Returning to Sender
When I was a student at ACU and asked, “Where are you from?” I would often say, “I’m from Radford Hills, and I was born in Hendrick—it’s down off of Pine.” I am thankful to be from Abilene, Texas. I went to Valley View Elementary, Taylor Elementary, Lincoln Junior High, Abilene High and Abilene Christian University. I was educated and shaped into the man I am by my experiences in Abilene. I love Abilene and am excited to be returning to my sender. Easily the best thing about me is my wife, whom I met as a freshman at ACU. Becki is my favorite human! She is my encourager and supporter. She loves me! And she is the mother of our two daughters who also hail from “Hendricks, TX.” We lived in Abilene most of the 1980s. I was on staff at Highland Church of Christ, and Becki started the Junior Achievement program in the local schools. Our greatest achievements, our daughters Courtney and Carlee, are graduates of ACU who are now settled into lives of their own. Courtney and her husband Jason and son Clark [“Super Baby!”] live in Denver, Colorado—a great place to visit! Carlee was just married July 23rd and will be living in Dallas. Our children love and follow Jesus, and with them we are well pleased!
As I begin to serve as the Executive Director of Connecting Caring Communities, I am thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to return home and invest my life in the work of restoration that is foundational for the spreading of God’s Kingdom throughout the communities that make up Abilene. As Peter Block puts it in his book, Community: The Structure of Belonging:
"Restoration is about healing our woundedness—in community terms, healing our fragmentation and incivility. It is only out of this healing that something new can emerge."
I am a fallen, broken man. I live on a fallen, broken planet. But my brokenness has been healed by the grace, mercy and love of God! It is the grace, mercy and love of God that is our hope. It is learning to live out the most important commandments of loving God and loving people [Matthew 22:36-40] that will change our lives and change the world. I am here to love God and love people. Each person in Abilene is created in the image of God and precious to him. I want to help the College Heights community to thrive. I want all the people of Abilene to be invited to bring their giftedness and willingness to the table as we all work to incarnate the words of Jesus’ prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”