A Body Gathered

My favorite thing about Sundays is getting to gather with fellow believers to celebrate Jesus. However, this wasn’t always the case.

I went through a period recently where this gathering produced some tough emotions and it was such a struggle for me. Frankly I found myself not wanting to attend, and dealing with panic attacks and extreme anxiety walking in the doors of a church. (Spoiler alert: anxiety has become a thorn in my side. I’d like to share more of that story another day).

When I was there, I couldn’t sing.

It was no mistake that we found ourselves sitting under teaching from Scripture discussing the church (and not sugar coating the good, bad, and ugly). It was no mistake we were singing songs reminding us of God’s faithfulness and goodness. I’m grateful for the role that Brainerd Baptist, Micah Fries, and the rest of their Pastoral team played in my story. They love Jesus, they love His Word, and they love people.

One of the new songs I heard during this time was one from Austin Stone Worship called “Jesus is Better.” Here are a couple of lines from the lyrics:

In all my sorrows, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
In all my victories, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Than any comfort, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
More than all riches, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our souls declaring, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our song eternal, Jesus is better – make my heart believe

This was my prayer: Jesus you are better, make my heart believe.

And. He. Did.

Not even going to lie: this time wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But it also wasn’t meaningless. God allowed this season, this suffering for a purpose. He was using it to produce something in us, in me.

Brandi is the bestest person in the whole entire world. She carried an immense load for our family. There’s no doubt that she is God’s good gift to our family, and to me.

This morning I find myself anxious again: but it’s an anxious excitement to have the chance to gather again with the church. We’ll celebrate Jesus together, and then the church will scatter until we are able to gather again.

Maybe it’s your story that church doesn’t bring this level of excitement for you. Maybe for you it brings dread, or anxiety, or maybe it doesn’t produce any emotions at all.

There’s grace in abundance for that.

Because of that grace, today you’ll find me gathering with my family (most of which I don’t share any blood relation) to worship.

My song eternal: Jesus is Better,


Here’s the entirety of the song in case you want to listen:

A New Journey

Welp, it’s been a minute since there’s been any action here on the blog, but there’s a story to tell and I’d like to finally start sharing it.

It was a cold, dark, and rainy night in 1984…

I’m joking. Not going that far back with this story.

You might’ve noticed that my social media presence (I’m looking at you Facebook) has not been what was my “norm” over the past couple of months. Heck, I even shut it down for a month or so. The past 8-12 months have been the most difficult of my life. The toll that it has taken on our lives physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally is absurdly high. There is more to that story that I think is important for me to share, but not today.

Let’s fast forward. We find ourselves doing something that we really didn’t think we’d do. We moved from Atlanta a month ago and moved to Chattanooga. While the draw to Chattanooga has always been present for us (hello rivers, mountains, and city living!) we really never thought it would be our reality. That changed and we felt like God was opening the door and changing some of our direction and focus for the next season of our lives. Looking back over the past month it is amazing to even consider how God knew this was what we needed to survive the latest battle we’d face.

Brandi and I feel a huge burden to be restorers. We believe that God has allowed us to endure a large amount of suffering (again, another story for another day) so that we might have the ability to partner with others and see them be restored, and to help others see their ability to play a role in the restoration of others.

What does that mean?

We are in the beginning stages of starting a non-profit that is dedicated to the restoration of people, families, and communities from their place of brokenness back to their intended design.

Our vision is to partner with churches, families, organizations, and other groups to pair them with an individual, a family, or even a community to see restoration take place. Our desire is to help the church of Jesus be the hands and feet of Jesus in the midst of the brokenness of the world we live in. It’s not our goal or desire to be an organization that does all of the restoring, but rather see a movement of restoration take place across the land. This can only happen if we’re willing to leave our comfort zones and engage with the broken.

Currently we’re working to get all of the administrative tasks taken care of- Business incorporation, non-profit status, board of directors, the list goes on and on.

Personally, we’re also working on being restored ourselves. Right now I just feel broken and Bran has carried extra weight in all the areas of our family.

How can you help?

  • Pray for our continued restoration
  • Pray for clarity around the vision of what God is allowing us to do here
  • Consider partnering with us by donating your time or abilities to help see restoration take place
  • Buy Brandi nice things. She deserves it for putting up with me. 😉


There’s way more to this story to tell. And we’re finally ready to share it…