Personal

So Good to Be Home

The last month has been wild, but it has been good. After six years of waiting and working, Hannah and I were finally able to bring our daughter, Willow Elshaday, home to our family. My wife spent a week in Ethiopia fighting for our girl before I joined her on the ground for another two weeks. We have never experienced anything like dealing with a foreign government like Ethiopia. My appreciation for the United States grew immensely while attempting to work…

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Would You Pray for Us?

In a few hours, my wife and I will leave for Dallas, TX. Hannah is headed to spend the night with her good friend, Rebekah Nicewander, before boarding a plane to Ethiopia on Sunday evening at 5:00 PM. Hannah is headed to Addis Ababa to make final preparations for our adoption. I will be leaving for Ethiopia a week from Monday (November 6th). This trip marks the end of a five-year journey to complete our international adoption. We have been…

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Five Helpful Podcasts for Busy Pastors

If you are anything like me, you are busy. I feel like I am always going somewhere to something, and usually, it seems like I am meeting myself in the hallway. A full schedule means that you have to be intentional about consuming good material. There is not enough time to read and listen to everything. So, I want to share with you some of the most helpful podcasts that I listen to regularly as a pastor. In no particular order, here are…

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My Top 10 Favorite Books of 2016

While not all of these books were published in 2016, I have either read or re-read them this year and have benefited from them immensely. Between sermon preparation and Ph.D. work, I do not have a lot of time for “leisure reading.” I hope to add a little more fiction to my reading diet in 2017, so if you have some suggestions, I would love to hear them. If you are interested in taking a look at the books in…

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Reflections on Four Years of Ordained Pastoral Ministry

While I have been formally ministering in a local church in various capacities for the past 10 years, I have only been serving as an ordained minister for 4 years as of today. What, if anything, can a young man with only 4 years of ordained pastoral ministry experience possibly share with others? In this post, I would like to share some of the things that I have gleaned. People – People are not a distraction from ministry, they are the ministry.…

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