Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of God's Greatest Blessings


Another August has come to a close and with it the beginning of another school year. In a moment of reflection I have reminisced on a school year that had a great impact on me. I have thought about my seventh grade year and how in that one year I was surrounded by a number of individuals who have had a great influence upon my life. It was during my seventh grade year that many of the most dominant personalities that have affected me entered my life. I want to briefly introduce you to some of these "heroes" of mine.

I remember my first day of seventh grade when I met my homeroom teacher, Bruce Dean. Coach Dean was unlike any teacher I have had before or since. He was the first teacher I came to know as a friend. He was quite adept at having us look past the textbook and into the "real world." He was a man of great spirituality, coming to a faith in Christ after many years of rebellion and hardship. He was the man who first taught me that Jesus laughed (that my Lord was so much more than the stoic figure portrayed in paintings) . . . I remember Coach's chapel talk on "Jesus and the mudfigt" as if it was yesterday (yes, there was some poetic license in the talk, but it made a powerful point!). He was the man who I first heard speak of Camp Blue Haven, a place that would later become so important to me. Coach Dean tragically died during the summer following my seventh grade year, but his influence is still with me.

It was during the seventh grade that my relationship with Dale Hukle really began to grow. Dale was my youth minister, and he, rivalling even that of my parents and grandparents, was the dominant personality of my adolescence. In many ways, his influence has shaped my own personality and my faith in God. He was the man who first told me that I should become a minister, and if it wasn't for his encouragement and direction I might now be an architect or college professor. It was Dale's intense love and passion for God and his commitment to teach God's Word, formally and informally, that has had the greatest influence on me.

It was during my seventh grade year that my friendships with Chetlen Crossnoe, Tim Byars, and Vernon Barnett began to grow in earnest. I had attended school with them since kindergarten, and had been friends with them over the years, but it wasn't until we reached junior high school that our friendship as a "foursome" took off. To this day, these men and their families are special to me. We have since added Jeff Phillips to our circle, but the closeness, although we each live in different places, is just as genuine.

If space would allow, I would also write of Coach Russell Beene, Norm Clothier, Paul Smith, Steve Studer, and others. but this listing is sufficient to make a point. God has blessed me, just as I am certain that he has blessed you, with countless men and women who have had a profound affect on me--not just in the seventh grade, but throughout my life. It is good for us to reminisce and to thank God for the good people he has sent our way. We do not live life in a vacuum, devoid of contact with any other person; God has created us with the need for companionship. We need the friendship and counsel of wise and loving people. Let's not take this need and God's gifts for granted.

4 comments:

Norm Clothier said...

Jeff,

Today, I stumbled upon your blog while doing a search for Dale Hukle. I had a wave of nostalgia like almost no other when I saw the picture of you and Tim form 7th grade. I am deeply honored that I was mentioned in the post, too. What a blessing to me to see an update on your life.

I'll be back to the computer Monday and perhaps try to resch you further then.

Blessings - Norm Clothier
nclothier@fhcatx.com

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff...ditto on Dale Hukle. Huge memories...wow. Any clues on how to get hold of him?

Sherman Gardner

Anonymous said...

By the way, my email is sherman@christcc.net

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,