May 3, 2010
People have been writing in diaries and journals for ages -- sometimes to vent, sometimes to fill time, and sometimes to relax by putting pen to paper. Sometimes the personal revelations are too strong to put aside, too good to be kept shut inside a notebook. Sometimes they need to be shared.
For one Oklahoma Baptist University alum, personal insights evolved into a published study.
Kristi Burchfiel, who graduated from OBU in 1999 with a bachelor's degree from the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, recently published a book titled "Without Regrets: A Study of Ecclesiastes." The book reflects on the life of Solomon as an example for living and offers practical suggestions on how to approach the Christian life.
Burchfiel said her education on Bison Hill was crucial for her development as a scholar and writer.
"My time at OBU was important to me in several ways," said Burchfiel. "You never know what God is going to have you do throughout your life. The solid background that the OBU liberal arts education provides is an opportunity for God to hone skills you might not have originally chosen to pursue."
Burchfiel began her examination of Ecclesiastes as a personal study. As she finished her research, however, she realized she wanted to share the personal findings and insights she had discovered.
"I was so excited about the truths and principles found in the book that I really wanted to share those with others," said Burchfiel. "As time went by, I felt God's leading to get my notes written down into a more formal study."
Traditionally, Ecclesiastes is not often studied, Burchfiel said. Her investigation revealed there is not a great amount of literature on the book compared to some other books in the Bible, which was one factor which made the study appealing to her. Once the process of writing the book began, Burchfiel said she had a vision for what she wanted the study to be.
"When I wrote 'Without Regrets,' while I certainly wanted the information in it to be exegetically and theologically accurate, I was focused on making the information understandable and applicable," said Burchfiel. "It wasn't the information alone, but the application of the information that made such a profound impact on my life."
Although Burchfiel was excited about the study, she had to find focus -- and an accountability partner -- to help her finish the task.
"I procrastinated at first," Burchfiel said. "After all, I didn't have time to write a book. However, once God gives you an idea, He doesn't usually let you off the hook. Finally, I buckled down, got a friend to help hold me accountable, and wrote and refined the manuscript."
Burchfiel said she is excited about the study and the opportunity that it offers people to learn how to live life according to God's design.
A native of Valley Center, Kan., Burchfiel currently lives with her family in Wichita, Kan., where her husband, D., serves at Southwest Baptist Church.
The book can be purchased on the publisher's Web site at www.tatepublishing.com or at online retailers such as www.amazon.com. For more information, visit www.kristiburchfiel.com.