In our Someone You Should Know series, Chris Tornquist interviews Faith members to help us get to know them, see how God is working in their lives, and make new connections within our community. In this episode we get to know Sam Parker.
Dan Jarms 0:00
Today on faith matters, we are continuing our someone you should know series Chris turnquist is going to talk to Sam Parker.
Dan Jarms 0:14
I'm Dan Jarms. And you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.
Chris Tornquist 0:42
What a joy and a privilege it is to have Sam Parker with me today. Hey, Sam, how's it gone?
Chris Tornquist 0:54
Hey, well, so good to have you here. You are one difficult person to nail down because you are running in 100 different directions at once. It seems it's true. And you and I have been talking about this for weeks and finally found a time we can get together. So let's get to some basics. Tell us about yourself. School what you're doing well, some people well a lot of people don't know you. How old are you?
Sam Parker 1:20
True. I am 18 which is scary. I go to North Central High School. I'm a senior doing all the college applications and stuff right now trying to work my way through five AP classes. Oh goodness. Let's see I work at Dutch Bros up on the north side. It's a good time you should come by
Chris Tornquist 1:39
say hi. And we get the family and friends discount
Sam Parker 1:42
doesn't exist but you betcha you will
Chris Tornquist 1:46
get the family and friends discount which is an extra
Sam Parker 1:48
smile. Just smile some sprinkles on top.
Chris Tornquist 1:52
On a napkin again, ask for that and you get a napkin. I can do that. Okay, very
Sam Parker 1:55
reasonable. Okay, good. Let's see. I love to run run cross country. Don't think I'm doing track this year. But that is because I'd like to do more Viola because Viola will pay for college and track will not for me. As much as I love running. I am not the fastest, but I do enjoy it. Well, for you
Chris Tornquist 2:13
run, run by though. Let's let's focus in on that a little bit. Because that has taken quite a bit of your life and your time with running and music. But you've done quite a bit of running with cross country and gotten some pretty good awards. Tell me what you do.
Sam Parker 2:31
Let's see. So I've been running. I ran all four years of high school with North Central the first two years were a little weird because of COVID running with masks and glasses was a nightmare. It's everything all fogged up. Oh yes. I came in the program. I hadn't ran day in my life. And I was just like, wow, this is so fun. And I would think I'm gonna be so hungry. So I'm going to eat right before and I would just like have the worst stomach aches I would run and I would just want to throw it all up. But as I got into I really started to enjoy running and just the camaraderie of being with the guys out running.
Chris Tornquist 3:00
too modest. Here. You fought you won some races. I
Sam Parker 3:04
did want to. I've won a JV race this year at Audubon. It was pretty fun when this jacket here that I'm wearing it was. That was a pretty that was a pretty awesome race.
Chris Tornquist 3:14
Yeah, you've done some others. We've had some great times. Yeah, right on your Facebook post isn't true.
Sam Parker 3:19
I rams post I rent JV most of the year for the last couple years, but I ran varsity for almost all the races in my senior year. And, man, there's some fast kids out there. And I just love racing them. And I'm I've got no hope. But it is such a good time. And everybody's so strong. And it is just incredible to see how much work people buy them. Well,
Chris Tornquist 3:39
that takes an incredible amount of time to do that. Yeah. And then you combine that with a real love and talent for music. Tell us about that. Absolutely.
Sam Parker 3:47
Yeah, so I play I play the viola some people that might not know what that is. But if you know what a violin is, it's pretty similar. It's a little bit bigger, you've got the strings are a little different. It's tuned down a fifth for all those music people the strings are C g d A, and it's a good time I really enjoy it. I've been playing since fifth grade. So that makes seven years give or take and I've enjoyed every minute of it had a great teacher in middle school and she just sparked that interest in it. And more recently I have been playing here at church whenever I can, playing for the little kids in the in the in the hall down there childcare, playing up on stage with the band never I can it's such a great time. I love it all and
Chris Tornquist 4:28
there's some in awards and recognition for some of those things as well too. Haven't you done some competition? Is
Sam Parker 4:36
this true? Yes I last year at stolen ensemble here in Spokane I won and went to state up at Central Washington University got to play there such a good time everybody there listening as well. Just absolutely so talented. I'm like these guys, these guys that's where I want to be. That's where I want to be. These guys are incredible. And let's see. I competed and I got second in Solon ensemble yesterday. Which wasn't what I wanted, but I played my heart out and it was one
Chris Tornquist 5:03
of these perfectionist so yeah, we go I understand totally on them. So. So we've got we've got music heavy involvement. We have running heavy involvement. You have a job. And I bet you're a good student too. I try. I'm sure you do. Heavily involved in church, I guess the natural. Next question is, when do you sleep? whenever
Sam Parker 5:32
I can. Yeah,
Chris Tornquist 5:35
you're a busy guy. You're a busy guy. And obviously you have the energy and you love to do all of it. And you'd like to do it? Well. Yeah, that's great. Yeah, family.
