"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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

ANDY (January 28, 2009)

Promise: a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one.

Three years ago today a very good friend of mine passed away from liver failure. We were roommates in the late 90's and into the early 2000's. My oldest three boys came to know him as Uncle Andy.

Andy was 39 when he died.

Andy was adopted and never met his birth parents.

I think of my friend often and I can still remember going over to his house the December before he died having no idea that would be the last time I would have a conversation with him. When I received a call from his girlfriend and another close friend to come to Riverside Hospital to see him before he passed away I was numb and without words. I prayed with him and asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus Christ into his life. He nodded, but till this day I'm still not sure if he understood what I was talking or praying about. 

When I left the hospital I was grief stricken.

I loved Andy. 

 Andrew Paul Feiertag

He had seen me at my worst and at my best and in both instances he treated me the same; he treated me like a great friend.

Andy was a true friend.

The reason I went to visit Andy that cold day in December of 2008 was because I wanted to talk to him about his faith. He contacted me earlier that month and said that he found a journal that I kept in college and that he was reading it every day.

He said it gave him hope.

I shared with him that day that my life was different. I told him that God was the center piece of my life and that the transformation in my life was evident to anyone that would want to take a look and notice.

He agreed.

Buckeye & Andy...

I believe that Andy heard the words that I shared with him, but I have no idea if he accepted Jesus Christ in his heart.

I hope he did. I think about it just about every day.

Since then I made a promise to myself that through deed and word, more deed than word that I would share my faith with anyone that would like to talk about it. I also promised myself that I will share with those that I'm close to that God has changed my life.

I will never again put off sharing with someone the good news of Jesus Christ. 

That is my promise.

In my bible I have Andy's obituary laminated and placed as a bookmark for Psalm 39. 

"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath."
-Psalm 39:4

Andy lived roughly 14,235 days.

Tomorrow is never promised.

Written in my bible, in the margins between Psalm 38 & 39, is the name ANDY.

Andy means a lot of different things to me, but below is what ANDY stands for to me and what I have written in my bible.


Always share your faith in Christ through your conduct, character and conversation. People appreciate watching a good sermon instead of hearing one. Our actions often speak louder than our words. I fail at this often, but it is truly important to me to live a life that demonstrates a deep belief in God.

Never be ashamed or obnoxious about your faith in God. It is important to me to share my faith in a way that will not offend or alienate anyone, and in a way that displays sincerity and authenticity. 

Don't wait to share your faith with your friends. Tomorrow is never promised. Many of us share with others, and anybody that will listen, things that have no true significance; sharing the gospel is sharing something that has value. When we share the good news with others we speak hope into their lives that can produce mighty change into their lives. That is awesome.

Y ... Why share? Why "not" share is the real and right question. Matthew 28:18-20 states; "And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.' And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. ...and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you: He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but He who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." Those verses are a pretty good reason why we should share the "good news" with those around us.

Andy's favorite song was "You're in my Heart" by Rod Stewart. It was played at his funeral. Andy was known to ask strangers to dance with him when this song was played.

Couples danced to this song at the funeral home when it was played during his funeral.

I cried.

The song states:

"You're in my heart, you're in my soul
You'll be my breath should I grow old
You are my lover, you're my best friend
You're in my soul"

I could write another 1000 words concerning the irony of that stanza.

I will not. 

I will only say that I do believe that God was in his heart and in his soul during Andy's final days here on earth. I really do.

I'm thinking of you this evening Andy.

I miss you very much.

sbb  28.1.11

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This I Believe (re-post 10.24.10)

Believe: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.

Below is a 500 word essay I wrote for "This I Believe". "This I Believe" is an international project engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. More than 90,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived on their website, heard on public radio (The Bob Edwards Show), chronicled through their books, and featured in weekly pod-casts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow. I would encourage others to take the time and write an essay stating what you believe. It is my belief that you will grow from the experience.

This I Believe

Believe defined by Webster is "confidence in the truth or existence of something without absolute proof one is right in doing so" and with that definition I was reminded of one of our nation's greatest philosophers, Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner in the movie Bull Durham. Crash stated confidently his belief in "the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber and good scotch." He commented that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and that a constitutional amendment is needed outlawing AstroTurf. Crash also believed that opening presents on Christmas Eve was absurd and kisses should be "long, slow, deep, soft, wet" and "last for three days." 

