I began my writing career as an advertising copywriter and aspiring screenwriter but God had other plans for me. After I told the story of how I came to faith in my first book, Baptism by Fire, all my gifts from then on—for language, creative problem solving, leadership, gathering—were redirected into serving Christ. During the season when my children were young this meant teaching creative writing and Junior Great Books, (and chairing a lot of meetings). As I grew in my faith, my desire to help remove obstacles and create entry points for others grew, too. This compelled me to create an original, arts-based vespers called The Renaissance Service (TM), organize/lead retreats at a high desert monastery, write the books The Pitcher’s Mom and Elijah & the SAT, and continuously expand my life of prayer and study.
Fifteen years into my walk with the Living God, I had the opportunity to pursue an MA in Theology at Concordia University, Irvine, which I completed in 2013. Born of that remarkable season of deep study and conversation was a new partnership with a classmate: a company we call icktank—short for “ichthus think tank.” Loaded Words: Freeing 12 Hard Bible Words from Their Baggage was our first co-authored book. Icktank Press also released a user-friendly version of my thesis work—Man Turned in on Himself: Understanding Sin in 21st-Century America— and happy are those, my palm-sized, “backpack apologetic” guidebook that helps talk through some of the very real and stubborn obstacles that stand between thoughtful people and the idea of a creator God.
In 2014, I was sent out to begin a new season, coming alongside Rev. Dominic Rivkin in his urban missionary work, and expanding my vision of revealing Christ in the City of Angels immeasurably. This included the active replanting work at my home church, HOPE L.A.. Over the past five years our tiny “ragtag” team of empowered lay leaders has become something of an outpost for ministry in the West Adams neighborhood, living out our Call as the priesthood of all believers. This includes launching HOPE Kitchen to provide a fresh, hot meal every Sunday morning for all our neighbors, starting the LOVE RISES Community Choir, and offering donation-based yoga in the sanctuary after worship.
Forever leaning into the fullness of God, in 2018, I began a formal course of study in Christian Formation and Spiritual Direction (CFDM), becoming a certified spiritual director in the month that marked my 25 year journey with Christ. I have no immediate plans to build a spiritual direction practice, but the gift of the training is ever present as I speak, lead retreats, and meet one-on-one with those who seek me out along the way.
Now, as I look to 2020 and beyond, I find myself putting aside several weighty drafts of a memoir-in-progress to play with some new forms of storytelling—a return to playwriting and a whole new thread of music and composing. The songs came quickly. My first single, Enter Here, will drop March 27. It will open the album I’m calling Life in the Key of God, songs by Heather Choate Davis brought to life by dear friends. Look for the release late summer. In the meantime, I will continue to delight in my vocation of creating, gathering, speaking, leading, teaching, praying, listening, following, and raising up the next generation of those who will carry within them the Eternal Flame.
Soli Deo Gloria
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