Dear friends:

Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Last Friday a friend of mine shared the above two verses as one of the most meaningful passages in his life. That day at lunch I shared the same verses with our discipleship leaders concerning soul health. How do we watch over our souls? Let me share some thoughts.

I have been taken with Augustine’s autobiography, Confessions. Augustine traces his life and his search for God in his book. As the translator noted, “Augustine’s back is to us as he talks to God about his life.” Two years before his conversion, Augustine stated that he knew time was passing and he was delaying turning to the Lord. In his search he said, “I must appoint set times, set apart certain hours for the health of my soul.” Augustine recognized even as a nonbeliever the importance of setting aside time for his soul. How can I not recognize the same thought? I must turn to the Lord, trust in the Lord and make sure the Lord is my trust. It is through Him that my soul is refreshed, recharged, restored, renewed. He alone can help me recover from whatever life’s challenges are. I must run to the One who is the source of life, of joy, of peace, of hope.

God is the source, however God can use other people and activities that will help relax us and encourage us. People who accept us as we are and allow us to be ourselves become priceless relationships. They are friends that prompt us to improve and flourish. You probably heard me quote Howard Hendricks who said, “I can find any five dummies off the street who can tell me what I’m doing wrong; help me find people who can tell me what I’m doing right.” And remember the Holy Spirit is working in those believers who encourage

We are looking forward to our March 13th Banquet with James Ryle. It is a story of forgiveness, redemption, restoration, and celebration. He literally went to the prison that his father as a prisoner built. James’ story will challenge each of us. We’re also moving our Sporting Clays Fundraiser to the spring. That date will be March 27th. Please pray for us that each event will bring glory to God, bring people into the Kingdom, and extend the ministry that God has called us to in Birmingham.

Thank you so much for laboring with me in prayer, finances and in friendship. This is going to be a significant year for YBL in light of our growth last year. I am pleased to announce we have hired a woman to lead WBL. This is an exciting opportunity, an answer to many prayers, and a step of faith for us as a ministry.

I close with Augustine’s most famous quote. “For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless to till they rest in Thee.” Rest in him, trust in the Lord, and let the Lord be our trust.

Abiding in Him with you,