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Sunday, August 14, 2005

"I want to make it feel alright/ Hold you throught the dark tonight..."

"The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry...."

-Psalm 18

I've decided to start out most of my posts with a wee something from scripture from now on. As you can see, this particular excerpt is from Psalm 18 and I highly recommend that you go and read the rest of it. Great psalm. Anyways....

I don't particularly like change. Never have. I might go so far as to say I fear change, but regardless of the truth of that it suffices to say that I can have a fairly extreme aversion to it. A week ago my brother and best friend started his long drive to Oklahoma. The night before we had our last ride, George, Bryan, and I, at least for the next little march of days.... You know, it's funny. I was sitting here typing away, all ready to go off on how hard this is going to be for me and all that self-pitying crap and now all I can think of is to offer up one more small prayer that my brother would be blessed, that every step he takes would be a step into a deepening of everything that has been placed in him, that with each step he would move closer to his destiny, to the great work to which he is called. I simply want to give one more heart's cry that he meet with favor and success in everything that he puts his hands to, that he would be marked with a vision, that he would be so full of the vision of God that he would be like a woman in labor with it, that his words would be fall with the full power of the Father behind them, that the smallest word from his lips would shatter strongholds, and that everything he says and everything he does would be annointed beyond any expectation of man.

Why do I pray all these things? Why do I forget what troubles I have and instead seek the Father for another? Is it because I'm such a great guy? No (although, ironically, George might disagree with me on that point). It's because of the man who George Bonner is. Let me tell you about George. Now, a lot of you, if not all of you who ever read this thing already know George and have seen these things with your own eyes and hearts, but let me speak my piece. This is my tribute to a man who has been tuly closer to me than a brother, a real Proverbs 17:17 friend, whom I love.

George, I have known you for the past six years and in that time I have had the privilege of watching you grow into one of the strongest and wisest men of God I have ever known. There is also such an immense ability for leadership that has matured in you. You, more than almost anyone else I know our age, have the ability to look at any situation and to see so much deeper beyond the surface into the things of God that are at work there. You aremore than just observant though. In everything you are very analytical, very shrewd, and very discerning. You see things about the Church, about the world, about the way things are done and the way people act that astound me and that I would never have seen and yet you unerringly seem to peel back the layers and peek at the truth behind so many things, and then you learn from what you see. God has really given you a great amount of discernment, so much so that it's almost scary at times (but in a good way). Combine that discernment with that incredibly sharp mind of yours and a wisdom well beyond your years and I find it no surprise every time I discover a new depth to your maturity. You are a very deep person George. Don't letanyone ever convince you that you're shallow. I know we give you a hard time about being rather fashion conscious (although where would I be without your advice in that area I ask you?), but that is not who you are. There is an immense depth to who you are, both in your own intellect and in you spiritually (if you'll excuse my trichotomy). The more I think about it, the more I realize that I find it very difficult to separate anything you ever did or said from your walk with God. Even when you and Bryan and I were running about making public nuisances of ourselves, I always had this very fundemantal understanding that everything you did was spiritual, that everything you did seemed somehow unto the Lord. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you didn't have your immature moments or that nothing you ever did lacked a spiritual component. If that were true than you'd be closer to Jesus than any man who ever lived. What I am saying is that your walk with God and your everyday walk were one and the same. Even at times when I could have sworn that you were just goofing off and not paying attention, you were absorbing what was going on and you were analysing it and discovering what God had to teach you in it and I still find that amazing; the way in small group sometimes that you would cut straight through the joking with a strategic piece of leadership to go pray for some people or to discuss some aspect of the message, or how at War Cry you would able to deliver a new revelation amidst the chaos of people running hither and yon half naked...You are a true leader bro. Like that night at the last War Cry when you saw the scheme of the enemy plain as day and when everyone else was freaking out and trying to take it head on you simply stepped up, revealed the (colorful language referring to the enemy) for what he was and then just swept him aside and turned everyone's eyes on the Father. That wouldn't have been possible if you had not been for your discernment to see the enemy's plans, your wisdom to know how to deal with them, your authority to speak and have everyone listen, and your leadership and humility to let God use all the things he placed in you to bring out of terror the sweetest worship I have ever experienced. That was a victory bro, and it is only one of many already under your belt and one of the countless thousands to come in the days ahead. It amazes me how much God has already done through your life. You have truly not wasted the years he has given you. I have had the honor of going on two mission trips with you (which I hope will not be the last by far) and I have no doubt in my mind that when we are called before the throne of heaven to account for what we have done in life that you are going to see that entire nations were changed by what God did through you on those two trips alone (well, three, but I wasn't on the first one so I cannot give an accurate first-hand account). The faithfulness that you showed in Romania to pick up your guitar and sing at the drop of a hat (and to do so with power and annointing I might add) and the boldness and accuracy with which you stepped up and spoke the words of God in the Netherlands (I swear, you must breathe prophetic air bro. You are permanently under the "Holy Crap" annointing)....those are incredible things done at a young age. You certainly haven't despised your youth and you have been so very faithful with all that God has given you. I am so, so proud of you. I can't tell you how many times that I have looked up at you, seen you faithfully and powerfully walking in the destiny that God has called you to, and been so filled with pride it freakin' hurt. Never feel that you haven't accomplished much or that you haven't used your gifts enough or that you haven't followed God enough. That's bullcrap and shut up. You are amazing. You have been faithful and you have done well, end of story, move on to the next chapter. Oh, and don't forget: you carry a big stick bro. You are a strong man, a very strong man of authority and power and faith and men will follow you. Men will follow you because they see in you the kind of man that God wants to raise up in our generation. They will follow you because you have a genuine, burning, heart-passion for God that consumes your life. They will follow you because God made you a leader. You know, we never did senior superlatives for the youth group seniors, but I think I have an idea of what yours might have been: Most Likely to Change the World. Never lose what you have bro, and never stop running the race you've begun. I'm behind you every step of the way and I'm only getting more proud of you with each footfall. You take care of yourself over there my brother, and may God bless you so much.
I love you bro.

