In May, I trekked to North East India on a trip in partnership between Word&Way, Future Leadership Foundation and Transforming Leaders in Asia Ministries. My first trip to India, I enjoyed meeting Baptists there and learning about their culture and ministry context. I also learned a bit about driving in India.
Each weekday as I drop my son off for school, my last words to him as he grabs his backpack and hurries out of the car are “I love you!” I hope those words can carry him through his day. There are some days I want to also grab him, hug him and say those words over and over.
There is a scene in the biblical Christmas story that bugs me. I didn’t notice it for years. But one Christmas as I was preparing a couple of sermons, I was struggling with how to talk about the same stories we all know and love (without causing the congregation to saw yule logs during the sermon). I fear that sometimes we know the stories so well that we do not really pay attention to the mystery and magic of them.
As a journalist, there are stories I love to write. Like the stories from the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance last month in Bangkok, Thailand. These types of events inspire me and deepen my faith, so I’m excited to share them with others.
There are other stories I feel a responsibility to write about, even though I wish the issues I must address did not exist.
If Baptists have a guiding word it would likely be “cooperative” — at least in theory. Yet, it seems we no longer believe in the c-word. Many Baptist churches have a denominational connection on paper, but are increasingly independent in practice.
A couple local public school ballot initiatives recently inspired me to go door-to-door with my wife and five-year-old son. I told my son to say “vote for J & C” to indicate the two ballot initiatives we supported. Instead, whenever someone opened the door, he jumped up and exclaimed, “Vote for me!”
Since my election in November to serve as the ninth editor of Word&Way, several faithful subscribers have shared with me how they have read Word&Way since they were kids. I understand. I recall bringing the Word&Way in from the mailbox as a child.