Dr. Mike Rozenblum was well established in New Mexico. The owner of several chiropractic clinics, he had a loving wife, healthy children and a dream home, but something was missing. That nagging sense that there had to be more sent Mike and his wife Karen Rozenblum on an adventure that ultimately resulted in them selling it all and moving their family across the country where they believe God was leading them. This journey shifted their focus from physical healing only, to presenting the kind of spiritual wellbeing that only God can provide.
Chasing the American dream
Born in Venezuela, Mike was raised Jewish. His family moved to South Florida when he was 10 and he had his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem at 13. After high school he attended Life University, a chiropractic school in Marietta, Georgia, where he met his wife Karen, a nice Catholic girl from Detroit. As newly weds they headed west and opened their first chiropractic clinic in Española, a very small town in northern New Mexico. Karen worked in an established practice to help make ends meet while Mike developed their business and waited tables in the evenings. As their hard work paid off, they opened a second clinic in Santa Fe, began to have children and Karen was able to be a stay-at-home mom. By American standards, they had achieved the American dream.
“Our business was going good. Our relationship was good. Our kids were healthy and yet there was this void in our lives,” explained Karen. “We were achieving all this stuff and never satisfied, so we began to think, what is missing?”
The Global Journey
Mike began travelling all over the world teaching with the prestigious Gonstead Chiropractic Seminars with two of his contemporaries from chiropractic school. “We all worked really hard, long hours and ran successful businesses,” said Mike. “But I would tell them, I don’t know why I feel so empty inside. I’m having one or two drinks just to wind down when I get home from work, only to settle down and do it all again the next day.” Mike discovered his contemporaries were “born again believers.” He said, “They ministered to me for three and a half years. They gave me a Bible. They gave me eight tracks. They gave me books, cassettes, and I always told them, enough! I’m not interested in Jesus. He was a nice carpenter, but back off with the whole Jesus thing. And they told me, ‘We’re only trying to share with you the life that you’re missing.’”
Flying into Albuquerque one day after a seminar, Mike decided to go to church at Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque. “I got to this church and it just blew my mind! It was like a mall. I had only seen Catholic Churches or Jewish Synagogues that were small, reverent and kind of quiet. I got to this place and there were kids running around with a skateboard in one hand and a Bible in the other. People were wearing shorts, and some were wearing jeans. I go inside and the pastor says, ‘Shalom!’ I thought he was talking to me. The following week I came back with my wife and within a month we had both given our life to Christ. Little did I know that my wife had been privately and independently praying, so when we came to Christ, we came together, and it was powerful. The scriptures became alive in my mind and the concept of Messiah, which I’d known about my entire life, suddenly became real.”
Mike said they had a very radical salvation. “We had lived so long apart from Christ, both of us felt we needed to catch up. For over a year we commuted over 60 miles from Santa Fe just to attend church in Albuquerque. Eventually we sold our home and clinics and moved to Albuquerque just to be part of the church. We bought a new house and built a new practice down the street from the church. Things were amazing. We grew in favor with God and man. Eventually I was asked to be on the board of Calvary of Albuquerque which was and still is, a great honor.”
A spiritual move
Years later the Rozenblums encountered a significant trial when their closest family friend, from church, embezzled over a million dollars from them during a business deal. The whole ordeal in the courts took over two years and left them wounded and crushed by the betrayal. “We began to pray for a new song in our hearts,” said Mike, and on a trip to visit family in South Florida they had an encounter with Bob Coy, former pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, that got them praying about a bigger move.
Having listened to the church’s radio ministry in New Mexico, they decided to visit Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. “We had a tour of the school in between services, and I was just overwhelmed with a feeling that my children were going to walk the halls of that school,” said Karen, “but I quietly just tucked that away.” Later they ended up in Bob’s office. After bringing greetings from Calvary Albuquerque and Pastor Skip Heitzig in a very brief conversation, Mike said he was surprised when “he said to me, ‘I think you ought to move to South Florida and oversee our men’s ministry.’ It literally was less than five minutes and my response to him was, I don’t know you and I don’t appreciate you talking to me like that. It was intense; it was awesome. Then I looked over at my wife and she was in tears. When I asked her why, she said, ‘I have no idea.’ Something happened that was real and palpable.”
