Climbing Out of Adversity: A Story of Life's Lessons to Encourage the Heart, Awaken the Church and Challenge the Nation

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9781616384555: Climbing Out of Adversity: A Story of Life's Lessons to Encourage the Heart, Awaken the Church and Challenge the Nation

Through his entrepreneurial experiences, Dennis Jones shares the principles he learned along the way that can be applied in a reader’s personal life, business or ministry. He provides an inside look at the ups and downs of success and reveals how his faith in God is a stabilizing force.

Climbing Out of Adversity teaches readers how to start and grow a business, and manage aspects of their personal and professional lives in ways that will lead to success. Through his frank, vivid storytelling, the author passes on a treasury of godly wisdom that will challenge and inspire men and women to be courageous, honorable and to always seek the truth.

 

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About the Author:

Dennis R. Jones has an extensive 40-year entrepreneurial history, beginning with the creation of successful corporations, to the formulation, development and manufacturing of specialty products for the aesthetic industry. Presently, Dennis is the chairman/CEO of FillTech USA, an FDA product development and manufacturing facility, and the founder/CEO of Creative Technologies, Inc., a product marketing and distribution company. As founder and president of Global Harvest International, Dennis trains Christian leaders and businessmen around the world to apply biblical principles in their daily lives, ministries and businesses.

 

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

AN ACCIDENTAL REBEL

Life is full of twists and turns. No one has ever made this point better than the Old Testament patriarch, Job, when he said, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). Every life will have its ups and downs, and at times it may seem there are more downs than ups. But how we respond to the circumstances we encounter along the way will determine the amount of success or failure we experience in every area of life. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned in my life. As I begin this book, I find myself at a place far exceeding anything I ever dreamed of, even though I have had some pretty lofty dreams. I have been a millionaire many times over, and have had the privilege of giving millions of dollars away. I have experienced the adventure of pioneering industry movements and launching new businesses from the time I was seventeen years of age. But there were also lots of hard knocks and missed opportunities along the way.

My mother and father weren’t orphans, but they were raised that way. My mother was born in a first generation Italian-American family. Her father and mother didn’t speak a word of English. Her father died not long after she was born; and with fourteen children to raise, her mother soon found she couldn’t support all of them. So she placed my mother, along with a younger brother and an older sister, in a Catholic orphanage. On a couple of occasions, my mother told us about some of the hardships she had suffered at the orphanage, and the cruel punishments that she and the other children were subjected to. It was hard to believe that such things were possible. But despite the hardships, she lived there until she was sixteen, when she was finally released to go back home to her mother, so she could find work to help support the family. Life during the Great Depression was
very hard, and it was heartbreaking to hear about some of the things my mother was forced to endure. My father’s situation was no better. He was born on the family farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia, but his mother died when he was a young boy. After his father remarried, he and his new stepmother did not get along, so my dad was sent out to work on neighboring farms. He was forced to live with some of those families for years, and he was treated very badly—more like a slave than a neighbor boy, in some cases. He slept in barns and suffered physical and emotional abuse for many years. Because his life was so hard, my father ran away from home several times. Most of the time he was dragged back to the farm and punished even more severely. But the last time he ran away he ended up in Newport News, where he falsified his age to get a job in the shipyard. He was a hardworking man
and never missed a day on the job. A few years later he met my mother. After a brief courtship they were married and began their new lives together—two lonely, insecure people who had already suffered so much. And that was the environment into which my two brothers, Marvin and Freddie, and I were born.

One of my first memories as a child was my aunt asking my brothers and me what we wanted to be when we grew up. My older brother said he wanted to work in the shipyard like our daddy, and my younger brother said the same thing. But when my aunt asked me what I wanted to be, I said I wanted to be a preacher. And I added that I also wanted to be a millionaire. Of course, I had no idea that those two things do not generally go together,
but that did not matter. I was a kid and I had a bold imagination. But I had also watched my dad come home from work every day with burns on his shirt and scars on his body from working with a welding torch and red-hot steel,
and I knew that wasn’t something I wanted to do. But some of my family laughed at me. In fact, everyone but my mother laughed at me. Some of my relatives even got angry with me for saying I wanted to do something else. They said, “What makes you so special, Dennis? Do you think you are better than us?” My mother understood what I meant. She always understood what I was thinking, and I remember her saying, “It’s OK, Denny. I believe that’s exactly what you will do.” When she spoke those words, something was imparted deep within my soul. If my mother believed in me, I must be OK. And I knew the things I hoped to achieve might really be possible. I also knew that my mother wanted something more for me than spending the rest of my life in the shipyard. My father did the best he could, but he ended up working at the same job for forty-seven years and retired with a pension of a little more than seven hundred dollars a month. Even as a young boy of five or six years
of age, I knew there had to be something better. For most of his life my father thought that only rich people could own their own homes. So my first real goal was to buy my parents their first home. Their dreams weren’t very large. My mother wanted a brick home and my father just wanted a garage. They never expected to get them. But because I chose to go a different direction, I was eventually able to buy them the first house they ever owned. It was one of the greatest privileges of my life. I remember seeing two people on our little black-and-white television who had a big impact on my life in those days. The first was Billy Graham. He was such a powerful speaker, and I knew he was speaking the truth. I thought how great it would be to stand before a large audience someday and speak like that, telling people about the love of God and how to be saved. I didn’t realize how rare it is for God to raise up a man like Billy Graham. But I knew that was something I wanted to do. I especially remember how people’s lives were changed when he preached. This was in the early 1950s, and Billy Graham was the most powerful preacher any of us had ever seen. When he reached the end of his message and gave the invitation, calling on people to come forward to receive Jesus, the aisles were immediately packed with men and women whose lives were changed forever. Many of them were weeping as they came, and even on television you could
feel the emotion. It was electric, and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to see people’s lives changed like that. The second thing I remember seeing on that old TV was a program that came on every Monday night, called The Millionaire. Maybe you’ve seen it, too. Most of the time it would be the story of a man or woman who was going through hard times, and just when things seemed hopeless, a dapper gentleman in a bowler hat would show up and knock on the door. He identified himself as Michael Anthony, the personal representative of the multimillionaire John Beresford Tipton. After explaining that the individual had been chosen to receive a special gift, Michael Anthony would present them with a check for one million dollars, tax-free. From that moment, everything changed for the new millionaire. Some of the people who received the money were blessed by it, while others made tragic mistakes. That was the real point of the show: to see how people respond to such a magnificent gift. A million dollars was worth a great deal more in the 1950s than it is today, and that made a real impression on me. The program had so many important moral lessons, but I knew one thing: I wanted that to be me. Of course, I would have liked to be the recipient of a million-dollar check. Who wouldn’t? But I also wondered what it would be like to be as rich as Mr. Tipton, who could give away that much money every week and change people’s lives in such a dramatic way. Well, that was just a dream. But I know now that dreams can be real. The circumstances of life will try to steal our dreams away, but we never have to accept defeat. We’re never without options, and even the most far-fetched dreams can become reality if we go about it in the right way.

 

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