Words Matter: Daniel’s Story

Words matter. The right words, at the right time, can move people beyond mere emotion and into the realm of exciting possibilities. Words and stories have been a part of life from the earliest age and, even today allows me the great honor of connecting with people all over the world.

I grew up in a Christian home with parents that loved the Lord and instilled in me a passion for the local church, the Bible, and Kingdom work. As a child in Sunday school, I used to randomly “teach” the lesson along with the teacher by acting the stories she would share. The stories of the Bible captivated me.

My three brothers and I were involved in various functions at our church: RA’s, children’s choirs, Vacation Bible School, youth camp, retreats, and mission trips. Gratefully, I do not ever recall a time where the local church was not influential in my life.

As great as my involvement in church was, I was still not a Christian. This changed in the summer of 1991 when, at the age of six, I made the most important decision of my life. I realized there is a difference in knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. I didn’t have all the answers to faith questions, I couldn’t tell you what many of the verses in the book of Revelation meant, and I couldn’t tell you 15 Bible verses from memory. However, I realized I needed a Savior. I was a sinner, and only Jesus could save me. The greatest story ever told is the Good News of Jesus Christ—by His death and resurrection and by His grace through faith alone, one could be made new. I remember my conversion experience like it was yesterday. My mom shared these words with me, “Daniel, this is the most important decision that you will ever make in your entire life.”

Since then, my life has been a journey full of ups and downs. I have had days of deep faith and days of great fear and doubt. I have had times of uncertainty and even a lack of faith. Through it all, Jesus has been my Rock.

During my senior year of high school, the Lord began to pull at my heart to prepare to enter full-time ministry. Throughout a series of conversations, experiences, I started walking the path into Gospel ministry. Along the way, I met a woman that changed my life. She would end up becoming my forever the summer of 2007 after I said the words, “I do.” Emily is my wife, best friend, soul mate, and life-long ministry partner. My prayer is that I will always love and lead her well.

After I graduated college in 2008, we moved to Western Kentucky to begin what would become a 12-year journey, in two different states, leading the next generation of Jesus followers in the context of the local church. We learned a lot in the season of life and still to this day have a deep passion for kids, students, and the people that invest in them. What a joy it is to see the greatest story ever told change lives.

In 2014, God blessed us with a beautiful little girl, Madelyn, and in 2017, a full of energy boy, Caleb. Our prayer for Madelyn and Caleb is three-fold: their lips proclaim the glory of God, their hands are about the work of God, and their feet would walk in truth.

After twelve years as an associate pastor, God began a new work in our lives. My passion for the written word, the local church, and to see lives transformed by the power of the Gospel would all collide. I now serve in full-time ministry as a copywriter with The Gideons International in Nashville, Tennessee. My passion is tell Kingdom stories with excellence so others can hear and respond to the Story that can change their life.

My prayer to use the written word to see lives transformed by the Gospel is best summed up in Psalm 19:14 (NIV), which reads, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”