As the author of this blog I want my readers to be able to know just a little bit about me.
Vocation: I am a pastor at Parkside church in Chagrin Falls, OH. I currently oversee young adults and care ministries. I served as a youth pastor for over three years, and I was an intern for one year.
Education: I have an under-grad degree from Cedarville University in Pre-Seminary Bible, philosophy, and Greek. I am currently half-way through an MDiv. in Christian Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.
Interests: When I’m not with Parksiders I am most likely with my wife, Whitney. I am committed to weightlifting; I love movies, books, and sports.
Getting to know the mind behind thinkchristiandaily. *** TO PUT A FACE BEHIND THE PEN FOLLOW BRANDON ON SOCIAL MEDIA @BSMITHPKS ON INSTAGRAM!
Meet Brandon Faulkner Smith!
The following is an interview conducted by interviewer Mcclendon (Mac) Matthews with the author of thinkchristiandaily- Brandon F. Smith
Mac: Today is January 10th of 2019 and we are in a meet and greet with Brandon Smith who has recently published a blog domain called thinkchristiandaily and today we’re going to get to know a little about the author Brandon how are you doing today?
Brandon: I’m doing quite well and how are you Mr. Mcclendon?
Mac: I’m also well so let’s get started with the basics here… Brandon tell the people your full name, what you do vocationally, and where you grew up and what that was like…
Brandon: My name is Brandon Faulkner Smith. I vocationally am serving as an associate pastor at Parkside Church which means I do a number of different things for the church. I grew up in the Dayton, OH area which is in the SW corner of Ohio down by Cincinnati. And do you mean what was Dayton like or what was my childhood like?
Mac: What was Dayton like?
Brandon: Dayton is a formerly manufacturing center and it’s a pretty basic and average I’d say Midwestern town-there isn’t really anything all too exciting about it. I think people in L.A. or N.Y. would probably think of us as the “Rust Belt.” We were a rust belt city.
Mac: People are going to eventually want to know-and for people who this is the first thing they’ve seen of Brandon– you’ve taken on the ambitious endeavor of writing a blog post every day in the year of 2019.
Brandon: Yes, except for the first 5 days of 2019 because I didn’t get started until January 6th– so there should be 360 total blog posts by the end of the year.
Mac: Naturally people are going to want to know then what inspired you to write this blog?
Brandon: Yes, I would say that if you go to my very first post called “New Year New Priorities” I sort of lay it out there. Aside from what was written there I’d say I’ve always had interest in writing a blog and even tried it once a long time ago but honestly I just kind of let it fall apart and didn’t really go anywhere with it. I like writing but I also like challenging myself and without the challenge of consistently writing, reading, and critically thinking I honestly feel that I’m not even living out my calling from God. I feel that is how God has made me and created me and how I’m helpful for His kingdom and for His people. So, I wanted to write a blog not only to challenge myself but also to challenge other people who want to push themselves in similar ways. And that isn’t going to be for everyone– you know, some people may have no interest at all and I get that, and there’s always trolls, somebody might troll me and if that’s you then that’s OK. You can either write me nasty comments or you can just skip over me altogether I really don’t mind.
Mac: A lot of freedom when you come to thinkchristiandaily.
Brandon: Ya we’re pretty free around here
Mac: You mentioned part of this endeavor is taking into account that you love writing and it’s something you’re passionate about. What were the circumstances when you realized you had an interest in that? What caused you to take an interest?
Brandon: I began creative writing when I was 7 years old. I used to write rock songs on my guitar with a built-in amplifier and i would go downstairs and just write songs. I didn’t really know how to play the guitar but I was just really into rock music and writing and as funny as that sounds that’s how I began creative writing. And it was a lot of ridiculous stuff but for a 7, 8, 9 year old it was a form of poetry. And when I got into MS that poetry became a regular part of my life into HS and even into college really. But, then obviously as you get older you begin to explore writing other things and that’s really exactly what I did I began exploring to write other things. The only thing I’ve never really written is a fiction story. I’ve written basically anything else.
At the time of the interview I should have also said here, and I think it’s important to note now, that my Mom had a profound impact on me taking an interest in writing and reading. My Mom is a writer and an English Professor at Cedarville University. She was the person who first instilled a love of writing, reading, and learning into my life. Thank you Mom!
Mac: We as your faithful audience can we count on you eventually writing a rock song for the blog?
Brandon: Hahaa probably not!
Mac: Leaning away from it… OK.
