Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as they do. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:7-8 NLT)
Today, as we talked about the Discovering element of our Vision, I encouraged each of us to let folks who helped shape our faith and introduce us to Jesus know how precious they are to us.
For me, my parents, Al and Margaret Ware, were crucial in both introducing me to Jesus and also to showing me real faith in action. When my mom remarried several years after my dad’s death, my mom remarried a godly man who has been a great grandfather to our children. His name is Grady Jolly. Grady’s oldest son, Randy who is now my oldest step brother, had helped my own dad teach my Bible class when I was in eighth grade. God has an interesting and gracious sense of purpose!
When I attended college and was studying to go into ministry, Lynn Anderson and Neil Lightfoot invested time and encouragement in me and my future. Their influence and friendship are still cherished blessings that helped shape me and the ministry path God had me take. I can’t thank them enough. Early in ministry, Paul Faulkner join Lynn in supporting, encouraging, and advising me.
Finally, I need to mention one other person who has had a huge influence on my ministry simply by her faith, example, friendship, and encouragement. I deeply appreciate Betty Sanders and her faith and character. Whether she knows it or not, she has had a profound influence on my life and ministry.
To each of these folks and to the Lord, I say, “I remember! I remember you and your lives and your faith. And I thank you and thank God for you!”