"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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Love Text

Communication: the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated. The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." -Proverbs 18:21 

'The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." -Proverbs 14:1

"The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." -Proverbs 12:18 

"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."
 -Ephesians 4:29 

The one thing that I've learned over the span of my life is that the words we speak are important; they're vital. They have the ability to hurt and heal; the ability to tear down and build up. What we say will always carry less weight than what we do, but there are few things in life that can have more impact; be more inspiring, more challenging than the words we choose to speak. 

Words, our words, can beautifully express love for another, and they have the ability to crush someone's spirit.  

How we express ourselves verbally is one of our biggest gifts; biggest responsibilities we have. 

Today marked the beginning of a new journey that God put on my heart. A vision of that journey began almost five months ago in September of 2012. After listening to the words of Charles Stanley I was moved to organize a group of men that earnestly wanted to draw closer to God. Men who found it impossible to shake the desire that resided deep within to take another step closer to God during their jorney here on earth. Men who wanted to encourage others, and encourage themselves in the process.

Men who had the courage to encourage.

Almost two months ago the call was made to a group of 40 men to see if they would agree to meet once on a month, the first Tuesday of each month, and spend one hour reading a piece of scripture in God's word, praying for each other and for men who haven't accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior, and listen to a speaker encourage us with his testimony.

40 men, 40 sphere's of influence becoming one powerful sphere of influence, and a three-fold mission: intimately draw closer to God, encourage: others and our selves, and to pray for the one man that each man brings to the table concerning his salvation.

The group would be called Arboretum.

I believe that with the change of one man's heart concerning God, His mercy & grace, and the acknowledgement of God's great gift of salvation great change can occur in the direction and destiny of a family, and many generations to come within that family.

Call me crazy, but I believe those words.

So, it was during this past Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 7am sharp, we had nineteen men and one woman in attendance as our group read Jeremiah 29:11-14, prayed words of praise, protection and provision, and listened to a young man employed at Starbucks, and his wife, speak about the missionary foundation they began in 2004 to serve the needs of the poorest of the poor in Uganda, Africa

They leave on January 31,2013 with their seven year old son, Hezekiah, for Uganda to be full time missionaries.

Their words were moving, challenging and inspiring; the words they spoke were encouraging.  


As I left the facility after our first hour together I was reminded of two things: First, I was reminded of the depression that I endured, the distress I felt, and the complete overwhelming thoughts of inadequacy I lived with for more than three months preceding our first meeting. Questions ran recklessly around in my mind with no regard for my acceptance of them. Questions like; who are you to start something like this? Who are you? What about all the personal failure your life has displayed? What do really think your going to accomplish?

The last ninety days have been brutal. 

But it was the words of a friend, Randy Brown, that said; "God has a plan to change people's lives through the vision that God has placed upon your heart and the Devil doesn't want that to happen. You my friend are under the attack of Satan." At that moment it all made sense to me and I knew what I needed to do. I needed to be obedient to the burden, and the vision, that God laid upon my heart. 

The second thought that came to my mind was my wife. Below are the words I texted her after I left our first meeting.

"Ur encouragement on the phone means the world to me. Just hearing in ur voice the pride and the heartfelt gladness that u expressed meant a lot to me. I have been struggling since October with this. Feelings of depression, inadequacy, and fear. This is the purpose that God has for me. I just want to learn to be obedient... Having you loving me through this process and encouraging me is wonderful and vital. I love you. We've come along way from me  going to Morgans/Grumpy Troll. God has a plan for us. I love u!"

 Her reply:

" I love you too! You and the kids mean everything to me. I'm so proud of you and the man you are becoming in Christ."

Her words meant everything to me.

In the beginning of our marriage I thought I was the strong one; the leader, but in all actuality I was the weak one. I wanted to continue to carry on as I did when I was single after we got married, spending my time in the bars after work and coming home in the evening, leaving her to wait for me. And for the first six months I was the weak one, she was the strong one.

She was the leader. 

So today I thank God for transforming my heart, for putting me in a place that I desire to gather forty men together to experience life in a way I thought was impossible. I've failed so much in my life and I still struggle with things that tempt me to compromise my faith and what I profess to believe in my heart, only to make me look like a hypocrite if I were to give myself fully over to them. But God has brought me a mighty long way from Bethel road and the bar scene... a mighty, and powerful way. He has changed the way I think, how I feel, and how I want to behave. I can't describe it... I can only say thank you.

Thank you.

I also want to publicly thank God, for what I have privately believed for sometime now. Thank you for giving me Rhonda, my wife.

She will never know, or fully realize, how she saved me from a life of ruin.

I love her more than words can express. 

I want to be a leader today, and I'm so very glad she waited many of yesterdays for me to come around.

I really am. 

sbb 10.1.13


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