Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living Radically

Our church body is currently reading through the book Radical by David Platt.
If you have not yet read this book..
just go download it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble... it's like $5 for the electronic version.
It may very well be the best $5 you ever spent.

The premise of the book (to me...) is that this life wasn't created for you. 
This is something I have thought about for a very long time now:
"If it isn't about ME... then it is about something else. If it is about something else... then WHAT?"
Being a Religion major has taught me the book answers to that question..
Life is about enjoying God's grace, and enlarging His glory.
Life is about bringing others to Him.
Life is about living your daily routine in a way that others see you and wonder what makes you different.
Life is about learning, leading others to Him, and growing to be more like Christ.
Life is about seizing the opportunities God puts in your path - to show others His love.

A year ago when we started the process to adopt our youngest three kids, we heard a lot of 
"WOW! You guys are amazing!"
"That's incredible! I could never do something like that..."
"I've always wanted to adopt... but..."
"There's a special place in heaven for people like you..."
well, you get the idea.

The thing is, we NEVER ONCE felt like *WE* were the heroes of this story.
We never once felt like superheroes, swooping in to save the day.
We never once felt like patting ourselves on the back and saying "wow, what a cool thing we are doing."
We didn't spend enough time telling others about the cool things Jesus was doing in our lives...
the amazing ways HE was providing the funds, working out the details, and making this whole thing possible.
And for that I am truly sorry.

Please, never hear me say anything other than...
The adoption of our children was nothing short of a
God-ordained miracle.

Having said that...
and now reading through Radical,
I just wonder...

Are there levels of "radicalness"?

I mean, for us... adopting our kids was not RADICAL.
It seemed perfectly normal, rational, and sane.

BUT... if you take someone with grown children, a thriving career, a full vacation schedule, a thriving eating-out-at-fancy-restaurants routine... and THEY decide to adopt siblings?? THAT would be radical!

For us, making missions trips to foreign countries a couple of times a year..
sponsoring an orphanage through Children's Hope Chest, finding child sponsors, organizing a shoe drive...
not radical. These are normal things you do in response to seeing what we saw in Ethiopia. There's nothing "radical" about our lives.

But you take a young family like our friends the Clark's - thriving music careers, three very young kids at home, living in a great neighborhood, family and friends nearby, ministry with children at church.... and suddenly they are obeying the call to sell EVERYTHING and get on a plane and move their family to Bangkok to minister to the mostly Buddhist people??? Say it with me.... Radical!

But what then??
What is for us?
What would be RADICAL for our family?
We WANT to serve.
We WANT to be used by God.
We WANT to get face to face with Jesus one day and hear "Well done, thy good and faithful servant!"

But how? 
What else is there??
Do you ever feel like God has you in a "holding pattern"? 

I know the type of things I can see God asking us to do that would be "radical", but I also know that my sweet husband would not be on board with those things (now, or ever even). I know that our lives aren't typical to many of the people who live in our neighborhood or even in our county. I know that we have been given much and we will be expected to DO much in return. 

And I don't want to MISS that opportunity.

One time about two years ago, our pastor asked us this question. 
I would love it if you would tell me... so I have turned on my "anonymous" comments for just this post. 

Here it is:
"If you knew that God would bless your decision (your journey, your dream, your vision), 
and money was not a hindrance, 
what would you attempt??"

I think maybe that one thing... that's your Radical.


  1. I'm going to think about that question...I have a few answers to it, but feel like I'm always stuck in the "maybe" and "which way?" and "how?" spots. I have been hoping that this year may bring more clarity in terms of some long-term direction and focused passion...

  2. I would move to Ethiopia, open a school, build a well, and open a medical clinic (and continue building schools and wells and medical clinics in towns throughout the country) and adopt as many children as I felt I could parent, probably 10 while striving to live my life in a way that offers oppotunity to preach the gospel.

    My husband would never go for it:-)

    Then again, I never thought he would adopt, let alone adopt a toddler, let alone a toddler boy, and we are in the middle of adopting a 2 year old boy who he and I are both over the moon excited about...

    God can work miracles!

  3. Awesome words, my friend. And a great question for us to ponder (again). I am so proud of you and your family. Not many would take on the challenges you guys have, no matter how normal you might consider it. Our God is amazing. The problem is that we seldom give Him the stage to show it to the world. That stage is our lives, our every day choices. You go, girl. You be radical. And may your radicalness and that of many others change the world...for His glory. Your pastor.


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