In a sense, the Southern Baptist Texan is the culmination of tens of people putting in hundreds of hours of work, expressed in thousands of words read by tens of thousands of subscribers.
And yet, each month, all of this begins with a simple and singular—yet weighty—mandate: tell the stories of what God is doing in our Southern Baptists of Texas Convention churches.
My calling here is as much historian as journalist. In 100 years, I’ll be long gone and mostly forgotten. But the stories of what God did in 2022 will remain. He is, after all, the God of lasting impressions.
As much as the end of this year sends my thoughts ahead to 2023, I can’t help but reflect on the privilege we have had this past year of documenting and sharing with our readers some of the most inspiring stories you’ll find anywhere.
In January, we told the story of how God moved in the life of Jack Peaslee. After nine decades of living, he finally—for the first time—heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. In response, he surrendered all. The words of his pastor, Michael Gossett at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, stuck with me all year long: “God is always pursuing us. He is never finished with us.”
A few months later, we shared with you the story of Earl Alcazar, a Filipino pastor in the Houston suburb of Stafford who couldn’t help but notice a growing population of Afghan refugees moving into his neighborhood. He admitted to being afraid to reach out to them because of their cultural differences, but asked the Lord to provide a way. The Lord answered, and before long, Alcanzar started noticing some of those refugees showing up at his church. If that doesn’t make your goosebumps raise their hands in worship, I don’t know what will.
I love the story we got to tell over the summer of Daisy, who heard the message of hope because an Arlington pastor dialed the wrong number one day while making visitor follow-up phone calls. Turns out it wasn’t so wrong after all, and Daisy ultimately gave her life to Christ.
People, God is alive and moving every … single … day. Our job—and I mean all of us—is to tell a watching world about it. There are millions of people who have never sensed the presence and the power of God and millions more who don’t even believe He exists.
Let’s work together in 2023 to show them something that can’t be denied. Let’s join with our Lord in making history.