Hi! Thanks for reading my REAP articles.
I’m currently on holidays at the moment so thought I would do something slightly different.
There have been numerous people who have had a big impact on me this past year. I once read a blog that said we should name the people who have influenced us as a way of saying 'thank you'. I can't remember who that was, so I can't thank them specifically! However, I would like to honour just five people who I do remember that have had a positive impact on me this year. Russell Croxford If I had to describe Russ as an animal, I would have to go for a Labrador! The more I get to know him, the more I think this is true. I have known Russ for many years as a local colleague in ministry however our understanding of each other grew when we worked together. Russ is the senior minister at Doncaster Church of Christ and I had the privilege of working with him there for five years.
Now, 'a Labrador?' you may ask. For sure! Just like a Labrador, Russ is incredibly friendly and has the amazing skill of getting along well with everyone. He has this brilliant ability to connect with children, teenagers, young adults, middle-agers, retired adults and the elderly. And over the last six months I also discovered he connects well across cultures too. This is an amazing gift that God has given him. With this talent he could easily abuse people by getting them onside and then persuading them towards his own agenda. And yet I have never seen him do this. He connects with people to support them and learn more from them. Just as a Labrador can be trained to be a diligent seeing-eye dog, so too is Russ an incredibly diligent worker. When he sets his mind to something he is thorough and dedicated. He works long hours and always has a million-and-one tasks on his 'to-do' list. And yet this purpose-driven focus does not get in the way of his people skills. No matter how busy and snowed under he is with paper work, his door is always open and he is willing to give his time and energy to support someone in need. Even when highly trained, Labradors can still be fun and energetic. Whilst Russ can fulfil the important role of a minister at a funeral he can also have fun and play the fool. He loves the outdoors, is competitive in sport and will try his hand in any game. The only area he may have let me down is his lack of passion for card games, but in that regard it's fortunate that he married so well! (Karen is warm, friendly, vivacious, incredibly creative and she loves a good card game. 'Saved by your wife again, Russ!') Russ is well skilled in structured games but also plays along well with jokes… even if the joke is on him! During the time I worked with Russ I noticed how well we worked together and this only made me more diligent in my strengths. His constant support and encouragement of me built my self-esteem and gave me courage in the more challenging times. Even though we no longer work together I know that I can always call on Russ for a listening ear and encouragement. For that I am forever grateful. 'Thanks Russ.'
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.