Grace, Truth, & Coffee is a community shaped by grace while pursuing truth.
I’m David, the resident guide, teacher, student, and friend. I’m a writer, photographer, and speaker fascinated with the beauty around us, spirit within us, fullness of life, and the meaning of it all.
My life’s journey has taken a non-traditional route. Although raised in the Bible belt, I was never a person of faith. I studied many different religions in my early pursuit of truth. Eastern philosophy was intriguing and had the feel of enlightenment, but my ultimate guide was this quote:
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” -Galileo Galilei
This shaped my worldview. It seemed religion required shutting off our higher brain functions. While remaining interested in philosophy (particularly the “why are we here” questions), I walked away from religion entirely. Simply put, I couldn’t turn off my brain. Instead, I pursued science and earned degrees in Physics, Computer Science, and Information Assurance while also getting minors in Philosophy and Math.
The journey of life continued. It meandered and deepened. Against all odds, I became a Christian at the age of 32. Unlike many adults who find Christ, I wasn’t experiencing a crisis or loss. After some struggles, life finally made sense. It was at that point I entered into a relationship with God.
My old way of thinking has never left. As a new Christian, all my old questions remained. I couldn’t remain true to myself if I ignored them. What I discovered as I continued to press in is that God isn’t afraid of our questions. Taking my old doubts and exploring them sincerely and deeply has led me to the most holistic, comprehensive world view I’ve ever known. Instead of compartmentalizing rationality and faith, I have discovered harmony between it all. Science is the study of creation. Theology is the pursuit of the creator. They don’t conflict. They can’t.
As I’ve explored my relationship with God, He has continued to shape me. My faith journey led me into the world of photography. I have become a missionary, worship leader, chaplain, teacher, and pastor. He has transformed my life. At my core, I’m still the same skeptical deep thinker I’ve always been. God has affirmed these attributes in me, shaping them for His purpose and kingdom. Although I now live wholly surrendered to Him, I have never been more fully alive nor fully “myself” as I am today. That quote from Galileo still applies. God hasn’t intended us to forgo the use of our brain at all.
Here at GTC, you’ll find photos and words meant to enrich your life and guide your journey. I don’t shy away from hard topics, but strive to handle them with love and grace, valuing relationships over arguments. Every now and then an uncomfortable truth may emerge and when it does we’ll press into it together.
Ultimately I’m just a pilgrim on a journey. My hope and prayer is that we discover there is much more that unites us than could ever divide us, regardless of our backgrounds, experiences, and belief system. We all crave harmony between what’s going on within us and what is true around us.
Oh, and every now and then our dog (Peter Barker) might contribute to our community as well.