About John

Well, here i go!John

I grew up in upstate (central) NY in a small town called Oneida.  Winters were cold with lots of snow, which was pretty awesome for kids, but not so much for grown ups.  Fall was the prettiest time of year with beautiful rolling hills covered in brightly colored trees,  Summers were hot, but not as humid as I’ve come to experience while living in the south.  I grew up in the 60’s and went through High School and College in the 70’s.  I got married in 1980 while living in SC and we then moved around the country living in NC, TN, KS and CA before finally landing in FL about 10 years ago.  Along the way my wife and i had 2 sons.  For most of my career i was an administrator for various Churches and Christian Schools.

I was born with a pretty rare congenital eye problem known originally as Congenital Fibrosis and now acronized into CFEOM type 1.  Basically, I have no muscles to move my eyeballs or my eyelids either up or down.  My eyeballs are set to look out of the very bottom under my slightly opened eyelids (you can see this in the picture above).  This means that in order to see straight ahead, I have to tilt my head up, or else i end up looking at my feet.  This is pretty hard on my neck and now that i’ve reached 60 i have continuous pain in my neck and constant headaches.  To complicate things, because my eyelids are also unable to open or close, they do not close fully at night, which allows my eyes to dry out.  Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable (scratchy, burning, etc) but it also makes them prone to infection.  I’ve had many infections and a few times they ended up creating ulcers on my corneas.  I no longer can see out of my right eye and the vision in my left eye is uncorrected at 20/400 and corrected via a special contact lens to 20/70.  I had to give up driving about 5 years ago as my vision deteriorated further.

My brain is shouting at me that i am dumping TMI, but some of these things may come up in the future.

I went to college to study Broadcast Engineering (very much like electrical engineering) with an emphasis on sound mixing equipment, powerful transmitters and antenna propagation.  I minored in Math taking not only a lot of Calculus, but also differential equations and matrix Algebra.  I bring this up to show my Geek cred.  I have always enjoyed techy and sciencey stuff.  After i graduated, i went to grad school and earned an MBA.  My goal was to start and manage a Christian Radio Station.  The FCC had other ideas and they completely froze the issuance of licenses for new radio stations.  I then met my future wife and together we felt God calling us to be missionaries with Trans World Radio. While raising money for support and preparing to leave for their location in Guam, my eye problems flared up and became much worse.  The doctors told me I should not leave the country because future complications could cause me to lose my vision entirely.  That began my transition into working as an administrator for several churches and Christian Schools around the country.  About 8 years ago, my vision started once again to get worse and i also developed several other health issues, so i applied for and eventually got disability status from the Social Security Administration.

That brings things close to the present.

What am i doing with my life now, your ask?  (You asked, right?)  I have several passions.  Chief among them is studying God’s Word.  I’ve been teaching Adult Christian Education classes (also known as Adult Sunday School) since the early 80’s and i have always enjoyed it very much.  My greatest joy now is in teaching an Adult CE class at my church.  I love the study and the preparation and most of all the interaction during the class.  In addition, i am an avid reader and i’m passionate about music.  What kind of music?  I am very eclectic in my musical tastes.  I like Oldies (50’s and early 60’s), Classic rock (late 60’s through 70’s) lots of singer/songwriter stuff (James Taylor, Carol King, Paul Simon).  I also enjoy jazz, classical, folk, blues and old time country (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Tennessee Ernie Ford, etc).  I don’t care much for modern country, Rap or Hip-Hop.

So what will i be posting about?

I’ll be rambling about biblical things that cross my mind through my studying and reading.  I’ll talk about some music stuff.  I’ll also talk about tech things (except phones) and also audio equipment like headphones, amplifiers, etc.  I hope you will find this interesting.  More importantly, i hope you will participate by adding comments and discussing agreements and disagreements with me and others who participate.

Disclaimer:

Nothing i say should ever be construed to represent the views of my wife, my church or my friends.  I am a pretty independent minded guy and as i have matured, i’ve discovered that i don’t easily fit into any camp or under any label.  There are a number of things i am not.

Politically, i am a moderate.  I used to be a republican, but they seem to have gone so far off to the right that i now consider myself a moderate.

Theologically, i am, in broad strokes, an evangelical.  I am not an Arminian, nor a Calvinist, nor a Dispensationalist, Egalitarian or Complimentarian.  My moderate inclinations have made me uncomfortable with the extremes of each of those positions.

In short, i don’t like labels.  I think a lot.  I ponder.  I wonder.  I question.  I try and understand many positions.

I believe that God did not write for us a book of doctrine or systematic theology.  He wrote for us a book which speaks of God’s relationship with man and man’s relationship with God and with his fellow man.  The key is relationship.  It seems that every time man sets up a system of theology, it ends up trying to force scripture to say things it doesn’t actually say.  My proclivity to not fit into a nice pigeon hole tends to make some of what i believe and will write about controversial.  That’s why i named my blog Unapologetically John.

So as i often tell my Adult CE class, “Fasten your seat belts and hang on!”

A comment is passing:  i do not capitalize the word i unless it begins a sentence.  This is deliberate, not a mistake.  I can’t think of any legitimate reason why this word is capitalized and it seems prideful to me.  We never capitalize me or us or you or he or she, so why i?