Happy Graduation Day Caleb

It was a little over 19 years ago. Two young kids were excited to be having a kid of their own; their first one. Alice and I walked into the room to get our first ultrasound. We were so excited. We would actually get to see our baby. We would find out if it was a boy or girl. We didn’t care what the gender was, just so long as he or she was healthy.

The conversation with the ultrasound technician was light hearted at first. We were just so giddy. We learned that we would be having a boy. We saw his hands and feet and his beating heart. We were amazed at how God had created this little person. But then the technician turned quiet. She had a concerned look on her face. She said that she would be bringing in the doctor to take a look at some things.

The doctor came in and finished the ultrasound. He said very little. After he was done, he had us step into another room. We weren’t sure what was going one. Is this the way ultrasounds are normally done? We didn’t have a clue.

The doctor came into the little room and said that there was something seriously wrong with the baby. He probably wouldn’t make it full-term. He then asked if we wanted to continue the pregnancy. What?!? Our world had just suddenly turned upside down. He said in this situation, most parents choose to end the pregnancy. So here we were… a few minutes ago, we met our first child. He was a boy. He had two hands and two feet. We saw his beating heart. And now we were being asked if we wanted to end our unnamed son’s life. Alice and I looked and each other and told the doctor this was not an option.

The pregnancy was very difficult for Alice. There were many more ultrasounds, many hospital visits, bed rest, and steroid shots. Our baby came early. We named him Caleb because he had a different spirit. Right from the beginning Caleb baffled the doctors. They knew something was wrong, but they weren’t quite sure what it was. It was sometime later that the doctors had their diagnosis. Caleb has CardioFacioCutaneous (CFC) Syndrome, a rare genetic condition. At the time Caleb was born, there were less than 100 known cases of CFC Syndrome. Today, there are less than 300 cases worldwide.

Over the years, Caleb has had many challenges. We’ve seen the hospital room more times than we care to remember. He has visits to many different doctors throughout the year. Through it all, Caleb has persevered. He has never once complained. He always has a smile on his face. He’s always quick to talk to you about fish, dolphins, whales, or dinosaurs.

A few days ago, he accomplished a major milestone; he graduated from high school. The baby that we were told shouldn’t be born, completed 12 years of schooling. I thank God for the miracle that Caleb is. I thank God for the countless medical personnel who have cared for Caleb. I thank God for all the teachers and assistants in his life that didn’t give up. While he has learned a lot and accomplished much, I think it’s me that has learned more from him. He has softened my heart and taught me compassion. He has taught me perseverance and determination. He has taught me how to be joyful at all times and grateful in all situations. As he walked across the stage to receive his diploma, I thought back to that turning point 19 years ago in that doctor’s office. We didn’t know what the future held. But God did. Because of the decision we made, we have this amazing young man. My life is richer, sweeter, and more blessed because of him.

Now that Caleb’s formal education is complete, we are again faced with an uncertain future. What will adulthood look like for Caleb? We don’t know. But God does. And I know that it will be richer, and sweeter and more blessed because Caleb is in it.

Caleb, your mother and I are so proud of you. We love you very much.

Happy Graduation Day Caleb

The Next Chapter

Hey friends,

It was almost 8 years ago when God moved my family and I from our comfortable environment in suburban Chicago to Oklahoma. We didn’t have any friends or family here, but we moved anyway. I accepted an invitation to come on staff at an amazing church called LifeChurch.tv. It has been an awesome experience and the best season in my life. The church has expanded to new locations and we have seen thousands of people come to Christ. The church launched YouVersion, the Bible App, and it has impacted millions of people around the world. I’m so excited to see how God will continue to use the ministry of LifeChurch.tv

In the midst of all that God is doing at the church, this post is to let you know that my time as a staff member of the church has come to an end. God is starting a new chapter for me. I will continue to attend and serve at LifeChurch.tv, but my vocation will be something different. As I mentioned before, I am excited to see where God is taking my church, but I am also excited to see where God is taking me.

So what’s next? Over the past few years, I have had a growing passion for photography. I really enjoy helping organizations tell their story through the medium of photography. I have had the privilege to not only do that at LifeChurch.tv, but also for Catalyst and the Willow Creek Association. My plan is to help more organizations tell their story.


My other area of passion is in the church technical arts arena. I’ve had the privilege of being involved in the technical arts for over 20 years.In this next season, I am looking forward to helping churches use technology to advance the Gospel. I’m excited to announce that I will be working with Todd Elliott and his team to put on the First In Last Out (FILO) Conferences. FILO is a conference geared specifically towards church technical artists. So if you serve in the audio, video, or lighting area of your church, I strongly encourage you to attend this one-day event. You will be inspired and encouraged. The first one is in Chicago later this month. Then there is one is Dallas in May. If you’re going to the Chicago conference, signup today. Prices increase next week.

So that’s my big news. I appreciate your prayers as I start the next chapter.

