"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, May 30, 2012

Seal My Lips

Silent: making no sound; quiet; still: a silent motor. Refraining from speech.

"Be still and know that I am God"
-Psalm 46:10

I've found in my life that there are few disappointing things that equal being accused of something I didn't do or someone turning gossip into gospel when it concerns me. My initial reaction, like most human beings, is to react in kind and try to defend myself, and fight for my right to be right. 

I've found that approach to be futile, useless and time consuming. 

I've come to realize that responding is more powerful than reacting, and that a measured approach that is built upon the foundation of "firm but fair'" communication to be wisest path to travel.

Below are a few words of wisdom on this topic from one of the wisest men I've ever had the pleasure, and honor, to listen to; his name is Charles Stanley.  

Charles Stanley - "79"

My hope is that his words will give you strength when you are wrongly accused and talked about, and that they will empower you in becoming the best you God has destined you to become. -sbb

                             Responding to Accusation

11 “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”
-Luke 12:11-12

When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, I was publicly chastised for a wrong I had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled me to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying first is always the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can't muster up ourselves.

Spiritual discernment. The Lord, who perfectly understands the source of every problem, can give us insight beyond our limited perspective. Perhaps there's been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person's part, or a mistake we unknowingly made. The Holy Spirit can show us how to approach our accuser and see beyond hurtful words or actions.

A quiet spirit. Our human nature wants to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves. That's why we must first deliberately focus our attention on the Lord and experience the inward peace He alone makes available to us (John 14:27).

Wisdom. Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities. He'll do the same for you. Ask Him to put a seal on your lips until He shows you what to say and when (Ps. 141:3).

We don't have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

sbb 30.5.12

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: 5.28.12

Leadership: the position or function of a leader,  a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition.

 Father & Son

This past Memorial Day weekend will be one of the most memorable Memorial Days in my lifetime. My son Austin and I spent the weekend in Indianapolis, we went to the Indy 500 on Sunday. 

It was a 1st for both of us.

I felt very fortunate to sit there being entertained by the greatest open wheel drivers in the world. I felt equally fortunate to be an American.

Many men and women have sacrificed so much for people like myself to enjoy an event like the Indy 500. 

Our country has endured much, overcame even more and have fought with courage and resolve to complete "every" task that they have been presented with. The goal of every armed service man and women is to successfully accomplish the mission at hand and to return home safely to their loved ones.

Things haven't always worked as smoothly as we Americans would have hoped.

The casualties of war are sad and sobering, but with each mission, skirmish and war our country has produced men and women that have displayed faithful patriotism and selfless acts of courage.

They were leaders that understood what leadership was about and what it took to lead.

One of those men was Abraham Lincoln, our countries 16th President. 

He was a true leader during a time our country lost over 750,000 serviceman in the American Civil War. The deadliest war in our country's history.

Abraham Lincoln was a great man and one of the greatest examples of leadership our country has ever seen. 

Below is a letter displaying that leadership in a personal and private way.

The letter is from one of the best websites I've ever visited. It's wonderful. 

The website is called "Letters of Note"

Enjoy! - sbb 

"You are not lazy, and still you are an idler" 


Late-1850, Abraham Lincoln's step-brother, John D. Johnston, wrote to him and asked, yet again, for a loan with which to settle some debts. Said Johnston:
I am dund & doged to Death so I am all most tired of Living, & I would all most swop my place in Heaven for that much money [...] I would rother live on bread and wotter than to have men allways duning me [...] If you can send me 80 Dollars I am willing to pay you any Intrust you will ask.
On previous occasions Lincoln simply would have agreed to such a request. This time, however, sensing an opportunity to impart some wisdom, he responded with the following letter of advice and a proposal.

Source: Lincoln and His World: Volume 3; Image: Abraham Lincoln, via.)

January 2, 1851

Dear Johnston:

Your request for eighty dollars I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little you have said to me, "We can get along very well now"; but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now, this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether, since I saw you, you have done a good whole day's work in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not work much merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting time is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children, that you should break the habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.

You are now in need of some money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work, "tooth and nail," for somebody who will give you money for it. Let father and your boys take charge of your things at home, prepare for a crop, and make the crop, and you go to work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any debt you owe, that you can get; and, to secure you a fair reward for your labor, I now promise you, that for every dollar you will, between this and the first of May, get for your own labor, either in money or as your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other dollar. By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty dollars a month for your work. In this I do not mean you shall go off to St. Louis, or the lead mines, or the gold mines in California, but I mean for you to go at it for the best wages you can get close to home in Coles County. Now, if you will do this, you will be soon out of debt, and, what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting in debt again. But, if I should now clear you out of debt, next year you would be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost give your place in heaven for seventy or eighty dollars. Then you value your place in heaven very cheap, for I am sure you can, with the offer I make, get the seventy or eighty dollars for four or five months' work. You say if I will furnish you the money you will deed me the land, and, if you don't pay the money back, you will deliver possession. Nonsense! If you can't now live with the land, how will you then live without it? You have always been kind to me, and I do not mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth more than eighty times eighty dollars to you.

