Born in Santa Monica, CA and raised in the San Fernando Valley, I had a childhood full of love and acceptance. While my family was not religious, we were close.
My parents were loving toward each other, and also toward me and my two younger sisters, Carol and Patti. Dad worked hard to support our family, and while we weren't even close to being wealthy, we were financially sound enough for our parents to be able to take us on trips to the mountains for vacations and day-trips.
Dad had majored in Geology in college, before quitting to provide for the family, but would always teach us kids about the theory of evolution. I remember him explaining about different kinds of rocks, and fault lines, and volcanoes, and glaciers helping us to understand the power involved to create the mountains we loved so much.
When I was 11 dad took me on my first hike into the back-country. A day trip behind Convict Lake (pictured left). We started our hike by moon light and returned at twilight. We saw about 5 or 6 lakes and fished all day. From that trip on we would go back-packing every summer.
In the summer of 1972, I remember being on the hillside above Lake Mildred, on our way to Lake Dorothy, somewhere around 9,500ft, when while taking a break to catch my breath (see pic on the right), I was wrestling with the idea that all of this beauty, all the complexity and wonder in front of me was all by accident.
I had no other concepts to consider, no other options to evaluate. Just a nagging feeling that there had to be something more.
Upon returning to high school for my senior year I was somewhat adrift. All my friends had been seniors the previous year so at school I felt lonely. Getting involved in a lot of questionable activities, I was trying to impress others by my outlandish behavior.
At one point, a couple of guys in my class started hanging out with me at lunch time. After a couple of weeks they invited me to an after-school Bible study. I was already familiar with the "Jesus Freaks" so I thought "why not?"
I met with them several times, but wasn't totally sure what I was getting into. I was the only one at the meeting who didn't have a Bible. I went home after one of these meetings and asked my mom if she had a bible. She did and not having any familiarity with the content, I opened it like any other book to page 1.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It was like a light bulb went off in my head. A Creator. God. Now it made sense. All the magnificence in the mountains wasn't by accident - it was done on purpose.
It was only a short while later, on March 12, 1973 that I gave my life to Christ.
I got involved with a local church in Los Angeles and began the adventure of learning the Scriptures and learning how to share it with others.
I married during this time. We've made a couple of significant moves through the years. First to Wichita, Kansas, and then 16 years later to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I've been involved with a church in each city, doing youth work and even playing in a Christian rock band at one point.
Now in Oklahoma, I teach the scriptures in an adult Sunday School class, as well as a Wednesday night youth program.
Along the way, I fostered a love for photography. The attempts to capture the beauty of God's creation on film and now digitally challenge me to excel. Even at my best, I realize that nothing compares to the vistas available to the naked eye. Photos, even the best, just never seem to be as good as what you can experience. Yet I still try to improve both my skills and my opportunities to use those skills. Next up... hoping to do some serious night photography in the not too distant future, and I just bought my first drone. Let the videos commence!