Category Archives: Illustrations for Teachers/Preachers
“The Best News”
There are many different attitudes. Roberto De Vincenzo, a golfer from Argentina, beautifully displayed one of the best ones many years ago when he won the Masters golf tournament but was denied the coveted green jacket.
I say he won it because he had the lowest score at the end of four days. But his playing partner who kept the score had inadvertently written that he had made a five in on one of the holes when in reality he had made a four.
De Vincenzo signed the card, and when an incorrect card is signed, the player is disqualified. He had not cheated, but the rules stood. What was his reaction when he learned he was disqualified? Did he blame his playing partner? No, he said he made a stupid mistake. He accepted full responsibility himself. Now what kind of man is he?
Some time later he won another tournament. After they gave him the check, he spent a great deal of time in the dressing room. He was in no particular hurry. When he got out to the parking lot, it was empty except for a young woman. She approached him saying she didn’t have a job, her sick baby was at the point of death, and she didn’t have the money to pay the hospital or the doctors. De Vincenzo signed his tournament winnings over to the young woman and went on his way.
The next week he was in a country club. One of the PGA officials told him he had been a victim of fraud—that the woman didn’t have a baby and was not even married. De Vincenzo said, “You mean there is not a sick baby at all?” The official said, “That’s right.” De Vincenzo said, “You have just given me the best news I’ve heard all year.”
Where’s your heart? What’s your attitude? How would you have felt under those circumstances? Who had the greater problem—the golfer or the young woman? I think it is obvious isn’t it? How many of you think De Vincenzo really brooded the rest of his life over that woman who had beaten him out of that check? I don’t think he gave it another thought. He was truly glad that there had not been an ill child. Now that takes compassion, it takes heart, but it also takes wisdom.
When is maturity in attitude reached? Is attitude a head thing, a heart thing, or both? Maturity in attitude is reached when you fully understand what you can change and what you can’t change, and you respond accordingly. De Vincenzo couldn’t change the figures on his score card retrieve the money he had signed over to the lying woman. Fussing and fuming would not change the reality of either mistake. He chose to accept what had happened and move forward. By doing so he saved his partner any further embarrassment and grief over the mistake. He showed everyone who witnessed the other incident his true character and was not made to look like a naïve fool by an official who was all too proud to have the scoop.
People with a good heart are exposed most readily in times of stress and ill fortune. De Vincenzo was more interested in the needs of his golfing partner and the wlfare of a baby than he was in claiming to have been wronged. A heart like his, one that is honest, expects the best and holds no malice. It is developed over a lifetime.
Roberto De Vincenzo at some point decided he was responsible for his circumstances in life, that he had control over how he responded to disappointment, and that a good attitude and a trusting heart offered many more rewards than their counterparts. Make the same decisions for yourself and relax into a more fulfilling life.
It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you handle it that will determine whether you are happy or miserable.
About Zig Ziglar:
Zig Ziglar was born in Coffee County, Alabama on November 26, 1926 and was the tenth of 12 children. In 1931, when Ziglar was five years old, his father took a management position at a Mississippi farm, and family moved to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where he spent his early childhood. In 1932, his father died of a stroke, and his younger sister died two days later.
Zigler served in the Navy during World War II (circa 1943-1945). He was in the Navy V-12 College Training Program, attending the University of South Carolina. In 1944 he met his wife Jean, in Jackson, Mississippi; he was 17 and she was 16. They married in late 1946.
Ziglar later worked as a salesman in a succession of companies. In 1968 he became the vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company, moving to Dallas, Texas.
In 1970, Ziglar went into the business of motivational speaking full-time, with an emphasis on Christian values. Until then, he called himself by his given name, Hilary, but now satarted using his nickname, Zig, instead.
Until 2010 (aged 86) Ziglar traveled around the world taking part in motivational seminars, but has been somewhat limited recently due to a fall down a flight of stairs in 2007 that has impaired his short-term memory and physical abilities.
Through the ups and downs of life Ziglar has maintained his optimism and encouraged thousands of people to be their best in the particular endeavors to which God has called them. Zig Ziglar is one of the most inspirational people on the planet today and is a terrific example of someone who has embraced the struggle of life giving God the glory each step of the way.
The article above was adapted from Chapter 5 in the very encouraging book by Zig Ziglar entitled Zig Ziglar’s Life Lifters: Moments of Inspiration for Living Life Better. Nashville, TN.: B&H, 2003.
Zig Ziglar’s Books:
Ziglar, Zig; Ziglar, Tom. Born to Win: Find Your Success Code. Dallas: SUCCESS Media (2012).
Something Else To Smile About: More Encouragement and Inspiration for Life’s Ups and Downs. Nashville: Thomas Nelson (2010).
Ziglar, Zig; Norman, Julie Ziglar. Embrace the Struggle: Living Life on Life’s Terms. New York: Howard Books (2009).
The One-Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar. Tyndale House Publishers (2009)
Inspiration 365 Days a Year with Zig Ziglar. SIM (2008)
God’s Way is Still the Best Way. Nashville: Thomas Nelson (2007).
Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers (2006).
Conversations with My Dog. B&H Books (2005).
