Who Is This Guy, Anyway?

Hi, there. I’m a musician/worship leader who is currently not actively in a leadership role. This is my devotional blog. I will probably start another one here, soon, that will be more of a general blog, about my life and hobbies, and family.

Speaking of family, I am very happily married (for over 26 years, now). I have a wonderful wife and two fantastic daughters. My wife and I like to watch tv a lot, making great use of the modern invention called a DVR. Our favorite shows are The Mentalist, Bones, The Closer, Leverage, Castle, Modern Family, So You Think You Can Dance, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory. We are “Netflixing” old seasons of CSI and all of its offspring. I probably missed one or two. I also like Fringe, Haven, Warehouse 13, and other shows of that nature.

I have been a musician for probably close to 45 years. I started out with piano lessons as a small child, went on to learn guitar as a pre-teen, and began sequencing keyboards in the eighties. I like many styles of music, from classical to alternative (whatever that means, these days). Some of my favorites, though, are in the Christian rock realm. My very favorite groups are Daniel Amos, The Choir, The 77s (or The Seventy Sevens…depends on how they feel that day), and The Lost Dogs. I also like Third Day, the old Newsboys (NOT the Tait remake of them), Switchfoot…the list could go on and on and on. I’m also a big fan of Alice Cooper (who is a Christian, by the way) and have been to his restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, called Cooperstown. It’s a great place to visit, and the food is great, too.

I also love baseball, having become a baseball fan in the sixties. My favorite player of all time is Carl Yastrzemski, and my favorite team is, of course, the Boston Red Sox. However, since I live very close to Rangers Ballpark, I also cheer for the Texas Rangers. Unless they’re playing the Red Sox. Naturally, I hate the New York Yankees.

I have been a Christian for many years. I believe with all my heart that worship is the number one priority of the Church, as evidenced by Jesus’s answer when asked what the greatest commandment was. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Worship must come first, before anything else. I believe that many churches get this backwards and try to do evangelism before they get the worship down. I’m also a “Five-point Calvinist.” This means that I believe in predestination. I’ve believed in “The Doctrines of Grace” for about 30 years. The more I read God’s words, the more I believe this to be true. Some call it Reformation Theology. My favorite preachers are John Piper, R.C. Sproul, and C.H. Spurgeon. Oh, and, of course, Jonathan Edwards. Oh, yeah…also John MacArthur. We are currently members of The Exchange Church, which is pastored by Joel Engle, where my wife and I both serve on the set-up/tech teams.

I also love to read. I have a list of books that I have read that goes all the way back to 1974. I started to put the last number on the list here, but then realized I would have to constantly update it. Suffice to say that it has over 1200 books on it. My favorite authors are many, because I read a wide range of genres/topics. Typically, though, I lean toward the Science Fiction/Fantasy stuff, followed closely by thriller/horror books. I also read a bit of nonfiction, ranging from theology to books about autism (generally testimonials by parents), because my youngest daughter is a high-functioning autistic.

I’m on facebook here. Of course, you have to be my friend before you can see much.

I also play WoW.

That’s probably enough. If you read this far, I salute you.

71 Responses to Who Is This Guy, Anyway?

  1. eloahjames says:

    Welcome to WordPress! I stick with Andrew out of nostalgia, I guess, but I seem to be one of the last ones. Oh, well. I used to listen to the Newsboys all the time and still do from time to time. I think I have all their CD’s up until the one with Take me to Your Leader on it. When I listened to more CCM (when we had a decent radio station for it and my CD’s weren’t mostly too far away), it was mainly them, Tony Vincent, Grover Levy, and Chris Rice. Third Day isn’t bad, either. =)

  2. Christine Crawford says:

    thank you for your site, I found the video and the reflection helpful. In your mini biography you wrote that you have a daughter who has a form of high functioning autism. My partner has Aspergers Syndrome, a form of high functioning autism. I love him dearly. In any case if it is ok I will add you to my favourites on d-land as I have been looking for some spiritual growth supports recently. I am a former clergy and the church and I parted ways (not my choice) in any case it has been about 2 years now and life has radically changed and I don’t have a church denomination anymore or even a church family…I need to work on that but first I need to work with God on some basic healing stuff first. In any case thank you for your efforts here! Christine

    • bickleyhouse says:

      I it is certainly ok! I’m glad to have anyone reading, especially if you’ve found something of value here. Sorry to hear you’ve had troubles with the church, but it seems a lot of people have. I’m struggling with the institutional church, myself, lately. Thanks for the kind comments, and I pray that you get the healing you need. Jeff

