if it was a choice between my words making sense and my life telling the story…

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15

So this morning my attention is focused in four distinct directions. Actually, that sentence may well be a classic non sequitur, given that “focus” implies a center of interest and activity. Maybe I should say my focus is fragmented, or that I’m trying my best to multi-task.

First, my priority was finishing up an article for the foundation I write for in Florida. Then I jumped onto the AllProDad writers portal and completed an upcoming column that talks about why people who say things like, “My kids come first” and “We will worry about ‘us’ later,” are so wrong! And now – while writing this post – I am doing a little prep work for a guest appearance on a podcast.

The pod is hosted by a preacher on the West Coast. I promise I will reflect, and share a link after we talk today. Then you can check out what he is up to in general, listen to his podcast, and even check out my interview if you like. All I know going in is that he is interested in what I have to share about men’s ministry.

I did quite a few radio interviews back when my first few books were published, and I learned quickly that being over prepared is not a great idea. I remember going into a studio with two or three pages of notes, including a few things I wanted to say exactly the way they were in the book. Good grief! That first interview was stilted and disjointed and – to be honest – boring.

Later, I realized the best approach is to relax, grab myself a cup of coffee, and have a conversation with the host. I like people; I love authentic, deep conversations; I love talking about faith, and men’s ministry, and what’s going on in the lives of real people; and when someone is particularly interested in my work then that adds a level of intensity and passion that can’t help but animate the way I answer questions.

Hence the scripture selections for today. The idea of “being awake and sober” (alert, watchful, cautious, on our guard, self-controlled, calm, and wise, according to the Amplified Bible) has been my go-to approach since Rebekah first explained sermon prep as “I try to stay awake.” I also like the phrasing in the New Life Version: “Watch and keep your minds awake to what is happening.”

The First Peter passage implies that we had better be exhibiting some evidence of hope in the way that we live… otherwise no-one is going to ask about it! You can’t be better prepared to talk about a life of faith than by living one.

This journey we’re on, this pilgrimage, is not academic it is moment by moment, day by day, experienced and observed in the nitty gritty of real life.

– talking on the podcast

If there was a choice between my words making sense and selling millions, and my life making sense enough that Jesus speaks through me, then I choose living faith out loud.

Or, as I say quite often, “Live Like You Mean it”!!!! (because God certainly meant something when you were imagined and then created) – DEREK


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