The impact that people have had on my life spiritually has been a huge blessing. The first person that I am thankful for is my Father. He is a pastor and has faithfully served the Lord in ministry for over thirty years. He spent time with us as a family each day by leading us to pray and talk about spiritual things. I remember many times that we had Bible studies and we did not necessarily want to and he was patient and never let up. The impact that he has had on my life is because he was authentic. He displayed a life of sacrifice for ministry and the family. Through his example I learned how to walk with God. The second person is my Mom who was patient and encouraging to my brothers and me to grow in God. She has a great heart to serve people and many times our house was full of people that needed encouragement. She has continually encouraged me to serve Christ with my life. I am truly blessed beyond what I deserve and pray that my life can be a blessing upon others.
My brothers have had an impact on my life in great ways. Jordan, my younger brother has left the biggest influence on my life. He went to be with Jesus on August 2008 through a battle with cancer. He was a warrior for Christ and continues to show me that “to live is Christ and die is gain.” His funeral was a day before his 21st birthday and although I miss him terribly, he always told me that if it was his time to go, then He was ready to be in the presence of Jesus. I pray that my life can reflect his perseverance and peace.
Fourth, my mentor Tod Tanner had a large impact on my growth as a person. He spent time as my professor in college to listen and challenge me to grow in the Lord. Through his many tough questions and encouragement, I was able to find ways to work through the tough areas of my life. He continues to be a committed voice by speaking into my life by offering wisdom and the right questions to lead me to know what is most important.
Fifth, my friend and mentor in ministry is Adam Hammond. He married me and Cassidy in Belleview, Florida. Adam is a great example of someone that helps encourage others. He always makes time to talk with me and give me wise advice on life and choices. He is godly man and father and is not swayed by all of the new fads but is consistent. I pray that I can emulate Him in his desire to lead students and families to love Christ.
Lastly, my wife has been the bedrock of a foundation for me. We have been married for over two years and as time goes by, she continually shows me what true grace and mercy looks like, especially because she has to put up with me! She gives of her time to mentor girls in her small group and I can see a true burden for their lives. Looking at the people in my life that have influenced me for Christ has shown me that I am blessed beyond what I ever deserve.