Thursday, June 7, 2012

I am a West Virginian...and a Kentuckian and an Oklahoman...and More

Alfred Lord Tennyson, in Ulysses, said, "I am a part of all that I have met" and in that he was right.  Today I paraphrase it as, "I am a part of everywhere I have lived."  I was born free because I was born a Mountaineer.  (Montani Semper Liberi—"Mountaineers Are Always Free"—is the motto of West Virginia.)  Appalachia runs through my veins.

When I was in sixth grade my father, a pastor, moved our family to Kentucky to serve another congregation.  I learned that grass can be blue.  I graduated from Boyd County High School in 1989.  My influential teen years were spent in Kentucky.  Unbridled Spirit runs through my veins.

I felt God call me to Mid-America Bible College (now Mid-America Christian University) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to study for the ministry.  Four years and one degree later I left Oklahoma, a land of great people.  Great is the God of the Oklahomans!  Sooner runs through my veins.  

These three great areas—two states and one commonwealth—helped shape me into the person that I am.  I'm proud of them all.  But one loyalty is greater.

I am a citizen of heaven.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV)
Glory runs through my veins.