Wednesday, March 14, 2012

49

Today I turn 49. I have been blessed to have so many people impact my life in so many ways. So here is a shout out to 49 of them. Some of them I have never met but they shaped my life beyond all recognition others I have walked with for many years. There is no real order to this and I have to restrict it to a self imposed 49 but here goes:
  1. Albert & Elsie Ritchie AKA mum & dad. Mum went to be with Jesus so early at the age of 57 but its still good to go back home and see my dad. Thanks for everything.
  2. William Wood Whyte - Diddie. Its him that I'm named after and its him that shaped my life so much. It's his fault I am obsessed with the game called football and a team named Aberdeen
  3. Mary Whyte - Granny. Thanks providing a no questions asked place of acceptance and a fierce loyalty which I have tried to emulate.
  4. Uncle Billy - I had a great extended family growing up but some of my fondest memories we taking the weekly drive through to Pittodrie to see our beloved Aberdeen FC with Uncle Billy. We lived through most of the golden years - the Fergie Years together.
  5. Andrew Smith - Our ways parted when we both went off to Bible College's but through secondary school and even as we started our first jobs we shared bus rides every morning and lunch most days in the mission.
  6. Johnny Whyte - Our passion for Jesus brought us together. I think I was drawn to his craziness. Shared talks about God, 2 person open air outreaches & worshipping Jesus in his car. All fond memories.
  7. Alex Duthie - Or Sunday school Alex as he was known. He was the face at the front of Cairnbulg AOG children's work throughout my childhood. An amazing man who as I grew I learned that he loved the scriptures with a real passion. Listening to him preach in such a meaningful yet tender way has always stayed with me. He rooted in me a deep passion for studying God's Word.
  8. Arthur Hibbert - My first pastor, although he left when I was still young. I remember the day on a Monday night when he prayed with me and one of my friends Michael Stephen to receive Jesus as our saviour. A night that changed my young life. 
  9. Steve Ritchie - Summer Camps have played a huge part in my life. My first experience of Camp was at the very originally named "Stevie's Camp". My self and David Tait went but if I remember rightly we both got home sick and came home. But for a number of years Stevie's Camp helped to galvanise my early steps in faith. I got saved "again" at one of the camps. I just wanted to be sure.
  10. Roger Blackmore - My pastor and friend. What can I say. I thank God every day that at the age of 13 this man came into my life. He seemed ancient to me at the time but I think he was probably about 26. From the age of 13 till I left home at the age of 19 Roger revolutionised my life. After meeting him the only thing I wanted to do with the rest of my life was serve Jesus. I suppose now it would be called mentoring but basically he spent time investing into my life. He gave me my first opportunity to lead a meeting & the first opportunity to preach God's Word. Which I read word for word off a piece of paper for all of 5 minutes! Unfortunately the Atlantic ocean separates us now. But one of my highlights this year was getting to spend a few days with him in Long Island and preach for him again. This time a little longer!
That's the first 10 more tomorrow!

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