top of page

ABOUT ME

 SUMMARY:

I grew up in a military family (army) and then played basketball for West Virginia University.  Upon graduation I spent four years traveling with Campus Crusade for Christ’s basketball team Athletes in Action.  Shortly after leaving Campus Crusade I spent six years studying at Dallas Theological Seminary and earned a Masters in Bible.  I spent ten years pastoring the divorcing population of Fellowship Bible Church North in Plano TX, and then five years as the small groups pastor for Grace Fellowship Church in Johnson City, TN.  Currently I own and manage a roofing company and counsel couples and individuals part-time.  I first wrote Validate! in 2004 and have been using the concepts, principles, and insights in my counseling and discipleship practice for over ten years.

 

MORE:

My passion for mending broken relationships began with my own failed marriage in 1989.  My eleven year marriage came to an end and I found myself wondering how a loving and compassionate God could let such a disaster happen.  I was the father of a 2 year old daughter and the thought of having to visit her to spend time with her was brutal.

 

After a couple of productive, soul searching years, I began attending Fellowship Bible Church North and the church’s divorce recovery group called Solos.  Within a year or so, I was asked to join the staff part-time to care for and support the divorcing and formerly marrieds in the church.  Reluctantly I agreed which started me on an amazing journey developing this material.

 

I spent ten years supporting, counseling and encouraging hundreds of divorcing people through the recovery process.  I learned more than I could have imagined about relationships, particularly how poorly I had managed my own marriage.  I made a huge mistake when I married the first time.  I believed that you only needed faith in a big God, and marry a Christian, and all would be good.  What I didn’t know is that there is this thing called the flesh that gets in the way of much of our enjoyment of life and walk with God.  It was true for me as well. 

 

While at Fellowship North I met and married my wife Karen.  She has been such a delight and source of unconditional love for me.  In addition to my first daughter who is 28 and living in TN, we have four children living at home – all are teenagers right now.  Life is very active, challenging, and wonderful.

 

After ten years of working with struggling and broken relationships I left the staff of Fellowship North.  I longed for the day I could get on the other side of the marriage issue.  Instead of working to pull relationships out of the ditch one person at a time, I hoped to find a ministry position where I could influence relationships, particularly couples, to grow and develop the love and intimacy they experience so they will not end up divorced.

 

We joined the staff of a growing church in Johnson City, TN called Grace Fellowship Church.  My role was the small groups pastor.  It was an ideal fit for my skill set and gave me many opportunities to work with leaders and influence their relationships with their spouses, families, and small group members.  We spent five memorable years in Tennessee.  The last year and a half of our time there, I had opportunity to host seminars and meet with clients referred to me in a newly formed counseling center where I worked part-time.

 

What I have found is that many caring and loving people get discouraged with their failure to communicate.  Either they don’t feel heard, or what they have to say is rejected.  They feel marginalized, unsupported, uncared for, and ultimately unloved.  As time goes on the unresolved conflict becomes so weighty that each person feels they are doing all they can to survive in the relationship.  There is often blame, hurt feelings, repeated outbursts of anger, rejection, escalation, withdrawal, and the ensuing sense of hopelessness.  This is so common in my counseling experience that I re-wrote the material in the original book and added three chapters to better explain the process of allowing God to love through you even in the midst of conflict (actually in spite of the conflict).

 

Today I use all thirteen chapters of this material in a process I call marriage discipleship.  I train believers to surrender to the Lord in this most critical relationship building or breaking process called conflict.

 

You can read more about Marriage Discipleship in my blog.

 

 

bottom of page