Who has most influenced your walk with Jesus?

My IRL friend Nicole, a.k.a. Modern Reject poses this question on her blog today:  Who has most influenced your walk with Jesus?  My reply ended up being pretty lengthy, and I thought I’d copy & paste it here, and pose the same question to my readers.  🙂

My list:

Arlene Hammons, the lady who led me to Jesus when I was four, and was a consistent, caring, Godly influence on me as the children’s pastor of the church I attended from age 3-18. Even when I was “graduated” out of children’s ministry, we still had a lot of contact. I will always be grateful to her influence in my life.

My former pastor, Brian Anderson, pastor of Vineyard Church North Phoenix. I started going there (double-timing my childhood church) when I was 16, and it was mind-blowing and REAL to me, and even though I haven’t been a part of that church for 17 years now (I went there from age 16-21), much of Brian’s teaching has remained.

My current pastors, Dennis & Nancy Bourns of VCF Phoenix. SELFLESS love and service, empowered by the Holy Spirit, with a true desire to produce fruitful, mature disciples who are having an impact on the world. I met them when I was 16, when they were “just” the parents of my high school friend, Holly. They were a solid, Godly family when my own family was completely dysfunctional. I would stay for weeks at a time in their home, and I had countless conversations with Nancy on their family room couch… she was counseling me and I never even knew it. 😀 Stealth-counseling. I absolutely credit any spiritual maturity and mental health to Dennis & Nancy’s influence in my life. I love them with all of my heart. I could easily cry, just thinking about how they have poured into me, with zero self-interest, in the last 20+ years.

Kathy Beal (www.wisdomtown.com). I have gone from regarding her as mentor to being privileged to call her friend over the last nearly 18 years she has been in my life. Her pursuit of Jesus, her gentle but real Godliness, her humility before the Father, her humor and interests have all greatly influenced me, and I love her dearly. One of my favorite things in the world is spending time with her — any amount of time, in any setting, for any reason. I always leave her presence both refreshed and challenged, which is a rare combination.

That’s pretty much it. There have been books I’ve read and appreciated, but relationship deeply matters to me. I can learn from a book, or from someone who has a peripheral presence in my life, but someone can’t really be an *INFLUENCE* to me unless I *LOVE* them, and they, me.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 10, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and an erstwhile birthing class instructor. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on January 5, 2012, in Character Development, Christian Living, Christianity, God/Christianity/Church, Relationship, Vineyard Phoenix and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. AMAZING,

    Two of the same sources for me, but in different ways. Nancy and Dennis and Kathy. My life was CHANGED in such a good way by these three people. I absolutly agree about their unshelfish love that they give and invest. At the time I met those three, I had never even knew that kind of love existed, their deomonstration day in and day out changed my life forever.

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