My journey in this world began on a Wednesday. It figures, really, that I would be born on a Wednesday, halfway between the two extremes of Sunday and Saturday. I can never quite decide where I stand in life. Politically, I’m an insufferable moderate. Ideologically, a pragmatic idealist (if there can be such a thing). Socially, a fashionable computer nerd and a grammar nut.
There is, however, one topic on which I know where I stand: Jesus. I am one of his many disciples, and as I look back on my years of journeying with him, I can say with all sincerity that I would not trade them for the world—all of the tears that I’ve shed, the extreme pain that I’ve felt, have led to an unspeakable chorus of laughter in my soul, a blaze of joy that cannot be extinguished.
The most formative years of that journey were my college years. I was a small part of a student group called Utenited, and I don’t think I could overstate its impact on my life. It was Utenited that introduced me to a big God, and taught me to lean on him. It was Utenited that saw me through some of the most painful moments on this journey with Jesus and gave me the space I needed for healing to take place. And it was Utenited that, in the wake of receiving God’s call on my life, gave me a practical vision for what that call would look like.
It was also during my college years that I started my first business. Through much of high school, I’d worked as a technician in the IT department of a small financial services company here in Salt Lake City. So, when I quit that job to start my own business, I did what I was good at: IT.
One of the things that so intrigued me about running my own business is that I could determine the price I charged, and people would pay it! This became something of a game for me. I would charge different prices to ascertain what my true value was in the marketplace, and it was the money that drove me.
But as time went on and I continued this journey with Jesus, I found him tugging at my heartstrings. I wanted more. Making money for money’s sake was no longer enough. So, on a cool, late summer evening at the start of my senior year in college, I began to pray a prayer that would change my life forever: Here am I, all of me; take my life, it’s all for Thee.
Three weeks later, the desires of my heart were abruptly changed. I no longer wanted to finish my bachelor’s degree and head to California in pursuit of a Hollywood career. I wanted to stay in Salt Lake City, where I will one day plant and pastor a church that I hope will change the dialogue between Christianity and the rest of the world, by inviting people to experience the faith, rather than just hear about it (or, at least, about the people claiming to represent it) on the evening news.
For now, I write, telling stories with the hope of inviting our culture into a conversation that it’s long been missing, a conversation that I hope will bring us back to a place of comfort with what we cannot know, readying our hearts for a renewed sense of wonder and amazement in our everyday lives.
I recently published the first of what will be many novels. It’s titled, The Tale of the Elm Trees, and it’s a story that invites you to journey with a young man named Charlie Shaw through your deepest hurts and fears and into a newfound sense of magic and wonder on the other side.
Here in Salt Lake City, I continue writing and blogging while pursuing a few different graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, and both an MBA and a law degree (JD) at the University of Utah. (For my full résumé, please click here.)
I love deep conversation, especially when it’s about Jesus. I love art, coffee, philosophy, and good food. And more than anything else, I love people. I love their stories; I love their quirks; I love everything that makes them unique.
Finally, I am available for speaking engagements. If you would like me to come and speak in your community, or if you’d just like to drop me a line, please get in touch with me. I would love to hear from you.