Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Methodist Blogger Profile: JD

JD of Proverbs 19:20

I was born in 1973 in Florence, AL. I have lived in South Louisiana and South Texas. I went to High School in Victoria, TX, college at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, and now reside in Spring, TX, a little suburb of Houston, TX, where I work for an Offshore Gas Pipeline Company.

I was a cradle Catholic attending Catholic school from Kindergarten until I graduated college. About 5 years ago, in March 2001, I started attending First United Methodist Church in Houston, after I allowed my life to stray from the church down a path that involved lots of alcohol and really stupid activity. I met my wife in June 2001. I got married in November 2002. Found out we were having our daughter in April 2003, and completely quit drinking and rededicated my life to Christ shortly there after. Beside my faith, my wife and daughter keep me grounded. My wife helps me balance my mind and my heart in all that I post and discuss. My daughter gives me inspiration and encouragement everyday of my life.

I help my congregation with the television ministry and have helped coordinate Financial Peace University.

Why do you blog?
Well, on my first post, I put the following: “I am starting this blog to share my thoughts on specific topics that I am studying within the Bible. Sometimes, they will be on a specific verse through which the Holy Spirit has spoken to me. Other times, it will be on a lengthy reading...over time. You may disagree with my thoughts, you may agree, and hopefully you have an opinion. That is fine. The important thing is that you are thinking about the Word of God!”

I still believe in that endeavor, although, getting involved in the Methoblogosphere has opened up some more intellectual discussions about faith that I never imagined I would have. That being the case, my posts have morphed into somewhat of a mixture of my faith walk, addressing issues that I am dealing with, and some fun stuff that I may be doing with my family as well as my original intentions.

I have recently realized, as a few of my fellow bloggers have, that I need to back away from some of the conversations that I get involved in, unless God really calls me for my input, and focus on spreading the truth of Christ. I do my best, with the help of my wife, to attempt to not be too “religious:” to always put Christ first, and my denomination second.

What has been your best blogging experience?
The friends and mentors I have made as well as the intense intellectual discussions that can occur every now and then. Even though I am not as well read as some of the individuals posting, I really enjoy their input and insight on the topics that we discuss.

What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
A wise man once told me, who was told by someone wiser than him(a blogger article), “When I began blogging last January, I read an article that advised that in order to keep readers 1) update your blog often and regularly and 2) keep it short. I know that for myself, I'm much more likely to read short postings than longer ones. Shorter and more frequent works well for me. It forces me to be succinct and allows readers who don't have much time to get the point. keep experimenting!”

I can honestly say, I have really tried to keep with that, but my next big topic blows that theory out of the water. I think I have been reading your (John the Methodist) blog too much and your posts are rubbing off on me…as far as length goes.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
Jason Woolever, Angela Messenger, and John the Methodist
The last one is not a suck up read, I enjoy the intellectual debate and the broad range of readers who comment on Locusts and Honey. But my mood does change and I have been known to frequent other’s blogs.

Who are your spiritual heroes?
Jesus, of course

St. Augustine; Pope John Paul II; Martin Luther; St. Paul; C.S. Lewis

Different reasons for each, but the one thing they all have in common, is no matter the struggles they faced in life and the temptations that arose, they always stayed focused on my first choice, Jesus Christ, and did all that they could in their teachings to be true to the gospel.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Bible by The Holy Spirit (The ultimate Life Guide)
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Great fiction and story)
Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, Mike Yorkey (Because, as the title suggests, every man in this world, no matter how close they are to God, struggles with sexual temptation, especially within the American culture. Men could use all the help they can get.)

What is your favorite hymn and why?
Contemporary - How Great is Our God by Chris Rice (the title says it all)
Traditional – On Eagle’s Wings (Probably because it is one of the few hymns I loved in the Catholic Church and can continue to sing in the Methodist Church. The cool upside to this hymn, I can actually sing it.)

Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
Through recent treading, prayer, and discussion I have come to a different, but not all-together changed, understanding of homosexuality and the debate in the church.

It is my understanding that many of the debates, tirades, and hurtful things said about homosexuality in the context of the Christian/Methodist church are more politically driven that faith driven. If we all were to look at homosexuality for what it is in God’s eyes, and not so much in society’s eyes, we may be able to better reach those individuals that are challenged by homosexuality and attempt to comfort their affliction as we do adulterers, divorcees, sex addicts, alcoholics, drug addicts, abusers, etc.

I know I opened a can of worms on that front, but I sort of do that sometimes…stir the pot and see what happens.

What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
Religious pluralism and the denial of basic Christian tenets in an effort to make Christianity more palatable to today’s modern culture.

If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
Term limits and the ability of all peoples, in all levels of government, across the entire United States, to have the ability to recall an individual that is voted into office under false pretenses. (That is probably the extent of any discussion you will get from me regarding politics. To have a real, honest discussion about faith issues, I believe all politics must be removed from the discussion.)

If you could effect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
Get back to truthfully standing-up for the traditions and scripture that we base our faith on, as well as return to the original evangelical tradition of the church that allowed us to grow and have such an impact in the US. I appreciate that we are inclusive and that we minister to all, as we should, but I also would like us to start practicing what Christ called all Christians to do in Matthew 18:15-17. “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” There are too many leaders in the church that are placating to the norms of society instead of focusing on the unchanging truth of God and His Word.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Let Go and Let God.

What, if anything, do you worry about?
Finances and am I being a good steward of the blessings God has provided my family.

If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
No. I am the sum of all that I have lived so far in my life. I may not like some of the stuff that I have done, and even be ashamed of certain things, but I know that the man that I am in Christ, the husband I am to my wife, the father to my daughter and the friend to co-workers and friends is only because of what I have lived so far. Knowing what I know now about faith and such, would I make different choices? Maybe, but the one thing about being Christian is that the right thing to do is not always the easy thing and as Christians, we still fall from time to time.

Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
Denver area (so my wife could be closer to her sister and we could REALLY enjoy nature) or somewhere in Pennsylvania (I have visited there once and found it to be one of the most beautiful places in the US)

What do you like doing in your spare time?
Spending time with the family, blogging, reading, watching movies.

What is your most treasured possession?
My family.

What talent would you most like to have?
Either to sing and play guitar (at the same time), or to really be able to put all the visual ideas I have in my head to paper.

If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
St. Paul, Martin Luther, John Wesley


Anonymous said...

FPU rocks!

Anonymous said...


You have a lot to say and a truly catholic spirit.

Great photos and videos too!

Merry Christmas and the peace of Jesus Christ be with y'all. (It's a Texas thing...)

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

JD said...

Thanks, guys! I appreciate the encouragement.


I am assuming you mean catholic in the sense of universal...I try to put Christ first and my denomination second. To me, Christ is universal, my denomination is personal.

PAX y'all