I grew up in West Michigan, heir to the conservative, Dutch tradition that still colors many communities in the Grand Rapids area. I first learned to enjoy the outdoors as a ruthless, pre-teen BB-gunner, the bane of anything with fur, feathers, or four feet. Unwittingly, though, I was learning to love and understand better God’s good creation. It took a few years, however, for me to unlearn the practice of shooting animals “for sport.” [See my article “Conversion of the Birdslayer.”
If you’ve seen the popular movie “The Christmas Story,” you’ve seen much of my childhood story–even to getting my tongue stuck to a frosty pole in the school playground. As opposed to the rather profane father in the movie, my dad was an unashamed follower of Christ who loved to pick up hitch-hikers—so they could not escape his sharing the gospel story with them. And my Christian family, which included an older sister and two brothers, was about as functional as you could get. Mine was a dream childhood—something I praise the Lord for continually.
After graduating from college, I followed a career path that led from high school English teacher, to college Rhetoric and Practical Psychology instructor, to Bible college dean of students, to Christian school administrator, to professional writer and photojournalist for mission agencies, Christian universities, and eventually to script writer and associate TV producer for the RBC Ministries’ Day of Discovery broadcast.
Writers who have influenced me significantly are C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Francis Schaeffer, and in recent years, Wendell Berry. Other writers whose works I collect and who have taught me a great deal are sociologist Jacques Ellul, theologian Erich Sauer, psychiatrist Paul Tournier, and Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev. And I ditto virtually anything that Os Guinness writes.
My activity hobby is hiking (what else?!), and my “crafty” hobby is making hiking sticks and collecting primitive furniture and accessories. I enjoy photography as well and use it extensively for this Website.
At 67 I’m a more mellow fellow who more or less gave up his gun over 25 years ago and now mostly just enjoys loving what the Creator loves. My desire now is to ride into the sunset simply celebrating the wonder of God’s good creation and doing whatever I can to help others discover the joy that my outdoor experience has given me over the years
My wife, Marge, and I have been married for forty-three years. We have three grown sons who with their wonderful wives have blessed us with seven grandchildren—that I am doing my best trying to make into lovers of God’s great handiwork.
See you outdoors!