Special Edition – Mentors

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2 Timothy 2:2 – [T]he things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – I’ve had a handful of mentors in my walk with Christ. First off were my mom and dad who
cultivated the soil and planted the seeds of the Gospel in my formative years and continued to water the tender shoot that sprang up.

Then there was the pastor of my youth (Richard Stahler and wife Donna), who reaped the harvest as they were instrumental in leading me to the Lord.

There was a period of drought in my late teens and early adulthood where there was not much growth.  But Christ began to capture my heart again under the shepherding of my pastor at that time (Elwin Colson and wife Joanne), who helped clear out the weeds that were choking off the growth.

Life became a whirlwind of sorts with the birth of a handicapped son (Joshua), followed within eighteen months with the birth of a second son (Joel) who doctors encouraged us to abort.  After the death of Joshua, I was introduced to my next mentor and new pastor (Steve Persson and wife Jaime) who helped Eileen and I work through the pain of the death of a son, and helped bring back life into a spiritual walk that could just as easily have withered on the vine .

Which brings me to my latest mentor (Bill Badal and wife Michelle – pictured with me above), who we honored today at church upon their retirement from “paid” ministry.  I remember Bill introducing himself to me on a Sunday or Wednesday evening years ago as a candidate for associate pastor (youth pastor no less!) for our church.  In the true spirit of Nathanael (“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”), I recall thinking to myself “is this the best we can do?”

Now, I will never claim to be a prophet, because I’m sure I haven’t even gotten close to 1% fulfillment, way short of the required 100%.  But I got this one right, even though I originally meant it sarcastically.  Bill you were the best we could do, and FBC in general, and me in particular, have benefitted tremendously over the years.  Thank you Bill and Michelle.

My Advice – Maybe you have a memory, or words of thanks, you want to pass on to Bill and Michelle.  If you do it here, I can almost guarantee Bill will see it.  He encouraged me to start this blogsite (yes, he is partly to blame) and is, apart from my mom, my most loyal “follower.”  He “likes” my posts most every day, although I am sure there are many he likes less than others.

Bill, I hope I am becoming one of those reliable men who can be entrusted to pass along and reproduce in others, what you (and the others before you) passed along to me,  whether by cultivating, planting, watering, weeding or reaping.

Postscript – You will notice that with each of my mentors I also mentioned their wives, often the unsung heroes behind the face of the ministry.  They are worthy on honor too!

 

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