Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ch 10: The Crux of the Matter

This book begins and ends with the same intense passion. And I agree to chapter 10 as much as I agreed to chapter 1.

P. 172 Chan states "The world needs Christians who don't tolerate the complacency of their own lives." Concurrence with this statement begs a question: How/why do we become complacent? Pretty simple .... Comparison + Inadequacy = Complacency.

"We have a God who is a creator, not a duplicator." (P. 167). What a profound statement! And yet I often become frustrated because I cannot duplicate the traits I see in my fellow believers. The love of Laurie - the wisdom of Brandi - the self-control of Toni - - - - Admiring these amazing women of God is not wrong; the problem arises if I allow my gaze to remain on them instead of Jesus and His unique design for my life.

Comparing myself to others will deny Christ's unique purpose through me. And the enemy quickly shifts the act of comparison to feelings of inadequacy. The summation of these unhealthy factors results in a summed life of complacency. "....I'll just settle for this level of God in my life, because I won't ever be able to (...fill in the blank...)......"

In 2010, I expect an "awakening" from my Heavenly Father. I anticipate a beautiful confirmation of I Cor 12:4-7: '...different kind of gifts...different kinds of service...different kinds of working...' The celebrated differences + an awakening of my identity in Christ will equal anything but complacency!

Thank you Francis Chan for this book. I respect your dedication to call the body of Christ to a place of Crazy Love.

Ch 9: Who Really Lives That Way

The journey of reading this book has been long. Honestly, I was very motivated for the first few chapters - agreeing with Chan that we (the western church) need a massive wake up call. We need to love our Lord Jesus in a greater way. Then somewhere along the way, my reading experience changed.....

I began to become more discouraged than encouraged with the book. I almost wish there was a sub-chapter suggesting the reader 'hold on - - Ch. 9 is coming'!

This chapter helped me understand the journey toward a greater love for my Lord is doable. The inspirational stories of many who have suffered for His cause lifted my spirits. Page 156/157 documents Rachel's story - - how she could live 20 years with a people group who murdered her brother is unbelieveable, but true none the less. George Mueller's demonstration of dependence on prayer is amazing!

I'm currently reading a compilation by Rebecca St. James entitled Sister Freaks. This entire book is story after story of women who have suffered and/or made the ultimate sacrifice for the Kingdom's cause.

Friends, we can never repay Him. We can never fully love Him in the way He deserves. But we can spend our lives searching for ways to grow in our devotion to Him - forever striving toward Crazy Love.

Ch 8: Profile of the Obsessed

Obsession is a strong word, and yet I beileve we live very obsessed lives. The norms we have placed on our own life are packed with seemingly inescapable responsibilities that will forever altar our destiny if we don't continue the frantic pace. Work - Family - Friendship - Children - Community - GOD - - - all these life facets comprise His design for our lives. Unfortunately, we quickly distort the God-honoring framework into an unrecognizable blur repeating itself until our life seems but a quickly disappearing stripe in the rearview mirror of our racetrack world.

On the bottom of page 131, Chan lists Luke 14:12-14 to drive the point of living outside ourselves. I recently served at a dinner for individuals that were homeless, fighting addictions or recently released from prison. While my heart was burning with a sincere desire to extend love to these people, I was ashamed at how ill equipped I was. The lack of relevant small talk appeared as the Grand Canyon between me and the faces I saw. I realized it; I have not purposefully invited the outside world into my world. Take note- - it was not that I had intentionally excluded them- - but I had failed to purposefully include them as part of my life.

Now, I long for obsession. To be obsessed with Jesus - -what He wants me to do - - where He wants me to go - - who He wants me to reach. I want to be a risk taker -page 133-with a life motto of God, bring me closer to you during this day, whatever it takes....