Personal History and Profile: Getting to know Paul
While it is true that what we do (as in our employment, for example) does not define who we are, what we do and how we do it does reflect who we are: personality, values, and character. The following is a partial record of past and current history
which forms some kind of profile. God has been most merciful and I feel most blessed by his gracious care, provision and sovereignty.
Machine Operator, etc.
From the age of 14, when I hired on as farm help, I have always loved machines, trucks and cars. I have had 34 cars and pickups since I was 16 years old and I still change my own oil. I spent 10 summers working for various farmers, driving tractors, combines and other equipment. For two seasons, I drove a combine with a large harvest crew of a dozen operators. I operated heavy equipment in my college years and I have had a Class 1 licence since the mid-1980's. I have been a sub school bus driver for about 10 years. When I am driving on the highway I am constantly noticing the models and company names of large trucks. I was also a full time painter for awhile and did some carpentry. But gradually I have come to enjoy the life of study, being with people and giving spiritual direction and leadership more than anything else.
Moreen and I have been on staff at Plover Lake Bible Camp, Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp, David Thompson Bible Camp, Ootsa Lake Bible Camp, Camp Homewood, and had involvement at Bear Lake Bible Camp, Camp Sagitawa, Whitney Lake Bible Camp, Mill Creek Baptist Camp and others. It is a thrill to be in a space where people are intensely challenged and experience rapid change.
In an early chapter, Moreen and I together and/or separately led music groups, including Joyfully His, The Choristers, and Friends and Followers. We also traveled with choirs, quartets, trios and as a family in itinerant ministry, visiting hundreds of churches in many denominations. Those were special years and hold wonderful memories.
Since graduating from Bible School in 1977, I have been a pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Plymouth Brethren, Associated Gospel Churches, the Evangelical Free Church of Canada, and now for 17 years with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. Communities I have lived in while pastoring have included Kitimat, BC, Hythe, AB, Youngstown, AB, Tokyo,
Japan, Mossbank, SK, Kamloops, BC, Wembley, AB, Pincher Creek, AB, Vancouver, BC, Chemainus, BC, Prince George, BC, Ft. St. John, BC, Victoria, BC., Whitehorse, YT, and Calgary, AB. Two of the churches have been international churches, with a large percentage
of non-English speaking members. Moreen and I have returned three times to a church we previously pastored.
In 2005-2006, after another sabbatical, Moreen and I began to realize we were uniquely gifted to do transitional ministry. We have been trained and credentialed by Outreach Canada and the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada with freedom to work in churches of many denominations to help with health issues. Our style has been to move into the local community for 3 months up to 2 years, listening, asking questions and giving evaluations and recommendations. We have been richly blessed to see amazing changes as friends of ours pray for us and as local churches take ownership for their own health and future direction.
My Favorite Authors and Mentors
I am a slow reader, taking time to underline and throughly mark most of my books. However books are my friends and I treasure them greatly. My favorite mentors would include: Eugene Peterson, C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Vance Havner, Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Phil Yancey. My favorite fiction authors include Louis L’Amour, Morris West, Chaim Potok, Patrick Taylor and Alexander McCall Smith.
My undergraduate studies included Capernwray Bible School, Prairie Bible College, Peace River Bible Institute and Briercrest College. After being in ministry for 20 years I graduated from Briercrest Seminary with an MA in Organizational Leadership. Since then, I have taken advanced training in addictions and substance abuse (Regent and ADDAC), conflict management, death acceptance, grief counseling, depression care, Christrian compassion, transitional leadership, and promoting the gospel to contemporary culture. However, my greatest times of learning have been through informal relationships with so many people who have contributed to my understanding and personal development.
Living With Lists
My greatest management tool has been a “To Do” list. I have carried a Daytimer for almost 40 years and cannot imagine living without it. I also was taught
a hard copy filing system by my Dad, which I have used extensively. Perhaps because ministry is often intangible, I have taken on the habit of counting what I do. I track my days and hours. I write a daily diary. I write a spiritual journal.
I read the Bible through and mark off each chapter on a chart and then do it again. For almost 10 years I have written down at least one thing I am thankful for each day. I have started a list of 1,000 top experiences of a lifetime.
Hobbies and Pleasures
Moreen and I have religiously taken one day of rest each week (our Sabbath). We have also thoroughly enjoyed 3 lengthy sabbaticals over the years. These times
of reflection and creativity have helped make life an adventure with thousands of treasured memories. They have also helped release the stresses of life, in a way that keeps us from crashing. Most of our fun times have been shared experiences
and would include scenic photography, road trips, boating, reading, watching historical movies and documentaries, touring local historical sights, picnicking, camping, cross-cultural interaction, and international travel.
Sometimes it seems like a negative thing to be paid to “serve the church,” in that the pleasure of giving without return is often missing. With that in mind, we have immensely appreciated the opportunity to do volunteer work at Camp Homewood on Quadra Island for 7 months, King’s Fold in the Alberta Rockies for a month, and a brief time (Paul) at Barnabas Family Ministries.
Facilitating Moreen's Life Focus
In the earlier years, Moreen’s focus was on both home and church. Carla and Jodi were integrally involved with the church family and their stages of life obviously affected the focus of our ministry in the churches we served. Moreen served our churches often in organizing children’s church, kid’s clubs, social events, worship teams, speaking events and visitation.
After the empty nest experience, Moreen experienced a whole new surge of energy and life focus. She flourished in seminary and then took leadership as President of Women in Focus with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada and then a 5 year term as President of the North American division of Women’s ministries for Baptist World Alliance Women's Department. As of November, 2017, she is full time Interim Executive Director of Women's Ministries of Baptist World Alliance. She works out of our home office and travels to Washington, D.C for meetings and beyond the continent to encourage the global network of ministry. In 2018, she is planning to be in Brazil, Bolivia, Switzerland, Columbia, Malaysia and the Ukraine.
A well known leader in our denomination used to say, “80% of the time I can’t believe I get paid to do this job. 20% of the time, no one could ever pay me enough.” I think about that often and feel it accurately reflects my experience. To me, that’s a high level of satisfaction and I cannot thank God enough for his amazing grace to me and to those I live with.