I have been inspired by many people, but none so much as perhaps my hometown Pastor, Russell Snyder. But, though I am known to be, not a rule breaker, but rather a rule setter, and am likely to make my own parameters for how I plan to live this life, I do not plan to break the rules and thank Russell Snyder again tonight for the way that he shaped me as both a parent and a Christian. I can't do that, because I thanked him last night for responding to my writing. So, moving right along, and following the parameters that I have laid out, despite the fact that I broke the rules last night and thanked Cindy for inspiring me, as well as responding, my thanks giving tonight goes to:
1) Brandi Ulrey Hendrix - Drill Seargent/ Gym teacher, you pushed me to the limit. "VICKY, come on in here and join us! Let's go, Vicky! You can do it!" You made me want to do anything you asked. You have the inspirational impact of a motivational speaker. And, you have the Spirit of a Christian. It is great to see someone with the Spirit of Christ teaching people to treat their body as the temple of God. Thanks for the inspiration Brandi.
2)Hazel Stafford - thanks for all the inspirational quotes you share. My favorite was from back in January, "I see the sun rise in the morning and fall in the evening. I see the moon and stars at night, and just think to myself, isn't our God glorious?" That is so inspiring! And, of course, you inspired me with your devotion at Kate's bedside before she passed. thanks for the inspiration Hazel.
3)Mark Simmons - I often think about that sermon you preached where you used the illustration of a carrier at sea. You said they are not easy to turn around on the water. But, it's the big things in life that give you stability. On a carrier at sea, you don't really notice the waves, because the ship is so big. You compared this to the "big things" we might face. You explained that though they might seem devastating, they would give us stability and hold us together. I will never forget that analogy. You inspired me to survive a few "big things" in my own life, because I remembered from you that they would serve to make me more stable. Thanks for the inspiration Mark.
4)Stacey Giadrosich Tippin - Your love for Jesus, your worship, and your vision as an artist have inspired me to open my eyes and really see the world around me. You helped me to inspire the Quiz Teams. When I called you and described the scene I needed drawn for a particular Bible illustration, you brought it in just as I had imagined. You have the ability to make vision reality. Thanks for inspiring me to really see.
5)Bob Giadrosich - I see that the artistry runs in the family, only you make a living at it. Your work that most inspired me is the Lion painting. The eyes of the Lion remind me of the Lion of Judah, Jesus. Thanks for reading to my students and giving them all paintings to help inspire them as well as me.
6)April Watt - April you trully inspire me in the ministry that you and David carry out with the Bible Quizzers. Through you, I could see how a ministry is to be carried out. Thanks for leading me and helping me in the Quizzing Ministry. I could have never made it through that without you. Not only that, but you said something personal to me once that helped me in my personal situation in a way that I can't describe. You inspired me to push beyond the devil's stumbling blocks. Thanks for that inspiration.
7)Dana Peppers - Your work with the young people in Vacation Bible School and Drama is very inspiring. I love to see you become so animated with the kids. It is great to see the next generation take up the torch. It inspires me to see that in you. Thanks Dana!
8)Daniel Benefield - Thanks Daniel for working on the praise team. You are a great inspiration and a role model for the generation coming up. I am so glad that the adults don't have a monoply on the work in our church!
9)Scott Benefield - Your messages inspire me to reach higher in God. You speak quietly, and are often soft spoken, yet can be more inspired than any messenger of the Gospel that I have ever heard. I often read Charles Spurgeon's sermons, and wondered why preaching wasn't like that in this century; uplifting, inspiring, motivational, pointing to the Kingdom of God. You step beyond yourself and reach into the heart of Scripture to inspire your listeners. Thanks for the inspiration from God's Word Scott.
10) Ronnie Welch - My stepdad went to work every morning in the carpet mills. He inspired me to be a hard worker. But, more than that, he taught me to ride a bike to soar on the wind, to fly a kite (that we made with our own hands using newspaper) into the clouds, and he taught me how to drive a car so I could get wherever I wanted to go. He inspired me to fly and he gave me wheels and wings. Sometimes, he told me the stories of his tough childhood. I realized that he was doing for me what no one had done for him. Thanks Ronnie for raising me. You owed me nothing. You gave me everything you had.
God sends men and women just like these to inspire us to not only look upward, but to look inside ourselves for the best that we can be; to look outward to our fellow man to see what they need us to be. Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives him understanding. Remember that someone is watching and listening to you. You have a bigger impact than you will ever realize! Tomorrow night, look for ten of the people who have given me gifts.