Our New Pastoral Intern
In one sense it may seem a little odd that I’m introducing myself to the Spring Meadows Community, as I’ve been a member for a little over four years now, but it seemed like an appropriate thing to do for my first submission to the newsletter.
I grew up in San Diego, California in a devout Roman Catholic family. We were of the go to Mass at least once a week variety. By the age of 19 however, I was engulfed in sin, and had resigned myself in the knowledge that I was hell bound. I saw no way that the sacramentalism of Roman Catholicism could save me. It was in those lowest moments where God reached out to me through Scripture. Opening my Bible, I read Romans 8:28-38, and it thoroughly confused me. I expected to find this letter to the early Roman church confirming Roman Catholic orthodoxy, and yet I found something in those verses entirely distinct from it. Romans 8:28-38 was at odds with everything I had grown up understanding about God. Here was a God so sovereign that nothing can separate me from His love, and yet growing up Roman Catholic I had been taught you could lose your salvation. This period marks when the seeds of my conversion began to take root. For the next two years I read a healthy dose of early church authors, former Protestants who had become Roman Catholic, and former Roman Catholics who had become Protestant.
Through these years of study, the Lord led me out of Roman Catholicism. By now, I had transferred to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where I met a girl there named Stephanie from a small farming town in eastern Washington. She was a Roman Catholic, and yet in our earliest discussions I could see glimpses of her beginning to understand the Gospel as well.
After college I moved out to Chicago. followed shortly after by that girl named Stephanie I mentioned earlier. We would be married in a little over a year– eventually moving down to St. Louis together in order to be closer to my brother and his family –who had started attending Covenant Seminary. My new wife, who by now was also reformed, tried to encourage me to go to seminary alongside my brother. However I successfully rebuffed that crazy idea. I mean what did she know anyhow? We ended up staying in
St. Louis for just over three years. Both Katelyn and Audrey joined us along the way, and we moved a few weeks after Audrey’s birth.
Desiring to move back west, we moved to Reno. We loved the city. We envisioned decades there and added Monica to our growing family. However—
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
God, in his providence called us to Las Vegas. When we made that move a little over 4 years ago, we joined Spring Meadows Church. We added Bridget shortly after. Then about 2 and a half years ago I began to feel called to seminary. For a little over a year I weighed the calling and, in the interim, became involved with a Las Vegas homeless outreach. My wife and I ultimately began laying the groundwork to move to San Diego so that I could attend Westminster California.
During our preparation, I became increasingly more interested in the MDIV program out of RTS Orlando. With the session’s support, and a lot of prayer, we decided to stay in Las Vegas, and are ever grateful we did. It’s been a joy to continue worshipping with the people of Spring Meadows week in and week out.
In my downtime from my various vocations you can often find me trying to plan our next camping trip or trying to figure out a good reason to visit Lake Tahoe yet again. I love smoking meat, having a good beer, and being out on the water with our Labrador, TULIP. I’m also an avid fan of college football.
It can be an intimidating thing trying to figure out where your gifts might ultimately lie while going to seminary, and it means the world to me to see the support we’ve received during this process. I am humbled to be your pastoral intern, and I thank you all so much for the encouragement and prayer our family continues to receive from this little oasis in the desert.
To God Alone The Glory,