The Pain of Friendship (Spiritual Autobio 5)

The One Thing we All Need

No matter what the Church catholic has to offer to a man, if he can’t find friendship, companionship, and fellowship within her walls, he has very little. Yes, Christ is closer than a brother, in a sense, but until we see Him face to face, His absence is a lot easier to notice than His presence. Yes, eternal life, adoption by the Father, and the Holy Spirit are unmatched blessings, but in the day-to-day experience of a Christian, the bonds of love between brethren is irreplaceable. Forgive me if I’ve spoken improperly here; my words come from a sore place.

Now, keep in mind, this spiritual autobiography is my recounting of my search for the Church catholic. Jesus found me in a jailhouse around my 21st birthday, but I didn’t find His Church after that. For many months and years, I bobbed along in the gentle waves of loneliness, occasionally making friends, even finding mentors like Phillip and Peter. Yet as each season of my life has passed on, the Christian friends and fellowship of those seasons have also passed on, out of sight. I am in terrible grief over this every day of my life, and that is not hyperbole. Although I live without pervasive depression, I am often wracked with anger, fear, and doubt because of the transience of Christian friendship in my life. Keep reading. I may spell all this out slowly, but I mean to spell it all out for you, for myself, for my family. There is something important which is spilling forth in these words.

Desperate for Friendship

As I drifted alone in 2003-4, then finding some non-Christian friends, then a few Continue reading

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Calvary Chapel: Finally Home? (Spiritual Autobio 4)

Last time we saw the young man awaken in a small boat at sea, not knowing who he was or why he was adrift. By the end of the post, another person in a boat had been contacted. Please go back and read the previous posts in this series before reading this one. It’ll be more fun for both of us if a few of you follow along the whole way…

And look, I don’t have all the time in the world to really prune these posts and to make them titillating reading. I am doing this for posterity, so I ask you to bear with my writing, knowing it leaves something to be desired.


It was 2004, I was clean and sober for less than two years, and I barely knew my right hand from my left. I lived in a micro-apartment with rent of $330 per month, and worked night shifts at Tim Hortons, making just enough money to eat a little food and drive several miles each week in lil’ Murph, my 1989 Mercury Tracer hatchback. I had picked it up for $550 cash, and the air conditioning was a large rust hole in the back where the wind rushed in.

Aimless but Happy

Life was good, but I had no local church, no Christian friends, and no aspirations. Then I met Phillip at the Redemption Center in Brockport (see last post).  Continue reading

Rudderless & Hungry (Spiritual Autobiography 3)

Hang with me on this one, as I try to shoehorn the story into a little bit of an analogy. The post should feel a bit meandering to you, and that fits it well by the subject matter. Thanks for reading. Part 1 here. Part 2 here.


A young man awoke, blinking at the bright morning sky above. Wh..where am I? he wondered, opening his eyes a bit wider. There was ocean on both sides, a small boat shifting around in the gentle waters, and a glorious blue expanse above, and the man, waking alone in the boat.

He tried to recall who he was, and why he was waking alone in a boat with no land in sight. “Where am I? Where was I going in this boat?” Sitting up, he noticed the ache of hunger in his guts, and the dryness of his mouth. Looking out at the waters, he began to notice other small boats like his, no bigger than two-man fishing vessels, some near, most further out.

“Now this is weird!” he thought, and tried to spot any other people in the boats. About a half mile away, he saw what looked to be another person sitting up in their boat. He raised a cry, “HELLoooOoo!” But his voice faded, throat too dry to do more. The sun’s energy was already blasting away any morning cool that had clung to the bottom of the boat where he had slept. Continue reading

The Making of a Confused Boy (Spiritual Autobiography 2)

In part 1, I tried to lure you into reading part 2, which seems to have worked. My goal here is simplicity: to get to and stick to the point.

Growing up in American evangelicalism left me rootless and spiritually orphaned.

The Beginning

I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church as an infant because my grandparents were fairly devout, and my mother had had something of a re-conversion experience while pregnant with me. That was basically the last I saw of Rome, at least from the inside. Continue reading

My Spiritual Autobiography, part 1

This will be the first of a series where I explain the journey of religion that I have followed thus far, and where I am ending up. To many, this may be a waste of time, but to those who appreciate an intimate look through the window into another’s soul, I aim to please. No promises on how long between posts. I pray this benefits many.

I Write Because I’m Working out the Kinks

It seems fairly egotistical to set out to write of one’s own spiritual journey, expecting others to read it. In this case, I had thought to write for the benefit of my wife, daughter, parents, and other family and near friends who would be impacted by where I am headed, but in the interest of the Church catholic, that ancient and enduring body to which I forever belong, I thought to offer this to anyone who would read.

I am slowly moving toward embracing the Reformed faith in totality. Having been a credobaptist my whole Christian life, I know how this seems to us when someone else “goes paedobaptist.” I’ve watched other men move from credo to paedo and often wondered “how could they do that? Haven’t they read the Bible?” And yet, here I stand on the threshold. Follow along, don’t tune me out, dear friends. Your readership will be a blessing to both of us.

Seeking the Church

This is a story of seeking for the rock which does not move in the storms. I am not referring to Jesus, exactly, for He has already found and sealed me in His name. I speak of the Church catholic,[1] that ancient, enduring, and elusive body, for which our need is great. We need the Church, and in one sense, I am searching for Jesus, for He is found wherever one finds His Church. In another sense, I am seeking to follow Him, to lose my ego-centered American individuality in Him, and to somehow land among His people while walking with Him. Continue reading