My Three Mentors

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
My Three Mentors

Do you have a mentor? When I was younger, I prayed for a mentor. God gave me – not one – but my three mentors. As God often does, He gave them in a much different way than I wanted. Yet, I have come to agree with Him – that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (Is. 55:9) Interestingly, none of these three people really knew they had become my mentors.

What I Had Wanted

In my limited perspective, I had wanted a specific kind of mentor – someone I could connect with each day, or at least a couple times a week. I also wanted to:

  • Ask my mentor good questions.
  • Discuss how to practically apply various ideas from God’s Word.
  • Look up to this special person as a model.
  • Yet, also engage in friendship.


God had a different approach as He selected my three mentors.

First, He took the “distance” approach. In other words, I couldn’t connect with any of them on a daily basis.

Second, God chose people who were very established and engaged in what was in front of them. They lived their lives faithfully where He placed them. Consequently, I didn’t have much opportunity to ask good questions OR discuss how to practically apply God’s Word to my young life.

Third, God showed me He wanted me to look up to all three of my mentors, but always through the lens of Himself.

As a result, I found myself being funneled into an unexpected mentorship. Everything I’d learn would first connect me with God. Essentially, He made it exceedingly clear He intended to be my First Mentor and Dear Friend.

Although God’s ideas about mentorship were different than mine, I accepted His. I also accepted His undeserved friendship. Still, I found myself contemplating a newly-forming dilemma: How EVER could I be a friend back to God?!

My Three Mentors

I mentioned none of my three mentors really knew they had become my mentors. Yet, they possessed –

  • A deep, abiding love for Jesus 
  • Impeccable graciousness
  • Incredible character


Two of these amazing people, I have known, personally. The third amazing person, I knew only from a distance. Yet, the impact of daily choices of all three challenged me to make my best possible choices in every life scenario. Their lives inspired mine.

Besides these three mentors, I’ve also benefitted from people who didn’t know their teachings and example had caught my eye. These men and women impacted my life – writers, speakers, professors, leaders, world travelers. One professor in post-graduate school, along with his wife, became life-long friends to me. How I still treasure their input in my life.

Some of these dear people were quiet, simple, yet impressive people – with amazing “presence.” Others were up-in-front most of their lives. Regardless, all of them encouraged me to keep pursuing God and His ways.

But my three mentors became my focus as decades added up.

Introducing: My Three Mentors

I followed my three mentor’s lives, examples, and choices. The manner they adopted as they responded to each of their life situations caught my attention. Their consistency over years held my admiration.

I’d like to introduce you to my three mentors. Coincidentally, each of their names begin with “M.”

1. Maydene

This woman was the embodiment of joy! I don’t ever remember her not smiling – a huge, beautiful smile adorned with red lipstick. Her eyes were filled with laughing, and her laugh filled the room. Maydene was God’s blessing to me starting when I was in high school and through my adulthood.


Since Maydene lived in a different city, God miraculously connected us. I couldn’t get over how genuinely she welcomed me into her apartment as a teen, into her life over the years, and into her incredible love for Jesus. Incidentally, she was a modern example of “boasting in Jesus!” (2 Cor. 10:13)

Maydene always had a deep, abiding love for Jesus!

2. Marcile

This beautiful woman so impressed me when I met her. Her life has continually challenged me over the years. She held numerous positions as she served her family and community. I only know about her being a beautician, and then a fabulous administrative assistant.


Marcile’s whole person welcomed me. She “brought me close” in a winsome way. I saw her respond like Christ even in frustrating developments of a business office.

Marcile’s impeccable graciousness left such a deep impression on me. I’ll never forget.

3. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

What can I possibly say about Queen Elizabeth II? If you want to learn more about her life, just google her. Reading between the lines of documentaries or biographies of her life, you’ll see a remarkable world leader who deeply and pensively made decisions that were popular – or sometimes not.

Elizabeth became a Jesus follower in her adult life. Her countenance, decisions, and bold speeches reflected the nature of Christ. She possessed courage, charisma, and commitment. Elizabeth sacrificed so much personally in her private life in order to carry out responsibilities that fell to her.

