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Steve Carter

My salvation experience is we frequently moved continually had to leave friends, so it was less painful not to make friends in the first place. Often, was the new kid on the block, so always answered challenges and remained hidden in the background. I believed there was a God, feared and respected Him, but did not think I should consume His time with my trivial problems. In my mind, I was weirdly different than normal. With the persistence of my mother and the pastor during my first year (1971) in high school, they began witnessing to me and teaching me about a relationship with Jesus. I did not log the exact date, but I remember the moments of the last day before being saved. It was an extra hot day in Kokomo, Indiana. I was trying to better my basketball skills on the hot pavement and failing miserably. A huge heaviness came over my being. For the last few days, I was reading the book of John per my pastor who had visited that evening. Mom left me alone in the family room while I finished John. While sitting on the couch, I asked Jesus into my life. The spirit-filled me as I finally realized that Jesus was the relationship I was searching for. The exact moment I asked him into my heart/life, the lamp had a power surge and became brighter. I knew that I now had hope and grace. The next day, I noticed that things had changed. I felt lighter than a feather, now had help with my burdens, but still was a weird person and not so good at basketball. I prayed to Jesus to help my game. His answer (paraphrased): ‘First, it is OK to be different. I made you that way. Also, drop the basketball stuff. You have better things to do. I want you to go head-on into rough situations, do not hesitate. Live like Me, show everyone that you are different. I will take care of the rest. I am significant.

We try to base all ownership and accountability on what God wants, not what we want—getting more involved with the community. 1. Pam ( wife) — saved, southern bell, ‘goto’ person for others in high school, prayer warrior, loves God more than anything, my only long-term friend, retired, very patient with me 2. Nick (oldest Son) — saved, mature for his age, good athlete, mechanical engineer (pray for him J), can find 4-5 job opportunities at any time, solid, father of my 3 granddaughters 3. Eric (youngest Son) — saved, good athlete, softest kindest heart in the world, the hardest worker I know, getting married soon, HVAC warehouse leader, currently going to Accounting school 4. Concord – an extension of my family, seniors have a great sense of humor, millennials are confusing, but I am learning.

We have been at Concord since 1982 (40 years). This church was primarily interested in the main thing. It has endured multiple splits, some bad (iffy) times, and is definitely on the right track now. Instead of being the weirdest person on earth, I am now in the top 5 weirdest people at Concord. I am accepted for who I am and very grateful for the opportunity for the parking-lot team to make a first impression on visitors. To me, this ‘first impression is very important to get visitors to come back, but not very visible or tangible to measure.

What interests me about this role is I will give you an honest answer, but it may not be biblical. I feel awkward about agreeing to this role. I feel like this is tooting my own horn, which I am very uncomfortable with. However, since I was nominated, I now see that someone else may see/think that I possess the qualifications for this role. I feel like I have the qualities, but do not need a title to execute on them. If becoming a deacon is commanded by God, then I have been wrong all along. I have been on the parking lot for over 35 years, and it is easier to notice the widows coming in alone as couples age together. Perhaps I can help them.

Important bibles verses to me are the thing that my life needs the most work on, which varies from time to time, is the most important verse.

1. John 3:16 – very powerful verse; love, sacrifice, belief, everlasting life

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 8:7 — do not judge others, perform a self-examination before taking action

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

3. Matthew 5 — the beatitudes, sermon on the mount; which one do I need to work on

4. Ephesians 3:13-21 – spiritual empowerment; wisdom

13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

14 For this reason, I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches, he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

One strength I feel I can bring to the Deacon Team is flexibility/adaptability. I feel like I can adjust to my audience, listen, put in their shoes to understand the situation before communicating options or solutions.