Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-30, Proverbs 15:4 and Luke 9:18-24.

I had recently preached a sermon based off of leaving spiritual footprints; that which is a lasting impression. I opened the message with defining what a carbon footprint is and what the effects are for this. Granted, the effects are not desired because this has a negative impact on all of mankind and we are called to care for the environment.

Carbon Footprint (noun): the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.

However, we, who are God’s in Christ Jesus, are also called to make a spiritual impact which will hopefully draw others to either deepen their relationships with God/Christ/Holy Spirit or to begin one with the Trinity. I used the example of how this past week the first ever all-woman spacewalk took place and plans are being made for the first woman to walk on the moon. These events are leaving a lasting impression on the world and are inspiring women to become empowered. This brings me to the formation of having a spiritual footprint which will empower you, the readers, to draw closer in relationship with God.

In the message, I traced my journey’s spiritual footprint back to the first step; my brother David Boyanowski (whom I admire dearly) to when he became a Christian and how this changed his entire world; and mine.

The next step was taken in a small Pennsylvanian Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Donald DeHaven where I became a believer and was anointed. Evangelist John Caton then inspired me to become deeper in my faith and I felt the call of God on my life to become a pastor. Rev. Fritz from Pawtucket, Rhode Island gave me the opportunity to become mentored and develop my calling.

Fast forward to moving to Indiana where Rev. Jack Scott from Huntertown United Methodist Church inspired me to return to my calling and he gave me opportunities to minister. Then Rev. David Michaels and Rev. Tim Terrell mentored me to where I am now, pastoring at Pleasant Lake UMC for the last 19 years.

Other people whose spiritual footprints left marks on me include my wife Marsha, Rev. Benny Powell, and Rev. David Biberstein. Because of these; including God Himself, I am who I am today.

Now; as well as the last 43 years, my main focus is to show the world Jesus and His grace and forgiveness. I want to share how God had taken a broken and forgotten child at the age of 14 whose life wasn’t the best and how He restored dignity and grace to me and gave me value and purpose. I know what it was like to be lost and what it means to be sought after and found because someone valued me enough that He provided the people to assist me in becoming who I am today. God is waiting to do the same with you and through you. It is my prayer and desire that my articles, my ability to pastor/shepherd/mentor those whom God has entrusted me to care for will become like Christ; people striving to be more like Him because He became like His Father and followed His example.

Each and every one of us have a precious gift in and through Christ. He calls us to go into the world around us and to share our experience with them (like the woman at the well in John chapter 4). He wants to connect and love everyone and to restore them, heal them and empower them to see what He has in store for them. That is why He empowers each of us with the different gifts/talents which He has imparted upon us. He didn’t give us these to hoard but to share. The different life experiences (both good and bad) happen to strengthen us and prepare us for those who have experienced similar experiences; so that we can assist them is their restoration. These help us to press on when others have given up on them, or ourselves. These help us to have a spiritual footprint which will leave an impression on others which can be traced back to God. I don’t want you to see my footprint; I want you to see God’s footprint in my life. His shoes are far too big to fill with anything else but God!

If you would like assistance in finding your spiritual footprint or how to leave a godly impression, contact me at pastorjohnboy@netscape.net or call the Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church at 475-1722 and leave a message. Leave you spiritual footprint on the hearts of you family, friends, place of employment, your church home and anywhere else you are called. God bless.

The Rev. John Boyanowski serves at Pleasant Lake United Methodist Church.

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