Keen observers here at my personal blog may have noticed a change of pace with blog posts as of late. This disruption of rhythm involves 2 things.
One, I’ve been rethinking how I can better communicate my own voice while representing 2 important leadership organizations. Something that’s dawned on me is the stewardship of leadership. In recent years more than before, God has opened more opportunities for me to be more than an amateur color commentator on the Asian American and multiethnic church, which is still how I prefer to see myself. And a lot of this comes from my employment and association and affiliation with L2 Foundation and Leadership Network.
This means there is more “weightiness” to the words I use when I speak, and when I write or blog, because that will inadvertently reflect on those 2 organizations. And while I personally prefer to be a full-disclosure open-book kind of guy, and speak in a stream-of-conscious thoughts-in-progress kind of manner, that is not the best way to come across in a world where public statements are taken as on-the-record and more “authoritative” rather than my idle thinking-out-loud what-if speculations. This also means my personal commentaries and opinions have to be more restrained and diplomatic, at least that’s how I’m reframing my thinking about this adjustment. Napoleon Bonaparte said that “A leader is a dealer in hope” and there’s some truth to that. While I’ve wanted to avoid delusional optimism for most of my life, this doesn’t preclude me from talking points that are more positive and hopeful. I write all this to say that this is a new aspect of leadership for me, and I’m in the midst of that learning progress.
Two, I’m working on a sermon to preach this Sunday 6/28 at the English ministry of Vietnamese Alliance Church in Midway City, California. The passage is Luke 15:11-32. It’s arguably one of the most well-known teachings of Jesus.
// [update] Listen to recorded audio + see photo of my sermon notes //
To prepare, I’ve been reading the passage in more than a handful of Bible versions and translations, add and stir with prayer. I don’t like to recycle, which means I work at crafting a new sermon (almost) every time I speak. I’ve also been listening to select sermons, like this Tim Keller series, The Fellowship of Grace, from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Fall 2008:
1 Give Me Mine – Luke 15:11-14
2 He Came to Himself – Luke 15:11-20
3 To Be Called Your Son – Luke 15:21-24
4 And Kissed Him – Luke 15:11-24
5 We Had to Celebrate – Luke 15:17-32
6 The True Older Brother – Luke 15:17-32
The harder work is to use more youth-friendly illustrations and anecdotes, and veer away from the philosophical and existential angst of our human condition…
(I’ll try to record the talk, though the last few times I’ve rigged up my digital voice recorder, it’s flubbed.)