The quick version of me:
I am passionate about helping those who feel hopeless see that they have choices. I love to walk alongside—either in person or online—those who are hurting to give them the encouragement and hope they deserve. My Facebook page has over 575,000 followers and continues to grow daily. I love my wife of sixteen years, Kristie, my four two-legged children, my two four-legged children, and appreciate God’s gifts of donuts, surfing, and Maui.
Coming Soon-The Rescuer: A Hero’s Story of Danger, Darkness, and Redemption
My first book, The Rescuer: A Hero’s Story of Danger, Darkness, and Redemption, written with D.R. Jacobsen, is currently contracted with Thomas Nelson Publishers, with a slated release date of Summer ‘2020.
The extended version of me:
My childhood started out normal- I had a loving mom, a hard-working blue collared dad, and an older sister who liked to slap me around when no one was looking. We lived in a small Southern California town just two short hours away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. It was a simple life, a secure childhood, but the simplicity and security quickly came to a halt the day my parents called my sister and I to the kitchen and said- “Your Father and I love you. You haven’t done anything wrong, we have just grown apart. We are getting a divorce.”
Just writing those three short sentences makes me close my eyes and pray for those who have heard them or will be hearing them. Those three sentences made me feel like I was sentenced to death- A slow tormenting death that would continue to grow inside of me for the next 20 years.
I was eight when they divorced. My mom moved to San Francisco and started her new life. My sister was in the early stages of her mental illnesses. She was sent to multiple treatment centers. My parents tried to find her the help she deserved, but that help kept us apart for the majority of our childhood. As for me, I was raised by my dad, a Vietnam vet afflicted by the demons of his past—Which in my view made it hard for him to raise me because fatherhood never came naturally to him. I am not justifying the way he raised me, but I couldn’t imagine raising a child while struggling through this pain machine we call Earth without the guiding light of Christ Jesus. To say my childhood years were rough would be an understatement. Imagine the environment it would take for a ten-year-old to consider suicide.
When I was a sophomore, the school system finally tossed me out. I finished my entire school career without reading a single book, completing a homework assignment, or making any true friends. At age 17, I was losing it. I was a mess, but it was during that time I started to feel a tug in my heart. For reasons I couldn’t explain at the time, I felt the urge, or what I now know was a calling, to serve people. I joined the local volunteer fire department and quickly found something that made me feel better. Even though it was a band-aid which would eventually fall off, it felt good to serve people- but what scared me, is that I continued to feel a tug pulling me in the opposite direction of the good tug. At the ripe old age of 18, I watched my class graduate and receive their diplomas. I was a seasonal firefighter, across the street on the back of a fire engine, hoping no one would recognize me or sense my shame.
Two years later I found myself in downtown Oakland working as a Paramedic in one of the Nation’s busiest EMS systems. Shortly thereafter I was hired by the City of Oakland as a firefighter and was assigned to some of the City’s toughest firehouses- It was my dream job! Despite my past, I excelled at my job. Against all odds, becoming a firefighter saved my life—but it didn’t save my soul. I continued to walk in the dark even though my job was to bring light to the emergencies I was called to. While working as a fireman, I began a downward spiral. I kept it hidden. Internally I was being torn apart by the evil I encountered both on and off the job. Even though I had everything this world said I needed to be happy, I was miserable. The pain of hopelessness is real, and it hurts. I was at the end of my rope, I thought I had nowhere to go when a girl entered this broken guy’s life and showed him something he had never seen or felt before………
In 2014 I left the Oakland Fire Department due to an injury. Since my departure from the Fire Department, I have been blessed with a successful business along with blossoming career as an Author/Speaker. I love speaking to diverse groups of Christian and non- Christian audiences alike where I give first hand testimony on how good our Jesus is. Whether I am speaking or writing, I always fall back on the wisdom I learned from responding to countless emergencies in Oakland to make my Scripturally backed messages relatable and easy to understand. Posting Christ-centered messages to my growing Facebook page of 575,000+ followers has also given me the ability to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people here at home and around the world. And, at times, I use my God-given gift of a good sense of humor to bring a smile to people’s faces.
Most importantly: I am a bruised and broken man who has been restored by God’s grace and I want to share it with the world!
I love you guys,