About Nick

Hi, I’m Nick.

Let me introduce you to my family…

I have been married to the love of my life, Michelle, since 1985.  We have three children.  From left: Nick, Kelsie, Michelle, Macy & Jordan.  July, 2012

Hobbies? (in no particular order)

  • Elvis, coffee, preaching/teaching, reading, studying, writing (I’m presently working on two books), college football, talking to people about Jesus, the Blues Brothers, traveling, Motown, laughing, astronomy, playing the piano, and Christian Apologetics (more about that last one below.)

Familial Background:

  • I grew up in Abilene, TX, in a horrifically violent home.  When my dad was sober he was a wonderful man.  But he wasn’t sober very often.  He finally died from alcoholism in 2000.  He was 57.   Next to professing my faith in Christ, no decision more changed my life than forgiving my dad.  You can read my story here.
  • I have two sisters.  Susan (married with two children) and Cindy (passed away in 2016.  She was 45.)

Vocational Career:

  • As a child, I first wanted to be an astronomer (yes, I’m serious.)  I’ve always been fascinated with the  cosmos, studying astronomy in college.  Teleology (that there is purpose and intelligent design behind the universe) is a primary source of evidence God used to let me know he exists.
  • What follows are five quotes regarding the physical laws of the cosmos making a strong argument for the existence of a Creator.  The first four are from scientists who are not Christians.  The fourth is from Yale grad and former atheist, Lee Strobel.
    • Allen Sandage was an American astronomer, and was Staff Member Emeritus with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. He determined the first reasonably accurate values for the Hubble Constant and the age of the universe.  He said,
      • I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos.  There has to be some organizing principle.  God, to me, is a mystery.  But, is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.

    • Nobel Prize winning physicist, Max Planck, is considered the father of quantum mechanics.  He asserted,
      • All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

    • The father of E = mc2  (The Theory of Relativity), Albert Einstein, observed,
      • “Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

    • Astronomer, Fred Hoyle, formulated the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis.  He mused,
      • “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics.”

    • Further, Lee Strobel confessed,
      • “To continue in atheism, I’d need to believe nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason.  I just didn’t have that much faith.”

  • So, it’s easy to understand why I was drawn to investigating whether the physical creation has a transcendent, meta-physical Creator.  These individuals, among many others I found, are respected scientists and critical thinkers.
  • In high school, I set my goal on becoming a pediatrician.  But, a funny thing happened on the way to a career in medicine…
  • My sophomore year in high school, just after my parents filed for divorce, a neighborhood friend of mine invited me to his church.  What awaited me arrested my soul and changed me forever.  I had never experienced the love of God like I did when I showed up that September day in 1978.  I felt loved.  I felt safe.  I wanted to live there. 🙂  Under the leadership of a wonderful youth pastor, I began growing strong in my Christian faith.
  • Two years after I was introduced to that church, on July 15, 1980, I  told the Lord I would answer his call I had been sensing and serve him vocationally.  I was called as a Youth Pastor to a church in 1983, and have joyfully served the Lord in vocational ministry ever since.  What an adventure.  The ride has been everything from exciting to painful to downright scary.  But, through it all, God has been faithful.
  • Having spent almost 25 years as a Youth Pastor, I affectionately refer to student ministry as The Wild Kingdom.  I loved every minute of it.  And, for reasons unknown to me, Christ continues to use me in this wildness, as I am regularly invited to speak at student events.
  • Presently, I serve as Pastor of Ministries at Bacon Heights Baptist Church in Lubbock, TX, my roles encompassing all teaching & learning ministries of the church.  On Wednesday evenings I have the privilege of teaching the Bible expositionally (verse by verse).  In 2020, during COVID, after being asked to teach online, I began what I ended up calling ‘Table Talk’ (named after the reformer, Martin Luther’s, informal visits with his students around the table during meals). Click here to view a brief Table Talk.
  • Finally, I enjoy using social media to offer hope, truth, compassion, and humor to help people navigate this sometimes insane thing we call life.  I also love to provide resources to help equip believers to be able to have intelligent dialogue where the Christian faith is concerned.  This is called Christian Apologetics.

Christian Apologetics:

  • C.S. Lewis was right when he observed,
    • “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers. If you are thinking of being a Christian, I warn you: you are embarking on something that is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.”

