Education: I am still being "edu-ma-cated." I am currently attending Florida Christian College in the ADC program. I will graduate in May 2003. I have two years of Art college under my belt as well for Graphic Design. Sometimes, I feel that God allowed me that experience as I have used my ability in art more in the church than anywhere else. God teaches me more everyday through his word and ministry experience than I will ever learn in school. (I am very excited about finishing my degree though!)
Comment to those looking at my sermons: I pray that you find some use for my words. God has used them for their purpose here in Cocoa Beach. I hope that you can use His message through me to benefit you church. Please take anything of mine and tailor it to suit your church. I just am thankful for the many of you that allow me to use your material to benefit my church family here. Allow me to reciprocate with all glory to God.
Sermon or series that made a difference: We had a sermon series titled "The Call." I based it on a book by the same name by Os Guinness. It made a profound difference on my view of Christianity and my walk with God. Our congregation still talks about some of the principles that we looked at, and our elders have really taken drastic measures to make sure they are living out the calling for which God has gifted them. The desire of the church has changed because of this understanding of God’s word. Awesome!
One of my favorite illustrations: I like to make up my own illustrations using two of my favorite characters Cletus and Pete, two farmers. One particular illustration deals with using overcoming traditional hindrances and these two have their own viewpoints as to how far they will go with technology and its benefits. It ends up with Cletus riding on top of his brand new car, bought for him by Pete, with his team of horses hitched to it and pulling him into town, much to Sam’s surprise.
Family: I am 27(as of Nov. 30th, YEAAH!!)and have been married for 5+ years now. I have an awesome wife, Tanya, with whom I have 3 incredible boys, Brandon(4), Noah(2), and Gabriel(7 mos.) They are the light of my life and I could not have made it to where I am if my wife were not as supportive as she has been. I love spending time with my boys and taking them to soccer practice with the high school team I coach. We are very active within the programs of our church and so far God has been blessed.
What my parents think of my sermons: My father was a preacher when I was growing up so I feel like I am following in his footsteps a little. They don’t get to hear me preach all that often, but my father, last time he heard me preach, was almost tearful (hopefully because he was joyful and not because he was embarassed) and told me that he was very proud of who I turned out to be. I will always remember him for what he instilled in me as a young boy and his love for God’s word.
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: My wife thinks I’m the greatest, as all wives should about their husbands. But, she also is very quick to tell me when I am a complete bore and didn’t get anything across like I had planned. I love her honesty, I hate her honesty.
Best advice given to me about preaching: "Be myself and let God work through what He has gifted me with."
This was from one of the elders in our church during a meeting between them and myself about my preaching. I was nervous and didn’t know quite how to handle being the only guy on staff.
The other was this:
"You can only be as real to us as you are to God."
Books that have had an impact: The Call, Os Guinness.
The Search For God’s Own Heart, Andy Cook.
Transitioning, Dan Southerland.
All of Max Lucado’s writing (I want his intimacy with Christ)
Hobbies: I love to play sports, a lot of them, I like winning (I must win, gotta beat Justin Miller as often as possible.) Really though, I have coached the JV soccer team at the local high school for the past two years. I love preaching, writing sermons, and helping others do construction projects on their houses. (That way I don’t have to spend any money.) I love singing and playing guitar, and I want to record a praise and worship album someday. Can you handle all that? Can I?
If I could Preach one more time, I would say...: I have no idea, but I guarantee you it would be the longest sermon you ever heard.
Something funny that happened while preaching: My wife usually reads my sermons the night before, so I make sure nothing sounds silly or anything. She read one of my illustrations and she thought it was really funny. During the sermon, as I was getting to that part of the sermon where I was going to make my point with that particular illustration, my wife blurted out laughing, becaue she knew what was coming. I had a good laugh and everyone else did as well, because they know my wife and her laugh. Trust me, it’s something to hear!
What I want on my tombstone: Pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and extra cheese. (haha)