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Bud Villers was a good man. Bud was my neighbor. I grew up beside him until he died when I was in college. Bud helped my dad put a roof on our house, he assisted my dad when they poured concrete sidewalks and porches. My dad helped him put a roof on his patio. When Bud got older he would hire me to cut his grass occasionally. He usually invited me in for a glass of Coke and a piece of pie. He was always generous. I also delivered his newspaper for a couple of years. He tipped well. He was kind. He didn’t get upset if our baseball, wiffle ball or football went into his yard.

Mr. Villers was an avid fisherman. He often brought us some of his trout catch.

I don’t remember Bud talking a lot about religion when I was a kid, but it struck me that EVERY Sunday morning I saw Bud walking up the street with his Bible in hand-—rain or shine Bud walked to church with a Bible in his hand every week.

Every year he invited my younger brother and me to attend VBS at the Nutter Fort Baptist Church. Most years we didn’t go, but some years when some of my friends were going I did go. Then when I was 15 Bud invited us to church on a Sunday. I didn’t go, but my younger brother did. And the next weekend he invited us again. Again, I didn’t go but my little brother went. The same thing happened the next Sunday and the Sunday after that. My brother started going to church two or three times a week. I caught him reading the Bible a couple of times.

Months later Bud was still inviting me and I was still not interested. Then a singing group attended my school. They were college students and the girls were really pretty. They performed several songs and they told us that they were going to be at a church that evening and they wanted us to come. When I got home from school that day, Bud came over and invited my little brother and me to come to church that evening. The singers from the school were going to be there, so I went. That night I became a Christian and my life has never been the same since.

To my knowledge, Bud Villers never taught a Sunday School class, never preached a sermon, never held a position of leadership in the church. He was an usher, a faithful usher. He simply lived a life of integrity and love for God and his family and friends. And occasionally invited people to church.

If Bud was an ice cream flavor, he would be vanilla. But he would be HÄAGEN-DAZS vanilla.

Icebreaker Question: Who influenced you to become a Christian or to check out Christianity?

(From a sermon by Quint Pitts, Uncommonly Average, 10/17/2009)

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