Would you donate to a cause through a guy you know absolutely nothing about?
Yeah…I don’t know if I would either!
Thus, the “Who is Dug?” page was born out of necessity.
For those of you that know me, you more than likely know most of this. But I know for those that don’t, this is an important few minutes spent. You may need a shot of coffee to keep yourself awake, though!
My name is Dug Shelby, and I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. I’m a “middle child,” and not really sure what kind of syndromes or tendencies I’m supposed to have because of that. If I do have any syndromes, it’s more likely because I was raised between two sisters. OK, two amazing sisters, but still.
I grew up in church, and “met God” on a personal level when I was 17, at a place called Camp Colby, a summer camp in the Angeles National Forest. At the time, I had thoughts of becoming a high school english teacher, but those thoughts changed after I got involved in the junior high youth ministry at the church I was attending. After an amazing year of learning from those junior high students way more than I taught, I attended John Brown University. It was there I began entertaining the idea of becoming a youth pastor and going into full time youth ministry. I ended up doing this, and eventually working at three different churches over much of the 90’s.
I went through a divorce in ’99, which for the most part wrecked me for several years. I was torn down and lost for some of that time. I was vulnerable to being accepted again, and made poor choices for a while. Some people call this type of time “walking in the desert.” I’d agree. Deserts are places where more pain than fun happens. But they can also be a place of strengthening and growth if you survive them. Thanks to a supportive & loving family, good friends and God’s mercy & grace, I emerged through the other side (for the most part) in one piece.
Today, I’m living in Northern California, near Sacramento. I’ve focused a lot of this last year putting together a ministry (Great Escape Ministries) that offers motorcycle retreat tours to Christian riders, and uses the profits to aid the organizations I’ve listed here on my website. My day job is portrait photography, and I enjoy it very much.
Speaking of “jobs”…many people find their identity in their jobs. If that’s the case, wow…I’m a class ‘A’ schizophrenic! I’ve had so many jobs, if I tried to ‘define’ myself by them, I’d go crazy. Thank goodness for Dr. Abraham Twerski’s line of thinking:
“We’ve put so much emphasis on our job … (but) the job isn’t our identity.”
I’ve sold the USA Today door-to-door when I was about 12, back when it first came out. I’ve done construction, worked on an avocado ranch, sold women’s shoes, managed a sporting goods store, been a youth pastor, office supply clerk, worked in a boatyard, delivered pizzas, made pizzas, been a cook in an Italian restaurant, worked in two different salmon processing plants in Alaska for 3 summers, been a barista on both coasts, a busboy, a dishwasher, worked as a limousine driver, waited tables, been an auto parts delivery driver, bookstore clerk, hotel renovator and trolley driver. And that’s not even all of the jobs I’ve done. I get tired just looking at the list!
Thankfully for me, our jobs don’t define us. This brings me back to the question, “Who is Dug?”
I think I’m just an ordinary, average guy. I’m a son, a big brother and a little brother, an uncle to 3 nieces and a nephew whom I love more than I can say, a cousin, a friend. Above all else, though, I’m a child of God, and thankful for His hand in my life, and His heart for the lost. Ultimately, I just want to be known as someone who loved God, and loved others.
If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to ask… I think this would be a great place to ask anything from the silly to the serious, so if something strikes you, please ask it below!