Do you ever stop and think why you like what you do? Why your interests are different than those of others? I do often.
As a pastor, I know of two men who inspired me to be the pastor that I am. These men were good preachers, but they were fantastic pastors. The first was Arthur Farmer. He was my pastor two times: once when I was a child and again when I was a teenager. Arthur was more of a grandfather than just a pastor. He took the time to listen. He guided me. He cared for people. He was one of the most gentle and loving men I ever knew. he taught me that being a pastor was more than just being prepared to preach. It was teaching and showing others that the most important thing they could do in life was to love God and to love others.
The second man didn't come into my life until much later. In fact I was an adult with children before I met him. But his influence was and is still tremendous in my life. He wasn't the best of preachers, but that didn't seem to matter. He was the best pastor ever. He truly loved people and it showed. He was humble in spirit, but wise beyond measure. He remains an inspiration to me today.
By the way, both of these men passed on their pastoral libraries (at least a large portion of them) to me. Thank you both.
As a writer, I have to credit Graham Diamond over others. I wasn't much of a reader growing up...unless you counted comicbooks. One summer my family went to Florida. Don't get too excited. It was one of my father's many post-graduate studies. We got the trip, but stayed in the hotel almost the entire week while he went to classes. It was okay, I guess. We went to the pool most of the time. Well, I got bored of the pool and went to the hotel's store. I found a book that caught my eye. It was black with a picture of a dog's head. His mouth was open wide, teeth baring and one fang had something dripping from it. I bought it. That's the last thing I remember about that trip. I couldn't put the book down.
Later that year and the years to follow, I read every Graham Diamond book I could find. Then I started really writing my own stories. Oh, I had tried since I was 5 to write stories, but they were never very good. But his tales did something to me. Thanks Graham for the inspiration.
One last thought: this summer while I was on sabbatical in New York, I came into contact with Graham Diamond. Believe it or not, he requested to be my friend on Facebook! Well, he is now reading my book. How cool is that? God is good.