I Love/Hate California

Six months ago, I decided to be reckless. I was out running by a lake near my home in Asheville as that all-too-common feeling of stuckness squelched my every step. I needed a change — what else is new? — something to plan, somewhere to run. As I literally ran in this moment of desperation, my thoughts latched onto the notion of a half-marathon. I’d run my first half four years ago as part of a 25th birthday celebration that also included my baptism […]

29.

A couple housekeeping notes to start. First off, you might have noticed I’m starting to write more regularly with my awesome blogging brotherhood, Your Other Brothers. It’s becoming tedious to continue linking my new posts on that blog back to this one, so if you’d like to continue reading my posts over there, go ahead and subscribe to YOB! I’ll continue linking those posts on Twitter and Facebook, if that’s more your jam. Secondly, I want to re-commit to blogging here weekly. Wednesdays feel like […]

Goodbye, California

California, Growing up on the east coast, I always wanted to visit you. To venture to a foreign exotic land and bask in your palm trees and mountains and a neighboring ocean not named Atlantic. Forget visiting; I could have never imagined one day living within your 2000 zig-zagging miles of gorgeous borders. Upon actually living here, I could have never fathomed leaving. Four years ago, I set sail on a new adventure. At 23, I had no idea what I was getting myself […]

Donald Miller Hates Going to Church and I Do Too

I have few influences greater than Donald Miller, both inside my “real life” and out. His works have certainly impacted me as a writer; you could’ve played a drinking game with all my Donald Miller references in Struggle Central (drinking milk, of course). Beyond the mere sphere of writing, though, Donald Miller has impacted my very life. I owe much of my California journey to Through Painted Deserts, and meeting him at Storyline last fall was such a thrill. Donald Miller is […]

A Birthday Baptism Immortalized

A couple weeks ago, my friend sent me a picture. A picture hearkening back toward my past. The more I stare at it, the more I want to cry. A year and a half ago, I was baptized. Baptized on my 25th birthday despite ascribing to the name of Christ for most of the last quarter-century. Surrounded by roommates, parents, and most of my church’s small group, I would never be the same. It was a baptism with so many […]

My Storyline Conference Lessons: Suffering is Good

Last week, I blogged about my impressions from my recent trek to Nashville for the Storyline conference. Storyline is an organization run by Donald Miller and friends; its sole purpose, to help people of all shapes and sizes and ages find their subplots in God’s story. Moving beyond those first impressions, I learned a thing or two. Here’s the second of this two-part Storyline recap! Storyline Conference Lesson #1: Clear is Good A good story is a clear story. If I […]

One Year Ago

One year ago, I turned 25. A quarter-century. The halfway mark between 20 and…30. One year ago today, I was baptized. It was one of those ethereal moments that fully convinced my belief in a God. Those kinds of moments just don’t happen. Nobody gets baptized on a Tuesday night in a water park surrounded by church friends and roommates and a former supervisor and two beloved parents — and on his 25th birthday, no less. After I was dunked and […]

Starting Over Again: The Tale of Westward Ho 2

Once again, my life is starting over in the same magical place. After a long week on the road, I’m back in southern California. Last night I stared out at the Pacific Ocean and felt certain peace to be back home. “Home” in the temporary sense that yes, this is where I am meant to be at this fleeting moment in time. And yet in gazing over Lady Pacific, I couldn’t help consider the oceanic challenges suddenly facing me: finding a […]