after the #IJMFreedomTour ride. photo by emmah roepke

Christ follower, husband to rose , father to three, pastor, photographer, cyclist, and friend.

Why samgamgee? its really a long story…but worth an attempt.  i came to saving  faith during my sophomore year in high school.  one of my spiritual mentor’s (his name also was Tom)  introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkein.

sean austin as samwise gamgee from the Peter Jackson movies “The Lord of the Rings”

I had literally a fellowship of spiritual brothers and sisters at the time and we all were given names from this incredible author’s amazing tale: The Lord of the Rings. The name given to me: Samwise Gamgee.  I even had it imprinted on my high school year book.  I sort of left it along side the “road” of life so to speak until January 2005 when my bride Melinda made it possible to attend a Wild at Heart Bootcamp in the Rockie mountains north of Denver.   During one of the sessions led by John Eldredge he mapped out in the most clear way something that i hadn’t really been fully aware of…that my ultimate identity as a man is as a son of God. During a long afternoon alone at the Crooked Creek Ranch I heard so clearly that God saw me as having  the same characteristics as Samwise.  John talks about how once we embrace all that the full work of Christ has accomplished, we begin to believe and experience a new identity–a new name….a reorientation of who we truly are and our place in God’s Larger Story.   It was about that time that i started to blog and samgamgee.org was born.

Tolkein says this about the character of Sam written in a private letter:

“My Sam Gamgee is indeed a reflection of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself” (J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography page 89, Chapter VIII. Humphrey Carpenter).

2 thoughts on “about

  1. Matthew Nicholas

    Hi Tom,

    Greetings and salutations from the past! This is Matthew Nicholas. If you recall, I was the NE Political Director for the Ohio GOP from 1993-1995 and had the opportunity to call on you and Charlie Parton at the Ashbrook Center. The flap that Rush Limbaugh has raised with John McCain had me thinking about conservative political thought, Naturally, I went to the Ashbrook Center website to find an opinion on his level of “conservativeness”.

    I have tried to stay abreast of the developments of the Ashbrook Center over the years, but must admit I only have time to read the occassional pamphlet. It was always a pleasure to call on you and Charlie as I always appreciated the efforts of the Ashbrook Center as it has helped shape my political philosophy.

    What news of you? It appears you have a happy, rich life. I remember a few conversations about your involvement in youth minsitries – I’m glad to see that you are a positive mentor for youth. Congrats on the big victory over mansfield senior high!

    My wife April, Adrianna, 3, Maria, 1, and I live Bucks County, PA just north of Philadelphia. I own a benefits firm called Benefit Ideas Group. My business is most in the tri-state area, but believe it or not, I have one account in Ohio situated in Mansfield! I was just there in early December and will be there again this November. Maybe we can have a cup of coffee then. I would welcome the opportunity to travel outside of downtown Mansfield!

    Have you ever attended the March for Life in Wshington, D.C.? My wife April and I just attended it last month. We were very impressed with the immensity of the March and particularly with the amount of young people who came to witness their beliefs from all over the country. April and I are organizing next years bus trip for our Church – maybe we’ll see you there.

    By the way, please check out my Uncle Mike Krauss BLOG, http://www.mikekrauss.com . Mike was the Executive Director of the PA GOP in the 80’s and has had extensive political experience. In addition, he has lived and worked in the first, second and third world which has provided him a unique perspective on current events. He now resides in South Africa. He is a true moderate though!

    Best Regards,

    Matthew Nicholas

  2. Todd Stepp

    Hi Tom,

    Happy New Year to you! I trust you are having an enjoyable day. My name is Todd Stepp and I work for BooksChristian.com, here in Franklin, TN. We are a Christian owned & operated company that sells over 200,000 Christian products.

    I have visited samgamgee.org and have noticed that you post book reviews on your blog. I wanted to see if you would be interested in partnering with us, enabling visitors to your blog to purchase books that you review, as well as other books that you may suggest to them (books of the day etc.). In return we would pay you 9% on every sale made. There is very little work that would need to be done on your end, as we provide all the tools to create links and codes that you can post on your blog.

    I would love to discuss this further with you at your earliest convenience. I look forward to hearing from you!


    Todd Stepp

    todd stepp
    e: todd.stepp@bookschristian.com
    p: 615.497.9808
    aim: mctoddstepp

Leave a Reply