Welcome to my blog! It is my hope that my website will add value to your life, encourage and inspire you to live the life God created you to live, and provide you with resources to equip you on your journey.
I am 30 years old an I absolutely love my life! I am married to my high school sweet heart, Laura Smith! I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I am passionate about adding value to peoples lives and helping them reach their maximum potential. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my wife, writing, reading, running, speaking, learning about leadership, and working out using Beachbody programs!! I am currently employed by Light of Life as the Manager of Outreach and Major Gifts.
My Story: I had the privilige of speaking at my home church, Victory Family Church in July of 2015. In my message, I shared my story along with the principles that have allowed me to live for God over the last 12 years. You can watch that message here:
My Contact Information
What You Will find on My Site:
Blog Posts: My goal is to bring you fresh content that will encourage you, inspire you, and equip you to live the life that God intended you to live. As mentioned before, you can subscribe to my blog via RSS feed or E-mail.
Learning to Lead Podcast – Each month I interview a high-level leader about leadership, personal growth, productivity, life balance, and the area of their expertise. I record these interviews and make them available on this podcast. I also record one personal leadership lesson each month that I teach. It is my hope that this podcast encourage you, inspire you, and equip you to be the leader you are called to be.
Learning to Lead Breakfast Series – Once a month, Learning to Lead will host monthly Leadership breakfasts. The purpose of the breakfasts will be to expose young leaders to seasoned leaders in order to learn from them. I’m going to be bringing in the best leaders I know to teach their best leadership content. I believe that through these breakfast lessons, leaders who listen to them will be able to go further, faster in their leadership journeys.
My Speaking Podcast – In addition to the Learning to Lead podcast, I speak at a lot of churches, youth groups, and other ministries. When I speak at one of these, I always record my talk and make them available to you on this podcast. It’s my hope that these talks will help you grow closer to Godand equip you to live for Him. Check out my speaking page here.
My Bi-Monthly Newsletter – This is an opportunity to take your growth to the next level. You can sign-up for exclusive bi-weekly emails that will inspire, motivate, and equip you to take your life to the next level. Subscribe here.
Tools and Resources – On this page, I include links to some of my favorite tools and resources for productivity and personal growth.
To Get You Started, Here are my Top Ten Viewed Blog Posts:
- Salt and Light
- Success Doesn’t Feel Like Success
- Marriage: Worth It
- We’re Debt Free
- The Hand You Have Been Dealt
- Our First Year of Marriage
- Matt Cooke
- Are You Building a Great Life
- Wax On, Wax Off
You can also go through my Blog Archives to see every post I’ve written.
- Currently work at Manager of Outreach and Major Gifts at Light of Life Rescue Mission (March 2015 – Present)
- Development Officer at Light of Life Rescue Mission (October 2012-March 2015)
- Started Learning to Lead Pittsburgh (July 2015 – Present)
- Sandler Training President Club Sales Training – (June 2014 – Present)
- Member of the Pittsburgh Rotary (November 2013 – Present)
- Went through Carnegie Bosch Institute’s Leadership as a Daily Challenge Program (October 2013)
- Completed the Serving Leaders Leadership Collaborative Cohort 10 (September 2012 – February 2013)
- Worked as the Major Donor Coordinator at Light of Life Rescue Mission (April 2012 – October 2012)
- Worked at Light of Life as the Volunteer Coordinator (March 2011 – April 2012)
- Worked as a Youth Pastor at Champion Life Church (March 2011 – June 2012)
- Worked at Victory Family Church as a Youth Assistant with Revolution Student Ministries (Dec. 2007 – February 2011)
- Graduated from Life Christian University with a Masters Degree in Theology in 2010
- Graduated from Life Christian University with a Bachelors Degree in Theology in 2008
- Graduated from Robert Morris University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management in 2008
- Finished a 2 year mentoring program with Jeanne Mayo (2008-2010)
- Worked at Citizens Bank as a Sales and Service Supervisor (2005-2007)
- Worked at Starbucks as a Barista(2004-2005)
- Interned at Victory Family Church for their Youth Ministry (2003-2005)
- Graduated from North Allegheny High School in 2003
- Reading /Personal Growth
- Running – I’ve run 6 Marathons
- Working out with Beachbody Products – Beachbody changed my life!
