We are all influenced, either positively or negatively, every day by various people. Sometimes we may not even realize the influence another person has on us, or the influence we have on others. Each of us influences someone by the things we say and do. I hope my influence on those around me is positive. Which leads me to today’s thought. Who are the positive influences in my life?
The first people that come to mind are my immediate family. My wife and kids influence me in very personal ways that no one else can. But what about people outside my family? Who do I know that has such a positive impact on my life that I need to tell everyone? While thinking about this I realized there are several people I could mention, so I decided to narrow it down and talk about 4 of them.
1. Mark Marshall: Mark is my pastor, at ClearView Baptist Church. I immediately thought of Mark because he is teaching me so much, both on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Mark challenges me spiritually as he teaches God’s Word. He is a phenomenal teacher who genuinely cares for each and every one of us in his congregation. Mark has been a major influence on my spiritual walk over the past couple of years, and I appreciate that more than he will ever know.
2. Michael Smith: Michael is also a pastor at ClearView and our worship leader. Michael has also been very influential in my spiritual life. He brings such a passion to worship and has taught me that worship is not about what I get from the service. It’s all about Him. Michael has helped me look at worship in a totally different way, especially when I get the chance to participate as part of the worship ministry. Instead of hoping the audience enjoys the music we play I pray that what we do on stage will glorify God and point the congregation to Him.
3. Ed Kee: Ed is my church orchestra director. Ed has challenged me to become a better musician. I’ll admit that I still have lots of room to improve, but I can see (and hear) a difference. Ed is constantly challenging us (the ClearView orchestra) to give our best when we play. After all, our audience on Sunday morning is God Almighty! I don’t practice like I should, but Ed has motivated me to focus more on my own playing and improve my talent. Hopefully I will continue to improve under Ed’s positive influence.
4. Ronnie Holland: Ronnie is a friend and co-worker. He has had a very positive influence on me from a business standpoint and in my spiritual life. I have a lot of respect for Ronnie and have told him so in the past. He and I have developed a wonderful friendship over the past several years, and I feel very comfortable talking openly with him about many different topics. We have sort of developed into accountability partners, as each of us discuss various things with the other. Ronnie also leads a Bible study each Wednesday at our office. His leadership role with that study has influenced my own personal study time. I’m glad to have Ronnie as a friend.
I want to publicly say thank you to each of the gentlemen listed above. Each of you positively influences an area of my life, and I appreciate you! My hope is that I can be a positive influence on each of you as well.