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Hi I'm Jim

I'm originally from Pittsburgh. I played college baseball. I love music. I enjoy writing poetry. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married and we have one child. I have a degree in Public Relations. I am a Certified Mortgage Planner as my full-time career and also an Educator/Speaker inside of my field. I am also a voice talent, who has served as the public address announcer for all the professional sports teams in my city, as well as numerous projects in the radio, television, internet and video game industries. I love music. I sing and also enjoy playing the guitar. In fact, I am currently the Music Director at Church for my ward. I like to write music, poetry and stories. I really enjoy writing children's stories. I love to play card games and enjoy the company of friends.

Why I am a Mormon

I think back to earlier days in my life when my heart, while a good one, was definitely somewhat hard and I lived so many years in darkness. It’s strange…during turbulent times in my life I pondered my relationship with God, yet I never took any action on impulses that prompted me. I went through a very trying period in my life personally and professionally for about a year and a half leading up to my baptism in November 2008. I’ve gained my testimony through my own revelations of prayer and guidance. I remember feeling lonely during that time. Beyond job related stress, my health…my weaknesses…and my friendships had all played cynical roles during this time. In late 2007, I hired a personal life/business coach and he has been a tremendous influence and friend. I could never show enough gratitude for the amount of fullness I have felt in just a brief time with him. One of my early tasks in my ‘coaching’ was to construct my life plan, which was made up of “life accounts”. These accounts could be anything, such as Marriage, Children, Business, Family, Friends, Health, and of course Spiritual/Religion. As I ranked how I felt about these accounts and how I would embark on the nourishment of each of them…Spiritual/Religion was close, if not dead last…a 2 out of 10 on the feeling strong scale. As I worked on the accounts I kept denying my relationship with God as being important enough to try and enhance…a sort of resistance, but for no other purpose than my own pride. My wife, a member of the Church since her childhood, had began bringing our daughter (4 1/2 years old at the time) to Church every Sunday in December 2007. She never asked me to go, nor did my daughter. It’s not that I would have on a regular basis…I merely make the point because my wife didn’t force any issues on me. She was doing what was right for her, and I no doubt agreed that our daughter needed to go and have the Church be a part of her life. As time progressed, my daughter would come home from Church glowing with excitement over the primary program and singing songs and just had a complete joy about her…and my heart began to open a bit. I felt completely ashamed by my lacking. I questioned my example as a father, and also of a husband. How could I be this person? I remember very vividly a moment of sorrow and tears came when my daughter asked me one particular Sunday afternoon while playing monopoly with her…”Dad,” she said…”How come you don’t come to Church with mommy and me? Is it because Jesus doesn’t love you?” As you might imagine, I couldn’t control the emotion of how I hurt inside. How my daughter, just about five years old and so simple and pure with honesty inside her, asked me a question that she expected an answer to, but didn’t realize how it stung me. I didn’t expect her to. So I began to cry and as I tried to hide my face I said to her, “No honey, daddy and Jesus just haven’t met yet”…it’s all I could muster. I didn’t forget this. In fact, that night I went outside and sat down on one of my pool chairs and cried. I think I was crying for many reasons. I was going through some tough times with work, tough times with a major relationship (business/friendship) decision pending, I was full of jealousy and most of all, I was scared. My daughter’s question was purely coincidence to everything I had been hording up inside. You know, I walked around with emptiness inside of me for a long time. I just couldn’t quite figure out what it was, or maybe it was my failure to recognize that it was God. He revealed himself to me through probably one of the most difficult times I had been faced with in my career, to end a relationship from business and friendship. As others tried to destroy my character and integrity, I now realize that I was provided with a greater gift...the validation that my fears and feelings were authentic and true and that my decision was a correct one. I can’t help but think that Father in Heaven had put his arms around me during that last 30 days of this trial and carried me through. I began to realize that I had gained so much more than I ever risked losing. I felt peace. Peace in my days, but mostly in my heart. It was right about this time that another decision was needed for my health. This one was ever so important. I needed to change. I needed to fill up where I felt empty. While I embraced it and my body changed, something strange happened. I started to feel vigorous again. I started to feel focused and passionate again. Little by little I started thinking about my life differently. I ended up attending Church one Sunday on my own merit and desire, much to the surprise of my wife. Her expressions were telling me everything I needed to know…she didn’t have to say a word. A family had entered our lives previous to this occasion that I had shunned just one year earlier due to the judgmental heart I had and the assumptions that I made. I later discovered it was my own assumptions and faults which transcended into my attitude. I have God to thank for a second chance though. It was a meeting of chance earlier in 2008 when my wife and I ran into this couple again eating dinner. They quickly invited us over for a family movie night at their residence. For some reason, the invitation felt different to me this time…it felt inviting and comforting. Never mind that my wife had told them late last year to back off, using only the words I told her to. This “hanging out” and lack of pressure eventually led to a wonderful blessing of friendship. Real friendship. It also provided me the opportunity to talk on my own level about the Church. I started to realize the wonderful things the Lord was doing for me. He was again putting his arms around me, through the fellowship of others. Well, maybe that doesn’t make sense…but incredibly it did feel this way to me. All the sudden I stopped the resistance and I began to explore. That real friendship I have felt did wonders for me and I am grateful to this family. I have learned so many wonderful lessons – even from their kids! And I have been touched with their kindness and passion for the Lord. Their souls are so kind and humble. I have a lot of regret for having acted the way I did on Halloween night, 2007. I had felt embarrassed, or more importantly, ashamed of myself for it. But I also have learned valuable lessons from the entire experience, so it’s hard for me to feel completely sorry about it now. It was with gratitude and love that I asked a member of that family to baptize me and perform my confirmation. It was through my own will and heart that I was ready to find the Church. I’ve been looking back at all the nonsense I’ve dealt with that year and even further back, very grateful for the trials, or maybe my heart wouldn’t have made that leap. I wanted to become a member of the Church because I have witnessed the great love that exists throughout and I know the Church is true. I know I can live with my family forever. I have felt the Spirit time and time again fill me up with great happiness. I have loved my wife with all of my soul and have done the same for my beautiful little girl. Here we are now. With a brand new feeling and a rebirth of my own heart, my wife stands alongside me with a renewal of her own. I don’t know if she ever prayed at night for me to find the Church. I never had asked her. The knowledge that I cannot destroy Heavenly Father’s love for me has grown full circle and given me strength to improve my spirit and that of my family. God sure does have a way of revealing the truth in us and to us. Amen.

How I live my faith

I am currently the Music Director for my ward...it inspires me because I truly love music. I often help others when needed, or offer regardless. Serving others is something my family truly enjoys. When I home teach my families, I try to seek the guidance of the Spirit through prayer and talk about favorite scriptures and/or also a past talk given by one of our Church leaders.