Much of what Crash said I agreed with; who could argue AstroTurf being outlawed and that "long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days" aren't wonderful, especially when looking into the eyes of Susan Sarandon. Costner charmed us with his witty monologue and delivery but it was the simple fact his character believed in something that reflected thought that gave many reason to pause.

Stuart Chase, an American economist, commented; "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible."

I agree. What I believe is what I believe.

And what I believe is parents ruin youth sports, marijuana should remain illegal and term limits for elected officials are needed. I believe all should arrive in this country legally, learn English once here and register to vote. I believe Pee Wee Herman is a comedic genius that I wouldn't allow to babysit my children, uniforms should be mandatory in public schools and that Geoffrey Canada should win the Nobel Peace Prize. I believe our country is best served when Vice President Biden isn't heard, Vice President Cheney isn't seen and Vice President Gore isn't heard or seen. I believe coaches get too much of the blame when their team loses, too much of the praise when they win and too much money in both instances.

But with many beliefs it's my faith in God sending His only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sins that sustains me; because of this I have peace and eternal salvation. I believe in God's greatest commandment and commission to "love my enemy" and "to spread the gospel" and because of these beliefs I have no desire to politicize my faith. I also believe those around me are better served if I live out my faith in deed; not word, realizing my faith doesn't licenses me to judge a woman's right to choose or a man's desire to marry another man. What my faith does provide is the ability to agree to disagree without being disagreeable and the realization that you can never argue another one into believing what you believe. In the end, I do believe "You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar" and that people would rather see a sermon than hear one. 

This I believe. 

sbb  24.10.10

ONE OF THE BEST "This I Believe" I've ever read!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Affirm: to state or assert positively; maintain as true: to affirm one's loyalty to one's country; He affirmed that all was well.

Below is a piece I wrote last year when I turned 46. The words I shared, the feelings I expressed and personal convictions I communicated are still true today. My personal relationship with Christ has changed the husband, father & friend I am today. God has transformed my heart, my mind and my emotions. God has changed my life. I'm a very blessed man. All of my kids and family contacted or called me today to wish me a happy birthday. My wife told me; "I want you to know how much I love you... your my heart. I can't make it without you." I'm a blessed man. Lastly, my son , Bryce, texted me this message on the way to school this morning:

"Happy birthday dad... read Proverbs 11 last night before going to bed, and it talked about the righteous and how they will prosper... I think your righteous Pops... love you." 

I think it's safe to say that with a comment like that from my son that God is prospering me; God is blessing me. I don't deserve it, but He is.Thanks for many kind words today from everyone and I hope you enjoy the piece... again.
-Shawn 1.12.12


Proverbs 18:20 states; "Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person's lips brings satisfaction." I believe that verse, and as I sit here reflecting upon those words, and the fact that I will be my forty six tomorrow, I'm reminded of some tremendous words that were said some time ago about age and birthdays.

There are three that specifically come to mind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Facebook... (re-post 1.11.11)

Friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Below are the words I wrote and posted on facebook two years ago tomorrow. There are many things that could be said about where I find myself today, January 11, 2012, but I will refrain from submitting to that tacky temptation. There are many things I could say about how God has truly transformed my heart and changed my life, and again I won't share much except to add that my life is much different and "plenty" better having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ than it was without having one. Life has become important to me over the past 5 years; how I live my life has become paramount. I want my life to have meaning and purpose... I want it to count for something that is bigger than my wants; desires. At the end of the day, I want to live out God's plan, purpose and destiny for my life; I want to move ever closer to living in the center of his will for my life with each passing day.
I really do...Thanks to everyone for the kind words and birthday wishes. They mean a lot.

January 12, 2010
Facebook entry...

As you just read, Webster's dictionary defines a "Friend" as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. I'm not sure how Webster would define a "Facebook" friend, but I do know the word "attached" would be in the definition. I'm attached to some of you because I know where you ate lunch today or what movie you saw this weekend. For others the attachment runs much deeper because of years of friendship or because you carry my last name.