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February 21, 2013

Our culture lacks meaningful heroes.

I’m always deeply inspired by attending the memorial service of an impactful, bold follower of Christ. Bold christians have been my heroes since I was a kid.

I was always especially in awe of elderly Christians who displayed a kind and deep faith.

As a boy, I loved talking before or after church to these “veteran Christians” to hear the most fascinating stories, watching them laugh at themselves, share their passion, and display a deep, confident faith that was so refreshing.

To me these people were always bigger than life. My adolescent thirst for a hero would sometimes place them on an unrealistic pedestal.


Sometimes I reminisce back to the days when I sat in those pews watching my heroes fill the room with life. I’m so grateful for those memories . . . for those people.

People like Mr. Rowell. I remember his fingers were always crooked from arthritis. He walked slow . . . eventually with a cane then a walker. But he was always there with his wife of 50+ years and they each maintained a certain “dignity”. He just had a way of encouraging others. He loved God, his wife, and his life despite his declining health. He was a “real life” hero.

How about you? As you think back on your past, do you have any “real life” heroes?

  1. Jim Nielsen permalink

    Hi Mark, My wife and I have been traveling six out of the last eight weeks helping my brother-law with his art shows and attending my wife’s grandmothers 105 th birthday party. Over 125 friends and family were in attendance to celebrate this special day. She is an inspiration and role model for many as she lives her active and God centered life.

    Also, as you know Coach John Wooden has been a very influential and strong Christian role model in my life. His love and dedication to his wife are legendary. I am sure you are aware that when his wife passed away he continued to write love letters to her and placed them under her pillow. Our society really does need to do a better job of promoting and celebrating positive elderly role models.

    Maybe I will see you at our last Tues. Bible study tonight. The men’s mentoring group has been interesting. Great group of Christian men. We meet again Thurs. night. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be involved.


    Sent from my iPad

    • Jim, I know Coach Wooden was a huge influence on you as a player and later as one of his assistant coaches. What a legacy for him to impact you in so many areas of life beyond basketball.

      BTW, it’s super encouraging to hear men like you elevate your wives in such an honoring way. Grateful for your friendship Jim.

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