My 2015 In Review

I don’t know about you, but I can’t figure out where 2015 has gone. It’s been an eventful year, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t seem like it was terribly long ago that I was ringing in the new year with friends.

This year has seen its share of ups and downs, excitement and difficulty, elation and frustration. But all in all, it’s been a great one! I’ve witnessed some amazing television (Bloodline, Quantico), seen a few incredible movies (Tomorrowland, SPECTRE, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and immersed myself in some wonderful music (Zac Brown Band, Adele, so many great songs from Nashville – and Liz Vice sounds even cooler on vinyl!).

Here are some of this year’s highlights:

My dad kicked lung cancer’s butt!

I’ll never forget spending the second weekend of the year at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon in Augusta while my dad had a portion of his lung removed. The people there were nice, and the folks at Fisher House were wonderful and welcoming to my mom and me.

Cancer is always a scary thing to hear, but my dad handled the surgery and every treatment with a good attitude and a sense of humor. He was able to celebrate his 70th birthday as a healthy man! Glory to God for the healing!

We survived an office move.


During the spring and much of the summer, the Eastridge staff spent our days in temporary digs. We finally got rid of the trailers we’d been leasing for a decade and made plans to renovate the house on the church property as offices.

The original estimate was about three weeks’ renovation. It took three months. Somehow we were able to keep the church running – including VBS – with no conflict while operating on just the basic office needs in spaces that served as classrooms on Sundays and Thursday nights. It’s a testimony to the amazing people I work and serve with.

I got to go to Walt Disney World three times.


Only people who share my family’s Disney obsession will be impressed, I know. I’ve had a couple of years where I’ve been able to go to Disney World twice, but this was the first time I went three times. We took a family trip for Spring Break (awful crowds – never again) where my mom fell and broke her wrist. I took a “grown ups” trip with a friend of mine in September, and we took another family long weekend trip in November to experience some of the Christmas fun. I hope I’ll have more three-trip years.

Not only did I get to see Liz Vice live, but I got to have great conversation with her, AND I got to help her out.

If you know much about me at all, you know that for a little over a year I’ve fallen head over heels for Portland-based Christian soul singer Liz Vice. Her retro take on music is refreshing, her voice is second to none, and she just happens to sing songs about Jesus!

She came to Atlanta in October, and I went in with some friends to get a table at Eddie’s Attic to hear her in person. She communicated on Facebook that her band needed a drum kit for the show, and Eastridge let us loan her the Jackson Lake Campus drums for the night, which meant extra time to hang with her before and after the show.

Liz is a down-to-earth lady with a huge voice, and I think she’ll go places.

I became a published author!


I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been aware of what writing is, though I’ve only had the opportunity to write professionally for about five years. As an outgrowth of these writing opportunities, I received the challenge from my colleagues and editors to write a book.

The result, Football, Faith, & Flannery O’Connor: A Love Letter To The South, was a dream come true, though maybe one of those dreams I never thought would be real. I wouldn’t trade the process for the world: the writing, the editing, the promotional fun, the autograph signing. (And I still have plenty of autograph cards available; if you didn’t get yours, hit me up!)

I owe so much of it to my friends, (former) editors, and writing champions David Swindle and Hannah Sternberg – and to the incomparable Lisa De Pasquale for writing the intro.

That’s my year! Here’s to a year unlike any other, and an even better 2016!