I was born in Port Huron, Michigan and grew up in Lexington on Lake Huron. If my three brothers and I had followed along with my Dad’s family plan we would all have been carpenters and builders of some sort. We broke with tradition however and got advanced degrees. Two are pastors, one is a research administrator, and I ended up a physician.
I have had the chance to do just about anything a family doctor can do over the years and have enjoyed my profession immensely. I especially love to explain complex concepts to patients in ways they can understand. I like to see where a person’s disease and their “predicament” line up. I try to look for opportunities to pray with patients and share the good news of Jesus. Sadly, I’ve missed many more opportunities then I have apprehended, which I think is common to most of us, but with God there is daily repentance and a new chance to follow him. I was raised to attend church for as long as I remember.
After my confirmation, I assumed that something would happen to cause me to experience God genuinely but that just didn’t happen. One summer in middle school I noticed my big brother heading out the door to the public beach with of all things, a Bible. I asked him why in the world he would take a Bible to the beach and he said that some or his friends read them down there. Imagine that? Kids reading Bibles and no one made them do it? They even prayed. By themselves! I had to see what was going on. It didn’t take long for me to realize that what I was expecting to happen through religion these teenagers had found by beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ through repentance and by asking him to be their personal Savior. I made that decision myself then and experienced an immediate change. I had always been a bit of a fighter and was known for my temper problem.
That disappeared immediately and I began to read my Bible and pray. God regularly answered my prayers. He knew I needed some immediate encouragement. It was clear that I had made the right choice and I have never turned back. Over the years my walk with Christ has had its ups and downs but since coming to Big Rapids and attending Trinity Fellowship I have renewed my love of God’s word and have been able to be useful to Him.
My wife Mary and I came to Trinity Fellowship in 1999. For those who know her no explanation is necessary, and for those who don’t you really should get to know her. Mary has been used of God to teach me many things, most notably to value people over things and to have compassion for the ones left out or passed over in life which Jesus had a lot to say about. Bible editors know this so in some versions they print his quotes in red letters just so we won’t miss them. I am trying to become a reformed workaholic. I work at that a lot. I think that I am getting better. I currently travel from clinic to clinic filling gaps in our schedules and helping patients be seen. As a physician leader, I attend many meetings and plow through many emails like many of you do.
In my spare time, I am afflicted with hobbies, something the Lord has been teaching me to value more correctly. These include repairing and building musical instruments, woodworking, drawing, painting, and photography, playing guitar and banjo, reading, home repair, gardening, etc. A joke about me is that I am vacation impaired. Most of our formal vacations turn out to be semi-disasters, so think twice about inviting Mary and I on one of your trips. Ask my wife. I am honored and humbled to serve as one of your elders.