I grew up on 25 acres in the sparsely populated foothills of Mount Rainier in Washington State. My mother was a Christian from her youth, and my father recommitted his life to the Lord when I was in the sixth grade. I received Christ as my Savior at age 8 and was baptized at age 12.
I have been an avid reader since elementary school. I discovered science fiction/fantasy in middle school and was soon hooked on books by Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and other SF authors popular in school libraries. These days I get little time for recreational reading, but still read every John Grisham novel once it’s available in paperback or the Kindle price drops to a reasonable level.
My mother and grandmother encouraged me in music, so by age 10 I was singing alto in duets with my mother, had taken two years of piano lessons, learned a few basic chords on the guitar, played accordion in the 5th grade talent show, and dabbled with playing the harmonica. But in grade 6 we bought an old silver saxophone from a neighbor for $40 and that became my music focus. I played alto saxophone in the school band from grade 6 through grade 12. Then I went to Corban University (at that time Western Baptist Bible College) in Salem, Oregon, where I sang in various groups, played bassoon in the orchestra, and graduated in 1976 with a music degree emphasizing band arranging, choral arranging, and vocal performance. For a few years following, I freelanced part-time as an arranger for the short-lived Christian Classics record company started by my college voice teacher. From 1976 to 1986 I served two different Oregon churches as minister of music and worship, during which time I met Barbara. We were married in 1982. In 1986 we sensed God’s call to Japan, began deputation, and two years later, in December, 1988, arrived in Tokyo with one-year-old Jessica. Josiah was born during our first four years in Japan, in 1990.
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