They say actions speak louder than words…but they use words to say that.
See, words can be powerful, too.
Like any child, I received many nicknames at various stages of my school-age years. Usually they had something to do with some kind of physical feature or were connected to a specific character trait or event. I was fortunate enough never to carry the weight of a name like “Shnoz,” “Crater Face,” or even the ever-insulting “Four-Eyes.” Beyond the simple “DJ” or “Jackson” that stayed pretty consistent, I didn’t exactly suffer under nicknames like “Flash,” “Jackson 5,” or even “Little Trout” (don’t ask).
The nickname that stuck with me the longest, however, was not given for any reason other than the fact that it sounded cool. I certainly bear little resemblance to Carl Weathers, who played a character of the same name in the 1988 movie of the same name. But it was catchy, and it stuck: “Action Jackson.”
And here I am, some 15 years later, finding that I don’t mind at all being defined by a nickname. A life of Action is, after all,, the only kind of life worth living. This blog represents one outlet for me to take action – in this case using the written word – in order to make a difference. I desire to live a life that drinks deep of every moment, that builds others up, and that dreams big. If this blog does a little bit of that, then it is worth writing. So here, Action Speaks because actions speak.
I am a sinner saved by grace. Let’s start there.
It has taken me 30+ years to figure out how my beliefs, my identity, and my life actually connect to one another. Truthfully, I am still trying to figure that out. I know that I want to be known as a Christ-follower, but I admit that figuring out what that means is difficult and messy, yet transformational and awe-inspiring.
- I am a husband to one, and a father to two. I am a family man for life, and I love it.
- I love learning, but plan on never going back to school. From Houghton College (2000, BA English), to Marygrove College (2005, MA Education), and then to Wesley Seminary at IWU (2010, MA Ministerial Leadership), I have had enough of the classroom.
- Music is a must. Fantasy football is an indulgence. Ultimate frisbee is a joy.
Years of ministry involvement and worship leading had left me wondering if there wasn’t something missing in all my efforts. Despite the calling I felt to give myself fully to serving the church, specifically in the capacity of worship leading, I couldn’t shake the feeling that so much of what I was witnessing on a weekly basis was little more than lip service without legs. It was a hard tension to deal with, and I wasn’t sure exactly how to resolve it.
And then, in what I can only describe as divine timing, an opportunity arose to take a risk – to take action. A risk that involved uprooting my family, leaving the financial security we enjoyed, and starting a missions venture that was still little more than a dream. Calvary Christian Church in Winchester, Kentucky, wanted to buy a building in the center of town and use it purely as a place to connect with people. The concept is all about creating opportunities to build relationships and love on people. I knew immediately that this was what I needed to do. So, after teaching high-school English for almost a decade, I left that career to join the staff of Calvary to launch The Cairn, a coffee house and teen center in the middle of downtown Winchester. We hope to open the doors sometime in the spring of 2012.