I thought a great way to introduce everyone to each other on the blog would be an old fashioned interview.
First up is Steve. Get this, he was my youth pastor many years ago. I was blessed to reconnect with him sometime ago. Steve is someone that God has used to have a huge influence on my life. I hope he knows that all those rides to youth and guitar lessons has produced one heck of a virtuoso with the acoustic guitar.
Anyway, now Steve lives with his wife Beth and four, count them four sons somewhere in Illinois. He drives a jeep and is still spreading the joy of music and show tunes to the world.
Now onto the interview. I met Steve at the local Denny's. We grabbed a few milkshakes and began, So Steve...
Just kidding I sent him a list of questions. He filled them out. Here they are. Take some time to read it, Steve has some great insight. He's a very smart guy. (He even went to seminary!) You should also check his blogs here and here...
Where did you grow up?
I was born the hospital in Lancaster, CA. and then spent my first 7 years in Quartz Hill, then we moved to Lancaster. Basically, I always say that it is a great place to be “from.”
Do you miss it?
I miss the people. I don’t miss the traffic, the crime, the price of a house in California – all that stuff.
Who would you consider your best friend?
I know it sounds trite- but definitely my wife Beth. She has put up with me for more than half of our lives. I most enjoy spending time with her. What more can I say.
What is God teaching you right now?
To wait and trust Him. He is definitely telling me to slow down, not to try to fix things myself or make things happen. We are kind of in a holding pattern in certain areas of our lives right now. I’ve been learning that it is o.k. to say no to a lot of “good” things and just be obedient.
If you were on an island… What 5 CD’s would you want to have with you.
Syncronicity – the Police (a classic that still gets me goin), Passion One Day Live (It’s old – but hey), CA Worship Band Live (Some nostalgia – I used to go there), My own Best of the 80’s compilation (just because), and the Best of Louie Armstrong (He has influenced EVERYTHING we hear).
What 3 books?
My Bible, My Greek Text, & my Douglas Adams compilation.
What is a theological truth that you would die on the side of a hill for?
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to Love your neighbor as yourself. Too many of us emphasize one over the other – we are great a loving God – our worship is fantastic, our preaching is solid and we feel great but we aren’t reaching our neighbors. On the other side of the coin we have churches full of folks who do nothing but serve others but really don’t have a walk with the Lord. They put others down for not doing enough about social issues. Jesus said both were equal. Love God and Love People - the Second command is like the first. I believe James has a lot to say about that too.
In his first letter to the Corinthian church Paul says and now remain faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is Love. In the church lately, we’ve turned it around and now we say – “…the greatest of these is TRUTH.” I’m a bit guilty of that myself.
What blogs/websites do you check the most?
Honestly, I don’t do more than just look at headlines any more. I used to check a lot of political blogs that I am now embarrassed about. I am really feeling the need to find a truly “Objective” news source. Basically I’m kind of burnt out on the net.
What do you find most satisfying about parenting?
Early morning when they’re still sleeping and the house is quiet.
What scares you the most about it?
When they wake up.
What is your eschatological position?
Wow, such big words! Admittedly, I am not very big into eschatology – it kind of bugs me when people over-emphasize it. As for another disclaimer – I can defend just about any position because I see scripture to back most of them up. However, I am basically a pre-millennial, pre-trib kind of guy – probably more out of wishful thinking than anything else. How’s that for honesty. As for times and seasons – dunno and I’m not one to debate it. I don’t see end-times stuff when I watch the news like other freaky people I know. (Ew!) Just gives me the creeps.
What does a satisfying day for you look like?
When I have been able to make a difference in somebody’s life. It might be just giving someone an encouraging word, or a smile. There are those times when God gives you something to say out of the blue. Or, there are those times when you have the privilege of being involved in something bigger than yourself – such as an outreach team or other “ministry” opportunity. For me, it is all the same – I like to know that someone has been touched, that somehow I have helped make a difference. That’s a good day.
What is one quality that blesses you most in other Christ-followers?
I have witnessed a few people over the years who just serve. These people serve when nobody is watching. They just get things done. They hate getting credit – they would just rather put their heads down and work. If we were all more like that this world would be a much better place.
What is one thing, if you we’re the commissioner of “the church” for a day you would change, eliminate or enhance?
If I could coin a phrase my word(s) for it would be “Rugged Denominationalism”. I have run across many supposed Christians who won’t associate with other believers who don’t share the same beliefs about certain issues. They refuse to even pray with them. I can understand that there are essentials that we absolutely cannot compromise on, or we just aren’t orthodox – I totally agree with that, namely salvation by grace through faith. However, some folks won’t associate with other believers who don’t share their views on eschatology, or even their version of scripture (KJV only for instance). I believe Jesus just looks at us and shakes his head in disbelief sometimes. We just don’t get it!
What is your favorite sport?
Do you have a favorite team?
The Finnish are usually pretty hot contenders, although the German team gave them a run for their money at the European games last month.
Who is a person you would love to reconnect with from the past ?
Definitely my father. He died much too young and I really believe I could benefit from his wisdom and experience.
Favorite bible verse?
II Chron. 16:9
Place you would love to visit?
You know that picture on your computer of the beach and the waves with the little Island – I want to go there, with my 5 c.d.’s and my three books.
Best job you ever had?
For a short time (tragically way, way too short) I was running a Bible institute. It was a blast. Every day I was able to pour my life into people, simply so that I could bless them and train them to do the same thing for other people. Have to do that again.