Affectionately your brother,

A. Lincoln

sbb 28.5.12

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tim Tackett (October 27, 1963 - May 16, 2011)

A year ago today I was sitting at my computer when I got a call from my best fiend and life long buddy. I could tell something wasn't right when he started speaking. He said; "I have some disturbing news... Tim Tackett died".  My heart and jaw dropped at the same rate and pace, and in my disbelief I shared the horrible news with my wife... I was crushed. Today marks the 1st anniversary of Tim's passing and again I feel a weight on my heart that is sobering and puts many things into perspective. Tim was a good man, a very good man. Below are the words I wrote that painful night after getting the news. The piece was read by many people and the heartfelt words touched many people, but with all of that I wrote the piece for three people; Kym, Gladys and Cameron. I wanted them to have something in writing that they could refer to time and time again to read and to reinforce in their minds, and hearts, how truly wonderful their husband, son and father was. We were all blessed to have spent time with Tim. He was a wonderful man. -sbb

Tim loved the Yankees!

Tim Tackett

Brief: lasting or taking a short time; of short duration: a brief walk; a brief stay in the country.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful."
-2 Timothy 4:7

Tim, Cam & Kym

1963 started like most years; with hope and promise. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, the Beatles released their first big hit single in the US entitled "Please Please Me", our nation was experiencing Camelot while John Fitzgerald Kennedy was our country's 35th President of the United States and the postage stamp was a mere 5 cents. It was also a time of great tragedy as our country mourned the assassination of JFK and we watched as a nation as our military delved deeper into the Vietnam War.
Other highlights of 1963 was the Supreme Court decision in the case of Gideon vs. Wainwright that ordered state courts, under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who were unable to afford their own attorneys. American households had the TV turned to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins on NBC, the Dick Van Dyke Show was on CBS and housewives all around the country were glued to their black & white TV sets watching the soap opera series debut of General Hospital on ABC. In 1963 major league baseball voted to expand the strike zone, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle both signed contracts worth a $100,000 each (a record at the time), one Michael Jeffery Jordon was born and Loyola beat Cincinnati 60-58 in OT to win the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship. The Academy Awards choose Lawrence of Arabia best picture and Gregory Peck best actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird.

But it was on October 27, 1963 the best role was played by Roy and Gladys Tackett as they became the proud parents of Richard Timothy Tackett.

3rd row from the top and 5 over from the left...

Tim completed the Tackett family as he became the fifth child and the little brother to Rod, Cheryl, Teresa and Roger.

Jerry   "Tiger   " Rice & Timmy (1979)

One of five children and the recipient of loving parents, Tim learned at a very young age the importance of a family, the value of great parents and the value of being a great spouse and parent. In the book "Anna Karenina" Leo Tolstoy wrote that "all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way". Tim and his siblings experienced the joy of a happy family. Their parents provided safety, comfort, and happiness that is readily recognized by all and is evident by the way Tim shared those qualities with his wife and son.

A Family: Mom, son & Dad

As I write this piece I find it hard to speak in terms of death concerning Tim. Tim was my back-court teammate on our high school basketball team, he was a fellow employee at the Hilliard Pool when we were teenagers and he was a good friend. 

A very good friend.

Life and death has proven over time to be great educators and this extremely sad situation is no different.

Death has a way of making all of us, if just for a moment, come to grips with our own mortality. My mother often says that "life is precious, life is tender, life is fragile and tomorrow is never promised." I couldn't agree more. Life is fragile and tomorrow is never promised; in a word life is short. As sobering as these words are, James 4:14 shares with us that we as humans are no more than "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes". Psalms 39:4-5 states:

"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."

We would all do well to be mindful of those words. 

Life is fragile; life is short and tomorrow is never promised.

Tim, Jeff Fugitt & Tony Moore

Sadly enough it is through Tim's death I'm reminded of the extraordinary man he was. It would be easy to pour over the many athletic accolades that Tim earned while growing up. He was an outstanding baseball player that earned team MVP, 1st team All-State recognition and a scholarship to attend Ohio State University to play baseball. I believe Tim to be one of the top three baseball players Hilliard has ever seen. Tim was also a celebrated basketball player while at Hilliard where he was awarded all-conference and all-districts honors, as well as, team MVP selected by his teammates and coaching staff. But with all of that it was Tim the man that was tremendous. Tim was silent, but strong, firm yet fair, and most of all he was kind without being weak.

