“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pastor Appreciation Month

In honor of Pastor Appreciation Month, I wanted to honor my pastors:

No pastor is an island, to paraphrase an old saying, and we all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.

This list of pastors contains folks from several denominations and from both the Reformed and Arminian side of the house. Even though I disagree with some of these men, they have helped shaped my life in profound ways.

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Pastor Dan - This man took in a skeptic, filled with arrogance, and showed him what a pastor should look like. Dan loves his congregation, and it shows! He was patient and kind, overlooking the many faux pas, and gently, but firmly leading me. It was through Dan that I understood the fact that Christians are not a cult, but actual people working thier way through life. Dan has been a huge influence on my pastoral style.

Pastor Philippe - Pastor Philippe tag-teamed with Pastor Dan. However, what I learned from Pastor Philippe was to study to show myself approved. He is a diligent and dedicated student of God's Word. Recently we have come down on opposite sides of some issues, but I found Philippe to be a kind, and knowledgable friend throughout, and have learned and benefited from our discussions. I am proud to call Philippe one of my mentors.

Pastor Babu - From this man, small in stature, but huge in his love of the Lord, is sacrifice. Babu LIVES what he preaches in a very real way. He is absolutely given over to the Lord, and I have been the beneficiary of his teaching for many years. Under Babu I also learned how to preach with passion!

Chris - Chris is my co-laborer at our current church, but was also an elder at a previous church where we served together. From Chris I have learned so many things that I cannot list them all here. He is constantly challenging, and encouraging me. I have much to learn and I thank the Lord that he put Chris in my path to be a friend, and my pastor when I need it.

The above men have been involved in a very personal and up-close relationship with me, the men below are well-known, but have had a profound influence on my life.

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Alistair Begg - I first met Pastor Begg at a Preach The Word conference several years ago in Anaheim CA. We were staying on the same floor in the hotel and I ran into him in the breakfast area. We spent a couple of mornings visiting briefly and I found him to be exactly as he is on the radio; funny, engaging and passionate about the Lord. I have sinced attended his Basics conference and have learned volumes about pastoring from him. Pastor begg does not know me, but has definitively impacted my ministry.

John MacArthur - Truth be told, when I heard Pastor MacArthur preach at the same Preach The Word conference, I was no fan. I did not like him, but tolerated my wife listening to his broadcast! However, he preached on the cross at that conference, and I still remember the sermon. That one sermon influenced me more than any single sermon before or since. I have become an avid fan of Pastor MacArthur's teaching. I saw him again last year at a local Pastor's dinner, and again, he spoke very eloquently and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

J. Ligon Duncan - I have never met Pastor Duncan, but through his teachings I have learned a tremendous amount. He is one of the men who have opened my eyes to many aspects of the Reformed Faith that were, for so long, misunderstood by me.

Derek Prime - I met Pastor Prime twice at conferences. He is a wonderful man. He is a great speaker, and he has preached sermons that have had a definitive influence in my life. When I cornered him at the conference, he patiently visited with me for a bit, and very kindly answered my questions and gently pointed me in the right direction on a few things.

Mark Dever - 9Marks.org, that is all I need to say!

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None of these men read my blog, nor, I suspect, will they ever, but I wanted to publicly aknowledge the ones who helped shaped my ministry. Obviously, Christ is all in all, the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher of my faith, but he has used these men to do a wonderful work in me!

BTW, I could have named many others, but, for sake of time and room, I put down the ones that MOST influenced me; I cannot forget Bryan Chappell though, his writing has been a light for me.

Thank you for being faithful to the lord and working with one who oftentimes has more passion than knowledge!

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