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From Small Beginnings

 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”—Zechariah 4:10

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,” He said, “which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32).

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” Steve Jobs


The expectation of a savior, the messiah, a great and mighty warrior sent from God to slay the oppressor dragons, the Roman Empire. Instead, a humble virgin birth, a child in a barn sent to take away all sin through suffering, and be handed over by religious leaders to die a criminal’s death on a Roman cross. God is all about small beginnings growing into greatness. God is for the underdogs and hopeless.

Jesus is the mustard seed of God planted to grow hope for all humankind. Scripture is ripe with first steps, and God rejoices when He sees the work begun. God always selects the runts and disenfranchised people to carry His message of hope. I know because I am the incapable runt. I try to witness the good news of God’s Love and the Saving Grace of Jesus using photography and writing. Lately, I have a
restlessness to witness in the open, not hiding behind a camera or keyboard. I have struggled with how best to be God’s witness; my struggle led to a frightful place, a storyteller using YouTube. Showing my face makes speaking words authentic and exposes me to critics and naysayers.

I am blessed with a passion for telling stories; I have told stories my entire life; it was a training ground for something bigger. Telling good news stories and witness to the world. I will never die a Billy Graham or a D.L. Moody, but my videos have a few views in 30 countries. I have even had an encouraging comment from a man in Pakistan. I am a storyteller, stories of truth, encouragement, and hope. Jesus is a storyteller using allegory to carry His message. Jesus used parables to make his message clear to everyone; why? Because the story is powerful as the seed planted in good soil.

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have, will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this, people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise, they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’ [a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no roots, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

I have grown to know always to start a new endeavor, no matter how small, with a prayer—”I submit to You, O Lord, my soul to be a storyteller to minister and witness to everyone possible using modern technologies to fight on the front line. I have few talents and tools, but I can do anything in You, O Lord. I must remain faithful and focus on You, Your Word, and Your guidance.

A ninety-year-old man plants an acorn; why, he will never see the towering oak. A man dreams of building a house, so he grabs a shovel and digs a foundation. The place he will make may take a lifetime, but it starts with the first shovel of dirt. A Man shares precious words of encouragement and hope with another, not knowing if it will help. Someone planted the towering oak outside my window. I enjoy its shade daily. Someone raised the chick that gave me the egg I ate for breakfast. Someone spoke encouragement to Billy Graham and D.L. Moody. Now those words affected millions. Great things happen from small beginnings. As Zachariah said, “The Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” The small things we do can become great. We only need to plant the seeds. We may never be credited or remembered because of our tiny efforts, yet God knows and rejoices in the first stone we lay and the seed we plant.

I face the Goliath YouTube and plant the seeds of God’s love and hope, not knowing who may hear or see. I make the videos and post them online, leaving the audience up to God. I have been blessed in my small beginnings: I built the dream house I dreamt of 40 years ago, Started several businesses, some failed, some had small success until the one was successful, planted over ten-thousand trees, now forests, started writing a journal five years ago, now a million words, walked and lost weight, then completed two marathons, I could never have achieved anything without God cheering and rejoicing. Every year we plant tiny seeds in our garden that feed us and others in the winter, and now I have started a ministry telling good news stories on YouTube; if it helps just one, it is worth the risk and effort.

What is it like to be a seventy-three-old man with little video talent starting a YouTube channel? Scary, feelings of incompetence, and entirely out of my comfort zone. But with that said, it feels like I am answering God’s call and laying a brick in a humble small beginning. If you are interested in this small beginning, you can see the Abundant Living channel at: