Welcome to our website!

John and I are so excited that you are checking out our site. We created this as a way for people to get to
know us a little more at their own convenience. At this time we are raising support to be able to report to
our assignment in Minneapolis, MN. We pray that you would be encouraged and drawn closer to Christ!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

John's coming to faith story

To start at the beginning, Paynesville, Minnesota, a city of 2,300 people, is where I grew up.

I can sum up my school years in one word: SPORTS. I had great success in all sports I played.  I wrestled all of my life until I was a freshman, but quit, because of the pressure to cut weight and the treatment I received by other team members when I couldn't make weight, losing us the chance to go to State. I was devastated by how they treated me.

On top of everything that was happening with wrestling, my parents got a divorce. Even though I appeared strong on the outside I felt so vulnerable. My dad and I really didn't have much of a relationship. When my two brothers, my sister, and I did good we were applauded, but if we messed up we were treated very poorly, usually through verbal put downs. Fights would begin, but no apologies were ever said. It's true that we were poor helpers around the house, but my dad did not know how to handle that in a kind or gentle way and would get really upset with us. It did not help that he would drink a lot, too. Over time we had many hurts from the ways in which he responded to us. 

Despite the family troubles, my success in sports continued as I started varsity in baseball my freshman year. Baseball became my sport, and I had a lot to show for it in the awards, championships and the two years in a row that I tried out for the Minnesota Twins as a catcher. I was a great baseball player. Injuries slowed me down, though and I switched from baseball, football, and wrestling to only baseball.

Things started to change for me a little when I began working for a tree trimming service that year. On the first day of the job my boss, Mike, prayed before we worked. Praying was incredibly awkward, but over time I began to see how he cared about us in so many ways. Mike became such a good friend to me. He loved me and became the "father figure" I so desperately needed. He didn't talk about God, at least directly, but looking back, he helped to nurture and grow me, unbeknownst to me.

After being confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a sophomore my interest in religious things perked. I started to read my Bible.  I went to Promise Keepers once, a Father/Son conference that my soon-to-be step-dad, James, took me to. I was involved in church, but still my heart was essentially the same. For example, I had a girlfriend for a couple of years, in which infatuation drove the relationship. She looked down on my religious interests and essentially, our relationship came down to fooling around and hanging out with each other. We fought, broke up and proceeded to do that several different times until we were finally through my junior year of high school, not without many feelings and hurts still hanging on into my college career.

Going back to sports, now that I was a one-sport athlete, I worked out in the fall and winter to prepare for baseball. I would lift weights a lot to increase strength for baseball. One day in the weight room, I was wearing a Jesus shirt that I bought at Promise Keepers and, due to the tight fit, wore only in the weight room. That day a man in his forties, who I had seen a lot in the weight room, approached me. "You're a warrior for wearing that shirt in here," he exclaimed. He began to share about how he came to know Jesus in high school. I was interested in Jesus, the Bible, God, and all of that stuff. He asked me to come to a Bible Study, gave me a free Bible and treated me to dinner.

He was a pastor, an unusual one at that in my thinking, considering he lifted weights and was ripped. Little did I know he would be the one that would share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me. He shared from the Bible about seeing my sin through the Ten Commandments, my deserved punishment, God's love and grace in sending his Son for me, and how I could know Him personally on earth and spend an eternity with Him in heaven. The only thing, is that the gift of eternal life had to be received through repentance of sin and dependence on Christ for salvation. I could never perform well enough to earn God's favor. Little did I know I was not as spiritual as I thought. I had been missing Jesus.  At that point I started my walk with Christ.

Jesus really has made me a new person. Thanks for looking into my past with me and how I came to hear and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Biggest (yet littlest in size) Ministry Focus

Theoden is 14 months old and is growing by leaps and bounds. I am amazed at how quickly he's catching on to things now. It's made me keenly aware of the need to be mindful of the words that I say, facial expressions I make, and even my physical actions. God has given Theoden to us for a time and we are given the incredible task of raising him to be a man who loves God.

We are striving to be on campus and reach college students for eternity, but our biggest ministry focus is and will remain the one that's hanging onto my legs babbling "mama". Please continue to pray for us as we seek to parent Theoden in a way that glorifies God. We're starting to navigate the waters of discipline as Theoden begins to have inklings of what he should and should not do. Parenting doesn't come with a guide book, though we have the best Guide and the most helpful Book for instructing us day by day in each situation.

If you would take a moment and pray one of these for Theoden it would bless our family greatly:
A Parent's Daily Prayer GuideA daily prayer guide for parents.Don and Sue Meyers
Monday: Ask God to place a protective, solid hedge around your children so that Satan cannot reach in and lead them into temptation and so they will be safe from harm (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Psalm 33:20).
Tuesday: Pray that your children would use godly wisdom in selecting friends and peers that will make a positive difference in their lives. Ask God to give each child a discernment of people as well as knowing the difference between right and wrong (Proverbs 1:10; 18:24; Deuteronomy 13:6,8).
Wednesday: Pray that your children would stay pure in their thoughts and deeds (Psalm 24:4-5; Job 17:9).
Thursday: Pray that they will be caught if they wander into cheating, lies, or mischief (Hebrews 13:18-19).
Lifting My Family Through Prayer Pack
Order Lifting My Family Through Prayer Packprayer cards
Friday: Pray they will be alert and thinking clearly as they attend school and extra curricular activities and as they take exams. Ask God to help them be motivated to do the best they are capable of doing (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
Saturday: Pray for the spouse each child will marry someday. Ask that they will come from godly homes and have an appetite to live the spiritual truth they've learned. Pray also that their goals and purpose will be the same as your own children and their future homes would be godly (Deuteronomy 5:29).
Sunday: Ask God to help them live their lives for Him and that He will use them as a testimony and witness for His glory. Pray that they'll be grown to full spiritual maturity (Psalms 78:1-8, 103:17-18; Isaiah 54:13; Ephesians 3:20-21).
Do not leave your children unprotected-that is, vulnerable to Satan's attack. The greatest shield of protection we as parents can provide for our children is prayer. It's never too late to start (1 Samuel 12:23; James 5:16; Colossians 4:2).
Below is a link to this prayer guide:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thank you, First United Methodist Church!

       Last weekend John and I had a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the worship service at First United Methodist Church in Marion, IA . We had a great time sharing about our ministry on their "talk show". I really enjoyed introducing John to people who have know me since I was a child!
        We owe a big thank you to Pastor Mike Morgan. He has a big vision for that church and wants to see Christ magnified in their every endeavor. We look forward to future visits and hopefully being able to serve the church as well.
        Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we travel and share about our ministry with Crusade!