GRACE LAND

Sixty-two years ago yesterday, ten-year-old Johnny Wilkinson rode his bike from 951 S. Weller Avenue, in Springfield, Missouri’s Rountree Neighborhood, to the Shrine Mosque auditorium downtown, where Elvis Presley was set to perform that night. Elvis was only 21 and had just started to top the charts and make television appearances, but his popularity hadn’t … Continue reading GRACE LAND

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I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO EVERYONE

One criticism we’ve heard over this last year is we aren’t talking to a wide enough variety of people. A typical comment is,  “You should talk to my aunt. She watches InfoWars everyday and thinks the Parkland shooting survivors are all paid actors in their twenties who never attended that high school.” I will talk … Continue reading I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO EVERYONE

JUST AS I WAS: BILLY GRAHAM AND LOSING MY RELIGION

If there were a soundtrack for my childhood, it would feature verse after verse…after plaintive, supplicating verse of "Just As I Am." The 19th-century hymn by Charlotte Elliott – not to be confused with the mawkish ‘80s soft rock hit by pop phenom, Air Supply – was the signature altar call in Billy Graham’s evangelistic … Continue reading JUST AS I WAS: BILLY GRAHAM AND LOSING MY RELIGION

#MoreOfUs

I have this report from nine months on the road across America: There are deranged shooters, bought-and-paid-for politicians, and belligerent internet trolls. There are judgmental, self-righteous, and hateful people out there. But there are more of us than there are of them. More students who are making friends, working hard to get good grades, and … Continue reading #MoreOfUs