I have the great privilege of being one of the pastors of one of the most delightfully broken churches I've ever been a part of; h2o church (www.h2ochurch.org) in Orlando, Florida. My and my buddies, Jim & Steve, form a quite irreverent trio of messed up men leading messed up people. People tell us they love our authenticity. I get that. I guess we are authentic; but mostly I think we're just tired of pretending to be something we're not. Tired of putting on a mask, standing on some pedestal, speaking about a photo-shopped image of Christianity that seems too good to be true. Especially when our own stories are full of struggle, doubt, and all the negative emotions that some religious people think aren't "Christian." Believe me, I didn't choose to get in touch with my emotions; for the longest time, I really liked living an emotionally stuffed life.
But then I met this ultra sensitive, emotional creature called a WOMAN. And everything changed.
I met my wife, Jana, on a Physical Therapy internship in a podunk, little town called Greensprings, Ohio. I offended her within 2 minutes which led to a sure-fire romance. We've been married now for 25 years. You know how married people say that the first year was rough, but then it's been awesome? Yeh, well, for us, it's been about 23 years of "really hard" and about 2 years of finding our rhythm, having somewhat worked through "our issues." If you press me to be honest, I'll admit that both of us brought tons of baggage into our marriage and our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.
God saved us by giving us has four kids, 3 girls and a boy. We're not sure how, they just kept popping out every year and a half, so we'd learn how to love. Of course, this greatly complicated life. How do you work on your own "stuff" when your life is packed full of marriage, ministry, family? I hardly had time to breathe. But as we struggled with marriage, and life, and depression, and religiosity, what was birthed inside of us was a fierce commitment to be REAL.
I didn't know what I was doing, but God knew what HE was doing and has used my brokenness, my family, my friends, circumstances, ridiculous trials and a host of other things to teach me how to walk with Him.
So this is my flailing attempt to intersect our story with God's larger story, in following Jesus as broken people.
I love Jesus, my family, fishing, reading, playing basketball, preaching about Jesus, drinking coffee, studying theology (Yikes, can you say "nerd?") and working out...though not always in the right order:)