Jesus-follower even when I don’t feel like one. Meaning, my personal redemption isn’t rooted in how good I behave or the quality of my performance. My identity “in Christ” is set in stone irrelevant of what kind of mood I’m experiencing on any particular day.
While I struggle to be sincere in all I do, I am truly a paradox of sorts. I remain what Luther termed a “hard-boiled” sinner while simultaneously a saint (Simul justus et peccator)—gloriously and miraculously redeemed by sheer grace plus nothing I can do, but through faith in the finished work of Christ alone.
How can a man such as myself (so utterly helpless in terms of changing my own heart with it’s selfish motivations), claim to be as much of a saint as anyone else this side of paradise? The same reason the notorious Christian killer turned fiery apostle was able to write, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him [Christ Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.”
We get confused and often bamboozled by smooth talkers into believing the false notion that becoming a saint takes work on our part when nothing could be further from the gospel truth (Paul the apostle, who I just quoted, continually greeted all the believers as “saints”—since saints are made at conversion).
I’m still crazy about the brown-eyed girl named Stacey Jo I married and am the proud father of Becca, Lauren and Gabe. I sense God’s pleasure when I write, and preach—even if it’s no longer in a pulpit. As for other random details about me; I can’t sing or dance, consider myself an average golfer, secretly I’m a wannabe chef, admittedly a recovering self-help junkie, and those who know me best might call me a helpless klutz.
It’s safe to say I’ve had nine lives—beat a wicked case of Lyme Disease, survived a tragic and brutal divorce, lived to tell about an emergency landing in Chicago, and walked away after jumping higher than I ever thought possible clearing the hood of a speeding sports utility vehicle landing face first on my big nose (I’m finally thankful for) to avoid being flattened like a pancake one afternoon in Nashville. All that not to mention being lucky enough to make it to the 2nd grade considering all the stitches my parents had trouble counting by the time I was out of diapers.
My education includes being a graduate of Christ For The Nations Bible Institute in Dallas, Texas (’88-’90)—where I studied theology, world missions, youth ministry, pastoral counseling and leadership. I am a former youth pastor as well as conference speaker and director. These days I write and reside in Gallup, New Mexico. We worship here in town at Trinity Lutheran.
My future plans include becoming a chaplain to those behind bars. When, and if, I finally do grow up, I’d like a small rustic fishing cabin accompanied by a modest boat near Lake Michigan.
In my spare time when I’m not writing you might catch me keeping up with the Detroit Tigers or doing push-ups so my tattoos have somewhere to go.