thoughts on worship, art, leadership, and life


Three weeks ago I experienced a tough break. I was training for a 100-mile bike ride that I was very much looking forward to when I literally suffered a break. While doing something I’ve done thousands of times, I made a mistake. In the blink of an eye, I was lying on the pavement in excruciating pain, shaking and unable to move my right leg. I instantly knew something was wrong. After an ambulance ride, x-rays, a CAT scan, I got some scary news: I broke my hip. Surgery was needed. My world came to a screeching halt. I was assigned a physical therapist who has been helping me with my recovery process. The first couple of weeks were rough both physically and emotionally, and through this time she encouraged me to journal. I’m not going to sugar coat it, this process has been tough, maybe one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through but I’m beginning to see some pretty profound things coming from it. It’s taught me some lessons from a tough break.

My new hardware


When things are going great, we tend to think that we’re somehow in control. All it takes is one crazy life circumstance to show us how out of control we are. In this past couple of weeks, the journey has been scary, and it has been hard, there have moments of joy and pride, sometimes there’s pain(sometimes a lot), sometimes anxiety, sometimes overwhelming gratitude. They all come and go and sometimes within minutes of each other. Though most of it has been out of my control, it’s led me to a greater trust in the one who is in control. Through tears, I’ve been able to come in prayer to God with my doubts and fears. God has been with me the whole time. He never abandoned me.


My heart is full of gratitude for God’s provision, but most of the things that I’m grateful for aren’t things at all, they’re people. God works through people to extend his love to others, and I can honestly say I’ve felt His love through you. I have my faith, my wife, my family, I have a community that loves and supports me. I’m grateful for the way my wife assumed the role of caregiver on top of her vocation as mother and full-time corporate businesswoman. Through your meals, prayers, cards, phone calls, and visits, God overwhelmed me with love and support. You may not realize it, but God moved through you to bless me. I hope that in some small way you see the impact a simple prayer or word of encouragement can have one someone’s life.


I’ve gone through a big-time trauma, and I survived. I’m here. I’m here to give love and be loved. I’m here to love God and love my neighbors. I’m here to enjoy life, work hard and play hard. I’m here to struggle and grow. Here’s an odd thought: I think we need the tough moments, the moments of struggle. They are part of life that we can’t and shouldn’t try to avoid. This process is teaching me much about myself and others. It’s teaching me about faith and relationship, life and love. It’s teaching me about gratitude and contentment throughout this journey called life.


Why Is Grace Such A Tough Pill To Swallow?

I have been a Christian my entire life and I still find myself doubting it from time to time. It seems too good to be true, that a perfect God would love and receive me as His own.

If we’re really honest with ourselves, we would like to play just a little part in our salvation. Sure, what Jesus did for us was enough but we’d like to contribute, even if it’s just a bit. The problem is that if our own merit plays even a small part in redemption then we eventually end up in despair and hopelessness because we all screw up, fail, and sin. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

I also believe that the evil one wants us trapped in and crippled by our shame. He loves to get saved people thinking they aren’t truly forgiven. He takes great pleasure when we wallow in our guilt, incapacitated by our unworthiness.

So what’s the answer? Continue reading “Why Is Grace Such A Tough Pill To Swallow?”

I’m A Recovering Hymn-Hater

I have a confession to make, I’m a recovering hymn-hater. I went through a season of life where I arrogantly threw aside all things of the past for their more modern counterparts. Slowly I began to develop a dissatisfaction that led me on a 6 year journey where God helped me to relearn why placing an emphasis on the words we sing is so important.

Continue reading “I’m A Recovering Hymn-Hater”

Leap Of Faith

Having to make a choice between staying at Shepherd’s Gate or going to serve at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, AZ has been one of the most trying and emotional journeys of our lives. Through weeks of prayer and seeking God, Hannah and I finally feel that God has led us to a decision and a peace surrounding it. We believe that God is challenging our family to take a leap of faith and move to Arizona.

In light of this, there are a couple of things I would like you to know. Continue reading “Leap Of Faith”

Asking For Your Prayers


I’m writing this to ask for your prayers. Last Wednesday, I received an offer to serve as the Director of Worship at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, Arizona. As Hannah and I have sought the Lord in this, we have felt led to evaluate whether or not this could be where He is calling us to serve.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a process like this I want you to know a few things.

Continue reading “Asking For Your Prayers”

Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship

Call To Worship

At Shepherd’s Gate Church we often begin our services with a Call to Worship. This practice of starting our gatherings with Scripture, is something that God’s people have been doing for ages and one that can have a profound impact on the gathered church today. In writing this, I hope to explain why we do this and to encourage you as you engage in this practice.

Why do a “Call to Worship”? Continue reading “Why We Do What We Do: Call To Worship”

Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?


As you travel around today, there will be many people out and about. As you continue to observe them, you may notice something is a bit off. They all have black smudges on their foreheads. This begs the question:

“Why in the world would these folks take time to go to a church and let some guy put ashes on their foreheads?”

Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why Would I Go To Church And Let Some Guy Put Ashes On My Head?”

Church Leadership Isn’t A Solo Act

Church leadership is not and never was a solo act. Church leaders: We are called to replicate ourselves. Our primary task should be the raising up and empowering of people. In doing so, we not only help the church fulfill it’s God given potential, but we also accomplish much more than we ever could on our own. Why then are there so many churches with only one “pastor” or “leader” doing all of the work? I would argue that this is unbiblical and unhealthy. Here are a couple of passages that will shine light on this concept. Continue reading “Church Leadership Isn’t A Solo Act”

Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop

MusicianChurch musicians need to commit to a local church. There I said it. I see too many musicians jumping from one playing opportunity to another, from one church to the next. I have no problem helping other churches out or filling in when there is a need, but the constant transient “church-hopping” needs to stop. It’s a detriment to the church and to the musician. At Shepherd’s Gate we ask that our musicians sign a covenant each year. One of the commitments reads as follows:

We expect all members of the band to be in church when in town regardless of whether they are serving. When we worship from the seats it sends a powerful message of authenticity and brings credibility to our platform leadership. In addition, before and after each service, team members are committed to wear their green name lanyards, talk with people after worship services, and build relationships with the people of our community. 

Continue reading “Musician Church-Hopping Needs To Stop”

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