Newsletter – Volume 50

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Carol… Harrison Butker, the kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, created quite a stir by extolling the virtues of motherhood and marriage in a commencement speech he gave at Benedictine College. Who knew this would be so controversial? My wife Carol Van Waarde has taken […]

Newsletter – Volume 49

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen A Dark Night… For much of my experience at Mayo, I felt bolstered in spirit by the prayers and encouragement of friends and family. I was also grateful for the fact that I was in one of the best hospitals in the country, being attended to […]

Newsletter – Volume 48

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Dawn… It struck me so odd – even unnecessary – I was doing so well after my initial discharge. But then, while eating a home cooked soup (made by son Curran and his fiancé Mannie), one of my side wounds started leaking. We tried to […]

Newsletter – Volume 47

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Aaron… I’m an avid Yankee fan, and I came by it honestly. My mom raised us this way. We grew up just an hour from Yankee Stadium when we first immigrated to the States. Part of how our family learned conversational English was by listening […]

Newsletter – Volume 46

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Joel… Joel Salabarria and I have done several ministry projects together. He is an extremely talented musician and worship leader. I love working with him, but beyond his capacity on the platform, I love his heart more than anything else. He plays it real – […]

Newsletter – Volume 45

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Mike… Mike Orenstein has been one of my closer friends here in Austin. He is an interesting mix. He is super smart – especially around technological things. He travels extensively and is a highly sought after technician. But he has also held roles in social […]

Newsletter – Volume 44

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Kelly… My wife Carol will tell you that I often have difficulty listening to speakers, because I have strong opinions about how it ‘should be done’. So, when I go to an event I have to talk myself into not putting my critique hat on. […]

Newsletter – Volume 43

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Kim… Kim Zanting is part of the congregation I served in Pella, IA. She is one of those people who will look you in the eye and tell you exactly what she thinks. She doesn’t mind stirring the pot and I think she gets a […]

Newsletter – Volume 42

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Kristalyn… Kristi Barnes is kinda a local superstar, but she would vehemently argue that point. She just loves promoting the good things that are happening in Hutto Texas AND facilitating them. She takes a very servant-oriented approach to her role and doesn’t really care who […]

Newsletter – Volume 41

This Week Confessions From the Back of the Pen Meet Tashi… Tashi Franzen is the brother of my daughter’s (Mallory) husband (Josh). He is young man who has had his walk on the wild side. However, he is also genuinely curious about spiritual things, and would self-identify as a Christ-follower. But he also admits that […]