From Elizabeth, I was challenged to engage incredible character!

Things I Learned From My Three Mentors

A Thankful Heart

First, I learned that a person’s level of gratitude shows the sweetness (or not!) of their inner person. My mentors commanded respect by continually exercising a thankful heart.

Second, I learned that developing and maintaining a grateful heart is an intentional decision, even in difficult times. Choosing to respond with a gracious spirit and a kind heart is an option for everyone. But it is a choice.

There are 3 qualities my mentors practiced that awarded them noble character and a thankful heart.

FOCUS 1: A Thankful Heart Takes DISCIPLINE

To be grateful takes discipline, and that means training. Hebrews 12:11 talks about this training: No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Gratitude is a deliberate choice great people make, even when it’s hard. No wonder God often tells His children to be thankful. It’s His original design.

FOCUS  2: A Thankful Heart Requires PERSPECTIVE

Life is pretty challenging, and lots of hard things happen. So, to be deliberate in responding, choose a healthy perspective. Heb. 12:2 says to focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus chose joy even when He suffered because He trusted and rested in Father’s heart and methods. This joy gave Him eternal perspective.

Adopting Jesus’ perspective gives hope and multiplies gratitude.

FOCUS 3: A Thankful Heart Takes FAITH

When things look terrible, when it seems God is not there, when it feels like your prayers have not been answered, responding well takes faith. However, when you trust God’s goodness, wisdom, and love – you become grateful.

Lack of gratitude is a wall – a subtle form of pride. You expect something better – of YOUR choosing. A person who is not grateful is never happy, never content. They lack Christ’s sweet character.

Conversely, when you are genuinely grateful, it’s harder to sin. So, it’s an “auto deterrent” for sin. True thankfulness is engaged by faith. No wonder Scripture repeats – “be thankful, praise the Lord, have a grateful heart.”


Maydene is waiting for me in Heaven. I just can’t wait to see her smile again and be in the presence of her contagious joy! I still remember how unashamedly she shared her love for God. She always called Him – “The Lord” – a precious memory to me. Her meaning was clear. “Lord” means the powerful God who is also a loving Savior and Friend to broken people.

Marcile is close to Heaven as she finishes her race. Inspired by her impeccable graciousness, I so want to be gracious like her. This woman has been simply beautiful all her years – inside and out! I always felt so special when I could be with Marcile. She had a knack for turning every conversation into a way to nurture me into Christ.

Her Majesty is waiting for me in Heaven. This world leader portrayed incredible character through many trials and overwhelming difficulties. After I bow to Jesus, I may bow to Elizabeth. I want to thank her for doing so many things right in a world that was filled with too much wrong. I admire how she consistently gave deliberate attention to Jesus in her annual Christmas broadcasts, along with a nutshell gospel message. You can look those up online. They are great!

Application Thoughts and Questions

  1. Do you have a mentor?
  2. If God hasn’t opened that door, why not select someone with Christ-like character and follow their life from afar?
  3. Are you willing to live the kind of life someone else can look to for healthy and godly mentorship?
  4. What should you change to be worthy of the honor of being a mentor – “from afar” – for someone following your life unknown to you?
  5. Is Jesus your First, Best, and Most Mentor? Why not join me in choosing Him?
  6. Do you maintain a thankful heart?
  7. Are you pro-actively pursuing discipline, perspective, and faith?



Before we sign off, I want to tell you about an exciting resource Alive and Active Life has been working on for you. Easter is coming soon, and so is Prepare For Easter. Lives are busy for most people, and it’s hard to focus your heart. So, we’ve developed a rich devotional focus for Holy Week. Each day features 1. a brief focus meditation, 2. a fun activity, and 3. a teaching point. The content drills into practical provisions Jesus brings to make life meaningful and effective in difficult times.


You’ll be glad you took a few minutes a day to prepare your heart for Easter. And pass the sign up to your friends, family, church, students – anyone! (It’s all free!)  



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