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MWS Christmas Concert Contest Winner

To celebrate the 4th anniversary of Thoughts from the Pond and the new companion MWS fan and information site
an essay contest was held. Below is the winning essay.

Congratulations to
Ryan Herrington
Hazlehurst, Georgia

Winner of 2 Gold Circle tickets to the December 13th
Michael W. Smith with Point of Grace and Kara
Christmastime Concert in Jacksonville Florida.

MWS Christmastime Concert
Click here for Tour Information
MWS Christmas Concert Tickets Winning Essay

Jacksonville Concert Essay
by Ryan Herrington

     At 13, I accepted the call of God to preach and I started everything I could to work as I thought a preacher would. I started teaching a Sunday School class and working in children’s church. I organized a Bible Club at my middle school and high school when I was a freshman. I preached my first sermon in a church when I was 16, but preached my first sermon to a youth group when I was 14. As much as I was applying myself to God’s work, I was still growing.

     I’ll never forget the first time I heard of Michael W. Smith. My mom just loved him. She just thought he was so handsome and she loved the fact that they were only three years apart. I was 13 and we were riding home from town when Michael’s song, "Somebody Love Me" off the Change Your World album came on the radio. I loved the song, and my mother was pleased to inform me that the singer was a Christian artist. I had been trying to find some Christian artists to get involved with, and I immediately began looking up his music and started buying every CD I could. I’ve been buying his CD’s and books the first day they drop in stores now ever since that day.

     As a young minister, it was hard to keep my standards up and to not give in to society’s definition of what a teenager is supposed to do. I had a lot of growing to go through and it was definitely painful. The maturation process is always hard. I’m still growing in the Lord as I plan to never stop. Ten years after feeling God’s call and at the age of 22, I’m a licensed minister and youth pastor. God has blessed my ministry and Michael W. Smith has never ceased to be a part of it. The very man that got me motivated still motivates me today. His songs inspire me to continue on my journey. My youth choir sings his songs in our youth services. Songs such as Friends, Great is the Lord, Above All, and I See You are commonplace among my teenagers. His books inspire my sermons and his life challenges me daily to never give up and to keep pressing into the harvest to win as many as possible.

     I’ve never met Michael in person. I’ve never seen him in concert. For every opportunity that has come around for me to see him, something has always come up. I want more than anything to be a part of this concert and see the man that has inspired me so much. Also, upon joining Michael’s new Friends Online, I am registered to receive a Meet and Greet Pass good for any of Michael’s concerts over the next year. Not only would I be at his concert, which would be a dream come true, but I would also get to meet my inspiration.

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