Is it Time to Be Radical

David Platt wrote a book called Radical.  It was a book that was intended to shake the luke warm church to the core.  It was challenging whether you look any different from the culture which is contrary to our Christian beliefs and values.  If we quantified our sins and transgressions and compared them to non-believers, they were virtually the same.  The inference is that Christians are not acting different then anyone else in the worlds and we are clearly not standing as a beacon of hope or a way to let people remember the Good news of Jesus Christ.

So what would it take to look radical.  To serve God’s purpose for us.  The commitment is for one year.

  1.  Pray for the entire world over that year’s time.  Free material are provided country by country as to the relgious make up of the country and specific trials that we can lift up and pray.
  2. Read the Bible in a year. We need to be saturated in god’s word.
  3. Put a cap on your lifestyle and take that money that you sacrificed something to get it and then purposefully give to some one in need.
  4. When need comes out, many people will send money, but the will not go.  The work is many the worker are few.  Be one of the workers.  David Platt told a story of when he was in the Sudan and the Christian Refugees were getting supplies from secular f government agencies, The refugees were hapy for their help.  One refuge looked David Platt in the eyes, that we knw when a brother in the Lord gives us something, because they walk alongside us, nit just send money.  that is what it is to be a brother in Christ.
  5. To be a multiplier at church. Get Discipleship and then go disciple someone else.

These challenges are not impossible and we saw value in the exercize, but looking at our lives, we said a lot of christian ministry would have to end to make time for this.  The time to pray for the world, read a lot in the Bible everyday,  Give sacrificially for a purpose. Bit that means putting a cap on our lifestyle.  this takes planning.  If we look to serve outside of a comfortable context like feeding the poor in neighboring city or go where there are refugee camps and serve,  Serve with the purpose of sharing the best news of all.  That the risen Lord calls to them that they might be saved.

Then multiply your efforts.  It is a big gut check to see if it can be done. I think doing the challenge as a group got a uneasy grrr.  But I think some of us will modify it a bit to make it sustainable and present us from burning out on it even before it begins.  Baby steps to radical so that I can hear from Jesus, :well done good and faithful servant” Meet God’s purpose and not David’s Platt’s view is what gives me some movement. Buying a bible in Chronological order tomorrow, to make my year in the bible flow better.

Moving in Freedom

The greatest delight I have as a father is seeing my son so far ahead of me when I was his age.  Kids still need to live life and get bumped and bruised along the way, after all that is how they grow.  We want to shield them from pain, but we inadvertently stunt their ability to learn and grow from it.  I believe it is our own desire to deflect pain and deep seeded hurt that cause us to kick the pain down the entire road of our life. With our kids, tough love can be the best love even though it hurts us the parent so very much.

Preparing our kids for life comes with dealing with pain.  So often we want to give them the speech of do not make the same mistakes that I made.  Or I am trying to save you from the pain that I went through.  Don’t you know that it is wisdom to learn from other peoples folly.  Yet, we were not wise and followed the path frequently traveled and got nicked.  What we do with that nick is the teaching moment.

When we screw up, I believe it is in everyone’s interest for the parent to own his or her mistake and explained how the dealt with the problem, be it positive or negative.  That is the real parent / child conversation that does not scream hypocrisy.  It simply states there is a cause and effect to choices.  Some of the effects can be dire or dangerous.  Either way, the consequence is very real and something that a parent cannot shield their child from.

Sometimes when a child can see our broken and see what it was that sustained us through those tough times, that is a moment the child is not likely to forget.  in the same way, if we deflect and ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room, then that too will be something that our child will not forget.

Find it, own it, come to peace with it and move on.  How we find it is introspection that does not spiral into self-pity. Own it is claiming that it is what it is, find what truth is needed to be found.  Expose any lie that gets hurled by the accuser that is wrapped in deception. Come to peace with the one thing that said His yoke was light and move on in freedom.

Did You See That?

Every now in again, you see something that needs to be shared with someone.  Something so precious that you need to know that that thing was appreciated by at least one other person.  Words do not do it justice.  It is strictly a visual phenomenon, where once you see it, you want to make sure that you are not alone and that someone else saw it as well.

I travel into Boston frequently for my job and a friend had flown into Cambridge so I arrange to have a meal while they were in town.  I had located the hotel where they were staying, but I also know that I was almost out of gas.  I did not want to come back after dinner and forget that I was on empty and run out of gas on my way back to my hotel.  So in Cambridge across from the hotel was a small gas station.  While I was pumping gas, I looked over and saw your classic MIT genius pumping gas into a smallish scooter.  My guess is that this guy was 45 years old, 5 foot 4 inches in height, balding on top with an epic comb over.  This is no big deal.  You expect to run into a bunch of guys that look Einstein or some other socially awkward being that was utterly brilliant.

Then I looked behind him to see a man no less than 400 pounds leaning against the pole.  I guessed that he worked at the gas station and was getting ready to receive payment from the math genius. That is when it happened.  The genius looked back at the gas attendant and gave him the nod.  I was waiting for the lifting up of a hand with a credit card or cash, but that did not happen. Instead the genius put on a helmet as though he was driving a Harley Davidson.  This was a very small scooter that likely only took a couple of gallons of gas to fill.  With the genius not paying the large attendant and after nodding to him turned his back on him and put his helmet on.

I was ready for a sketchy reaction by the attendant.  Then, that very moment I saw something that is the greatest visual site that I have ever seen and will remember it for the rest of my life.  The 400 ponds man grabbed the other helmet on the back of the scooter and put it on his head.  Then he squeezed onto the back of the scooter and the tiny genius with the very large man aboard slowly scooted out of the gas station. At that moment I pleaded to God, please let me know someone else was able to appreciate this as much as I have. Then I looked over to see a middle-age african american woman smiling as she watched them ride off.

That was validation that God hears prayers and that he has a sense of humor.  I have to believe that the genius was calculating the gas mileage on the scooter with over 500 pounds draped over its frame.  I literally feel like I was on the set of Good Will Hunting in the land of the super intellects, but it was transformed into something infinitely more wondrous then anything I might find at the nearby aquarium.