The few people that read this blog may have noticed some negligence on my part here of late. I promise that there are good reasons for the lapse. A lot of things have happend over the course of the last two months.. So…let me give you the latest scoop on us.

  • At the end of March, Annie released her first album called This Life of Mine. It is a fantastic collection of songs with a unique sound and probing lyrics. Of course, I am a bit biased since she is my wife and she wrote two songs about me. You can go to her website or MySpace page to get a listen. Then you can head over to iTunes or Amazon to pick up the entire album.
  • To follow up her music, she also recently wrote a children’s book for a contest put on by Cheerios. Annie loves to be creative and has been tossing around the idea of writing books for kids for some time. This contest is a perfect opportunity for her to take the first step toward that goal. We won’t know anything until October but I am pretty stoked about her story regardless. What can I say…I’m a proud husband.
  • I just finished up my third distance course from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Surprisingly, Nashville does not have a major seminary within city limits (aside from Vanderbilt Divinity School…which is a bit different). So I have been chipping away at my Master of Arts in New Testament from GRTS for the past two years. Which leads me to the biggest change of all…
  • Annie and I are moving to Grand Rapids, MI at the end of July. It is time for me to go back to school full time and finish my Masters degree. We have been preparing for this decision for a couple of years. We have been close to moving several times but never made the plunge for a couple of reasons. First, we have strong convictions about debt. I came into our marriage with a lot of it and we resolved to pay it all off before we embarked on another large financial commitment. As it turns out, not only have we paid off all our current debt but we will likely come out of the next two years with no debt as well. God has certainly been gracious toward us and we thank him often. Second, we wanted to make sure that we left our company in a good place. We had to wait until the end of the school year when tutoring is slow so that A to Z had plenty of time to hire and train our replacements. It is just one small way of upholding our witness for Christ to our company and coworkers.
  • So we told work about the move at the end of May. As another sign of God’s graciousness, our company allowed Annie to stay on as Curriculum Director and work from home in Grand Rapids. Additionally, they have kept open the possibility of allowing me to do some part time work for them from home. It is a huge blessing knowing that our income is set when we move (especially in Michigan’s depressed economy).
  • A new nephew was added to our family just before Memorial Weekend: Jackson John Schurger. My sister and baby are doing wonderful. Of course, we had to drive up to see the little guy. Annie needed some baby time and I needed to make sure that we got this little one started down the right path toward Notre Dame fandom.
  • Finally…on July 18th, I will be ordained for gospel ministry by our pastor and church. Concord-Grandview Baptist Church has been home to us for nearly our entire marriage. Our church family has had a big impact on us. We have been allowed to serve in multiple capacities and grow as a result of those opportunities. Our pastor has been a close friend of mine since our days on staff together at Judson Baptist Church. He also conducted our wedding ceremony. He has been a big influence in my life and it just felt right to be ordained and sent out by this church and pastor. It will be a special moment for us.

As you can see, it has been a whirlwind recently. We praise God for everything that we’ve experienced living in Nashville. It is the first place since college that either of us have considered home. Additionally, we have both been challenged and stretched in ways that would not have been possible had we lived elsewhere. We are going to miss all of our friends here but look forward to being closer to family over the next two years. We have no definitive plans about the future beyond school so who knows where we’ll end up. Certainly God knows and that’s good enough for us.

2 Replies to “Changes and New Opportunities

  1. That’s really cool news on the job front! That’s great that they will continue to let you do some work from Michigan. I know Annie will enjoy the opportunity to keep on with her tutoring. 😉

  2. Ha…indeed. We are thankful to A to Z for allowing her to stay on. Her job was a major concern for us in moving up there. God has certainly been gracious to us in all of this.

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