See you around sometime.


p.s. This post absolutely sucks in that it fails utterly, completely, and miserably to come anywhere near to catching a glimpse of the man that George Bonner is. He is so much greater, so much more unique, and so much more precious than I could ever put into words. That said, this is still a very poor attempt to do so, even though I took more than long enough to write it. I hope it serves it's purpose though, and I hope that I won't take as long writing my next post. Anyways, it's late and I need sleep. I'll catch y'all later.

12 Comments:

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1:05 AM  
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1:14 AM  
Blogger PlushToy said...

Death to spammers.

Oh, by the way I forgot to add this: You're very good at coming under leadership George. You knowhow to find godly men who share your vision and giftings, how to come under their authority, how to serve them, and howto learn everything you possibly can from them, and that is very important.

In closing, let the next spammer to post on my blog be warned: I wasn't nicknamed Benzoid the Destroyer in my childhood for nothing.

9:39 AM  
Blogger The George said...

Dude.
Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap.

I wish I had the gift of encouraging words that you have, so that I could make an attempt to say thank you and give you honor. But I think that the words you've already written totally show what an awesome man of God you are. I think I've said this to you before, or if not I said it to somebody else, but if I could think of one person out of God's whole green earth to point to as the definition of the word "friend"... it would be you. And you know that I mean that. Seriously, out of all the 6 (or maybe by now 7) billion people on this earth. Maybe there's a guy who provides a better model of Godly friendship living somewhere in Siberia or something, but, obviously, I don't know him. So I can truly say... you da man, Phillips.

Give me a call when you get settled in at Dook.

P.S. Even being one of those people who just doesn't cry, like, ever, no matter how emotional they might be on the inside... I almost did.

4:31 PM  
Blogger /es/\e said...

wow... you are both amazing godly men... and I am proud to know you and have been able to work with you... and admire the men you are.

good job Ben... and you deserve it G.

9:47 AM  
Blogger UnderGod77 said...

oh man, even after countless hours of advanced english classes at RCHS, I have not been able to achieve such level of....what do you call it? writing i guess. I have always been a speaker and every once in a while a writer. Nevertheless, I truly regret to no have moved to this area sooner and to get to know George now that he has left for ORU. Anyway, I am sure I will see him again. In the movie National Treasure, the main character is reading the Declaration of Independence and the characters agree that people don't speak that way anymore....but that we think that way. Ben, the inspirational and emotional power fo your writing matches that of the Founders, you can speak your mind in your writin without trouble. God Bless you. God bless you too George.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Zae's Love Child said...

Whoa. Talk about brotherly love. Sweet.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Ben, sometimes all your words actually make sense....congrats..:)

9:54 PM  
Blogger gelfling said...

..........

*nods*

you done good, my son.. you done good.

10:07 PM  
Blogger classic pat said...

:)

6:16 PM  
Blogger heartlikeaglass said...

(i is so behind da times. oi.) happy george. and happy ben. *ding*

12:53 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

man, I could have cried, and not a word of that was about me. God bless all us newly college ppl.

9:43 PM  

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