There are people who inspire me in life a great deal. Today, I am sharing about them, and how they have inspired me in 2014. I hope they inspire you as well.
Mitch is my friend and pastor. He has been my preacher for the past 5 years, and a huge influence on my life. There were a lot of times I was down in 2014. Walking in on Sundays and hearing a message of God’s grace and love for me kept me going a lot of times. One of the hard things about preaching is wondering the way a message can affect someone’s life. Well, Mitch, I’m thankful for the years you have poured into me. Thanks for inspiring, dreaming, and believing big things with God for each person you encounter.
Rio is a Texan who lives with zeal, and determination. Throughout this year, I have been inspired to do more because of Rio’s constant enthusiasm for what she does. She is one of the happiest people I know. Rio is a school teacher, a graduate student who always works for an A, a teacher at her church, and she does everything with excellence. This year, Rio let me read some of her papers for grad school, and she is brilliant. Rio is a world traveler who does not settle for less than God’s best in her life. One of the greatest characteristics of Rio is her belief in the kids she teaches, and the way she celebrates their successes. Thanks for living a story that is bigger than yourself!
Anthony is one of the most unique people I’ve met. He is an incredible talented graphic designer. I met Anthony while I was working at Apple. As I spent more time with Anthony over this past year, what I found to be true is how he truly throws himself into everythinghe does. Whatever Anthony does, he goes above and beyond what anyone would ask. He genuinely cares about the people around him, and encouraged me a lot over the past year. I learned a lot from him, and I am a better person because of his influence on me. I hope that I will be somebody who goes above and beyond in everything the way Anthony does. Also, the photo is a self sketch Anthony made of himself.
I’m not really sure how to describe Ron to most people. He almost has his own language with a vocabulary that is partially adopted, and partially created. Sometimes I know what Ron is saying, and sometimes I’m not sure. What I am completely sure of is the way he loves each person he encounters. People flock to him wherever he is. And he has a nickname for everyone he meets. Literally. Ron remembers their nickname, and calls them by it. I think he loves Jesus more than I can imagine. I’m just trying to learn from him as I go.
Adina is from Switzerland. I met Adina a few years ago in Windhoek, Namibia, a nation in Southwest Africa, while my friend Kent and I were working on a special project in different nations. I have seen Adina fight through incredible challenges, and continue a transcendent path to a greater place of love for God and people. She is now studying at Bethel in Redding, California. Adina believes every dimension of a person’s life is important in God’s sight, and she communicates this without coming off in a “preachy” or “holier than thou” sense. Maybe it is because of how much she loves people. She is too busy loving people to judge them, or to think of herself in a better light than everyone else. I’m not sure what Adina will do in the future, but I won’t be surprised if she makes tsunami type waves in the world. Only these waves won’t hurt people, but will help heal hearts.
Just under 2 years ago, I met Adam Palmer. He is a writer by trade, and a true friend. The way I met Adam was the time I was serving cups of coffee at Starbucks. He was at Utica Square most days of the week. There were many days where he took a break from the many projects he was a part of to ask me how my day was. One day, he said to me, “People are more important than projects.” Adam inspires me to remember about the important things in life. I think he is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He doesn’t flaunt his brilliance. It just quickly comes to the surface in conversations. Thanks for reminding me to make time for people, and to be there when someone needs to talk.
What can I say? Jamie is my roommate, and he is an extremely talented person. What goes much further than talent is his diligence to get better in his walk with God, and how he lives his life. I have been incredibly inspired by how Jamie has worked through many personal challenges, and has come through fires refined by God. Jamie is someone who can make people feel at home with him, and he believes in people very strongly. More than that, Jamie loves people, and does his best to make time for everybody.
There are some people who will inspire you in great ways. Think of how you can inspire others with the way you live. What I notice about each of these people is not the great things things they do in public, but the way they work on themselves day after day. They focus on the little things, and the little things end up being big things in life.