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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rusty Martin

Rusty was my youth pastor for MOST of my youth group years. I started with Bruce and Karen Kozman, suffered for a short time under Mike and Angie McCarthy and finally landed safely in the leadership of Rusty. He and his wife Janet has two sweet little boys, Andrew was adopted and Timmy was born about a year after that...funny how that works sometimes...right? Anyway, Rusty was a great leader...the kids loved him and the parents were either afraid of him or hated him...LOL! That man knew how to command our attention and keep it, just enough fun to keep up coming back and enough seeds being sown that we flourished and grew under his leadership. We grew not only in numbers, but in personal depth of character. For example, we spent one happy summer studying the beatitudes, which we named the 'Lettuce' Attitudes...you know, let us be kind, let us be merciful, etc...and so to start each evening, we would play volleyball with a head of lettuce until we were just throwing around the core and then we would sing praise songs that led into worship songs, which quieted us down and got us in the right mindset for a lesson, then we discussed prayer requests, took them to the Lord and then hit the books. Then out for ice cream to keep us coming back. ; ) I know why the parents feared him..he was a powerful influence on their kids right at the age when parents already feel like they are losing control anyway and we were a loyal group of teenagers. As an adult, I can see the horror of your young teenagers coming home from a concert in downtown Chicago and then regaling you with tales of running down dark deserted alleys between buildings at 1 am...yikes! But we were too young, too trusting and too stupid to worry about the dangers...we were just running! LOL! Oh my, what a happy little jog down memory lane I'm having! I used to babysit for his two sweeties all the time...in fact, I think I'm scarred for life from it...LOL! He would call me from the corner gas station and say, "Your mom said that you could watch the kids overnight. I'll be there in 5 minutes, be ready..." To this day, I keep my overnight travel kit packed and ready to go...LOL! Maybe I DO need therapy after all...LOL! I haven't seen Rusty in just about 1/2 of forever, but I keep him near me always in my heart. When I graduated from High School, he and Janet gave me a small book called Precious Bible Promises. It's just a small book of scripture quotes under headings so that you can find them more easily...that book has brought me GREAT comfort during the years since high school. Not just the verses, although they are wonderful loving promises from God above, but I can always feel Rusty's love and affection for me as I read those words of wisdom. Oh dear, I AM getting old and emotional...someone shoot me!! Anywho, all of that to say that Rusty was such an influence in my life that although I haven't seen him for over 10 years, I still think of him almost daily. Rusty...thanks for letting me use the Valarie to learn how to drive in the snow...sorry I messed up the tranny...oops! Donuts in the church parking lot with a foot of snow, is there anything more fun than that with a real wheel drive car?? Ah, yes...the good old days! **Sigh** I don't miss them as much as you might think :winks::
Little Miss Kristy
PS. I don't have a pic of him in the computer, but imagine a sorta gringo/Mexican dude with super bowed legs and a puffy black fro...that's about him...LOL


Beate said...

Good old days, huh K? LOL I haven't been around for a while, but it seems you're getin' all sappy and stuff with these last few posts. Isn't it wonderful how God puts certain people in our lives at just the right time?

The Man Crew said...

So true!! I really need to find my rhino skin again, my tenderness is showing...eeekkk! LOL! Thanks for peeking in once in a while, B, I do appreciate it..oops there I go again...LOL!
Old Sappy

Brad and Kath said...

Oh, I love this post! I miss Rusty and think of him and his family often. Such a strong, Godly influence in my life when I needed it so badly. I hope God has blessed him.

-Kathleen (Horgan) Bressler

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