Tim Tackett: All State baseball player.

Tim was a special person and in my heart he still is.

And in my heart he always will be special.
Many times in death people are propelled to a stratosphere they didn't entertain while living. Unfortunately, but with good intention, people often falsely opine about the greatness of an individual when they were alive. Often times a blind eye is turned to negative or less than flattering behavior committed during a person's life. This is not the case with Tim. I can honestly say that I never heard one comment about Tim that was harmful, hurtful or one that questioned his character. The only negative comment I remember being uttered about Tim was that he was too "unselfish" as a basketball player and that he should have shot the ball more than he did, but that was Tim.

Tim was unselfish to the core.

Cameron & Tim

In closing, as I reflect upon the loss of Tim my thoughts are focused upon three people: Tim's mother, Cameron & Kym.


 Words cannot explain the deep sadness I feel for you and your family. The man you raised in Tim touched many lives. My life was one of them. Tim was a tremendous husband, father and friend. He treated people the way they should be treated. Tim always treated me, my sister and my parents with respect and honor. I especially appreciated the way he continued to treat my parents throughout his entire life. My parents were big fans of Tim growing up; they thought the world of him. There are few people that I have met like Tim and I feel that I won't be meeting others like him in the near future. Psalm 34:17 says "The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." May God be with you. May He sooth your pain and bless you with the peace that passes all understanding.


Your father was a good man. I will say it again; your father was a good man. I think it is important to point out Cameron that we live in a society that many times applaud the ordinary and forgets about what is truly extraordinary. Your dad spent every day striving to make you and your mother's life better... someday it will be your turn to do the same for your family. Your dad worked every day to provide for his family and he did it without hesitation or without complaining. That is what a real man does. Your father was a real man. The only thing I would ask you to do is get out a dictionary and look up the word extraordinary. Once you find the definition write it down on a piece of paper using your best handwriting. Once you have written it down find your favorite picture of your dad and tape both, the definition of extraordinary and the picture of your dad, to the back of your bedroom door. This way each day when you wake and when you go to bed you will be reminded what extraordinary looks like. Your dad was one extraordinary man.


You are one of my favorite people. The time we spent together last year at Cameron's baseball game left me admiring what you and Tim had built. Both of you cultivated an environment where love could grow and fostered an atmosphere of kindness and humility. Someday your future daughter-in-law will thank you for providing such a wonderful home for Cam to grow up in and setting an example of how good family life can truly be. I often told Tim that he "out kicked his coverage" when he got you to say I do. You are a special person and Cameron is fortunate to have you as his mother. The only scripture I want to leave you with is from the book of Psalms. Life has served you with a horrible blow, but there is One who understands your pain. Put your trust in Him. Psalm 62:5-7 states:

"I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me." 

Kym, Tim & Missy...

Kym, many people love you and want to support you anyway they can, but our love and support can never match the protective, supportive and loving hand of God. Your life will never be the same but that doesn't mean that it will automatically be worse... just different. God has a specific plan for you and your life... "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope". 

Father & Son 

Finally, the love and admiration I have for Tac cannot adequately be explained or described at this moment. No words make sense to me nor am I able to truly communicate my feelings for Tim. As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I can only say thank you.

Tim, I could never thank you enough for being such a good person and at the same time being such a good friend.

I enjoyed the time we spent together and I thank you for the many memories you left me with.

Your dear friend, 

Rita, Eddie Welch & Tac

"There are 'friends' who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother"
-Proverbs 18:24

sbb 17.5.11

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thinking of You (re-post: 5.9.10)

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life."
~Ephesians 6:1-3 


 As we prepare for what I hope is a wonderful Mother's Day for everyone reading this and a much deserved celebration for the one person who makes our days a little brighter, our pains a little more bearable and our dreams a little more attainable I wanted to re-post a piece I wrote in May of 2010 in recognition of Mother's Day.

Thank you Mom for everything you have done for me and my family... I love you very much... your son, Shawn

My Mom... 1963.
(Senior year of High School)

 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
-Exodus 20:12

Bryce turns 2!
(Nana with Logan, Austin and baby Bryce in 1997)

Thinking of You...

Think: Informal. the act or a period of thinking: I want to sit down and give it a good think. 

