By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
The B&R staff prepares the copy, proofs it carefully (we have the two best proofers any publication could have in Mary Nimmo and Susan Dalton). David Dawson (TBMB communications specialist who writes for and designs the paper) and I also read it carefully prior to sending it to the printer.
Invariably, the paper is printed and we occasionally find something that we probably should have caught the day before. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to and I attribute it to the dedication and diligence of our staff.
When I first joined the B&R staff nearly 31 years ago, design and production of the paper was much harder than it is today. With computers, we can make a correction instantaneously at any point in the process (before we send it to the press, of course). In those early years, making a correction was a tedious and difficult process. We still worked hard to eliminate errors, primarily typos, but they happened more often than not.
We had a precious lady who worked in one of the TBC entities who delighted in finding those typos and she would make sure we knew what they were within minutes after receiving her copy. We learned just to grin and thank her.
Looking back, we should have let her read the paper before sending it to the press, but my best guess is that she wouldn’t have been nearly as effective at catching our mistakes before the fact.
But that’s the blessing of a printed publication. Every two weeks, we start with a fresh roll of newsprint (paper on which the B&R is printed). There are no mistakes on that roll.
As we are nine days into a new year, God has given each of us a fresh roll of newsprint to begin 2019. Each of us wrote our stories on God’s newsprint last year. I imagine all of us can find things that we wish we had done differently or could have eliminated.
Then again, some things happen that we cannot control. We all face difficulties in life. Many Tennessee Baptists faced illnesses or deaths of loved ones last year. Some of our Christian brothers and sisters no doubt experienced loss of jobs or financial difficulties. I also rely on my “go to” verse: John 16:33, Holman CSV. “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world.
Be courageous. I have conquered the world.”
Life’s circumstances may have prevented us from accomplishing what we want to in our Christian walk last year. Satan loves to throw roadblocks at God’s Christian soldiers to keep them from accomplishing His will.
As I reflect on 2018, I know I fell short in some areas of my Christian walk. God has helped me see what those are and I will strive to do better in 2019. That’s the beauty of a “fresh roll of newsprint.” It provides a fresh start – an opportunity to improve over the previous year, an opportunity to perhaps restore strained relationships, an opportunity to renew the joy of your salvation, and the list goes on.
My prayer is that everyone will take advantage of a new beginning in 2019. We can’t erase what happened last year. We can’t change or rewrite history, but we can pledge anew to take advantage of the fresh start that a new year offers. Praise God for that new roll of newsprint. Let’s use it for His glory in 2019.