01.20.2021

Visionary Leadership

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
7 Habits of Highly Transformational People

Click HERE to download this transcript.

INTRODUCTION
Rev. Richard Rogers:  Hello! I'm Richard Rogers, and I want to welcome you on this Wednesday Night Service! You now, we are so excited here at Unity of Phoenix ... you know, that we're moving through this time -- that we're able to serve your spiritual needs as we move through this time. That we're actually changing the order of service. So you'll notice a little bit of a change, and I think you're going to love it; we've got music back! It's really designed to support your spiritual needs as we walk through this time.

So let's just open with a moment of prayer.

 

OPENING PRAYER
I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to feel the presence of God that's within us and all around us. And we dedicate this time together to an experience of the power of God within us all. To living our best life. And to really knowing the truth that sets us free. And so it is. Amen.

 

SOLO
Guest artist Sean Mullaney sings, “Dare You to Move”

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself, to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

 

MESSAGE
Rev. Richard Rogers: Alright! So we are on Week #2! We are in Week #2 of "The 7 Habits of Highly Transformational People." And so what this series is all about is looking at the power that we have to transform our lives. That we have a power within each and every one of us to take whatever situation is present in our life, and to take it higher. To move it higher; to move it forward. And we have that power, not only in our own life, but we have that as a collective power in the world.

And right now what I want you to see -- with all that's going on in the world right now -- I want you to see the power that we have to take what is and to take it higher. That individually and collectively, we are not trapped in yesterday's drama. It may feel like it! We may feel like we're trapped in the despair or the upset or the frustration of yesterday. But we have this power to transform our lives, literally at any time -- at any moment -- to a higher level of good. As a spiritual being, we were given the power to transform energy.

We talked about last week... I talked about how the second law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can move from one form to another. What I want you to see is that God is the Creator of energy. All energy is an aspect of God. And we cannot create that energy, but we can literally transform it. There's areas in your life that have become dark or old or tired or frustrating; we have the power to transform that.

And so each week I'm going over one habit that these transformational people have -- that these transformational people use -- to transform their life. And today I want to focus on the power of a vision.

And I want to use Martin Luther King, because this weekend we're celebrating -- or last weekend we celebrated -- our Martin Luther King holiday. Our holiday dedicated to civil rights. Because, in this country, we have a day -- and I love that! That we have a day that's dedicated to civil rights. That we have a day dedicated to celebrating that all people have civil rights. That one thing this country agrees upon is that the law was designed to apply for all of us. King's great vision was that all people would be equal under the law.

Now, it may not always feel like that! It may not always look like that: that we're all equal under the law. But that's the underlying premise of our country: is that each and every one of us is supposed to be equal under law. And that's a vision that we're moving into.

And tonight, that's what I want us to really focus on. Is that people that are transformational -- people that are moving energy from one form to another; people that are making a difference in their life and in the world -- have a vision that they're driving toward. And I want you to see what vision is driving your life. Do you have an inspired, transformational life for your life? Do you have a vision of the world that you want to live in? Or are you kind of running from a vision of fear or of lack, of limitation, that you don't want, instead of being pulled by the vision of what you do want?

You know, I one time had a teacher who said, "Richard, we have three teachers. We have Joy, and then we have her brothers, Pain and Fear. And if we're not moving toward our joy -- if we're not being called by our Joy -- her brothers, Pain and Fear, will make sure that we keep moving along the path." And I never forgot that teaching! Right? So that we're either being drawn and called by a vision -- we're either moving toward our joy -- or we're moving away from pain and fear.

And today what I want you to see is: those people that make the biggest difference in our life and in our world have a vision for their life. And one of King's most profound visions was this idea of the Beloved Community. King's idea of the Beloved Community was a community that worked for all, right? A community -- a world -- where everyone had an equal stake or an equal opportunity at the possibilities to be equally blessed.

Reading from the King website – thekingcenter.org:

 “Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable King, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.”

In a 1966 article in Christian Century magazine, King is recorded as saying, “I do not think that political power is an end in and of itself.  Neither do I believe that economic power is an end. These are ingredients in the objective that we seek in life.  And I think in the end is the objective of a truly brotherly society: the creation of the Beloved Community.”

You know, it's now been 55 years since King expressed these ideas. Fifty-five years! That's a long time! Right? And so the question I have for you 55 years later is: How do you think we're doing with this? How do you think we're doing right now [laughs] -- with all this going on in the world -- moving toward a community of brotherly love? Moving toward a community of sisterly love? Moving toward a community where all God's children have equal access of the good and the opportunities that are in front of us?

Because right now, it looks like we're taking a step backwards. Like, we are actually more divisive than we were, maybe, 50-60 years ago. Even though those were some troubling times! The trouble that we're dealing with now...

