Friday, November 17, 2006

Men Who Have Made a Difference In My Life

Bob Woodroof – Woodroof and I were a pair. Our personalities clicked from the moment we met. He was the entire Public Relations, publications and advertising department of OVC when I attended there. We learned how to remodel his house together. We spent the better part of one summer building a backyard brick barbecue. We spent many late nights drinking McHappy’s coffee in the basement of Heather Hall forging our friendship.

He taught me to think “outside the box” before that was such a cliché. He was one of the original “outside the box” thinkers. He could see the possibilities in houses, in cars, and in people. “Yeah, but think of what it would look like if…”

He was a brother and a friend who always knew when to call me. Gone too soon, I miss him every day.

Decker Clark – Decker is the father figure that I wanted as a child. Godly and ready to listen, he has ministered in the same spot for over 40 years.

His wisdom and friendship has been a stabilizing influence in my life for the last 20 years. He has ministered to me time and time again. When I picture the father of the prodigal son from Luke 15 I always picture Decker. He is always welcoming and ready to celebrate the living.

James Walters – I know what I know about the Bible and Bible study because of James. By allowing himself to be used by God - he helped take the edges off a raw, young man. His preaching shaped my own study and delivery. He is a mentor in every sense of the word and does it in a self-depreciating fashion.

He taught me to ask the tough questions. He helped me to be a better minister to others. And the stories we have of our adventures together in New England! There is no better teacher and Boston University is the better for having him.

Jesse Perry - We met our freshman year. Jesse was a sophomore. He was soft spoken and kind with a wicked sense of humor. Because of our friendship and love of music we would later be roommates. He would open up the world of Christian music to me, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, The Imperials, John Michael Talbot, Phil Driscoll and Don Francisco. And with that he opened my eyes to a larger Christian community.

His missional life inspired me to go to New England. Jesse and his wife are the kinds of folks who just let God lead them.

Roddy Chestnut – Where do I start? He truly is closer than a brother. Our lives have paralleled each other. We have counseled each other, encouraged each other and always expected the best from one another. His steadfast friendship and undying support have ministered to me again and again.

Roddy faces life with the courage of his convictions and has always inspired me to do the same.

Mike Coffey - Since 1986 Mike has taught me stuff. I knew how to cook. He taught me to cook well. Our mutual admiration for Julia Child has led us on many a culinary field trip.

He has helped me with all kinds of projects at the cabin. The engineer in him means that very few projects intimidate him, even if it includes electrocuting a friend.

But the greatest lesson he taught me was when he and Susan opened their home to me when I needed a place to land. Their graciousness through the years has served as an example and a reminder of who I want to be.

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