TRL: St. Louis

In the fall of 2002, I moved to St. Louis, MO, to accept a new job.

Family

Perhaps the greatest moment of my life took place in 2006, when I re-connected with someone from my Bible Bowl past: Stephanie, the first girl I ever loved. God in His goodness brought us back together after 12 years, and now I am what I have always known I was created to be: a husband and father.

Since then, our lives together have been a whirlwind of exciting change and growth. We celebrated the birth of our first daughter in May 2007, and then celebrated our wedding in September 2007. We were privileged to share our wedding day with my parents, who were married on the same day, 34 years prior.

In February 2008 we became homeowners. We bought a three-bedroom house in anticipation of one day having another child. Shortly thereafter we found out that we were expecting again, and in December of that year we welcomed our second daughter into the world.

Faith

After I moved to St. Louis, I set about finding a church home. This area has several great churches - some of which I have had some experience with through Bible Bowl back in Junior High/High School - and after several months trying out a number of them, and on the advice of the Music Pastor at my former church in Kalamazoo, MI, I came to Destiny Church of St. Louis, where I was a regular-attender/member for about three years.

While a member of Destiny Church, I was involved with missions (going twice to Oaxaca, Mexico), worship (as a member of the chorus that participated in weekend services once a month), men's ministry, the college/20s ministry (briefly), and children's ministry (serving as a worker with the TotzRock pre-schoolers once a month, and on a couple of occasions, giving the message in the KidzRock K-6 graders). I also participated in various community life groups, ranging from Foundations, to Finances, to The Truth Project, to Boundaries in Dating.

However, after my wife and I got together, we decided that we needed to find a church home together - somewhere that would meet the needs of our new family, somewhere that would provide opportunities for us to serve together, and, importantly, somewhere close enough to our home that we could stay involved without a long commute.

After another period of trying several great churches in our area, we both decided that Grace Church of St. Louis was our potential new church home. We attended the four-week membership class, and having learned more about the ministry and doctrine of the church, decided to place our membership there.

We slowly began to get involved. We volunteered once a month in GraceKids, working in the nursery and preschool. I joined some of the men from the men's ministry at the inaugural Men at the Cross Conference. I also auditioned for and was accepted as a vocalist with the Shades of Grace worship band that performs about once a month outside the church. We had hoped to look into the Parents With Young Children community group.

However, after over a year at Grace Church, we realized that it was not the church home for us. Grace church is a seeker-friendly church, and as such, the sermons are heavy on spiritual milk and sugar, and too light on spiritual meat for our needs and preferences. While I continued on as a member of Shades of Grace, we began to look for a new church.

Our search led us to New Heights Christian Church, a small, non-denominational Christian church.

Work

In the fall of 2002, I moved to St. Louis, MO, to accept a new position as a Validation Specialist with KV Pharmaceutical Company.

In the fall of 2008, I accepted a position as a Validation Engineer with Covidien.

Community

I was also able to continue playing tennis after I moved to St. Louis. I played for three years in a September-May USTA league. I played 3-doubles (and 2-doubles on occasion) for a 3.5-flight team.

Some of my stats are still available; for example: Stats and Standings Reports

(2005 - USTA/Missouri Valley Section - St. Louis District - 2005 USA Adult League - Men 3.5 Flight - Team Palmer)

I have also tried to stay involved politically. Even though I was working 50+ hours a week, with several 12- to 15-hour days, I found some time to volunteer for the Bush-Cheney '04 Missouri Campaign. I also volunteered as a field representative for the Missourians Against Human Cloning campaign in 2006.

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