Growing up in the new-age teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the ascended masters, I quickly delved deeper into the occult ofthe Satanic Bible, Astral Projection and drugs. Taught that I would one day fly and walk through walls, I was on a search to enter the magical worlds that I had read about in fantasy novels and the writings of Eckankar.
Addictions, broken relationships, and a belief in reincarnation brought me to the point of jumping from a tenth floor window. At the critical moment, my two best friends appeared on the sidewalk below.
While a freshman in college, a young woman read to me from the Bible, trying to reach me with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I stared dumbly through drunken eyes, and only wished to get away.
While a Junior, I sat alone in a coffee shop, caressing the drugs in my pocket, wondering if there was more to this life. A stranger approached the table, and told me that there was no sin too great, and that God could forgive me. The stranger walked away.
While a Senior, a young lady invited me to go tobogganing. I accepted, only to find out she hadn’t said the word “tobogganing” but “to-bible-study.” I went. The preacher said that Jesus was the only way to Heaven, and Hell was the destination for all who would not receive Him. I was filled with such anger that it shocked me.
A few weeks later, while walking on campus, an old man walked up to me and handed me a Bible. He was a Gideon. I began reading the Word of God for the first time. Troubled by these Christians and their narrow way, but afraid that hell might be real, I asked God to show me if it was actually true. The Word suddenly came alive, and after some weeks of reading every day, I repented, trusted, believed, and confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior.
I graduated from St. Olaf College with an English degree: and the University of Arizona with a Masters in Special Education, Vision and Orientation & Mobility. I also attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and studied in Thailand. I’ve lived in Minnesota, Connecticut, Arizona, and now reside in Pearisburg, Virginia – where I write and work as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist training the blind to travel.
Ever since I was a child, I have loved adventure: climbing the highest tree and then falling when the branches became too thin; walking on ice until it began to creak and groan, a few more steps, and then breaking through into the cold water; jumping from the second story of our house with a giant umbrella; trying to befriend a vicious Alaskan Malamute only to have it tear my leg open, knock me down, and snap at my throat as I rolled from its chained reach. Foolishness was definitely bound up in this child.
The adventures continued as I got older. I hiked into the Grand Canyon to find the Havasupai reservation only to get lost and hunted by a pack of wild dogs. While traveling through Europe I was repeatedly attacked by a group of acrobat gypsiestrying to steal my backpack, and then, escaping on a train through Yugoslavia, civil war broke out and the train was robbed. In Thailand, I was sleeping in a two dollar a night motel room. The entrance was only a screen door with a bent nail as a lock. I awoke to being strangled. But I was miraculously saved.
God is so incredibly good.
Looking back at my freshman year of College there was a pretty girl, Cassandra, who I had dated for about five months. It was on the heels of that breakup that I had thought to kill myself. Six years later, after I had been saved only a short time, andwhile living in another state, I got a phone call from her. I was excited to hear from Cassandra and to tell her about the Lord. She gave herself to Christ a few weeks later, on her birthday, and within six months we were married.
Today, Cassandra and I have four children – Meeka, Patience, Charity, and Gentry – who are being raised to love and obey their Lord. We home educate and fellowship with a local body of believers where the Word of God is taught, encouraging the brethren to prove all things and be like the Bereans. My family, friends, and walk with the Lord have been the greatest adventure of all.
When I put the children to bed at night, they would often ask to hear stories about when I was young. Tiring of the same routine, I began to make up stories that got longer and more intricate, sometimes lasting for months. One day my wife came upstairs to listen. I remember her reaction so clearly. She said that she had no idea this kind of story telling was going on, and that she wanted to be a listener from now on.
Cassandra’s constant encouragement and belief in me strengthened my resolve to write a book. If my help meet is behind me in my endeavors, then I have a serious drive to succeed and great comfort along the way. I love that God has given me this particular woman to compliment me, and I her. She is truly my best friend.
Foundlings was my first novel, Paladins the second, and Loresmen the third. I’m currently working on a fourth Peleg Chronicles adventure and the Ebenezer’s Land picture books. God willing, there will be many more to come.