I was born and raised in Beckley, WV. A couple of early memories I have are going to church every Sunday and listening to the radio every morning! I met my beautiful bride Lorren in a junior high choir class. We became good friends and remain best friends to this day. We were married in 1988.
My Christian radio journey started at a local top 40 station. I had been praying about getting into Christian radio full-time and God answered that prayer in 2000. After moving around a bit, I came to HIS Radio in 2012. I enjoy being on air in the afternoons, helping to choose the music we play on HIS Radio, and being a part of pulling off big surprises on air like this one for our Tuition Giveaway. But it was a couple of years after arriving at HIS Radio that my life was changed forever.
In March of 2014, I lost my dad suddenly and felt like my life stood still; yet spinning out of control. My dad had of course always been my dad, but at some point in my adult years our relationship grew where he became my friend as well as my dad. I could talk to him about anything and valued his insight and wisdom. When I lost him, I stumbled around…. weighed down by grief…. dealing with every emotion under the sun; willing myself to put one foot in front of the other. I was going through the motions of day to day life.
Quietly a thought was planted in my mind: it was to hike on the Appalachian Trail.
I had never been an out-doorsy kind of guy… probably the least woodsy guy around. I knew very little about the trail, but the thought persisted, so I began to read books about the AT.
My dad was a man of the outdoors and spent many hours in the woods. I believe God planted the thought of hiking to help me walk thru and deal with my grief. While hiking I felt a closeness to my dad and it also helped me deal with stress.
When I began to hike, it was so refreshing, the outside world seemed pale in comparison to this new world my eyes took in. It increased my senses that seemed dulled by grief, and slowly… I began to live again.
I could feel and sense God everywhere and in everything. My favorite Christian songs became the sound of the wind blowing thru trees and sound of rushing water. I would stop and smell the flowers and look for birds and butterflies.
The trails are a gift from God. The forest, the valleys and mountain peaks are alive with HIS presence… because HE is the creator of all things. In Psalm 148 it says: Let everything give praise to the Lord. The mountains, hills and trees; the winds and birds… creatures great and small… let them all praise the name of the Lord.
In our daily lives of so much noise and distraction we sometimes forget to give praise, but with one step on the trail, I am reminded once again, and I walk with Him in peace and quiet and praise from a joyful heart.
My dad going to heaven has been the hardest thing in my life, but it has helped me share on the air about the grief and hope I have in Jesus. It had also made me more aware of those that are hurting and healing following the loss of a loved one, especially around those anniversary dates and holidays that can be bittersweet. If you are going through the loss of a loved one, or feel like you need prayer as you walk through a valley in life, please know we are always here for you.