Influential men, the meeting and their machines

This post is dedicated to men who have mentored me and led me to be more like Jesus Christ. The reason I post about their machines is that the significant bulk of our conversations were spent in their automotive vehicles.

Kris Brackett

The meeting: I met Kris when I was starting 8th grade in the Junior High (Junior Hello) Ministry at Grace, he was my small group leader for a year.

The man: Kris was a seminary guy who was from Georgia, one of the significant things he introduced me to was Snapple. Chris was such a faithful leader who spent time reaching out to a knucklehead like me who did not know Jesus Christ. I was a quiet kid who did not really desire to spend much time with Christians. He faithfully picked me up on the way to our weekly small group meeting. While I did not know Jesus at the time, his faithfulness with the aid of the Holy Spirit softened my hard-heart.

Things I learned: To be faithful, even when your influence is not sought after, and mostly ignored. His love for me as a 13-year-old still influences the way I love today.The machine: If I recall properly, Chris drove a late 80s/early 90s Volvo Sedan. It was blue and it had Georgia plates.

Where he is today: Kris finished seminary and is a faithful missionary in the Ukraine. He married a Filipina and has two children. Whenever I see him I always thank him for his faithfulness and care towards my 13-year-old hard-heart. I am unsure of where the Volvo Sedan has gone at this time…

Massimo Mollica

The meeting: I met Massimo when I was still 13, at the first small group meeting I attended at Morgan Harabedian’s parents house.

The man: Massimo was a Junior at LAB. He lived very close to my house and he offered to take me to the different church events. My favorite excuse: “I don’t have a ride” did not work for Massimo since he lived less than a mile away.

Things I learned: Out of the way is never an appropriate excuse when determining if you should be involved with ministry. I am sure that Massimo could have gotten to church or the small group meeting earlier to help with setup, etc, but he decided it would be better for him to sacrifice his time to minister to a very young believer. He taught me that faithfulness to God in the closet time was of utmost importance.

The machine: Massimo had a Buick station wagon which squealed every time he turned right. The beast was awesome. Massimo later upgraded to a Toyota Tercel with the sticker of the outline of a bird on the side, the word underneath the bird sticker was “Blackhawk”

Where he is today: Massimo graduated from LAB, then COC, then UCLA and is now attending The Master’s Seminary. He is married to Susanna (The southern girl from California).

Sean Higgins

The meeting: Kurt Gebhards introduced me to Sean when I was 15, and in the 10th grade.

The man: Sean had just moved into California, with the goal to attend the Master’s Seminary. He was an overnight security guard who lived in Chatsworth. His bedroom had books and clothes in it, no bed.

Things I learned: By God’s grace, I was able to spend much time with Sean. He was the first person to clearly introduce me to the Doctrines of Grace. He actually bought me Steele’s book, “The Five Points of Calvinism”. He faithfully poured his life into students like me. His love of Jesus and love of theology has had a lasting impact on my life. He also taught me how to eat ribs at the Borruels’s.

The machine: Early 90s Ford Probe. The color: Red. It was awesome; we traveled many miles in that car, with many memorable conversations occurring.

Where he is today: Sean finished the Master’s Seminary while serving as the Pastor of the Junior High ministry at my church. He now lives in Marysville Washington with his lovely bride Morgan. He is Student Ministries pastor at Grace Bible Church. If I am not mistaken, the red Ford Probe has gone to be with the Lord.

Kurt Gebhards

The meeting: I met Kurt was I was first starting High School Ministry at Grace. First thing I noticed his tall height. I distinctly remember this meeting, which happened on a Wednesday night, right before “The Edge” began.

The man: Kurt was a seminary student who was also serving as a Student Ministries Intern. He also lived with an elderly widow who later became a friend of ours, whom our bible study served for a few years as part of a James 1:27 ministry.

Things I learn: I still have weekly interaction with Kurt, which we’ve been having for the better part of the last 6 years. Kurt has shown me through his life what a passion for God looks like. He has shown me that proper understanding of the deep truth of God requires a very passionate response.  He accurately displays what a true love of God and love of the His bride should look like. Knowing him for 10 years has allowed me to see how the Holy Spirit is working in his life, transforming him into a humble man who knows how to accurately handle the Book. He taught me very early in my Christian walk that discipleship SHOULD happen in very conversation, by every reference. His courage and zeal puts my fear and timidity to shame on a regular basis. He also taught me the fine art of ministry administration, and the correct way to lead people through music. He also introduced me to The Waiting and Wes King, and how to stain bookcases. This man’s life is all about loving others. Remarkable.

The machine: 95 Nissan Maxima, by far the coolest car of all of the men featured here.

Where he is today: Kurt is a Pastor at my church, giving direction to the Foundry and Logos Equipping Ministries. Kurt is also the father of four, and the husband of Julie. You can find us every Sunday from 12:55 to 1:30 on the corner of Balboa and Devonshire in Quizno’s devouring a small TBG and small Chicken Milano. The Maxima went to be with the Lord after a bad accident.

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About clydeblogs
I am husband to my sweetheart Lisa, and we are parents of our sweetheart Claire Renae and the curiously cute Evan. I wish I could say that I speak a little, and think a lot, but I think I speak a lot and think less than I should.

2 Responses to Influential men, the meeting and their machines

  1. skh says:

    Mr. Silla, I appreciate your kind words and am sufficiently humbled. Just so you know, I had already mentioned your blog two posts earlier than the one you commented upon. You can see it here.

  2. clyde says:

    Is it right to say that the Probe has gone to be with the Lord? I must have missed your blog post because of the flurry of posts…

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