My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.

"You better stop it; I'm going to tell Mom. Mom!!!” Did that ever sound like your home?

I have many brothers and one sister. And I love them. I don't know all of them that well but I love and pray for them just the same. I grew up with three biological brothers. I also have one brother and sister who are step who I did not grow up with (but have a relationship with now) and one half brother who I have never met.

Now my three biological brothers have filled my life with some of the best and worst times. Yeah, we had our share of fights. I am the oldest and quickly earned the named "Angelica," the bossy, big sister from the cartoon "Rugrats" or for you older folks, "Margaret" from "Dennis the Menace." I made sure they knew I was in charge at all times. As long as I was bigger than them physically or could outwit them, I stayed in control. Of course, as the years past, I would lose my position of authority but I wouldn't go down without a good fight. LOL!

I also remember the many times when being the oldest was to their advantage. Times when I rescued my brothers, took their side, and protected them. Times when our biological father would yell at them and hit them. Times when I would cry for them when they were being punished unfairly. I also remember the good times. Times when we enjoyed a bowl of homemade ice cream, had tickle fights and laughed.  Times when we played games of Red Rover, Hide and Seek and Mother, May I.  Times when we ran in the fields catching fireflies outside my grandparents' home, climbed trees and occasionally gotten poison ivy. I also remember when it was time for them to protect meā€”from overzealous boyfriends to coming in to late after curfew. Sure, they aggravated me at times; but they also loved me. I am blessed to have them in my life.

Just like my brothers and me, can you imagine seeing Mary, Martha and Lazarus growing up together? Having fun hanging from trees, chasing each other and playing tag. Of course, it wouldn't have been Martha if she didn't fuss to her parents about Lazarus not cleaning up his part of their bedroom. Or Mary getting her hair pulled when she was trying to focus on her studies. I am sure they were like any family with its stress and frustrations, laughter and joy. However, this family had an edge. They not only loved each other very much but they also loved Jesus, their friend. They would quickly learn who He really was and would be in their lives.

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now laid sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."  "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"  Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light." After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."