The Yellow House Trust Room / God Stories from Hartley the Heart

Today, I celebrate & honor my Godfather Earl (His 90th Birthday)!

I must trust the people who, God puts in key places of my life. My Godfather Earl helped me through critical times in my life. He believed in me & helped me keep my head up through the ‘Lifeguard Event”. Earl told me that I had a great heart & a lot of smarts!

INNER-CITY LIFEGUARD STORY

I moved out of my house at age 15 and was an inner-city lifeguard when I was 16 and 17 years old.  About three weeks into being a lifeguard, a little boy drowned. I pulled him out of the pool and it was too late, he died. Because of this experience, I lost all hope for my future.  The story of the boy drowning was on the front page of the newspaper, and the story was focused on how bad of a lifeguard I had been. The city was being sued, so they flew in a WSI to teach me everything about how to swim and every process possible. They wanted to record me on a video to show the courts that I was a great life guard. I tried to avoid the WSI, but he took me on a long drive.  He was an African American pastor and he painted a picture of a great future for me that was the Truth versus the lies, that I was believing. He declared who I could be and asked me if I would go through the boot camp to gain the capacity to win the war of hope for me and my future. As a result, I received a new view of my future full of Hope versus despair and hopelessness (Jer 29:11- ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity- to give you a future and a hope.)

FUELED MY DESIRE TO FIGHT FOR MY DESTINY

Because the WSI believed that my future was worth fighting for, it fueled my desire to fight for my destiny. I determined that my destiny would not be subject to a moment or a bad choice or situation (1 Tim 6:12- Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses)

HEALED MY VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Because the WSI believed that my future was worth fighting for, it  healed my vision for the future and gave me an opposite truth for the future, not one of failure and brokenness and hurting but of success and development (Jer 31:17- “There is hope in your future”, says the Lord, “that your children shall come back to their own border.”)

HEALED MY APPROACH TO THE NEXT GENERATION

Because the WSI believed that my future was worth fighting for, it healed MY approach to the next generation- Instead of Designing programs to tame rebellious children I began to build young men and women who want to work, who in the future would be apprentices.

(Ps 145:4- One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.)

EXPANDED MY VIEW OF MENTORSHIP

Because the WSI believed that my future was worth fighting for, it expanded his view of mentorship, and like a Zechariah generation, enabled godly leadership to come forth in me and in my life.

(Pr 17:6-Children's children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father.)

EXPANDED MY ABILITY TO FIGHT AND WIN

Because the WSI believed that my future was worth fighting for, it expanded my ability to fight and win.

(Bible Example) Benjamin- “son of my right hand”

Dt 31:7-Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.)