This Little Light of Mine
In the spring of 2023, the final days in the life of Surry Living Magazine went by in a flurry of activity, concern, and regret. When we released the April 2023 “Music Festival” issue, our most popular issue each year for its extensive coverage of the upcoming local and regional music festivals, we were not sure if it would be the final issue. At that time, we were negotiating with two potential buyers, and it looked very possible that our labor of love might continue indefinitely. But first one and then the other suitor backed out.
“It’s just not a good time for us,” said one.
“I’m not sure I can make it work with my other responsibilities,” said the other.
And so, we made the difficult decision to shut down operations and shutter our proverbial doors. While we knew we couldn’t continue the magazine with our other mounting responsibilities, we had hoped and prayed someone would come along who loved our idea as much as we did. But they didn’t.
And then they did.
We didn’t know Kevin Pyles and his family when they first came knocking on our email door. He had heard through the Surry County informal grapevine that Surry Living was up for sale in the final hours of its existence. To be honest, we were skeptical and almost reluctant to open negotiations with him and his organization. We were “done” by then, and any work needed to revisit the sale might just lead us back to the pain of our earlier disappointments. After much discussion and prayer, we decided it couldn’t hurt to talk to him. Just maybe he could bring new life from the ashes of our memories.
What you are now looking at took months of preparation, hard work, and commitment along with a few bumps in the road. Even so, no one gave up and we are excited to see the Pyles family’s new Surry Living Magazine on the shelves once again! We hope you love it and are as happy as we are to see it back on the shelves and racks in and around Surry County.
Kevin and his team have made it clear that they want to make Surry Living Magazine the best regional magazine of its kind by expanding the content and offerings yet keeping the local flavor and the best of the past from the magazine’s early years. In that vein he invited the previous contributors back to continue to bring great, relevant, and interesting content to our area. He even extended that offer to yours truly, and at least for a limited time, I hope to bring you a word or two of hope and encouragement just as I’ve always endeavored to do.
Finally, I want to say one more thing about Kevin Pyles and his boss. When I first spoke with Kevin, I didn’t know him from Adam. I had to “Google” him and stalk him a bit on social media to get any idea of who he is and what makes him tick. Later we communicated by email many, many times (did I say many times?), then by phone, and finally our teams met in person for a time of getting to know one another and to shake out the details for the magazine’s ownership and future publication transition. And each time, through each avenue, I became better and better acquainted with Kevin Pyles. Now I feel like I really know him—not just about him— and I’m here to say, honestly, I think he’s a good guy. He’s another hero of our community, one who cares about friends and family, and wants to make a lasting difference for Surry County.
Also, Kevin is a guy who puts his faith in God and trusts him to lead him in the way of right living and service to our community. So, I ask you, do you know Kevin’s boss, a.k.a., the Lord Jesus Christ? Or do you just know or have heard or read something about him, good or bad? Do you know him, or have you only let others tell you what they think about him without seeking him out for yourself?
Let me tell you from someone who once knew little about Christ, but now knows him personally and is wonderfully acquainted with his love for all of us (John 3:16), knowing about someone is no substitute for really knowing them. The good news—the really good news—is that he is waiting for you to open the door of your life and heart to him with his arms wide open.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20 NLT).