Our Mission

Our motto: “Having the Courage to Encourage others; Encourage our selves”

Our vision is our mission.

Our vision is to have courage. Our mission is to encourage. Our prayer is for God’s favor in enabling us to have the courage to encourage others, as well as, our selves.

Specifically, our goal is this: each man will pray for one male that they would like see come to know Jesus Christ in a personal way. The person I will be praying for will be Craig Birkhead (and Joe Ceravolo… I know I said “one” person…). Craig has been a long time friend for more than 37 years. Joe has been my other best friend for over 25 years. We will pray, individually and collectively, for men like these two to accept Jesus Christ into their heart because we know and understand the transformation that will occur in each man’s heart, as well as, the changed destiny that will occur in many generations to come because of one man’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Once he accepts Jesus Christ into his heart we will introduce him to our group and invite him to become part of Arboretum.

We will pray together, shed tears together and encourage each other together.

At the end of the day, we will walk in each others shoes, seeking impact over impression. We want to impact others lives through encouragement with the praise and glory going to God and to the marvelous plan that He has for each one us. A plan that is built on the foundation of His mercy, his grace and Him dying on the cross for our sins.


“Shoes”, 1888, Vincent van Gogh

A Cohort of Encouragers:

1. The Latin word for Encourage is Hortor. Hortor is defined as: exhort, incite, encourage.

To inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running. To stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students.

Origin: late 15c., from O.Fr. encouragier, from en- “make, put in” + corage (see courage).
Synonyms: 1. embolden, hearten, reassure. 2. urge; support, aid, help.

2.  Cohort:

a group or company: She has a cohort of admirers. A companion or associate.
One of the ten divisions in an ancient Roman legion, numbering from 300 to 600 soldiers.

Origin: 1475–85;  < Middle French cohorte  < Latin cohort-  (stem of cohors ) farmyard, armed force (orig. from a particular place or camp), cohort, retinue, equivalent to co- co- + hort-  (akin to hortus  garden); replacing late Middle English cohors  < L nominative singular.

Synonyms: friend, comrade, fellow, chum, pal, buddy.

Cohort was originally one of the ten divisions of a legion in the Roman army, containing from 300 to 600 men. The most common use of cohort today is in the sense of “group” or “company”: A cohort of hangers-on followed the singer down the corridor. In a development emphasizing the idea of companionship, cohort has also come to mean a single companion, associate, or the like: The senator strode into the room followed by his faithful cohort, his son-in-law.


“Landscape with House and Ploughman”, 1889, Vincent van Gogh (enlarged)

Anytime a group of men, business men, come together from different backgrounds, business sectors and have experienced different types of success (and failures) it’s easy to take notice of someone that has the ability to create a competitive advantage for another in the future. Engaging in business is a very natural thing and it is encouraged to take place within the men of Arboretum. But all should remember, our number one priority is to grow closer to God in a very intimate way, all the while, seeking out every possible opportunity to encourage others and to encourage our selves. Growing closer to God, becoming intimate with Him, is the main priority, all the while being an encourager during the process.

“Flower Beds in Holland”, 1883, Vincent van Gogh

As I mentioned before, it was the words of Charles Stanley spoken to a group of seminary students in 1989 I heard on the radio that instigated in my heart and soul to find 39 men, 39 Godly men, that wanted to grow closer to God, to encourage others and to encourage themselves. Dr Stanley understood that he needed to surround himself with Godly men to pray with, to grow with, and to be encouraged by if he were to succeed in his vocation. It took him took 4 years to achieve this goal, but achieve he did. 40 men can make a difference. They can make an impact.

While preparing for his first sermon Dr Stanley’s mother gave him one bit of advice. The advice was centered around, and built upon, one piece of scripture: Joshua 1:9.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

It was out of those words of wisdom that Charles Stanley was encouraged to preach God’s word and to never look back and to never look upon himself, but to look up and take courage and become strong in the one, the only One, that can make a difference in our lives. Great words of wisdom form a mother, a Godly Mother.

We need to take heed of Joshua 1:9 and be strong; be courageous. Things will get tough at some point. They will get tough in our lives and in the lives of people we come in contact with. We need to know this now and learn to pray daily and not just when a storm appears. We need to prepare ourselves and ask God to put us in the position to encourage others when the storms of life hit them and they don’t no where to turn. We no what it is to have a “rock; a “refuge” in our lives. Most do not. Let’s do well and remember that many people, people we know, are in need, in need to be supported; to be strengthened. In need to be encouraged. Let’s be those men. Let’s have the courage to encourage. (1018)

File:Van Gogh - Country road in Provence by night.jpg

            “Road with Cypress and Star” – (1890) Vincent Van Gogh

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