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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Meet Steve


Who’s your hero?


Who's your hero?

Steve Answers:

I have lots of heroes, and they are real, live people. You probably won’t read about them in People magazine, but you’d find them in a revised version of Hebrews 11 (the “Hall of Faith” chapter in the Bible). Here are just a few of my heroes:

1. My dad. Like many boys, I wanted to grow up to be just like him. I didn’t, but I still admire him. He is strong, gentle, pro-family, wise, and a visionary person.

2. Daniel, the Bible guy. When it looked like God’s side was always losing, Daniel stuck with the God he knew; and he stood up for God no matter what happened (and lots happened!).

3. Dr. Reece, the youth Sabbath school teacher I had week after week. I can’t remember anything he taught us, but he was always there and always challenging us. He showed me he cared about me and that God was bigger than simplistic thinking. Come to think of it, much of what I believe came from Dr. Reece, and I didn’t even realize it!

4. Eugene Gascay, a college teacher whose class period was always different than the one before. How did he keep coming up with new ways of teaching? What a great role model!

5. Bill Smith, my forever hero in youth ministry. He was my mentor, and he smashed my expectation of the status quo. He embodied “nonneutral environments” and taught me how to utilize moving people out of their comfort zones in order for youth ministry to be effective.

6. Ivan Blazen, one of my seminary professors. He took the Bible and opened my understanding to God’s Word like Jesus must have done. I used to just sit in classes he taught even though I wasn’t taking the classes. What he said was always fresh, real, and applied to my life. Wow!

7. Des Cummings, another seminary professor and the most creative person I’ve ever met. I couldn’t keep up with him when I was thinking of less than five new ideas at one time. Plus, he had humor and passion. He taught me that true biblical preaching always demands a response from the listener. He challenged me to think of new options for listeners to respond.

8. Roy Naden.
He gave me two educations. The first one was from the classes I took from him—he poured out his heart in classes with only five students. The second one was when he chaired my doctoral dissertation committee. Dr. Naden criticized me more than anyone and also supported my growth more than anyone.

9. Joseph—from bratty, spoiled kid to trial by fire in Egypt. Why did he stay with God when things only got worse for him? Why didn’t he get a big head when he was promoted to prime minister?

10. Harold Crook, my best friend and someone who should never have even gone to college for reasons of mischief, academics, and finances. He now holds a doctorate and is the most successful academy principal in the Adventist Church. He’s as competitive as I am, but is a “mother hen” when it comes to taking care of students. As an administrator, he’s always sensitive to impressions from God.

11. Mary,
the mother of Jesus. As an early teenager—maybe only 14 or 15 years old—she became the mother of God! Her basic response to the impossible was, “I’m here to do whatever God wants to do through me.”

12. Marit, my wife. She has the unusual combination of appearing to be nonconfrontational and supportive, but she holds people accountable. Nobody knows how she does it, but they end up carrying out her ideas and think the ideas are their own. She has demonstrated trust to me more than anyone on the planet, and trust is the foundation of all relationships.

13. Moses,
a three-career guy. He spent a third of his life, after being miraculously rescued as a baby, being shaped to be the next Pharoah. Then he spent a third of his life herding sheep (talk about a waste). And he spent the last third of his life leading God’s rebellious people out of Egypt to the borders of Canaan (tending sheep might have been better). Oh, and he came from heaven to encourage Jesus in His ministry on the Mount of Transfiguration. Way cool!

14. My mom. Two things stand out in my mind: she seemed to be always available even though she worked full-time and had three demanding daughters (actually my sisters weren’t as demanding as I was). And, she continues to have an insatiable desire to keep learning. Right now she’s 77 years old, works full-time as a nurse, and she reads voraciously.

15. The old ladies at church who volunteer in the community services center each week. Sometimes I am critical of their attitudes and habits and lack of openness to new things. But they are there week after week, doing the very things Jesus talked about in Matthew 25:31-46.

And there are many more, such as Jose Rojas, who preaches his heart out and then practices what he preaches. There are my three sisters, who were such a pain in my childhood. Since then, I’ve found out they were just saving me from being a total jerk. And Andrew, the guy in the Bible who, every time he is mentioned, is always taking somebody to Jesus. Also the editors at Insight, who pour and pray over their work and usually don’t know the impact it makes, but they faithfully give it their all. And Don Mulvihill, the senior pastor when I started in ministry. Whenever the “perfect pastor” is described, it’s an accurate description of him. Then there are the mission trip leaders and the mission trip participants who always seem to blow me away and demonstrate faith that makes me feel like a pygmy in comparison. Another hero is Morris Venden, who destroyed my image of God when I thought I was perfect and replaced it with an image of God as my friend. And there are many more!

If you were to list some of your heroes right now, who would they be?

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