Top 10 People Who Have Influenced Me In 2010

in·flu·ence – [in-floo-uhns] – the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others

Here you go:

1) Ashley Grammatico : Through unconditional love, encouragement, thoughtfulness, and incredible Christ-like faith, my wife has once again topped this list. Her servants heart, unwithering maternal ability, and adaptable sense of humor have made this year a blast. She has done such a great job of standing along side of me while I have toiled to find my way in this world, and she has never left my side for a moment. I have watched her faith be stretched and for her to come out on the good side each time. And lastly, I have seen her grow more beautiful each and every day!

2) Steve Cook : Steve led our team to Malawi in April and without his urging in my life, I would be nowhere near where I am in my actions towards global justice.  Through his non-profit, Equitas, thousands have been fed, given clean water, and an opportunity to progress in life with educational help. Steve taught me about commitment, vision, and how our faith can actually be lived out. On a side note, Steve is an incredible photographer you need to hire him. Check out his site.

3) Daniel McCollum:  What can I say about this guy? No one pushes me in new ways, stokes my passions, motivates me, and makes me laugh like this guy. Daniel has shown me more about personal development, goal setting, and vision casting than anyone. I have seen him take on the new role of being a father with such calm and smoothness, that I am just a wee bit jealous :). But I look so forward to being Uncle Ryan to little Maryn!

4) Scott Miller: Scott heads up the Justice initiatives at our church. Watershed. Not only is he one of my best friends, but he has never been scared to ask and get me involved in new and old ways of helping eradicate the unjust things that are happening in this city. This year he has always been there through my frustrations and gripes, and has always spoken wisdom and If you have a passion to see change, then you need to get hold of him. Not bad for an ohio state buckeye (I will NEVER capitalize it)

5) Jonathan George: Want to see what cool looks like? Check this guy out. I have watched him change from being a shy, introverted guy who never spoke more than 5 words at any given time; to becoming a man of passion and persistence.  After spending a year in Malawi with Daniel McCollum and his wife, Jonathan and his love of futbol, has allowed him to help people make changes in their lives that other people had given up on. Jonathan heads up the StreetSoccer945 team at the Urban Ministry Center in Uptown Charlotte.

6) Matt Shaughnessy – Matt is my go to guy with all things related to Mac and music. He is my always-on-call, no fee technology call center. He is also the worship leader at our church. Matt has single handedly brought me into the presence of God countless times this year, and trust me, it was needed. He is one of the most real and authentic people that I have in my life. His friendship is unconditional and that has made a huge shift in my life. He also loves him some scooters (Don’t call them mo-peds). Check out his blog here

7) James Kirkham – Race car driver, motivator, and all around “coolest guy on the planet”, James has done a lot for me this year. He keeps motivating me with his drive and desire to be on top of everything. He doesn’t settle for second place and when he speaks something , it generally comes into existence. He and his wife have been through a lot the past few years but their resilience through these circumstances is such an inspiration. We partner in leading a group of 4th and 5th graders in a club called Right Moves for Youth. James has been an example of stretching past our self inflicted limitations and leading in areas where we generally don’t see ourselves.

8 & 9) Matt O’Neil and Scott Hofert– these two guys are not only great friends, leaders in my life, and trusted advisers, but they are also the co-pastors of our faith community. Watching these two work together over the past 5 years has been not only inspiring but it has also been humbling. Week in and week out, these two men pour themselves into our community and never look back. But the thing that really set them apart to me was their roles as fathers in their childrens lives. I have seen Matt adopt a 3rd international child, Mez. An Ethiopian boy who has an infectious laugh and an irrepressible smile. Watching Matt nurture this young man has been a totally awesome site. Scott, as well, doesn’t fail on the fatherhood end. Just a few weeks ago, I watched his fatherly leadership culminate in his eldest son, Colsen (5 years old) being baptized at one of the most moving services that I have ever experienced at Watershed. Colsen’s plunge was the continuing result of Scott’s leadership as a father in his son’s life. Either way, both of these men have modeled an incredible way of leading their children in a better way of life.

10) Phil Brabbs – What can I say about Phil? He is an incredible guy, an alum and former placekicker at the University of Michigan, a great father, and he has multiple myeloma. Yep, you read that right, Phil has cancer. Under 40 and as the world would see it, is being held down by a debilitating disease. But as Phil sees it, it is just another thing to DOMINATE! Through his non profit, Cancer Kicker, is committed to ending the tyranny of multiple myeloma in this world. And knowing Phil, this will happen. His dedication, faith, and strength have pushed me to be better in 2010. By the way, need some motivation from Phil? Here you go…WATCH THIS!

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