  3. Christine Crawford says:

    Thanks Jeff…. The institutional church is just that but it has a history and a community worth having in life as well as a support in faith. I have found that since leaveing the churches a few years ago the loss of relationships, scripture, a prayer life, and preaching were more of the center of my faith life then I realized. I have to go back in some way to find again a faith community and that is not as easy as it sounds…I am now ironically a “seeker” but then maybe throughout life we go through this cycle over and over again to connect and reconnect with God. Hang in there the one still guiding isn’t us :o)

    • bickleyhouse says:

      I appreciate your encouragement. I have greatly experienced the worth of having the community of the Church in my life. My troubles with the institution don’t involve the thought of wanting to completely leave it, so much as trying to change it for the better. I know I don’t have the power to change the world-wide institution (especially since it is SO diverse), but to affect the small group that I am part of. My pastor and I are trying our best to make our little corner of the “institution” more organic and more like Jesus originally intended (at least as best as we understand that). It is true that we seem to have to “reconnect” with God time and time again. I use this devotion to try to maintain my connection, and I’m always glad when someone else finds some value in it. I’ll pray for your efforts to find a faith community.

  4. starsworth says:

    Haha – you must be saluting me. ;)

  5. The 77s, now that was a band from the day! I know who they are and LOVED their music.

    • bickleyhouse says:

      Have you listened to “The Lost Dogs?” Mike Roe from the 77s, Derri Daugherty and Steve Hindalong from The Choir, and the genius behind it all, Terry Scott Taylor from Daniel Amos. Good stuff!

  6. hawleywood40 says:

    Hi, I found your blog through Aurora’s versatile blogger awards and am very glad I did! Believe it or not, I just started watching “How I Met Your Mother” and love it – the reruns everyone else has already seen help me unwind after a crazy workday. You taught me something new about Alice Cooper – never knew he was a Christian! My longtime boyfriend Lee is also a musician. Seems we have a bit in common and I’ll definitely be back to read more!

  7. jamieahughes says:

    Thanks for following me here on WordPress. Sounds like we have a lot in common (aside from me rooting for my beloved Cardinals this postseason that is!) and will be able to discuss much! I look forward to it!

    • Jeff says:

      Thanks for following me back. I found your blog from a comment on Alienhippy’s poetry blog. She’s amazing, isn’t she? So, a Cards fan, eh? What a series, huh? I don’t remember ever seeing such an intense World Series, perhaps not since 1975, between the Reds and the Red Sox. Anyway…you have a lovely blog page, and I really enjoyed your blog on the Spurgeon devotional. I have read those, though it’s been a while. I might return to them soon. There are some that I come back to occasionally, such as “My Utmost for His Highest.” It’s getting close to time to select my tools for next year’s devotions. I look forward to reading more of yours.

      • jamieahughes says:

        You ain’t kidding about this being a great, wacky series. Baseball is a game of such x-factors, but time isn’t one of them. The drama stretches forever. (I’m exhausted this morning and running purely on will and caffeine.)

        Thanks for reading my page. I don’t post as much as I’d like, but I’m going to keep pushing it. I can’t wait to catch up with yours!

  8. Amy says:

    Wow, I loved reading this entry…learned so much more about you. :-) I’m replying here to the message you left in my guestbook. I guess this is a weird spot for it, but I didn’t feel like going back to FB or your current entry (yes, I’m that lazy, LOL).

    My cousin met her husband on an online dating site…and he’s not a good match. It was one of those issues where he said what he wanted people to know but he has a lot of baggage and really just needs the Lord…and, at least up until the time of their marriage two years ago, she was very defensive about her choice and refused to see the problems in the relationship.

    I don’t think I would ever be able to come to the point where I would meet anyone else in person that I met online. More power to you for having that trust in your daughter. I don’t think I would have the trust in the other person to allow them to meet me (it was a big step for me to friend you on FB…a decision my mother doesn’t know of…I’d hear no end of it for sure if she knew).

    My mind just went blank on me. I guess I’m done. LOL. Thanks for reading and responding. Hope this isn’t too crazy a spot to leave my reply. :-P

    • Jeff says:

      Not crazy at all. I really need to get back to D-land and check up on all the people I followed there. Not everyone is on Facebook, or at least, if they are, I don’t know who they are.

      Take care…and Merry Christmas!

      • Amy says:

        “or at least, I don’t know who they are” – well put! I know one of my readers (and I’m one of her readers) is on FB, but I’ve never asked to be her friend. Sometimes I’d like to suggest it, but I’m not sure if she’d go for it; she keeps her diary locked. And I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to let another internet acquaintance in on my last name. …And just a heads up, since you’re not updating there anymore, I took you off my buddy list. Don’t shoot me! :-P

        Merry Christmas, Jeff. Be blessed.

  9. Jeff says:

    No shooting. LOL…But I would love it if you would read over here.

    Merry Christmas to you, as well!

