Living in Brandon, a suburb of Tampa, FL, I have been married to a lovely and very talented lady, Debora, for the past 41 years. After having been employed as a hand therapist for the majority of her adult life, she began her writing and speaking career shortly being overcome by the empty nest syndrome. We have two children. Matthew, our eldest, completed his MBA at UCF and is employed in the business banking sector of Suntrust (soon to be Truist). Matthew is married to a nurse and they have one child; Christina, who’s both a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and a Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant, is engrossed in the vocation she loves best, raising her 3 children.
In my earlier years (before becoming an old man!), I was an avid runner at Boca Raton High School and I loved playing racquetball & basketball. Five knee surgeries and a back surgery later, though I no longer hit the pavement, I love to workout regularly. Nothing like getting the blood pumping to help preserve one’s sanity.
I committed my life to Christ in May of 1972 (as a high school senior). After having grown up spending most of my Sundays at the bowling alley with my awesome dad, Al (who passed away in 2003), I began attending church (Spanish River Church) for the 1st time in my life. Shortly thereafter my mother, Jane Ann (who passed away on my birthday in 2008) and sister, Suzi (who passed in 2012) also made decisions to trust Christ as their Savior. A few months after a massive heart attack (that could easily have taken his life), Al also made the decision to accept God’s wonderful grace of forgiveness at the age of 50.
When Debora and I moved back to Tampa from Gainesville, FL in 1979, we were encouraged to find a new church starting in the Temple Terrace area. James Saxon founded Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church and with a handful of 5-10 people, a new vision was birthed. We grew and matured for some 20 years under James’ leadership and will be forever indebted to him for helping move us down sanctification road. James has since moved on and is currently a senior pastor at Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Ga.
Since that time I’d like to say that the streets have been paved with Teflon gliding on the ever so smooth path of life… but then again I’d be fibbing just a bit. Life has been rich but it has not been void of challenges as well. We lost 6 children to miscarriages, as well as the usual host of ills that befall most of us. I went through a prolonged period of spiritual ambivalence but after studying the book of Job extensively, God graciously plucked me out of the foggy ditch and placed me on a well-lit path.
I’ve been attending Bay Life Church in Brandon since 1998 and enjoy the ministry of the church under the tutelage of a relative newcomer, Pastor Mark Saunders. I find it quite refreshing since the leadership at Bay Life believes it to be just one small piece of the Christian mosaic, as they minister to the community. Since it’s founding in the mid 90’s, Bay Life has faithfully maintained its focus on reaching those who have been unwilling to grace the doors of a “traditional” church. Tradition is healthy but by the same token, there is also nothing malevolent or heretical about being germane and pertinent.
I gained my B.A. in Criminal Justice from USF back in 1978 (cramming 4 years into 6! 🙂 and 2 years later became involved in the ever so fickle world of financial planning. It’s been very rewarding, although often unnerving, helping people achieve their short and long-term goals as they journey through an ever-changing world.
By the way, if you happen to have wandered to this website and want to know more about how you can have peace with God, please email or call me and I’d be more than happy to visit with you. I spent the first 18 years of my life thinking that the only way to obtain a “get into heaven free card” was by being good enough to tip the scales in my favor. I had no idea who Jesus was and had no clue why He came to earth.
I used to wonder why the omnipotent God and creator of the universe wanted to become a mere mortal. And why would He choose such a lowly existence which involved being beaten, spat upon and nailed to a cross, only to die a slow and agonizing death? Though He was totally innocent of all wrongdoing, some of His last words were, “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing”?
God is so amazingly gracious and merciful! Enjoy the site.