Friday, March 19, 2010

The Power of the Right Word Spoken at the Right Time

Never Underestimate the Power of the Right Word Spoken at the Right Time

Has anyone ever come along side of you and whispered just the right words at the precise moment in time when you needed to hear those words? I have, and in that moment those words made all the difference in my life.  Sometimes these healing words can be spoken audibly or can be read in print on in an email

I remember clearly the night I discovered the phrase “I approve of myself.” I’m currently working on a blog in which I tell that story about those four powerful words.

Once, when I was in a bad dating relationship, my friend Harold Ivan Smith asked me “Michael, what are you pretending not to know?”

In the early 90’s, I was facing a job transition with the company I worked for, and was a bit uncertain about my future. I had been in touch with a friend of mine by the name of Michael Wells. He wrote and thanked me for something I had sent him he included these most encouraging words.

“I received the music you sent. Thanks. Oh, by the way, you are being prayed for.”

And then he quoted a Bible verse that has since come to mean a great deal to me.
“Be not afraid nor dismayed, for I the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Holy Bible, Joshua 1:9

Those were definitely the right words spoken at the right time. They were healing and restorative words.

I remember another instance when I was deciding between living in Albuquerque or staying in Orlando. My father said these words to me.

“Son, I think that the move to Albuquerque is the right move for you. But if you get out there and you find out that it is just not a good thing, then I believe there is enough money in the Lewisburg bank to get you back home.”

I recently renewed a friendship with a “kid” who was in my youth group when I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His name is Larry, Dr. Larry Lacher. He is the pastor of a large Church of the Nazarene in Ohio.

In one of our emails back and forth Larry offered these most heartwarming words to me.
“Of all the good influences I have had in my life, you are the #1.”

Wow! What a boost that was to receive those words. I felt I could go after Moby Dick with the tartar sauce on my sword after receiving that inspiring note.

Words are a huge source of power in our everyday lives. They have a life of their own in their ability to burrow deeply into someone’s heart and mind, for good.

Winston Churchill deserves much credit for victoriously dragging the British Empire through World War II with the power of the spoken word. He spoke the right words at the right time.

Someone near you needs to hear the right word spoken to them, today.

Will you speak these words to someone this week?
You’re going to make it.
We’re going to be all right.
You Can.
You will.
You are …
I believe in you.
You have been a major influence on my life.
You are almost to the finish line.
You inspired me today.
You helped me when I needed it the most.

A Properly Placed Word:
A properly placed word can give hope
A properly placed word can restore peace
A properly placed word can offer encouragement

A properly placed word can inspire
A properly placed word can comfort
A properly placed word can bring joy

A properly placed word can offer healing
A properly placed word can give assurance
A properly placed word can restore one’s faith

A properly placed word can strengthen a grip
A properly placed word can give life meaning
A properly placed word can restore confidence

A properly placed word can lift one’s spirit
A properly placed word can give a new perspective
A properly placed word can turn a life in the right direction

A properly placed word can end strife
A properly placed word can prolong a life
A properly placed word can heal a marriage

A properly placed word can inspire a team
A properly placed word can inspire a nation
A properly placed word can change a direction

Will you go and speak words of esteem, power, encouragement and healing to someone today?


Friday, March 12, 2010

What Do You Know For Sure

Our lives can be compared to a rolling stone. As we roll along we touch hundreds and thousands of other stones, particles, obstacles, we take a dip in a few watering holes, and keep on rolling. Everything we touch, everything we hear, everything we read and every person we meet affects us in some way. Some experiences affect us in more profound ways that others.

Would you share with me a few nuggets of wisdom you’ve gleaned as your life has rolled along? Maybe you’ve read a significant book and you want to share something from it. If you’ve adopted a significant phrase, Bible verse, or saying that is significant I would like to hear it. With your permission, I want to compile some of the most interesting and meaningful insights sent to me and then share them with my followers on this blog.

Let’s keep the rules to a minimum during this experience together.
1. Write from your heart.
2. Try to keep it under 300 words.
3. Short is good.
4. I’ll list you as anonymous if you request it.
5. Send me an email (address listed below) with your submissions.
I’ll post my blog based on these submissions on Friday, April 16, 2010.

OK, here are some of the best things I know.

One of my life verses from the Bible:
“Be not afraid nor dismayed, for I the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

When I look at my life and the twists and turns it has taken I am amazed at times that I’m still standing. I’ve experienced God’s peace, steadfastness and grace and I’m still climbing, I’m still working, and I’m still dreaming. Dream with me!

I know these facts based on the book Aspire, Kevin Hall.
“You must learn to see beyond the clouds.
Sapere Vedere is knowing how to see.

Believing is seeing.

