I am a 39 year old husband and the father of two homeschooled boys (take that, Jim Winkler). Trained as a lawyer at the only Big 10 university named after a compass point, I have been cranking out briefs for 14 years. Those evening and weekend hours not occupied by my duties as a member of the lay leadership team at my UM congregation are devoted to my family and my new adventure as a student in Asbury Theological Seminary’s Extended Learning Program (ExL). I am a Mac user and an Arena Football League fan. I believe there is a right way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I grew up working as an amusement park game operator. I won the spelling bee in fifth grade. I had a rabbit named Thumper. I drive a four-door family sedan, but it has a stick-shift and a wing on the back. I have 375 episodes of Fibber McGee & Molly on my iPod. I’m the world’s slowest ninja. I blog under a pseudonym because I would prefer that my current employer remain unaware of my anticipated career change.
Why do you blog?
I started blogging as a way to chronicle my journey through seminary and into ordained ministry. As Mr. Lunt says in Gideon: Tuba Warrior… “you can’t lose the memories, man.” I also enjoy the sense of community that has developed in the Methoblogosphere. I love making imaginary friends on the interwebthingy.
What has been your best blogging experience?
You never forget your first comment.
What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Since I am a novice blogger, I am entirely unqualified to give any advice. Measure twice and cut once?
If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
I keep up with as much of the Methodist Blogroll as I can. Beyond that, I hit Get Religion, The Common Room, and MacRumors every day.
Who are your spiritual heroes?
My maternal grandmother, who walked and talked with God every day of her life. Oscar Carrasco, my former pastor and current Director of Connectional Ministries in the Northern Illinois Conference. My pal John, who turned his life upside down and became a Roman Catholic priest, and then did it again to become a Dominican Brother. My wife, who is a brand plucked from the burning and has become a potent force for the Kingdom.
What are you reading at the moment?
Texts for my ATS ExL classes. My favorite of the bunch is The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins.
What is your favorite hymn and why?
I grew up Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, so I’m a sucker for “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” What boy would not love a hymn that turns “weapon” into a four-syllable word?
Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
Yes, thanks for asking. Oh, sorry. The death penalty. Used to be fer, now I’m agin.
What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
Mandatory term limits.
If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church , what would it be?
Eliminate the trust clause. If you love something, set it free….
What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Life becomes much less of a disappointment once you figure out that you’re not the center of the universe.
What, if anything, do you worry about?
I worry about saving enough money so that when I head off to seminary full time my wife can continue to homeschool and I can focus on my studies, without incurring any debt.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
Having seen enough science fiction TV shows to know there is a great deal of danger in messing with this sort of thing… I would like to have a chance at a “do-over” for every instance of impatience I’ve shown my sons.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
I would like to live in a small town within a 20 minute drive of a college town with a trauma center equipped hospital somewhere in the Midwest.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I play video games with my boys, watch old movies with my wife, and mess around on the computer when they’re all asleep.
What is your most treasured possession?
What talent would you most like to have?
Music composition and performance.
If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Jesus, David Pogue, and Mike Hohensee.