Success: Notes, Quotes, & Folks

For some now, God has laid it on my heart to do a series on success principles … not what you’re thinking … To look at great men and women, especially of the Bible, and in particular, the Old Testament … What principles, characteristics, did they share? What can we learn, and apply, from what they learned, and applied?

There’s an old saying that, to be successful, you look at what successful people are doing, or have done, and you do the same thing. “Copy them” would be another term that comes to mind. I have learned that if something is “an old saying,” there’s a reason it’s still around. Aren’t we supposed to “be like Christ?” Our goal should be to know Him first, and then make Him known to others. I’ve also learned that every “success principle” has its roots in Scripture. Man has taken it, changed it, used it, but these principles haven’t changed.

In no certain order, I’ll just list some of the first characteristics that come to mind, and I can see almost all of, if not all these, in every Biblical hero I can think of:
Faith, humility, courage, obedience, perseverance, patience, they listened, and they spoke boldly.

These were real people, who had real lives. They had emotions, thoughts, and feelings. They faced great challenges-and disappointments. They experienced great victory, and great loss.
They had family, friends, and enemies. They were surrounded by sinful people, and so often, a sinful nation. They were persecuted for their faith. They were mocked, made fun of-all the way up to imprisonment and death. They faced the loss of their family, their property, their status (Oh No! Not That!), even their lives.

The more I write, the more I realize that they were just like us.
But, what did they do, to overcome “all of the above?”

That’s quite a list. Yes, I want to be like Jesus, but He has given us others to learn from. I will always urge you to read your Bible: To pray more, read more, be more. I’ll never forget when, years ago, Carol was reading the Old Testament, when she was approached by someone who asked her, “What are you reading that for?” This was meant in reference to reading the Old Testament, in favor of the New. I have just finished a series of character studies on those great Old Testament saints. I am so glad we have them, and their stories, for our examples. After all, that’s exactly why they were written.

Just today, Carol was saying how awesome the first 6 chapters of Daniel were. I agree. How sad the day was, when I was first involved in teaching youth class. There were kids-teenagers-who were “raised in church” who did not know who Noah was. Who Moses was. Who Joseph was. Etc. How sad that was. I said then, and it’s funny, I have said this often over the past years: “When was the last time you heard a sermon on Moses? On Noah? On Joseph? On Daniel? On Joshua? The three Hebrew boys thrown in the fiery furnace?”

I’ll never forget, one day, I was reading to a boy, probably 8-10 years old, who I can honestly say had never been to church once in his whole life. I just happened to have a “Children’s Bible Story” book on the bookshelf, and I read him the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, and then story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. His eyes were as big as saucers; he was speechless, as he hung on every word, on the edge of his seat. Did I mention he had never been to church before? His reaction to the stories were the same as mine, when I read them again, only recently, and Carol’s reaction today.

What set them apart?
Because they were “Set Apart.”
Often, they set themselves apart, and often, God “put them apart.”
They were “set apart” to “play a part” in God’s plan.
I’m so glad they were, and that we have God’s Word to learn about them, and from them.




Recently, we featured a guest post about John Harper, who spent his last moments on earth, onboard the sinking Titanic, leading fellow passengers to salvation …
We came across this post, and felt, as a follow-up, we had to share it:
It speaks of Jesus, and what He came to do, and wants to do now … and, He is the only way:

He came to drag us away from certain destruction.  He came to save us because there is no other way.
There is salvation in no one else.  Jesus is our life-ring.  Grab Him with all of your mind, heart, and soul.  Cling to Him because your eternal life does depend upon it.  Let’s shout at the top of our lungs to our fellow ship mates and direct them to the only thing that will save them as we are being pulled to our salvation.”

Please enjoy this post from “A Devoted Life” Blog.




We want to share with you “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies),” A New Anthem For America, which was written as a Memorial after the events of September 11, 2001.
Now, even though it is years later, recent events remind us of how precious our liberty and freedom are, and how much what really makes America … hasn’t changed.
I agree with a statement the President made during a memorial service, at a church in Boston, last week. He talked about how there is a little bit of Boston in all of us. We love Boston, too, and I don’t know anyone who has visited the city, ever, who doesn’t love “the city.”
The cradle of liberty will continue to “Rock ‘on.”
And … The Eagle Still Flies …

We’ll give you a reprinted story about the poem/anthem, and then encourage you to enjoy, and feel, “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies)-A New Anthem For America:

Note: The following is reprinted with permission:

To explain why he wrote “The Eagle Still Flies (Under Star Spangled Skies),” and the real purpose behind the poem, here are the words of Richard.Vincent.Rose.:

“All Americans were deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001. We celebrate the efforts of a nation that is not joined because of the event, but a nation that was joined before the event. We commemorate, remind, honor, and celebrate all that this nation represents-before, during, and after the events of September 11. The true heroes and hope of America-who came to the forefront before that day, on that day, and on each day thereafter.

