Friday, December 31, 2004

Outstanding People of 2005

Danelle Miller - My wife started working at Mattoon High School this fall. It is far from a job. It is her passion. Her mind is constantly wrapped around how she can help these students not only succeed at math, but at life. She is in a unique position of being on a team with four or five other teachers, and in my opinion, she has been an incredible asset. Through the transition, Danelle has kept her life together, caring for her family and her church. I am amazed.

Gil Rowe - Gil loves to downplay his role as my administrative assistant for church planting, as if a trained monkey could do it. He is wrong. Whether he will admit it or not, he has been INSTRUMENTAL in the development of a movement that hopefully would produce a multiplying church planting movement.

Tom Toner - I spent three really great days with Tom this fall at a Willow Creek conference. Tom refreshed my life so immensely. There is a spirit about Tom that leads me to Christ. He isn't overly holy or reverent. He is more of a life spring. Lives have been changed because of Tom's presence and his ministry. I look forward to seeing what 2005 brings for the Toner family.

Brant Hansen
- Obviously Brant stands out as the winner of the Lou Henson Memorial League fantasy football that I played in this year. What ties all these winners together is that they don't realize who they are. Brant doesn't have potential. Brant is beyond potential. He is a potent spokesman for a worldview that I think could change America. God will continue to use this guy in unique and global ways.

Rob Smith - Rob may be the model man. Rob stepped down from being a high school principal at a great school because it took too much time from his family. Besides a paycut, many men would have struggled with an ego cut. Rob didn't. He stepped into a junior high teaching position and spent more time with his wife and two young children. Rob is a hero of mine.

Lance Finley - Lance is the person I would like to be when I grow up. Somehow Lance has risen professionally and is certainly a rising star while at the same time kept a seriously irreverant sense of humor. He is sarcastic, over the top, and downright silly, but his love for people, especially fringe people, comes out loud and clear. His generosity is next to none I know. And 2005 will bring many changes to Lance's life, but he will continue to succeed because I don't think he knows how to fail.

Shawna Ridgley - Here is a lady who has opened her heart up this year. She has set aside her own agenda and watched others soar as she has spent her time giving others a lift. Her openness to wanting to be a better person reminds me of the man who came to Jesus and asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" The Bible says Jesus looked at him and loved him. Jesus' eyes say the same when he looks at Shawna.

These are the top seven outstanding people who also read this blog... unless there are actually other people who read it. But honestly, with readers like these. I don't think I need any more.

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