Last Sunday I got fitted for the suit I'm going to buy and wear at my wedding.

Last Sunday I got fitted for the suit I’m going to wear at my wedding.

This has been a wild year, but it is happily headed toward my wedding day. The plans are coming together, venues and food are all nailed down, invitations are going out soon and I’ll be spending the next couple of months securing housing for us here in Portland.

Since both us have friends and family spread out across the world, I wanted to give a general update. I also wanted to let my friends in Portland and in Kentucky know about receptions we’ll be having after the wedding since we are keeping the wedding small and having it in Boise, ID where Ashley is from.

The Wedding

The wedding itself will be at Kathryn Albertson Park in downtown Boise Idaho on June 21st of this year at 6:30pm, with a reception at 8:00pm in the Basque restaurant Bardenay which is also downtown. Pastor Ryan Mount will be presiding. My dad, Pastor Randy Nation, will be my best man, and my good friend, Pastor Eric Roseberry, will be my only other groomsman. My good friends Keith Doyle and Adam Coffman were also going to be in it, but living in Kentucky and Indiana and being Pastors makes the distance and duties hard to overcome. Ashley’s two lovely sisters will be her bridesmaids. We have only invited 150 people due to travel and venue restraints. Many in my own family won’t be able to attend. If these barriers were not upon us, we have no doubt that we could fill a stadium.

Portland Party

In July or August, we will be having a party in Portland, hosted by our community group from church, the same community group where Ashley and I got to know each other and started dating last year. This will be a more open event, like an open house. I’ll post a Facebook event once the details are nailed down.

Kentucky Reception

This December 29th, at my home church in Versailles, Kentucky, Woodford Community Christian Church, we will be having a reception in the afternoon. Ashley and I will be spending Christmas and New Years in Kentucky with my family and friends, and that will be the first time she will meet many of them. I’m still working out the details of this event, but between holidays with family, attending church and visiting with friends, I’ll have to be satisfied with the amount of catching up I can do with the time we have.

In the meantime…

As I have said, in the next couple of months, I’ll be focused on securing housing. We’re currently looking to live the neighborhood where our community group meets, which is also not too far from where I work. My boss and his wife were the ones who hosted our community group when I joined it last summer, and where I found myself very interested in everything Ashley had to say. I feel a bit attached to this part of town, a quirky and diverse neighborhood, including a Bible College, a ghetto, dive bars, foodie joints, and all the wonders of Portland living. Its called Montavilla. We’ll see.

Ashley will be finishing up her coursework for her Master of Arts in TESOL at Multnomah University, and I’ll continue in my work for GRAYBOX, where I’m doing marketing consulting and project management.

We’ll be doing premarital counseling at our church, most likely starting shortly before we’re married and finishing once we are married due to how the schedule worked out. We are extremely well supported, and I can’t think of a better situation for our relationship and early married years then we are having right now.

Thanks to all my friends and family, and I hope that at some point this year I’ll be able to say hello to everyone in person at least once.


Pastor Ryan Mount at his 2nd annual crawfish boil in Portland, bringing his Louisiana roots to the Pacific Northwest. He is the Executive Pastor at Mars Hill Portland.

He’s a busy man, and I have great options for Pastors who could do my wedding, but here are 10 reasons why Pastor Ryan is my top pick.

  1. When he talks about Jesus, there is a blood-urnest look in his eye that scares the crap out of me.
  2. He used to be a Navy lieutenant driving multimillion dollar ships around the world. At our church he is sometimes referred to as lieutenant Pastor.
  3. He’s from Louisiana, and within the first two weeks of meeting him I participated in my first crawfish boil per his enthusiastic request. (See photo above)
  4. Traveling around the world with the Navy, while his shipmates bought prostitutes, he bought presents for his future wife to give her on their wedding today, and that’s exactly what he did.
  5. I was the chauffeur for he and wis wife on their last wedding anniversary, and her constant refrain all day was, “Ryan, I am so glad you married me.”
  6. He and his wife let me live with them for 7 months, and invited me deep into their lives. My fears, doubts and anxiety about the possibility of marriage faded into the background of their display of grace with one another.
  7. He has cried in front of me more than once. He’s a hard man with a soft heart.
  8. He knows how to kill.
  9. I’ve had a front row seat to watching him passionately and faithfully help plant a growing church in the least churched city in America while growing his passion for Jesus and deepening his marriage.
  10. More than any friend I’ve ever had, he has modeled what it looks like to repent of sin and trust in Jesus often, and call others to do the same without fear. I have never learned so much from one person in such a short amount of time.

First, I need Jesus. Not like, I used to need him, then I got him, now I don’t need him anymore. No, not like that. I still need him everyday. Why? Because I’m still a sinner. So, to my non-Christian friends, I’m not better than you. To my Christian friends, I’m not better than you. To those who have cheated on their wives, I’m not better than you. To those who had sex with their girlfriends before marriage, I’m not better than you. To the arrogant, the insolant, the pervert and the pagan, in the same way I think you need Jesus, I need him. Any Christian pretending to be better than anyone is behaving in a non-Christian manner. The whole premiss of our faith prevents us from acting better than others. We cheated on our God, murdered him, and though he rose from the dead and saved us from our sins, we continue to fail him everyday. We are better than nobody, and only better off than everybody because our God shows us grace in an unending and incessant pursuit of love that cannot be stopped. I’m not a holy man, but an unholy one clothed in the holiness of my God who died for my sins, and changes me everyday. As my Pastor likes to say, it’s not my job nor my goal to impose Jesus on anyone, but to propose him to everyone.

Second, because of God’s grace I’ve managed to pursue my fiancĂ© in a manner that I can point to and say, “this is one of many awesome ways to do this well.” I haven’t walked the only path nor the best, but a real good one. I learned everything about this from Jesus and those who follow him, and I have been able to follow through because I relied on his Spirit to empower me and his people to look out for me. That’s how it works.

Third, it’s not over. I have a six month engagement and then a lifetime of marriage. I’m still going to need a community of Jesus-Butt-Kicking-People to rock my world from time to time. I still need to take all the emotional risk in our relationship as much as possible, and I still need to be praying and preparing for our future. This is far from over, and I’m just as dependent on Jesus right now as I ever was.

Last, I was single for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with being single, there’s something wrong with idolizing it. You get absolutely nowhere in ministry by trying to make yourself unattainably holy. There are legitimate reasons for being single, but if you’re not mature enough, rich enough, healthy enough or just generally not ready enough, then start working towards those things. Some of the best wisdom I received was that everyone is either called to celibacy or marriage. The problem is thinking that being called to marriage means you have a divine right to it, you don’t. I had to accept that, and I personally prepared myself as best and as fast as I could by God’s grace trusting that even if I never married, the spiritual growth that would come from preparing for it would be worth it because it would mean being closer to Jesus. To be honest, that’s how I’m still functioning. Jesus is my teacher, and I run out on him all the time and he is nothing but patient with me.

Jesus is the man, and he’s the point of all this.

I just want to make that clear if I can.