Allen is passionate about a few things: God, his family, and a life that includes good barbecue, bluegrass music, hiking, college sports, and stock car racing. In that order: God, family and a full life of joy.
Talk radio is a natural fit for Allen. He loves to talk, and he loves people. Plus, he is full of opinions (and maybe a little wisdom too). Allen was a Methodist pastor for nearly 20 years, including 8 years at one of the largest Methodist congregations in the world (between 4,000 - 5,000 people attending each week). That has taught him a lot about faith. As a former businessman, he has experienced a lot of life. As a father of two teenage girls, he has learned a lot about real life and faith. In January 2008, Allen converted to become a layperson in the Catholic Church.
Allen was born at a very young age (ok, I think Allen thinks he was funny when he told me this, just laugh along). He grew up in the mountains in Brevard, North Carolina, and then graduated from high school in Lakeland, Florida. As a kid, he loved baseball and all things athletic. He memorized baseball box scores and NCAA tournament pairings. But the Church has usually (but not always) been a significant influence in his life.
Before entering the ministry, Allen worked in business and wandered away from God's plans for a while. Allen quickly discovered that a life serving himself, his own pleasures, and his own plans did not result in much. One day, while entering a Wall Street high-rise in New York, Allen stepped over a homeless man lying on a subway grating for warmth. At that pivotal moment, God taught Allen that it was time to leave behind his own plans and embrace God's plans for his life. A life of serving others and following Jesus. Allen then became a minister. And he has never looked back.
Allen and his wife, Anita, met in college at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Along the way, Anita helped Allen earn a Ph.D. in New Testament from Yale University. Together, they enjoy a life devoted to loving God and helping people discover God's purposes. They now have two daughters, SarahAnn and Griffin.
A “crisis” would have occurred if my daughter had passed out and there were no medics to call. In much of the world, that is a reality, and it is a true crisis. A “crisis” would have occurred if my daughter had fallen, and the medics had refused to treat her until I could demonstrate 100% ability to pay.
I had hoped that President Obama would have read my words from last week by now.
Powerful words, those: I do not know. Important when presenting data upon which key decisions will be made. Crucial when answering questions when one is not clear on the answer.
One can only imagine what would happen if any passionate Christians still remaining at Yale demanded a Christ Month, with full staffing and funding from the university?
Only three people have I ever met in person and felt small.
As Neda Soltan lay dying in the streets of Tehran last week, my mind turned to the memory of Jane McCrea, the young woman whose death is credited by some historians with helping the Americans defeat the British at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.
The absence of a specific request for forgiveness leaves the wound open.
For two weeks, I have been struggling to process President Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world.
Conway, Arkansas has now produced two remarkable 20-somethings in the same year. The first: Kris Allen, the newest American Idol. The second: Private William Long. Sadly, you know a lot more about the former than the latter.
Guantanamo is no threat; the prison in your own community is. Have I got your attention?
To be honest, I could never do it. If my wife cheated on me, I just cannot see myself mustering the spiritual strength to forgive her and keep the relationship together.
or a moment, President Barack Obama stepped over the carnage of his misguided philosophy of encouraging death.
Three times in the same week! I had to rub my eyes in disbelief. Bankruptcies keep piling up. On three separate occasions in the past week, bankruptcies became front of mind.
Last week's release of the Bidens' tax returns reveals a troubling character weakness. Stinginess. Unrelenting shameless stinginess.
urely, the President's speech on nuclear disarmament was meant as irony. Does Mr. Obama seriously intend to lead us back to the 1930's? A pre-nuclear age?
Grace can be taught. And the lesson can often be painful to learn.
The university has an opportunity to live up to its name or into its shame.
Assaulting the very idea of marriage is exactly what is occurring at every turn. Consider just four examples from the past week:
The leading source of information for the Church's obituary came from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), a survey which revealed a deep shift in America's faith life since 1990.
Death has ripped off a winning streak in March not seen since the days of Chairman Mao or Pol Pot. Death just may prove to be the growth industry to lead us out of America's recession.