A couple days ago I introduced you to Kari Patterson. Today, we’ll meet her husband Jeff:
Jeff, how did you come to know the Lord?
God is so good. I grew up in a mainline Protestant denomination and probably heard the Gospel at some point, was an altar boy, and overall a “good” kid, but I didn’t know Christ, wasn’t aware of my own depravity, and then at the age of 18 everything changed. Jesus rescued me and His life came into my soul. As a freshman in a fraternity at Oregon State University a Campus Crusade for Christ Staff person shared the Gospel with me. Right then I first came face to face with the Gospel of God’s Grace and Jesus became my Savior and Lord, my joy and my all. Before then I literally did not know John 3:16, who this John character was, nor what the 3, 16, or colon meant. The Bible became my daily bread and campus ministry at Oregon State was where I first cut my teeth in church life.
Why did you decided to go to seminary?
Kari and I had considered seminary for a while, and for me I had thought about it since college. We took some steps to explore it back in ’03, but God showed us not yet. After some jarring ministry experiences culminating in ’04 we simply sense “the call” and explored some more. Crazy as it sounds, we hadn’t even considered Multnomah before, while longing to return to Oregon, the land we love, as missionaries we connected with friends who had just started at MBS. Providence took over in God’s unfolding of our path to school, and the best part of it is being able to go together, both as students.
What has been the hardest part of seminary for you?
Balancing life. Work. Commute. Our son. Finances. Digging deeply of Christ as our Fountain daily. Did I mention my of wonderful wife? Okay, I’m probably the hardest part of her seminary experience. :-) Seriously, the experience has been awesome, but not for the faint in heart nor with those lacking a little sense of humor. Our schedules have had to adapt and change and nothing has gone perfectly-has-planned (like when my car became a paper weight). This year living with Kari’s parents has been a challenge mixed with joy all the same.
What has been the most rewarding part of seminary for you?
Doing this together with Kari. I probably wouldn’t have the same experience if I had enrolled as a single straight out of undergrad. Now seven years later and a few years in the “real world,” all of this has helped make me a better man, and seminary is all part of this trajectory of growing in Christlikeness. All of life is preparation in God’s economy.
What do you want to do after seminary?
We get this question quite a bit. We don’t know exactly, but we are less picky than we were a few years ago. Teaching, pastoring, loving and serving in the church, and of course being a faithful husband and loving father. We sense God’s call to be missionaries to the Pacific Northwest, our homeland, and potentially church planting in or around Portland. Anyone have any prophecies for us? In the meantime we would love the opportunity to serve in the church vocationally while finishing up school.
How’d you start blogging and Why do you Blog?
I first started blogging during our pregnancy with our son Dutch. The DutchBlog was a place to share thoughts and ultrasound photos and anticipate our miracle boy being knit by our Creator in the womb. I wrote every page and post in raw HTML with CSS, and then transitioned to using a CMS platform (boy does that save time!). Started mixing in my thoughts and eventually Kari got hooked as an outflow for her passion for writing.
Someone mentioned to me in person a few weeks ago they really appreciated my thoughts on a specific post. I truly didn’t know who was reading my words, if anyone was a regular reader outside of family and some close friends. He asked me, “Who is your audience?” I don’t know exactly. Anyone who is breathing? Well, God is my Audience of One ‘ may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and mind be pleasing to You O Lord. I also blog because it is enjoyable, and helps shape my thoughts, collect quotes, form my theology and hopefully help others make much of Jesus who is to be their Treasure. Lastly, I love the Church, and want to see Her become all Christ has redeemed Her to be. I hope all five of my readers are able to burn brighter in unconditional love and sacrifice for the church, having connected to my small flicker of a light.
My life purpose is to know, love and enjoy the Triune God above all else, and I think blogging helps me do just that, and hopefully helps others do the same.