Who Am I?
I was born in Colorado with the help of some forceps that left corners on my head. I burst forth into glorious light and have been learning, thrashing about, and trying to whine less ever since.
Though this story is rather long, believe me when I say I left out the details, and I’ve been told it’s still actually a pretty interesting read. So if you really want to know my story and understand more of what makes me tick, this is for you. I’d also recommend reading these three books that I mention on my “About” page – they would give you the fullest understanding of my worldview.
Now if you want me to read it to ya, just press play:
I’m an “odd duck”…
My father who has often used the phrase, “Well, that’s an odd duck!” to describe someone or something, slightly “off”. (He’s where I get most of my strange phrases from, and we have a lot of them!)
I’ve always been a bit of an “odd duck”. A misfit in every realm I stand in – from my family to my career(s).
I grew up on a farm and ranch my whole life, and yes, doing the real work – this was no “poser” farm. I branded cattle from sun up to sundown, built miles of fence, shot coyotes and gutted deer, drove tractor, combines and grain trucks. I played on hay bales with my siblings, went fishing, rode horses, went four-wheeling, and built stuff for fun.
My parents taught us to work hard and appreciate diverse but deep knowledge, and always try to turn it into “wisdom”. They nurtured a deep spiritual life within us as well.
I was always a musical kid. I began piano at age six. I loved words and loved songs even more.
I grew my hair out long, and started really appreciating “style”.
However, I always loved sports as well! I played every sport possible, and eventually found out I could run really fast for a very long time. After a few state championships, this paid for my college, along with a few writing scholarships.
I became the proverbial “social butterfly”. Everyone’s friend. No demographic or mold I couldn’t break into, and I truly appreciated them all!
I became student counsel president, by basically just listing all my nicknames from all the different social circles in my school. Duh, right?
The “both, and” guy…
I realized early on that we all tend to place a lot of limitations on ourselves. We say, “Oh I’m left brained, right brained, this political party, that religion, etc.” and we don’t do much thinking for ourselves. We don’t aspire to much. We’re quick to compare and let our self talk (mostly, and others (a little bit) slowly limit us and fix us to a mold.
I realized I could “act” whatever I wanted to be, and eventually I’d really be it.
Unfortunately, after a really bad falling out of a relationship with an older girl who I thought was my world, I used my chameleon ways to manipulate, self-protect, and basically rampage through all other relationships. I became a hook-up artist with no regard for another’s soul.
As in, we’re talking hundreds of beautiful ladies for the next 9 years… Literally. Hundreds.
Guys praised me for it. I trained others in “my ways”. My friendships revolved around it.
I would have gone exploring with my life and probably become a snowboarding bum after high school, if it wasn’t for scholarships. I decided I should take them and I thought I’d study psychology – mostly because I wanted to know why I hated sleep. Hated it.
Two years in, I realized there was no possible career I’d enjoy in psych and was convinced by others I should pursue a career in communications. I received my Public Relations degree, but meanwhile, I received an education in “relationships” and abuse of them as well.
I was met by an unmovable force who is the creator of the world and everything in it.
He loved me, and he hated me.
I realized I had been living with myself as the main character in the story of my life. Jesus said he was the main character; the only thing that could bring a world view together without holes. I was a supporting role, and I’d actually be happier if I played that.
He was right, but it still took a while to figure out how to do that well.
Realizing the story…
One day, while visiting home, I was sitting in our old baptist church my parents went to. I believe I was already recruited into helping with a collegiate ministry student leadership back at college (I knew all the right words, even believed them), but I was still having a hard time letting go of chasing women and the challenge and excitement of the conquest. I could justify anything I wanted – I was a both-and guy! God must be too, right!
The church had hired some odd guy with an odd title of “missions pastor” and he was talking to the church about some sort of “caring about others in another country” and telling some story of these other people’s lives and these crazy circumstances. It was exciting and scary.
I can’t remember a bit of it.
In that moment though, it was as if a light bulb in a dark room of my soul came on and my whole universe was expanded. It was as if this creator said to me, “I am the adventure you’ve been chasing. I am the only way you’ll ever be satisfied. I am your only chance at being used to your maximum potential. Stop trying to do it yourself. You cannot.”