And what I want you to see is that, if we get lost in the trouble of our day, it's because we don't have a vision that is moving us forward. That we are not here just to stay in life the way it is; we are here to be called by a vision to a higher level. And those people that have a vision -- so that every day, when they wake up, they have a vision of where they're going: what they want for their family, for themselves, for their community, for their world... Those people that are living by a vision actually do the greatest amount of good. They move the planet forward in the greatest possible way.

See, King was a transformative -- he was a visionary leader. You know, highly transformational people tend to be visionary leaders. They have a dream -- they have a vision -- for where we're going. They believe that a vision is possible.

And so, today, what I want us to really see is: I don't want us to get stuck in "what is." I don't want us to get stuck in the conflict of this moment. I really want us to have a vision for our life and our world that's greater than this moment. That calls us into action. Because the only way that we're going to get stuck in this time is if we believe that this is the best that we can do.

You know, one of the beliefs that really is transformative -- transformational -- is when we realize that we have the power to create the world that we live in. Like, nobody gets to decide that for us! We're the ones that get to decide the world that we live in! And if we don't have a vision that is greater, then we continue to create the same things over and over and over again.

So what's your vision for your life? For your family? For your work? For your community? For your world? What's the vision that's inspiring you to move forward in your life? What is the vision that could be?

See, there's three elements for a visionary leader. There's three aspects of what a visionary leader does over and over again to move people forward.

The first one is that a visionary leader helps people see "what is." And you think that would be easy! Right? Helping people see "what is." But what we know is that, right now, people have very different perceptions on what's going on in our world today. People are seeing different things and believing different things. And it's not until we can all kind of get into agreement about what's really going on... That we can't heal a situation if we can't see it. And what a visionary leader does is: they point out the reality, even when people don't want to see it.

Now, why would you not want to see it? Well, I'm sure there's been a time in your life where you created a mess in your life that you just didn't want to see. Right? Either it was too painful or it was too overwhelming. Or it just made you too sad. And sometimes we create situations in our life and our world that we clearly just want to go unconscious to. That we don't want to see. That we just want to pretend that it's not there. We just want to whitewash it. We just want to remove it.

And some things that are going on in this world are so painful that we literally do not want to see them. And what a visionary leader is able to do is help us have the courage and the faith to see "what is." Because it's not until we can see "what is" that we can actually transform it into something greater.

Like, there's an opportunity right now for us to see the world as it is. Not to overwhelm us. Not to make us feel guilty or shameful or embarrassed. Not to make us feel to give up hope. But clearly to see it. Because you can't transform what you can't -- or are not willing to -- see. That we have to see where we are! If you want to move from where you are, you have to start with where you are! If you want to pretend you're somewhere else, there's no hope for transformation. Because you're not dealing from reality!

There's some hard things that we need to look at in our world today. There's some real amazingly powerful things, but there's also some really dark, ugly things. And we have to be willing to see those things so that we can move beyond them, or we stay stuck just trying to avoid it and not see it.

So the first thing a visionary leader does -- the first thing someone who's committed to transformation in their life and in their world -- is they're willing to see what is so, knowing that they're not going to stay there. But that's where we start. We start with "what is."

Two: a visionary leader invites us into a possibility that is greater than what we've known in the past. A visionary leader gives us an inspired vision of what "could be." And it's really kind of an amazing thing! Because a visionary leader invites us to look at a world that is -- with all of its problems, with all of its foils and with all of its "stuff" and all of its warts and all -- but then gives us a vision of where we could be. And it seems almost like a conflict! How could they really present the world in the way it is now, but then have this elevated vision of where we could be? Because that's where our power is! Our power is not just believing in this, but not looking at where we are. Because we have to be able to build a bridge from where we are today to where we want to go. A visionary leader is willing to give people -- through words and images -- a vision of what could be.

When you look at your life, what's the vision that is driving your life? Do you have an inspired vision of where you want your life to go? Are you operating from that vision? Are you operating from that possibility?

You know, in the Old Testament, one of the things that is recorded there is: the Israelites move from the slavery of Egypt into the wilderness. And according to Scripture, they were in the wilderness for 40 years. Right? And when you look at a map of where the wilderness is on a Bible map of the time, what you see is that the wilderness was not a very big area. We're not talking about a huge geographic area. We're talking about a relatively small place.

And Scripture says that they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. So what would happen is... What happened is: is the people that left slavery, the step into the wilderness and being a wanderer was actually a step up. Right? They weren't in slavery any more! It was a step up! It was a better life experience! Even though they were wandering. You know, Scripture said that every day they got manna; it fell from heaven. Every day they had everything they needed. And yet, it wasn't the promise that God had made to them. The promise that God had made to them was the Promised Land: the land that God had offered to them from the beginning.

So what happened is: they left the slavery. They left the problems of the past, and they moved into the wilderness, and they wandered for 40 years. They didn't really move all the way in to what could be. And the thing that's even more amazing is, after 40 years, most of the people that were slaves in Egypt had died. And now the second generation was actually raised in the wilderness. They didn't know slavery; they knew the wilderness. They knew this middle ground. They didn't know the Promised Land, but they didn't know the pain of slavery, either. And they got comfortable in the wilderness. They got comfortable wandering around this state of consciousness: this state of experience.