Brandon: That was more of my younger years and I understand myself a bit better now. I understand God has not called me to be a rock star. So, I’m not going to be the next version of Ally from “A Star is Born.”
Mac: That’s good to know! We’ve covered you are passionate about writing and you have been committed to writing for much of your life. Who are historically or even modern writers who have influenced you. People who might come out in the way you write?
Brandon: Growing up- just for people who read this to understand– I wasn’t a Christian until about 17 so my taste in what i would read really began to change around then but growing up Mark Twain, Jack London, and Stephen Crain’s “The Red Badge of Courage” I probably read that about 5 times. Really Jack London and Mark Twain were big for me and when I got a little older I was like every kid who read the Harry Potter books. But, my love for reading really evolved right around the time I became a Christian and I began reading the Bible. And to be honest I look back now and I was reading a lot of really bad literature whose names I don’t need to bring up right now but it will probably come out in the blog sometime later. But, then I also can look back at some of the good and helpful literature– I was really into creative Christian thinkers. This is not a knock on pastors at all, but a lot of the pastor materials out there are pretty packaged for pastor-ship in a local church, but I was always more interested in Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis, and people who made me think outside the box. And then in college when I began studying philosophy I began to read a lot of philosophers. Now, I’m a seminary student so my reading has a lot to do with the work assigned to me by the professors I have. And that’s just where I’m at right now.
Mac: When you mention guys like Chesterton, Lewis, and some of the others you mentioned right there…
Brandon: I’d include Sayers in there.
Mac: Yes, it’s all marked by down-to-earth and meaningful and applicable writing that influences people. How can we count on thinkchristiandaily to bring a similar thought to us.
Brandon: I’d say to answer that question go read Lewis’ “God in the Dock” and “Meditations in a Tool shed specifically” which I believe is actually in “God in the Dock.” And when you read pieces like that it’s these small little snippets, and remember he’s a layman, he’s not a member of the clergy or like on the other side of things, but as a layman writing these things… Come to think of it Os Guinness is another helpful person with these sorts of writings. I’m reading a book by him right now called “The Call” with very short chapters. And by short chapters I mean like 2,500 words or less… And in those chapters they are pushing you to think about a topic outside the box while applying the Gospel to it. So, for example in “Meditations in a Tool shed,” Lewis is talking about the light beam and he says the famous quote, “Looking along the beam and looking at the beam are two very different experiences.” And he applies that of course to Christianity… He’s telling the story of his experience in a toolshed, but in reality what he is doing is he is pushing his reader to think completely outside the box within the framework of a Christian worldview. That is what thinkchristiandaily is really all about.
Mac: That’s great! That gives your readers much to be excited about. Now, we’ve heard about your academic interests, but what are some of the things that people who may not know you so well should know about you; some of the unique interests or hobbies or attributes that you bring to the table.
Brandon: Well, I was thinking about this and tomorrow, January 11th I will be writing a blog about tattoos and for some people of mostly the older generation that can be a controversial topic. I don’t plan to write in a controversial way, but I do have tattoos and I love tattoos and I plan to get more and I’ll talk about that tomorrow. Fitness and sports are two things I’m very into. Um… really I approach everything in my life from a biblical and theological perspective-whether that be politics, writing, it’s everything it’s my entire life and I believe that should be true of every Christian whether they’re dealing with their vocation at work, or with school, or whatever- modeling, whatever, whatever you do you should do for the glory of God and every step of the way you should be doing it with a Christian worldview. And your experience is always changing according to what goes on but the truth of the gospel doesn’t change it’s just how it is applied to your subjective situation… And that’s what I want to do!
Mac: Well that’s great and Brandon we will close with this question. We hope over time thinkchristiandaily becomes something that influences and shapes a lot of people. But, if people don’t want you to be a far off distant figure but they have questions about what you’ve written. Real thoughtful questions not trolling or anything like that, but people who want to better understand you and what you’re writing is there a way they can get into contact with you?
Brandon: I’ve set up a Gmail address through Gmail so it’s free. Thinkchristiandailyblog@gmail.com. Thinkchristiandailyblog@gmail.com. I would love to talk with people and they don’t have to agree with me. I’m not looking for debate necessarily I’m looking for thought and that’s not always the same thing. I don’t want to fight with people I want to help people along in the process and for people to help me along in the process of uncovering truth and gaining knowledge and so if that’s what it’s all about then that’s where you’d send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you go there I will respond appropriately and hopefully in an appropriate time frame.
Mac: We look forward to hearing more and to hearing more about the blog and we look forward to more posts coming soon.