Men’s Week Presents: Christopher Simon Jr.’s “Sticks, Stones & How God Fixed My Wrongs!”

Psalms 51:16-17 “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

“Look at Chris fat self, he busting out his clothes.”

“Boy you ugly I don’t want to talk to you.”

“You cute for a big dude but I just don’t like you.”

“Them shoes leaning boy I’m about to get you”

Words I heard growing up, never did I ever believe that they would effect me as an adult. My 6th and 7th grade years in school were the worst times of my life. Not because my father wasn’t present in my life, not because my mother was strung out on drugs, not because I lived in a broken home, none of these things were true. I hated these times of my life because of the things that were said about me.

They often taught us, “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, but Words Could Never Hurt Me.” Honestly, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard in my life. Sometimes, words hit harder than a blow to the head, and cut deeper than any knife designed. I dreaded going to school, everyday felt like a war zone, if it wasn’t one person grilling me it was the next. I would literally make it home, have a sigh of relief and say, “I made it through another day.” It may sound dramatic, exaggerated, or maybe even embellished to some, but this is how I felt.

Over the years I found myself modeling my actions after those who I thought were cool or popular. I began to be a follower and do things I knew I shouldn’t do, because of the words I feared of facing if I didn’t. I’ve realized that we’re not careful enough with our speech, we say things and use words so lightly as if they hold no weight at all. How can we disregard the strength of words, when this whole universe was created by the words spoken through God’s mouth?

Words broke me, and when I got to high school, I began to use them to break others. Not intentionally, but the things I said made others laugh and made them want to be around me. I became popular behind the damaging words I said to or about others. If I felt I went too far I’d apologize, but sorry only helps so much, I know that from experience. People know me now and it feels good, but they don’t know me for me, they know me for being funny and always cracking jokes. I wanted people to accept me for who I was, not just call me around when they needed a quick giggle. The girls that I wanted didn’t want me, I would see them point in my direction and laugh, and it hurt. I hated looking weak so I thought being “tough” or looking “angry” would get me respect. Little did I know, it only pushed away the people who were actually trying to be a friend and love me for me.

The Lord saved me at 17, and that’s when he began to expose to me what I’d been dealing with. Being insecure because of my size, and attire, not that I was a bum, because I’ve always been fly 😎, I was just so caught up in what I didn’t have to where I overlooked what I did have. My insecurities spoke louder than my actual voice, and if I’m completely honest, I still haven’t overcome them completely. Tap your neighbor and say “NEIGHBORRR, I’m a work in progress.” God is still working on me and showing me how being broken isn’t always a bad thing. When our life is pieced perfectly together and everything is going smooth, we tend to forget God. Even when we’re paying tithes and giving back to the community, we still have to keep our relationship with God in tact. When we begin to fade away from God, we cause troubles for ourselves. We begin to be broken by our decisions, the cares of life, and the actions and/or words of others. The breaking hurts, but who do we turn to ? God ! Embrace the fact that you’ve been broken because God isn’t going to piece you back together with the broken pieces, he’s going to add newer, better and stronger pieces. My name is Christopher Duane Simon Jr. and I thank God that I’ve been Broken, Beautifully!

Men’s Week Presents: David Dewberry Sr.’s “Destiny Revealed Through Brokenness!”

Preface…as I write creatively I do not proof. I allow it to be flaws and all.

I AM broken….beautifully too…

Most men equate these two words as weak…or even inmasculine. However…as for me…I thank God to be broken beautifully. For it was of Him…in Him…by Him and for Him…that my broken has been arranged in such a beautiful manner.

I embrace the man that I am…the man that God is using to craft this post. I owe ALL that I am to God…who is a restorer…a healer and a waymaker. One thing is for certain and two is for sure…God’s promises is yes and amen…and He will see His good work through to completion. So my broken and beautiful is this…

March 29, 2008…the day that altered my life forever. This would be the day my wife took her last breath. The aftermath…left with two children…confused…scared…shook to my core…what do I do. Over the next several months I begin to develop into an iceberg…keeping everything in and not allowing anything to release. Over the next year I begin to do whatever it is I wanted. I began to live recklessly. In the midst of my recklessness God begins a purge in my life. My job relocates…I lose custody of  my daughter…I lose my home…my car breaks down…and I gain 130 pounds…but God. Let me tell you about my broken. Sometimes God need you to get to the very point of brokenness…He will shake the hell out of you…to get the hell out of you (catch that).

