“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet. “Even longer,” Pooh answered.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Nothing stays the same. Life is a series of seasons and changes for all of us. Doors open and close; time marches on, and if we are wise, we try to anchor our souls to the unchanging and immutable security of our Savior’s arms and to hold everything in this temporary world loosely. I have done that better at some times than others. Change, even good change, is rarely without a bit of pain in the adjustment.
I have often joked that when I launched a Christian magazine in 2002 my great desire was to find work that allowed me to stay home, wear my pajamas and talk to my dog—which I did in the beginning. However, I had no idea that this midlife crisis career would impact every waking moment for the next 16 years. The relationship between the magazine and my heart has been a lot like a marriage that lasts—good times and not so good times, tethered together for better or worse by deep love and commitment.
Today I put a period at the end of this chapter in my life. I always thought I would know when the time came, and here it is. I can honestly say that God has orchestrated every detail of the journey.
I wish I had a YouTube video of my first cold calls soliciting businesses to believe in the crazy dream of a middle-aged ex-soccer mom who thought she could start a Christian magazine. It would make a good skit for the old Saturday Night Live.
As a child of the 1950s who probably watched one too many “Miss America” pageants, I feel a little like the retiring titleholder who gives her farewell speech with tears and hands over the crown to next year’s winner. It has been quite a journey, and I am grateful to you who have read us, you who have shared your faith stories, and you who have generously supported us by advertising. You, along with many devoted staff through the years, all made this magazine happen.
What’s next? I do not plan to disappear. I hope to do some freelancing and continue speaking to different groups, and I intend to spend a lot more time being “MaeMae” to my bright and beautiful grandchildren. If I can get Charles to slow down, maybe I can get him to take me back to France! We do have a “bucket list,” and it’s about time we got started!
Katie Eubanks was a fresh-out-of-college girl when she knocked on my door the first time. She wanted to work for a Christian magazine, and I had just hired two new people that I was not sure I could afford. In spite of her impressive credentials, there were just not enough pennies in my piggy bank to hire her, too.
But I watched her flourish over the years at The Northside Sun and later at the Clarion-Ledger. I always enjoyed reading whatever she wrote, and I remarked to Charles that, “Katie really has an old soul.” That’s a compliment in case you are wondering. She sees beyond the surface, and she loves Jesus and other people.
I don’t think I could hand this mid-life baby of mine over to just anybody, but I totally trust Katie Eubanks to love this little publication as much as I have. I can’t wait to watch her put her stamp of creativity on it.
The most important thing is—she believes in its mission as passionately as I do.
This is a special issue, and not just because it is my last as publisher. Ruth Ann Rigby has been a great friend to Mississippi Christian Living. Her story of recovery from alcohol dependency is every bit as interesting as a redemptive story about some of our favorite heroes of the Old Testament. It reminds me of the eternal truth that God goes to great lengths to save His people. Ruth Ann Rigby’s testimony should spell HOPE for anyone searching for a way out.
Read on, and stay in touch! And continue to enjoy Mississippi Christian Living for years to come!
Marilyn H. Tinnin
When I was a freshman in college, I decided I wanted to create a Christian magazine one day. It would be half entertainment magazine, half literary magazine, all with a Christian perspective. I even came up with a “biblical” name for my future venture at one point: Salt.
I’m not sure how I thought a publication made up of half pop culture, half poetry would attract an audience, but that was my idea.
A few years later, I took two of the coolest classes ever under Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni at the University of Mississippi. One class focused on designing a magazine prototype, and the other involved creating a business plan.
It’s funny how God works: During those two semesters, I was in an absolute crisis. I was questioning everything you could think to question about the Bible, God, Jesus’ resurrection and Christianity. My one respite? Dreaming up ideas for a Christian magazine. Weird.
Thanks be to God, He cleared a path in my mind and led me to Christ in June 2010, shortly after graduation. I still wanted to start my own Christian magazine—but I had to get a job. One of the first offices I visited? Mississippi Christian Living, then known as Metro Christian Living.
Marilyn didn’t have a place for me then, but we kept in touch. I worked for four years at The Northside Sun newspaper and then three years at the Clarion-Ledger, where I actually got to run a monthly magazine, Magnolia, for part of that time.
I don’t have enough space here to talk about how much I learned at those publications; how many crazy-cool opportunities they gave me; or how the people I met there, both believers and nonbelievers, have impacted my life.
When Marilyn approached me about taking the helm of Mississippi Christian Living, I was overjoyed. She has created a magazine that helps Jesus followers in Mississippi feel a little bit more encouraged, inspired, and unified, and I am thrilled to carry it to the next generation of believers.
Christians get to experience the greatest blessing possible: fellowship with the Maker of the Universe. But it’s easy to feel isolated and alone, even in the Hospitality State. It’s my prayer that this magazine would help point you to Christ, His Word and His Bride in Mississippi in new and beautiful ways.