  • The English word ‘apologetics’ is taken from Peter’s first letter, chapter 3, verse 15.
  • The phrase, logical defense, is translated from the Greek word, apologia. It was a term commonly used in the courtroom of the day.
  • In a nutshell – apologetics is: ‘knowing why you believe what you believe.’
  • It should be noted that Peter’s words were never intended to be received as a suggestion, but rather a command.  Biblical illiteracy and being unable to intelligently defend our faith are primary reasons a lost world doesn’t take the Christian faith seriously – if we don’t, why should they?  Another quote by C.S. Lewis is necessary here:  “There would be no sense in saying you trusted Jesus if you would not take his advice.”
  • The first book I read on the topic of apologetics was a little book by former atheist, Josh McDowell:  ‘More Than a Carpenter.’  McDowell’s book had been around for 20 years before I discovered it.  Christian Apologetics didn’t hit its stride until 1998 with the publication of Lee Strobel’s ‘The Case for Christ.’  Strobel would later say during an interveiw, “We are in the golden age of apologetics.”
  • Over the decades, I have read and studied numerous apologists, many of whom have Ph.D.’s in philosophy, theology, and the scientific disciplines – scholars from MIT, Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, UC Berkley, Notre Dame, just to name a few. A couple of personal highlights:
  • In 2019, I led our church in the hosting of a regional Apologetics Conference, keynote speakers being Sean McDowell and Nancy Pearcey, coupled with breakout sessions, one of which I was asked to teach titled, ‘Why Atheism Failed Me,’ based on my journey home to Jesus after the death of my son.  (Click here to read Why Atheism Failed Me.)

Strange, but true:

  • As mentioned above, I did not grow up in a church-going home.  But the Lord does “work in mysterious ways.”  It was my dad who not only made me take piano lessons, but, late one night – I was about 10 years old – after the bars closed at 2am, he brought home the piano player from the bar.  I’ll never forget it.  I was awakened by someone playing the piano – loudly – in our little home.  As I peered around the corner of my bedroom door down the hall, I was fairly terrified as I saw a strange man playing our piano – in the middle of the night.  What was my dad’s reason for this?  Well, he wanted me to learn how to play a style of music called the “boogie-woogie”.  And this piano player was a master at it.  The man came back the following Saturday morning and taught me to play.  (I tell people this is the reason everything I play sounds like it came out of a bar.)
  • It’s pretty extraordinary how God has used that experience. Over the years, the Lord used that childhood ‘moment in time’ to strengthen my interest in some of the most gifted, popular pianists.  I began to listen to and study Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel and Elton John.  This has allowed me to connect with a wide range of crowds over the years, even being invited to entertain at area restaurants. The Christian artist who had the biggest impact on me was a guy named Keith Green, another phenomenal pianist.

How I Survived the Worst Day of my Life:

  • On May 13, 2013, my son, Jordan, took his own life.  He was 19.  (You can read more about who Jordan was here.) This is why the family photo above is from 2012; it’s one of the last photos we took together.
  • The earth shook under our feet as our world caved in around us, our lives forever changed, eventually turning my hair white as a result of the grief.
  • So, why would I continue to trust a God who allowed my son to take his life? That’s a fair, and powerful, question.  And for a while after Jordan’s death, I had no clear answer.
  • The former atheist and Oxford scholar, C.S. Lewis – who also suffered greatly due to the death of his wife – in his ‘A Grief Observed’, wrote,
    • “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you…Your bid for ‘God’ or ‘no God’, for a ‘good God’ or a ‘Cosmic Sadist’,… will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it.  And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high,… Only torture will bring out the truth.  Only under torture does [one] discover it himself.”

  • During the emotional chaos that ensued moments after I found my son, my wife took the face of our daughter, Macy, in her hands and said something to her I’ll never forget: “Macy, today is the day we choose what we believe.”
  • Lewis was right.  It’s only under torture that we discover what we truly believe.
  • In the months that followed, we knew we had a choice to make.  We could either crawl up into a ball of despair and slowly implode like a dying star.  Or, we could look our nightmare in the face and, like Job, say, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him,” trusting God to use our pain to, both, comfort those who are hurting, and bring people to faith in him.  We chose the latter.  But, I would be lying if I told you it was an easy and quick journey.  It was sometimes excruciating.  But, through it all, God has proven himself faithful.
  • In 2014, a year after Jordan died, I was asked by a regional magazine to write an article about my story.  I titled it, ‘How I Survived the Worst Day of My Life.’  You can read that article here.

Lewis finally resolved his tortuous grief from losing his beloved wife and wrote,

“I find I can now believe again.”

Me too.

The early 20th century preacher, A.W. Tozer, once said,

“I doubt God can use a man greatly, until he has first hurt him deeply.”

This statement, both, haunts and encourages me.  Life can be so unkind.  But, because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb, our pain, if we allow, can redeemed and repurposed, giving us, anew, opportunities to be used by Christ and help bring truth, hope and peace to a hurting world.

Once more, Lewis captures this philosophy better than anyone:

“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia; The Last Battle

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick