top of page


“Boy, are you trying to get above your raisin’?” my mother asked after I had told her of something that I had done. I responded, “Mother, I want you to know unequivocally, beyond any shadow of doubt that I am doing everything that I can possibly do to get as far above my raising as I possibly can.” I hope that you are doing the same.

I wasn’t raised poorly, but I was raised poor. Ours was a working class family, punctuated by periods of poverty. I went to work in the fifth grade and worked after school, on weekends, and all summer—my father was a great believer in child labor. There was food on the table, a new pair of tennis shoes every year, and little expectation that life would be much more than that. But I had my adult library card and a vivid imagination. And I imagined that life could be more. And got above my “raisin’.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Albert Einstein.

More than likely you were raised differently, but however you were raised you need to rise above your raising. Why? For any number of really good reasons—most of which have little to do with you. Let me share a few of them with you to (hopefully) inspire you, if you haven’t already, to get above your raising.


Whether Biblical or scientific, the story of the human race is the story of ascension, of rising up from one generation to the next. Abraham is told to lift up his eyes and ascend. He got above his raising. Jacob dreams a dream of a ladder ascending. He got above his raising. Joseph dreamed a dreamed and the dream caused him to ascend far above his raising. And the list goes on. The scientific record speaks for itself—diseases that killed a century ago are short term irritations today. Indeed, many of the deadliest have been eradicated. And that’s just progress in the medical field. We’ve ascended to the moon and someday may reach the stars. That’s what you’re called to do—to reach the stars and get above your raising.


Every time someone betters themselves and gets above their raising the world becomes a better place. And if enough people get above their raising the world becomes a much better place. It’s simple arithmetic.

Dolly Parton is a country music icon. She was born into poverty but ambition and talent caused her to become a star. Dolly is a creation of her own imagination, having famously said, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” Her home town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee owes most of its prosperity to their favorite daughter—she built the amusement park Dollywood, a host of other entertainment venues, and made the town the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. She got above her raising and raised a lot of others with her. She made her town a better place. More on one of Dolly’s biggest initiatives “Behind The Door.”

When you get better the world gets better.


Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have signed a pledge to give half of their wealth to charity and are actively encouraging other billionaires to do the same. You may be thinking, but they were born into comfortable circumstances, and you would be right, but they both got far above their raising— something that they were both expected to do. They have more and so they can do more. And they are doing it.

(A little parenthetical—everyone should get above their raising. If you were born into poverty you really should. But if you were born into prosperity you really should as well. Remember—the point of getting above your raising is ascension and ideally, as far as you get above your raising, your children, those that you help, or mentor should get far above theirs.)

What will you be able to do as you get farther above your raising? As you leave the limitations of cultural bias? As you develop your potential? As you become more prosperous? The more you have the more you can do. And that’s a worthy reason to get above your raising.


A disclaimer—I am not a pietist, a fundamentalist, nor do I identify with the term evangelical even though I do give an invitation to know Christ most Sunday mornings. I don’t believe that Jesus came to save you from hell. If hell were the issue (and you take the creation story literally) God could have killed Adam and Eve, started over with Edie and Steve, and there would only be two people in hell. Or He could have just created a big fire extinguisher and put it out. (Now you know why the pietists, and fundamentalists don’t claim me and my evangelical friends are still trying to figure me out!) I believe the Gospel message because at its heart Jesus came to get you above your raising.

“I am come that you might have life, and it more abundantly.” That sounds like an opportunity to get above your raising. “But to as many as received Him, to them gave He power (authority) to become the Sons of God.” That really sounds like an opportunity to get above your raising. “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” is the ultimate in getting above your raising.

Getting above your raising doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate that way that you were raised. My mother and father raised me the best that they could with what they had and where they were at. But I knew, even back then, that I was going to get above my raising.

My Mother has been with us for several years and in those years she’s developed a prosperous mindset. I thought about that when I picked up her up for our New Year’s Eve

Blessing service and she was wearing a fur coat with her gold watch and diamond rings. She has gotten above her raising.

When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to show you how to get above your raising. If you want to live a happier, healthier, more prosperous life, wherever you are in life, this is for you. If you have the monthly password you can go there right now. If you don’t click the “Sowing” button, sow a seed of any amount, and you’ll receive the password via Email. Write it down—it’s good for the month. Remember, What you sow is what you grow and one times one is still one! I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”

Dr. Leon Stutzman

Pastor, Author, Creative Thinker, Problem Solver, More Than A Prophet, Legend, and Icon


Dr. Leon Stutzman has been called all of these things by the people that he has helped. But everyone calls him "Doc."

The Theory of Everything was written for ministries, business people, and everyone that's motivated to succeed in life. It's a free gift to all pastors.