Welcome to the “about us” section of our site where you can get to know Mike and Lindsie. We love sharing our story with people… Not for our glory though. It’s all for God. Our desire is for the words written on the next few pages to touch lives. We’ve exposed our innermost selves to glorify Christ.
If you have any questions regarding a personal relationship with Christ, please contact us. We’d be overjoyed to talk about our faith with you. We love welcoming more people into the family.
The Old Life
Like most kids, I was born.
Fortunately I grew up surrounded with a wonderful family. There was lots of love and lots of moving. This was the moving order, for anyone interested:
(1986-1988) Tucson, AZ
(1988-1992) Houston, TX
(1992-1997) Fargo, ND
(1997-1998) Long Island, NY
(1998-2004) College Station, TX
(2004-2011) Sioux Falls, SD
(2011-present) Springfield, MO
The First Draft
It was moving so frequently that helped me develop my outgoing and somewhat sarcastic attitude. (Humor as a defense mechanism is so much better than anger or awkwardness.) Each move helped me develop a stronger and stronger ability to talk to, and befriend, total strangers. It also led to my tendency to develop a wide breadth of friendships with only a slight few of them going far in the depth department. When you always assume you’ll be moving after a short time span, you have a tendency to avoid forging too strong of a friendship bond with many people.
Coincidentally, I found a strong counterpart in my wife, as she is typically shy around groups of people but establishes strong, deep and lasting connections with friends. The contrast of the two of us is always fascinating to me, for various reasons. But let’s refocus on my old life.
My formative years—if you consider junior high and high school to be formative—took place in College Station, Texas. It was there that I learned to speak my mind, enjoy warm weather and find a stronger interest in sports. And girls. Like I said, they were my formative years.
The College Experience
After graduating from high school in Texas, I made the decision to move up to Sioux Falls, SD. My dad had taken the Men’s Basketball head coaching position at Augustana College, and it just made sense to go to a good private school with my family nearby. Most of my Texas friends were going to their respective schools anyway, so I didn’t have much to stick around for in College Station as it was.
College at Augie was great. I made friends with a lot of my dad’s basketball players as well as a wide variety of unbelievably great non-basketball players. I had the college experience that many college students can say they enjoyed as well. Some (or many) parties, some (or much) studying and some (or MANY) great stories and experiences to share—and later retell—with friends.
But something was missing. Amidst the hours spent writing papers and the nights spent with more than a few drinks in my system, I felt like I had been ignoring a voice that had been quietly calling my name all along. My mom would ask if I’d been going to church or any type of Bible studies. Freshman year, that answer had been “I haven’t found a church I like, but I’m hitting up some of the on-campus ministry groups that meet every week.” By my junior year, that answer had become “Still haven’t found a church I like (not that I’m even looking) and I don’t really care for many of those on-campus ministry groups (not that I’ve been to one in the past year and a half).”
Spiritually, I was gasping for air but was suffocating as a result of my surroundings. It was a feeling I’d never experienced. And while I didn’t like it (in fact, at times, I hated the feeling), I wasn’t doing much to change it. Life was “fine,” and I didn’t see much of a reason to change it.
Even after college, this attitude persisted. Life was “fine.” I knew God was out there waiting for me, but I didn’t want to give up a “fine” life for the hard work it took to be a “good” Christian.
Yet each night when I went to sleep, I prayed that I’d wake up in the morning. Not because I was excited to continue living my “just fine” life, but because I wasn’t sure where I’d wind up if my time on earth ran out. It was terrifying, but I wasn’t strong enough to put my terror into action.
I was treading water. And the shore was nowhere in sight.
I needed a change. Desperately.
Like I said, I knew I was drowning in the flood of my “normal” life. I felt this urge…this calling…that desperately wanted me to see things differently. But I couldn’t see through the cloudy walls I’d built up for myself. The thought of getting hit by a bus didn’t scare me because I was afraid of the pain – it scared me because I was afraid of where I’d end up when I died.
But I kept doing what I knew. It was hard to change habits, and if reading and writing without a purpose, playing video games, and having more than a few drinks on any given weekend were getting me by each week, I wasn’t really too compelled to change things up.
God could keep calling my name. I just figured I’d turn the music up a bit louder and hope He thought I was ignoring him on accident.
Then, a different light entered my life. I guess God got tired of waiting for me to figure things out on my own. Sometimes I think He did what He did as sort of a last chance kind of thing. Like, if I didn’t recognize the gift He was handing me, I’d never recognize anything He had planned for my future.
