This post begins a Profiles series on people whose character, lives, and heart for God have impacted my life.
I have been thinking about people I know who persist, steadily and earnestly, in all circumstances, in whatever they do. This quality is called diligence.
One particular family came to mind Doug and Julie Horn, and their three children, Jessica, Emylee, and Justin. I first met the Horn family over twenty years ago at church. They have shown a persevering determination, diligently doing what needs done. Their lives have not been cushy or perfect, but show the work of the Master’s hand.
Please note: There is more to a person than meets the eye; and as you and I know, no one is perfect. Only God is intimate with them. These are my perceptions of this family as I have interacted with them. Whether or not they like it, this is how I know them and what I see in them as evidenced by their lives.
I hope you enjoy getting to know them.
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance…
~ Proverbs 15:13a
Doug reminds me of a rugged mountain man (think Jeremiah Johnson), with a smile as wide as the Mississippi. He is gregarious, humorous, and has a hearty laugh; he has definite opinions and beliefs, and a heart for God.
When Doug is not at church, I miss his cheerful greetings and fatherly hugs. I feel more secure having him around. You see, Doug has the habit of walking the perimeter of the church and making sure everything is kosher. He loves barbecuing, hunting, and having family around him.
Our most interesting conversation was about road-kill. Yep, you read it right, road-kill. Apparently, road-kill is still edible if picked up within a certain time. Maybe he was pulling my leg; were you Doug? Are you having a good laugh now?
Over the years, Doug has aged well and looks more like Santa Claus than anyone I have ever met. Check out this picture—it is from the cover of a book that my daughter received for Christmas several years ago. When I saw it, I thought Doug had posed for the artist, but as I later found out, he did not.
The remarkable thing about this drawing is that this is Doug in every sense! He is helping a friend build a cabin in Idaho, and I can see him out there in the woods, taking a break, with the coffee cup in his hand, enjoying the scenery.
Doug has a tender heart, too. He shared an experience he had at a fair that touched him deeply. He was sitting on a bench when a child and his father began to walk toward him. Doug overheard their conversation. The little boy stopped and whispered to his father that Doug looked like Santa Claus. The father replied that if Doug would ho-ho-ho when they walked by that would mean he was Santa Claus.
The pair walked by Doug and waved. Doug waved back, smiled, and uttered a low ho-ho-ho. The little boy was excited and said to dad “Dad, it’s him!” His dad replied, “Shh… don’t say anything.” The boy turned to Doug, smiled and waved at him; Doug smiled and waved to him in return.
The experience with the father and son affected Doug because he is growing his beard to be Santa Claus this Christmas.
Doug looks more like Santa Claus now than ever, but his desire is to reflect Jesus Christ’s character and presence in his life, in every way.
There is one question I have yet to ask Doug, “Did the kids ever tell you they saw their mommy kissing Santa?”
I hope you have enjoyed reading and getting to meet Doug Horn. Tomorrow, I will introduce you to his wife, Julie Horn.
Lord bless you as you prepare your hearts for a Christ-centered Christmas!