The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar. New York: Random House (2004).
Confessions of a Grieving Christian. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group 2004).
Courtship After Marriage: Romance Can Last a Lifetime. Nashville: Thomas Nelson (2004).
Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World. Nashville: Thomas Nelson (2004).
Zig Ziglar’s Life Lifters: Moments of Inspiration for Living Life Better. B&H (2003).
Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers (2003).
Ziglar, Zig and Hayes, John P. Network Marketing For Dummies. Foster City, Calif: IDG Books (2001).
Success for Dummies. Foster City, Calif: IDG Books (1998).
Something to Smile About: Encouragement and Inspiration for Life’s UPS and DOWNS. Nashville: Thomas Nelson (1997).
Great Quotes from Zig Ziglar. Career Press (1997)
Over the Top. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers (1994).
Five Steps to Successful Selling. Nigtingale-Conant Corp. (1987).
Top Performance: How to Develop Excellence in Yourself and Others. New York: Berkley Books (1986).
Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World. Nashville: Oliver Nelson (1985).
Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale. New York: Berkley Books (1982).
See You at the Top. Gretna: Pelican (1975).
About Golfer Roberto De Vincenzo
The world will always remember Roberto De Vicenzo for what he lost, not for what he won-for that careless mistake he made at the 1968 Masters, signing an incorrect scorecard that had him making a par and not a birdie on the 17th hole that Sunday afternoon-and, thus, his uttering of the immortal golf quote, “What a stupid I am.” Yet there is so much more to De Vicenzo’s career and the contributions he made to golf around the world than what occurred in the scorer’s tent at Augusta National that should not overshadow the man’s legacy. Roberto De Vicenzo won more than 230 golf tournaments, including the 1967 Open Championship at Hoylake, where he held off the Sunday charges of Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to become, at 44, the oldest winner of the world’s oldest golf championship.
Facing success and catastrophe and treating those twin imposters the same inspired British golf writer Peter Dobereiner to use the Rudyard Kipling quote when giving De Vicenzo his due. In Dobereiner’s words, “By that standard, De Vicenzo is a giant of a man because he faced the greatest triumph and the most devastating disaster which the game of golf can provide.” The United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America agreed, presenting De Vicenzo with the Bob Jones and William Richardson Awards, respectively, in 1970.
All the trophies he captured didn’t mean as much to De Vicenzo as the friends he made traveling the globe. He won national opens in Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Holland, France, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela and Argentina, a country he represented 17 times in the World Cup. Essayist Jack Whitaker once said that if golf were war, Roberto would have conquered more countries than Alexander the Great. But golf was not war to De Vicenzo. And that is what made him so loved.
Born in Buenos Aires April 14, 1923, De Vicenzo learned the game as a caddy’s assistant. He turned professional at age 15 and won his first of nine Argentine Open titles six years later. Three-time Open Championship winner Henry Cotton once said there were very few professionals in the business who would not take the play through the green of Argentine golfing master Roberto De Vicenzo, and his game never left him. At 51 he won the PGA Seniors’ Championship and in 1980, at age 57, the inaugural U.S. Senior Open.
He believed in hard practice, routinely hitting 400 balls a day and maintaining a slow pace. “If you hurry,” he would say, “then nothing seems to go right.” He’d visualize a shot, pick a club and hit. His method was simple to watch, and it held up under pressure.
It did that final round at the Masters in 1968. What’s lost behind that staggering mistake made by fellow competitor Tommy Aaron and signed for by De Vicenzo is that Roberto shot what has been called one of the greatest rounds in major championship history. He took only 65 strokes around Augusta National that day, including a bogey at the 18th, on his 45th birthday. His 31 on the front side started with an eagle 2 at the first and tied the course record. It should have been good enough to tie Bob Goalby and set up a playoff which, had he won, would have given Roberto De Vicenzo both the Open Championship and Masters titles at the same time.
SERIES: FRIDAY HUMOR #34
Sometimes we wish we could change God. We are like the man who was climbing up a steep mountain on his way to the summit when he began to slip. Unable to stop himself, he slid back down the treacherous incline toward a cliff that plunged a thousand feet to the canyon floor. He was sure he would be killed. But just as he was about to go over the edge he threw his hands out and managed to catch a small branch. There he hung. He had saved himself. But he could not get back onto the incline, and he knew it was just a matter of time until his grip loosened and he fell. He was not a very religious man. But this was obviously the time to become one, if ever. So he looked up to heaven and called out, “Is there anyone up there who can help me?”
He did not expect an answer. So he was greatly surprised when a deep voice came back, saying, “Yes, I am here, and I can help you. But first you are going to have to let go of that branch.”
A long pause! Then the man looked up and called out again, “Is there anybody else up there who can help me?”
*SOURCE: James Montgomery Boice. Expositions in Genesis. Baker: Grand Rapids, 2005. Volume 1. Chapter 3.
Series: Friday Humor #30
Maxie Dunham tells the story of an elderly man who began spending a significant amount of time with an elderly woman. Neither had ever been married and each had lived alone for many years. Gradually the old gentleman recognized a real attachment to her but was shy and afraid to reveal his feelings to her. After many days of anxiety and fear, he finally mustered up the courage to declare his intentions. He went over to her home and in a nervous frenzy blurted out, “Let’s get married!!!”
