I woke up at 5 am the other morning and could not go back to sleep. As opposed to laying there for an hour I decided to get up, get dressed, and go watch the sunrise. I ended up at the Newport Beach pier watching surfers brave the chilling waters, a group of Vietnamese men catching small fish, and a giant heron waiting patiently for someone to drop a fish so he could get an easy breakfast.
After hanging out, walking, and praying for a bit I decided to grab some breakfast. While there I noticed a guy in his twenties sit down with a guy who appeared to be around fourteen years old.
What struck me about this was the kids hair cut. He had this jacked up hair cut with the sides shaved and kinda long on top. I immediately had a flash back as I had the same hair cut one time. Then I thought “Shouldn’t this kid be in school?” Then I watched as this older guy with long hair sticking out of his hat and this teenager bowed their heads to pray.
This was around the time I had the jacked up hair cut.
As I watched this guy engage this teenager in conversation I thought of two things immediately.
1. I am going to buy them breakfast.
2. Where was that guy when I was a 14 year old punk?
When the waitress came by I asked her to bring me their check as I wanted to buy them breakfast. She was so excited that it made me want to buy the whole restaurant breakfast.
Although I am not real cash heavy right now I know the generous soul will be made rich and I wanted to invest in this guy. So many meals have been bought for me and I have bought so many meals for others.
I sat there and watched these two interact and thought about how rare this site is.
Mentors are hard to come by.
We normally hang out with those our age and those who think like us.
I dropped out of school when I was fifteen year old. And although all the mentors of my teenage life were losers and drug addicts but God has blessed me since I began journeying with him.
I want to thank a few people that have mentored me along the way.
I am forever grateful of your investment.
Darrel and Kim Ross – My parents are two of the most amazing people on the planet. The sacrifices they made to provide for our family and spend time with my brother and I as we were growing up impacted me more than anything else I have experienced.
John Hazeres – When I started my journey with Christ John took me under his wing and taught me about prayer, leadership, scripture memory, passion for God and His cause. The number one thing John taught me was how to do relationships. My greatest strength today came from John’s input in my life.
Don Horton – This man saw something in me that I did not see in myself. He was pivotal in imparting a heart for indigenous leaders and belief in the next generation. I was given travel and speaking opportunities as a young believer that most people never get.
Stephen and Rhonda Burns – When you walk away from a conversation with Stephen you feel like you have just met Jesus. No kidding. I love the compassion and empathy that characterizes his life. Rhonda has always been an ear when I needed it the most and has always given me honest feedback in her fiery way!
Tony Cribb – One of the wisest guys I know when it comes to handling the practical aspects of life. Also allowed me to serve on his team for five years and during that time I gain great insight into structure, leadership, and finances.
Warren Wilkes – I have always appreciated Warren’s ability to listen and always give another perspective. Sometimes I tend to only see things from my side of the story and not take in other peoples reasons for doing things. Even through pain and tough circumstances I have watched Warren keep on moving forward.
Kevin King – When I first started in the ministry I loved hanging out but did not know how to organize anything! Kevin was the complete opposite of me and happened to be my boss. This created a lot of sparks but I am so grateful for the time he patiently spent walking with me through this season of development. I am not anywhere near as administrative and organized as I would like to be but I at least understand the importance of it now.
Gene Burgess - I have met very few people in my life who are as positive and motivated as Gene. His passion for life and living your dreams is beyond contagious. Gene asked me one question that inspired me and has directed my life ever since. The question was “If you had unlimited time and unlimited resources what would you do with your life?” I wrote down five things that then lead me to be the man I am today.
Kristian Echols – Very few people can actually be a jack of all trades. They end up being a master at none. Kristian is different. He has his hands in so many things and when he is focused on something it turns out great. He has walked with me through so many seasons and has taught me how to edit videos, create graphics, websites, and we have had a lot of crazy experiences and conversations!
Tony Dale - Although I have not spent a great deal of time with Tony the small amounts of time that were spent were so rich I had to mention him here. Tony has done just about everything. I look at his life and I am challenged to never stop learning and growing. I remember when he predicted the economic crisis way before it happened and I am grateful for his financial advise.
Jeanne Mayo - I had the privilege of being a part of a mentoring group called The Cadre. Jeanne has been championing the cause of youth ministry and inspiring youth pastors for decades. The one quote that I share on a weekly basis with others is “You teach what you know but you reproduce who you are” Jeanne has reproduced herself through developing youth leaders for the long haul.
Irvin Rutherford - One of the only men I have ever said I want to follow them as they follow Christ. Irvin spent the time investing into my life by giving me opportunities around the world that I will never forget. He spoke to me more directly about God and myself than anyone I have met. Forever grateful for Irvin’s passion for the unreached peoples of the world.
John – Almost every week that I spent with John during the two years we lived together he inspired me or taught me something. He lost everything. His family. His inheritance. Everything. He taught me how to give when you have nothing. How to love when you are not loved. He inspired me to love Jesus with simplicity and child like faith. Thank you bro! I love you.
Leon and Teresa Shearer – If I can sum up their influence on my life it would be one word. Listening. Listening is a true art. Knowing how to listen and knowing whether or not to give feedback and how much is a skill developed over time.
Barry and Margaret Court - I have only known Margaret for a little less than two years. But in that short time she really impacted my life. She is a Wimbledon Tennis champion and still holds many records. But her passion for souls and her vision has inspired me. Margaret and her husband Barry are the only leaders in my travels around the world that sat me down and asked me how I was doing. They asked about my ministry life, personal life, financial situation and taught me to care more about who people are not just what they can do.
Rob Booth Jones – Recently while in Australia I had an intense conversation about my future with Rob and we had a follow up conversation as well. In the follow up conversation he challenged me to stay true to who I am and to stick to the calling. I have a million ideas and I walked away from that coffee meeting with those words gripping me as the Spirit kept reminding me of them. This season is all about finding my essence for a future season. I am gaining clarity and appreciate conversations like this from men who have proven themselves over decades. Congrats on pastor of the year for 2010 Rob and Denice!
Dave Gibbons - FOCUS – After hanging out with Dave for just two months he has heard a million of my ideas. The other night at dinner he said “There are a million great things you can do but you have to do what is going to have the greatest impact”. That statement and his words help me focus on being who I am and how God has gifted me. Impact flows out of his life because he is focused on who is.
Who has Mentored you?
Make a list.
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