July 12, 2009…I connected with destiny and began a love-story with my lifetime. This was the day that God firmly rooted destiny in my life. Destiny did not judge me…destiny talked to me. Destiny walked with me. Destiny did not give up on me. On this day I learned destiny has a name…and her name is Jennifer…my wonderfully created wife. God began to repair my brokenness through her. He gave me not only what I wanted…but what I absolutely needed…because the crazy thing is this…she was walking a similar journey as me…only a year later. God used two weathered ships…to create a beautifully broken vessel. God told me…David…I am your sufficiency as long as you trust me and as I put my trust in God, He began to transform the what was to the what will be…

…oooh and about that 130 pounds (it was more like 200)…His promises are yes and amen and He will see His good work through to completion. Father thank you for beautifully breaking me too…So my testimony to you…is to NEVER give up. Romans 8:28…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Men’s Week Presents: Lineal Gaulding’s “Man Down! Wait… Nevermind…. There’s GOD!”

Before I even begin I just want to tell God, thank You for Your goodness and grace. My name is Lineal D. Gaulding and I would like to share my 2018 testimony of how I was Broken, Beautifully. 2018 has been a year different than any year that I’ve ever had in my thirty-five years of life. Although in many respects I’ve taken some big loses, I’ve gained much more. I’ve come to realize that God through turmoil and strife is doing it to bring you to brighter and higher positions. Even when it seems you’ve taken several seats (haha) and steps back. He has a plan and if you stay in His will, you won’t believe the things that He’ll do. But, with that you have to stay humble and treat people right. My past six months will definitely tell you why I say this and why the last two points I make are critical for saints and future saints (wink).

I started this year on the highest of highs. I had finally broken through and gotten on with a law enforcment agency and starting in January after five years of the all mighty word, “NO!” I had finally gotten in, was going to academy for training and was going to get paid. I wasn’t going to have to live paycheck to paycheck. I was going to graduate from the amazing Wilberforce University with my bachelors degree all in the same year. Well so I thought atleast. I can in retrospect almost picture the devil say “oh he thinks he happy and that his God showed up and out for him huh, hold my beer.” I go to get sworn in, in front of family, friends, city council, major and half the public safety department. Go thru some in house training for two weeks and was off to Columbus for twenty-two weeks (Yeah I said 22 weeks) of training with my favorite people I call the, “Round Hats.” This is a little foreshadowing, but l’m never running for leisure in the winter outside ever again. On just day two, during morning PT (at 0530 to 0700) running back from the state fair there was a patch of black ice, that I didn’t see while turning a corner. Yep, I slipped on that. I don’t go down (I wish I had now) I started to fall & I through myself forward and in the process I sprung 80 to 85 percent of the ligaments in my left knee. With the severity of the sprang and OSP not being a progressive academy (meaning you can’t make up the hours you miss) I had the decision of lose the job now or limp through to June and lose the job then. I was forced to come home then. I remember thinking as I was turning in my badge, weapon and vest of the disappointment and how my career could be over just sixteen days into it. Not to mention, I found out I wasn’t graduating from college either; turns out that I was 40 credit hours short, I only had finacial aide to cover maybe 25 of it. Crazy right? I had a conversation with God the night prior and I said, “I know this is the right career for me, but if I’m not suppose to be here right now let me know.” Ten hours later I was in Medbay. FYI, be careful and ready for when God speaks and replies.

Fast forwarding a lot over the months, God has made ways that I didn’t know where possible and remarkable. Starting with the way that my injury occurred and the two months of swelling. The doctors, my family and even I are surprised I’m not like Derek Rose and didn’t completely tear any cartlige, MCL, ACL or ligaments. Praise God for MRI’s. That financial aid issue, I ended up getting a scholarship to cover it. And my old job called and asked me to come back out of the blue. Yeah I struggled with no money, not knowing how I was going to pay the bills; but I kept on singing, praying and trusting. I have a better bond with God, and I feel more at peace. Depression started but He brought me out. I can’t take credit and I’m just a shiny example of what God will do.

Men’s Week Presents: Prentice Mack’s “Preacher’s Kids Need Love Too… God’s Love!”

Well, where do I start because there’s many stories I can tell, Lbvs! 😭😂

Born and Raised in the Church; matter of fact being birthed into the family that feels like the 1st Family in the White House, the Pastor’s Family. My Dad was a Pastor and Bishop of his organization, my mom was dad’s right hand. My Grandfather was a Pastor and an Administrative Assistant in the Church of God in Christ. Last, but not least, my Great-Grandfather was a Pastor of a Methodist Church.

