I remember the first book I ever received, a copy of Black Beauty from a little girl in my 2nd grade class just before Christmas. I wept. Everyone else got toys, & I got a stupid book. Thus began my love affair with the printed page. As a pastor, I read all the time. I read a wide variety of books on an even wider variety of subjects from theology, biblical studies, leadership, and ministry to literary fiction, current events and even a few classic children’s books. Some notable titles in my library: Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness by Eugene Peterson. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo. I enjoyed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit twice and I’ve read through The Lord of the Rings trilogy once. I’m currently making my way through Phillip Yancey’s What So Amazing About Grace. Pure Gold by David McCasland is an excellent biography of Olympic Champion Eric Liddell. And of course, no beach vacation would be complete without a copy of Breakfast on the Beach: Finding God at The Water’s Edge by Mark R. Jordan (a rising star on the literary horizon- more about him later).
Cinematographers and movie-makers have become the first-tier storytellers of our culture. I love good movies because I love great storytelling. Some notable films that I have enjoyed recently include: Another Year (2010), MoneyBall (2011), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), The Martian (2015), and Bridge of Spies (2015). ALL-TIME FAVORITES: Chariots of Fire (1980), Out of Africa (1985), Patton (1970), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Ben Hur (1959), The Sound of Music (1965), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
Isaiah 40:31- “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like Eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” (The Message)
Favorite Pandora Stations
Frank Sinatra and Friends, Billy Joel, James Taylor, The Beatles, Hillsong United, Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, Bethel Music, Chris Botti, Yo-Yo Ma
Jonny Quest. Race Bannon and Hadji tied for second.
What Do You Like to Do for Fun
Imposing my will as a 10th degree Ping Pong Ninja. Banging on the keys of a manual typewriter, birthing prose that would make Hemingway weep with envy-pretty impressive since he’s been dead for a while. Dancing on the pedals of my road bike up the cobbles of Libby Hill on my way to Sufferlandria. Exploring foreign cultures, embracing new customs, and meeting unusual people in strange, exotic places like Carytown.
Ultimate Vacation Destinations
Climbing to Uhuru Peak at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa. Sitting at a sidewalk cafe on the Champs-Elysees in Paris for the ultimate stage of the Tour de France.
A Little More About Me
I have been described as, “A Boomer with Millennial Tendencies.” I accept it as a compliment.
I was born on the banks of the muddy Mississippi while Eisenhower was in his second term as President. The doctor who delivered me left his practice in Memphis to become a medical missionary. Many years later, he would mentor the daughter of missionaries who wanted to become a nurse. This same girl also became my wife. I learned from an early age that our lives are shaped by the hands of a gracious God.
My parents were Christians so they took me to church. I grew up surrounded by the stories of this Rescuer/God called Jesus. As a teenager, I began a personal friendship with Jesus. I was learning how to trust God and my faith grew stronger.
My future wife was growing up as a global nomad. I was living in places like New Orleans, Lousiana; Johnson City and Knoxville, Tennessee. When my dreams of the Naval Academy were shipwrecked, I entered the University of Tennessee as an art major. The Baptist Student Center became my second home. Journalism became my major. Words became my friends. My future wife arrived on campus to visit a friend from her missionary boarding school. Bingo! God doesn’t wear a watch but He’s always on time. So was she.
After college, we moved to Fort Worth, Texas where I attended Southwestern Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree. I learned how to help people find God.
Since 1987, I’ve led Ironbridge Church. It’s been a faith adventure that in many ways seems like it’s just beginning. I love what I do. My life’s goal is to help people experience life with God. It’s a wild ride! Come along, if you like.