The Short Bio: Husband to Megan. Father of Four. Pastor of Chandler since 2010. (The Epic Bio is below.)
So this is the epic version of my bio. The actual version is filled with more diapers and homework. But both versions include coffee ice cream. Which, along with prayer, holds our family together.
Now the crucial details. My favorite baseball team is the Kansas City Royals (where I grew up). Throughout my travels, from SBU (where I met Meg), to Truett Seminary, and in Augusta as a Middle School Minister, I kept the hope alive! For years my hopes and dreams might as well have been stuffed in one of the kids’ build-a-bears. We came to Chandler in 2010, hoping to bring new luck and … we did! The Royals are World Series Champs!
As for Megan, she grew up in Tulsa and roots for the Royals out of love (or maybe because I share my ice cream?). She was a high school teacher (supporting me through seminary, beauty and brains) before our children came and now she focuses on keeping our house sane. Plus she works as a teacher in Chandler’s Preschool and PDO (shameless plug for the program).
People often ask where we found our little ones’ names. I must admit we discovered Ivy’s (2006) name in The Village, a movie by M. Night Shyamalan (Not sure what happened, but his early movies are great – packed with truth!). Phoebe’s (2009) name is found in Romans 16:1, a deacon of the church. Darcy’s (2011) name came from a brilliant young lady in Augusta – not the “mister” in some unknown book! And little Ezekiel (2015) is named after my favorite prophet.
I promised an epic bio only to arrive at the end and realize all the epic events are happening at home – amid the diapers and homework! So if you need me, home is where I am heading. Contact us and we will invite you over for ice cream, but come prepared to do math facts.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
Vision for Ministry
Play by RS Thomas
Your move I would have
said, but he was not
playing; my game a dilemma
that was without horns.
As though one can sit at the table
with God! His mind shines
on the black and white
squares. We stake our all
on the capture of the one
queen, as though to hold life
to ransom. He, if he plays, plays
unconcernedly among the pawns.
As the poem describes, we continue to play a game of life with the hopes of capturing the one queen. We preach that God has no concern for status. That He is not concerned with our dress or house or job or abilities. And yet our time is wrapped up chasing after these things. We find our self worth in grasping these things. Though the status symbols change as we age (from cars to grandchildren), we continue to pursue. As though we could find joy in these things. As though we could provide a future for ourselves. In this we still believe the serpent’s temptation, that we could be like God (Genesis 3:4). But while we pursue the “queen”, God “plays unconcernedly among the pawns”. While we pursue status, possessions, power for ourself; God seeks to love and sacrifice for others.
Just as the church of Laodicea (“You say, ‘I am rich…’ But do you not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” – Rev 3:17), we must realize that we are only pawns. Driven this way and that by forces we can not control. But we are not alone. The Creator is prepared to pick us up and use us for His purposes. In His hands, submitting our wills and pride, we find our future. In His control we find joy. As Kierkegaard writes,
Imagine a big, well-trained obedient hunting dog. He accompanies his master on a visit to a family where, as all too often in our time, there is a whole assembly of ill-behaved youths. Their eyes hardly light upon the hound before they begin to maltreat it in every kind of way. The hound, which was well-trained, as these youths were not, fixes his eye at once upon his master to ascertain from his expression what he expects him to do. And he understands the glance to mean that he is to put up with all the ill-treatment, accept it indeed as though it were sheer kindness conferred upon him. Thereupon the youths of course became still more rough, and finally they agreed that it must be a prodigiously stupid dog which puts up with everything. The dog meanwhile is concerned only about one thing, what the master’s glance commands him to do. And lo, that glance is suddenly altered; it signifies—and the hound understands it at once—use your strength. That instant with a single leap he has seized the biggest lout and thrown him to the ground—and now no one stops him, except the master’s glance, and the same instant he is as he was a moment before.—Just so with me.