Regardless, through some mutual friends and a gathering of said mutual friends, I met a girl named Lindsie. She was stunningly gorgeous (so much so that I felt moved to get up and introduce myself just in case she, for whatever bizarre reason, was single), she stood about 6’2” but was more graceful than any woman my height I’d ever met, and she seemed to radiate a light that I couldn’t quite put into words.
She was amazing. And I’m pretty sure God put her there to tell me, “This could be a part of your future, so straighten up, idiot.” So I did what I’d always done when God sent me messages like that. I ignored her for three months. Yep. Three whole months of thinking about how great she was and not having the nerve to just give her a call.
Luckily, God didn’t give up on me yet. After those three months, I ran into her downtown. I mentioned that we should hang out and, to my utter amazement, she said she thought we should hang out too. So I ignored her for another week. Finally, she texted me and invited me to game night. I accepted, and then we hung out nearly every single day or evening for the next five months.
A Changing World
During those five months, my life saw an overhaul. Lindsie radiated this…passion for life and for the Lord that was impossible to ignore. I saw this strength in her, this confidence that couldn’t be shaken by what the “normal” world thought or said. Most importantly, I saw a happiness that didn’t come from partying for a weekend straight or living a life of emptiness. I saw that, with Jesus in her life, Lindsie didn’t need anything else at all.
Sometimes I felt like a charity case. With so much happiness and fulfillment, why would she put up with my junk? My sarcasm, my addiction to rap music, and all of the other things in my life that did nothing for her. What I realized is that she wasn’t put off by my tendencies and lifestyle, she just saw greater potential in me than I had ever dreamed of seeing in myself.
It was that realization that helped me start pulling myself together. Suddenly, I was seeing things in a different light. This passion she had for God and for Jesus was something I could have too. And, for the first time in my life, it wasn’t an act. It wasn’t me “knowing” I should believe and forcing a feeling that wasn’t really there. I now wanted that light that shone out of her. I didn’t want to simply be the moon to her sun, reflecting her radiance and never shining for myself. I wanted to be a sun too.
And for the first time in my life, I realized I could have that. And the amazing thing is that ALL of us can have it if we truly want it. And since I’ve began to make that transition (and trust me, I’m still VERY far from where I’m sure God wants me to be in the future), I’ve started to understand that God has a higher calling for me. This walk is more than an adventure. It’s a chance to finally have the impact I’ve always dreamed of having on the world. An impact that my old life would have never offered me.
Honestly, there’s more to it than that. It’s not just about having an impact. But right now, that’s the best way to put it. God has finally broken through what I always considered “normal” and has shown me something that is truly better. And I think He wants me (with Lindsie’s gracious help) to show the rest of the world the same thing.
I’m excited to pursue it further. I’m excited that you’ll be coming along for the journey. You are coming along for the journey, right? Because I’d love for you to be here with me. Whether I’ve known you for years or we’ve never met once, I don’t care. There’s something to this God thing, and I’m not about to leave anyone behind.
So, like I asked before, you’re coming along , right?
Good. Glad to have you. Now keep reading. We both still have a lot to learn.
I always struggle to write about my own life. I want to share with you the miraculous things God has done for me, but in the process of doing that, I am forced to expose myself beyond what may be comfortable. Please know the things I share are truly only to bring God glory.
My testimony is not one laced with drug addictions, violence and near death experiences. It’s a testimony of a good Christian girl who had it all backwards.
Like I said, I grew up a good Christian girl in a good Christian home with good Christian parents. My family attended church every Sunday, Bible school every summer, church pageants every Christmas and never, ever missed a church pot blessing. I was blessed to have such godly influence in my life. On the outside my life seemed perfect.
But inside waged a war unlike any other. I wanted to fit in, to have friends, to be popular. I wanted to be sought after by boys and envied by girls. I wanted to be beautiful and thin, smart and funny. But to me, the reflection in the mirror painted a very different picture.
The awkward middle school years intensified the battle. I was passive and painfully shy. I had friends, but never felt truly part of the group. It was as if there was a secret club that I wasn’t a part of and my heart ached with rejection every time I was excluded.
My mom was my confidant, my best friend. I could tell her anything, and I did. She knew my heartache and held me as I’d sob. But soon, other family problems began to arise. I knew her pain grew much deeper than my own and I didn’t want to add to her concerns, so in my young wisdom, I buried my pain and pretended everything was fine.
