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The Upside and the Downside
Dec 23rd, 2010
Hello there,

Merry Christmas to all! Sorry I haven't written in a while, but these holidays are tough for me since my mother died last year.  But I'm getting through it.  Thank God!

I wanted to write today to ask you a question:  If someone said to you, “Go and get anything that you want free of charge!", what would it be?

Well, listen to this:  Every year I do a lot of Christmas giving to battered women shelters, feed the hungry organizations, homeless shelters and so on. Well, this year, Cassi Davis, who runs my foundation, found an orphanage.  I didn't even know they had orphanages in the US.  Anyway, this place is amazing and these kids' stories really show you how strong the human spirit is.  They are from the ages of 14 to 18.  It is unfortunate, but as kids get between these ages the probability of them being adopted is highly unlikely. Hence this great orphanage that houses them until they're adults.  This place has so much history it should be a movie.

Anyway, I took all of these children to a Target.  I gave each one a shopping cart and told them to go and fill it with whatever they “WANTED”.  Now I thought this would be easy.  I had no idea that these kids had a different idea of wants and needs than most kids in this country.  I'm thinking they are going to go for the video games, toys, make-up and things that teenagers are into.  Well, they didn't!!

I was shocked because most of them went for cases of water and juice. I thought, "Water and juice?"  Then they went on to undershirts, underwear, deodorant, soap, etc. You get my point.  All the things we take for granted were huge for them. HUGE!

As they shopped, my staff from the studio escorted them through the store.  A lot of us were tearful watching these kids.  They were happy, but so confused. They couldn't wrap their brains around being able to have anything they wanted.  How sad is that?  They didn't know that they could have it all.  One child sat in front of two shirts for a long time. One was 10 dollars the other was 30.  He was wondering which one to get. It took one of my folks a long time to explain to him that he can have them both.  After a lot of cajoling and pushing, he finally got it and so did the other 23 kids.  To see their little minds start to believe was a powerful thing. To go from one level of belief to believing you can have it all in moments was something to see.

They came to the checkout with their red Target baskets looking like overloaded Santa sleighs. Boy that did my heart good! I could see my mother smiling in my mind about this.  They were so happy.  I wish you could have seen the joy on these kids faces.  It was contagious. I caught it, and it helped brighten up these rough days for me.  It was just wonderful.  I left them on a high BIG TIME! It made me remember to be thankful for the little things. I hope it does the same for you...

You, too can have it all...


When I built my house three years ago, I remember having an argument with my security team because I thought what they were doing was overkill.  After listening to their side, I gave in and let them do what they wanted.  So, on my property there are cameras everywhere, night vision cameras, sensor lighting, laser sensors, underground laser sensors, a guard dog, 24-hour armed bodyguards and a few other things that I can't mention.  When it was done, I was thinking, "This is ridiculous, I don't need all of this crap!"  That was until tonight.  Last night I was home in bed on a high from these kids.  At about 3am my phone rings.  This special line never rings in my house, so I knew something was wrong. I answered and I hear this voice say, "Sir, I need you to be alert.  There are three intruders on the property." It was my security. I sat straight up thinking, "You have got to be kidding me!"

The phone rings again a short time later and it was my security team saying that they had apprehended the intruder and the police were talking to the person now. When the police asked the person what they were doing, the answer was they were looking for money. He also recognized this person from another attempted home invasion down the street from me.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? I was so mad! I have worked my entire life being homeless, broke, struggling and hungry, but I would never rob anybody.   What happened to making your own way? What happened to honesty and integrity?  What happened to doing the right thing so that God can bless you?  Man oh man, this made me upset!

I will be on the phone with the D.A.'s office and the Chief of Police in a little bit to make sure that these other people are caught and that all of them are prosecuted to the fullest.  I will give 'till I can't give anymore.  That's my heart, but to try and rob, or steal from me!  If all three of them were looking for trouble they found it!

To anyone who may be thinking about doing the wrong thing.  To anyone who may have been in crime, but is trying to go straight--doing the wrong thing is easy and for cowards! To walk upright when everything is going wrong is the only true way to success.  That takes a real man or woman.  There were many times I could have done the wrong thing--gotten easy money.  But because I chose to do the right thing, God honored that and blessed me.  Choose the blessing and not the curse. It's for your own good.

Merry Christmas,




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