For most reading this, today will be a day of celebration as we honor our mothers and thank them for everything they have done for us. I don't know about you, but my mother was the glue that held our family together when I was growing up. Today things haven't changed that much at all, as my wife (Ryan & Reese's mom) makes our house a home and keeps everything together for us. I'm not exaggerating when I say; "we couldn't make it without my wife, Ronnie".

Addison, Ronnie, & Ryan 
(Mother's day 2008)

For others reading this today will be a day of reflection and sadness as they remember their mother or grandmother that lost their lives during the past year. The one person that comes to mind for me is Heather Brewster Schaller. Heather, and her sister, lost their mother to cancer this past week. I'm not going to try to describe Heather other than to say she is about as wonderful as a human being can be. She is a devoted wife, a loving mother, a supportive sister, and has always been the type of daughter that has given her parents constant joy and much reason to be proud. Spend ten minutes with her and you will know exactly what I'm talking (typing) about.

Heather and I have been friends since high school, and though we lost contact with each other for several years, Heather remains the same person she was many years ago; wonderful.

Heather and her mother... 

"Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise."
– Ephesians 6:2

 Brooke Alayne Wright Brewster
July 30, 1942 - May 4, 2010
Heather's mom...

As my family recognizes all the mothers (my wife, my mom, & my mother-in-law) that make our lives better on a daily basis we will also be thinking of someone very near and dear to all of us; my late grandmother, Jane Byrd

Mom, my sister (Meredith), & Grandma Byrd

My grandmother passed away in the summer of 2005. Below are the words I spoke at her funeral.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!  We couldn't survive without you.

Marjorie Jane Harris

1920 started like any other year. It was full of promise and hope; Woodrow Wilson was our country's 28th President  and the summer Olympics were being held in Antwerp, Belgium. It was also a freighting time as Adolph Hitler gave his first public speech. It was the year F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his first novel "This Side of Paradise", and the inauguration of our country's first airport in Tucson, Arizona. 1920 also marked the passing of the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote. 

 And, in that same year on December the 29th, one Marjorie Jane Harris was welcomed into the world.

One of six children and the recipient of loving parents, Jane learned at a very young age the importance of a family; the value of great parents and the value of being a great parent. In the book "Anna Karenina" Leo Tolstoy wrote that "all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." My grandmother and her siblings experienced the joy of a happy family. Their parents provided safety, comfort, and happiness in a time when our country made it difficult for a black family to experience safety, comfort, and happiness. 

I know this to be true because all six children (Vernon, Catherine, Mill, Maurice, Jane, & Simmie) passed on that safety, comfort, and happiness to their families.

The Harris Family
 My grandmother is sitting on her mother's lap (1924).

My grandmother showed me by word and deed that people can, and do, make a difference; that the real heroes are people like my grandmother and my late grandfather. They are individuals like my Aunt Nancy, and Uncle Howard, like my mother (Chris) and my father (Jake)...and like many of you sitting in this room. People who work every day and try to make a better life for their family and those around them.

We live in a society that many times applaud the ordinary and forgets about the truly extraordinary. People like the Harris' were extraordinary because they made the most out what they had.

The day I graduated from Wittenberg University my father shook my hand, told me congratulations, and commanded me to give my children more than was given to me. The Harris children gave their children more than was given to them and in turn my parents gave my sister and me more than what was given to them.

"Sweet 16" (1936)
Jane Harris... my grandmother.

Birdie (my grandfather) and Jane truly went the extra mile for their children; giving them every opportunity to be happy and successful. People really do make a difference in others lives. The difference can be negative or it can be positive...the choice is ours. 

My grandmother chose to make a difference in her two children (Nancy & Chris), her four grandchildren (Tim, Tony, Meredith, & myself), and her four great grand-children's lives (Logan, Austin, Bryce, & Sarah)...that choice has made all the difference to me.

 Now that I've gained insight and knowledge from two different generations, and have been blessed with wonderful role models, I can only hope and pray that I will continue the tradition. The tradition of giving my children more than what was given me and that I will be a positive influence in their lives.

Christine Neilson Williams
(My great grandmother)

Ralph Waldon Emerson wrote, and I quote; "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people will always find those who think they know what your duty is better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it easy to in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude". Marjorie Jane Byrd, in the midst of the crowd, maintained the perfect sweetness of independent solitude. She was true to herself, and by doing so, she was true to all of us.

In closing, I know we are all grieving m grandmother's death today, but it would be my hope and prayer that we celebrate her life. When Jack Nicklaus officially retired from golf last Friday at the British Open, someone said; "don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened". My grandmother's life may be over, but I'm so happy it happened and that I was part of it.

Thank you.