I could tell you all sorts of things about me. I could tell you that I’m a 6’ 2” caucasian male. I could tell you I’m an American. I could mention that sometimes my clothes feel too tight, I don’t have huge muscles, and that I haven’t had hair on my head since my mid 20’s. I’d be remiss not to mention that I love to mow my lawn and drive a stick-shift car, but if those things led you to believe I’m a man’s man – I would have misled you.
Perhaps I should start with my accomplishments. I have 3 championship rings. Did I fail to mention that they were for recreation league flag football? Oops. I’m the coach and quarterback at least! I convinced a world renown creative to marry me. Emily Steffen is a world renowned photographer and makes lots of things. I’ve managed to keep a 2 little humans alive for many years. Our son, Ezekiel is a pretty cool kid – you should try to meet him and our daughter, Esther is quite spirited! I guess my Masters degree in theology (University of Northwestern St. Paul) is kind of a big deal – so I’ll write that down too. Lastly, I once told a joke that made every person in the whole room laugh. I think she was just being nice.
Ok, so maybe it would be better to give you a brief history of my life. I was born and raised in a Christian family in Hudson, WI. My parents divorced when I was 5 and there’s more than one story there. My brother and I went back and forth together, forming a special bond – he’s still my best friend. I “gave my life to Jesus” when I was 12, whatever that means. I’ve spent every day since trying to figure it out. I graduated from college at 23, got married at 24, and had a kid at 30 – those years sometimes all blend together. I spent 14 years as a Youth Pastor, some in small churches, other in mega ones, all of them taught me some real important lessons about pastoring people. In 2013 Emily and I, along with 12 close friends started HILLCITY Church in our hometown of Hudson. People in Hudson need Jesus just as bad as everywhere else, and so we thought we tried to help them find Him. It’s my dream job, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s really happening.
There’s also the stuff I don’t want to tell you, but I should. I’ve experienced a lot of life for a 36 year old. Depression and anxiety are real parts of my life. Trauma will do that to you. Both my in-laws died within 3 years of our wedding day. The circumstances weren’t pretty. I fell apart, doubted my faith, let my wife down emotionally, and spent years putting all of it back together.
It’s not quite there yet. I’ve done A LOT of study in Christian Apologetics, but I’m hardly and expert. Just a guy wanting to know WHY I believe what I think I always have. Most of my counseling of others is because of what I have personally walked, and so for that reason alone, I am thankful for it. There’s all sorts of stuff I’ll tell you that I’m not very proud of, but I tell you everything, because I want you to know that I’m just a normal person, a regular guy, who’s been through some life, done some studying, and who thinks that following Jesus is the best way to live.
So when I get around to figuring out who I am, I’ll let you know. Until then you’ll have to settle for what I am, what I’ve done, and where I’ve been. It’s really all the important stuff anyway, isn’t it? Life keeps happening, and so do I. So I’ll think, write and preach about it until I can’t anymore.