This poem is very personal, for I love New York, and I love America. I can’t envision one without the other. The city, like the country, is not comprised of boroughs, but brothers. We wish to pay special honor to the men and women who are proudly serving America in the Armed Services, and offer this poem to bring hope, comfort, and pride to all Americans. Everywhere.

Daniel Webster said that, ‘God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.’ And, before him, it was Thomas Paine who said, ‘The cause of America is, in a great measure, the cause of all mankind. Had it not been for America, there had been no such thing as freedom left in the whole universe.'”

In a statement made to The National September 11 Memorial & Museum At The World Trade Center, Richard.Vincent.Rose. wrote:
“I applaud the efforts to build the Memorial, and in joining all Americans together in the cause, knowing that it will take a national labor to give birth to such a noble child.”


The sun came up this morning
Over a land still brave and free
Its borders still strong and standing
Against all tyranny
It seems just yesterday-I remember so well
As the morning dew slept on the towers that fell
The skies were so clear, the sunlight so bright
But evil’s conscience couldn’t sleep
And was awake through the night

And everyone can recall when they first heard the news
And no one was sure how much more we would lose
Then, through the ashes, the smoke, and the flame
We realized this country would never be the same

The towers left standing
Are the towers within
The twin towers of liberty and freedom, my friend
Perched on top of these towers, the eagle will rise
To bring peace and justice to the world’s crying eyes

And the eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And we still trust in God
But we won’t spare the rod
And we still say the pledge
Faith and courage
Give us the edge
And the eagle will soar
‘Cause we’re free evermore
From the hills to the shore
Yes! We’re free evermore

The eagle still flies under star spangled skies
And our hope never dies
‘Cause the eagle still flies

Nations will rise
Buildings will fall
But there’s still one nation standing
That will answer the call
And we won’t run and hide
In our flag we still take pride
‘Cause freedom will win
Liberty we’ll defend
Through the smoke, through the fire
The wings of justice fly higher
Over canyon and tundra and treetops and sand
The fires of freedom’s victory have been fanned

From the streets on our soil
To lands across the sea
On freedom’s wings we will ride
For the whole world to see
The strength, the power, of liberty

And the eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And we still trust in God
But we won’t spare the rod
And we still say the pledge
Faith and courage give us the edge
And the eagle will soar
‘Cause we’re free evermore
From the hills to the shore
Yes! We’re free evermore

The eagle still flies
Under star spangled skies
And our hope never dies
‘Cause the eagle still flies



Guest Post: Heroes of the Faith: While Titanic Sank, John Harper Preached

Here is a story which I had not heard before, which I hope blesses and encourages you. When I think of the opportunities to witness which I haven’t taken advantage of …

We share this story from

While Titanic Sank, John Harper Preached – 1901-2000 Church History Timeline.



Special Prayer Meeting Invitation: Heart of God/Heart of Boston: Prayer, Pulpits, Politics, and Petition

A friend of ours sent us an email invitation to a special prayer meeting being held Wednesday night, April 17, at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, located in downtown Boston. I just got this, so by the time I post, it’ll be “tonight.” The email was originally sent from the Pastor of Tremont Temple, Denton Lotz, and then forwarded to us.

We wanted to share this because of what the invitation says … what it really says … about our hope, faith, and courage … in spite of circumstances which may surround us.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Members of Tremont Temple Baptist Church!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of he Almighty
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day …” (Psalm 91:1)
    A great tragedy has come to Boston. The terror of bombs going off at the Boston Marathon, the tragic loss of lives, the destruction, the terror that struck the heart of the people of Boston reminds us again of a world without God and without hope.       
    Yet, as Christians we are a people of hope. We believe that Jesus Christ has overcome all the powers of evil and darkness. We believe that in Christ the power of God is present and gives us power to overcome. We will not be defeated or terrorized by a few evil people. We will put our hope and faith in the God who is victorious on a cross!
   Therefore, tomorrow, Wednesday evening, we will continue to have our regular prayer meeting at 6:30. It will be a Special Prayer Meeting to pray for the families who are mourning the death of their loved ones. We will pray for the recovery of the wounded. We will pray for the solace of those in fear and still suffering. We will pray for Boston and that peace and order will return.
   You are invited to bring friends to this Special Service of Prayer to be held at 6:30 in Currie Chapel!
May the Peace of Christ be with you!
Denton Lotz, Pastor”

After I read the invitation, I found the Church’s website, to gain information about the church. Loved the website, the videos of the choir, their mission and ministry outreaches … and then, I read the history of the church. And, boy did I get a history lesson!

