Last month a professor at East Tennessee State University read a column I wrote on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and thought enough of it to invite me to speak to her journalism class. She asked me to speak on what I think makes a good op-ed. Of my own writing, the column that caught … Continue reading Is Your Opinion Worth Our Time?
A few days ago I reported and wrote one of the only front-page stories I’ve done since being named editor. The story isn’t particularly flashy or sexy. But it took research, reading, real-life conversations with people, and it took a fair amount of work to understand its intricacies before I could actually write the thing. … Continue reading On Writing
H.L. Mencken hated the South. My first meaningful encounters with Mencken's work came while we were in Dayton. Mencken approached his coverage of the Scopes Trial — and Dayton and its people — with the same quick-witted ferocity he was famous for. In reading over his attacks of the South in Ralph C. Wood's Flannery O'Connor and … Continue reading Do We Remember: ‘We Have Had Our Fall’
Ralph C. Wood is a guy I've heard a lot about. The Baylor professor has shown up multiple times in writings of others I follow and in some casual conversations with friends. The book I keep hearing about is his Flannery O'Connor And The Christ-Haunted South. This week, I began the book both because: • O'Connor … Continue reading Learning About My Christ-Haunted People
The first time we went to Jason and Kara Tippetts' home, it was for dinner with them and a few others. All of us were joining Jason and Kara in the adventure that would later be called Westside Church. It was spring 2012. Kara's blonde hair was beautiful and hung down to her shoulders. Her … Continue reading Kara Tippetts, Our Friend
The cloud has hung over me today, and as the night falls, I can't help but think about my grandfather and my cousin — both of whom we've lost in the last few months. Death and grief are known easily. But the absence itself is harder to get used to. Healing comes, I know. But for … Continue reading ‘Grief And Griever Alike Endure’
It's been too long since I've written, but such is the case after the type of move we've had. As I write this, I'm sitting in wife's parents' living room before anyone else is awake. We're down in their home in Macon, Georgia, to celebrate Christmas with Julie's parents, siblings, their spouses, and their kids. … Continue reading Settling In Tennessee