Thus began my “profession”…
I continued to learn to release my need for control (and still am learning this), and I continued to learn to stop chasing and conquering “the next thing” (at least relationally speaking).
God used another young lady with similar issues to help break this – and her – and in a long story in itself, we later got married after she fought the creator and lost as well.
I’d say we both gained. A lot.
But during this time I had graduated and was asked to join as a staff person for the collegiate ministry.
I knew myself well enough to know that the only way I could possibly stay focused, on track, with ministry, marriage, just, everything, was to begin asking God this every single day,
Give me something so incredibly worth my time that I will not be able to get distracted and give into trying to create my own adventure, and please make it obvious cause I’m ignorant and selfish.
I still pray this.
He’s always been faithful to meet the need and then some.
I began working a Public Relations job for the university as well as the ministry staff.
With a passion for helping young men like myself, I was placed in charge of developing an entire men’s ministry branch. I went for it. I didn’t mess around at all.
I found that I loved developing strategies, organizations, people, and of course, myself.
Though I had been blogging and writing songs for years, I began to focus my blogging much more.
After a successful run at things with men’s ministry, I was noticed and recruited to become an interim pastor for a tiny new campus of mega-church in the region.
This provided more opportunities for development: staff, organizations, systems, communications, speaking, teaching, preaching, leading, and developing myself!
I was invested in, so much! I can’t even describe the amount of blessing, and grace, and forgiveness I received. I probably have no idea.
The more I became “ministry minded” and was given more responsibilities and trust, the more I started to see how my “both, and” outlook on life would benefit me and give me different perspectives than most in ministry and organizational leadership.
The new burning desire…
As most young men do who begin to find themselves in an industry, and especially those called into ministry (what the crap is wrong with them!?), I found myself thinking, “If I was ever the top-dog, I’d do it this way, that way, and all the better ways.”
I read a lot. I listened to a lot of podcasts. I wrote a lot. I thought a lot. I knew a lot of stuff. Just, stuff!
I kept developing side projects, resources, ministries, and was coming up with new ideas every day – driving my wife bonkers.
I decided the christian Church needed a lot of help, and I was going to need to give it. I love developing things and had come to believe that the church needed to add real tangible “worldly” value to their communities and become appreciated for more than just saying nice things (or too often, hated for not).
Thus, I decided that churches needed to do business. No, I mean, real commerce and trade business.
I didn’t know many people doing it or talking like this though.
I decided I needed to make it happen.
But I didn’t have a clue what that meant or how it could be.
So I decided it must mean either furthering my theological education and getting some letters by my name, or else just recruiting some friends and starting our own church somewhere. Anywhere.
God began detaching our hearts from our local situation, and I thought it was for my reasoning, but God had other plans.
God knew how close we were to setting out on our own, and so at that time he brought two different opportunities into our lives via being recruited to join collegiate church plants. We were flown out and studied one near the west coast. They were rocking! Our paradigm for ministry was shifted!
They asked us to join them and it seemed like a glorious next step.
However, in likely one of the only mature decisions I’ve ever made in my life (besides getting married), we chose to join a tiny startup church, purely based on the proximity to a school I thought I’d attend and the reputation of the lead pastor’s heart for developing young men and their character.
My wife miraculously got placed for her student teaching – super slim chance, but it happened.
So off we moved to a major university city called Lawrence, KS.
However, student teaching doesn’t pay, church plants don’t pay, and grad school makes you pay. As we examined our future, and the answer book, we decided it’d be best to not take on more debt.
So I needed a job for a while.
I searched high and low for something I could enjoy.
I started my own business.
The beginning of business…
We lived off savings for six months, in a town in which we didn’t know anyone, and I sold hundreds of thousands of dollars, of something that didn’t exist yet.
We began producing a monthly social magazine for an affluent community in the city. We hosted social events, connected businesses to their prime clientele, and told interesting stories of interesting people. The community loved it!
I learned a boat load. A huge barge-type boat load – about entrepreneurship, time and priority management, multiple business industries, client management, community management, advertising and marketing in many forms, copywriting, and so much more.
