My Hand Is Extended

I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about life, how it works, and how to help people use their gifts and talents to have a fuller, richer, more meaningful life. Central City Development Corporation, the non-profit that I direct was founded to help uplift the lives of people looking for a better way.   As such, if you or your organization is looking for a speaker, a workshop, or guidance and coaching, drop me a line by responding to this blog.  Service is at the core of what we do.

How can we serve you?

Year of Service Update

In my blog on December 28th of last year, I pledged to provide 12 free training sessions this year, one per month.  So far my record is good.  I was invited to make a presentation to youth and their parents in an afterschool program at Norwalk Christian Church.  We talked about the power of thought and how to recognize when our thoughts are not helpful.  We touched on how this information could be used to inoculate kids against bullying.  Maybe some of the participants will comment on this blog so you can get their perspective. One down, eleven to go.  My session for February is on February 28th.  I will be speaking to the alumni group of my alma mater, Central College, at the Waterfront Restaurant.  The topic will be The Health of the Helper.

Has anyone taken me up on the challenge and done the same?  Let me know by commenting on this blog.

"A Course in Miracles" Study Group

I am what may be called a "seeker" because I keep seeking for answers about how to live a life filled with more love. peace, and joy.  I have read and listened to many, many books, tapes, audio downloads, and CDs in search for nuggets of wisdom that I can apply in my life and also share with others. One of the books that I came across was a book called A Course in Miracles and I was intrigued by a quote in the introduction of the book.  The quote said, "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.  Herein lies the peace of God."  That quote led me to order the book and accompanying audio tapes (yes, cassettes.  Remember them?)  That was in 1998.  My first attempt to read the book proved to be difficult, so it went on the shelf.  I have revisited it again several times between then and now, getting a little more out of it and understanding it a little more each time.  Last January, I resolved to read portions of it every morning and make it part of my morning inspiration.

This time, I stuck with it, and finished the text in November of this year.  As I read it, the thought kept coming to me that this book was so Spiritually consistent, that i needed to share it with others.  I also got several requests from people who know that I was reading it, to lead a study group.  Well, I submit.  I committed to lead a weekly study group beginning January 5, 2014.  The Study Group will meet weekly on Sundays from 5 - 7pm at 2708 Grand Avenue, 4th floor in Des Moines, Iowa.  Drop by, or let me know if you have questions. No need to buy a book right away (you can access it online).  Come and see if you like what you see.  You'll be glad you did.

What It Is (from the preface of the book)

As its title implies, the Course is arranged throughout as a teaching device. It consists of three books: a 669-page Text, a 488-page Workbook for Students, and a 92-page Manual for Teachers. The order in which students choose to use the books, and the ways in which they study them, depend on their particular needs and preferences.

The curriculum the Course proposes is carefully conceived and is explained, step by step, at both the theoretical and practical levels. It emphasizes application rather than theory, and experience rather than theology. It specifically states that “a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary” (Manual, p. 77). Although Christian in statement, the Course deals with universal spiritual themes. It emphasizes it is but one version of the universal curriculum. There are many others, this one differing from them only in form. They all lead to God in the end.

Here are some additional quotes from the book that might inspire you to join us:

"It is not intended to become the basis for another cult. Its only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher."

Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. They are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less. (p. 1)

Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love. (p.12)

Corrective learning begins with the awakening of spirit, and the turning away from belief in physical sight. (p. 22)

The ego cannot survive without judgment. (p. 54)

Love will immediately enter into any mind that truly wants it. (p. 55)

Anger involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as one's own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others. (p. 84)

When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself ... for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. (p. 132)

A therapist doesn't heal, he lets healing be. (p. 161)

The world is only in the mind of its maker. Do not believe it is outside of yourself. (p. 207)

If you did not feel guilty, you could not attack. (p. 220)

God calls and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. (p. 232)

You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you, and so you seek without for what you cannot find within. (p.293)

Heaven is not a place or a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness. (p. 359)

It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain. (p. 386)

Give faith to one another, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. (p. 394)

Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. (p. 415)

The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. (p. 457)

The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still. (p. 547)

No one who hates but is afraid of love, and therefore must be afraid of God. He knows not what love means, he fears to love and loves to hate, and so he thinks that love is fearful, hate is love. (p. 563)

Let forgiveness be the substitute for fear. This is the only rule for happy dreams. (p. 590)

Only the self-accused condemn. (p. 606)

The holy ones whom God gave you to save are everyone you meet or look upon, not knowing who they are, all those you saw an instant and forgot, and those you knew a long while since, and those you will meet yet, the unremembered and the not yet born. (p. 618)

A Shameless Plug

I am on the Board of Directors of Our Sacred Space at Pilgrim Heights Camp and Retreat Center near Tama, Iowa.  As a way to support Our Sacred Space, I conduct a monthly "Day Away" book study and donate all proceeds to Our Sacred Space.  If you are free to join us for a Day Away, please do. If you'd like to donate to a worthy cause, that would be welcomed too. Here's a link to the website that contains more information on the Day Away retreats:

For more information, please call us at 641.492.6165 or on-line at

Thank You

Thank You

Thanks to all the contributors to and supporters of Central City Development Corporation for your support of the work that we do.  We'd like to share what we were able to accomplish this year because of your contributions.