Sam Parker 5:44
Let's see. Well, I am a part of the Parker family. I have a mother and father and two younger sisters who are sisters, but I still love them to death. Bathroom will never be the same. I wish I had brothers. It'd be a mess and I'd love it. But it's okay. So, how old are your sisters that oh, gosh, I'm gonna get this wrong. Okay, so until that, let's see if I get this right. I think she's 13. Okay, sounds that sounds good. And Zoey is 17. Now. Wow, I think I'm right. I think I'm right. Wow. Yeah. So
Chris Tornquist 6:15
college, what are we looking at? What are we thinking about doing?
Sam Parker 6:19
Well, let's see, I've always thought that engineering would be an awesome prospects makes good enough. Money seems fun and creative. But as I get more into music, I'm thinking man, I would really love to keep schooling for music. But the issue that comes up, how am I going to support a family and provide when the music degree. But in talking to people, they say, Hey, music is a degree for life. I could use that in church for as long as I can serve here. I absolutely would. Or leading small groups, any type of music absolutely valuable. But then there's that providing for family part. And
Chris Tornquist 6:53
yeah, that is difficult. And I have a music degree. And so I understand that. And I was a band director in high school and colleges for a while to do that. But yes, it does become a sometimes a financial challenge, right to do that. Right. So but you don't have to teach, you know, you can go in different areas. So I thought for a while I wanted to be a studio musician and decided that'd be boring. I looked into a little more on that one. So yeah, you'll make decisions. Yes. You're still young. Right? Yeah, you're still young. into it. Say on this one. Your involvement here at church, you mentioned something about with playing the viola things you're jumped in and doing.
Sam Parker 7:37
Um, I really are, I guess I'm in the process of buying a bass guitar from Jeff Peterson, who is an awesome musician and not too shabby at the base himself, in the hopes of starting and maintaining this band for place to be and to like, kind of like roam around to all the childcare ministries on Sundays and Wednesday nights to wow, wow,
Chris Tornquist 7:55
how many people you thinking about putting in advice? Well, let's
Sam Parker 7:58
see. We've got Elijah theory and Steven Doherty. And we've got a couple older kids. That might help. But I think those are the main couple. Get some people like Lily who's a wonderful at the violin, and Kylie as well, and people to sing and do slides. And
Chris Tornquist 8:14
All right, good. Well, pretty solid. I didn't know anything about this. So this is getting put together. Yeah, just as we speak. Yes. What are you going to call yourselves?
Sam Parker 8:22
Oh, man, we haven't even thought about do we? Do we get a name? Well,
Chris Tornquist 8:25
I would think you should. I think you should you should come up with a name.
Sam Parker 8:31
Okay. I'll think about? Well, I'll
Chris Tornquist 8:32
tell you what we'll do our listeners don't just Oh, yes, they'll just, they can send an email to you or on Facebook, or at the church. And we come up with a creative name. Assignment for all the listeners, we'll see if we can get 20 3040 recommendations. And you can accept one of them or reject them, or reject them or any of that. So
Sam Parker 8:53
you have a college you're thinking about going to right now Gonzaga is looking pretty good. Okay, they have a lovely music program. I have auditioned for their orchestra director. So if I don't get a full scholarship because of financial stuff, then I have a maxed out music scholarship already, which is awesome. They have this isn't running, but they have an awesome rowing program. And I'm like, I read boys on the boats. And I loved it. We need to see the movie. And I'm like, you know, maybe I give something else to try. No, because why not?
Chris Tornquist 9:25
And then you could qualify to get tickets for basketball games, too. This is very true. This is very, very true. Bring a friend. Absolutely. Or a friend sitting here across the mic from you. Yeah, we'll talk about that later on that one. Do a little bribe on that. Let's talk about your spiritual life. Tell me a little bit about history of, of you spiritually. I think you've been involved in the church pretty much all your life. You
Sam Parker 9:50
know, this is my home away from home. raised in the church all my life coming here. parents brought me every Sunday and then we started up coming every Wednesday to those youth things. Discovery and all that good stuff. Um, I think early on, my mom has a Facebook memory of, I had to have been like nine or younger than that. And it was like, oh, Sam prayed and let God into his heart today. And it just warmed my heart. And I was, I was looking at that. And I was like, Wow, so many people have can relate to that, that letting letting God into our hearts, I'm doing air quotes that have gotten into their hearts early on. And it's, it's a good picture of how we really need to know that you're saved. And it really happens later on. So that, for me, was about last year at UGM camp. After I'd been through middle school, and the start of high school, and all of these dark things I was just was I was not ready for it. There was sin all around me. And I just ran towards that sin ran away from a God who I knew from going to church, but I just I did not accept him.
