I like Donald Miller. I bet that we could be friends, with great debates and discussions. I think that he and I disagree on a few things, but feel that we really could get over this little bump in this hypothetical relationship. For instance, I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking beer with him (or anyone for that matter) and I don’t think that I’d be as flexible as he might be (based off Blue Like Jazz) about lifestyle choices like he is. That said, I have been hanging out with his book, Blue Like Jazz probably a little more than is healthy for any human being, but that’s because I have to do a speech on a book I enjoyed in my public speaking class.

It has to be a five to six minute piece about a non-fiction work that we think the class will like. Well, in my experience at Boise State, (I am a senior… I’ve been around) students like to hear a gospel that definitely tells us that sin is present, and that we really need some help with our lives not only for the sake of not missing out on a great eternity, but also for the purpose of living a great life! People like Christians who don’t run around telling everyone that they’re going to burn! (Much to my…occasional dismay) Just making sure that you present the FULL gospel in a way that people won’t shut their ears to, can make a difference.

The only non-fiction I read lately is contemporary Christian non-fiction, it’s a cultural thing. So, I decide that I am going to take this book and essentially follow it through to the end for my speech where Miller encourages people to check out Christianity for themselves. I spent hours on this assignment, and then emailed my prof the result for her to have a copy before I give this speech. Her response began,

“Jake, I’m concerned about the direction this piece is going…”

Needless to say, I had to pick a different book and I had to be “less preachy”. I didn’t know that you could get less preachy than Blue Like Jazz. I’m not offended, I don’t hate the lady, but I am frustrated about the work that I had done, and the amount of time it took me to redo this assignment, excluding practicing for the actual speech. So, I found something that I’ve read that is less preachy, I’m doing Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies and focusing on drug use in creative writing. I’m going to be a good little student and try to have some fun with it…

Anyways, I’m content with being called preachy. My speech wasn’t condemning of anything aside from maybe drug use (my new one is no different). And I didn’t bring any fire and brimstone into this speech, so if that’s preachy, then they can just wait until I get a better opportunity, and we shall see what the Gospel looks like when I share it another time, even if it isn’t in that class.

I really believe that God wants us to tell people about Him, and not make Him look like a maniac, a dictator, or an idiot in the process, and that’s what I aspire to do!