For our first post of 2023, I am grateful to share Dr. Timothy Beogher's thoughts. It was my privilege to study under Beogher during my doctoral work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
With the dawn of each New Year, I re-read a poem by Louisa Fletcher Tarkington, titled “The Land of Beginning Again.” She wrote in one stanza:
I wish there were some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches And all our selfish grief Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, And never be put on again.
Carl Bruin, a Christian poet, wrote an additional stanza to the poem:
I have found in the Book, that wonderful place, Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where the sins of the past are remembered no more And the years, locust-eaten, the Lord doth restore. All our filthy rags changed for a garment of grace, And the soul is begotten again! Oh, I've found, yes, I've found, that wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again.
What a wonderful truth with which to begin a new year! God is a God of grace, and the beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to “forget what lies behind, and reach forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).
Timothy K. Beougher Ph. D.
B.S., Kansas State University; M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Th.M., Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Beougher is the Associate Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Ministry; Billy Graham Professor Evangelism and Church Growth (1996).
He has written and edited numerous works related to evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual awakening, including Overcoming Walls to Witnessing; Training Leaders to Make Disciples; Evangelism for a Changing World; Accounts of a Campus Revival: Wheaton College 1995; and Richard Baxter and Conversion.Beougher currently serves as senior pastor of West Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville and has ministry experience as an evangelist, church planter, and interim pastor.