Most of all though, I learned about the pressures and stresses of running your own business. Not just “helping” someone, or even “taking ownership” in something. No, no. Actually having all the weight on your shoulders. Knowing you are where the buck stops. Never being able to “shut if off”.
After that business became profitable, I started another one with my friend.
Wanted to restore and repurpose furniture and household items, work with other local tradesmen and artists, and eventually even have our own products and maybe even flip a house.
Though it was really heading places, family issues in my partner’s in-laws brought it to an early and abrupt end before we really got it much off the ground.
During this time, I took an entire year off from all my writing, my other online side projects I had been running, and most social network activity.
I just needed to focus on building a business, a church, a marriage, and a community.
Plus, I had people stalking me online trying to figure out who this new kid on the block was, and rumor were spreading that I was going to try to evangelize the community. I didn’t need them knowing more about me than I knew about them, and I knew I couldn’t explain, “Hey it used to be my job to very clear and straight forward about what to believe and why.” So I shut it all down.
I also consulted with other local businesses on their communications and marketing, online presence, and such as that.
I learned a few things in this time:
1. I love developing people, their businesses, and helping them accomplish desires.
2. I love writing. Really, really, really.
3. I liked working on a team more than I though, but only a well qualified team.
4. I wasn’t that set on expensive education anymore.
5. Character matters more to God, and most people, than competence does.
Again, I missed writing and realized I needed it to think and clarify who I was more than anything else I did in life (outside of strengthening my very real relationship with God – that’s a given though).
I’m still “both, and”-ing it…
“Both, and” is not a worldview in itself. It’s not a disguised version of universalist “what’s okay for you is okay for you” type of thing. It has to be a part of a grander worldview. There are good and distinguishable differences in this world, despite popular belief (i.e. male of female, God or not God, can fly and can’t fly, etc.).
Yet, I believe a “both, and” approach expands the correct worldview into a more robust and effective approach.
More specifically, it expands you and me and our effectiveness in living it out rightly.
I’m convinced more than ever that we learn to limit too much. We limit ourselves and our abilities, and we extend this to our organizations as well.
Just a few easy examples:
- You have to focus on either online or print media only.
- You have to do either full-time ministry or full-time business.
- You have to either work from home, or on site.
- You have to either focus on making money, or caring about the people.
- You can either be mission minded, evangelical or attractional and water down your message.
- You either walk slowly with the wounded or run people over to push ahead.
- You either speak harsh truth, or you love people!
- You’re either caring about people or your ambitious.
- You’re either lazy and rest too much or you work constantly and neglect stuff.
On and on and on AND ON I could go… and I’m sick of it.
It’s not easy though. Living in the hard work of “Both, And” takes a lot of sober self-assessment, constant evaluation, a lot of coaching, mentoring, accountability from peers and submission to authority, a lot of cultural awareness, and so on.
It’s stinkin, hard work!
It also means getting off the “fast track” and being in something for the long haul.
I’m taking the long road…
So after more than a year off, I fired up many of my projects again, but especially my (this) eponymous blog.
I still have a passion for investing in and equipping young men to be actual men; thus I’m still running TheMajestysMen.com and it’s growing steadily.
I still am investing in the local church, preaching around the area, helping them establish good communications and systems, etc.
For myself though, I know I want to continue working deeper into “the marketplace” as I call it. I want to learn more about business and marketing. I want to contribute, learn, contribute some more, and learn some more.
I want to figure out the best way to continue to add value to the local communities we live in.
Thus, I’m settling more and more on the fields of education, software, and technology. I believe the mergence of these will be the most influential, value adding, possibility a person or organization can have in the future.
That’s not to say everyone should focus on it. I am convinced that a leader (and all churches) should be learning more about these sectors and applying themselves to understand and be capable of equipping from within them.
I’m also thinking that perhaps my best possibilities for moving in these directions will be my writing, communications and marketing, and my ability to rally and organize people.
I’ve got business coaches, writing coaches, life coaches, and some great spiritual mentors.
I have a good and faithful God.
I have a blog.
That’s about all I know right now.
P.S. If you made it this for, you’re my favorite! I’d love to hear from you and I’d love to hear your story as well. Write your own bio page and your own blog and let me know about it! Thanks!