"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AFFIRMATION: Encourage You, Encourage Me

Agent: a natural force or object producing or used for obtaining specific results: Many insects are agents of fertilization. An active cause; an efficient cause.

"A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical, as well as, spiritual and electrically prompt."
-Samuel Longhorn Clemens... Mark Twain

"Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time."
-Proverbs 15:23

There is nothing more gratifying to the ears than the sound of a mouth that speaks the proper word at the proper time. Comedians, teachers and parents depend on this phenomenon almost daily. Sting sang in the song "De do do do, de da da da", that "Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions." There is a lot of truth in that statement.

Words are truly powerful.

Proverbs 20:21 states; "The tongue has the power of life and death..." 

So there it is, we can build someone up or we can destroy someone with the words we choose to speak. I've come to believe that my words have more power than almost anything or anyone in my life. Our words have a direct correlation to what we are thinking in our mind and feeling in our heart. If I think something long enough it will eventually be communicated by my tongue. 

Our words should be little gifts that keep on giving. 

I fail at this most of the time, but it truly is my goal to speak kindness and words of encouragement into others lives. Sincere words, not kind words for the sake of being kind, but authentically sharing with another person my true feelings about them. A little note, hand written and sent in the mail, written in a manner that will simply share with another that I want to recognize their kindness or accomplishment is a great way to encourage another person. Maybe it's just a hand written letter acknowledging their pain, sharing with them that I can't end their trial, but I can lend an ear, and heart, to their dismay and heartache.

When we encourage another through true and honest word we encourage ourselves.

When we affirm another we affirm ourselves and our truest intentions.

When I encourage you, I encourage me.

It's not about the encourager, but it does positively affect the one giving the encouragement, as it does the one being encouraged. If I truly believe the encouragement I am giving you I have to believe that same encouragement for me during my difficult times.

At least that is what I think.

Hey, but what do I know? I have two ex-wives, more kids than Evander Holyfield and spoke more arrogant and discouraging words than Joan Rivers and "The View" put together.

In a word I could, and still can be, insensitive. It is an awful thing to have to admit, but the truth often hurts. 

The truth has its positives too; the truth can often set us free. 

That is the good news.

I have said many times the reason I write is to leave my thoughts and beliefs for my children to read someday and to encourage people. Many people are hurting. Some of those people are reading this right now and desperately want a little encouragement. 

That is why I write. Plain and simple.

I hope people find encouragement and inspiration here when they take a moment and read the words that I've written.

When I think about writing and the importance of encouragement the word that comes to me that best describes encouragement is affirmation. When we speak truthful, authentic and sincere encouragement into another's life we affirm them.

God affirmed us when he sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. His affirmation is displayed in His mercy and in His grace that He gives freely every day. God's gift is free to us, but was a painful price for Him to pay. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Part and parcel of His goodness is His grace and mercy. 

God's grace is His unmerited favor.  

Grace is getting what we don't deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

That is pretty awesome.

Our words should administer grace and provide mercy also. They should affirm others.

So what does affirmation look like? Let me share what I think affirmation looks like and how we can start affirming others we come in contact with; sincerely, authentically and honestly affirming others.

Allow me to share. 


Always speak well of others. We all have heard our parents, grandparents too, say as long as we can remember, "If you don't have anything good to say don't say anything." That pretty much covers that.

Foul language is lazy form of communication and is very rarely affirming. It has been said, "When a man uses profanity to support an argument, it indicates that either the man or the argument is weak- probably both." Another anonymous source puts it this way, "Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully." Parents, coaches and employees at Toy-R-us should get a hall pass in this area. In all seriousness, my language at one time was awful so my intent is not to judge, criticize or condemn. Many times our language is just a habit, nothing more, nothing less. Besides, I hate when they voice over the curse words in movies that are later shown on TV. That is just plain stupid. The only point that must be made, and the only point I'm trying to make, is that none of us would ever advocate are children using curse words. The reason being is that deep down we think the use of certain words are inappropriate. We all struggle with this one. Matthew 12:36-37 says this:

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

...That is some serious stuff; I'm just sayin'.

Fighting words will always divide. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger." -Proverbs 15:1
Impactful words will always have the potential to esteem another. Our words can truly make a difference in someone's day. Words with impact move us closer to one another.

Relax and reflect before you speak. Ecclesiastes 5:2 states "Do not be quick with your mouth; do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." I think this is a nice way of saying shut up.

Make nice whenever possible. Just do it. Don't be so concerned with who is right and who is wrong. Do you even realize how many times you and I have been completely wrong. Let me help you out... it's a lot. Give up your right to be right and end a "thing" before "something" begins. Romans 12:18 exclaims, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Everyone means everyone; work it out.

Agree to disagree without being disagreeable. Our words will dictate if we are being agreeable or disagreeable. Choose them wisely.

Talk to others how you would like to be talked to. The key here is to be aware of your tone. It isn't always what we say, but how we say it. Again, I'm just sayin'.

Invest in others with proper and appropriate words. This is virtually impossible to display or do with poor choice of words. When you begin to "run someone down" imagine that it is your child or your parents that someone is talking about. Perspective is paramount. Everyone belongs to someone.

Others are more important than ourselves. Either you believe or you don't. And you don't have to tell me; your words will say everything.

Never gossip about others. The greatest way to waste words and time is talk about other people. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”  What kind of mind do you have?  Great, average or small? Proverbs 25:23 states; "As surely as a wind from the north brings rain, so a gossiping tongue cause anger!" Proverbs 26:20 goes onto say, "Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops." Stop the gossip and you stop the drama.

Last week while I was listening to Focus on the Family I had the distinct pleasure to hear Florence Littauer speak. She spoke about a time she was ask to speak to a group of young children about how we should speak to one another. Florence shared with them the importance of edifying others with our words. At the end of her talk a young child stood up and turned to the adult audience and said "What she means is that our words should be like little silver boxes with bows on top."

Silver boxes with bows on top.

I like that.

Ephesians 4:29 states; "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

I just received a Facebook message from my son Bryce. He said, "Happy birthday u pops...I'm glad you're in my life and my u dad."

Please, don't tell me words don't matter. That "18" word message is one of the best gifts I have ever received for my birthday. I don't remember too many gifts that caused tears to stream down my face. Thank you Bryce.

Encouragement... give it as often as you can.

Affirmation... encourage and affirm others and you too will be encouraged.

Silver boxes with bows on top... it's undoubtedly better to give than receive.

Share words that show you care... begin today.

sbb  12.1.11

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