Good News Wants to Know… – A Lesson Passed On

“Experience is the cheapest commodity if you are smart enough to get it second hand.” Good News Wants to Know… What is one experience you’ve had that taught you a lesson you’d like to pass on to others? 

Dr. Jessica Vera

As a lover of people and a believer that everyone has potential to impact this world for others, I learned that sometimes this belief is not shared by others and in fact have witnessed how it can be misconstrued into something far from the original intent. If you want to be successful, help as many people as you possibly can to become successful. “It’s hard to throw stones if you’re busy washing feet. Don’t let people steal your joy, keep loving people like Christ.” Unknown author.

Dr. Jessica Vera, President and CEO, Elite Foundation

William “Bill” C. Davell

When in doubt about sharing the Gospel share it. We apprehensively knocked on the door of a neighbor fearing embarrassment but were prompted to share despite his obtuse questions.  That very night God opened his and his wife’s hearts and not only did they accept Christ but he became my best friend.  

William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott PA

Bob Denison

I once told my big brother I could fly like Superman. He dared me to fly off the top bunk. I did. And I broke my wrist. Life Lesson: When your big brother dares you to do anything… think twice.

Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting

Deborah Cusick

While serving as a missionary in the Dominican Republic, I was taught a powerful lesson about generosity and hospitality by the poorest of the poor. Our little team was showing The Jesus Film in the most remote mountain areas there. Those desperate families insisted that we stay in their huts, sleep in their beds and eat of the little food they had. When they denied their children food in order to feed us, at first I deemed it as foolishness. Eventually, I learned it was their greatness. “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom. . .?” (James 2:5)

Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

Dolores King-St. George

Journalism and opinion writing taught me to get the full story before making a judgment. Even from personal experience, I have learned to ask questions, listen, and don’t assume much until all parties involved have spoken. If one side of an issue is convincing, it may seem like a settled matter. But the other side may bring new facts or considerations that change everything.

Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio

Don Campion

I have learned that one person can change the entire direction of your life and enable incredible opportunities but that only comes if you are willing to ask, build relationships and follow through.

We needed more space to grow our business and a better lease, but I thought for sure the landlord would laugh if I asked … I asked and we have been building together ever since. Do NOT let assumptions get in the way.

Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.

Doug Sauder

When you are replacing a stove and want to make sure the 200v plug fits into your cabinet cut-out, make sure the leads don’t make contact with your wedding ring. Trust me when I say – it’s an enlightening experience.

Doug Sauder, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

Fidel Gomez

Over the years I’ve allowed people to be bigger and more influential in my life than God Himself. How sad. Thankfully, I’m finally at a place where no one person is greater than my God in my life. I love many people and some still have influence in my life but not to the extent that they are more so than the Lord is to me. Proverbs 29:25 reminds me that, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Don’t ever make a person bigger than God. God alone is to be magnified. Amen.

Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood

Fred Scarbrough

I learned that opposites might attract, but it doesn’t work out so well! My advice is to work at it a little harder and find someone that thinks like you, likes the same things you like and believes the same things you believe!

Fred Scarbrough, DVM, founder, Hope South Florida and Scarbrough Animal Hospital

Gene L. Green, PhD

When Deborah and I were students in Scotland, we ran completely out of money at the end of our first year. We had to stop our milk delivery, the bank took our checkbook because the balance was so low, and we were down to half a bag of rice and a can of beans in the cupboard. Those days were filled with tense walks and fervent prayers. Yet during that time person after person invited us to eat with them and others, without knowing our plight, put food on our table – even a small ham and large cut of lamb! Through the kindness of many, we finished our studies. We learned that God saw, God heard, God was faithful, and God and others loved us.

Gene L. Green, PhD, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida

Helen Wayner P.A

The school of hard knocks – aka – Life, is the best teacher! You don’t really understand it until you’re older and lived it. When disappointments come and they do, you need to step back and realize that others are dealing with issues and problems. Key word- patience. Try to put yourself into their shoes. Offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Then wait. 

In my generation INSTANT became a priority. I’ve learned in relationships and in business that those that wait reap a good harvest!

Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty

Laura C. Bishop

I know this is a bit shocking to talk about in a few sentences, but I do it to share something so beautiful and powerful. I was carjacked and kidnapped in my mid-20’s when I was pregnant with my daughter. While I was literally paralyzed with fear (I couldn’t remember how to actually breathe), I heard my mom say (in my mind), “Laura, whenever you’re in trouble, just pray!” I prayed and God came to my rescue in a very powerful and real way. Prayer works!

Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Marilyn Brummitt

One of the experiences in my life that taught me a “hard lesson” was be careful what you share about people you do not like with others even if you think you are justified to do so.  I had a “thorn in the flesh person” that (I felt) was cruel to me.  I had endured the talk behind my back and also being the person who jokes were made about and being that person who was laughed at.  Even a note by that person was written to me that made me feel really bad. I was much younger in my life and did not know how to respond.  I finally left that organization and felt I should write a letter about the person and how they made me feel.  That did not have a good outcome.  I was not made to feel justified, in fact helped to create more hard feelings.  I determined after that experience that I would not tell others how I felt.  I would pray for that person and leave it in God’s hands for justification or whatever outcome he wanted.  This has proved to be a much better way of dealing with people and circumstances.  Pray and let God be the judge.  Many times since, I have learned to be the more mature person and continue to show kindness and let the circumstances play out in the way God would want it.

Marilyn Brummitt, Vice President, Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Center

Dr. Mary Drabik

Years ago, when I first became a Christian, I was always trying to please everyone.  One day I realized that as I was trying to please everyone, no one was happy, and I was miserable.  That is when God showed me, I need to make Him happy, people will either accept it or not, but then I will be grateful that I put God first and not people.  

Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary

Mike McDermott, PA

Listen to your inner voice. A few years ago, I was showing a 2-story townhome to some buyers. As I was about to go up the stairs, I heard a voice in my mind saying, “Lock the front door.”  I did not heed that voice and, shortly thereafter, a person came in pretending to be a realtor. It was only when I asked to exchange business cards that I realized this person was an imposter. Fortunately, I was able to usher him out of the home and my clients were not affected.  But ever since, I try to pay attention when I hear that voice.

Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company

Milan Stefanovic

Possessing more of a Type A personality, I have learned through experience the importance of God’s timing. To wait on the Lord versus acting upon my initial impulses or thoughts. This has allowed me the possibility of displaying the fruits of the Spirit in my reactions, Galatians 5:22-23.

Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations & Personal Lines Officer, Bass Underwriters – Plantation FL

Nancy Robin

I worked for a terrific leader early on in my career who coached me to embrace conflict. Needed change rarely happens without discomfort or conflict. Additionally, we often focus on the person versus the situation.  He said whenever possible break bread with who you are at odds with, food and having a good meal together humanizes and helps builds relationships and trust.  

Nancy Robin, CEO and Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Broward

Oksana Horton

When I was 13 years old, I was scheduled to perform at a college downtown.  It was on a Sunday, I didn’t feel well, was very tired, and basically did not want to go at all.  But something inside me kept urging me to go and so I went.  It was a good thing I did because that night I was offered a full scholarship at one of the best performing arts schools in the Cleveland area.  It was, in short, life changing.  It was from that experience that I learned your greatest breakthroughs are often on the other side of your struggles.  

Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company

O’Neal Dozier

One experience I had about five years ago that taught me a valuable lesson, that I would like to pass on to others. That lesson is, we should be open minded and listen to both sides of an issue, even the side that we think we disagree with. Then we should Study the word of God to see what the word of God has to say about that issue. Lastly, we should ask God for understanding before we form our opinions or conclusions about that particular issue.

O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center

Patricia Colangelo, EdS

After my husband passed in May, I have spent every month trying to downsize and donate things. I am not speaking just of his memorabilia, but items that we have just collected. Seeing how big an undertaking this is, I have promised that I would not leave this for my children. Why not donate things I do not use and let someone else enjoy them! I hope others will learn from my experience, and not leave this to someone else to do. So far, I have donated 20 large garbage bags, and 20 large boxes of “things” to various agencies. It feels great to not have all of this “stuff”!

Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida

Coach Rick Andreassen

The older I get, I believe one thing I’ve learned as I reflect on life, is that I wish I listened more to the stories and experiences of others…We know the saying “everyone has a story”… I wish I paid a little closer attention. Personally, I pray I do better at it in the future!!

Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder and President, SAINTS of Florida Homeschool P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry

Romney C. Rogers

Life experiences certainly are great teachers. The one life lesson that I actually learned in the golf game is to always stay in the moment in whatever you are doing, or “one shot at a time.” Distractions can be mental, environmental (sounds or sights) or physical such as illness. However, you can’t be your best and use all your gifts and talents unless you focus only on what you are doing when you are supposed to be doing it. This type of focus is obviously biblical as well when the good book tells us not to worry about tomorrow!

Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler LLP

Steve Daigle

The one experience that I have been taught throughout my life in the workplace and ministry is relationships with people matter. So often, we put processes or tasks over people, we are just trying to get something done and move on and some of us will do whatever it takes even at the expense of a relationship with a person. The things and tasks of this world will not last, but it is relationship with people, people with eternal souls, that matter the most. Always put people first and look for ways to build bridges and connect with people to help them reach their full potential. You just never know who you will be working with, serving with, working for or spending time in Heaven with; always put people first.

Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland

May 2013 I was working hard building successes in my sales career sometimes sacrificing family time and doing it my way! It was then that I suffered a “cardiac episode” that was nearly fatal. During my recovery period that I came closer to God than I have ever been to that point. The thing I learned then and try to always pass on to others is to be intentional about the vertical relationship with God as most important and let God lead!!!

Steve Solomon, Area Director, CBMC South Florida

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