I was born in the Canadian west, and raised by a father who was essentially a pre-conversion hobo who metamorphosed into a post-conversion travelling preacher. So far as the miles were concerned, I supposed he didn't change that much. We lived all over the Canadian west, from the mills of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, to the prairie flatlands of Oak River, Manitoba, and almost everything in between. My mother must have had the patience of a saint and the courage of a lumberjack, to follow my father where he led her.
Many of my early years, particularly in my teens, were spent among Canada's First Nations peoples, as my father believed he had a special calling to them. Uneducated but zealous, he preached his peculiar brand of indie Pentecostal fire and brimstone until he was brought to a standstill by Lou Gehrig's disease shortly after I left home. We ultimately reunited in Grande Prairie, Alberta, where I helped provide care for him until the Lord reclaimed his spirit in 1990.
I journeyed out of Pentecostalism into the Reformed stream of Christianity over the course of 1989-1992, culminating in education in Mid-America Reformed Seminary (Dyer, Indiana) between 1997-2000.
But as seems customary for my life, the path before me did not long remain straight. Around the time of my graduation, the issue of paedocommunion was thrown into my lap, and I was thrown for a loop. After anticipating candidacy and ordination in a conservative Reformed denomination, I instead entered the workforce (and wrote my first book).
I then served as an interim pastor for 2 1/2 years in a Christian Reformed Church in rural Montana. During that time, I returned to the designing interests of my childhood and learned web site design. I was also commissioned to write a chapter on a subject that was really my first love in biblical studies: the apostle Paul; in particular, his handling of the Mosaic law. The book for which that was intended never saw print, but my essay finally saw the light of day when I released These Are Two Covenants as a standalone book many years later.
As my time in Montana was closing, God's timing was impeccable, and I was called by my fellow brothers to work with them in a new church plant in Grande Prairie. As with the rest of the men involved, I have pursued other paying vocations while lending leadership and being tasked with preaching God's Word to this growing flock. It has been a time of great blessing to see how God has built community among us.
In April 2011, much to the surprise of many, I finally was blessed with a wonderful wife, Kristi. Our intention was to move her and her seven children from a previous marriage up to Grande Prairie with me, but God apparently had other plans, and blocked the way for that to occur. As a result, we reversed direction so that I could settle in Tennessee with her and the rest of my beloved new family (including our baby, David Peter, born January 18, 2012). I moved to greater Nashville in April 2013.
Many things about the road before me are not clear. If the past is any indication, it will not be straight, and there will be plenty of surprises. But into whatever contexts the Lord may lead (or push), I will seek to use the gifts He has provided me to be of benefit to His people, whether through preaching, writing, consultation, or whatever He puts in my path.
I would appreciate all who would stand with me in prayer, that I will be effective as a husband, father, provider, sheep, and whatever else the Lord chooses to pigeonhole me as.
And certainly, pray also that God would grant peace of mind and heart to my dear mother.
May we all learn that this life is given in order for us to bless others by serving the glory of the Triune God.
October 30, 2012 | edited April 2013