No that not his title, that is his nickname. His real name is John, but everyone calls him Buddy, or maybe bud. I just talked to him today, first time in maybe two and a half years. It was so good to hear his voice I almost cried. I needed to talk to him regarding our visa application. It sucks that it took me needing something to finally call my friend, and the most important Christian influence in my life, but it did.
What is a bit funny is I was thinking about him just the other day. See Bud isn't your average pastor guy. He worked construction, and kept working construction after he was a pastor. He never went to bible college, but taught himself to read Greek. He has a photographic memory, and has read the bible from cover to cover so many times, that he knows almost every passage and its address. He has never learned to speak Christianese, and is one of the funniest men I have ever known. He used to be a quick draw artist, yes I mean cowboys and pistols here. And the guy can do magic with a knife, from all his years as an insulator. But what is most amazing about him is his way to relate scripture, and stories, to whatever situation you happen to find yourself in. He is one of the wisest men on the planet I think.
Now this may sound a bit arrogant after all of the praise I have heaped on him, but the other day I found myself saying the things I had heard him say many years ago. I realized that I am now, the age he was when we met. And as I talk to the young leaders I am coaching, I find myself copying my old coach. I also find myself trying to counsel and encourage others like he did. I am becoming like he was, though not as good I suspect. What a testimony, and a warning to us all. What we are, will influence those that we minister to in profound ways.
When I grow up I still want to be like Buddy, cause he is a lot like Jesus.