John and his wife Peggy have been married 47 years and have two children and five grandchildren. They love coming alongside young couples, offering hospitality in their home and pre-marital counseling.
The founder and president of FOCUS International and Global Business Internships, John has traveled to more than 50 countries with friends around the world. He is committed to investing in and mentoring men.
John served as a pastor in Oklahoma and Texas, and was a campus minister at Arizona State University and Wichita State University. He holds a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Theological Seminary, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a BA in English Literature from Oklahoma Baptist University.
An avid collector of fountain pens and vintage inkwells, John admits to liking yardwork and enjoys reading, being with friends and spending time with his grandkids.
I’ve journaled for 40 years. As a verbal processor, I need to see or hear my thoughts to make sense of them. Though I have not written every day since I began, I have written consistently and tried to express my true feelings and thoughts.
So the real question is not “why am I writing a blog” but “why am I writing at all?”
I write for my children and grandchildren, although this creates a real dilemma for me. Our daughter said, “Daddy, I want to read your journals from when I was in high school.” She has teenagers of her own and those were really difficult years for her and me. The dilemma comes because I don’t think I want them to know the real me. Perhaps their love for me after I am gone will overshadow any sin or foible they see. Perhaps my mistakes, sin and attempt to find mercy and grace will be an encouragement and example to them to trust a God who is worthy of their trust.
I write for any husband, father, son, brother, college student or leader who would find helpful the lessons I have learned.
I write to produce a record. I took a masters-level public speaking course to fulfill a seminar requirement for my doctorate. I was in my late 40s in a class filled with 20-year-olds. After class one evening I overheard a few of them talking about their resource material for the illustrations they had used in their speeches that evening. They turned and asked me what books I had used to draw my illustrations from. “There were no illustrations from books,” I said. “They all came from my life.”
So many people in my life have mentored me, both formally and informally. I write to remember them. I first learned about the importance of not giving up on those who frustrate you from a sponsor at youth camp who should have sent me home from camp but didn’t. I first learned about sacrifice from a retired, disabled Army veteran living on a fixed income who opened his home to teenagers and made sure they had a safe place to go. I first learned about keeping promises from my wife and then again from my two children. I first learned about controlling my tongue from a friend and mentor when he lovingly rebuked me for my teasing.
I have enjoyed countless walks, meals and conversations with friends who have spoken truth into my life. They have prayed for and encouraged me. Thousands of questions asked of me by students have forced reflection. And there are the movies I have seen, the biographies I have read and the innumerable business and leadership books I have devoured.
All of these lessons have been filtered through my time in prayer and Scripture, which have been the true constants in my life, and revealed through my pen.