Another of my fellow disciples is one of my best friends from our Brandon Lakes neighborhood growing up.

Introduction – Another of my fellow disciples is one of my best friends from our Brandon Lakes neighborhood growing up. Brian and I first met when we were 12 years old. Since we were roughly the same size we ended up playing against each other in every neighborhood football game that I can remember. Fortunately, we developed a healthy level of respect for one another and became fast friends. We both struggled with some of the same family dynamics which brought us even closer. I have always admired Brian because he worked so hard. Whatever he was doing he was doing it at 110%. I’m not surprised that Brian chose not one but a couple of careers that help people. While being a Financial Planner for a paying gig, he also worked his way up in The Blount County Rescue Squad, a 100% all volunteer fire department. He and his wife Laura log more volunteer hours than any people I know. And how cool is it that if you were in a life-threatening accident in Blount County you or your loved one’s life could be saved by people who do it because they care!!! That is Leadership by example in every since of the word!!!

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My Journey with God – Brian Osgood

God began to make his presence known to me upon the death of my mother-in-law. As she lay dying of lung cancer, round two, the series of events that occurred in and around the final 6 hours were amazing and changed my life forever. While the details would take a while to describe, it became very apparent that God was orchestrating major changes that would lead to a niece of my wife, Laura, moving in with us at 13 and us assuming custody until she became a legal adult. She is now 30, married with three children of her own and very much an important part of our lives.

My personal journey with God gained traction right after I became a Financial Advisor. I made the decision to become a financial advisor largely due to the events of 9/11/2001. That day, as it did for many, shook me to my core and the fallout for me was that I needed more… I needed more time in my family, more participation in the communities around me and more satisfaction in my work. I needed to connect more deeply with those around me and the opportunity as a financial advisor allowed just that.

Not long after my career change, I met a group of young students and their mentors, James and Kathy, by offering to have a lunch with them to discuss how they may think about managing their finances as they completed a church driven course on entrepreneurialism. After the lunch, I was invited to come down to the church and have another meeting with the kids. Ultimately, Kathy invited me to bring my family to a Wednesday service at their church. Keep in mind that I had never attended church with any regularity for my entire life. So, I went home and informed my wife Laura, niece, Samantha and son Zach that we were going to church. For me, this was one of the most terrifying endeavors I had ever taken. I realized I was afraid. I was afraid that they would see me for everything bad and sinful that I had done up to that point. I was afraid that all my sins, which were many, would be so apparent that I would be run out before the service even started. As you might have guessed, my fears were entirely false. What happened was amazing, we were welcomed with such love and kindness, it was something that I had never experienced. That was just walking in the door. What happened next has been one of the biggest honors in my life, I met and began tutelage from Pastor James H. Davis and embarked on my journey with God. Here was a man, that was far more like me than I could have imagined, keeping it entirely real and using his previous experiences to help others see that there was more, that there was a God and that he loved us and wanted much more for anyone that would call his name.

My transformation began immediately and I found myself wanting, needing to become a better man. A better man for my wife, my family and to work tirelessly to become a better person to all of those that I met.

I was on fire, my journey with God led me into the volunteer world, beginning with my church and a local Optimist Club, but expanding into the TN Aquarium, The American Red Cross and ultimately into the Blount County Rescue Squad, an all-volunteer emergency medical and rescue service where I have now become Chief.

Over the years I really haven’t even looked back, by allowing God to have control I have experienced the “more” I was searching for.  Has this plan been executed perfectly? Absolutely not, I am still learning to this day. I know that I am not or never will be perfect actually, far from it, but when I allow God to have control, amazing things happen, lives get changed and communities get impacted.

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