The reason for this site
I am writing this blog, and the additional pages, as part of my desire to encourage people on their own Christ-like transformation, or spiritual quest (journey). The blog is a compilation of thoughts on Christ-like spiritual growth, and reflections of Scripture passages. It is intended for encouragement of others.
I will include additional pages of other sources and encouragements.
Getting to know me
I grew up in the rural area of Northern Michigan, attending a small Baptist church (part of the Baptist General Conference). My parents were both in church leadership, being deacon and deaconess in the church. We were at church for nearly all services, and sometimes were the one’s opening the doors. My ties to Christian faith go back at least several generations, but this in no way means I have not struggled in my faith. Actually most of my life has been a spiritual struggle toward understanding and growth.
When I reached adulthood, and felt I was ready to take on the world, I slipped in and out of church for over four years. I was married my wonderful wife Becky during this time, and fighting the inner call upon my life to enter ministry. We attended the Wesleyan Church my wife had grown up in, and I accepted my call to ministry. This began a new level of struggle and growth in my life. I worked in youth ministry while working through school at Indiana Wesleyan University.
This time was filled with some great education and challenges from professors to minister in love to people. I also was drawn in to John Wesley and other Holiness writers from the past. I was inspired by such deeply devoted people, and while I struggled in my own growth I hoped for such a deep relationship with God. During this time I was also taken to seminars and given books on the Church Growth Movement and Mega Church Movements that were dominant in the late to mid 1990’s. I went from a small church to attempt a church plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, after college.
I continued to struggle and grow. I would have great times of spiritual depth, and then slip back into the busyness of my work and life. I also had great inner struggle over the push of leadership and church growth, over against simply ministering and loving my people. The one term I heard that never worked well form me was, “if they don’t like it they can go find a church down the street.” This model of church and leadership seemed to become more and more business like, and less and less biblical and people centered. I continued to minister, but struggled with how close to allow people and how to lead in love.
In 2006 our family moved to the current church I serve. We came from a hurting situation, to a church going through pain of its own. While both sides hoped for a smooth and strong healing we were faced with addressing some spiritual and philosophical differences that came to light, which led to an unfortunate split. During this time, and over a year of prayer and searching several of us began almost simultaneously to see a deeper need. This deeper need went beyond the situation to problems in the church, and even weakness of much of American Christianity. We began to see that the model of family and Christ-like love was missing in our church.
We began a process of seeking God’s forgiveness of the church’s past sins of selfishness and poor relationships. We also began to refocus our lives in deeper spiritual growth, and striving for greater love in our relationships. During this time I began attending Asbury Theological Seminary, where I was also called in many classes to seek a stronger spiritual life. Through many of my classes I began to move from a skepticism of Spiritual Formation to realizing how what we do for Christ can only sincerely flow from what is going on inside our souls.
I continue on the journey, and hope that this site will encourage others in their own spiritual growth and understanding of Christ-like living. May God bless you in your quest toward Christ-like transformation and living in your life.