Like the snake who calls the lizard a reptile
Like the chimp who calls the jester a clown
When I tell you, “You oughta be ashamed of yourself”
I’ve gotta set my knees on the ground
O how the mighty have fallen
O how the reckless are crawling now
O how the mighty have fallen
Such a long way down
Thank you, please don’t swing your shovel at my head, friend
No, I truly won’t appreciate that sound
When you tell me I surely should atone for my sin
I hope you know the fate of the proud
O how the mighty have fallen…
– The Choir (Hindalong, Byrd)
I have been a pastor in Maine since 1985. It has been quite a journey. During these more than 25 years I have witnessed healthy church communities, churches that were closed societies and even ministries that misused Scripture to abuse and manipulate people.
Each experience has helped shape the person I am today and make me more and more convinced that every teaching, every experience and every urging must be filtered through the Standard which is the Bible.
Leadership, living missionally, Photography, baseball, graphics, computers, technology, writing, cycling.
BA – University of Maine, Journalism
MA – Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Theology (focus – Church planting)
In 1984 I married my college sweetheart, Robin. We have raised three awesome kids – Josh, Shara and Jake – who are all uniquely gifted.
I’m a son, brother, husband, father, photographer, designer, coach, shepherd, writer, reader …
Field of Dreams, It’s a Wonderful Life
The Choir, U2, Paul Simon, Country
Margin, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Jesus Style, Blue Like Jazz, The Shack, Crazy Love, Doctrine, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, Unbroken, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Unbroken
I grew up the youngest of three kids with two sisters ten and twelve years older than me. My parents were average, middle-class Americans doing the best they could. My Dad is an alcoholic, on and off the wagon, while my mom worked to hold things together every time dad slipped.
I never doubted my parents’ love. Despite his illness, my dad had three priorities that were evident no matter where he was in his struggle; God, country and family. We were in church most every Sunday morning and both of my parents held positions of leadership in our church.
I remember going to a summer camp on a lake when I was nine years old. I remember canoeing, shooting arrows and having fun with our cabin counselor, who we called “Zebra.” At the end of the week we listened to a speaker who asked if we wanted to go to heaven. He told us the story of Jesus that most of us had heard dozens of times before and then invited us to come forward to “ask Jesus” into our hearts. We all went up and repeated a prayer that would get us into heaven. I know, it sounds bizarre.
During my teenage years I wondered if every “Christian” family was like mine.
When I was 17 I attended a youth retreat with a bunch of younger kids in my youth group. When we arrived I quickly saw that all the kids there were in 6th or 7th grade. What a disappointment! I had gone hoping to meet some new girls.
But something significant happened that weekend. When the kids went to bed, a group of youth leaders invited me to join them for coffee. Even though I didn’t drink coffee, I pretended to and sat and watched them interact. It was amazing. These people were openly sharing problems and being real with each other. They were talking about Jesus, uncertainty and how they knew He was helping them navigate life. They weren’t living a Sunday Jesus game. I immediately wanted what they had!
That night I went back to my cabin stunned by what I saw and I said a simple prayer, “Lord God, I want to be like them. I want to know you. Jesus, I want you to live in me and I want to follow you no matter what. Forgive me for playing games. Change me.”
That was in 1980. From that point on I have tried to live my life getting to know Jesus through the Bible and prayer. I’ve learned that He is real and that He wants me to be real with Him. He hasn’t called me to some game where we play church for a couple hours a week and hide all our faults. Instead He’s shown me that He loves me regardless of how often I blow it and He never bails out on me. I’ve moved from living in fear on an active volcano to knowing that God is there with me to help me through whatever eruptions occur.
In May of 2011, I became aware of my largest struggle yet. Without a liver transplant I would die. I declined rapidly and was hospitalized approximately every 15 days over the next year.
On May 7, 2012 my son gave me half of his liver to save my life. Today I am living life again and so very thankful. I face the common concerns of people living with transplant but that’s fine with me. I’m alive!
No matter where you are in life right now, I am totally convinced that Jesus wants to have a relationship with you. It takes reaching out to Him and asking Him to forgive you, take control of your life and make you like Him. It’s not about a magic prayer, a weekly ritual or a code of conduct; it’s about a living, active relationship with God.
Yeah, I know, you might have been hurt badly by a church, an ego-driven pastor or rejected by self-righteous Christians. Me too. I discovered that like the spiritual leaders of Jesus days, they are missing the point. I doubt that many of the people Jesus welcomed would be welcomed by them either. That’s why you have to go over their heads and look into Jesus for yourself. Start with 1 John chapter 1 to get a summary and then read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John asking, “Who is Jesus? What was most important to Him? What was He like?” If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised by the radical guy you discover.