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      Last night while on our date, Leanne and I were talking about the importance of having people of positive influence in our lives and in the lives of our kids.  As we talked about this, we were reminded of all kinds of people who have had an impact on us as a couple and as parents – people like: Terry and Maria Hanna, Bill and BJ Krewson, Tim and Jill Reber, and Andy and Denise Dovel.

      As part of this discussion, I was reminded about something I wrote for our “Supernanny” Parenting Group that I think also applies:

      There are many people in my life who I respect for all kinds of reasons.  I respect my parents and my wife’s parents.  I respect by boss.  I respect those in the church who are in leadership.  I respect my teachers.  I respect the political leaders throughout our country.  One person who I respect is Ray Rivera.  Ray was one of my youth leaders at the church where I grew up in New Jersey.  I looked at him as an authority figure, as a spiritual guide, and as a family friend.  Ray and his wife Joann always had time for me if I needed someone to talk with.  While I knew that he wasn’t perfect, I saw him making good decisions and leading with integrity and with a servant’s heart.

      It’s wonderful that we have people in our lives like Ray Rivera – people who deserve respect not just because of their positions of authority but also because of their actions.

      Who are the people in your lives who have this kind of influence?  Who are the people in your kids’ lives who have this kind of influence?