Here is a summary of our community work:

  • Weekly Lunch and Learns - These Lunch and Learns served to help individuals live fuller, richer, more meaningful lives.   We conducted 50 sessions this year.
  • The CommonWealth Project - These sessions help to harness the abundant resources in the community and target them to ensure that those in the community have access to resources, regardless of their ability to pay.  We have recently gained access to a database that will allow us to serve a greater number of individuals.  We conducted over 48 weekly session.
  • CommonWealth University - We facilitated a 24-week Master Key class focused on prosperity
  • We conducted coaching/mentoring sessions with 37 individuals in the community
  • We conducted Health of the Helper Training for two congregations this year - Grace United Methodist Church and Living Truth Church

Here is a summary of our work in the education arena:

  • DMACC - We presented Health of the Helper Training to students in three different programs who were seeking to improve their education and improve their standard of living. Like our Lunch and Learns, are training was designed to help individuals live fuller, richer, more meaningful lives.
  • We had the opportunity to work with the staff of 2 schools this year, King Magnet School and Walnut Creek Alternative School
  • We presented Health of the Helper Training to the staff at Des Moines Public Schools during their Professional Development Day
  • We presented personal empowerment training to the new readers at the Drake university's annual New Reader's Conference
  • We presented Health of the Helper Training to educators at the Risky Business Conference
  • We presented Health of the Helper Training to a group of alumni of Central College

Here is a summary of our work in the human service field:

  • We presented Health of the Helper Training to parents in the New Beginnings Family Self-Sufficiency class
  • We presented Health of the Helper Training at the Parent Partners Conference
  • We presented Bridges Out of Poverty to the United Way Loaned Executives
  • We presented diversity training to the Department of Corrections education staff

We facilitated a retreat:

  • Crossing Thresholds Retreat


  • We hosted a visitor from Indianapolis who was interested in learning about the community work that we are doing

Here is a summary of the Boards and Councils were served on:

  • Storybook Advisory Board
  • Parent Partner Advisory Board
  • Our Sacred Space Board
  • Hopes Advisory Board
  • Central College Alumni Advisory Council
  • Tama Diversity Council
  • National Community Resiliency Project

And thanks to you and your generous donations, we were able to provide all of the services above without charging one dime to those receiving them.  A heartfelt thanks to you all and may your blessings continue in the new year!!!

Tony Wilson Director Central City Development Corporation

Definite Purpose

If you are not where you want to be and you don’t have what you want to have, here are three things you can do.

  • One, make sure you  have a definite purpose.  Make sure it is clear and that you write it down.  
  • Two, take advantage of the power of organized effort.  Band together with like-minded individuals and use your varied gifts and talents to help each other reach your goal faster and with less effort.  
  • Three, join the first Community University class on “The Law of Success”.  Class begins on August 29 from 6-8 and runs for 15 weeks.  There is a $10 fee for each session.  There is power in numbers!

Community University Kicks Off

Community University is a concept developed to create courses in the community that are designed to help community members gain the skill and knowledge needed to grow and prosper.  Thees courses will be taught by community members and will be developed based on authentic demand from the community.  The first course to be offered is a study course based on the book, The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill.  This course will provide a strong foundation upon which future actions can be built.  The course would run for 15 weeks and would meet once a week.  The cost for the course would be $10 per week, which is a small investment for such a life changing course.  Interested?  Send me an email at and I will send you a survey to determine the best times and days of the week to hold classes.  All are welcome.

Contract With DHS Renewed

Many organizations talk about how important their people are, but few invest any money to make sure that their most valuable resource is OK.  The Department of Human Service (DHS) has proven to be an exception.  I have been working with the staff in DHS offices in the 15 counties in the Des Moines Service Area since 2009, delivering training which is called, "The Health of the Helper".  I have had the opportunity to work with the Leadership Team, supervisors, and line staff for the last 2 1/2 years.  I have provided large and small group training, and provided one-on-one coaching to improve staff well-being.  It is our belief that, if the staff is taken care of and psychologically healthy, that they will deliver a better quality of service to the people that they serve.  So far, it appears to be paying off.  Just recently, I received a contract renewal to continue the work for up to 3 years. What a blessing! To see some of their comments, visit my webpage:

Indianapolis Visit A Success

I had the pleasure and privilege to travel to Indianapolis to work with staff and volunteers from a local high school looking for ways to improve staff morale and to increase the graduation rate of their students.  Accompanied by my daughter, Heather, I spent 2 1/2 days introducing the 3 Principles to the principal, staff, and volunteers and working with them to discover how to apply the Principles, first in their lives, and then in their work with other staff, parents, and students.  Feedback was very positive and I look forward to returning in October for additional presentations.  Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement and for the many things I have learned about the 3 Principles by working with many of you.  To learn more about the 3 Principles click here