What do you do for fun?
I love to spend time with my family doing pretty much anything. I also like to cook (and eat), build/make/create all kinds of things, go camping, read historical fiction, and participate in recreational shooting sports.
What’s on your iPod right now?
Casting Crowns, Imagine Dragons, Capital Kings, Celtic Woman, Brad Paisley, Twenty-one Pilots, Lecrae, Fallout Boy, Rascal Flatts, and a whole mess of other stuff.
What is your favorite TV series?
Comedy: The Middle & American Housewife. Action: Agents of Shield & The Last Kingdom. Other: Forged by Fire & Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations. It's just so hard to decide!
Other than the Bible, what are your favorite books?
Anything by Bernard Cornwell, and anything by CS Lewis. I recently also got a lot of valuable insights from RC Sproul's The Holiness of God,
What are a few things people don't know about you?
I'm a licensed scuba diver, I was considered for the '88 Tae Kwon Do Olympic team, I had a few small parts on an obscure TV show a long time ago, I went through a ridiculous Goth faze in high school, and I'm a US-government-trained a bodyguard. Who would have thought!?!
I had a rough childhood. We moved around a lot (my dad was career Navy), so I never had any real roots or long-term friendships. My relationship with my parents was not good, I got into a lot of fights and other trouble, and I really struggled in school.
My family frequently went to various churches (mostly Presbyterian or United Methodist). So I was baptized when I was 11 - mostly because it was expected of me. I didn't think I had much use for God at the time. But now I know God was laying a foundation of faith in me even then.
Through my teen years, I learned I could escape my unpleasant circumstances by burying myself in movies, TV, books, roleplaying games, alcohol, marijuana, and other unhealthy pursuits - at least temporarily. So that's what I did.
I also became obsessed with spiritual things (eastern mysticism, witchcraft, satanism). But had no real interest in knowing the true God. I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted, and I wanted to have power/control over myself and others. Yet our faithful and very patient Lord still honored my baptism (even though I didn't), and He never gave up on me.
Everything changed for me during my senior year in high school. After months of particularly wicked activities, broken relationships, and dark experiences, I could no longer drown out or ignore the Holy Spirit's patient, persistent voice in the back of my head saying, "I love you. Stop your struggling. Come home." I decided to make a break from the path I had been pursuing, find some better friends, buy some new clothes, and get back into church.
A little over a year later, through the prayers, fellowship, and guidance of some wonderful people, I finally accepted that faith (trust) in Jesus is the only real way to true life, health, and salvation. I dedicated myself to following Him more seriously. And shortly after that, he led me to transfer from the University of Hawaii to Asbury College where I truly learned what it means to walk in humble obedience to God.
I completely turned my life over to His lordship in 1990 and in February, 1991, He blessed me with a second baptism (by the Holy Spirit). Through that cleansing ('sanctification') experience, all the pain, bitterness, loneliness, resentment, anger, and pride that had plagued me my whole life were washed away, and I became a new creation. For the first time ever, I was really free.
Since then, Jesus has walked with me through many difficulties and trials. He saw me through a 22-year Naval career (including a combat deployment to Iraq), provided me with everything I've needed to serve Him, blessed me with a beautiful wife and two great sons, and taken me to greater and greater depths of faith in His holiness, love, and sufficiency.