Updates at joncarllewis.com for the week of 24-30 April 2019.Continue reading “Weekly Updates (01 May 2019)”
Often one hears that advice to writers that they should write for an audience of one. The idea is that, instead of writing for the lowest common denominator in order to please the widest audience, one could write for a very specific, archetypal person, thus creating a niche of particularly loyal fans. I think this is a good idea. At least for me. In today’s writing market, filled with noise and clamor for attention, sometimes I find myself listening for the still, quiet voice that feels like it is speaking just to me.Continue reading “Reflection 007. The paradox of particularity”
I feel unprepared to write tonight. Ordinarily this would cause me great distress, but one of the virtues of writing something for people to read everyday is the reality that I almost always feel unprepared to write—until I start. Then, when my fingers warm up and find their rhythm, I find that I often have something coherent to say.Continue reading “Reflection 006. On telling the truth well.”
Admitting failure is sometimes the best way to proceed. Sometimes I find myself stuck in a place with no way forward, no way to the sides—the only way forward is, paradoxically, to back up, regroup and make another plan.
So that’s what I’m doing now.Continue reading “Reflection 005. Admitting failure, resetting goals”
The day I decided I would no longer be a Methodist was the day the Bishop transferred the beloved pastor of my childhood to a bigger church and more lucrative position. I, of course, didn’t understand the practicalities of this; all I knew was that, as a Methodist, you could go to church one Sunday with a pastor you adored, and the next find that he was gone, replaced by someone who couldn’t be more different, someone with whom you just didn’t agree or respect.
I believe I had already soured on the idea of being an African Methodist Episcopalian, or AME; as soon as I was old enough to realize that our denomination had no room for my white friends and their families (or so I thought) I harbored a desire to attend a racially integrated church as soon as I was able.
Nevertheless, as I look back on the religion of my childhood, I feel little but gratitude for my upbringing in a faith tradition and a community which not only nurtured and grounded me, but allowed me to discern, explore and practice my spiritual gifts and personal talents from an early age.Continue reading “Day 003/100. Learning to love (again) the church of my childhood”
Just had a scary thought. It stopped me in my mental tracks and made me take notice. I realized in an instant that all my life I’ve been asking god to show me my path. I have expected God to have it all mapped out for me with clear, long-term goals, project-sized chunks, benchmarks and a long, clear list of next actions to take.Continue reading “Reflection 004. No path? Just take the next step.”
I identify as Christian. Alternatively, I identify as a Christian. At the simplest level “Christian” to me means no more and no less than “a follower of Jesus Christ.” But life isn’t simple. Because there are billions of people who have called themselves Christian and—as a testament to God’s unlimited creativity—each one of those billions understands or understood how they are Christian in their own, idiosyncratic way.
So, it’s not enough for me to say that I am a Christian. I’ve got to talk about what kind of Christian I am.Continue reading “Day 002/100. What kind of Christian am I? (An Introduction)”