For a short time, it worked. I felt in control in those moments of restraint. But it didn’t last. Eventually my anger and frustration would build up with such intensity that I felt my flesh could not contain me. Thoughts would whirl around my head as my heart pounded like a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Soon tears would burst through and all my woes would come spilling out between sobs and sniffles as my mom, once again, came to my rescue.
This lack of self-control infuriated me. I felt weak and vulnerable in those moments. I needed a new escape… one that didn’t involve my mom… one that didn’t involve anyone.
One night I found it. I found that new escape. As I sat in my room, tears streaming down my face one more, I reached over to my night stand to the little red pocket knife. Prying it open, I took a deep breath, swallowed hard and clenched my teeth in determination. I winced in pain for a moment when the cool metal blade met my flesh…but only for a moment. Soon relief flooded my body. I felt my heart slow and my thoughts began to make sense. It was too easy.
Over the next 4 years, I continued cutting myself to deal with the struggles of life. I’d do it as strategically as possible so no one would suspect. Winter made that easier as clothes naturally covered my arms and legs. But as summer neared, I’d have to reevaluate my tactics.
As college neared, I was hopeful that this new life would set me free from the pain of rejection. For a while, I did feel free. I was confident. I was happy. I was friends with everyone I met. I had boys calling me and knocking on my door. I was finally that person I always wanted to be.
During the fall semester of my freshman year, I started dating my first boyfriend. I was concerned because I knew our views of God weren’t aligned. But he liked me. He paid attention to me. How could I give that up?
Unfortunately over the next several months, our relationship spiraled downward, dragging my confidence with it. I gave in to things I never thought I would. And I was crushed. Emotionally, I was confused. My heart felt assaulted, taken advantage of. I always dreamed of a charming prince rescuing me from despair, but in so many ways, my prince charming seemed to be the cause of much of my despair. But he had my heart. He had a part of me I couldn’t get back and losing him horrified me, so I allowed myself to be his puppet.
As a result, the cutting began again more intensely than ever. But it wasn’t enough this time. The rush, the high that I had gotten from cutting before wasn’t there anymore. I still felt out of control, so I searched for a new drug to feed the monster growing inside me. This time I turned my focus to my weight. I ate only when I absolutely had to and threw up when I felt even remotely full. My body was weak, but I felt so powerful.
After months of fighting, we broke up during the fall of my sophomore year. I was scared, but felt liberated at the same time. I had hope that there had to be someone else out there who would really love me the way I longed to be. I continued to get an influx of admirers as graduation approached, but each was the same. They’d promise me they weren’t like other guys and that they would never hurt me. But it wasn’t long before I’d feel the same physical pressures I’d come to know all too well. And once again, I was crushed, feeling as if no one would ever truly care about me.
As graduation neared and the real world stared me coldly, right in the eye, I reached a breaking point. Life wasn’t supposed to be wrought with such pain and confusion. I serve a good God and surely He didn’t intend for me to spend life barely keeping my head above water.
And so I broke. My heart had been worn down, run into the ground and stomped on so many times by the evil satan inflicted on me, that I could no longer stand. The flood gates crumbled, tears streamed down my cheeks and I confessed my deep shame and heartache to my mom as she held my shaking body in her arms in disbelief. I felt vulnerable with every word I shared, fearing she’d think I was crazy. But as tears began rolling down her cheeks, mimicking my own, I knew there was no room in her heart for such thoughts. She loved me unconditionally and only wanted what was best for me.
I knew my journey to healing was far from over. Confronting these strongholds was only the first step. I had spent so many years dealing with life in unhealthy ways that I needed help breaking those old habits. In the week following graduation, I was referred to Stronghold Counseling in Sioux Falls, SD. As I walked into the doors of the multilevel office building, my mind swelled with trepidation and anxiety. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I’d have to open up about my past once more.
After sitting in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity, a man walked in and called my name. I stood and walked toward the door as he held it open for me. After following him down a flight of stairs and through a short hallway, we reached his office. I sat down on the brown, leather couch and wrapped myself tightly in the blanket I brought for security. He sat down across from me in his chair and pulled out a notebook. After briefly scribbling down a few notes at the top of his page, he raised his eyes to meet mine and began by asking me about myself. I was shy and scared. At first, my answers were short, but he kept digging deeper, forcing me to break out of my shell.
Before I knew it, I had told him my story. I shared with him the pain and guilt I felt about the past. I told him I wanted to lead a “normal” life, but felt restricted by the things I had done. After pouring out my heart, he told me something that changed my life. He said my problem wasn’t God forgiving me or even people judging me. My problem was me judging me and me forgiving me. I was so crippled with the fear of inadequacy and inability to be used by God, I failed to realize God had already forgotten all my mistakes and the only one continually bringing them to the surface was me.