  10. Amy says:

    I’m not familiar with wordpress. If I click “follow,” it will notify me when you update?

  11. Jeff says:

    It should do that. I get emails from all the ones I’m following.

  12. Jim Thornber says:

    Hmmm, Daniel Amos. I’m from Southern California, and I remember seeing them live. I also saw Sweet Comfort BEFORE their first album and Keith Green before His first album. That’ll date me! I was also privileged to see 2nd Chapter of Acts in concert, which was marvelous. I mostly listen to jazz these days (Keith Jarret, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny and most everything Big Band), and a wide smattering of Progressive Rock, with Yes, Genesis and ELP coming out on top (seen them all in concert). I’m also a fan of Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole ( and her famous dad) and Stanley Jordan, who I saw open up for Lee Ritenour. The Christian bands I’m listening to are Tenth Avenue North and Gungor. There are no good Christian jazz bands since Seawind and Koinonia. If you hear of any, please let me know.

    I read constantly, and am currently reading Brennan Manning’s All Is Grace.

    Jeff, I appreciate your openness to the Gospel and your transparency in life. God isn’t finished with you yet, and your lessons in servanthood are only there to enhance your effectiveness in His Kingdom.

    Blessings,
    Jim

    • Jeff says:

      You saw DA live, huh? I’m so jealous. I never got to see them live. I have, however, had the opportunity to see the Lost Dogs a couple of times, so I’ve met my earthly hero, Terry Scott Taylor. Got to see The Choir and the 77s a couple times each, as well. I’ve also seen Yes, Genesis, and ELP (although, at that point, the “P” in ELP was Cozy Powell). I’ve recently discovered Gungor. They are very good. I was a big fan of Keith Green, but never got to see him. I did get to see Rich Mullins several times before he died, though.

      Thanks for your encouragement. That means a lot. I need to check out your book sometime.

      Grace and peace,

      Jeff

  13. Aunt Melanie says:

    I just discovered your blog today and I look forward to returning. I am surprised that I can relate so well to your posts, because we have absolutely nothing in common! I enjoy none of your favorite TV shows or your music, and I intensely dislike professional sports. However, I have benefitted from reading John Piper and C.H. Spurgeon; and I have recently gained an interest in women’s college softball–it’s nice to see the girls get a chance to learn teamwork.

    On a devotional level, I feel very connected to your thoughts and I appreciate your sincerity. I am a serious person, and I usually do not respond well to humor–there is usually an underlying anger or downright silliness (i.e. not sober). Yet, your humor is witty, sharp, and makes me chuckle. Most people cannot make me laugh, so thank you for drawing that out in me.

    • Jeff says:

      Nice to meet you, Aunt Melanie. Apparently, we have something in common, because we both like Piper and Spurgeon. At some point, I chose to move the music and sports, for the most part, to my other blog, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit. Sometimes, they still leak over to this one, though. I’m flattered that you find my humor to be witty and sharp. I thought it was just silly, for the most part. Hopefully, it’s not ever inappropriate. And I certainly hope that it’s never angry or mean-spirited. I try to avoid that. I’m very serious, though, when it comes to my theology.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I see that you aren’t currently writing in your blog, but I’ll browse through it.

      By the way, my manager’s daughter just received a full scholarship to a junior college in women’s softball. She is, apparently, pretty good.

  14. jamieahughes says:

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award. Do with it what you will!

    http://tousledapostle.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/you-like-me-you-really-like-me/

  15. I’ve really enjoyed my visits to your site and your support to mine. :)

    I wanted to stop by an say “Thank you” for following me at my wordpress.com site. BTW – I’ve moved and updated my site, you can continue following me at: http://barefootpreachr.org/

    Look forward to seeing you soon!
    Blessings,
    Pat

  16. Pingback: Sounds Fair to Me « Eden in Babylon

  17. Arlene says:

    Good morning Jeff….I have nominated you for the Ten Commandments Award. Please stop by http://armouredup.wordpress.com if you’d like to accept this award. Many blessings!!

  18. Cat Forsley says:

    “Who is this guy anyway ”
    love that
    i think from your writing and what you show
    that this guy = You
    is pretty awesome at expressing himself
    peace and grace :)
    Cat

  19. You sound like a kindred spirit, brother in Christ! I share your passion for music, worship leading, and same favourite preachers! Bless you.

  20. Hey Jeff, Thanks for stopping by and checking out Morning Story and Dilbert!!! I took a quick look at your Awesome blog and saw your Blog Roll, it looks like you may have room for one more!!!??? Oh yeah, I’m a Netflix junkie too. I love their Martial arts movies. I get really fired up in the fight scenes. Another cool thing is, I have a hearing problem and most of the time they CC the martial arts movies in English. Take Care my Friend and God Bless :-) Kenny T

    • Jeff says:

      Thanks for the comment, Kenny. I love Morning Story and Dilbert. I need to update my blog roll. There are actually several that I have started following since I last updated it.

