I am a freelance writer and teacher living in northeastern Turkey with my lovely wife, Shannon, and our three children: Hudson (4), Katelyn (2), and Rachel (baby). I am the author of Run Like a Stallion (2014) and The New People Next Door (forthcoming late 2016, co-written).
I am a son of South Carolina, born in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains where I learned to ride bikes and horses and go-carts; where I learned to throw a tight spiral and shoot a 15-foot bank shot and pole vault; where I chewed rabbit tobacco dipped in brown sugar and tried to smoke it rolled up in notebook one time in elementary school; where I learned to pray.
I am a son of my textile worker-turned-entrepreneur-turned-politician father and my nurse-turned-homemaker mom. I shared a home and memories with a brother and two sisters, a rotating lineup of Venezuelan baseball players, and a German exchange student. I found my wife on a football field and took her away, first to North Carolina, then across the ocean. We have four-year old dragon slayer and two little princesses filling our house with laughter, joy and thanksgiving.
I am a son of the Triune God, who made peace for me that I might have peace and life with Him. Each day I want to love God, whomever He puts before me, and whatever it is I’m doing at that moment.
Although I can’t claim to be a son of Turkey, we’ve been setting up camp here since 2010. For the first two years I coached the Stallions American Football Club in Istanbul. I like to tell people that I coached and played professional football in Europe, which is technically a true statement even if it leaves out some of the, um, more clarifying details.
I am a son of words: a lover of books, hardcopy newspapers, sports journalism, and doing the crossword puzzle in ink. In college I wrote songs for a country band, and even tried my hand at playing lap steel guitar (I failed). For a short while I wrote a column for a start-up sports magazine in Greenville, SC and freelanced for the local paper. Other jobs included Sports Information Director for a small university and a cold-calling telemarketing gig, hawking large-format printers.
Our family currently lives in northeast Turkey, where we get by teaching, writing, and mooching off the world-famous hospitality of our Turkish neighbors.
My first book—Run Like a Stallion: How American Football Explains Turkey—is a cultural introduction to Turkey through the eyes of an American football coach. In late 2016, Rainer Publishing will release my second book, The New People Next Door: How to Love Your Cross-Cultural Neighbor (co-written with Drew Taylor).
This blog features essays and other scribblings that fit somewhere within the scope of God, wonder, and the world, which is another way to say that I am a generalist. I enjoy writing on the Bible and Christian theology, cross-cultural living and current events, fatherhood, the family, and sports—and the wonder of it all.