About the Author
Many readers ask me to say something about my myself, who I am, my credentials,
and why I write the “Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations” website.
Hopefully the following will help. I welcome further inquiries and
I’m happy to supply references to scholars, clergy, and friends who have
guided me and worked closely with me over the past thirty years.
To know God and his love for us more fully
One of the marvels of the “world-wide-web” (www) is that it can link
families, friends, and communities near and far away across the world.
It’s a great resource for visually communicating wisdom, knowledge, and
experience. When it is at the service of truth and beauty it can
enrich and ennoble those who use it.
My aim and prayer is that the “Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations”
website will inspire and call those who use it to seek the truth of God’s
Word in scripture with a passionate desire to know God and his love for
us more fully. God loves an earnest seeker and rewards those who
“search diligently” for wisdom and understanding.
One of my favorite verses from Scripture is Psalm 115:1: "Not to
us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your
steadfast love and your faithfulness!" Hopefully my brief biography
will show how God has been gracious and merciful towards me.
I have known the Lord and tasted of his goodness as long as I can remember
since my early youth. My father, who was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan
(USA), came from a German Catholic heritage. My mother, who was born
and raised in North Carolina, came from a Methodist tradition. She
became Roman Catholic before she married my Dad. I was born (December,
1947) and raised in Saginaw, Michigan (USA). I have been a Roman
Catholic all my life and actively involved in bible study, catechetics,
pastoral and evangelistic work, lay renewal movements, and cooperative
ecumenism with Christians from other traditions and denominations.
I thank my parents who raised me in the faith, along with four brothers
and one sister, and taught me to love God with all my heart through their
example and faithfulness. My dad loved to sing every Sunday at Mass in
the church choir, and I tried to sing along with him as best as I could.
My mother loved to tell me stories from the Bible and she inspired me to
read biographies and stories of great men and women of God, many of whom
were martyrs, missionaries, and heroes of the faith. I am also grateful
to the parish priests and the Sisters of Charity who inspired me
with their faith and love for God. They instilled in me a desire
to serve God and to be a missionary someday, if that be God's will.
I went to St. Paul Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan for six years
(high school and two years of college) and completed my undergraduate degree
in English and Fine Arts at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
I also studied at George Washington University and the Corcoran
School of Art in Washington, D.C. for a couple of summers. [Click here
to view some recent art work.]
Lord fulfilled my desire to be a missionary when I joined a Catholic charismatic
lay apostolate movement in 1969 at the Newman Center at The University
of Michigan. This movement, which began in the late sixties (the
"Hippie Era"), rapidly grew with the development of numerous intentional
Christian communities worldwide, called "covenant communities". From
this movement also grew a lay missionary brotherhood of men from various
Christian traditions living single for the Lord, called The
Servants of the Word. I have been a member of The
Servants of the Word since its beginning in 1970. I am deeply
grateful for God's call and grace to serve Him and his people today.
I can joyfully say as the psalmist did in the Lord's temple: "Whom have
I in heaven but you, O Lord; and there is nothing on earth that I desire
besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength
of my heart and my portion for ever" (Psalm 73).
[Photo on right: In a barn shed at the Trappist Abbey
of the Genessee, New York on Christmas Retreat 2002; this is spot
where I decided in 1973 to make a life-long commitment to live single for
the Lord with The Servants of the Word.]
In the 1980s I traveled extensively around the world to help with the
development of Christian communities and with the training and formation
of young people in Christian service and leadership. In the 1990s
I worked with a group of families and singles to re-establish a covenant
community in Ann Arbor, called Word
of Life, as well as the development of an outreach program
for training youth in service and leadership. In August of 2000,
I moved with twelve community members to Detroit, Michigan to begin a new
urban ministry called Detroit Community Outreach (DCO). DCO is an
outgrowth of and partner with Youth
Works Detroit (formerly known as Detroit Summer Outreach).
DCO works with local clergy, families and singles to build community environments
for the evangelization and training of young people for service and leadership.
DCO also networks with existing urban ministries, such as Cornerstone
Schools and Highland Park Community Outreach in Detroit.
