I was born with 11 fingers. I’m 100% French. I’ve won awards for academics, arts, and sports. I played hockey for 15 years and was the captain of my high school varsity team. I’ve been skydiving 6 times, 3 times tandem and 3 times solo. I’m a recovering adrenaline junkie. I’ve been to New Zealand, France, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Brazil, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, and Tahiti. I’ve summated Mt. Whitney twice, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. I’ve been to Burning Man 6 times. I am a fire performer, and have taken part in the worlds largest fire performance. I am a brother, an uncle, a husband, and soon to be a father. I love my family.
I’ve broken 3 bones. I’ve been severely concussed and knocked out 3 times. I’ve been hit by a car on my bike. I’ve been arrested for drugs twice. I’m still here, and it’s for a reason.
I was born and raised in Orange County, Southern California, a place where everything is “perfect.” The weather is perfect, all the time. The lawns are perfectly groomed. The picket fences are perfectly painted white. The cars are perfectly detailed… I had an awesome family, a great relationship with my parents, I excelled in school and sports… but something was missing: a void inside of me that I could not fill.
My parents were de-churched, burned by Catholic scandals. I had been to Christian churches a few times with friends and family. I always felt a connection to something there, but when I would return home, my parents would convince me that Jesus never really existed, and that the Bible was just a collection of made-up stories.
Two weeks after graduating high school, I moved to Santa Barbara to attend photography school. It took a year and fifty thousand dollars in student loans to realize that although I loved photography, it was not the career path for me, so I went community college with no goal in mind.
At the time, I was convinced that certain natural, yet illicit substances were opening my eyes to spirituality, and filling the void that I could not fill otherwise. I became aware of two forces that connect all things in the universe: love and light.
I was taking random classes like Comparative World Religions, Philosophy, and Astrology, looking for some greater meaning in life. Through a series of random coincidences. I went on a geology field trip and realized, “I can get paid to hike around and look at rocks.” This connection and fascination with nature began an incredible ride that brought me to Arizona, where I earned my Bachelors of Science in Geology from NAU, and through the Burning Man Fire Dancing community met the love of my life, Sekah.
For a while, I was working in the mineral exploration industry. I was getting paid good money to drive ATV’s in the hills, hike around, and look for gold. It was fun, but I was away from home for 15 days at a time, and would come home for 4 days. I realized I wanted to spend more than 6 days a month with my love, so I began looking for another career. Every Sunday I was home during that time, Sekah would ask me if I wanted to go to church with her, and the answer was always, “Someday.” Then, that someday came when our friend Tina was getting baptized in Steve’s baptismal horse trough. I wanted to show my support for our friends passion in seeking spirituality, so I attended. I was surprised that once the worship music started, and Lisa Pate was singing about how much God loves us all, and how great of a friend he is to us, that tears started running down my face, and the Holy Spirit filled that God-shaped void inside my heart. It was then that I realized that the force that connects all things, the love and the light, IS God, and Jesus is the path. I was hooked. A few minutes later, after worship, after I had stopped crying, Steve started talking about how he and a group of guys were going to hike down to Havasupai. Line and sinker.
It’s amazing to me how God makes things work when you listen to your heart. My heart told me to love Sekah. My heart told me to move to Prescott. My heart told me to attend church with my friends that day, and keep coming back.
It’s also amazing that where your heart takes you, there is a place for you. Pastor Steve needed someone to help with the camping and food logistics for the Havasupai trip, and my experience as a professional volunteer doing field trips for large groups of geology students prepared me for that. Even though we were cold, we ate like kings down there. When Jason came to town to be the new worship pastor, he needed someone who could play percussion, and I fit right into that spot. When Pastor Steve and Brenda shared their dream to launch Discovery, even though I was new in my walk with Christ, I knew I could help in various ways, whether it was setting up the projectors or making burritos. I am proud to say that I was the first to be baptized into Discovery Church, with my waterproof bible in hand, in a freezing creek in Sedona.
I am proud that I work with plants for a living, and am furthering my experience and education in horticulture and agriculture. I am proud that I stay active in nature. I am proud to be drug free. I am excited to be a father.
I am so appreciative that Pastor Steve and Brenda have created a place where a person like myself, who is so scientific, can experience God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, without the rules and confines of religion. Without judgment. With acceptance of different views. I am so grateful that instead of insisting that we all believe the same rigid way about our understanding of the scriptures and history, the focus of Discovery is on God’s everlasting love for us, and how we can share that love with our community. I am proud to be a part of a gathering of people that care for each other, have a love for God and creation, and hope for a better tomorrow while still being able to enjoy today. #Iamdiscovery
I absolutely love being the pastor of this amaZINg community of faith, hope and love.
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