My Tribute to Zig Ziglar, Whose Book Changed the Direction of My Life

by | Dec 5, 2012 | Blogs, The Strang Report

A week ago today, I learned from my friend Peter Lowe that Zig Ziglar died that morning.  For 22 years, Peter hosted daylong motivational events in huge arenas around the nation that featured outstanding speakers including former U.S. presidents, heads of state of other countries and titans of industry. But the mainstay at the events was always Zig Ziglar. “One of my primary callings in the events was to provide a platform for him,” Peter told me in the text.

Peter also said:  “It’s a sad time. But also a time to celebrate a great man of God who impacted the lives of so many.”

Later that day, I tweeted that I was one of the ones Zig impacted—through his speeches, his audio recordings that I listened to many times and his many books. At the end of this Strang Report, there is a link to an article from Baptist Press on the memorial service Saturday (Dec. 1) at Prestonwood Baptist Church, which pastor Jack Graham called a “See You at the Top celebration.”

It was See You At the Top, which helped me through a time of discouragement that was so great I almost quit publishing Charisma. The early days of Charisma—when I was in my late 20s—were a real struggle. Something happened that was so devastating I felt like giving up and quitting. I remembered that I’d seen Zig’s book in a spinner rack at a local restaurant. I needed some encouragement and thought it might help. On a Friday afternoon, I drove to the restaurant, bought the book and spent the rest of the weekend reading it. That was enough to lift me out of my funk and to keep going.

There was one part that helped me handle whatever was going on at the time. Zig said sometimes problems are so bad that we deserve to have a pity party. He said that’s OK.  He said just wallow in pity and discouragement and despair. But set a time limit—say 48 hours. Enjoy the discouragement. But when the time is up, snap out of it and go on with life.

As simple as that was, it helped me. I set a limit of being discouraged the following Monday. I got up and went to work and things didn’t seem nearly as bad. Obviously I didn’t quit. Several years ago on a visit to Dallas, I had an opportunity to visit with Zig and tell him personally how that book was pivotal in my life and to thank him.

I’m sure you feel discouraged at times. When you do, you need to stop your “stinkin’ thinkin’” (as Zig would say). Or, you need a “check up from the neck up” (another favorite expression, and there were many!)

There were many things I liked about Zig—how he pulled himself out of poverty in Mississippi to become a successful salesman, and how he helped others to get ahead. He also was a devoted husband to his wife, who he called “the redhead,” and he always wove some spiritual truth into what he was teaching. He used common-sense logic and humor with a big dose of humility to help people understand and to get his point across.

Others have given more eloquent eulogies about Zig Ziglar. But I wanted to add my story because his book—and that one illustration years ago—literally changed my life.

Do you have a Zig story?  Many who read my tweet and post on Facebook added their comments. (follow me on twitter @sstrang or friend me on Facebook. I’m listed as stephenestrang). If you have a Zig Ziglar story or want to express your thoughts, please do so below.

But first, read the report about the “See You at the Top celebration.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Note: This is the second of a two-part series. For part one, click here. Beginning at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25, our Jewish friends (and increasingly many Christians) will begin a two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, their time for new beginnings or a "new year."...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

A ‘Davidic Anointing’ is Descending Upon Musical Instruments

A ‘Davidic Anointing’ is Descending Upon Musical Instruments

I once heard a testimony where the Holy Ghost was falling upon the people during worship. The preacher, R.W. Schambach, testified how the piano player got so filled with the Spirit that she fell off of the piano bench and the piano kept right on playing. No other...

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key to being able to really enjoy my life because when I received God’s...

Mario Murillo: What God is Saying About America’s Destruction

Mario Murillo: What God is Saying About America’s Destruction

Many prophetic words released today shout one of these two headlines: America Is Past Hope and Will Be Destroyed America Is Favored and Will Never Be Destroyed Facebook oozes with voices claiming to be prophets or mouthpieces for God. The internet teems with...

How The Christian Community Can Change American Politics for Good

How The Christian Community Can Change American Politics for Good

A fascinating discovery has taken place recently in the state of California. Locals there attest that the wildfires that have ravaged the landscape, lives and livelihoods of residents for a decade don’t seem to be getting any better. They seem to be getting worse,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Former Atheist: How the Deconstruction of Your Christian Faith Can Actually Strengthen It

Best-selling author Lee Strobel, an atheist and investigative journalist who failed to disprove the resurrection of Jesus during two years of digging for evidence, believes Christians who properly...
Rod Parsley: Are You the Pharisee or the Tax Collector?

Rod Parsley: Are You the Pharisee or the Tax Collector?

As with all virtues, humility has an opposite: pride. It should not surprise us that revival and restoration begins with humility, because all “falling away” begins with pride. Pride sent the archangel Lucifer plummeting from the heights of glorious splendor near the...

What to Do with an Urgent Warning from the Lord

What to Do with an Urgent Warning from the Lord

Many people are receiving urgent warnings from the Lord about things taking place in the earth. Releasing those warnings can be difficult. Done the wrong way, people will turn a deaf ear and the last thing you want to do is breed fear. Maybe you aren't getting...

Prophetic Word: ‘You Will Taste the Rain of Heaven’

Prophetic Word: ‘You Will Taste the Rain of Heaven’

Get ready for a supernatural strength to take over the land. It is time for worldwide revival and for you to reclaim what God has promised. Don’t back down and give in to despair. God’s plan is in motion. I heard the Lord say, “The enemy has brought discouragement and...

Mario Murillo: The Fuse to a National Awakening

Mario Murillo: The Fuse to a National Awakening

A lot of churchgoers yearn for soothing sermons. Meanwhile, a growing company seeks to understand authority, brokenness and Resurrection life. Who are these “others” who have their eyes wide open? They are too loud for most. They pray longer and deeper than what is...

The Value of the Golden Aged Among Us

The Value of the Golden Aged Among Us

Sarah bore Isaac when she was 90 years old. Moses led the Israelites out of bondage when he was 80. God cared for them, carried them, and used them! If you are nearing or are already in your golden years, don’t despair. You have much to offer to those behind you. You...

Pin It on Pinterest