Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Write What You Know

I was co-pastor of a 3 church parish in rural Iowa for 6 years.  A member of one of the churches would often greet me saying, "Hey Preacher, whaddya know for sure?"  I never really had a good answer for that question.  I tried the answer, "Not much," for awhile but thought that was probably not a great confession to make just minutes before I started preaching.

It was the "for sure" part that always threw me.  I'm a perfectionist and felt compelled to answer as accurately as I could.  If the question was only "Whaddya know?" I could have provided a variety of answers.  But, what do I know for sure?  

Since then, I've discovered that knowing something "for sure" isn't as much fun and doesn't require nearly as much faith as knowing only in part.  This is all a way of saying that I will take the sage advice given to all inexperienced writers: write what you know.  But, it's also a way of saying that when I write what I know, I will probably not know it for sure. 

There are some things I know, however.  I know caffeine and consume it regularly in its various forms.  And, I know God-talk (but not for sure).  The working title for my blog is Caffeinated God-Talk because I think God-talk, done properly, should keep us up nights from time to time; maybe even make us jittery.  I also think/confess that I've often settled for both drinking and serving decaffeinated Got-talk; that is, God-talk that has the form but not the power of the caffeinated blend.

I hope you join me in the God-talk.  So, refill your cup and think of a time when the words of Jesus kept you from sleeping.


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