As we approach Thanksgiving, Good News Wants to Know…To whom would you like to write a “thank you” note right now (e.g., a childhood friend, business colleague, neighbor?) and why?
If I can write anyone a thank you note right now, it would be to my grandfather. His name was Peter, but we called him Pop. Not only was he the nicest, most loving, caring person that I ever met, but he was the first person that ever brought my brother and I to church. I never met a person that did not like Pop. He would travel through a blizzard to get to church and always gave us a quarter to put into the offering. I would like to say thank you for introducing me to Jesus by bringing me to church and living out His love with every person that you ever interacted with. If it wasn’t for you, I may never have walked into my calling of being a pastor. Can’t wait to thank him when we meet again in Heaven!
Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland
As we approach Thanksgiving I would like to write a thank you note to John Morris, a true “gentle” man. John, a lawyer’s lawyer, was patient with me as a church attending unbeliever, took me to Christian Businessmen’s lunches where I could hear life changing testimonies and personally took time to share the Gospel with me and to disciple me. I will forever be grateful.
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott, PA
I’d pull out a pen and paper and thank my little brother, Eddy. He’s the one that makes everything fun. Eddy is still responsible for the lion share of smiles and laughing that come out of anyone with the last name Denison.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
When I read this month’s question, I began to reflect on all of the touchpoints in my life where I have been on the receiving end of someone’s generosity. There are so many. I would like to write a thank-you note to my sister. She is currently at the end of her journey with lung cancer. The hospice team, her family and friends have all been amazing as they pour out God’s love and kindness to her. She’s had a challenging life journey in many respects. Still, she’s always risen above them, pushed through the obstacles, and given so much of herself to others. Truly a servant leader. I will thank her for being an example of patience, persistence and perseverance for all who know her. I’m also going to thank her for her sense of humor, her smile and for being my sister.
Craig D. Huston, Huston Consulting Group, LLC
I would like to write a “Thank You” note to King David from the Bible, especially for the Psalms, because he allowed us to see his highs and lows. The book of Psalms has helped me overcome many obstacles.
Darline B Riggs, President/CEO, Riggs NCLEX / Nursing Tutoring Inc., Be The Drop Foundation and Christian Business Women Connection – CBWC
In my early years, my next door neighbor, Senator Grace Drake, was a challenging example of what women could achieve. She was elected as the first Republican woman senator in Ohio. Every one of the bills she sponsored became laws. Her humor, brilliance and ability to make each of us feel like the most important in the world made her beloved to all – earning her the nickname “Amazing Grace”. At 94, she was still teaching university students when she recently went home to be with the Lord. I so appreciate how she always made time to share her wisdom as my mother figure, mentor and inspiration.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
I’d love to write a “thank you” note to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Nielsen. The low antibody disease/condition I was born with escalated that year, and I was in the hospital with various infections that caused rheumatic fever. There was another little girl in that same class battling Leukemia. Mrs. Nielsen spoke words of strength and empathy to us, defended us against bullies, gave us permission to eat lunch or play games in the classroom when we couldn’t make it to the lunchroom or the playground. She also helped us after school to catch up on lessons we missed and even came to our homes to teach us when we were ill for long periods. Amazing woman whom I pray knew the Lord.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Media
I sincerely express my gratitude to the Banyan Air Service Teammates who continue to grow our aviation business with excellence while supporting and enabling a teammate, a volunteer group and my wife and I to go to Nigeria to work on a Mission Hospital and Nursing School 2-3 times a year. The Banyan Team’s initiative and outstanding service not only makes an impact in aviation but enables thousands to be medically treated and hear about the love of Christ. www.egbehospital.org
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.
My wife, because she has continued to follow me on this great adventure with Jesus.
