About JP

So what should you know about me?

I have three children (two boys and one of superior gender).  I have one wife and I have one dog (we are not on speaking terms–me and the dog I mean).

I was born in Maine, lived in Arizona and Vermont, was educated (M.Div) in Arkansas, Tennessee, and NYC, and currently live on Long Island, New York.  I hate the New York Yankees (Go BoSox!).  But I love the New York football Giants.  I am Eli Manning’s best friend (that he doesn’t know personally I mean).  I cried when his head split open, it’s true, I did.

I grew up poor (relative to my community).  I don’t regret it.  I grew up in the fellowship of the Churches of Christ Acapella tradition.  I don’t regret that either–even though I might quibble with my faith family of origin from time to time.  I grew up shy.  I still am.  Sometimes I regret it.

I love to write.  I need to write better.  I am in process right now.  When I am not writing I am doing myriad other things that make me smile.  I play guitar (but I don’t know the words to any songs).  I work out (but the belly pudge refuses to melt away).  I play sports with my children (but I can’t throw with a LAX stick left handed).

My wife is cool.  We’ve been through a lot together.  We are still going through a lot together.  Regardless she has always been cool.  She is my best friend.  She and the children are the only people I never grow tired of seeing.

My dog is not so cool.

I am the “pastor” for the West Islip Church of Christ.  I put “pastor” in quotation marks because everyone calls me “Jesse.”  Except my mom, she calls me “Jay.”  Our tradition doesn’t use the word “pastor”, but apparently everyone else does and we just never got the memo.  So when I introduce myself to someone (like I am to you) I call myself a “pastor” (but always in quotations).  As pastor I preach weekly, teach classes, meet with the sick and needy, and perform the various ceremonies that mark the journey of life.  It’s a great gig.  The very best.  Sometimes I try to speak prophetically.  I am trying more and more.  This makes everything else more difficult.  It becomes a bad gig.  The very worst.  But whether good or bad, when God is glorified none of it matters.

My greatest spiritual influence is Jesus Christ.  Distant runners up (but still of great importance) are my dad (LP), Gander Brook Christian Camp, John Mark Hicks, Barbara Brown Taylor, Anne Lamott, Stanley Grenz, William Willimon, C.S. Lewis, and Star Trek.

Something I do well: frisbee throwing.

Something I do poorly: Swimming.

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite dessert: Napoleon

Favorite movie: Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid (they survived, I know it!).

Favorite TV shows: Sports, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, American Pickers, more sports

Favorite music: Rachmaninov, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Eagles, James Taylor, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Languages I know: English, I can read a little koine Greek, and I can curse like a sailor in Acadian French.

When I hear the words “best friend” the person who immediately comes to my mind (aside from my wife): Dan Flanders.


5 Responses to About JP

  1. Monica Jerkins says:

    You forgot to mention your incredibly amazing sister (i.e. me) who also writes (and needs to write better)!
    Loving your blog!

    • Of all the free blogging platforms I prefer wordpress.com (not to be confused with its fee-laden counterpart wordpress.org). Of course there are differences of opinion on this, but it is quick, easy, relatively powerful, and has widget for everything under the sun. Plus bro can show you the ropes. 🙂 Get out there and do it. Schools done. Don’t rest on your laurels. 🙂 Once you have a blog to link to then I will be sure to add my “incredibly amazing sister.” To be honest I toyed with the idea of doing a bro/sis blog and inviting you in the design, etc. But the content I have to put up is too voluminous–and so I thought two separate sites would serve us better.

  2. Sandy Davis says:

    Jesse, you don’t know me and in fact, the way that I even know about you is through a person I don’t know either but we are FB friends. Don’t even ask how that happened. So anyway, I saw something over in the right hand scroll screen on my FB page about Christian Scholars and I glanced at it and found your recent writing. Wow, I feel like someone understands something–I am a female raised in the C of C, knew that there were not really 3 wisemen before I could even count, and graduated from Lipscomb in 1972. Making me now 61 years old. I have my MDiv from a Southern Baptist Seminary, served as a counseling pastor in a Covenant Church and am currently attending an Anglican Church. And when someone asks me what church I went to when I was growing up, I always say “It’s kind of hard to explain.” I live in Southern California where no one has ever even heard of the C of C. They generally don’t even know that Pepperdine is a religious school. But really, this Christian Scholarship thing happened at Lipscomb? The one there in Nashville that I went to? The one where some guy (not the president and not the dean but some other guy with a title) told a student who worked a union job that he could not have a Free Hoffa bumper sticker on his car? That Lipscomb???? If so, I guess wonders never really do cease…..

    • Sandy,

      I do not envy your religious upbringing. I know some of what you speak of, but of course I am a white male, which put me in a place of privilege within the C of C’s–so my experience was quite different. I am thankful you read the reflections. Yes, that happened at ‘your’ Lipscomb. Perhaps Bob Dylan says it the best, “The times they are a changin'”

      May God bless your current fellowship and your ministry therein. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Richard Scott says:

    Jesse, a pastor, poimen, in Greek, translates “shepherd”, and is one of a few words used referring to men selected to be spiritual leaders of the congregation of which they are members. Pastors feed, shepherd. Peter, an elder, presbuteros, exhorted other elders to shepherd, anthropos, their flock, poimnion,
    You, from what little I know, are an evangelist, like Philip in Acts 21:8,and the men in Ephesus, Eph. 4:11, and Timothy in 2 Tim. 4:5. Hired and paid to preach, and do the related work -Read all of 1st and 2nd Timothy.
    Realizing I might be wrong, I nevertheless submit this to you.

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