Called to Nashville

Sad Lonely Hurt Shame Glad

Lots of reflecting today.  Fourteen years ago I loaded up my wife (who had just given birth ten days earlier to our fourth child) and  drove a U-Haul truck  to a community where I knew one other couple . . . to start a church.

I was deathly afraid, but I knew God had called me to this. A year prior, God had spoken as clearly to me about this as He had anything else in my life.  I asked my best friend at the time if he would come with me to do it.  It took him a month to decide, but he said yes.

Over the next couple of years, I mostly remember long drives by myself in my 1986 Jeep Cherokee.  Sometimes I would drive for hours through Brentwood, Franklin, and surrounding areas praying, dreaming, and seeing.  “God show me what you want to do here and how and where You want to do it.”  I remember being so alone with so many of my thoughts and dreams about this church God had called me to plant.  I knew I was writing blank checks only God Himself could cash.

It was a WILD adventure with some unbelievable highs and unbelievable gut wrenching lows.  Some of my greatest joys in life and some of my deepest hurts. 

I look back now with much gratefulness for what God showed me through that season in my life. I am grateful for what He did in me and what I saw Him do in the lives of others.  But I am mostly grateful for friendships tested by fire that survived, deepened, flowered, and still enrich me today.

Fourteen years was a lifetime ago.  But I remember the beginning of the journey in that U-Haul truck like it was yesterday.


  1. Miss you, Jeff

  2. I'm so glad that God called you, and you followed. You left a very positive mark here that is still felt today.

    Mike Goodwin

  3. AMEN to Mike's comment. The fruit of that decision is still prospering and growing. I'm SO glad you listened and followed. It makes me think of the lives of men like Moses, Abraham and Joseph. Men who listened and had to trust--not always seeing an immediate result or answer. In those kinds of stories it's almost like God had to take his time to make the most beautiful tapestry...each color and design a reflection of the highs and lows. One can't see the beauty of it or even the masterful artistry until the tapestry has been completed which can take a long long time...look at the men I mentioned earlier. But once it's seen for what it truly is, its beauty and complexity is truly a wonder. I believe this about you, brother. God is using you in a much bigger story and you are exactly who he wanted to accomplish these things. He's only mid-way through that tapestry as we are both human-becomings. So thankful I get to journey with you and watch God do His amazing artistry through you.