Leaving His Mark Upon My Life ~ Guest Post

When I come across something that I find to be good, helpful, encouraging, or strengthening, I love to pass it along and encourage others to try it, too. I do that with everything from food to tools, but the greatest joy comes from introducing others to people who consistently make the world around them feel like a better place. J.D. Wininger is one of those people. He’s a uniquely gifted writer, speaker, and friend who God has sent us for such a time as this. He’s a spiritual warrior disguised as a humble Texas rancher who loves God, his family, his country, and his freedom. J.D. spends most of his day doing the hard work of running a ranch called “The Cross-Dubya” and listening to the Spirit of God in the process. The rest of his time is devoted to sharing  eternal truths from the Word of God that the Lord reveals to him in the course of life around the “Cross-Dubya”.  

Whether reading his posts or listening to his comments about them on PJNet TV on Thursday evenings, J.D. has a way of making others feel like they’re old friends. We at Gallagher’s Pen are pleased to introduce you to J.D.’s writing today and invite you to check out his blog and other writings at www.JDWininger.com. Then add to the joy by passing the source of the blessing along to someone else . . . 

Three letters, S-E-A. Who could ever imagine the magnitude of the legacy they would leave behind? When did I first see those initials? That’s right, it was when I was helping mom reconcile the Napa Auto Parts charge tickets at our family’s Texaco station. Asking who signed for those parts, mom replied, “That’s Dad’s signature boy. Don’t you even know his name?” I knew folks called him Stewart, Stu, or Mr. Adams, but his initials were new to me. I wondered what the “E” stood for.  

My dad used his initials to sign everything. Checks, charge tickets, and fuel invoices. Some months later—when watching him pay shop bills one evening—I noticed he used an embossing stamp that lived on his desk on every check he wrote. The large brass stamp had a lever that majestically pointed skyward above his desk. Its polished surface looked so impressive to a poor kid who had never even seen a desk outside of the schoolhouse before. I asked him once why he embossed every check.

His response was profound to a 15-year-old. My dad took a sheet of paper and placed it between the jaws of his fancy desk tool. Then he lowered the lever, returned it to its upright position, and withdrew the paper. Dad invited me to run my fingers over the embossed seal. Pretty impressive, I thought; it’s like it becomes official or something. As I looked at him, he explained. “That seal is my mark. There’s not another one like it, it’s mine and mine alone. It’s my guarantee that I will stand behind every document bearing that seal.”

He explained how he viewed that stamp as a sign of his integrity, honor, and faithfulness. “I want my name to mean something,” he said. “When I emboss each check, I guarantee that I will stand behind it. It is my promise to stand good on everything I do.” I didn’t realize it back then, but I had received my first lesson in what it meant to Ride for the Brand. Words like honor and integrity weren’t mere words to my dad. He taught me their value by the way he lived them out in his life.

I think back over the decades of my life and I can remember how business people would greet me, even long after I had left working at dad’s garage. They would ask, “You’re one of Mr. Adams’ boys, aren’t you?” With my affirmation, there was nothing more that needed to be said. His name was all the collateral I needed for store credit, bank loans, and help of any kind.

What does your brand mean to others? Does your mark reflect Christ’s presence in your life? Click to Tweet

After dad’s entry into Heaven’s glory, my sister Sue asked me what I wanted of my dad’s possessions. I shared he had long ago gave me his vintage 1940s armature lathe and how I display it in the farm office in the workshop. I added that rather than the Model T or anything of value, the item with greatest value to me was his brass embossing tool that sat on his desk.

With no markings to show date of manufacture, my Dad’s embossing stamp could be as old as I am. I noticed when he lived with us here in Texas that the upper portion didn’t make as good an impression as it did years ago. Another example of how my dad impacted my life appeared as I applied the problem-solving techniques he taught me as a young man. The summary of this technique—of which I’ve benefitted from my entire adult life—consists of examining the issue, understanding the root cause, and then applying a corrective action.

Can you think of some lessons others taught you that continue to bless your life? Click to Tweet

Like his life itself, the old stamp showed the visible signs of a lifetime of faithful service. Its once-perfect finish now tarnished and worn; and it doesn’t work as well as it used to. In noticing how my dad’s embossing stamp had been well-used and worn down through its life, I considered how the same thing happens in our lives. Our levers are depressed and pressure applied from all sides many times (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). When we are in Christ, however, the more we allow God to use us, the more valuable we become in His kingdom.

Theorizing that the lever and piston shaft were worn down through the many decades of use, I placed a penny between the upper plate and the piston. To prove my theory, I stamped a Post-It note. The entire image was once again crisp and clear. We solved another problem together Dad. Thank you again for your many gifts.

As my days of celebratory grieving for my dear friend, confidant, and mentor continue, I pray God fills them with precious memories of the lessons he shared. I hope many of you who have lost parents, grandparents, and other loved ones who enriched your lives will reflect upon the marks they left upon you. Also, I pray you will consider the mark God has left on your life in Christ. If you can’t see it clearly, then dear friend, it might not be there. Jesus Christ can remedy that with just one heartfelt request.

Do others see God’s mark imprinted upon your heart? Click to Tweet

If not, then you can solve it using my Father’s problem-solving technique.

  • Examine the issue: Lack of salvation.
  • Identify the root cause: The sin curse upon mankind.
  • Apply the corrective action: Surrender your life to God’s matchless grace, available only through Christ’s salvation.