I began to think, to realize again, what a large part of our nation’s history churches have been. I know, we are the “church,” the body of Christ. Yet, I began to think about how large a role the actual church buildings have played in our history. Think about it … before there were city buildings, often, the only place large enough to hold a public meeting was the church, so often located at the very center of town. Yes, the symbolism rings … at one time, the church was at the very center of our lives, just like our town squares. How many of you can remember when the church was called “the meeting place,” or, a more modern slang (in my time), when you were going to church, you were “going to meeting.”

In many towns and cities, like Boston and Hartford, the seeds of so many “movements” were either planted or cultivated in the church building, during these public meetings. I remember walking the “History Trail” through Boston, and being aware of how many churches were included in the walk. And, of standing inside the Old North Church … looking up at the church tower, thinking of lanterns, and how these churches are still sounding “warnings” today …

A few notes from the “Our Story” page at Tremont Temple:

“Tremont Temple Baptist Church has a rich history that has made it a leader in the Boston area for social justice, evangelism, and human rights. In the 1830s the struggle for social justice was seen in the fight for the abolition of slavery. In 1838 a group of men led by Timothy Gilbert started the Baptist Free Church. It was “free” in that there was no rent charged for pews, but more than that it was for the freedom of all people, being the first integrated church in America.
A group of 82 charter members organized the church in 1839.

Throughout its history many famous individuals spoke or performed here, including the singer Jenny Lind. Abraham Lincoln spoke here. The first reading in Boston of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 took place here. Charles Dickens read for the first time in Boston his famous Christmas Carol here. Dwight L. Moody called the church “America’s pulpit.”

Tremont Temple is now in a period of renewal. We are united in our efforts to become a church that holds together the Biblical concerns of mission and evangelism. At the same time we are concerned about mirroring the Kingdom of God and thus our concern for social justice issues.

God has blessed Tremont Temple throughout our long history. We are aware, however, that history will not save us. Rather, it is our commitment to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes our church relevant to the city of Boston. We exist for the sole purpose of glorifying God and making Christ known to the people of Boston and the surrounding area. We have always been a church that welcomes all people. We are pleased that God has places in our midst an international community. What a joy to worship with the people of God from every continent and many nations. We invite you to join us for worship and experience the warm international fellowship that we have become!”

Here is a direct link to their website:

P.S. Hey, I just thought of something, in regard to church being so important in our daily lives “so long ago” … Growing up, I went to school, home, church, school, home, church … every now and then, get to go to the store or shopping (not often) … then, school, home, church, school, home, church …
Today … Guess what? school, home, church, school, home, church,every now and then go to store (mostly gas station) or shopping … then school, home, church … I know I am grateful for the first … maybe I become more grateful for the second …



From Richard.Vincent.Rose.: The Story Behind “Why, Pastor, Why”

“WHY, PASTOR, WHY™” is a poem specifically purposed to uplift and encourage Pastors.

While it is written to show love and appreciation, it also answers the basic question every Pastor must address- both in times of joy and in those moments of despair and discouragement: “Why has God chosen me for this office?”
Many times, I have heard the startling statistics of the number of Pastors who are leaving the ministry. We as Christians can forget how we were before the Lord “called us out,” how much He has done for us, and how many lives we have affected through our faith. How much greater the burden must be for these men and women who devote their lives to the Gospel. They must “keep on keeping on!” Not just for themselves, but for the lives they touch. The call is not just for them, but for their flock.
I firmly believe that God wishes to give this message of encouragement to all pastors, and their congregations, world-wide.

It was a Sunday night in April, 1997, during the Sunday night service. From my perch inside the sound booth, I listened intently to yet another spirit-filled, power-filled message from my pastor, “Pastor Dan.”
As Pastor Dan delivered these sermons, entire congregations were constantly held in awe as the words seemed to flow from the very heart of God. Gazing down from the sound board, I heard Pastor Dan discuss the awesome grace, and mercy, of God, as the Pastor humbly shared how he did not know, nor could even understand, how God could reach down and save him from Hell, after all he had done in his life. Why, Pastor Dan confessed, he did not even deserve to carry water into the sanctuary, to even be a water boy for the church. No, Pastor Dan could not understand why God loved him so much, and then to allow him to serve as Pastor, was even further beyond his comprehension.

