#471 - 34 - PART ONE

Instead of recounting the various blessings from the past year, this year, I wanted my "birthday reflection" to be a list of the 34 people who have positively influenced my life over the last 34 years. Next to their name is one of the primary ways in which they impacted my life in a life-transforming way. Without each and every one of them, I wouldn't be the person who I am today! 

  1. Ellis Paz - For being my first and best example of a godly man/husband.
  2. Cindy Paz - For giving me the gift of truth-telling.
  3. Ed Morgan - For pastoring the church where I would first learn about the love of Jesus.
  4. Gloria Young - For being my first example of a strong, godly, woman leader in the local church.
  5. Eric Johnson - For being my first example of someone who was both "cool" and Christian.
  6. Brian Cassidy - For being the first pastor to allow me to preach and lead in the local church.
  7. Katie Yezzi - For encouraging me in my interest to one day teach teachers how to teach. 
  8. Dan Harrington - For inspiring my love for Mathematics and my desire to be a Math Teacher.
  9. Dexter Ligot-Gordon - For placing The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership in my hands. 
  10. Rebekah Paz - For marrying me and encouraging me to be the best version of myself!
  11. Lawrence Garrett - For showing me that strong leadership at a young age was possible. 
  12. Kwaku Gyabaah - For reminding me that to not provide for my family is "worse than an unbeliever."
  13. Brian Goodell - For providing avenues to exercise my ministry gifts/calling before I was deserving. 
  14. Elizabeth Macasaet - For giving me a real-life example of what staying faithful to your vows looks like.
  15. Paul McGovern - For modeling for me what a true Kingdom-heart looks like.  
  16. Rich Johnstone - For partnering with me in leading theMOVEMENT when all I had was a vision.
  17. Joel Williams - For lending your leadership to theMOVEMENT during a very critical time in our story.
  18. Andy Wood - For mentoring me in the various facets of church planting in the Bay Area.
  19. Bryant Wright - For catalyzing national support for church planting in the Bay Area.
  20. John C. Maxwell - For showing me how to write with clarity. 
  21. Jim Rohn - For painting a compelling picture of why personal development is so necessary.
  22. Paul J. Meyer - For teaching me the what/why/how of effective goal-setting.
  23. Peter Daniels - For enlarging my vision of what God can accomplish through my life. 
  24. Andy Stanley - For developing the "ME, WE, GOD, YOU, WE" format for preaching.
  25. Tim Keller - For showing me how to make Jesus the exclamation point of every sermon.
  26. Bruce Wilkinson - For Secrets of the Vine and The Dreamgiver.
  27. Rick Warren - For giving me an example of how to develop systems/processes in the local church.
  28. Bill Hybels - For Courageous Leadership and the Global Leadership Summit. 
  29. Craig Groeschel - For committing to do "anything short of sin" to reach people with the Gospel. 
  30. JD Greear - For making the implications/applications of the Gospel accessible. 
  31. Matt Chandler - For exemplifying and creating the category of a "Penta-Baptist" or "Bapti-costal." 
  32. Paul Tripp - For being the inspiration behind my life's mission of "rescuing awe."
  33. Seth Godin - For being the ultimate example to me of consistency in your craft. 
  34. Steven Pressfield - For The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do the Work