Feb 2013 11

Mark and Val

My name is Mark Duvick and I am currently serving as the Freshmen Ministry Associate for The Salt Company. My main responsibilities are overseeing and shepherding the music and arts team for Freshmen Group, raising up future musicians and music leaders, as well as occasionally preaching at Freshmen Group.

Before Christ saved me, my life was best described as selfish, lonely, and angry. Although I grew up with great believing parents in a good, Bible-teaching church, I didn’t understand the Gospel and I wanted to maintain my current status as “lord of my own life.”

I was selfish. As a young boy, I believed that the world did in fact revolve around me. I was only concerned with my desires, my needs, my plans and expected everyone else to accommodate me. I didn’t care about who I hurt as long I got my way. Naturally, I was not a very fun person to be around. I pushed away everyone with my self-focused life and was completely unaware of what I was doing. I began to notice my siblings and pseudo-friends did not want to be around me, they only tolerated my company.

I was lonely. I was sad. I was in deep pain as I perceived that the world and everyone in it had rejected me. I was in need of love, but found none that would satisfy. I continued down my selfish road, but now my selfishness was manifesting itself in self-pity. My loneliness lead to a depression and I began to believe the lie that world was not only against me, but that the world and everyone in it hated me. What do you do when it’s you against the world? I chose to respond with hate.

I was angry. I bought into a lie and as a result I hardened my heart by growing in anger, bitterness and hatred. I hated everyone. I was still lonely. I was still in deep, agonizing pain, but I would not repent. I was still selfish and still responding in sin. The pain was overwhelming and the hatred was taking over my heart. In a moment of darkness, I believed that the only way to end the pain was to end my life. I felt alone and unloved, but thought, “this will teach them. If I take my life, then they will miss me and finally love me.”

My mind was so clouded with lies; my heart darkened by hate. I went into the kitchen and took hold of the large chef’s knife and slowly put it up to my throat. I stopped short to think and all that could come to my mind was that I did not want to spend eternity apart from God. I didn’t even know God, but I believed that a life without Him was worse than what I was currently going through. I put the knife down and though I walked away physically alive, I was still dead inside.

This was all before middle school. I continued to wrestle with depression, hatred, and suicide until something finally changed. I don’t have a day or a moment that I can look back on and tell you precisely when Jesus saved my soul, but I do know that after 6th grade my life started to change. There was a host of godly men who pointed me toward Christ and helped me understand the Gospel. I started to notice that my anger was subsiding. Instead of selfishly trying to find love, I started to find those who didn’t have love and started to show it to them. I don’t know if I even realized it then, but now I know that I was able to start loving others because I had the everlasting love of Jesus Christ.

Christ is transforming my life. He was transforming me then, He is transforming me now, and He will continue to transform my heart, mind, and soul until I meet Him in Glory.

Feb 2013 06

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My name is Joshua Kerns and I am the D6 Worship Intern. I primarily serve on weekends at D6. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State. I was blessed with wonderful parents who taught me the fear and love of the Lord and was part of a great bible believing church growing up and given many opportunities to grow and serve.

God captivated my heart in high school through a series of trials.  I am so thankful for a Savior who would give his life for a sinner like me.  He gave me a purpose and hope.  It was then that He put a guitar in my hands and I began leading worship on a regular basis at youth group and on Sunday mornings.  My junior summer I began working at Hidden Acres Christian Center. I learned so much about leading and teaching the campers about Jesus.  I also lead worship on a daily basis.

I have been attending Cornerstone since beginning college.  I had heard of the  Salt Company from attending Cornerstone. I got plugged into Freshmen Group, which gave me an awesome opportunity to develop relationships with those who have taught me so much through the years. I got involved with the Freshmen Group worship team and eventually became a coordinator for the worship team. I was blessed with leading freshmen group worship for two years.  Salt Company also gave me the opportunity to lead a connection group for two years, which was a time where I was able to grow and serve. God taught me so much about servant leadership and humility through the guys that had been involved with my group.

I have been greatly blessed to meet my fiancée Callie McComas through Salt Company and we are super excited to grow in our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ together.  We will be married on June 1, 2013.

I have been given a great joy by being able to serve kids once again. A child’s desire to worship God is contagious and I am so blessed to be a part of D6 Weekends Leading worship.

Feb 2013 04

Isaac Pic

My name is Isaac Schmidt and I’m a recent graduate from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and a minor in Speech Communication. I currently help lead worship at The Salt Company and Cornerstone’s Sunday services and am on the Anthem team.

I was born in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, lived there for an exhilarating two weeks, and moved to Treynor, Iowa, where I grew up on a farm just outside of town. I was raised by two amazing parents who love Christ and love me. My brothers and I grew up in the church always knowing and believing that Jesus died for our sins but not really understanding the weight of what that meant for our lives. It wasn’t until coming to Iowa State and getting plugged into The Salt Company that God began to really open my eyes to the depth of my sin and the overflowing richness of His mercy and I began to actively seek and live my life for Him.

I grew up with my mom playing piano but being the rebellious young gent that I was, I resisted lessons as fervently as possible. I started playing trumpet in 5th grade and continued all through high school. I bought an acoustic guitar (and a mandolin, I like to collect instruments) my sophomore year of high school and started learning as many song as I could. It wasn’t till my sophomore year of college that I really got involved with worship at Freshman Group and The Salt Company. I have really enjoyed being a part of these ministries and am excited for what God has yet to teach me through serving here. I have a passion to see God’s name glorified in people’s lives and am so thankful to have the privilege of leading His people corporately in worship.

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