Later that night, after returning home, I pondered Pastor Dan’s questions about “Why?” Then, the Lord spoke to me, and told me “Why.” Jesus answered the Pastor’s questions, clearly writing them on my heart. The words came as fast as I could hastily scribble this direct revelation, on a yellow legal pad, as I sat at the dining room table.
It took me 10-15 minutes to write “Why, Pastor, Why,” as the words just flowed from my pen as fast as I could write.
I also realized, as I looked at the written words, that what God had revealed to me about my Pastor … the same statement should be made about every Pastor-yours and mine. He further revealed that His answer applied not only to Pastor Dan, but to all Pastors. Then, He directed me to reach all Pastors with this simple message.
If they truly are searching for the very heart of God, then they should also know, “Why, Pastor, Why.”

Allow me to close with this note: When I was given the poem, I didn’t even have a typewriter; I had to borrow one from a church family. I didn’t have a computer, so I had to make copies at the church.
When I wrote the poem, God made very specific promises to me about the poem. I mention this to make the point that God is faithful to His promises.
It is ok to remind God of His promises! It is not Him that will ever forget: You should remind God of His promises so that YOU won’t forget!
And, I can relate so much to Pastor Dan’s questions about “Why.” Here’s how:
How could God allow me … yes, me … to encourage and minister to Pastors?
God’s grace, and mercy, is limitless.

Blessings to you, your family, and your Pastor,

Now that you’ve read the story behind the poem, here’s another look at the art detail of “Why, Pastor, Why”

Why Pastor Why

WHY, PASTOR, WHY™  exclusively available from
Pastor Appreciation Gifts



It Begins: The Writings of Richard.Vincent.Rose.: “Why, Pastor, Why”

We are beginning what will become a regular feature of our Blog, featuring the writings of Richard.Vincent.Rose.
As time goes by, we’ll also reveal the stories of how each individual poem or story came into being, “the story behind the story.”

Of course, we must begin with “Why, Pastor, Why,” which was the foundation of our Pastor Appreciation Gifts online store, and, most certainly, this blog which followed.
The best way to describe “Why, Pastor, Why” may be to quote from the “Why, Pastor, Why” page on the website:

“We understand the deep love, admiration, respect, and appreciation you have for your Pastor.
How do you put into words, your appreciation for someone who has given, and sacrificed so much?
In a way which can’t be explained, only felt, the Pastor poem WHY, PASTOR, WHY™ reaches the depths of your emotion-and your Pastor’s-to put these very emotions into words. This is why we feel that this is the definitive Pastor appreciation poem. It speaks to why your Pastor was chosen, and why your Pastor means so much to you.
WHY, PASTOR, WHY™ matches our commitment to honor, uplift, edify, and encourage Pastors to continue their life’s work and calling.
One of our most touching moments came from a Pastor’s wife, after her husband had received one of our Pastor appreciation gifts which contained the words of WHY, PASTOR, WHY™. She made a special point to contact us to let us know how much the words of the poem meant to her. She told us, “If you ever doubt your call, take a look upon the wall.'”


As I see you standing there behind the pulpit
Reading from God’s Word
I think back to all those wonderful, blessed sermons
From you that I’ve heard
No-There’s no secret why God brought you out
Oh! The many times your joy has made me shout!!!
You see, Pastor, there was a reason that God saved your soul
Because He knew that serving Him with all your heart
Would be your life’s goal
You see, Pastor, there was a reason that it was you
That God chose
Not your good looks, perfect hair, and stylish clothes
No, Pastor-the reason that God reached down
His hand and saved you
Let there be no doubt!
The reason God chose you
Is because He knew
How you would turn out!
The reason, Pastor, that you mean so much to me
Is that when I look at you
It’s Jesus that I see
For in your footsteps I so gratefully trod
Because I know that in following you
I am following God

Here’s an advance look at the poem with
our original “Art Print” design:

Why, Pastor, Why Art Print Design

WHY, PASTOR, WHY™  exclusively available from
Pastor Appreciation Gifts



He’s Still Alive, Forgiving, Healing, and Saving

I wanted to share this video of Don Francisco singing his great song “He’s Alive.” As a bonus, the beginning of the video has a short interview with Don and Wendy Francisco, with Don explaining the story behind the song. I didn’t realize that the original “narrator” in the song was Thomas …
I love what Don says about why he chose to write Peter as the narrator.
So many of us can relate to Simon Peter, for reasons which Don touches on here.
When I was researhing this song on YouTube, I noticed the comment posted underneath the video. Someone had written how the song “He’s Alive” played a large part in leading them to Jesus as their Savior. Because, through the song, they realized that if Jesus could forgive Peter, He would forgive them. They accepted Christ, because Christ had accepted them.

It comes to my “writing mind” that, when Jesus was talking to Peter, the thought “From one Rock to another” came to mind.

Enjoy the interview, and the song. This song is “Alive!”

P.S. By the way, Don is the son of a Pastor.

Here is a direct link to the official Don Francisco website: