What I’ve Been Up To…

I attended SCS from 1st through 12th grade and am currently the Secondary Theatre Arts teacher there as well.  Our alumni coordinator asked me to write a “what I’ve been up to” article for the alumni newsletter, and this is what I wrote.  The published article left out a big, very important aspect of the original version, which I have included here.

I got an email from Lloydine Linman asking me to describe what I’ve been up to lately.  Mrs. Linman and I go way back.  I sang in the old “Vessels of Praise” ensemble with Kyle, and her husband and I share the same first name.  We see each other far more often than I would have expected, more than 20 years after graduation from SCS—and I suppose that’s what she’s referring to.

What I’ve been up to isn’t very interesting.  What God has been up to in my life, well, that’s an entirely different story.  And I’m pleased to say that it’s His story—not really mine—and what He’s been doing to lead me to where I am today.  I’ve been married to the most incredible woman in the universe for 11 1/2 years.  We have four amazing children, two of whom are students at SCS.  I’m the Children & Family Pastor at New Life Church in Renton (the one on Maple Valley Highway).  I’m also the Theatre Arts teacher for SCS Secondary students, something I’ve been doing now for four years.

I gotta confess, I’m really kind of surprised that God has allowed me the privilege of serving Him in ministry.  I was kind of an arrogant jerk in high school.  For those of you who didn’t know the class of 1987, we were known as “mockers.”  We were pursuing the kind of ironic mocking humor Seinfeld would make famous long before Jerry and the gang even thought of it.  We made teachers cry.  We made fellow students cry.  We were not nice.

Funny thing is, God does amazing things on our hearts and lives when we let Him.  Thank God I’m not the same person I was back in those days.  My life would be a train wreck if I had pursued the life I was after.  I practically wrecked my life anyway, several times along the way of life’s journey.  God was always faithful to reveal more of Himself as I learned more about myself, and each time He peeled away a layer of the snarky, mocking me, and helped me see others as He sees them.

I’m a children’s pastor. (I know, it sounds a little crazy to me, too.)  I love working with kids and helping them see that they have value, that they are special to God, and that they don’t need to worry what others say about them, because God says they are important—they matter.  I want a generation of kids to grow up safe from people like I used to be.  I want them to know that whatever anyone else says, whatever the mocking they get, Jesus loves them.  He cares about them, and He wants to be their friend forever.

I’m very blessed to have lived the life I have lived since SCS.  I’ve done a lot I never expected (nearly a decade with Disney Consumer Products, 3rd place “Trivateer” in the National Disney Trivia Competition at Disneyland in 1999, college at Biola, a stint at Microsoft, 7 years writing musicals and productions at Overlake Christian Church), but the biggest blessings have been my wife, Robyn, my amazing kids, and the joy of sharing my faith with kids—elementary age at church, and high schoolers at SCS.

What have I been up to?  Not much, really.  But God?  He’s been up  to a whole lot.  And for that, I’m grateful.

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