Enjoying the Journey

Posts Tagged ‘influence’

The Most Important Lessons I Learned in My College Years

A few days ago I had the joy of addressing a group of college students in a local church. There were freshmen and upperclassmen, full of hope and excitement as they approached the beginning of a new year. Life is divided into seasons and every season has a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The college years are a time of preparation. In these days God is at work in so many ways to prepare young people for all He has for them. All of college was good for me. Dorm life. Student Events. Even History of Civilization. As I reflected on my college years I began to see that it was in this season of life that I began to understand that some…

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Why I Thank God for My 6th Grade Teacher

Teachers are powerful people.  This month thousands of teachers will be recognized.  Few will be appreciated as they deserve. As I think over my elementary, junior high, high school, college, and seminary years I remember quite a variety of teachers, and realize that God used each of them to help shape my life in some way. A few months ago my mother called and said that she had found an old book of mine at home and was sending it to me.  (My wife was very excited that I would have one more book to add to the collection around the house!)  This book was not a biography, a theological treatise, or one of the classics.  No. It was The Phantom…

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A Tribute to My Mother

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”  2 Timothy 1:5 To have a Timothy you need a Eunice.  Long before the Apostle Paul influenced this young man the sincere faith of his mother was making its lasting impression.  Long after Timothy had become an effective minister of the gospel it was the faith of Eunice that continued to serve as his example. I thank God for my Eunice.  My mother is a woman of great faith in God.  She is, in the words of my wife, “the perfect example of Proverbs 31.”  Every line.  All of…

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The Influence of a Good Friend

The wisest man who ever lived teaches us that “he that walketh with wise men shall be wise” (Proverbs 13:20).  Friends have tremendous influence.  For many years I have counseled teenagers to choose their friends carefully, not to let their friends choose them.  Standing near the mid way point of life (at least from my perspective) I suddenly have realized that this counsel is not just for youth.  It is for me.  It is for all of us. When you choose a friend, you are choosing the influencers of your life. Look for men who are wise enough to obey God.  True wisdom is the wisdom of obedience.  It is more than knowledge, more than talk.  True wisdom is seen…

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The Power of Parents

As I sit in my study at home there are two pictures of my parents on the desk in front of me.  One is a photograph taken on the night that I graduated from high school.  It is hard to believe that I will soon be the age that they were then.  This picture is the way they are indelibly impressed on my mind.  Time has moved on, but some things do not change. The other picture is a recent photograph taken of mom and dad.  They have aged very little through the years but my appreciation for them has grown more than I could ever express.  Children are in so many ways a product of their parents influence.  All…

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Aquila and Priscilla: A Biblical Marriage

God’s design is for families to serve Christ together in a New Testament church.  As we find our place in the Lord’s work, every member of the family is blessed and the local church is strengthened.  Aquila and Priscilla demonstrate what a married couple should be in a New Testament church.  We are first introduced to this family during Paul’s ministry in Corinth (Acts 18:1-3).  It is clear that Aquila was not a pastor.  Tentmakers by trade, this husband and wife lived for Christ in one of the most worldly cities of the Roman empire.  As they were faithful to the Lord Jesus, God gave them the opportunity to be a blessing to others. God used this couple to encourage…

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Making Your Life Count

Winter is a strange time in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Snow one hour…sunshine the next.  This morning I awoke to see a thick, freezing fog.  The Lord reminded me of one of the most powerful verses in Scripture: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14). Vapor is an amazing thing.  It appears.  It disappears.  This is life.  It is beautiful and mysterious and then it is gone.  I think it is a wonderful thing how God uses His creation to illustrate His truth. For many years when I was a boy my dad worked in the cemetery business.…

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Just for Men

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”  1 Corinthians 16:13 In a day of effeminate men I am more grateful than I have ever been for real men who have influenced my life.  My grandpa was a real man.  He taught me how to get my hands dirty and work harder than I ever thought I could.  My dad is a real man.  He taught me how to shake hands, how to walk, and how to speak like a man. He also taught me how to treat a lady by the way he treated my mother. Most of all they, along with other godly men, taught me by example what it means to be…

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Thank God for Teachers

Today I had the opportunity to be with a group of the elementary children in our Academy.  What formative years!  As I watched the wonderful teachers that God has given us I was reminded again of the powerful influence a teacher has in the life of a student. It was a kindergarten teacher that led me to Jesus Christ.  A very kind high school teacher made it his business to encourage me when I believed God wanted me to be a preacher.  Teachers are powerful people.  For me, they were divine appointments. Between my elementary and high school years God brought a godly man across my path.  Perhaps because 6th grade is such a critical time, or perhaps just because…

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