It wasn’t so bad being a PK, but I cannot say I don’t miss being one or not, once a PK, always a PK. While doing what God really wanted me to do in Ministry, like sing, work with the youth, I remembered at one time becoming so depressed and no longer wanting to do anything with church because I felt like life was getting bad and I was taking many L’s that year. From being stabbed in the back by “friends”, to losing many loved ones so unexpectedly, struggling a bit in school, losing lots of sleep, and just wanting to stay home to plan my death because I was just tired of what many thought I should do, and just being hurt by people I believed I should’ve been able to trust, especially the “Saints of the Most High.” I really never say much on it and even tried hiding it, but a friend always told me, “Your smile can really hide your pain, but not your eyes nor facial expressions.”

The Season felt rough, but thank God for some PRAYING friends. If it wasn’t for them, I really would’ve been dead by now. They always knew what to do to cheer me up and always remind me to take care of me after a long day, whether burned out or not. I really felt alone at one time, but glad I had them pushing me to keep going. With their help and the help of God, I survived on Broken Pieces! Acts 27:39-44

Men’s Week Presents: Jonathan Heard’s “Ain’t It Funny How God Uses Our Brokenness To Make Us Whole?”

Looking back on my childhood I was absolutely blessed to have the Mother And Father that God bestowed upon me. My mother, a saved, strong minded beautiful lady, whom taught me about loving, cherishing and loving myself and others and so many other things. And my father, a Visionary whom I watched carefully, every move he made and whom I wanted to be around all the time. His Constant and Consistent dedication to God, and faithfulness towards the vision God had given him, made a lasting impression on my life and continues to till this day. I wanted nothing more but to grow up and be just like him.

March 29, 1991, one Early morning, that same man I wanted to be like passed away; it was devastating! Life after that day was more then just confusing, I was completely lost. I remember being not only mad at my dad but more at God, besides, my hero (my father) had given Him his all; He had done everything He asked him to do and in my mind, I’m saying, You have the nerve to take him from me?

One early morning when I was 16 years old I remember having a dream about him, I woke up crying and walked to the kitchen and just sat there by myself for hours. Finally, I walked to the knife drawer and got a butcher knife and as I placed it to my wrist these words came to me so clear:

“GO AHEAD AND DO IT! LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER.”

Suddenly my mom wakes up and begins to walk down the hall and I hurry up & throw the knife back in the drawer. My Mom says to me, “what are you doing?” My reply, “nothing.”

As I got older, life got no easier for me. I pretended I was happy; besides I had a reputation to uphold by making people laugh but inside I was a bitter, angry man and it was all towards God. I realized now all the decisions I made; the alcohol, the women and the drug selling, it was a direct effect of me trying to find happiness. I became so disrespectful until not only did I get drunk, but I remember going to church with a hangover from the night before.

Approximately 7 years ago after all this bitterness and anger I had towards God, He not only saved me but He forgave me. A few months ago while in prayer I begin to cry out to God and I told him sorry for it all, he quickly replied to “AINT IT FUNNY?” I asked Him, “God what’s funny?” God replied back to me, “Ain’t it funny how I used all the anger, all the bitterness and every word you spoke against Me and I used it for your purpose?”

This post is for those that have suffered loss and are going through loss. You may be cracked but God won’t let you shatter. You may be bent but God won’t let you Break. Your heart make be broken but God is the #1 Cardiologist. But through it all, you will be mended and fixed because the same Love that allowed you to go through it, will be the same Love that will bring you out. COUNT IT ALL JOY.

Men’s Week Presents: Craig Wilson’s “Inferiority to Glory!”

Some years ago I use  to have a inferiority complex and was ashamed of the ability or lack of ability I had as it relates to playing  music. The thought of others being better than me constantly plagued me & rehearsed in my mind.

Being around other musicians made me uncomfortable due to what I thought  concerning my ability to play as it measured up to fellow musicians playing.

One day God spoke to me and  said, you just be you!!! & then I received encouragement through His word from Philippians 4:13 that states “I Can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me…”
Many times we hear  & see things and want to emulate that which we hear and see but at that moment in my life God allowed me to see the uniqueness He created me in and a mind to embrace it. I’ve been grateful for such and thank God for turning on the light during such a time in my life!

In His Image!

I don’t mind expressing My feelings;

How much I love, I’ll always show.

I give My everything to those around me;

Whatever you need, I got it; wherever you need Me, I’ll go!

I’m a Father to all of my children;

I am friend to whomever is in need.

The homeless find their shelter in Me;

Those who are bound, in Me are freed.

I have the strength & power to be a leader;

Yet, I’m a servant in all of My ways.

I am as humble as I am loving;

I will come find those that have strayed.

Peace I spread wherever I go;

And a keeper I am to all who want to be kept.

Sometimes things can get heavy for Me;

Remember there were times where even I wept.

But nothing will stop Me from being a Protector.

I’m a provider and this work is my privilege.

My work isn’t supposed to stop with Me;

That’s why I made man in My Image!

– Kiesh💕💕