Micah 7:18-19 (NIV)
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Learning this truth was freedom to my soul. Over the next few months, I met with a few different counselors, each offering godly wisdom and healing. For the first time since I was a child, I felt hope and joy. And for the first time ever, I realized the mighty power of the love of God. God never intended me to stay in that bondage. As long as I was in bondage, I couldn’t be used by Him. It was according to His will that I was set free. The bondage of shame and guilt that had ruled my life for so long weren’t some sort of tyrannical punishment from Heaven. They were strongholds satan had strategically placed in my life to rob me of the blessings of God. But his lies were finally exposed and, in the name of Jesus, I was free (John 8:36).
Falling In Love With Jesus
God didn’t stop there though. He knew I was still fearful of men, as they had been a prime trigger of my past pain. I longed to trust a man with my heart, to truly be safe and protected in his arms. But no man seemed adequate. No man was. And that was the lesson I was about to learn.
One winter afternoon after searching my Bible for a word from God, I came across a piece of paper tucked in the pages. It was a story of a woman named Angie who’s past was similar to mine, wrought with the same unfulfilling relationships. She longed for a husband, but her Mr. Right remained MIA. Then one day a friend invited her to a women’s conference called Tres Dias. And the focus of the conference was Hosea 2:14-23.
Hosea 2:14-20 (NIV adapted)
Therefore I am now going to allure [you]; I will lead [you] into the wilderness and speak tenderly to [you]. There I will give [you] back [your] vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor, a door of hope. There [you] will respond as in the days of [your] youth, as in the day [you] came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.” I will remove the names of the Baals from [your] lips; no longer will their names be invoked. In that day I will make a covenant for [you] with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that [you] may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.
She had her answer. Her Prince had been there all along. She had just been looking in the wrong place. Throughout the conference, God romanced her and at the end of the 3 days, she committed to letting God satisfy the desires of her heart.
From that point on, she did and He didn’t disappoint her. In small ways, she was even romanced by her King. He made himself known to her time and time again, showing up in little ways and fulfilling her heart’s deepest desires.
As tears rolled down my cheeks, I knew I too had the answer to my heart’s deepest desires. I wanted what she had. I wanted Jesus. I wanted Him to satisfy my heart, to romance me, to love me. And when I finally asked Him, He did.
I cannot say enough how my life has changed since I fully surrendered my heart to the Lord. He wakes me up to beautiful sunrises and sends me to bed beneath a blanket of twinkling stars. He sends me flowers every spring and beautiful, picturesque scenery in the fall. He opens doors and directs my path. He guides my heart. He blesses me with wonderful friends and family. He speaks to me and comforts me. Every need I have, every desire of my heart, God meets.
A year and a half after reading Angie’s story, I met the man that would soon be my husband. At first, my heart was leery. I was so content with my life as it was and I feared someone upsetting that. But God showed me this man was a gift from Him and that his presence in my life would only bring me closer to the Lord. And it has. He inspires me and encourages me. He challenges me spiritually and keeps me accountable. He protects me and he loves me. He is truly the love of my life, but as wonderful as he may be, I echo Angie’s words as she writes,
Jesus still remains the greatest romance of my life. He took a woman who wasn’t seeking Him at all and transformed [her] in a way that’s best described in 1 Peter 1:8 (NIV), “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” And that’s what I call falling madly in love.
I couldn’t agree more.
Just remember, we are Storming Jericho. We aren’t “Quietly Tiptoeing in the Back Door of Jericho” or “Hoping Nobody Minds that We’re Coming to Jericho” or “Knocking On Jericho’s Door and Hoping They Let Us In.” We’re Storming Jericho. God has promised us all a life greater than anything we could hope to understand, yet we let Satan block our path with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And so his lies and deceit stand in our way – just like the walls of Jericho blocked the path of the Israelites in Biblical times.
Frankly, that ticks us off. We’re tired of it. And the only way to truly change things… to truly leave Satan powerless… is to storm his land of lies with fearlessness and ferocity. To proclaim Truth where Truth needs to be heard and bring Love where it wouldn’t otherwise be found.
That’s why it’s up to us to storm Jericho. We need your support, however you’re willing to give it. Prayers, encouraging words, or any other support you can think of is a blessing and only strengthens our armor as we prepare for battle.
Thank you for stopping by our site. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your faith in our cause.
We are Storming Jericho. We invite you to storm it with us and join us in the Promised Land.