Taking the simplicity of a child's book combined with the seriousness of a message for adults, Oklahoma Baptist University alum Bradley Watson recently published, "Mountains, Pilgrims, and Foreign Language," a collection of stories, poems and thoughts to inspire and encourage the church.
Watson said the volume comes after two periods of unemployment, two journals, six drafts, three editors, one move to the Northwest and 15 months of writing, rewriting and editing.
"I wanted to write a simple book about the simple realities of changing the world and following Jesus," Watson said. "Basically, it is a children's book for big people.
"Our hope is that the book will be helpful to students as they process their idealistic visions of changing the world and question their faith," Watson said. "The inspiration and desire to write the book came from my time at OBU. The book highlights my journey through my OBU years -going from wanting to change everything to wanting be changed by God and obey His commandments."
"Mountains, Pilgrims, and Foreign Language" is Watson's creative attempt to show the way a relationship with God transforms both an individual and the world.
"The core of the stories come from my second Moleskine journal - my companion to the mountains of New Mexico, college, Los Angeles and my involvement with Canterbury," he said. "The book is also illustrated. I put those doodling skills I perfected in college to good use."
After graduating from OBU in 2008, Watson worked for Vertical Learning Curve alongside Dr. John Cragin as a creative writer and marketing assistant. Watson helped lay the framework for an online MBA course offered by OBU. He later worked for Hertz Rental Car in customer service and management. He also has been a freelance writer for Christian non-profit organizations, production companies and real-estate companies, with some of his work published on The Brink website.
Watson and his wife, Mirela Azevedo Watson, also a 2008 OBU graduate, moved to Portland, Ore., in July 2009 to be part of church planting in the city. They are part of Bread and Wine, a network of missional communities throughout the city of Portland. The Watsons serve as leaders of a missional community in the southeast part of the city. Watson is also pursuing a master's degree in theology and biblical studies at Western Seminary.
"Mirela and I hope this book will be an inspiration to readers on their pilgrimage as they try to walk with God, change the world and love their neighbors," he said.
The author has long-standing familial ties to his alma mater and to missions involvement. His mother, Sherri McKinney Watson, graduated from OBU in 1981 with a degree in elementary education, and his father, Glenn Watson, graduated in 1983 with a degree in church music, voice. They serve as International Mission Board missionaries in Cochrane, Canada, where his father is the professor of preaching and pastoral ministry and his mother is the director of students at Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary. His brother, Derek, earned a degree in telecommunication in 2006.