Education: I graduated from CAJ (Christian Academy in Japan) in Tokyo. My missionary parents spent 50 years seving God in Japan.
I graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a degree in Sec.Ed. and taught & coached my first 5 years of ministry.
The Lord called me to preach and I went to Temple Baptist Theological Seminary and received my Master’s in 1985.
I started working on my D. Min. at Trinity (Deerfield) but didn’t finish before the Lord called us to plant a church in TN.
Comment to those looking at my sermons: I pray that the simple Word of God, clearly explained, will be a a good lamp to your feet and a bright light to your path in this dark world.
Sermon or series that made a difference: Warren Wiersbe preached through the book of Ruth for a week-long Bible conference. God spoke so clearly and unfolded the riches of His Word in a way I had never experienced before. God used that series to call me to preach the Word. WWW’s wonderful exposition of the Word has been such a great blessing and challenge for me to teach the Word clearly with relevance to daily life.
One of my favorite illustrations: A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:“Is anyone up there?”
“I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?”
“Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer.”
“That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch.”
A moment of pause, then: “Is anyone else up there?”
Family: I married Sheila over 28 years ago and am more in love with her today than when we were married. She is my best friend and counselor who keeps my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds.
We have 3 adult children back in the States and two teenagers here with us. We are blessed to have our quiver full and look forward to our first grandchild
What my parents think of my sermons: They think I’m a great Bible teacher, but what else would missionary parents say about their son who is a pastor???
My folks really wanted me to go back to Japan and carry on the work there when the Lord called me to preach. They were quite disappointed when I "settled" for preaching in the States. Now they are happy that I’ve finally gone out to the missionfield!
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: My sermons are too long, and I need to improve on applying the truth to everyday living, but she is a clock watcher anyway...! She would say, "It’s a good thing one of us is!"
She is still my biggest fan and encourager. She gives me feedback all the time which is one of the main reasons I have grown in my teaching.
Best advice given to me about preaching: Preach Christ because He is the only hope of the world. God, can and will, through Christ, bring healing and hope to our fallen human condition as the Spirit reveals Him in Scripture.
Books that have had an impact: Knowing God & A Quest for Godliness--J. I. Packer
The Divine Conspiracy and the Great Omission--Dallas Willard
Christ Centered Preaching & Praying Backwards--Bryan Chappel
God is the Gospel, Let the Nations Be Glad, Brothers We are Not Professionals, The Supremecy of God in Preaching--John Piper
Systematic Theology--Wayne Grudem
About verything by C. S. Lewis
A. W. Tozer’s books and sermons
Hobbies: I miss riding my Mean Streak (Kawasaki Vulcan 1600) in the Smokies this summer. The streets are too crowded and crazy here.
I love to read everything from theology to fiction, to motorcycle mags.
I played basketball in hs and college. My brother-in-law played on my college team and we now play in Korea! I still love to play, but have to use my head more than my body to be able to play with the 20 somethings as my body can’t quite keep up.
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: Love God with every ounce of grit you’ve got and let His love overflow your heart--people cannot explain away genuine love.
A great cloud of witnesses is cheering you to persevere all the way to the end because that’s where the race is won.
Something funny that happened while preaching: When I was a just a kid, a young missionary was preaching one of his first sermons in Japanese. He gave an illustration about eating his boxed rice lunch (obento), except he kept using the word (obenjo) instead. he thought, "This story isn’t thsupposed to be funny--what did I say wrong?" He found out later that he kept talking about eating his (delicious toilet) intead of his boxed lunch. As a kid, I thought that was about the funniest illustration I had ever heard!
What I want on my tombstone: He truly loved God with all his heart and spoke the truth in love.