While my life has been richly blessed, part of my story has certainly been shaped by great loss. Losing my wife to cancer in 2005 was devastating beyond words. A series of deeply perplexing personal losses followed, leaving me reeling, feeling as though my life had nearly entirely unravelled: from church and ministry, to friends and home. Yet I have slowly come to approach the past with gratitude, for through those experiences I have learned God’s faithfulness in greater measure than I could have ever known from a life unmarked by pain.
As a result, I don’t put much stock in knights with shiny armor thundering behind pulpits of glory. No, instead show me a few dents and scars, then we’ll talk. Show me the person who has messed up and has no one to blame but himself, who has betrayed others, or suffered betrayal, or failed financially or fallen morally…and knows the love of Jesus all the more for it. Life in the Spirit is a process of getting real. That’s where God moves, where the promise of mercy becomes the gift, and we hear him whisper, “Instead of shame, you will receive a double portion” (Isa. 61:7). And we are left breathless.
I’m still practicing what Eugene Peterson famously called a “long obedience in the same direction,” which means, thankfully, that I’ve quit trying to explain my life or to understand certain events—I simply trust Rom. 8:28. God is good. Grace is real. The kingdom awaits the glorious king.
When Amy passed away, I had four sons under age eleven. Much to my surprise, I fell in love again, this time with a beautiful widow named Jeanie who had four children of her own (thus, our “great eight”—see below). I write and minister about a variety of topics: grace, faith, prayer and kingdom authority, identity, sonship, failure, hope, resurrection, family, imagination, and ekklesia (a word we’ve mistranslated for 400 years as “church”). I’m keenly interested in seeing the apostolic gospel ignite across the planet. What does that mean? It means radical movements of discipleship and prayer springing up across the nations, grounded in a true revelation of Christ and the righteousness He gives, which in turn produces a true identity as sons and daughters of a loving Father. It means at all times, above and beneath all our suffering and uncertainty there remains a great mystery: Grace!
My life experiences have been diverse, yet I believe all of them have somehow prepared me for His purpose in this hour. I’ve had odd jobs and meaningful jobs. I worked in radio until I couldn’t stand it any longer (3 months), ran my own marketing company out of my home for many years, and also founded, served and, ultimately, failed at pastoring a church (actually, it’s easier than you think!). I’ve worked in New Product Development, have my name on two patents, and authored an epic fantasy series (@Amazon) along with several teaching books. But where I am most alive is building the kingdom. If you’re interested in how my ministry can touch yours, click HERE for more info.