Dear friends:

There are few people who could ever cross your path and make an impact on you like my friend, Bob Briner. This humble man, who could have spent hours giving valid reasons why he should be regarded as someone important, sought to know more about me. He wanted to know how he could help me. How he could serve me. He made himself surprisingly available to me.

He didn't think he knew the answers.
He just knew how to relate the questions...


I have to admit that sometimes I can get too busy. And sometimes I get busy with just being busy. It's like a vicious cycle that never ends. I've got to jump on the bus and go here and go there. Of course, it's ministry, mind you. But even still, I can use that busyness as an excuse to justify not taking the time to be with someone who may need it.

Bob went out of his way to give his life away to others. I was fortunate to have spent time with Bob, experiencing his selfless, service-minded lifestyle. And I know that I'll never be the same.

He had the fragrance of Jesus...


Sometimes we need to see Jesus with skin on. All the sermons in the world could not express the reality of Christ to me like Bob managed to do during the short time that I knew him before his death.

He taught me from his book, "The Leadership Lessons of Jesus," taking things that Jesus did and applying them to our lives. Simple things-like returning people's phone calls, or writing a note of appreciation to someone after just meeting them, or even addressing an issue directly with a person, rather than going to someone else. He appreciated people...had time for people.

I went out and bought dozens of note cards...
I carry them around with me now.


He was very secure in who he was and the mission that God placed him on. Too often we're slow to show too many feelings for fear they won't be reciprocated. I think we're too busy. He was willing to take time. He took it on as one of his life's missions to be focused on others. Truly, it's about being a Christian.

Bob inspired me to write a song called "Jesus To the World." Honestly, it's not meant to be a memorial or a tribute to Bob. I wanted Bob to hear this and know that he had inspired me with his teachings, and that hopefully the Lord will use this song to stir up this "externally-focused" thinking in others.

We need to be lambs that roar
We need to be eagles that soar
We need to be salt
We need to be light
We need to be Jesus to the world


My prayer is that we would not let the whole world pass us by. We need to take the time to invest our lives in the people around us. Even if it's just at the PTA meeting! We need to start encouraging our kids to be actors, to be artists, to be great writers-people of faith who will affect our culture with their insight and perspective.

It gets very easy to be comfortable as Christians and stay on our little island where it's comfortable, and think that's where we need to be. It's time we stop complaining about all the evil in society, and start planting seeds of Christ's hope and love into every corner of the earth.

When we originally wrote the song, it was going to come out last year. When it came around to this spring, Bob was getting very ill from cancer and the requisite treatments. NewSong's manager, Troy VanLiere of 5:14 Management, came up with the idea to bring in friends of Bob, people who had been affected by his life, to come join us on the final chorus of the song. So we got on the phone (very last minute), and pulled together about 30 people in Nashville who wanted to be a part of this song.

Please understand that I do not want this to seem like we've written a tribute song to this man, because it certainly doesn't come close to summing up what his life has been, or what he's meant to me, and so many others. I had hoped for Bob to hear this as a get well soon card, but the Healer beat us to him.

Thank God for the ultimate healing that Bob received,
for he is surely enjoying that right now.


Bob Briner knew in his heart who he was in Christ. He could teach us because he put a lot of truth in his heart. He knew what Jesus did so well that he knew how to apply it to his life, and to ours. My life is different now because I understand the need to be putting that truth into my heart every moment. So I can be in a place of obedience, living in truth, and taking the time for people.

It's impossible to orchestrate the life of Jesus into your life. We have to take time to be intimate with him, to be open to his voice, and for him to live his life through us.

I wanted to spend time with my friend Bob, so I could know him, and understand the principles by which he ran his life. And that's the same calling Jesus has for me. I have to spend with Him. He wants me to know Him. That's the only way I'll ever truly be able to be Jesus to the world.

Sincerely,

Eddie Carswell
NewSong