The Experience Fall 2019_WEB

As I enjoyed getting deeper and deeper into God’s Word, I realized I wanted to be in the ministry. This realization, however, also created a problem. I now had two very different career goals: Was I going to be a pastor or a sci- entist? I spent many days and nights praying over these conflicting desires before I finally realized they did not need to conflict. They only conflicted because I was limiting in my mind what God could do based on what I could imagine. As a result, I determined to pursue both science and ministry wholeheartedly and then see where God would lead me. I reasoned that if both of those desires were good desires, then it only made sense to eagerly pursue them and leave it up to God to use me as He saw fit. I NOW HAD TWO VERY DIFFERENT CAREER GOALS: WAS I GOING TO BE A PASTOR OR A SCIENTIST? I transferred to Cedarville University in 2009 to study geology under John Whitmore. After I graduated, Jessica and I got married and moved out to southern California to study paleon- tology at Loma Linda University for my PhD. While working on my PhD, we had our two sons (Alaric and Cody), and I had the opportunity to dig up dinosaur bones at a field site in eastern Wyoming with a group from Southwestern Adventist University. While in California, we found a home at The Anchor Bible Church of Redlands, where I served as the youth leader, a family group shepherd, and as the ministry coordinator for the church. Working on a family, a PhD, and in the church kept Jessica and me very busy, but we loved it because it’s what God prepared beforehand for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As I completed my PhD, I was con- tacted by Joe Francis at The Master’s University (TMU) to see if I would be interested in a job. I was very interested,

The Joy of Discovery


Although I was raised in a Christian home, saved at a young age, active in my church, and had a parent working at Word of Life, it was not my intention to attend Word of Life Bible Institute. I wanted to become a paleontologist – a dream I had since I was a young child. I recognized it would be difficult becoming a paleontologist as a Bible- believing, young-earth creationist, so I knew I would need a good Biblical foundation in my science at college. I had heard that Cedarville University was starting up a geology major, which seemed like an excellent fit. The only issue was, when I was ready for college in 2008, the major hadn’t started yet. I could go to Cedarville and run the risk the major wouldn’t start, or I could spend less money by going to Word of Life for a year and get some Bible courses out of the way for when I transferred to Cedarville later. I decided the latter option was more reasonable. I wouldn’t say I was thrilled to go to Word of Life Bible Institute; in fact, I foolishly saw it as a step down from what I wanted. Thankfully, the Lord used the Bible Institute to humble me, teach me, and prepare me to serve Him despite my initial unwise arrogance.


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