Turning the calendar from October to November always turns my thoughts turn to two familiar loves. One of those loves is Thanksgiving. I can still remember many of the Thanksgiving stories and traditions introduced to me as a 5-year-old boy in Mrs. Davis’ kindergarten class. Among other things, I recall helping stir the batter for her cranberry bread and taking the recipe home to my paternal grandmother. Thirty six years later, and now 93 years old, my grandmother still has a fresh-baked loaf of cranberry bread waiting for me when our family gathers for Thanksgiving.
I have much for which to be grateful regarding my family. For me, family includes the faith families where my wife, Michelle, and I have served. It also includes our Kentucky Baptist family. I thank God for giving me the connections to fellow pastors and ministry leaders in Kentucky over the years. The privilege of serving as your executive director both humbles me and finds me grateful. I thank God and the KBC family for entrusting to me this role and pray that I will be found a faithful steward.
The other familiar love that captures my thoughts as I welcome the month of November each year some of our readers may not understand or appreciate. With that acknowledged, and my apology extended, I love deer season! Hunting is a tradition in my family. As a diapered toddler, Dad carried me through the fields behind his bird dogs. I was rested at his feet when the covey flushed, only to be scooped up again as the hunt continued.
Deer hunting came a few years later. I still recall crying at the door as I watched my dad and older brother head to the mountains before I was old enough to join them. When my time finally came, the anticipation of gifts under the Christmas tree didn’t hold a candle to the excitement prompted by my first deer hunt. Evenings spent by the campfire hearing the men tell their hunting stories, nights wrapped in a sleeping bag in a damp tent, and hours shivering in a tree stand may seem like torture to some but, to me, it was a little bit of heaven on earth. And still is.
In addition to the camaraderie of fellow hunters and the excitement of the hunt itself, time in the woods has always been a spiritual experience for me. God’s creation is best appreciated in large doses of quiet observation and reflection. Still hunting, the kind I have come to prefer, affords that opportunity like nothing else. Four hours in a tree stand provides a great setting for uninterrupted prayer.
Know that those prayers include my KBC family.