Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living Forward

  • driving through Tampa on election day
    Question: Is today’s post a follow-up from yesterday’s blockbuster?
  • Answer: Isn’t every post somehow related, because they’re all poured through the same filter? (ie, The Life-Charged Life)
  • Question: I’m new to this blog. Do you always write about the same thing?
  • Answer: If by “the same thing” you mean LIFE, then yes. But life is active, growing, surprising, insistent, varied and unpredictable; so – like life – expect exactly what you get.
So, yes, this is most definitely a follow-up post. At first I thought today’s thoughts had nothing to do with “300-million shades of purple,” but then I remembered that this story took place on election day, and – also – that I did talk about the election in my radio interview. But forgive me, I’m ahead of myself already.
SPIRIT-FM in TampaCOOL BEANS: Tuesday morning I had a meeting with the station manager at SPIRIT-FM. I had sent him a copy of my latest book, 10 Life-Charged Words, and looked forward to pitching the idea of some kind of an interview or plug.
But when I arrived he took me directly to one of the studios, found me a cup of coffee, stuck me in front of a mic, and launched into a 30-minute in-depth conversation about 10 Life-Charged Words. It was – ready or not – the interview I’d been looking for!
Of course I wasn’t even remotely prepared. But not being prepared is sometimes better than worrying about a performance ahead of time; or – worse still – showing up with a fistful of notes. So I didn’t have time to get nervous and we simply had a good conversation about faith.
If I’d known I was going to be on the radio I’d have at least shaved before I left the house!
ELECTION: Halfway through the interview I was asked about the fact that “The Church” has a waning influence when it comes to North American culture. The host suggested that, while we all want faith to be relevant, “Christians” must draw the line somewhere. Some things, he said, are non-negotiable; there are standards, and positions on social issues, that simply can’t be compromised.
I can’t recall my response with 100% accuracy, at least until my segment runs, but this is the essence of how I replied:
“Too often people of faith define themselves (at least publicly) by what they’re against: ‘Don’t do this;’ ‘we’re against that;’ ‘if you act in this way you’re going to hell;’ ‘God hates ______ (fill in the blank)….’
“But here’s what I want your audience to know: I stand for light; I am an all-in witness to life; Jesus wants us to live forward and to absolutely, passionately, live like we mean it. The Gospel is all about Good News and the invitation to more and better life. The tone of this contentious election we’ve just witnessed makes it painfully obvious how much our nation needs to hear a little good news for a change….”
  • The Good News is an invitation, not a condemnation;
  • It’s a “Living Water” thing;
  • It’s about, “Come and see;”
  • And, most definitely, it’s “Where else can we go, Lord, only you have the words of life” (John 6:68).
“10 Life-Charged Words”
LIGHT & LIFE: This election, I told the radio audience, has been defined by the negative. But our opportunity, as people of faith, is to live in such a way that the New And Living Way leaks out of us like a bright light stuffed in a paper bag.  ”Shine among them like stars in the sky  as you hold firmly to the word of life” – (Philippians 2:15-16).
I’ve got to say, I left that radio studio totally stoked about the future. This is our opportunity; this is our responsibility; this is our time!

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