God’s blessings,

J.D. Wininger

Guest.2J.D. Wininger is an award-winning business writer and speaker who has authored hundreds of books and manuals, and thousands of contract-winning proposals by applying his God-given talents for writing and communicating throughout his career. He has written dozens of articles for national magazines, CBN.com, and contributed to several books during his career. Since retiring in 2011 to become a gentleman farmer and rancher in northeast Texas, J.D. applies his spiritual gifts and talents to teach compelling lessons in faith, write heartfelt devotionals, and author nonfiction works in pursuit of increasing discipleship in Jesus Christ. A semi-retired consultant and copywriter, He and his wife Diane spend much of their time sharing God’s love through service in nearby communities. When not tending his cattle, Magic the donkey, Bubba the chocolate lab, an ever-growing number of barn cats, or doing chores, J.D. enjoys spending time researching, discovering, and glorifying his Lord.

We invite you to subscribe to our Dipping the Quill newsletter, JD’s Around the Cross-Dubya blog, or just send a message of encouragement or a prayer request to us using the links here.

Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.

Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.


Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth” 

 The Kindle e-version  is just $1.99. No Kindle device is needed. E-book readers are included on most computers, tablets, and smartphones. If you don’t have one, the free Kindle app can be easily downloaded directly from the Amazon site on almost any device.
                    Click here for a “Look Inside” preview at Amazon.

About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World" For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Guest Posts, Insights, Right Side Up and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Leaving His Mark Upon My Life ~ Guest Post

  1. Kate says:

    J.D., I was smiling reading this story about your dad’s legacy and how he made an impression. It’s a special thing to move from grieving a loss to cherishing the memories of those who have had such an impact on our lives. I was especially interested in your father’s problem solving ability and how you drew that parallel to using it to find salvation. I practice the same problem solving steps in my career but never thought of it in a spiritual vein. You are a gifted writer and I am glad for the opportunity to read your work. I truly enjoyed this piece.


    • JD Wininger says:

      How very kind ma’am; thank you so much for your words. I’ve coined the term “Joyous Grieving” to describe what I’ve experienced with my dad’s passing into Heaven’s glory. I naturally grieve because of his physical absence in my life, but I joyously celebrate his arrival home in Heaven as I eagerly await the day I’ll join him, mom, and other loved ones as we join together again to worship and praise our Lord and Savior. Thank you again for your kind comments ma’am. God’s blessings.


    • Thank you for your encouraging reaction to J.D., Kate. As you already know, he not only offers inspirational insights and applications, he welcomes us into his heart. I just wanted to add an “amen” of my own to your comments and let you know that I appreciate your response to our mutual friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many loving, caring folk that have left a positive imprint on my life, J. D., and I count you and Ron right there with them. May your many ministries in God’s service continue to thrive!


    • You and J.D. are two of my favorite people, Martha, and among those whose faithfulness and courage are a continual encouragement to me. As we’ve often mentioned, we need each other now more than at any other time in my life. The darker the days become, the more brilliant every life becomes and we must pray and support each other though every means we have. Thank you and God bless you for the faithful way you invest the gifts God gave you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JD Wininger says:

      Amen Ms. Martha. Mr. Ron’s insights, guidance, and vocational Bible teaching that demonstrates how to apply God’s word to our lives is always such a blessing. Thank you so much for commenting today; and I’m proud to stand alongside you in showering our appreciation upon Mr. Ron.


  3. JD Wininger says:

    Thank you so much for allowing me to share with your grand audience today Mr. Ron. While my writing can’t yet compare to your many talents, I’ll keep trying my friend, if you’ll keep encouraging me to work at it as you do. I’m so glad God can use even meager gifts offered with love and honorable intent. When you selected a post that honored the legacy of love my dad left me, I was moved to tears. Because it showed me that his legacy had impacted far more than just the 14-year-old boy he and his wife adopted and brought into their family all those years ago. Like you, I pray the life lessons we’ve learned can serve to help those behind us grow to understand some of the values and morals that we hold dear; and pray that our nation and world can come to embrace them again. I think beyond our coming face-to-face with our Creator God soon, we will be most enjoy seeing those whom our lives, words, and deeds had impacted in a positive way for the kingdom of God. Thank you sir, for the blessings of friendship, fellowship, encouragement, and teaching. God’s blessings my friend. And please give your Ms. Diane all my best and I’ll extend the same to my Ms. Diane from you.


    • As usual, your gracious reaction is over the top, Brother, but the honor and privilege is ours for being able to share a glimpse of you with those we love who may not have discovered you yet. As I mentioned earlier, by heart was so touched with the tribute to your dad’s influence in your life and his imprint on your heart. While I regret not having had a father relationship like that growing up , your testimony unleashed a fresh and powerful wave of gratitude for my grandfather and others who left an indelible, protective “brand” on me that helped shape my life.

      By the way, I thought about you yesterday during a trip back to my hometown in VA. I pulled into a service station to get gas and wasn’t thinking about where we were until it hit me that it was the same place where I had my first job. It was no longer a Texaco station, but it was the same island where I greeted my first customer and pumped my first gallon of gas. I smiled and got a bit choked up as I thought about those days and what a blessing it was to hear about your own experience wearing a Texaco star. It was just an unexpected special moment and a strong reinforcement that having your article on our site today was a gift of God in more ways than I thought it would be. My Diane and I are blessed and grateful for our long distance friendship (and I warn you again, that we have visions of taking you and your Diane out to dinner and saying Hello to Bubba and Mavric–Texas really ain’t that far from TN, you know).


      • JD Wininger says:

        Our home is always open to friends and family sir. We’d be right proud, and I’ve always got a brisket in the freezer.


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