Surprised, she threw up her hands and shouted, “It’s a wonderful idea, but who in this world would have us?”
*SOURCE: 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking. Compiled by Michael Hodgin. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
A PARABLE OF SAVING LIVES
By Charles R. Swindoll
On a dangerous seacoast notorious for shipwrecks, there was a crude little lifesaving station. Actually, the station was merely a hut with only one boat…but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the turbulent sea. With little thought for themselves, they would go out day and night tirelessly searching for those in danger as well as the lost. Many, many lives were saved by this brave band of men who faithfully worked as a team in and out of the lifesaving station. By and by, it became a famous place.
Some of those who had been saved as well as others along the seacoast wanted to become associated with this little station. They were willing to give their time and energy and money in support of its objectives. New boats were purchased. New crews were trained. The station that was once obscure and crude and virtually insignificant began to grow. Some of its members were unhappy that the hut was so unattractive and poorly equipped. They felt a more comfortable place should be provided. Emergency cots were replaced with lovely funrniture. Rough, hand-made equipment was discarded and sophisticated, classy systems, and appointments. By its completion, the life-saving station had become a popular gathering place, and its objectives had begun to shift. It was now used as sort of a clubhouse, an attractive gathering place for public gatherings. Saving lives, feeding the hungry, strengthening the fearful, and calming the disturbed rarely occurred by now.
Fewer members were now interested in braving the sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired professional lifeboat crews to do this work. The original goal of the station wasn’t altogether forgotten, however. The lifesaving motifs still prevailed in the club’s decorations. In fact, there was a liturgical lifeboat preserved in the Room of Sweet Memories with soft, indirect lighting, which helped hide the layer of dust upon the once-used vessel.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the boat crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half-drowned people. They were dirty, some terribly sick and lonely. Others were black and “different” from the majority of the club members. The beautiful new club suddenly became messy and cluttered. A special committee saw to it that a shower house was immediately built outside and away from the club so victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting there were strong words and angry feelings, which resulted in a division among the members. Most of the people wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities and all involvements with shipwreck victims…(it’s too unpleasant, it’s a hindrance to our social life, it’s opening the door to folks who are not our kind“). As you’d expect, some still insisted on saving lives, that this was their primary objective–that their only reason for existence was ministering to anyone needing help regardless of their club’s beauty or size or decorations. They were voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast! They did.
As years passed, the new station experienced the same old changes. It evolved into another club…and yet another lifesaving station was begun. History continued to repeat itself…and if you visit that coast today you’ll find a large number of exclusive, impressive clubs along the shoreline owned and operated by slick professionals who have lost all involvement with the saving or lives. Shipwrecks still occur in those waters, but now,most of the victims are not saved. Every day they drown at sea, and so few seem to care…so very few.
Deepening Your Roots
Read: Colossians 4:2-6; Matthew 5:13-16; and Ephesians Chapter 5
(1) Take time today to pray for someone you know is shipwrecked.
(2) Look for someone in need this week and be his “salvation” by meeting his need.
(3) Keep your porch light on all week (day and night) to remind yourself that you and your home are to be a lighthouse for the world.
*Article adapted from Chuck Swindoll. Growing Strong In The Seasons of LIfe. Portland, OR.: Multnomah Press, 1983, pp. 98-99.
Neal Jeffrey: A Case Study
One of my favorite people, and certainly one of America’s One finest communicators, is Neal Jeffrey. Neal, as quarterback, led the Baylor Bears football team to the Southwest Conference championship in 1974. Today, he addresses many youth groups as well as adult businesspeople. He is truly one of the most humorous, sincere, and capable speakers I’ve ever heard. The interesting thing is that Neal is a stutterer. However, he has chosen to make stuttering an asset, not a problem. Now think about what you just read. A very successful quarterback and public speaker who stutters doesn’t compute in the minds of most people. Neal Jeffrey has taken a negative and turned it into a positive. After speaking a few minutes, he tells audiences that in case they hadn’t noticed, he stutters. Then with a big smile, he says, “Sometimes I do get hung up a little bit. But don’t worry. I guarantee you something’s coming!” The audience invariably responds enthusiastically Neal is the classic example of an outstanding individual who chose to make an obstacle an asset. The obstacle has forced Neal to be more creative and to do more reading, research, and studying so he can most effectively turn that liability into an asset. Result: He got better, not bitter. He is better not in spite of his stutter, but because of his stutter. Neal has reached and is reaching goal after goal in all areas of his life. I believe that you can do the same thing. When (not if) troubles and problems come your way, remember that the only way to the mountaintop is through the valley. All of us have liabilities that can hold us back or propel us forward. In most cases, the choice is ours. So, take your obstacles or liabilities, recognize and evaluate them, and then find a way to turn them into assets.
- Zig Ziglar. Something to Smile About: Encouragement and Inspiration for Life’s Ups and Downs (Kindle Locations 1215-1226). Kindle Edition.