If you are just joining us on the blog this week, take a moment to check out our theme so you understand what we are up to this week at Sacred Margins. Thanks for stopping by!
For some reason we tend to wait until funerals and major transition moments to share the ways folks have impacted our lives. While it is human nature, it seems a little off to me. Over the next couple of days we plan to share some of the folks who have made a significant impact on our lives.
Now remember these will not be comprehensive lists, but should give credit where it is due. Our lists will include those who have passed on as well as those who are still living. Here at Sacred Margins, you don’t have to be dead to be a saint!
Bob and Dodie Robey
I’d be a bad son if I didn’t start with my parents, right? Or, I would be a huge liar. My parents gave my sister and I – as well as generations to come if they choose – an amazing gift: a relationship with Christ. Neither really came to Jesus before they were married. Within a couple of years of being married, my mom was baptized by a local preacher and not so far after my dad. This choice set in motion a new way of looking at life and doing family. Both of my parents came from broken homes that were by no means faithless – but seemed to be more indifferent – regarding living for Christ.
My parents are a fantastic example of what a small series of good decisions can do for a family system. Because they chose to follow Jesus early in their marriage, my sister and I have also done so. We have known nothing but supportive church communities and a stable family because of them.
Also, my parents had a remarkable ability to let us choose what we were good at and go for it. I can never remember being pushed into a sport or subject I didn’t care about. They wanted us to figure out what we wanted to do – and do it well! Because of this, I feel like I was able to excel at things that really interested me without feeling pressure to do things I never cared about to begin with.
Thanks, mom and dad!
No, not that one. Steve was the local weekend weatherman at Channel 6 in Wichita Falls in the early to mid 90’s. And just because of that, I thought he was a rock star. But then, he became our youth minister after we lost ours during my sophomore year. Steve was a single guy without any ministry training. He just loved teenagers and was really good relating and making them feel special. There are very few people in the world who can communicate value and worth to a person better than Steve. I know I mattered to him and because of that, I felt like I mattered to God. This is a huge idea for a young and confused teenager.
Also, Steve proved to me you didn’t have to fit a certain pedigree to go into church ministry. Steve excelled at being a minister despite having a ministry degree, experience, or a wife. While eventually gained all three of these, he was able to do so without these things and make a significant impact on a small group of students in Wichita Falls.
Carl and Landis Hogue
The Hogues represent what I consider to be my second family growing up. They had the coolest house out in the country with a swimming pool, 4-wheelers, a pool table, and all of the food a teenager could eat. There was a side door to their house that was always unlocked and countless teenagers came and went over the years. I can’t imagine how much food they bought for the hungry teenage boys that basically lived at their house hanging out with Shayde, Lacy, and Caisson.
I have lived a lot of my life wanting to be that kind of family who have an open house for teenagers to hang out. One thing I have learned about this – it is hard! To open your house continually like they did for so many years took sacrifice, money, and probably a pretty high cleaning bill.
But, the Hogue’s did so willingly knowing they were investing in something much greater than themselves. They taught me what it means to love God and show it through how they lived as a family. There aren’t many families I know that love each other like the Hogues. Carl and Landis have a lot to be proud of and should know how much they impacted so many kids. I can’t tell you how much they meant to me as an awkward military kid.
I spent three years in little Vernon, TX as a green youth minister. These were part of my many single years so you might imagine what it felt like to be young and alone in a small town. Plus, I was learning what it meant to be a youth minister at a rather conservative church. Joe is a farmer out close to the Red River it what feels like the middle of nowhere. Many nights I spent out at the Kohler’s house eating steaks and riding out into the pasture talking about life. Joe helped me make sense of working at a church I didn’t always understand. He was a source of wisdom in a time where I really needed someone who knew the terrain I was navigating.
Just like Joe knew the land he farmed like the back of his hand, he knew the people of the church and the community. But, he was also a provoker and agitator – in a good way. He was a rather progressive thinker for such a small town. We would sit on his land and dream about what things could be if people would just work together and not worry about the small things. Joe filled a special role for a developing minister. Joe is one of my lifetime pastors.
I will post part two of this blog on Thursday. I have another 4-5 I would like to add to my list but do not wish to have a 2000 word post! Share with us some of the “saints” in your walk. Who are they? How did they make an impact?