I was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and graduated from a large public high school composed primarily of middle class white kids. I liked to talk and seemed to do pretty well in history class, so I went to a state college in Minnesota and got my teaching license and a degree in Social Studies. After graduation, I landed a job at an urban high school just outside of Minneapolis. I taught there for six school years, and wasn't too bad at it. I eventually got my Master's degree in education, mostly because that's what teachers do if they want to make any money.
Meanwhile, my wife and I began attending an AFLC Lutheran church in Minneapolis. Before long, we were both deeply connected to the congregation. I was on the elder board, and my wife ran the nursery. But most importantly, the church had a thriving radio ministry. Through a series of events too long to explain, I became the producer and co-host of a two-hour live call-in show every Saturday morning with my pastor. I even hosted on my own for about six months while my pastor was on sabbatical. Before I knew it, I had the radio itch. And it seemed I had a calling and a gifting in radio as well.
If only I had bothered to ask God what HE wanted me to do before I went into teaching.
My family and friends began telling me to look for a job in broadcasting. I told them they were nuts, because normal radio stations don't hire teachers. Over time, I decided to pray a dangerous prayer. The one where you ask God for direction in life. I even went so far as to tell him I'd go wherever He wants me to go.
As it turns out, we interviewed an author on our little radio show who also happened to be the host of a morning show in Chicago. Again, I'll spare you the details, but God put together a number of circumstances that enabled me to move from education to full-time ministry in major market radio. I went from interviewing that radio host, to working for him. Purely a "God thing".
So in 2008 we packed-up and headed to Chicago. From June 2008 until July of 2014, I was the Coordinating Producer for "The Morning Ride" on Moody Radio Chicago. Now I'm the Executive Producer of "Karl and June" mornings on the same station.
My gorgeous wife and I live with our five kids in Chicago. When most people say they live in "Chicago", they're lying. They actually live somewhere way outside of the city in the suburbs. We live in the REAL Chicago. Not just Chicago - the South Side of Chicago.
I know what you're thinking - "wait a minute - I thought you're a white guy?"
Yup - we're likely the only white people for miles. No hidden agenda. No ulterior motives or secret 'ministry' work. Black people clearly don't need our help with anything. We just needed affordable housing close to downtown. Oh yea - and we're not afraid of black people. So the best place to go was the South Side. Now, we're doing our best to raise our family in a great community. So far so good.
For more info on the race issue, stay tuned to this blog.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I'm also a musician. I sort of play drums and can tinker on a piano. My real musical ability is on a bass guitar. From age 15 to 30, I played in a number of blues, soul, R&B, Christian and wedding bands. I almost skipped college to pursue a career in music. But ultimately bars, clubs and road trips weren't for me. And it's hard to raise a family and play gigs on the weekends at the same time. So I've got the music thing on hold for now.
Most of all, I'm trying to figure out how to be a good follower of Jesus. In the state of the American church right now, that's becoming increasingly difficult. Lord willing, I'll be able to keep focused on God's grace through the lens of my own depravity, and stumble through the journey of faith with some measure of success.
This blog will be your way to see the whole thing unfold.