Saturday, July 28, 2012

California Philanthropist Donna Crean Dies At 82

 Nativity by day | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

 John and Donna Crean were great philanthropists in and around Orange County, California and they were also extremely generous to the Crystal Cathedral Ministries.  John Crean donated the first million dollars to build the church and when Robert H. Schuller thought he couldn't build it because of the expense he tried to give the money back to John.  The Creans would not let him return the money as John asked, "what can you do with a million dollars?"   Robert H. answered, "I can dig the hole."  John replied, "then dig it."...and the rest is history.
Robert A. (my husband) built his church and held services on Rancho Capistrano, a 97 acre ranch donated from the Creans to the CC Ministries in the early eighties.  At the time of their donation the ranch represented 50% of the Crean's net worth.   After that donation the value of their company skyrocketed.
 Together Robert and I enjoyed building and pastoring a great congregation on that gorgeous property up until the year 2000 when Robert's dad finally convinced him to come up to the Crystal Cathedral full time.
  In the twenty years that Robert A. was the senior pastor and CEO of  Rancho Capistrano he also developed  a very active retreat center where we conducted our "Possibility Living Seminars".  Numerous non-profit groups held gatherings there as they continue to do so even today.   Robert A.  also built a school that went through the 8th grade.  Our two youngest children had the privilege of growing up in that beautiful setting, thanks to the Creans.
  John Crean died in 2007 and now his wife of 60 years joins him in heaven.  They are both loved and missed.   Thank you Crean Family for the lives you touched and will continue to touch through your generous support of projects and missions which will outlive us all.
God is blessing you.   Donna
California philanthropist Donna Crean dies at 82

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Listen For God

 "Do you not know?  
 Have you not heard?
 The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
 He will not grow tired or weary,
 and his understanding no one can fathom."      Isaiah 40:28

Do you believe you have to be in a church or other Holy place in order to hear or to be heard by God?  When I was a young girl I think I believed this although I was pretty sure he heard me when I was saying my "now I lay me down to sleep" prayers.   Although I enjoy attending church where I can connect with others, the truth God is present everywhere, all the time, even in times when we can't feel him.   We have to stop, look, listen and become aware of the Godly things around us.

I have recently been enjoying A.W Tozer's "The Pursuit of God."  You know how you can read a book more than once yet each time it speaks to you in different ways?  This time around I was completely spellbound by the chapter "The Universal Presence."  Tozer writes, "The presence and the manifestation of the presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other.  God is here when we are wholly unaware of it.  He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His presence.  On our part, there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work is to show us the Father and the Son.  If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face."
I believe that being "obedient" means to look for God and really see him in the ordinary.  There are so many ways to do this every single day.   We can look for the good and see God in people and in places.  In my morning quiet time I am sometimes moved to tears of gratitude as I come into His presence through the beauty of nature in my backyard.   This morning I was drawn towards two different Hibiscus bushes each containing a unique yet equally beautiful flower.

I hear God speak to me in my morning quiet time.  I also know that he hears me.  I love coming into his presence before I begin my busy and sometimes crazy day.

Does God speak to you as you work, play and move about with your life?
I would love to know how you hear and see God.

God is blessing you, Donna

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guess What We Did All Day?!

An outside wall of the old city of Jerusalem

Just today we launched Robert Schuller Ministries
Robert and I spent time together as he wrote our mission statement and I helped come up with the practical listing of what we do!  A dear friend in Florida,  Lindy Roth, through her foundation, has generously made the kick-off contribution to our 501c3 and has encouraged us to ramp-up the work we have been doing since leaving the church (with walls) that we loved.
An amazing has been four years exactly since that fatal decision was made by a (mostly) family run board of directors...The choice to take Robert's position away.  That day was July 9, 2008. The downward spiral has been painful for many of you but I am convinced that God is always in the details and we know that "we are called to know God, but not his plans."
 We look forward in seeing where our projects and ministry continue to take us.
God is blessing you,  Donna

Friday, July 6, 2012

Have Some Fun Every Day!

Are you a serious sort of person?  I have a tendency to be that way.  When I am involved in a project or task for which I am responsible, I tend to get really intense.  Yet I don't want to lose sight of the need to enjoy every moment or to "stop and smell the roses" along the way.  Can you relate?  It can be easy to get so wrapped up in our roles as mother, wife, employee, employer, and citizen of the human race that we forget how important it is to have fun (a lot of fun!) along the way. 
Mary and I on a recent trip to San Francisco (another hilarious adventure!)
Luckily, I have a good friend who models what I need to heed--to incorporate laughter and fun into daily life.  My friend's name is Mary.  She is truly a fun person to be around. Thoughtful, intelligent, caring, truly loving, and with such a quick wit--Mary has perfected the art of seeing life through the eyes of fun. She's a great example of someone who can role with the punches.

Thanks to Mary, I've relocated the fun and carefree girl within myself.  She gives me the courage to ring out the joy and spontaneity that most of us so closely guard once we become adults.  Never is this more true that when the two of us used to go get our nails done.  Nothing was more fun than going for a manicure with Mary.  As you may have experienced, the mood in most nail salons is rather solemn or stale.  I recall one day when she and I were getting our nails done together and upon hearing the Beatles's tune "Imagine" we started singing.  At the top of our lungs we sang--not necessarily on key!  Now, you can imagine how singing out loud in a salon is going to get some strange looks--and most people will think you're either crazy or you've forgotten to take your medication!  But that's not what happened this time.  The lady to my left, genuinely entertained, broke out in a belly laugh and thanked us for lightening up on her stressful day.   And the salon operators  were so amused that they started laughing and chattering merrily among themselves in their native language.  We couldn't understand what they were saying and that made us laugh even more.

Yes, I know this all sounds a little goofy and not the best example of fun--it certainly doesn't compare to a ski trip or a tropical vacation.  Still, a dose of lighthearted fun can remind us that fun is also within our repertoire of emotions.  We are meant to have fun.  And our lives are meant to be fun:  were to smile and laugh and act as though we're genuinely happy. to be alive and truly blessed to have been given the time we're each allowed.

I encourage you to find your own "Mary"--or better yet, become one--and build fun and laughter into your life.  Find a way to lighten up your life on a daily basis.  In fact, the Bible tells us that we should conduct ourselves with happy hearts.  "...the cheerful heart has a continual feast."  Proverbs 15:15b
I believe that God wants us to be fun to be around because "a cheerful look brings joy to the heart." Proverbs 15:30."

*The above recollection is part of a story I wrote which was included in my co-authored book,
 "Woman To Woman Wisdom."  Since it was published seven years ago a lot in my life has changed.  I can honestly say that I have really learned not to "sweat the small stuff" and prayerfully, but with a fun attitude, face each day as it presents itself.  I always try to find something to be happy about and I continue to look for simple ways to have fun!  (and I also still hang-out with Mary!)

Do you take yourself too seriously?  Do you have a tendency to dwell on negative situations which will not only bring you down but also affect the happiness of those around you?  If you fail to have any fun in life I challenge you to reframe your thinking so that you might begin to lighten your load. Once you do this you can see more clearly God's hand at work in your life.

God is blessing you.  Donna