And then it took an inspired leader -- Moses and then Joshua after them -- to actually get them to the point where they were willing to give up the wandering in the wilderness for the power of the Promised Land.

I think, in many ways, that's where we are as a nation today. In many ways, we've given up the pain of yesterday, but we're wandering at a level of life that isn't the full promise that God has for us. It isn't the full promise that God has for each and every one of us.

So when you look in your life right now, where can you see that you're out of the pain of the past, but you're not fully living the promise that was made to us?

And the third aspect of a visionary leader is: the visionary leader is able to inspire people with faith to move beyond what they know. See, when we've been living in the wilderness for so long, you believe that the wilderness is all you're worthy of. It's all you deserve. It's all you know. It's all you believe in. And a visionary leader has to take people from where they are and actually inspire them to believe that the Promised Land is still possible. Even after 40 years, the promise that God had made to them was still 100% possible. But they had to have the courage to step out of the wilderness into the Promised Land.

And that's where we are as a world today! We actually have to have the faith to say that we can move beyond the wandering that we're doing all the way into the Promised Land! All the way into the vision that we hold for our life. That we actually have the faith. Because what can happen -- and this can actually be a dangerous time, right? Is if you inspire people to rekindle the vision of their soul -- to know the vision that God placed in their soul before they came to this world. You know, if you inspire them to remember their vision, but they don't have the faith to believe that it's possible, it actually creates more pain. It creates more disappointment. It can even create violence.

That today we not only have to have a vision, but we have to have the faith to make that vision a reality. That we are in a time in our world today where we need visionary leaders. Where we need people that are willing to transform the world from the way it is right now to the way it could be. And it all begins with you and your life! Where have you settled for the past experience that you've known? Where have you settled for a life where it feels like it's better than it could be -- or it's better than it has been -- but it's not as good as it could be. That your life today is an opportunity to transform the wilderness experience into the Promised Land.

I want to share Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Vision" speech. Because in this speech, he gives all three of those elements as a visionary leader. He clearly describes where people are now. He shares a vision of what's going on in the time -- in the 60s. He also gives them a vision of what could be. And he inspires them to have the faith to move through the reality that they know right now into the possibilities of where they are going.

Again, from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, from the “I Have a Dream” speech:

“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slave and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherly love. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream … I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor whose lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today … I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low.  The rough places will be made smooth, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning, ‘My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.’ And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountain side, let freedom ring!

And when we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, Free at last, Great God All-mighty, We are free at last!’”

God bless you, my friend.

Let’s close.

 

 

MEDITATION
Let's move now into our time of meditation.

Again, close your eyes. And I want you to take the message that we just shared together, and I want you to take it a little deeper. That you were called to be the visionary leader of your life. That God is going to guide you and direct you in ways that you can't even imagine now! That when we're willing to see our life exactly the way it is, and hold a vision of what could be, everything in our life begins to move in that higher direction.

Take another deep breath, and I want you to sense and feel doors of greater and greater good opening to you now. That the path that God has for you is now being revealed. That we are transforming our lives right before our eyes. That we are letting go of all that is old, all that is limited, all that is no longer needed, and we're opening the door to the fullness of God.

Take another deep breath, and feel that deeper transformation at work. Feel the power of God at work in your life. That wherever there is hatred -- wherever there is fear, wherever their is self doubt -- we are transforming that to peace and love and joy and abundance. That there is no limit to the amount of good that we can have in our life, because there is no limit to the amount of God.

Today we release the past. We release the old ideas and concepts, beliefs, and we step into the fullness of God. We connect the deepest place within our soul. The deepest spiritual truth. Thank you, God! Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God, for the good -- and only good -- that is filling my life. For the blessings too numerous to name. For the joy, the peace, the love that is coming to me now. I am open and receptive to all the good that God is. Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God! And so it is. Amen.

 

COLLECTION
Alright, this is the time of giving of our offering. So I invite you to hold it in your hand as we bless it together. And our love offering blessing is: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” Together: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” And so it is. Amen.

So we give thanks for the abundance of God that fills our lives. And we know that, as we give, it comes back to us 10-, 100-, 1,000-fold in return. For as we give, so shall we receive. And so it is. Amen.

 

CLOSING

Alright; God bless you, friend! Let’s affirm together our Prayer for Protection:

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects us;
And the presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is. And all is well!

 

God bless you! We’re going to have our choir sing us out with our Peace Song. Have a great week!

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth;
the peace that was meant to be.

With God as Creator,
family all are we.
Let us walk with each other
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me;
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my joyous vow:

To take each moment
and live each moment
in peace eternally!

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me!

Copyright 2021 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

 

 

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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