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PEEPS @ BAC: WOW speaker Richard Duerksen

Category: Peeps at BAC


Submitted by on Thu 11/05/17 12:47

Jesus. He's sitting on a stone wall in a city, visiting for the first time.
His lap - and the surrounding wall - is covered with children, each one listening intently as he retells the stories of Esther, King David, Jael the Hammerer, and Gideon the Farmer.
There is much laughter, and shoving, as each child tries to be the closest to the Storyteller.
His happiness is contagious.

 
Storyteller and creative ministries pastor Dick Duerksen from California, USA, will be leading out in next week's Walk On themed Week of Worship. The word picture above is the image he'd like you to contemplate over the next few days. 
 
Dick also answered a series of questions so that we could get to know him better. 
 
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY, INCLUDING THOSE YOU'VE 'ADOPTED' ALONG THE WAY? 
 
DICK: Late in 1968 I was invited to double date with one of my fellow students at La Sierra University. His date that evening was Brenda Christensen, a nursing student at Loma Linda University. As soon as I saw Brenda, she stole my heart. We were married the next June - 48 years ago! We have three children. Jeremy, who is 42, is the Chief Marketing Officer for TrainingPeaks.com. He and his wife Suzanne have a small horse ranch in Boulder, Colorado. Julene, 39, works for Te Aroha Noa, a counseling and support center in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She and her husband Rouru Kapao, are the parents of our two grandchildren, Griffyn and Gwen. Joy, 37, is the founder and Lead Coach at Big Wheel Coaching, a cycling coaching business located in Southern California. She and her husband Brian are both champion cyclists.
 
YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN SEVERAL MINISTRIES, INCLUDING PASTORING AND CREATIVE MINISTRIES. HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR LIFE'S MISSION? 
 
DICK: My life mission is to be an 'Itinerant Pollinator of Grace', spreading the good news of God’s unquenchable love to all who will listen around the world. Since 'grace' is not often recognised as the core message of Adventism, I have spent my life finding new and creative ways of helping the denomination focus on God’s gift of grace.
 
YOU HAVE HAD MANY ROLES, BUT WHO ARE YOU REALLY, DEEPLY?  
 
DICK: I am constantly reaching up to be Husband, Father, and Friend whose love reflects the love of Jesus to others. In my varied roles I use storytelling, preaching, writing, video productions, and photography to speak the message clearly.
 
THE SUBJECTS OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY VARIES A LOT. WHAT IS BEAUTY TO YOU? 
 
DICK: There is beauty in everything and everyone. Ancient, wrinkled faces often tell better stories than smooth, young ones. Rusty cars are far more eloquent than a new Porsche. 'Use' adds 'story', and I am constantly searching for those stories. When I am able to capture the tales of life in a photograph, it quickly becomes one of my favourites. I’ve discovered that my best (and most appreciated) photographs are those taken when I am slowly taking time to SEE the world around me. That’s when I notice the shape of a dead tree, the colours of the evening sun filtering through waving grasses, or the twinkle in a mother’s eyes.
 
God has given us a world filled with adventures and discoveries. If we race through each day focusing on our duties and a distant future, we miss the details of joy that He has set in our pathway. However, if we travel each day as followers, going where He leads, we will see and experience the best of creation.
 
WHEN YOU READ THE BIBLE, WHAT IS IT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AND WHY? 
 
DICK: I always think in stories. Jesus used parables and stories to describe His Father and the life that He offers. If we see only the detail, we’ll not be in the right place where those stories can rub their messages off onto us.
 
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN LATELY THAT HAS REALLY BLOWN YOUR MIND? 
 
DICK: Three places:

  1. Baalbek, Lebanon - a world heritage site that is a collection of ruins of temples to Jupiter, Bacchus, and Baal. We were there on a day it snowed, and we were the only ones allowed into the site. White snow, blue sky, no tracks.
  2. California Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. From there, you can see forever!
  3. Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Oregon. Fog, ocean spray, squeaking seagulls, fields of sand, and orange/pink sunsets. Wow.

 
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO GET 'OFF GRID' THESE DAYS AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE THAT? 
 
DICK: The grid is destructive - and essential. So, I am seldom really 'off'. The best ways I’ve found to escape the demands and expectations of those on the other end of my phone/email/Twitter/Facebook feed is to Turn It Off and wander into a beautiful place. For me, this usually requires a camera, nature, and at least 20 minutes so I can concentrate silently and absorb God’s voice. For my wife, it would be a piano, and a new piece of music.
 
IF YOU COULD SOMEHOW SPLIT INTO WHO YOU ARE NOW AS WELL AS INTO THE TEENAGE YOU, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF? WHAT WOULD YOU CAUTION YOUNG DICK ABOUT? 
 
DICK: I would tell him these things:

  1. Today is important. Live it fully.
  2. Life is to serve others, to build them up - never to tear them down.
  3. Listen to the stories of The Old Ones. Each person’s story has a golden nugget that will help fund the meaning in your life.
  4. Memorise scripture. It will form the songs you sing when the orchestra is silent.
  5. Listen before you speak. Speak only when your words will help others see Truth more clearly.
  6. Laugh often and well.

 
To explore some of Dick's best photography, go to his page at National Geographic or visit Mountain Friends Photography.


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