Thursday, March 12, 2009

Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero

We all have people in our life who inspire us to keep moving forward. For no reason other than that I respect and admire these people, I decided to honor 5 of them today. My goal is to do this more regularly. That made it much easier to condense to my list to 5 people. The rules of this first round, is they must all live in Chicagoland area, and I must have at least marginally regular contact.

#1 - My Wife Christi
In addition to being the love of my life, she is my hero! I have never seen a person become so alive in a year. My first nine years of marriage, were always great because she is my best friend. They are a dim comparison to this last year. God has come alive and lives nearby to a person who always kept him so distant. That transformation inspires me to pursue looking more like the Jesus who is her first love. She really is my better half.

#2 - My Mentor Chuck Miller
I have a great father, and in another one of these post I will most certainly honor him. However next to my dad, no man has had a greater leadership role in my life than Chuck. Although I have sat through some of the most painful conversations of my life with him, as he exposed the darkness I attempt to keep well contained, each of these has left me stronger and wiser. I would never have matured into the man I am without his shepherding these many years.

#3 - My Co-Worker Dan Blume
One of my favorite places at work is over in the room where Dan works. He is a hero to me because he makes being nice to people look so easy. Dan always has an encouraging word for everyone. We have had some unlovable people work here over the years, and even they knew friendship and kindness from Dan. Dan is the living expression of indiscriminate love, and we could all use that modeled in front of us a lot more often.

#4 - My Friend Stephen Lamb
I like to talk a lot about the gospel for the least of these. I like to lecture, and soap box about what it means to live like Jesus. I can debate the best of you on the real meaning of taking up your cross daily. Stephen though lives it out. He is an intelligent, dynamic personality that could be working for about any church he wanted to, living any life he desired. Instead he works in an integrated church with an attendance just about 100, and he lives in a place where he stands out like a giant white q-tip. (He is Tall) Stephen doesn't talk about the least of these, he lives among them.

#5 My Friend Linnea Lang
Adversity is a word most people, myself included, cringe at. Linnea lives it every day. Though confined to a wheelchair, she towers above a crowd of people eeking out a life half lived. I am always inspired by the depth to which she seeks to be a part of God's work in the world. It would be easy to live a life of defeat while permanently seated in a chair, and yet she will have nothing of the sort. She is seeking to bring the Kingdom of God on earth as is it is in heaven, with the the best of them. I am reminded by her, that nothing separates from the redemptive work of Jesus in the earth.

So there it is! Round 1 - 5 Chicagoan people I am proud to call my heroes!

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