People with Sapere Vedere say ‘I’ll see that bridge before I cross it.’

Sight is a function of the eyes; vision is a function of the heart.

Vision sets you free from the limitations of what the eyes can see and allows you to enter into the liberty of what the heart can feel. Never let your eyes determine what you heart believes.

“The two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we discover what we were born to do.”
(Aspire, Kevin Hall)

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”
(Henry David Thoreau)

Maya Angelou says,
“I’ve learned that …
People will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did,
But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So, “from this day on I resolve to leave every person I meet better for having met me.”
(Aspire, Kevin Hall)

Can you tell that I love this new book, Aspire, by Kevin Hall? I bought it in January 2010 and have read it twice already this year and am making a constant study of it and the principles Kevin teaches. It is good reading.

These are some of the things that I know. And now it is your turn. (By the way, I did that in 292 words.)

I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.
My email address is or
I’ll publish the selected thoughts on Friday, April 16, 2010.

With hope and anticipation of what you’ll send.


Friday, March 5, 2010


When I was a small boy growing up in Tennessee I had tons of hope. At Christmastime I had high hopes for what might be under and around our Christmas tree. “Would I get that new bicycle? Would there be a football this year?”

As I moved into college I hoped for a passing grade in philosophy. I hoped to master music theory and be able to properly write four-part harmony. Hope filled my life.

As I started my career I hoped for that first job to come through when all of my friends around me were getting their calls and deciding their destinies. Finally, my call came and I moved to Orlando.

When I met Carolyn, I hoped she liked me. I hoped there would be a second date, and a third.

It seems that my life has been a journey of moving from one hope to another. Does this ring true with you? I wish we could sit across from each other and talk about our hopes and dreams.

Napoleon Bonaparte had this to say; “Leaders are Dealers in Hope.”

Hope is one of the most powerful and encouraging words in the English language. It is also listed as one of the three abiding spiritual attributes in the scriptures. “And now abides faith, hope, and love.”
(I Corinthians 13:13)

John Maxwell had some great insights to offer on the subject of hope in the December 2009 issue of Success Magazine.

”Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
Hope energizes when the body is tired.
Hope sweetens when the bitterness bites.

"Hope sings when all melodies are gone
Hope believes when the evidence is eliminated
Hope listens for answers when no one is talking
Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.

"Hope endures hardship when no one is caring.
Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
Hope presses towards victory when no one is encouraging.

"Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.
Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.”
(*From Think On These Things, by John Maxwell ,Beacon Hill Press)

You can’t do without hope. It is like a breath of air or nourishment to the soul.

Bob Eaton, former Chairman/CEO of the Chrysler Corporation says, “A leader is someone who can take a group of people to a place they don’t think they can go.”

How can we offer hope to people? Read what John Maxwell says.

1. “Help people change their way of thinking. Hope can only become a reality if you can help change how they think if they think negatively.

2. Help them win some small victories. Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing. Nothing succeeds like success.”

“When people sense victory they sacrifice to succeed.
     When people sense defeat they give as little as possible.
When people sense victory they look for ways to win.
     When people sense defeat they look for excuses.
When people sense victory they become energized.
     When people sense defeat they become tired.
When people sense victory they follow the game plan.
     When people sense defeat they forsake the game plan.
When people sense victory they help other team members.
     When people sense defeat they hurt others.

3. Express sincerely your belief in them and in their future.”

(Taken from Think on These Things, Beacon Hill Press written by John Maxwell.

“Hope is people who have the courage to remake the world, not as it is, but as it should be.”
President Barack Obama

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”
Christopher Reeve

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie

"All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope; Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus, and Gandhi all lived with a promise in their hearts that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let’s live with hope.”
(Henri J. M. Nouwen)

Our founding fathers had hopes for a new kind of freedom. They wanted to worship and to abide in a land without undue taxation and without restrictions from a former life.

Ann Sullivan helped Helen Keller hold on to the hope that one day she would hear, see and speak, even in the midst of her handicaps, and Ms. Keller overcame mountainous obstacles to accomplish her dreams.

Abe Lincoln had a hope to end slavery.

President John Kennedy had a hope that someday Americans would land on the moon.

Henry Ford had a hope that someday his vehicles would encircle the globe.

Lance Armstrong had a hope that he would win the Tour de France bicycle race in spite of his diagnosis of cancer.

What are your hopes? What can you see in your mind’s eye right now that is still invisible to the natural eye? A ship’s captain cannot see his port-of-call for 99% of his voyage, yet he has a dream and a hope that he will successfully navigate the waters of our world and reach his destination.

One of my favorite biblical passages ends with this thought. “… To give you a future with hope.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Here’s the good news … I have a future full of hope, and so do you!