Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Welcome back to the world poker tour. Maybe you feel hopeless. Whatever is on your mind whether it’s your kids, your parents, your friends, your job, your marriage, your future, God wants you to take the one card you have left in your hand and give it t

Welcome back to the world poker tour. Today you are at the table hoping for a good hand. It’s five card stud so you need to play every card in your hand. It’s a brutal game and the stakes are high. What are you going to do? What cards are you going to play? Are you willing to go all in even when you only have one card left? How much is it going to cost you if you lose? Are you willing to take the risk? Are your best cards already on the table? Is there any hope that you will finish a winner?

When Dave Anderson graduated from his Chicago high school in 1971 he was just like any other 18 year old kid. He held a full deck in his hand but didn’t know how to play the game. He wasn’t very good with people so he wanted to find something to do that complimented his love of the outdoors and his Native American Indian heritage.

He enrolled at Michigan tech and tried as hard as he could but just couldn’t fit in. Dave just wasn’t cut out for school. His first semester he brought home all F’s and incompletes. Instead of returning to school after the first semester Dave decided to try something different. A friend had asked him if he wanted to come to a meeting with him where they were recruiting people to sell and automotive oil conditioner. Dave decided to give it a shot.

He went to the meeting and listened to listened to a motivational speaker named Zig Zigler who talked about following your passion. At that moment Dave saw an opportunity and took it. He became an oil conditioner salesman. He borrowed $2,500 of his fathers’ hard earned money and went into the oil conditioner sales business. After weeks of unsuccessfully pushing the product he called it quits. He just couldn’t sell the stuff to anyone. His fathers $2,500 bucks turned into an expensive lesson. He had $2,500 dollars worth of oil that he couldn’t sell to anyone. So he quit selling the oil conditioner and began looking for another opportunity.

At the age of 19 Dave took a job selling sporting goods for Eddie Bauer. He worked hard over the summer and then attempted going back to school at Roosevelt University in the fall. His weak appetite for school showed up once again. Dave came home with a bunch more F’s and incompletes on his report card.

But his time at school wasn’t all bad. While daydreaming in class one day Dave came up with an idea. He wanted to make and sell miniature dish gardens. He scraped together the few hundred bucks he had, spent it on materials, then went out in hopeful that someone would buy his new product. At first he tried to sell his dish gardens to retailers but didn’t have much success. Then he tried to sell them to florists and bingo, it worked.

When Dave approached James Ashner at the Richard Lange Florist shop he ordered a dozen of every dish garden Dave had for a grand total of $736.35. He wrote the check and Dave went home with the largest check he had ever held in his hand. That night Dave decided to go into the wholesale florist business.

For the next seven years Dave worked out of his basement as a wholesale florist. He worked long hours seven days a week. Then one of his florist friends came to him with an idea. In 1970’s Chicago college students liked to decorate their rooms with plants. Dave and his friend decided to take all the money they had, drive to Florida and buy as many plants as they could fit in a semi truck and bring them back to sell on campus.

Their gamble paid off because they sold over $20,000 worth of plants in two days. Their taste of success lured them into taking another gamble. This time they would rent space in a K-mart parking lot and sell plants and flowers to the public over Mothers Day. They invested their entire $20,000 plus more of their own money to rent space, tents, trucks, and but the product. It was a huge gamble.

The Mothers Day of 1979 was horrible. A heavy fog rolled in, then it began to drizzle, and eventually it all turned to snow, lots and lots of snow. The tender plants couldn’t take the cold and died on the frozen shelves. Not only did Dave not sell any floral goods that Mothers Day, many of the customers who had ordered flowers from his wholesale business canceled their orders and didn’t pay him for the ones they did receive. This huge loss forced Dave to file for bankruptcy. A promising career was left in ruins and a once enthusiastic entrepreneur was left in shambles. Dave was down but not out. He still had one card left.

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