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.