Hello. It's me. Jeff.
Introductions are fun.
They come in different flavors. They range from the Vanilla Introduction of “Hi. I’m Jeff,” to which you’d responded similarly (but with your own name… unless your name also happens to be “Jeff” which means I’m doubly happy to meet you). There’s also the Rocky Road Introduction, which for whatever reason, are a bit awkward. Maybe you’ve forgotten their name, and you’re with someone else, and you know it’s polite and appropriate to introduce them, but… what the heck is their name? There’s also the Mellow Yellow Introduction that occurs smoothly and flawlessly and after a few moments of visiting with them, you feel energized.
How would you name a flavor of Introduction?
After moving my blog to Substack, it occurred to me the other day - and from taking a few tips from other Stack-ers (is that we call ourselves?) that some introductions are in order.
Previously with my Wordpress blog, a visitor could lurk, read, and peruse without an introduction at all. People can still do that here, but the whole point is to subscribe and become part of a community in which you’re (hopefully) enjoying my content and participating in conversation along the way.
Subscribe now. See what I did there?
With a subscription model, my posts get magically delivered to your inbox, eliminating the need for you to have to stop what you’re doing, click a link, visit my website, etc. You can even participate in conversation (comment) from your email itself.
That ratchets up the community aspect.
In other words, we should get to know each other!
Hi, I’m Jeff.
For those of you new to the blog, I wanted to simply introduce myself. You can read my brief bio on the About Page, but I wanted to peel back a couple of onion layers of myself. I hope you’ll reciprocate a bit in the comments - let us know:
who you are
how long you’ve been a reader
where our hometown is
coffee or tea
Marvel or DC
Mac or PC
Not that you have to respond with anything other than a “Hi. I’m ______. I like cats.” I just hope you play along (and that you like more than cats).
For starters, I’m one of the most unpopular demographics in our culture today. I’m a married white male. I also like candy corn and peanuts as a snack. And zombie movies (any other Walking Dead fans out there?). While I don’t enjoy “long walks on the beach,” I have been a runner since 2014. Yep, I started running when I was 44. It’s a story that involves Montenegro but not James Bond.
I grew up in Arkansas - Little Rock. I did what it seemed everyone did there - became a Razorback fan. Yes, I can call the Hogs. Heck, I even helped produce a music video that “kind of” went viral back when Brett Bielema was the football coach.
Vocationally, I’m a pastor. I didn’t start out that way. I went to college1 intent on being a doctor, and along the way, I shifted to communications and never looked back. Who knew that working on yearbook staff and writing a column for the school newspaper would lead to starting a graphic design business with my best friend (and becoming a Mac Daddy2)? Ministry was not on my horizon then.
One year after graduating college, my girlfriend (now wife of 30 years!), my business partner/friend, family, parents and those in my local church all chimed in and processed with me what I understood then as my “call to ministry.” I sold my share of the business and moved to Texas for seminary.
That began an adventure in serving Jesus vocationally that has lasted to this day. It’s hard to tell that story without also telling a story about cancer, kids, college students, a church start from scratch and a move from Arkansas to Virginia. If you’re really into introductions and are fascinated/bored, you can read some of that journey here.3
We are empty nesters. Both our kids have done the college thing and are now married. Carolyn works at the local high school and also started a shaved ice food truck with her sister.4 Sam is an area director for Young Life, and Adelyn will begin teaching this fall after completing her MAT this past spring.
I do love me some coffee, but I can’t tell the difference between gas station coffee and fru-fru fancy coffee. I love reading - usually 2-3 at a time in the genres of good fiction, Christian theology, leadership, and history.5
I’m quirky. I know that. Donald Duck is my favorite cartoon character. And yes, I know he doesn’t wear pants, but I don’t emulate him.6
I am not on OSM these (old social media),7 but you can usually find me @journeyguy - which was my Twitter name since the church I started in Arkansas was Journey Church. I’ve kept the “brand” ever since.
Bragging rights? I’m a fantasy football champion. I started playing back in 1992 when you had to add the points yourself and actually do math.
And if you couldn’t tell… I like to write.
I’ve been blogging for a long time. I wrote a book that I self-published in 2012 called Super Center Savior, and I’m currently working on another book about the life of Peter the Apostle.
But enough about me
Tell me about you. And… it was really nice to meet you! I hope you’ll pull up a chair and enjoy the conversations that we have here.
Ouachita Baptist University - the link is a post, Ode to OBU, written in September 2010.
This is my Ode to Steve post - written in 2011, before Steve Jobs died.
This is on my old blog at journeyguy.com. One thing Substack doesn’t yet offer is the ability to write a series of posts and have links to all of them at the end of the post, like a table of contents. Wordpress allowed that through a plug-in, so it’s easier to follow along on the old blog.
Highly recommend the root beer flavor with cream in it. Tastes like a root beer float!
I’m also frustrated/disgusted with Disney these days, but that’s another post for another day.