Wisdom is knowing what matters, what is good, what lasts, what is real, and especially, what is best for all concerned in the long run. I have five sources of truth from which I draw regularly, to guide my life and my work. They all confirm each other, so I expect anything I believe, and anyone I believe in, to be real and healthy by all these measures. It is from these communities that I draw my identity and my authority.
Christian faith and biblical wisdom -- I continue as an active elder and teacher in the Presbyterian church in which I was raised as a fifth generation member. I have taught at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, spent 30 years as a teacher and elder in the Disciples Christ tradition, remained active in a home-based couples Bible study group since 2005, taught repeatedly at Southeast Christian Church, and my wife and I spend four days a year at a lake house in Iowa with three other licensed Christian counselors.
Social sciences -- I have succeeded at all three things clinical psychologists do: therapy, testing, and research. I have worked with 7000 clients in my office, including 1500 marriages and over a hundred families. I have had two books published, written eight professional journal articles, published two personality tests, served as the ethics chair twice for the Kentucky Psychological Association, served as the workshop chair twice for the Christian Association for Psychological Studies International, presented my own research with a one-hour presentation to the American Psychological Association convention, and founded a group practice that at one time employed over a dozen counselors (New Life Counseling Center).
12-step recovery -- I have worked an active program of sobriety and recovery from alcoholism and codependency since 1986, and one day at a time, continue to do so. I have worked through the 12 steps three times with three different sponsors, and attended over 200 meetings. My three certifications from the International Institute for Trauma and Addictions Professionals equips me with research-based recovery tools for helping addicts and their loved ones recover from trauma, betrayal, and addictions to chemicals, behaviors, or people.
Agrarian wisdom from nature -- I was raised in an agricultural county that is near both Louisville and Lexington. I spent many a night on farms growing up, and I have lived in this community all my life when I wasn't away in college or graduate school. Since 2002, I have lived in a 3-room log cabin surrounded by a mile of woods on all sides, with a view of the horizon 50 miles out in three directions. We are outside all the time, maintaining the natural beauty and quiet of our little forest paradise. Agrarian themes are at the heart of my second book Growing Your Love Life, and of the novel I have been writing since 2011, entitled Sorghum.
Life Stories -- when you stay in the small town where you and your parents were raised, you hear lots of wonderful stories including many instructive ones about yourself. Since I moved back here 45 years ago, I have continued to play competitive tennis and basketball every week with the same group of guys, and I have spent over sixty years active in two church families. Both of those circles keep telling me stories to remind me of all the stupid and wonderful things we have experienced together. My clients have told me their life stories in my office, and I have logged hundreds of hours of my own individual counseling and supervision, so that that I can learn and teach from my own story as well.