My wife, children, and I moved to Arizona from Connecticut over 20 years ago. For years my life was like a “Tilt-A-Whirl” carnival ride, constantly spinning around, not going anywhere, just going over the same ups and downs. I was running around trying to please a God who was always unhappy with me and ready to punish me. I served in various church offices such as deacon, elder, Sunday school teacher, associate pastor, etc. I could display my “spiritual trophies” on a shelf like ones awarded in a bowling league. In spite of all my “good works” and “serving the Lord,” I was an angry man with an unhappy wife and children who were growing distant from me. It is a lot of hard work trying to keep up the image of a family “that’s got it all together” yet disintegrating from within.
Then one day Jesus came! I remember that afternoon sitting in a chair drinking coffee and feeling angry, lost, and empty (It’s okay for Christians to feel that way. What makes you think God doesn’t know how you feel?). I was whining to God that there must be more to this Christian life than this. In my heart He spoke to me and gave me direction. He surrounded me with men to walk with, and He healed my wounded heart. To this day I continue the “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) experience by getting together with men of faith. My marriage was also healed. I found out later from my wife that she had her bags packed emotionally, and she had one foot out the door. My relationship with my children changed drastically, and they say that the father they know today is much better than the one they grew up with. There is much more to this story, so maybe Carrie and I should write a book.
Speaking of books, here is a small list of books that have been instrumental in guiding me to changes from the inside out: Every Man’s Marriage by Fred Stoeker, The Cure by John S. Lynch, True Faced by John S. Lynch, The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown, Can You Hear Me Now by Dallas and Nancy Demmitt.
My passions in life are like a multifaceted diamond, which includes coming along side those who have been abused, broken, and wounded by their past and want healing, but don’t know where to turn; men who are broken and trapped by addictive behaviors, feeling lost, alone, and shame; marriages that are falling apart, wanting help, but too embarrassed to ask for it (because of what others may think). Jesus came to heal the broken hearted and set us free from shame. As I continue my studies and work alongside people, I want to be an instrument dispensing God’s grace. I enjoy public speaking, sharing not just my story but the story of Jesus, who gives help and freedom for those who are ready for change. During my spare time, I like woodworking, reading, and taking life coaching classes.
Okay, now for the disclaimer. I have not arrived. I am still on a journey in my life, marriage, and other relationships. I am not in a place where I can say I have it altogether. I cannot fix every challenge that comes my way; however, I have surrounded myself with people who can guide and breath life into me. It is my honor to serve with these men as we work together under the direction of the Holy Spirit to minister to others as vessels of His love and grace.