Q & A with Glenn

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Today’s post is a bit different.  Since we’re coming up on the first anniversary of the launching of this ministry of morning reflections, I’d love to address some of the questions I hear most often from readers.

How many people are on the receiving end of the reflections every morning?

It’s impossible to say with precision.  But the number seems to be large and growing.  Our best estimate is about 40,000.  That takes into account the many subscribers who acknowledge they regularly forward the reflections to family members, friends, and co-workers. 

Does that mean I have permission to send them on to others?

Absolutely.  In fact, I hope you feel led to do so.  All the reflections are meant to be shared, reposted, or used as illustrations in any context where they might be useful.  

Have you thought about publishing some of them in a free-standing volume?

I have.  When I began writing during my years at Ascension, that company graciously published seven different “best-of” collections.  Those particular volumes are not commercially available.  But I am pondering the possibility of creating at least one new edition in the future.

Where do you get the ideas for the subjects you address?

Everywhere.  I enjoy books, so many of the ideas spring from whatever I happen to be reading.  I’m especially drawn to science and history.  Pop culture also has a way of sneaking in.  It helps to have a file of sermons and presentations from my 40-plus years as a pastor.  Some of my favorite reflections have been inspired by brief TV news blurbs or chance interactions with some of you.

Do you write a host of reflections in advance, or take it one day at a time?

I’ve never been able to write very far ahead.  It takes about 2-3 hours to compose a reflection, which is something I usually do during the afternoon or the evening of the day before I send it. 

Are you going to do any more series in the future, such as tackling a particular book of the Bible?

I am.  I was pleasantly surprised at the positive response to the series on Proverbs last month.  I’m currently planning to devote November to the book of Ruth.  In 2022 we’ll tackle Ephesians or one of the other New Testament letters.  Readers also seem to enjoy the reflections on the backgrounds of Christmas carols and hymns.

Any chance you’ll be doing something on the book of Revelation?

I would say that book is pretty far down my list!

Are there any topics you tend to avoid?

Yep.  Some subjects are just too polarizing.  People of good will can cherish very different convictions about the sacraments, for instance.  I’m never going to favor the doctrinal specifics of a particular Christian denomination.  Donald Trump is one of the most fascinating (and quotable) characters in American history, but it’s impossible to reference him without a number of readers thinking I’m making some sort of political statement.  That’s why I’ve only mentioned him four times in the past six years.  Reflections are not for the purpose of telling you how I voted in the last election, or how you ought to vote in the next one.  Instead of majoring in the minors, there are so many areas of common ground and common grace for us to enjoy together. 

Are you contemplating any new vehicles for teaching?

I am.  I’m considering the possibility of turning each morning reflection into a podcast.  That way I can read my own words for those who prefer audio communication to flat screens.  I’m also pondering the creation of teaching sessions on various subjects and/or stand-alone webinars.

Is it OK to reach out to you from time to time?

Of course!  It’s easy.  Just hit Reply on any Morning Reflection.  I connect with a number of readers every day, and I enjoy interacting on a host of subjects. 

How are things on the business side of Morning Reflections Inc?

We continue to await approval for 501(c)3 status from the IRS, which should come early this fall.  Meanwhile, during the past 12 months readers have been incredibly generous with financial gifts.

Will you be reminding us how future gifts can be provided?

Next week you’ll be receiving an email from the MRI board on just that subject.  But you can always go to the Contribute page on my website any time you feel so led (see the link below).

Any last thoughts? 

Only these:  It’s impossible to put into words what a joy it is, five times a week, to find new ways to affirm what a great God we serve.  Without you, there would be no ministry.  Thanks for your prayers.  And thanks for your partnership in this ongoing work.  Glenn McDonald