Reflections from London

I’m 26 and I was raised in church. I personally became a believer around 15 years ago. I work for an agency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, I went to Christian colleges, and I’m a seminary student. Yet, last month was the first time I experienced an overseas mission trip. And it was to London, England.IMG_1970

It’s funny, though, because this mission trip didn’t look like what I thought a normal mission trip would. I didn’t lead music at a Backyard Bible Club with 12 central American children flocked around me. I didn’t go into homes of those dying of AIDS in a third world country and deliver hospice buckets, sharing the gospel with someone who literally had one last chance to hear it.

I wasn’t forced to eat deep fried crickets out of kindness for someone’s hospitality (although I did have to pick around baked beans on my breakfast plate… and like eewww). I slept in a hotel, not a hut. I even drank tap water. My team and I definitely weren’t roughing it.

But the mission of this mission trip became dear to my heart. As I boarded my flight home I was encouraged and challenged. A few things stuck out to me. Continue reading “Reflections from London”

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What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me

What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me

(Disclaimer: I’m not a scholar on this issue. For more information, I suggest reading this: https://www.academia.edu/19789269/John_R._Rice_Billy_Graham_and_the_Dilemma_of_Ecclesiastical_Separation)

I grew up independent Baptist (fundamentalist), so the name Billy Graham was always familiar to me, but no one in my theological camp seemed to champion his preaching. It wasn’t until a church history class last semester that I realized why.

When I became Southern Baptist in college, few of my peers were having in-depth discussions of Graham, his impact, or theology, but it was understood that he was a big deal in our convention and the world at large.

I’m now, in addition to my role as a Southern Baptist journalist, a student at Southern Seminary, where we boast of having the only theological school named in his honor. Because of work opportunities, I’ve gotten to take a silly picture with his statue that used to be located at the LifeWay plaza in Nashville, and I’ve accidentally photo-bombed his son, Franklin, during his Decision America 2016 tour, while taking pictures on the job.

Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I said that I grew up on Graham. Still, he’s impacted my world.

But like I said, I grew up very independent Baptist, so much of my formative theological education was under John R. Rice’s followers. When I go home, I see a John R. Rice commentary on a bookshelf. When I decided I was called to Baptist journalism, my youth pastor’s wife advised me to work for Sword of the Lord. My pastor during my formative years was a staunch supporter of Rice.

So, don’t get me wrong, I was converted in the camp that follows Rice’s legacy, almost to a t. It was there I learned to take Jesus seriously.

But, I am a product of both men’s, sometimes cohesive, sometimes colliding worldviews. Continue reading “What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me”

Biographies to inspire

A couple weeks ago, I tweeted that I needed suggestions for a good biography to read over my winter lull. One of my followers responded with a long list of ideas. Another responded with, “Who reads biographies for fun???”

I thought, “Me! I do.” And right now, as I sit at my desk in the Kentucky Baptist Convention building with a list of stories to write and pages to proof, I undoubtedly am here because these biographies shaped my life.

Truth is, they made me want to give my life to do something for Christ, and they made me realize the importance of telling stories. Today, I combine those two passions in a way teenage me would have never imagined possible. Continue reading “Biographies to inspire”