Many times over the past few years I have drawn attention to some people who have made a difference in my life or spoken in to my life in big ways. This could be men like professor Sumner Wemp, writer Mark Batterson, pastor Francis Chan, dreamer and helper of hurting people Matthew Barnett or his dad and prophet of God’s truth Tommy Barnett. There are many others too.
But I want to point you in a direction a bit different than the names above. I’d like to talk to you about some of the people that few of you have met but who have impacted my life. Realize that I am not sharing these people with you for their glory. Literally I share them for the glory of God. These people have allowed God to use them in powerful ways in my life and in the lives of others.
1 Thessalonians 3:8 NASB
for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
My family was blessed to spend over a week with my family in Oklahoma at Christmas time and through the New Year. It was so good. There are several people that I got to spend time with that mean much to me. Men like Harry Thompson who prays for me and holds a special place in my history and Allison Dickey who has pastored a small town church for several years and who I have seen grown in big ways. Allison’s wife, Marilyn, passed away this month. His family means much to me.
I love spending time with and learning from my dad. Christmas was sweeter because of that time with him. Few people have as much wisdom and insight as he does, and I still can’t understand how he has gotten so much smarter the last 20 years since he wasn’t too wise when I was a teen (hahaaa). I also got to spend some time with one of my greatest encouragers and giants of faith. That would be my brother Steve. This dad, husband, businessman, friend, mentor and follower of Jesus is amazing. Wow on both those men.
Last week I was with lots of the people who work with at speedways and with race fans across our country. Some of these people has poured into my life in awesome ways. Ron Pegram is one I admire greatly and who always encourages me. Howard Brammer is a new friend who I am learning from in huge ways. I also spent time with Dr. Roger Marsh. Roger for me is the father of this ministry. I’ve been able to listen to, learn from and work beside this man much in the last few years. I am so grateful for Roger’s faith and his passion for starting new ministry at the speedways. Another one of these men is David Martin from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I really am just getting to know David but his integrity and friendship encourage me big time.
The last men I draw you attention to are going to go unnamed in this past. They are the few men that I get to spend time with at our church and around the ministry that I am a part of. Even this week these men have poured into my life in ways I didn’t expect. I would be so much weaker without these men praying for me and speaking to me. Wisdom and strength seems to roll through their lives to others. How awesome these men are.
What is the link between these great men? There are a couple links. First, I have been blessed to spend time with these people. They have allowed their lives to make my life richer. Second, they connect themselves to God before they connect to anyone else. The best, brightest, and even biggest men I know are those who make God their priority. These men have done just that, and I am indebted to each. I praise God for each of these great men that I have spent time with.
Romans 15:5 NASB
Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,