  21. Kathi says:

    Loved reading about all the things you like, and I totally agree that loving and worshiping God is what we’re created to do, and nothing else quite fills that void in us! I also resonate with your list of favorite theologians; they are also some of my favorites! My daughter married a young man whose brother-in-law played bass for Alice Cooper for many years. Until then, I had no clue that he we a believer. It’s a strange planet! Blessings!

    • Jeff says:

      Your daughter is married to a guy whose brother-in-law played bass for Alice Cooper. I… just got goosebumps. Various emotions just flashed through, not the least of which is envy. :-D

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m way behind on my blog reading, but your travel photos are usually one of the high points of my day. Blessings to you and yours!

      • Kathi says:

        Well, when my daughter showed me a picture with Alice Cooper’s arms around her husband and herself…then I got goosebumps, but I wasn’t sure if it was envy or a bit of fear! There are many mysteries in this life. :)

      • Jeff says:

        Haha! I bet that was quite shocking.

  22. Hey Jeff, just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a loyal follower to my blog. I really appreciate it. Have a Happy New Year and God bless.

  23. I use library thing and goodreads to keep track of books I read and want to read. I’m also a WoW player, although with school and work my time on WoW has dwindled significantly. I guess it’s not entirely bad, but sometimes I miss those late nights on the game. Nice to meet you!

    • Jeff says:

      Thanks for the follow. Nice to meet you, as well. I think I have a library thing account, but I use Goodreads mostly. I really like it. I’ve actually gotten a few of the free advance copies through their giveaways. I’m pretty much a casual WoW player, these days. I have a few friends who still play, and we’re trying to get an all-nighter together sometime. That would be great fun!

  24. Pingback: Whatever is Lovely – Blog Award | sevennotesofgrace

  25. Hey, the professor sends his greetings!

  26. Jeff says:

    Gibson ES-335. 2002, I believe, if I’m reading the serial number correctly.

  27. Pingback: Thanks for the blog award! | sevennotesofgrace

  28. Evangelos says:

    I happened to come across your blog. Looks very cool and engaging! Congrats! You may be interested in and letting your readers know about our upcoming Malcolm McDowell film that is about values, love & family! God Bless!

    Please let me intro. myself. We are very fortunate that Malcolm has attached himself to our upcoming film BEREAVE and he loves it so much that we are doing a #Kickstarter campaign where he is personally involved in awesome perk fulfillment. So far we have sold some great perks like dinner w/ Malcolm, premiere & party, download of completed film, roles in the film, days on set and more! We are at $38,000 with 16 days to go, but need to reach $100,000. It’s doable! But we need to get the word out, let the world know it is happening; reach his fans. Press is brutal and very stingy. So we’re going grass roots with it. Do you think you could post a little something on your blog if you like what you see? Please let us know. We would be extremely grateful to you! Here is a link to our campaign: http://kck.st/15oAyoa

    As you may or may not know, Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform for crowd funding. If the campaign does not hit its goal, the backer is not charged anything. If we do hit our goal, the backers make history and produce our wonderful drama/romance starring Malcolm McDowell, Neve Campbell & JJ Feild.

    Thanks!
    Evangelos Giovanis
    vagoproductions@yahoo.com

    • Jeff says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment. I will certainly check out your Kickstarter. I know about Kickstarter, and have actually supported a few projects there. I’ll check it out. I’m a fan of Malcolm M, too. God bless!

  29. Evangelos says:

    Thank you sir! We do need the support. We are trying to tell a wholesome story of love between a couple that has been married for over 30 years! A rarity both in what is being produced out there and what the story is about! God bless!

  30. Hey Jeff,

    We just put up a post on our blog that we’d like you to read. If you have time, could you come by, read the entry, and tell us what you think? We’d love to have your opinion :)

    Thanks!

  31. JessicaHof says:

    Jeff – hope you don’t mind, but I nominated you for an award here: http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/being-appreciated/

    just my way of saying thank you for the joy you share with us all. xx Jess

  32. Cameron Von St James says:

    Hi there Jeff! My name is Cameron and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a quick question I have about your blog! My email is cvonstjames@gmail.com :-)

  33. Durn! With the guitar an’ all I came to hear the music! But hallo as well! :)

  34. Hey! YOU. Yeah you. I have nominated you for The Rose of Kindness Award: http://catrionaiscrazy.com/2014/07/10/blog-wonderful-team-membership-award/

  35. i’m happy i found your blog today. you’re a wise and gentle soul. tony

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