Doug Sauder, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
As the time approaches and we begin to anticipate the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we begin to take stock in the year behind us as we plan for the festivities before us. It can be all too easy to get caught up and forget the most important things, and by things I mean relationships. Relationships have a way of shaping you and putting on a trajectory to succeed or fail. It’s for that reason I wish to send a special THANK YOU to Frances Ortiz! She is the best grandmother a kid could have and the most encouraging mom a daughter could wish for! As her son in law, I can truly say her godly example and perpetual optimism is something I am always grateful for.
Eddie Vega, Pastor, Fuel Life Church
I would like to thank my older brother, Jesse and his wife, Maria. They prayed diligently for my wife and I for two years to get saved. When we visit him (he lives 2,500 miles away), I always thank them that they never gave up on us. This coming December my wife and I will celebrate 43 years of walking with the Lord and it started with my Jesse and Maria praying for us. Gracias, mi hermano. Love you very much.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
Note to Holly Moody who has been more than a tremendous church partner. Holly knew that my wife and I needed a break and let us stay at her beautiful home in North Carolina for my birthday last year!
Fred Scarbrough, DVM, Founder, Scarbrough Animal Hospital and Hope South Florida
The late Dr. Merrill Tenney was my New Testament prof during my graduate days at Wheaton College. Everyone sat up straight in his classes and put out their best work for him. He was a stellar scholar, an engaging teacher, and a person of uncompromised faith. When we talked about his possible retirement, he looked over the rim of his glasses and said, “Mr. Green, I’d rather teach than eat.” I’m deeply grateful for Dr. Tenney, my model and mentor. “I wanna be like Merrill.”
Gene L. Green, PhD, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida
To Bill Kent:
Thanks for being such an amazing friend and mentor over the past 30 years. Love you like a brother.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.
Writing a thank you note to a couple who shared Jesus with my family and I is the easiest thing to do. The difficulty comes with trying to end the words of my grateful heart from overflowing … You see, that was forty eight years ago. They changed our lives forever.
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
To the many and few, thank you for being passionate about your craft whether that be design, marketing or real estate. Listening to your enthusiasm, and how it can connect with my life, has enriched my views and understanding of the world.
Justus Martin, Justus Martin Photo, Staff Photographer, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
I would like to write a “thank you” note to my wife Wendy. Thank you Wendy for a blessed, peaceful and loving marriage. As life comes with its difficulties and challenges, you have always been the one I could truly depend on. Love demands sacrifice and happiness demands contribution from both sides. I am very thankful I have a wife who has both of these qualities. We are approaching our 35th anniversary and I am looking forward to many more years love together.
Ken Kerrigan, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Cornerstone Church
Freshly after celebrating Westminster Academy’s fantastic 50th Anniversary, I’d love to be able to write Dr. Ken Wackes — just one more time… I wrote him just shortly before the Lord called him home to thank him for believing in me, and inviting me to serve as one of his directors — just barely out of my 20’s. He taught me servant leadership by showing it to me. To this day, when I pick up a piece of litter on the campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University where I now serve, I think of Dr. Wackes lovingly picking up debris with such class and grace at WA. I do hope young students notice me doing the same, as a tribute to my mentor, Ken Wackes. Servant leadership isn’t something to talk about, it’s something to do.
Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University
If I would write a thank you note, it would be to my mother who went to be with the Lord five years ago. I would thank her for being a fine example of commitment and dedication to her family. She taught me how to love unconditionally and to give my best at everything I do. Her life was not an easy one, but no one ever knew the silent battles she fought.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminar
I would write a “thank you” note to one of my first professional mentors in my career, Rick Chandler. I was a young supervisor working at Motorola in Arlington Heights, IL. Rick was a Corporate VP for the Cellular Infrastructure Division who made me my offer of employment on New Year’s Eve evening. He was the originator of the 6 Sigma Quality concept and the first Malcom Baldrige Award winner for Quality in Manufacturing in 1988. I was blessed to be under his leadership, and he intentionally invested his time sharing his wisdom and knowledge with not only me, but also all team members eager to learn. Rick is someone I would like to say “thank you” for all the valuable leadership tools you taught me.