I attended St. Dominic's parish in Detroit and led a weekly bible
study group in the parish.
In 2001 I spent three months in Israel on sabbatical with Fr.
Guido Gockel, Director for the Pontifical Mission for Palestine
and Israel. This was an invaluable time for study and learning
more about the land
of the Bible and its people.
September of 2003, I moved to London, Great Britain to join our Servants
of the Word household there. [photo on left: author on
far right with Servants of the Word household members] Many
of our members there are directly engaged in mission to young people. The
activities our brothers are engaged in vary greatly: university campus
evangelism, Bible studies, retreats, summer camps, international conferences,
community projects, outings – in short, any event in which young people
can be challended, trained, and won over to a deeper life of discipleship.
Some of our brothers also work with Christian communities throughout Europe,
the MiddleEast, and Africa, assisting in the training of community leaders
and youth workers, and the development of community life, service, and
I am currently engaged in publications work for the Sword of the Spirit.
I am editor for Living
Bulwark, a monthly online magazine of the Sword of the Spirit. I am
also engaged in some teaching and community building work for the Student
Worker Outreach Training (SWOT) program in Kairos
and the Sword of the Spirit communities in Europe. In past years, I did
some writing for The Word Among
Us, a monthly prayer and scripture publication.
How the “Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations” website began
How did I get started with the Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations
web site? Over the years I have worked with many busy people – workers,
students, mothers, fathers, families, religious and missionaries – who
want to be nourished with God's word. We can only give to others what we
have already received ourselves. Just as we need daily food to nourish
our bodies, so we need daily spiritual bread to nourish our souls.
A few years ago, I began to write a daily scripture meditation booklet
for our community members. The goal was to provide a short and easily readable
guide for daily scripture reading and meditation. The scriptural
meditations come from the experience of prayerfully reflecting on God's
word each day along with the study of the early church fathers and other
Christian teachers who have inspired and helped me grow in my love and
understanding of God's word. I have made it a habit to read and reflect
on a gospel passage (usually the lectionary reading for the next day) each
evening before I sleep, and then again to read and meditate on the passage
the next morning. I find it very refreshing and restful to go to
sleep with the word of the Lord on my mind. I also make it a habit
to not eat breakfast, and I try not to think about my work for the day,
until I finish my spiritual breakfast first – “Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God”
(quote from Deuteronomy 8:3;
also Matthew 4:4). Even when I read very familiar passages
I have known for many years, I discover that God often has something new
to show me or something I need to hear again. His word is inexhaustable.
Several scholars, writers, and clergy give me guidance and support in
the writing of the meditations. Two close friends and scholars give me
ongoing support and guidance: Dr. Mark Whitters, lecturer in ancient history
and religion at Eastern Michigan University and a regional coordinator
for the Society of Biblical Literature, and Fr. Dan Jones,
a diocescan priest who is a professor in patristics at Sacred Heart Seminary
in Detroit. Fr. Pat Egan (Ave Maria Foundation in Ann Arbor)
and Fr. Frank McGrath (Pastoral Director for Clergy in the Diocese of
Bridgeport, Connecticut) have been my spiritual mentors for the past
twenty-five years. Fr.
Guido Gockel, Director for the Pontifical
Mission for Palestine and Israel, Monsignor Lunsford, former
chancellor for the Diocese of Lansing, and Fr. John Wiley, my current
pastor at Holy Family Church in London and author of Preaching
the Gospel, have also given me invaluable support and encouragement.
A number of writers also give me ongoing-support and help, including
Jeff Smith (President of The
Word Among Us), Jeanne Kun, and Bob Bell. (I can give email
addresses for anyone interested in writing to any of the above mentioned
May the Holy Spirit increase in all of us a deep hunger for the word
of God, that we may be nourished and strengthened in it for our daily lives.
When we read God's word and listen attentively, it is the Lord himself
who speaks to us personally and Who reveals to us his enduring love.
Ambrose, the 4th century bishop who brought Augustine to faith, wrote:
"Are you not occupied with Christ? Why do you not talk with him?
By reading the scriptures, we listen to Christ."
Your brother and servant in Christ,