Fort Future: In Christ. Bearing Fruit. Impacting Generations.
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Staff Spotlight – Billy

Billy Borkenhagen

Position: Campus Architect

Spotted: Holding a sleeping 7-year-old (his daughter Marie), biking down Spider Lake Road, or drinking good coffee.

Experience: Years in the industry practicing as an architect in Milwaukee.

In His Own Words: What advice would you give your 20-something self if you could go back in time?

In John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 

If I could visit my 20-something self, I would share a quote that I recently read in the book “The Gift of Becoming Yourself” by David Benner. It says, “A tulip knows exactly what it is. It is never tempted by false ways of being. Nor does it face complicated decisions in the process of becoming. So it is with dogs, rocks, trees, stars, amoebas, electrons and all other things. All give glory to God by being exactly what they are.” 

My 20-something self wasn’t satisfied with “exactly who I was”, nor did I really know who or what that was. So, I spent all my focus trying to create something of myself through achievement. Good direction, good grades, good job, etc. All good things, but elevated to be ultimate things, they become idols. 

Using his gifts and skills to impact the Kingdom
Billy, Laura, Naomi, Will, Marie- called to serve in the Northwoods
Hanging a canoe…just an average day at camp

What do I wish I would have spent my focus on? Remaining in Jesus. That’s where my advice would come in. Work harder at knowing who Jesus is and who he created you to be than you do anything else.     

Practically, that means budgeting time to sit still with Him instead of overachieving in work. Study what he says in scripture with intention instead of relying on Google to look up verses when you need them. Seek what He wants and be willing to step into making a decision with Him instead of making one for Him. Receive what He gives you. Give what he requires of you.  

I’d also tell myself the reason to get started on it early is because it takes a long time to learn how to live that way. It’s truly counter-cultural, and so it comes with discomfort and disappointment. But eventually, the freedom it comes with is incredible. That happens when we realize that we are valuable just the way he created us in the first place without those fake built-up identities. Just like the Tulip.