Life’s journey has led me down diverse paths, where failures have been glorious and successes illusory–all of these leading to two fundamental convictions:
- The need to know that we are deeply and profoundly loved, and
- Life’s perceived failures and challenges are opportunities for transformation
The first conviction arises from my work as a church pastor in the greater Vancouver area for over 17 years. With a Master of Arts degree focused on leadership and theology, I had the privilege of journeying through life’s celebrations and sorrows with a diverse community of people. A recurring theme continued to reveal itself–that we all have an innate and fundamental desire to be loved and valued. I had the privilege of exploring these themes not only with this community but also through founding a parachurch ministry teaching internationally on topics relating to personal meaning and spiritual formation.
The second conviction arises from my own journey of personal suffering. Not immune to the pressures of ministry, I experienced a personal collapse. Even though I thought I had understood the complexities of our deepest needs-–to be loved and valued–I discovered that realizing the true depth of meaning of these needs arises out of the transformative potential of failure.
I left pastoral ministry and went into the marketplace, where I ran a manufacturing and retail business for 12 years. It was one of the best things I have ever done–to be able to encounter God in vocation. During my time in business, I continued to meet people who wanted to process life’s challenges and were seeking the love and purpose they so deeply desired.
Then, while vacationing in Grand Cayman, sitting on the beach with a Mojito in hand and watching the sun set on the azure blue of the Caribbean Sea, I reflected on my life and all I had been through. I said, “Well, I could get used to this,” when suddenly a voice stirred deep in my heart and asked, “Yes, but would you be satisfied when your days are done?”
I thought that was terrible timing for such a question. Truth is, I could not shake it.
So, I decided to go back to school and get my Ph.D., focusing on the transformative aspects of failure. This led me into the academic field where I served for 7 years as Vice President at Pacific Life Bible College. I now serve as the Provost of Rhodes Wellness College in Vancouver, BC, which is an incredible school that transforms lives. I am also a certified Life Coach who enjoys walking alongside and encouraging others who are experiencing challenges in their life’s journey.
My delights are an occasional game of golf or tennis, hanging out with my kids, and vacationing with my wife, while my heart yearns for the sea!
I first met Drs. Paul and Lilian Wong while I was serving as a pastor and they walked through the front doors on a Sunday morning. I distinctly recall Lilian’s lovely smile and gentle handshake, while Paul was pulling off his toque, and as he snapped me a grin, I saw a spark in his eyes. It was not long after that Paul became my mentor and over the years an invaluable friend. Throughout these decades Paul’s wisdom and insight have shaped my life. His encouragement not only spurred me on to pursue my PhD, but also helped sustain me during the darkest season of my life. For this, I’m truly grateful.
Because of my friendship with Paul and Lilian I was eager to support their vision of INPM and became an INPM member in 2014. This has been such a rich resource to glean from a network of like-minded individuals. I especially witness this at the INPM conferences. I have been attending the conferences since 2004 (Transforming Suffering) and I have found a constant re-tooling of insights and a stretching of my perspective from these meaningful times together.