Thanks for checking out The Psalm 119 Experience.
My goal is to share my Psalm 119 Experience with you with the hope that you will begin your own Psalm 119 Experience.
Years ago, I was talking with a friend of mine and he made an observation I’ve not forgotten.
He said, “John, you’re unusually gifted. I don’t mean that in a good way. It’s just unusual.”
I love that statement because it could not be more true.
Living All Over
When people ask me about my life, I say that I’ve lived two lives — the first as a pastor and the second as a business man.
For 15 years, I served in two churches as a minister. After wonderful years on the staff of the First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, my wife, Lynn Marie, and I moved to Portland, Oregon to begin a new church. That move broadened our view of the world and helped us fall in love with the Northwest.
We did take the only two grandchildren in the family with us, something I understand more fully now that my two daughters, Courtney and Kelly, are married and have children of their own.
Perhaps it’s poetic justice that Lynn Marie and I live in Nashville, Tennessee and our grandchildren are in South Carolina and New Mexico.
As you might guess, we devote a good bit of time to traveling and wishing that Southwest Airlines offered direct flights to our specified destinations.
In 1992, we moved from Portland to Nashville and I entered the business world, working in the publishing industry at LifeWay.
Never could I have imagined all that would come to pass during those years at LifeWay — wonderful co-workers and friends, the opportunity to work with incredible authors and speakers, and countless professional opportunities.
An Unusual Set of Experiences
Along the way, I had the opportunity to earn my MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University in Chicago, adding that learning adventure to my Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary and a BA in Sociology from Baylor.
I’ve always loved to create things — songs, music, stories, and books. My “one hit wonder” status as a musician happened years ago after I wrote the song, The Touch of the Master’s Hand, based on the old poem written by Myra Brooks Welsch.
Through a strange series of events, Wayne Watson found and began performing that song and included it on his first album. Wayne went on to have an incredible career as an artist and I’m thankful to him for recording my song.
I always wanted to write books and have written four so far:
Out of Their Faces and Into Their Shoes: How to Understand Spiritually Lost People and Give Them Directions to God
Getting Ahead By Staying Behind: How to Be A Better Follower of Jesus
OnTrack Leadership: Mastering What Leaders Actually Do
The Psalm 119 Experience: The Devotional Journey You Will Not Forget
After years of not writing music, I began my most exciting project a number of years ago as I began working on 22 songs based on the text of Psalm 119.
Initially, I wrote these songs for one purpose only — to help me memorize Psalm 119. Then along the way, I shared the project with others and they encouraged me to share it with others. And so I did.
Life As An Entrepreneur
A few years ago, I left LifeWay and began another phase of my business career as I launched The Riverstone Group, a leadership consulting firm, with my longtime friend from college, David Atchison.
As part of Riverstone, I had the opportunity to reflect on what I had learned about leadership over the years and began posting those insights regularly on www.theriverstonegroup.com.
Before leaving LifeWay, I had done nothing to launch websites or blogs, so I faced a steep learning curve. Fortunately, with the encouragement of some good friends, I got started and have enjoyed the opportunity to share things that matter to me.
My Psalm 119 Experience
Of all the things I’ve done in life, The Psalm 119 Experience stands unique.
I did not find this project; this project found me. I do not share the things I’ve learned from Psalm 119 because I think what I have done is great, cool, or especially insightful. Here’s what I know: God gave me a profound experience with Him through Psalm 119 and I want to share it.
God has changed my life through His truth in the Bible. He sought me when I never would have sought Him. Because of His grace, I want to encourage other people to read the Bible, pray based on scripture, and begin their own Psalm 119 Experience.
If God uses anything in this site, in the music, the blog, the podcast, or the devotional book to move you closer to Him or encourage you to continue in a personal experience with Him, I will be thankful and blessed beyond measure.
If you have insights or feedback to share along the way, I’d love to hear from you.