One of the very first blogs I encountered, when I began blogging almost five years ago was a very thought provoking, inspirational site called Thoughts of a Christian Woman. Along with Bob Cleveland, Alyce Lee Faulkner, Paul Burleson, Wade Burleson, and Ben Cole, I read her site regularly. I had the privilege of meeting all of those people, along with Dr. Dwight McKissic, at the Baptist Conference on the Holy Spirit at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas back in 2007, I believe. Bob was sitting at a table wearing a pink hat, announced in advance, and when I walked up to introduce myself, there at the table was everyone else.
The Baptist blogging world is losing a giant.
It is rare to encounter Christians, especially in our culture and day, who are willing to stand firm and tackle difficult issues, not because they are looking to advance their own agenda, but because they are genuinely trying to make things better and open the doors to wider acceptance of God’s will and movement in the church. Debbie has been a Baptist voice speaking truth, wrapped in integrity, motivated by her love for the Lord, his church, the denomination it belongs to and her own local congregation. In the face of some very unfair, unjustified, vitriolic attacks, she has stayed firm and true to her own convictions, and has stood for the truth, even when it wasn’t pleasant to do so.
On her website (check out the link at http://debbiekaufman.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/my-last-post/) you can find her last post. It contains a tribute to her home church, Emmanuel Baptist in Enid, Oklahoma, that is worth reading more than once. I hope that her pastor, and her fellow church members are proud of the way they are serving the Lord, doing so in such a way to inspire such a description from one of the church members, not proud in the sense that they are full of themselves and what they have done, but that they are instruments in God’s hands and are willing to be used that way. Not many people can describe their church in those terms, but Debbie has done so. I’ve always intended to pay a visit some Sunday, and now that I’ve moved to Pennsylvania, that won’t be as easy as it might have been if I were still living in Texas, but I still plan on doing that some day.
God bless you, Debbie. Through these past years, you’ve been through a lot, but you have remained faithful, Christlike and handled your ministry with integrity and grace that is a clear demonstration of your faith. Thanks for the words you’ve penned over these years. You’ve been an inspiration.
And you’ll be missed.