WHO …

WHO has had the most positive influence in your life in the past, apart from God, your parents and your spouse?  And what about right now?  Or would you like to talk about negative influences in your life?

I’ll go first.

In High School, I had a teacher who taught something we call “MORAL” in Europe.  They are supposed to teach you life values and add a bit of philosophy to it—make you think.  This teacher just loved to make fun of my faith in Jesus and continually asked me challenging questions about why I believed what I believed.  As hard as he was on me, he forced me to analyze what I stood for and why.  And he certainly influenced me more than most, making me stand on my own two feet of faith.

Today, the most positive influence on my life is wrapped up in 7 ladies, my prayer group that meets once a week.  Their unwavering commitment to the Lord and the church strengthens me continually.

As far as negative influences in my life, I’ll let this one go for today…

Your turn!

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12 comments

  1. This is tough!! After thinking for a while, I’d say the person who had the most positive influence on me in the past was my colorguard instructor. She had such passion for what she did (it was almost tangible), and that has caused me to see what a big deal passion is. I need to show my passion for music to my students because who knows what kind of impact it may have on them!

    Currently I’m influenced by all the women who I’m close to in church. Doesn’t matter if they’re old or young. I stand in awe that the Lord would give me such wonderful people who will always point me to Him, challenge me, encourage me, and support me. I couldn’t ask for more amazing women!

    I won’t dwell on the negative 🙂

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  2. I believe the Lord brings different people into your life. He uses them to exhort, encourage, strengthen and sometimes hold you up when you are not able to stand on your own. Those people could possibly only be in your life for a season. I have had the priviledge of several people like that im my life..His instruments..Godsends.

    Who has had the most influence in my life though other than God and my family are those few faithful friends…the tried and true…the ones whom I can be real with and vice versa….who have been there for me through the thick and the thin..through many trials and victories. I love them dearly. I believe God created us for relationship and I’m thankful for that!

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  3. Who has had the most influence on me? My midwife. Yup. She is kind, compassionate, real, accessible. She is steady and authentic as she cares for me during my pregnancies and has stood in the gap for me and my family as I have dealt with postpartum depression for the last year.

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    • I find it amazingly wonderful that a person who does her job well can have such an influence on our lives. May I be that person for many!

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  4. I’ve been thinking about this for several days. Obviously, this post has made us all think, Barbara! While I could list many, many names of women who have helped me immeasurably in walking with God, including yours, Barbara–for sure!–I will concentrate on one name: Walsa, woman of the Word beyond compare. While I consider myself a woman of the Word, too, time spent with Walsa provokes me to jealousy in the very best of ways: watching and listening to her excitement at what she has just heard from the Lord through His word makes me thirsty for more of Him. And I always get to glean powerful nuggets from what she has heard, and they help me, too.

    When I grow up, I want to be Walsa.

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    • It is interesting that you want to be like the person who influenced you, and I so don’t want to be like the one who influenced me– He challenged me but was not an example of what I want to be like, but Walsa challenges us and makes us want to be like her!

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  5. I had to really think about this one. I think I’ve met many people who were “bit-part” players who came in my life for one season and out the next but still inspired me to be the best teacher i could be or the best driver I could be! In all though, none stick to my memory as much as 4 young lads one Easter in Switzerland who seemed to be more involved in a vital turning point in my life than I realised. These boys were not after my attention or attraction but loved me as Jesus did and are to this day bonafide brothers to me. Men of God, Oaks of Righteousness who truly inspired me to run after Jesus like I’ve got nothing left.

    As of now, my greatest influences come from those around me who excel in whatever they do…I want to learn the best from these people…in how to talk effortlessly to strangers, to make something delicious from scratch, to love when no one else does, those who are super organised, who are honest about their feelings, people who can make learning a joy for all involved, those who open their homes selflessly, those who walk down an aisle with over 2 billion people watching world wide and not flinch at all, those who show mercy, show forgiveness, show love and mostly reflect Jesus in all his glorious ways!

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  6. A person who has had a major influence on my life is my best girlfriend Cindi’s Dad. His name was Bob. I first met him when I was in the fourth grade. Back then, I just always thought of him as being a lot of fun. He was always had a good story or a joke to tell.

    As we grew up, he remained a constant in my life. I always knew he was there if I ever needed him. He just had that kind of presence. His wife, Peg, was a feisty (at times) but sweet woman. Their relationship was something that you could look towards and say that you wanted something like that in your own life eventually.

    I lost my parents at a young age (my Dad when I was 14, my Mom when I was 23). Bob and Peg were always a supportive presence for me. When I would go to visit them, they would always ask about my family and my life and how things were going for me. When I met my future husband, I took him to meet Bob and Peg, and they welcomed him as family as well.

    When Jay and I were ready to be married, I asked Bob to stand for me in my Dad’s place. He said yes without a moment’s hesitation. He and Peg made sure that the day was extra special for me.

    Through the years, we stayed in touch. When we were able to visit, we always felt very welcome. No matter what was going on in his life (illness, his mother and her health issues, Peg’s health issues, financial strain, etc.), Bob always showed a positive outlook. On the worst of days, you could ask him how he was doing and he would say, “Barbie, if I was any better, I couldn’t stand it”.

    He passed away on his birthday, August 19, 2004. He was hit by a car getting his mail. At the funeral home, there were hundreds of people who came to pay their respects. Many of them had stories similar to mine of Bob’s kindness, generosity, attention to others needs, and the willingness to go the extra mile for another person. No one had an idea of all the good that he had done for people in his life. In other words, looking back on his life, he was the epitome of the saying, “What would Jesus do?” He simply walked the Christian walk as best he could and did not spend a lot of time dwelling on negatives. He had a quiet confidence in his God and trusted in Him.

    The legacy that he has left for all of us is priceless.

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