This week we buried my 96-year-old mother who went to be with the Lord. My dad passed on to glory nine years ago. As I reflect on their lives, I realize I am a blessed man to have been born into my family.

I remember my parents teaching me the value of loving God and learning to work on the family farm. I can clearly recollect how they believed in me and encouraged me when I came up with new crazy ideas. They were constantly willing to help me fulfill my God-given dreams. I can still remember my father telling me he believes I will write a book someday. That seemed impossible at the time, but a few years later it became reality when my first book was published.

I know it was hard when I told them I needed to take a break from the family farm for a year and take my new bride to live on an island in South Carolina to serve as missionaries. They never told me I should not go, but instead gave us their support and blessing. When I left the family farm nine years later to serve as pastor of the new DOVE church, again, I knew this was not their first choice for me. But they did everything they knew to help us.

My parents modeled working together as a team as they built their business together, and were always generous to help others in need. There is always a story behind the story. And behind my story are two amazing parents.