kyle McDonald was tired of life as usual, and he wanted more. So he decided to achieve his dream of home ownership the old-fashioned way – by trading a paper clip for a house. Actually, there were a few steps in between. Here’s the story.

In July of 2005, Kyle McDonald began a series of 14 strategic transactions. He started in Vancouver, trading a red paper clip to someone for their fish-shaped pen. The same day, he traded the pen for a hand-sculpted doorknob from Seattle. On July 25, he travelled to Amherst, Massachusetts with a friend to trade the doorknob for a Coleman stove. On September 16, he traded the stove for a neon Budweiser sign. On December 8, he traded the sign to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for one Ski-doo snowmobile.

Within a week, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia. On January 7, 2006, he traded the second spot on the trip for a cube van. On February 22, he traded the cube van for a recording contract with Metalworks in Mississauga, Ontario. On April 11, he traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent in Phoenix. On April 26, he traded the one year’s rent in Phoenix for one afternoon with Alice Cooper. On May 26, he traded the afternoon with Alice Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe. On June 2, he traded the snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand. And finally, on July 5, 2006, Kyle McDonald traded the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

The 26-year-old took one year to complete his quest. He said, “It went from a hobby, where I played it on a whim, to the point where thousands of people were showing up on a website.” So what was the key to attaining his goal of a farmhouse? McDonald said simply, “Trade one paper clip for one fish pen.” That’s pretty clear. The story that garnered international media attention all came down to those eight words: “Trade one paper clip for one fish pen.”

Every great achievement begins with the fist step. When Jesus changed the life of a short tax collector named Zacchaeus, he didn’t say, “Zacchaeus, come down from that tree, repent of all your sins, get baptized, follow me for a year, go to seminary, become a youth director, them move up to an associate pastor position, and then become a pastor, write a book, plant new churches, and raise millions of dollars for missionaries around the world.” Jesus said simply, “Come down.” That required one step. He didn’t offer Zack a five-year plan or even a five-day play. He just said to come down.

God has great plans for your life. Here’s where it begins. Take your paper clip, whatever that is. And give it over to God. The red paper clip represents what is small in your life, not what seems big. The important thing isn’t the size of your paper clip, but whose hands you place it in. Take that one first step. What will step two look like? Kyle McDonald didn’t know what step two would look like. He reflects back, ten years later, and says, “I would have never imagined Alice Cooper would be in the mix of getting a two-story farmhouse in Saskatchewan.” If Kyle had demanded to know the outcome and every step in advance, he’d still be living in a red paper clip today, instead of the farmhouse. Every great journey begins with a first step. So give your paper clip to God. I can’t tell you what the journey will look like. But like Kyle McDonald, in ten years, you will look back and be utterly amazed.