Personal Reflections from the Awaken Retreat


Last weekend I was blessed to be the speaker at a weekend retreat for young adults in the Greater Cadillac Area.  Here are some personal reflections from my time there:

  1. I preached 4 times, covering the 4 chapters in the book of Jonah.  As one who personally struggles in the area of receiving God’s love, the idea of God’s relentless pursuit of wicked Ninevites, pagan sailors, and a rebellious prophet was significant to me.  He will even use severe mercy (ex. a great storm) to bring us to where we need to be.  So great is His love for us.  I thoroughly enjoyed studying and sharing the book of Jonah and look forward to teaching it again.
  2. I shared a bit about my own battle with depression and anxiety and was not surprised that so many at the gathering could relate.  There is a great need and opportunity for the church to effectively minister to people who are plagued in these areas.
  3. In chapter 1 of Jonah it was noted that the sailors “rowed hard to get back to dry land.”  They were exerting great personal effort to save themselves.  I think this kind of self-effort has a lot to do with my own depression and that of others.  While intellectually we know that we are saved by grace through faith, there is still the tendency to “row hard” resulting in exhaustion, failure, and guilt.  Our relentlessly pursuing God has called us to cease striving and rest in His grace.
  4. The worship is passionate and sweet.  I very much enjoyed the freedom to worship God in spirit and in truth.
  5. Our community has some remarkable young adults who are passionate in their love for Jesus and His mission.

Hope to connect more with this group in the future.  It was indeed a great weekend.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Uncategorized


Advent 12 Years Ago


Posted by on December 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Ice Forming on Lake Mitchell by Jason Nichols


Leave a comment

Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized



First Baptist Youth Prayer

Ephesians 6:19

[19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, (ESV)

1 Comment

Posted by on September 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


Enthusiasm Personified

john haasbrouck

When I think of enthusiasm, I think of John Hasbrouck–a man of unmatched vision, passion, and zeal.  John had a unique ability to see it, believe it, and do it.  He did nothing halfway.  No wonder we had such great enjoyment in discussing together Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship for a season on Saturday mornings.   As I write this I realize just how much John impacted my life and challenges me today to live enthusiastically.  It is no wonder:  the word “enthusiasm” comes for the construction “in theos” or “in God.”  No doubt John is experiencing a glorified enthusiasm today in the presence of Jesus.  Thank you John for your legacy of enthusiasm in my life.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


Happy birthday Josh

Lost in the shuffle of moving into college life was Josh’s 19th birthday on Saturday. I used to think that Josh and I were pretty much identical, but he has grown to be his own man and the extrovert that I will never be. God is shaping him and molding him to become a dynamic leader. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


Well done, Olivet Nazarene University!


From the ROTC students who clearly directed traffic for dorm move-in, to the student leaders who met us at the dorms to carry all our stuff (I did not carry a single box to a dorm room), to the university President who photo bombed Anna’s picture with her roommate, the entire experience made a parent feel incredibly blessed to have students attending there.  Thank you for the intentional extra effort.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2017 in Uncategorized