Chris Tornquist 10:48
So you'd kind of point to that time just fairly recently in your life. Yes. Really becoming committed Christian?
Sam Parker 10:55
Yes, absolutely. Wow. I think that's a lot for a lot of the kids like me who have grown up in the church, it's really easy to see that like you know all about God. You know, what God is to us, you know what he's done for us. But there's a point where you have to be the one to choose that you're letting God into your heart. And it's, it's really it's hard to do. Like, it's hard to trust in Christ sometimes. But ultimately, that's the decision you have to make. And I've had a lot of mentors to help me I can't do it by myself. That's for sure. And name. Some of those are Oh, Sam Haney. John Macias, Andrew Davidson, Devonte. Howard, all lovely people. Luke Copley. They're all godly men who I look up to every day. And they set great examples. I've talked to them about every part of my life, and how I can try and improve and be more godly in everything that I do. And of course, Ian, oh, Ian rush. Absolutely. Yes. Yes,
Chris Tornquist 11:45
full used program true and does a fabulous job with things. And recently you got baptized? Yes. Tell me about that decision to do it. What led you to do it we know the Scripture says that we are to be baptized. But tell me about your journey to
Sam Parker 12:01
get there. Absolutely. So it was kind of a long time coming. As you've said, I'm kind of busy. So I talked about it for months after that UGM camp and kind of having a real come to Jesus moment with John. And I think I just had finally a talk to an elder, I've talked to Ian about it. And we done this little meeting and everything and talked to my testimony, I had it all written out. And I'm just like, now's the time I got, I need to be closer with the body so the body can support me in pursuing Christ. And I think I can be a big proponent in helping other people. And I just want that to be real. I wanted to help in child care, and you should be a member, I should be baptized, and I should be a member, and committing myself to Christ so that I can make that real and good. So those were those are the steps
Chris Tornquist 12:48
Well, baptism and yours as well as others. But yours, I can tell you that I know had had a profound effect of people watching and listening. And we're there it did for me, me and my wife, we were so touched by it. And your honesty with that, and your vulnerability is rare. And we really appreciate it that says, really says a lot about what the Lord's been doing in your life, of course, tell me the one thing or two things that the Lord is teaching you these days as you walk with Him?
Sam Parker 13:22
The biggest thing for me is because I'm doing so much it's always about time management, and how can I do everything that I'm doing for him? How can I show his love to the people I'm making coffee for? How can I show it to the kids who I'm singing for? And it is, it's not always easy, you wake up some mornings, and you're just like, man, today is a hard day. But you can always there's always something to be thankful for and being thankful for everything. It allows you to show that praise through through what you do. How are you
Chris Tornquist 13:52
working through that? Or how are you working through the time schedule? Because it is with all the things you've got going on, especially when school is alright. Got a lot of things on your plate. How have you managed to keep that streak?
Sam Parker 14:05
That is a great cry. That is a great question. Honestly, my mom helps a lot and see helps make sure everything's in order. I put stuff on the calendar and she's like, you know, you have three things happening at this time in this day. Are you sure that's possible? I'm like, oh, no, your rights, your rights. There are some late nights of homework. And sometimes hanging out with friends doesn't happen, like social life is hard. Or even meeting with godly people for any reason like hanging out with, with friends like that same same thing. You said you
Chris Tornquist 14:37
really want to make all those things honoring to the Lord. You've made commitments to do all that and what a wonderful admirable thing to come to that realization at 18 years old. Wow. That's it's just wonderful. If we can pray for you in one or two areas, how can the people of faith bible church pray for you? I
Sam Parker 14:59
think daily Since in I mean I'm obviously doing a lot of things but diligence to keep doing those things and to to honor God in everything that I do and not to lose sight of him because when I'm trying to do all these things sometimes i i do them because I enjoy them yeah as so that can get in the way of desiring God and I think that's really easy to do. I can see like, I want to go on a run because I'm gonna go on a run not to be out and God's creation glorifying him. It's, it's really easy thing to lose lose sight of so I think just diligence in pursuing him with all I do. Wow,
Chris Tornquist 15:33
looks like he's really doing some amazing things in your life. And you want to want to keep doing that which we I know people who around you I've talked to some just say they see it all over in your life, that that's the, that's your heart. And that's where you want to be. And it's just, it's just fun to see. Well, we will do that. And we'll ask people to pray for that. And it's been a real joy to have you thank you for finally finding the time and take the time that we can get together. Thank you. And Sam Parker is one of these guys. Somebody you should know. Thanks so much, Sam. Yep, of course.
Chris is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL (M.Div.) and has served as a pastor in churches in the Midwest. Chris and his wife Marty have been married for over 37 years. Chris currently teaches the Fundamentals of the Faith class and serves in the Prayer Ministry here at Faith Bible Church.View Resources by Chris Tornquist