Greetings! So you want to know a little more about me? Well, O.K. I can tell you a little bit. My life has not been terribly exciting but it also hasn't been too boring either - lots of big changes every few years.
I am a native of Illinois, having been born there in a town called Joliet just a few days before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. So I guess you could say I came into the world just at the tail end of the Baby Boom and "golden years" of the post-WW2 era. In many respects I have always felt like I was standing w/ one foot in the Boomer generation and one foot in the Buster generation. I find myself drawn to the values and "mind set" of the Boomers but am very comfortable with modern things and am able to sympathize with the way Busters think too.
When I was 15, my family decided to move to a warmer climate and we moved to Northern California. We just sold our home and spent the summer visiting relatives and seeing the big ole' US of A. I was actually glad to move though I loved our home by the river. It was a spacious house with a huge yard, fields all round and a river in the backyard! Sort of "heaven" for a little boy to grow up in. I have SO many fond memories and am so grateful to have grown up in that house!
But Northern California has been good to me too! I enjoyed finishing high school in CA and played in the marching and jazz bands (trumpet) and learned how to play Role Playing games (SO much more fun and satisfying than Monopoly or checkers!). I did well in school and after graduating attended the University of California where I majored in International Relations and minored in English Literature. I truly loved my time in college. I loved to study and learn new things. In fact, I loved the whole atmosphere of college life.
I was also fortunate in that I had several really close friends and roommates in college that I had known since high school. They were such good friends! They really had a positive impact on me though I don't think I ever told them that. They really helped make college a golden time in my life. Sometimes I played bass guitar in a local band with my brother to help pay my way through school and always had on campus jobs too. I really enjoyed those jobs - they taught me almost as much as my classes!
Before graduating from UCD I felt God renew His call on my life and began to seek out how He might want me to serve Him best with my life. I wanted to be a part of something that would make a difference in people's lives and for His kingdom. While serving at a local church as a youth minister, I met my wife Amy. We hit it off right away and spent many hours talking deep into the night. We fell deeply in love w/in weeks of first meeting (our first date was on her birthday). I proposed 3 months later. We were married 9 months later and I began the next, and best, chapter of my life. My wife is truly my best friend and soul mate. I would be lost without her! Her influence has really helped shape me and make me a better man.
We moved to Oregon where we both attended Western Seminary. I also LOVED seminary life. It was so much like college - only much more wholesome! As I pursued my studies I was unable to choose between pastoral ministry or educational/teaching ministry. In the end, I did both! After several ministry "tours" as a pastor, school administrator and teacher, we finally began to realize we really wanted to move back to Northern California.
While in Oregon, we also adopted 3 boys and again entered into another chapter in life - parenthood. We were pretty happy as a young family but always felt the loss of our family being nearby very keenly. This became almost unbearable when Amy became pregnant (which really was a miracle). It was a difficult pregnancy compounded with the fact that we had just adopted our 3rd son who was only 5 months old at the time. After our son's birth, we made the decision to move back to Northern California to be nearer our families (frankly, we needed the help!).
And so here we are, in a new chapter of life. It was hard to find work and affordable housing when we moved back but we are so glad we did. Less than a year later, we lost our infant son to a sudden illness. If that had happened in the "wilderness of Oregon" I don't think our family could have weathered that storm very well. But with our families nearby we were able to keep trusting God and move forward. Grief is a lengthy process and we have all learned many things through it all.
Finally, I found a teaching position at a local Christian school where I teach fifth grade. I love it! And it gives me 12+ weeks off each year to spend with my family. They are growing up so fast! After losing a child, I am grateful to have a way to spend SO much time with my children. Our family life is even more precious to us now!
So, here I am, a teacher, sometimes preacher, dramatic re-enactor, history and literature loving husband and father who loves to spend time with my kids watching the night skies with my telescope, driving throughout the gorgeous countryside of Northern CA, or playing Lord of the Ring Role Playing games with my kids and their friends. Life is good - even if it is full of LOTS of change. But through it all I have learned to cling to God and to trust Him in all things - especially the dark times. Spending time with Him daily is the key to being prepared and being able to weather anything that life throws at us. It's never easy - but with God's help anyone can not only survive - but thrive!