The Four Horsemen

four horsemen

(L to R) Jim Crowley, Elmer Layden, Don Miller, and Harry Stuhldreher

When mentioning the phrase “Four Horsemen”, it will invoke one of the following thoughts: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Conquest, War, Famine and Death – Revelation 6:1-8) or the dynamic quartet that lead the powerful 1924 Notre Dame football team (shown above). Either way, the term Four Horsemen is associated with fear and respect.

I have my own Four Horsemen. They are the four men that have been most involved in my life. They are the men that have directly and indirectly shaped the good in me. They are also the men I strive to be. Each has his own unique set of characteristics and strengths.

This entry is to merely introduce you to them. I will have more detailed stories about them in the near future

Cool Man Phil: Cool man Phil is exactly that. Cool. Not in the silly Henry Winkler way, but a deep in the soul coolness that is God-given. Cool Man has a brain the size of Oregon, but more importantly a heart to match. He was an executive and at one of America’s most prestigious companies, but has put as much energy into serving the Tri-State area through multiple charities and ministries. Cool Man is a loving and devoted father and husband (and grandfather).

Cool Man always had the time to talk with me. Even as a confused teenager and early 20-something, he took time to sit down with me and mentor me. Here was a man that made humongous business deals – the type that effect quarterly earnings – and yet would have long face-to-face talks.

He didn’t fill me with false hopes and dreams. He knew my strengths and weaknesses, and made sure I stayed focused on them. 2+ decades later, I am so glad he did!

He was always that person I looked up too. I knew full well I didn’t have the skill set to become like him – but I did want to hopefully resemble him in the areas of life that mattered most.

This is why he was the best man at my wedding. There was absolutely no one else that deserved the role

Super Hero Russell: He really is a super hero. Another man who was an executive at a strong American company. He has singlehandedly reshaped thousands of men’s lives. He entered my life in the spring of 2008 when I was in need of guidance on how to be a better husband. Today I cringe at the idea of letting this man down. He means that much to me.

He is the epitome of what it means to be an all-star husband, father, grandfather, friend….He is one of those people (and there are few) that leave a mark wherever they set foot. He is a man that will hug, cry and yell at the TV whenever Auburn plays poorly.

Each month he drives 30 minutes into downtown to have lunch with me. This has been going on for several years. I love hearing this man speak. He makes everyday and adventure. He loves life. I mean REALLY loves life. And he makes those he comes in contact with share in his joy.

He is Super Hero because he has taken a guy (me) with a HUGE list of faults and weaknesses and loved him, day after day, in spite of himself

Humble Wade: Humble like no one else. He and his wife have achieved a lot on their life (not yet 40). But in conversation you wouldn’t know it. Humble Wade has that ability to dive into your world. When he asks how you are doing, he means it. His smile is warm and eyes are sincere

A 5-star son, 5-star husband, 5-star father and 5-star friend. Humble Wade does everything right

I got to know him when I was “young in Christ”. These weren’t always pretty years: hot head, negative, proud, stubborn…Humble Wade has endured it all with me, but has never stopped being at my side

Even though he was a few years younger than me, I never had a problem admitting I wish I could be like Humble Wade. My wife can attest

Wade would lovingly say he valued my opinion in various points in life. Me??? You value MY opinion? I would be so confused. “How could this value much of anything I have to say on an important topic.”

He is not only a friend, but one of the finest men I have ever met

Smiling Dan: I’ve known Smiling Dan for about 8 years. And only a few times have I ever seen him not smiling or positive. I love this about Smiling Dan. I’m not always a happy-clappy person. But Smiling Dan makes me feel safe to smile and laugh. He is so very patient. He will share a story from the previous weekend how this, that, and this, and that happened…..yet it never rattled him.

it is not to be confused with go-with-the-flow, Smiling Dan is simply an authentically good guy. More than one occasion over the past several years Smiling Dan has come along side me and encouraged me. Keeping in frequent touch until a low point in my life was gone.

Again, a very wise person and will not hesitate to get advice or opinions. He is quiet and still – and I love this! He is a solid rock in my life. Smiling Dan is the ‘real deal’. We have a string of mutual friends that would agree.

Today he is out reshaping the world. He is in the middle of an adventure that I get to ride shotgun and be part of. And I love him for this

Though these four men are distinctly different, there is a lot in common.

  • They are dedicated to family
  • They improve the lives and communities they come in contact with
  • They have time (or make time) for others
  • They understand love
  • They share their strengths and wisdom
  • They have great self-awareness
  • They are quick to forgive
  • They know how to prioritize their life
  • They are not selfish or self-focused
  • They are strong in the mind and heart
  • They understand their role in God’s bigger plan

The bullet points could go on! These are my four horsemen and I love them!


One thought on “The Four Horsemen

  1. Pingback: Slim Gym | Wings and stings

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