Over a year the Rozenblums prayed as a family and considered the move while Mike was in communication with Bob and others in the church. Karen said, “I was thinking, Lord, what are you doing? It seemed like too many moving pieces. We had a home and businesses and kids established and 19 years of life there that was beautiful.” After considering it as a couple, they eventually decided to bring it to their children and met weekly as a family to pray about it. Then Mike said, “through a series of unbelievable real signs the Lord made it clear it was time for us to put our feet in the Jordan and go. We sold a big fancy house in one day. I sold all of my clinics and we came to Florida.”
Mike said, “Initially we were on cloud nine. We felt we were in the middle of His will. Our kids were at Calvary Christian Academy thriving. I enjoyed being in the ministry and applying my time and effort to further the Kingdom. Then not long after the final completion of the sale of my clinics things changed in Fort Lauderdale and a whole new faith journey began.”
Following a trip with Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale to tour the Holy Land of Israel, Mike and Karen returned to the announcement that Pastor Bob Coy had committed a moral failure which removed him from leadership. “After the initial sadness and shock, great men and women began the reconstruction of our church and community…It was a really challenging time for many. The thing we thought we were coming to, had abruptly changed. We certainly did not come here only for a man, so after the fall, we thought, what is God going to do now? Perhaps we were here for such a time as this. For us it was really personal.”
However, Mike said the process they took to get there was the thing that sustained them when things got sticky. “We came here because we felt it was God’s will for our family and to get six people to agree on something like that is a miracle.”
Lessons learned along the way
Today Dr. Mike Rozenblum serves on the board at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale under the leadership of Pastor Doug Sauder and continues to be involved in ministry. He also operates Genesis Physical Medicine and Chiropractic in Fort Lauderdale alongside Dr. Lisa Green. “We always want to help people feel better and believe everyone deserves to feel great, but we also believe in spiritual health and wellbeing. I spent most of my life trying to help people do that physically. When I came to Florida I had an opportunity to do that more spiritually and now I bounce back and forth between the two spaces.”
Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” has become Mike’s life verse and guides the direction of his family, and their example of willingly following wherever God leads has impacted their children.
Daughter Samantha Nickerson, now a practicing realty attorney in Boston, said that making the move to Florida at the age of 16, “showed me that you can really do whatever you want if you feel the Lord has made a way for you.”
Their son Max Rozenblum is now pursing his PhD in biomedical engineering at Boston University. Heading into his freshman year when they moved to Fort Lauderdale, he was the most hesitant at the time. Now he says, “It’s good to walk in stride with the Lord, and if it takes me somewhere, then oh well.” He keeps the following quote from T.D. Jakes on his phone: “If you already understand your purpose, are you prepared to change your plans to match God’s will? If you aren’t, you can easily become bitter because things that used to work for you may no longer work. Be willing to transition in every stage of your life. If your heart is open and you have an open mind, the blessings will flow.”
All the Rozenblum kids continue live in the spirit of Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Mission and ministry are in their DNA. Ben Rozenblum plays baseball at University of South Florida where he’s studying criminology and finance, and Abe Rozenblum is a senior at Calvary Christian Academy, where he plays baseball, tutors and is active in student life.
Looking back, Karen said, “I think the process God put us through letting go of so many things was like an analogy of jumping off a high dive – to dive off looks so scary but the freedom that follows that kind of obedience is indescribable.” Her advice is “if you feel a tug and God is calling you to go, it would be the scariest thing ever not to follow where the Lord is leading you. Trust and believe that He has tremendous plans for you. Even if it doesn’t seem perfect along the way, the fact is that Our Heavenly Father always knows best.”
For more articles by Shelly Pond, visit https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/