The Next Chapter

Introducing DaybreakPics.com

If you have been following me on Facebook and Twitter over the past few months, you’ve noticed an increase in the amount of pictures I’ve been posting to Facebook. It’s a reflection of how my love of photography has grown over time. What started out as just having fun and taking a few random photos has evolved into a part time business.

In December 2010, I started DaybreakPics.com. This is the name of my photography business. I also have a Facebook page that I update more regularly. My Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/DaybreakPics.

So how did a hobby turn into something more? I’ve always been interested in photography. Growing up, I would be the one in the family holding the camera and taking the pictures. Prior to last year, I only owned a point and shoot camera. Summer 2010 was a major turning point. It was at this time, my wife and I were travelling to Hawaii to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. My boss insisted I take his camera to take pictures. His camera is a Nikon D40. As soon as I started using this DSLR camera, I was hooked.

It was after that trip that I began to learn more on how to take pictures properly. My boss would always have his camera at the office and he would encourage me to take photos whenever we had a special event at church. As I continued to take pictures, the quality of my pictures started to improve.

In November 2010, I received one of the biggest surprises in my life. Craig Groeschel asked me to his family’s photos for Christmas. I was honored, excited, humbled, overwhelmed, and scared all at the same time. Thankful, I composed myself just long enough to be able to say, “Sure.”

Craig and Amy Groeschel

Since taking those photos for Craig, God has opened doors for me to take more photos and get better at it. There’s this one photo shoot that I’m doing this week that I’m particularly excited about. I’ll tell you more about that one tomorrow.

Do I have plans to do photography on a full-time basis? Not likely. As excited as I am about photography, that excitement pales in comparison to how excited I am to be serving at LifeChurch.tv. I love to watch God work in peoples’ lives and transform them. My plans are to serve at LifeChurch.tv on a full-time and take pictures on a part-time basis.

So if you live in the OKC area and are in need of a photographer, I hope that you would consider me. I’d also appreciate it if you would check out more of my work at www.facebook.com/DaybreakPics. While you’re there, it would be awesome if you became a fan by liking my page.

More to come tomorrow…

More recent work
Introducing DaybreakPics.com

My Photos Go to South Africa???

I recently learned that some pictures that I took of Craig Groeschel and his family would be included in an article about Craig in Joy! magazine.  Joy! is a Christian magazine based in South Africa.  It’s exciting to see my work published and distributed like this.  You can see the magazine layout and some of the pictures I took of the Groeschel family here.

To read a web-friendly version of the article, you can go to the magazine’s website, by clicking here.

My Photos Go to South Africa???

Welcome to Starbucks!

At the end of July, I began working at Starbucks as a barista.  That’s right.  For 20 hours a week, I’ll be making lattes, cappuccinos, and frappuccinos.

I’m still working full-time at LifeChurch.tv.  But in addition to that, I’ll also be working at Starbucks a few nights a week and on Saturday mornings.  We’re using the cash this job provides to get out of debt.  Dave Ramsey would be proud.

It’s been a challenge learning all the different drink recipes.  As you can imagine, there are a lot of them.  Thankfully, it is starting to come together.  The next challenge for me will be to remember all the crazy drink orders, like a half caf, triple shot, Venti 6 pump vanilla latte with whip, and figuring out how to ring it up correctly at the register.

The people at the store that I am working at are very nice.  They have been very welcoming and supportive. They quickly found out that I am the oldest person working there.  They’re shocked when I tell them that I’ve been married 16 years and have a 14 year old son.

There are several things that I am excited about with this new job.  One is to start to make some progress on the debt we’ve accumulated.  It’s been over a year since we’ve used the credit card, but we haven’t made a real dent in reducing the debt.  This extra income will help.  The next reason I’m excited to be at Starbucks is because I get to observe a world class organization from the inside.  Whatever you think of Starbucks, there is no denying that they are the leader in their industry.  I always like to learn how successful organizations get that way and stay that way.  But what I am most excited about is that I finally get to interact with people who don’t go to church.

Since I started working in full-time ministry six years ago, I never seem to interact with people who don’t go to church.  I work with Christians, hang out with Christians.. pretty much to do everything with other Christians.  There was never any point in inviting them to church, because they were already there.

It will be nice to interact with people who don’t go to church.  My prayer is that I will be a good representative of Christ to my co-workers and that I’d actually be able to invite them to church.

So if you find yourself in the Edmond/Oklahoma City area, stop by and pay me a visit.  I’m at the store on Memorial and MacArthur.

Welcome to Starbucks!

Thanks for praying

Wow… has it been a year since my last post?  For those of you that are still here, thanks for praying for my oldest son.  His surgery last year went well.  The recovery process was a long one.  He was a in a wheelchair for a few weeks and then was using a walker for a few weeks.  I know it was hard for him, but as usual, he did a great job with it.  We went in for a followup visit just yesterday.  The doctor said everything with his feet look great.

So thank you again for praying.  And I’ll try to post more often.

Thanks for praying