The one thing that I would like the world to know about me is: I went to Iraq twice first as a soldier and then as a chaplain.
My Greatest unfulfilled ambition is: I would like to travel along the Silk Road and visit China and Mongolia. If I ever achieve that goal-then I want to go to India, Ethiopia and Socotra. I would also like to promote my books in Australia. I have traveled widely in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
The single work of which I am most proud is: My book "The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic."
My greatest accomplishment is: I think that would be the body of work I have produced, the books, the illustrated books and the comics.
My hobbies are: Drawing and writing. I also like traveling.
My pet peeves are: Liberalism and Islamic fanaticism.
The place of my birth is: Fort Knox, Kentucky. I was born in May 1972. I am a Gemini but I don't believe in astrology at all.
I grew up at: The rural suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee and Houston, Texas.
Education: High School: I.H. Kempner Senior High School, Sugar Land, Texas (1991). College: Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas (2001), Masters: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas (2009) (I attended most of my classes at the Houston Campus.)
My favorite performers are: Artists? In classical music I like Beethoven and Handel. As far as artists, my favorite painter would be James Tissot. Actors usually sell out for money. I judge them by the movie-not the performance. I liked Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones. Jeremy Brett and Robert Downey, Jr. both played excellent Sherlock Holmes. I liked Charlton Heston in his Biblical movies. As far as music goes, I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkle and the Beatles-because my oldest brother listened to them often. I like different kinds of music, primarily the old hymns I grew up on and contemporary Christian music. I met the musician Keith Green when I was a child and I admire him. He died shortly after my family met him. I like Shakespeare.
My heroes are: My greatest hero is Jesus Christ, of course. (Historic) Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. (Fictional) Solomon Kane. My favorite theologians are Joachim Jeremias, F.F. Bruce and Andrew Murray.
The last good book I read was: I am always reading-so this is a difficult question to answer. The Bible of course. I liked the Arabian Nights and the Mahabharata. I liked Narnia and Tolkein's Middle Earth stories. I have read extensively on Middle Eastern Christianity and also politics. I usually read non-fiction.
The last good movie I saw was: I am selective about which movies I go and see. My favorite movie of all time is "Raiders of the Lost Ark." I liked the "Lord of the Rings" movies. I liked the "Passion of the Christ" and I thought the "Miracle Maker" was a good movie on the life of Christ. I like to see movies with positive Christian themes that deal with contemporary issues. I like science fiction, adventure movies and the occasional historical drama.
The biggest influences upon my work include: As far as comic art goes, I admire Joe Kubert and Burne Hogarth. I also like Alphonse Mucha. He was a great artist. I go for realism in my artwork.
Who I am: A Christian. An animal and nature lover. I am interested in the "Jewish roots" of Christianity-but I consider myself a Baptist. I am Anti-Calvinist. When I was little I was in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. I like some aspects of Presbyterianism-but I believe that the theology of John Calvin (and Augustine of Hippo) are fundamentally flawed. I have given almost twenty years of my life to the military-U.S.Army-Reserves and National Guard. I am a conservative. I think that the Democratic Party-as it is now-is pretty much evil. Some Democrats may be well meaning but they are delusional and their ideology doesn't work- and it is very harmful. But I am not satisfied with Republican Party establishment either. I despise RINO republicans like John McCain and the entire Bush clan. I am pro-life (that means that I oppose abortion) and pro-family (that means I oppose "gay marriage" and the homosexual political movement). I believe in traditional Biblical morality. I am not perfect and have made mistakes-but God's righteous standards do not change. When we fail we confess and repent and we shouldn't try to redefine what is right and wrong based on our personal failures or currents in society. I am an author and an artist. I majored in history-so I love history. I like the humanities. One of the many things that disturbs me about Calvinism is the misanthropism inherent in it. I admire the Greeks and the Roman and the ancient Egyptians. I have studied Egyptian and Canaanite religion. I agree mankind is fallen and sinful and in need of redemption-but looking at the Pyramids or great art-I think of the wonderful things that mankind has achieved.
Motto: From William Carey, "Attempt Great Things for God, Expect Great Things from God." Also-"Little is much if God is in it."
Personal Mission Statement: It is my goal to spread knowledge of Jesus Christ and his message of hope and love with a special emphasis upon the Aramaic language and his Jewish culture. I also will create awareness of Aramaic and Coptic Christianity-their contributions and how they have been victimized by Moslems throughout their history. I also want to be a Bible teacher and create understanding of the world in which the Bible emerged-in a culture surrounded by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Fundamentally, my message is that God loves all mankind and that Jesus Christ came to save the world.
Strengths: I am a creative person. I try to think things through and be as reasonable as I can be. I am passionate and a man of strong feelings-which can be a strength and a weakness. I think my weakness is my tendency to descend into non-productive funks. Another strength and weakness is I always have ideas and projects-books I am writing and artwork that I am creating. Right now, if I actually complete my projects I probably will have a huge creative output for the next five years!
Summarized Bio: Lived in Tennessee as a kid. Moved to Texas when I was half-way through fifth grade. Between fifth and sixth grade I became interested in the Bible and when I was 13, I felt a call to Christian ministry. After high school, I went to Egypt and lived with Coptic Christians, studying their history and observing how an Islamic society treats minority Christians. I arrived shortly after riots in Imbaba and was horrified by how Christians are treated, and have been treated, in the Islamic world. A short while after I returned from Egypt, I joined the United States Army Reserves-and started college. I interrupted my studies with a few more trips to the Arab world. When I was in high school, I can across a book entitled "The Books and the Parchments" by a Bible scholar named F.F. Bruce. This sparked my interest in Aramaic and the Nestorian Church-now called the Assyrian Church of the East. I had previously been interested in Hebrew and the Jewish roots of Jesus. I became concerned however, about the threat of Judaizing and Judaizers, and I felt more comfortable exploring the Semitic roots of Christianity through the Aramaic. (Aramaic is the language of Jesus Christ.) I was able to make several visits to Aramaic Christian communities in America-in Detroit, Chicago and San Diego. When I graduated from college-I rewarded myself by visiting Aramaic Christian villages in Syria. While I was there 9-11 hit. I didn't run home! I was there two weeks before 9-11 and about three weeks after. I started Seminary after I got back. In February 2003, I was activated and was deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was stationed in Baghdad. When I returned from this deployment, I went on a study tour to Oxford. I loved England. The only European country I have lived in for an extended period-besides England was Holland. I have also spent a day in Paris. After I returned from Iraq, I went to Syria and I wrote my first book, "The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic." I began writing seriously when I offered lectures at "The Nathaniel Center" in Kingwood, Texas. (As far back as I can remember, I have always written books and illustrated them.) After I graduated Seminary, I was accessioned as a chaplain and returned to Iraq this time with the National Guard. I returned to Baghdad and was able to visit Camp Slayer often. Camp Slayer was my base during my first deployment.
What I am looking for in a woman: Someone with a positive attitude and a sense of humor. A person I can have an intelligent conversation with. A thinking person with a heart. Someone who is concerned about her appearance but not vain. Not a liberal or a person with bad habits-such as smoking or being too judgmental. I also want someone who is a spiritual person-meaning a devout Christian. I want someone who can help me realize my dreams. I want someone who will believe in me and encourage me. Also, I want a woman who wants two or three children.