Mike Leake on why he’s not a fan of Blessed Assurance.
Politics have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. When I was in the eighth grade, I wanted to be President of the United States, and I was dead serious. I was going to go to West Point, become a lawyer, then a senator, then president.
But I decided this week that I no longer want politics to happen to me. I want to engage with political discussions on my own terms, not my Twitter timeline’s terms, which bombarded me with political content every hour of the day.
When I left my last pastorate of 11 1/2 years one of my deacons said, “You never preached a boring sermon.”
Before that statement I had never really thought about it. No pastor sets out to be boring, of course, but how many of us set out with a specific intent not to be boring? The opposite of boredom is not the sermonic equivalent of a stand-up routine or an SNL reenactment. Do not think unless the pastor is turning cartwheels or lighting things on fire then the entire congregation is in danger of boredom. Boredom happens when the preacher does not engage the gathered listeners, fails to capture their imagination, or otherwise does not present God’s word is a way that holds them and won’t let go.
Darth Vader vs Buzz Lightyear
The Vader costume is kind of weak, but this is still pretty fun.
Parenting is hard, yes. It demands day after day that you lay down your life. You don’t get to decide to lay down your life one day and then not think about it again. It’s day by day, sometimes minute by minute. Is it always fun? No. Definitely, not always 100% fun. And maybe this is where the crossroads come. I see plenty of inspirational quotes on Pinterest and in book titles that give this message: “Put you first. Choose happiness first. Do what’s best for you first.” There is this very loud message to cut out relationships that are “toxic” and too needy. Tell me — is that what I’m to do with my kid who has asked for the umpteenth time for another snack? Because that’s needy and at 3:30 p.m. feels very toxic.
What I’ve sense in myself, then, is this subconscious level of preparation for the coming asks. I find myself at different times, after working all day, coming home and bracing myself for the requests that are going to come. On my best days, I’m able to faith to meet those requests with joy. But then again, there are many times when I meet with with frustration. I put up a defensive posture, ready to propel these requests. And I know my kids are smart enough to see it. This posture comes out in my body language, my initial response, and even the speed at which I respond when I hear the word, “Daddy?”
A favorite from the archives:
We’re in a weird place in the world right now—one that every day, as I look at my Twitter feed and Facebook updates, makes me wish today were the day the sky would split in two, Jesus would ride in on a white horse and save the day. Chances are, today is not that day, though. At least, not if you’re reading this. (And if it is, you’ve got way more important things to do than read it since it doesn’t matter anymore.)
Why are we in a weird place? Because we’ve poisoned ourselves. We’ve been living and breathing a poisonous worldview for decades, one that has stunted our ability to think rationally: relativism.