Aug 272021 9 Responses

Hey Bayside

Dear Bayside,

90 days ago I did a Zoom interview with Andrew and Curt. It was my second conversation with Bayside, but it was the moment my mind suddenly realized my life could be drastically changing in a very short period of time. Three months later, I’m living in California.

Let me ask the question my mother is probably still asking…why?

For the past 19 years, I’ve been a Teaching Pastor and (for the past 13 years) Lead Pastor of Community Bible Church in my hometown of Fort Smith, AR. I lived across the driveway from my mom. It was an amazing two decades of not only watching a church grow from 300 to near 1700 (pre-covid), but also having children and watching them grow up with their grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins.

Why would anyone leave their hometown, a healthy church, and a loving family?

The reason is simple…your marriage is worth it.

Eight years ago, I began the discipline of writing on a routine basis. This blog was the accountability partner I needed in order to accomplish a long dream of mine…to be a writer. Having spent the greater part of a decade simply speaking, I started the blog in order to ensure that I would write on a regular basis. (Want to connect more? Find me here: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)

A few weeks into the process, I had nothing to write about so I wrote what I thought was the most basic/elementary piece of marriage advice ever written. I assumed everyone knew the idea I was presenting. To my surprise, the article wasn’t ignored. Instead, it was widely read. That began the habit of writing every Wednesday on the topic of marriage. Over time, a few of those posts were picked up by other outlets and garnered millions of views. This led to an agent, a book deal, and conferences. But more importantly, it has led to restored relationships, healthy marriages, and many children being raised by their mom and dad rather than splitting time between the two.

This is an outcome worth my total focus. When Bayside presented me with the opportunity to narrow my focus onto creating content that would strengthen marriages and families, I was intrigued. When looking at the state of our church, the season of our family, and the opportunity presented, it seemed like a perfect fit. So three weeks ago, the dog and me (and my golf clubs) got in a car and began to drive westward in order to meet my wife and children (who flew) in California.

To me, your marriage is worth it. Worth the change, stress, and grief that comes with a move. It’s worth the time, effort, and energy of creating content and climates in which your relationship will be strengthened. It’s worth all the upheaval because of what God can do when two people intentionally focus on loving each other.

If your marriage is worth it for me, I hope it’s worth it for you. Imagine if three years from now your marriage is in the healthiest spot it has ever been, you have surrounded yourself with a loving community of people who care for you, and you have positively influenced your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors strengthening their relationships as well. That’s what can happen if we take the teachings of Jesus and apply them at home. That is the task before us.

About Our Family

While I hope to meet each of you, I also hope you have the opportunity to meet our family. Each has a unique contribution to make to Bayside.

Jenny and I met in college. (We actually met before that but she ignored me.) We’ve been married for 21 years. She is originally from Oklahoma and prefers to stay behind the scenes if possible, hosting, organizing, and serving. She is the owner of Forte Media Partners, a full service advertising and marketing company. While her plate is continually full, she always thinks she has time to accomplish one more thing.

Ella is 16. For ten years she has talked about her sweet 16 birthday party and we were able to have that party the day before news broke we were moving to California. Her two favorite things are people and snacks. She has her own cooking channel on YouTube and will happily accompany you to any fine restaurant you desire. You will want to befriend her in hopes that she will make you some cookies.

Silas is 13. He’s funny, smart, and always looking for a way to one-up me. While both Jenny and I are introverted, Silas is even a bit more shy when you first meet him, but he’s a loyal friend once those bonds are made. He has a variety of tastes and since we have moved to California desires to go to the beach or Tahoe every weekend.

So Now What

Following our marriage conference on September 10-11, Pastors Curt and Andrew will join me for four Wednesday nights as we teach through Fearless Families. This study is for every person, married or single. It especially applies to parents in every stage. Join us in the room or, if you live outside the region, we can connect with the online study.

It’s an honor to join the family at Bayside. I look forward to seeing all that God does through our efforts.



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