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Steve and Jamie got married in 1998 and have four children. Steve began ministry as a youth minister in Houston, TX after graduating from Houston Baptist University in Houston with an art and English degree.  He went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Since then, Steve has served in pastoral ministry in four different churches in Texas.

Jamie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Concordia University Texas in Austin and began her career as a middle school math and PE teacher. After 10 years in the trenches as a pastor’s wife and home educator, Jamie went on to obtain an Advanced Counseling Certificate through the Townsend Institute at Concordia University – Irvine, CA.

Steve currently serves as the Director of Strategy and Operations.
Jamie currently serves as the Director of Ministry and Programs.

While these are the basic credentials, they do little to tell you who these people really are. You might be interested to know that Steve and Jamie are both first-born children. For any of you familiar with birth order, you know that means they are reliable and conscientious. They also have a tendency to be driven, perfectionistic, and achievement oriented.

They were both raised in highly active, church-going families, so you can add to the list that they have been trained to look out for the needs of others, be nice, and sacrifice so that others can know the love of God. It’s kind of a funny combination if you think about it – highly driven to be really nice and sacrificial. (It causes a person to have to be somewhat covert about their perfectionism and people pleasing, but that’s another story.)

All their hard work did not seem to produce the results they expected. All their sacrifice began to leave them dry, weary, and if we’re being completely honest, somewhat bitter and resentful.

I see it, too – not a very admirable list of qualities. It might even be that as you read the list, you think these are not the kind of people that you would want speaking into your life and your ministry. But I hope you will stick with me for a little bit longer, because that is not the whole of their story. Part of their journey has led them to identify somewhat with Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth.

But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

One of the things they are coming to terms with in their journey is that as much as they work and as hard as they try, there always seems to be something about themselves or the people around them that crops up and threatens to destroy their image of themselves or their ability to accomplish their goals. While annoying and discouraging at first, at some point they were invited to wonder what God was doing in the middle of that frustration. Why was it that the way of functioning that had always worked for them all of their lives was no longer working

To make a long story shorter, we will leave out all the ranting, the crying, the counseling, the despair, the anger, the unexpected help, the anxiety, and the depression that were a part of the process of letting go of the old way. It was ugly and painful (and still is some days). Yet, in bits and pieces, Steve and Jamie began to discover that God was wanting to make His love, His grace, and His power known to them in a fresh way. They began to see that His grace really was sufficient for them.

They didn’t have to know it all or do it all just right. In fact, the more they released their tight grip on control, the more they saw that God was actively working with them and for them. They began to experience the truth they had believed in their minds for many years but rarely tasted in reality.

What truth is that? The reality that God really does love people apart from our works. God is not a taskmaster, but rather, patient and kind. The blood of Jesus really does cover over all – failure, sin, shortcomings, mistakes – and has won for His beloved ones the freedom to be childlike again, fulling trusting that the Father knows what tomorrow holds and does not intend for people to spend their lives worrying about it.

Maybe you have heard all those words before. Steve and Jamie had, too. But now they have a personal story to go with each truth. These statements are no longer just words on a page for them, but evidence of a loving and active God who has woven Himself into the fabric of their lives – a God whose ways they often don’t understand, but whose character has captivated their hearts.

So yeah – they aren’t perfect, and it might be easy to pick out their flaws. But they have discovered a grace that is more important than any of that, and they love when they get the opportunity to help others experience that more fully as well.