Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Men Who Shaped Me

As I look back over my life I am reminded of the different godly men that God brought into my life that have helped to shape who I am today spiritually. Some of these heroes in my life include the following of whom I am very thankful for their lives and their ministry:

My Grandpa Distler, now with the Lord, who taught me to love being a pastor

My dad, Charles Distler (pictured with my mom and son), who now lives in Florida and who taught me while I was growing up in Ohio to love the local church.

Don Bechtel, my high school band director at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Stow, Ohio who taught me that just because it’s Christian doesn’t mean it has to settle for being mediocre. Instead, we should shoot for excellence in everything we do

Rick Matthew, my High School Sunday School teacher at the Cuyahoga Falls Baptist Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio who taught me how to share my faith

Pastor Paul Rohart, pastor of the Cuyahoga Falls Baptist Church in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio who gave me my first opportunity to preach a sermon

Dr Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty University, who taught me that nothing of eternal importance happens apart for prayer and to have a vision to do something big for God

Harry Walls, my supervisor at Liberty University who taught me how to pray

Dr Paul Fink, my professor at Liberty University who taught me how to study the Bible

Pastor Steve Peters, Senior Pastor of Community Church in West Milton, Ohio who taught me how to be a pastor

Rich Smith, an Elder at the Osceola Grace Brethren Church in Osceola, Indiana who taught me how to be faithful to the Lord in spite of trials and suffering

All of these men I have known personally but there are also others who I never had the privilege of knowing personally but who have greatly impacted my life for Christ:

The late singer/song-writer, Keith Green, whose music kept me focused on the Lord during my teenager years.

The late D.L. Moody who said, “If God be your partner, make your plans large.”

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois whose books (outside the Bibloe) have sharpened me spiritually more than any other writer.

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