Growing up, I had a very normal childhood. We had family nights, ate dinner together regularly, and just had a blast together! However, when I was 10 years old my mother became ill and it changed the way our family did things. My sister and I took care of my mom and spent the majority of our childhood hanging out with our friends. My dad worked hard to support our family.
In middle school a friend invited me to a Christian camp. I had no idea that my life would never be the same after that week. At the end of the week, my counselor asked me if I wanted to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I said yes, and knelt by the bed and asked Jesus into my heart.
After camp, I started attending Middletown Road Baptist Church twice a week! I fell in love with God and I felt like there was a call of God on my life to go into ministry.
When I got into high school, I slowly started making poor decisions and hanging out with the wrong crowd. I started drinking and doing & selling drugs. I had decided that I would never get into a good college so I quit trying in school. I ended up graduating high school with a 1.6 GPA. I walked away from my relationship with God.
In October of my senior year of high school, my mom passed away. The thing that grieved me the most was I didn’t know if she had a relationship with God or not. I had no idea why that bothered me so much, because God wasn’t a big part of my life at that time, but every night I would toss and turn in my bed thinking to myself, “I’ll never know. I’ll never know if she knew God.”
Three months later I get a call from my cousin and she said, “Doug, I know you don’t really know me, but I really felt like God wanted me to call you and tell you something. I know you are a Christian and I wanted to let you know that I was a nurse in the hospital that your mom was in and I got to witness to her every day and she made Jesus the Lord of her life a few weeks before she passed.”
I do not remember the rest of that conversation, but I do remember hitting my knees with tears running down my cheeks and crying out to God, “Here I am God. I’m yours! I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”
A few weeks later I started going to a Bible study led by a soccer mom! She took me in as a part of her family. They ended up bringing me to the church they attended. Little did I know that I would end up interning and working there one day! I rededicated my life to God and never looked back.
It’s been nearly a decade since I made that decision. I marriedthe woman of my dreams who just happened to be the daughter of that soccer mom who led the Bible Study I attended, I have run four marathons, I have a degree in business and masters in theology, I work at a non-profit that helps the down and out, I’m in the best shape of my life and I love every single day of my existence. I’ve traveled around the world. I have a purpose. I have a vision.
I don’t say that arrogantly, I say that because my life has been radically changed with the decision to pursue God with all of my heart. It wasn’t all easy, a lot of it was uphill, I had to make some tough decisions, and pay a steep price. I can say this though, it was beyond worth it! God has been very good to me and I believe He’s called me to help others know Him and help them be everything God created them to be. That is now the focus of my life.
So many people think that if they live a life for God they have to give up having a fun life and that they’re going to be boring for the rest of their lives, or that God is a crutch for “weak” people, or they’ve seen too many “hypocrites” in the church to ever want to pursue God.
Listen to me, when you go after God you do have to give some things up. Things like a bad marriage, a purposeless life, addiction, bondage, the list goes on and on. The beautiful part is you don’t have to quit everything bad in your life then go after God. You just start pursuing Him, and eventually all those things that weighed you down, slowly fade out of your life. Living a life sold out for God is the most rewarding and fun life you could possible live. It is the greatest decision you’ll ever make.
If you’re reading this and you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t know if I have ever made Jesus the Lord of my life. I don’t know if I died today if I’d go to Heaven or Hell. Listen, Jesus Christ came and died on a cross so you could have eternal life and have life abundantly while your here on earth. He said, “I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life and no one goes to the Father, but through me.” All you have to do is believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that you believe Jesus Christ died on a cross and rose from the dead for you.
If you want to do that, pray this out loud where you hear it: “Father, I thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to die on a cross for my sins. I believe He died on a cross and rose from the dead for me. Father, I ask you into my heart, and thank you for coming. I thank you that my sins are washed away & I’m Heaven bound. In Jesus name, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer you’ve just started a relationship with God. It really is that simple. I encourage you to do a few things:
1.) Get in a good church (ask me and I’ll help you find one)
2.) Get a Bible and read it!
3.) Get yourself around some Christian friends that are farther along in their walk with God and have them mentor you and help you along in your journey!
If you have any questions – just ask me! I love you and I am pumped up about what God wants to do in and through your life! Thanks again for checking out my blog. I hope it’s a real blessing in your life.