While I once found the Christian faith to be highly implausible, I’ve come to a place where I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best news for everyone in the world and this shapes everything I do. My goal is to lead a church that warmly welcomes outsiders and receives the questions of skeptics and doubters with seriousness and empathy, and equips its members to appropriate and live out the rich resources Jesus offers for facing and enjoying life.
I love speaking with and learning from those who hold different beliefs than my own.
Hi. I'm Steve.
For most of my life, my dream job was to serve as Gandalf's personal travel journalist as he treks throughout Middle Earth. That hasn't happened yet, so instead I've worked as a strength and conditioning coach, and as the co-founder of a software company. Things have recently shifted, and I'm now on the path of helping God plant and lead a new church in Arlington, VA.
My vision is to lead a church that exists not for itself, but to help the city of Arlington flourish. This entails a few things:
making and maturing disciples of Jesus who take their Christian faith into into every sphere of their life, transforming how they work, play, serve others, and engage with those who are different
being a place where skeptics and doubters can come and have their questions and objections received with a high level of seriousness and empathy
helping people of all beliefs and core convictions learn to dialogue and work together across deep difference
I love speaking with those who hold different beliefs than my own, and learning how people arrive at their conclusions with regards to the big questions of life.
Thanks for stopping by. If you wish to reach out or connect in some fashion, you may do so HERE.
Why Did I Make This Site?
There are three reasons. Below, I dive into each one in detail.
1. lifelong learning
While it has taken me longer than I care to admit, I've come to realize that few things in life are as important as adopting the mindset of a humble, lifelong learner.
In high school, I graduated as valedictorian, and, while I didn't recognize it at the time, I was rather arrogant. I thought I was smarter than most people, that I really didn't have much left to learn. I also believed that since I had worked hard and done my due diligence, life owed me something, that it had given me a golden key to any door I wished to open.
These notions, of course, were ridiculous, and the mere recollection of them is painful and embarrassing. They were the products of the conceit and naivety that often befall an 18-year-old who worships at the alter of perfect GPA achievement.
Most of the effects of kneeling at that alter were not positive: I developed a paralyzing fear of failure, a crippling need to uphold a perfectionist image, and the idea that life would go as I wished as long as I earned good grades.
[Don't get me wrong: there's much to be said for taking your academic work seriously. But there's a critical line between being responsible and perseverant, and deifying your performance within the scholastic sector.]
I'll spare you the saga that followed, but the gist of it is that I eventually came to understand that life didn't owe me a single thing. And no, I was not (and still am not), smarter than most people, including my old schoolmates. As I came to find out, there's a large distinction between those who excel along the conveyor belt of academia, and those who are able to apply knowledge, creativity, and grit within the unpredictable ecosystem of the real world.
Along my way, I met a lot of people who knew more than me about a great many things. I experienced how utterly foolish it is to ever believe you "know it all" or that you can't learn from other people.
Perhaps most importantly, I grew to understand how profoundly hollow it is to place one's identity in an academic ranking, or to place one's ultimate identity in any type of achievement or status, for that matter.
[Why? Because if you do succeed in obtaining "it," you'll either feel prideful and superior to others, or you'll be terrified of losing it, or you'll despair when you realize it never truly fulfills you the way you thought it would. And if you fail, you'll either slip into self-loathing, beating yourself over the head for your lack of achievement, or you'll become bitter, both toward those who've achieved what you could not, and/or toward those whom you feel prevented you from succeeding.]
Nothing on earth is a guarantee. We aren't entitled to anything, and we're constantly going to find ourselves beset with obstacles.
Therefore, one of the best ways to circumvent those obstacles - or, to turn those obstacles upside down and transform them into advantages - is to maintain an insatiable appetite for learning and personal growth, and to do so humbly.
Don't ever stop reading. Consistently seek time with those who know more than you. Learn to enjoy being the dumbest person in the room. Don't disregard those who you think aren't as smart as you, as it's often those very people who indeed have much to teach you, if only you open your eyes. Give others a window into your flaws. Invite others to point out things you can improve upon. Finally, take action upon your newfound knowledge. Simple, yes. But not easy.
That's what the "life strategy" section of this site is for. I'll be keeping a record of the things I learn, and you are welcome to utilize them as you see fit. I also invite you to share with me things you've learned or discovered.
I don't have all the answers. I'm simply bumbling along this path just like the rest of you, trying to learn as I go along. But we may as well learn together, and maybe even have a little fun while we're at it.
2. Provide you The 80/20 of strength training
If you neglect your physical health, then everything else will crumble in its wake. It may not happen immediately, but it will eventually.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Pareto principle, which states that for many events, 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes. This is no less true for strength training: roughly 80% of your results come from only 20% of your efforts. So, what is that 20 percent?
For the casual observer, it's difficult to discern: there are few industries more rife with opposing opinions than the health and fitness industry. Steady state cardio vs. high intensity intervals; carbs vs. fats; powerlifting vs. Olympic lifting; high reps vs. low reps; Paleo cures cancer; Paleo is the worst thing since Nickelback; CrossFit is the supreme method of exercise; CrossFit was invented by Satan.
My purpose is to provide you with very simple, proven principles you can apply to your exercise routine. To help you learn the underlying principles the best schools of thought have in common, rather than getting caught in the weeds with what separates them.
I'll also provide miscellaneous exercise variations and routines you can try, for your own fun and heuristic process.
Working as a strength coach for a number of years with athletes and non-athletes alike, and having the privilege of being mentored by some of the best in the industry, I've learned to secern the tried and true 20% from the "fluff" that often distracts us. Working with competitive athletes who have extremely demanding schedules outside of the weight room, along with coaching general fitness clientele who may only have a max of 120 minutes per week to train, has forced me to figure out what has the best return for investment in the real world, rather than in the fairy tale land of magazine articles.