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations & Personal Lines Officer, Bass Underwriters
I would write a thank you note to my older brother Ihor. Thirteen years my senior, he always saw more in me than I did. He gave me the first piece of jewelry I ever owned. I was 10 years old and just had my tonsils out when a package from Ihor came (he was stationed at Fort Bragg at the time). Inside was a very nice card and a jewelry box with a pair of opal earrings – so beautiful and so sophisticated to my 10 year-old eyes! It’s a memory that will always be dear to my heart and one worthy of a note replete with eternal thanks and love!
Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company
I am grateful to many people who have helped me throughout my life, and to thank only one seems to be unfair to all the others. However, with all gratitude and appreciation for all the others, I would like to write a “thank you“ note to two of my college football coaches, the late Lloyd “Tank”Johnson and the late Jack “Cy” McClairen, who gave me a football scholarship, so that I could obtain a college degree and an opportunity to play in the National Football League (NFL).
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
If there was a person that I could send a thank you letter to, it would be my mom. She was always so strong, even during challenging times. She quoted Proverbs to us all the time, making sure we had a good foundation. Her humor kept us smiling and her compassion helped us to be compassionate towards others. Her creativity showed how to take something simple and make it into something glorious. I do not think that I ever thanked her enough for who she was and all she did for us.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
I would like to write a thank you to my fiancé Faye….
Thank you Faye for loving me the way you do… Thank you for your amazing heart for Jesus, for me, and for our family!! Thank you for always choosing to see the best in everyone and in every situation!
At this special time of Thanksgiving and always, I am so grateful for you!!!
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder and President, SAINTS of Florida Homeschool P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry
Thinking back in time, I know I missed lots of opportunities to say thank you to many people. However, there is no doubt that those I should have thanked the most, may have been thanked the least, due to familiarity. So my thank you note is to my sweet southern belle wife Candace, who has put up with me for 44 years. You are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love you more than you will ever know.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers Morris & Ziegler Llp
I’d like to thank my mom. I gave her a card once that said, “Mom, you’ve had a lot of problems in your life. Happy Mother’s Day from one of them.”
Sam Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
I had a best friend in my late teens and early 20’s, who was the most amazing person. I was a believer, but not walking closely with the Lord. And this woman was always there. She was always kind and supportive. I’ve had many friends in my life, but she was the best. And she has said the same about me. I’d just like to thank her for the love and kindness she showed to me. She was definitely a God-send. Even when I wasn’t doing the right thing, He never abandoned me. He provides, even when we are faithless, he proves himself faithful.
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
I want to say “thank you” to my wife, Linda Lukasik! She is my prayer warrior, my confidant, my rock and my best friend. I would not be where I am or who I am without her. She is always encouraging me, building me up and reminding me that I can do all things through Christ. I love you, Linda! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!
Tom Lukasik, Vice President Community Engagement, 4KIDS
I would write a Thank You note RIGHT NOW to my maternal Grandma Jenny. She was a Mom in the 1930s and 1940s, who had 12 kids but after 1939 raised 9 kids under the age of 14 as a single widowed mother. Yet she always had a strong faith in Jesus Christ. She always demonstrated a joyful and peaceful spirit. She taught me at an early age what it meant to walk in faith and serve where God called you. She was the GREATEST Christian Woman I have ever known and an incredible model to follow on how to have faith and serve for God.
Steve Solomon, Area Director, CBMC South Florida
If I would write a “Thank you ” note right now it would be to my mother. I would want to thank her first for showing me the love of my God, and how he has me no matter what happens. Secondly, I would like to thank her for putting up with all of my antics and showing me the love and direction I needed to always follow my instincts, my heart and my God to be the best I can be always.
Wendy L. Elliott, MBA/HCM, AVP Marcus Neuroscience Institute, Baptist Health South Florida, and Co-Founder/Trustee, Elite Foundation
Read last month’s Good News Wants to Know at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/good-news-wants-to-know-hiatus/