Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Already Not Yet (Reflections on Radical Chapter 2)

I professed my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 9th grade. That was more than TWENTY years ago. I've been through Campus Crusade for Christ discipleship and evangelism training, I have led Bible studies, and for goodness sake I have taught Sunday school at a VERY LARGE church. So how can it be that up until this week the following truth had never sunk in way deep into the marrow of my being?  

"we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins
or to be assured of our eternity in heaven,
but we are saved to know God."

I have presented the gospel to many a high school student and I have discussed the gospel with my parents and in front of a Sunday School class. And I just suddenly realized that the punch line in each and every one of those presentations was about "inviting Jesus into your heart" or "opening the door to Jesus" or "accepting Jesus." I can not recall ever focusing on our need for Christ. Sure the gospel presentation always included the diagram of the chasm between us and Christ. But that part was always rushed through so you could get to the invitation and acceptance. 

How can it be that its taken me so long to get "IT" understand and live out the truth that the purpose of salvation is KNOWING GOD  EXPERIENCING GOD???? Why have I short changed the Lord for so long? Am I a failure as a Christian?

The answer to that is "NO- I am not a failure." The reason I don't "get it" or "live it" sometimes (ok most of the time...sigh...) is that God is not done with me yet and He is still at His own pace and in His own way revealing the truth of the gospel to me. I had forgotten that turth until I heard Sunday's sermon on Hebrews 10:11-19.  Take a look at verse 14:
"because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."

By Christ's sacrifice we have already been made perfect- God's work of salvation is DONE. However, we still need to be made holy. So we live in what the preacher refered to as "an ALREADY NOT YET TENSION." As God's children we are already saved but we are not yet holy. So we live life on this high wire act and constantly learning more of God's truth.

So it's ok that I am not ready to pack my bags and move my family to Africa. And its ok that I have not sold all my possessions. What matters is simply that each day I know and experience God in a deeper and deeper way. That my friends takes the weight off my shoulders and gives me a sense of freedom. I do not have to become Radicalized (I made up that word) overnight...instead I need to move out of the way and let God do his work.

But what I do need to do is get off this computer and begin to figure out how to present the gospel in a way that glorifies God and doesn't limit Jesus to waiting at a closed door knocking....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Small Steps

Radical Read Along and the wonderful women that are participating have taught me one thing and that is that sometimes our small steps of obedience can have a large impact on God's Kingdom. Therefore, one of the things that I feel the Lord leading me to do is to learn more about the work of God through ministry organizations serving the poorest of the poor. I have always had a soft spot for children in foster care and orphans (more about that soft spot in later posts), so my research so far has centered around organizations that serve children and particularly those that serve orphans. When I read one of the blogs involved in the Radical Read Along I came across an organization named Life Song for Orphans. This organization exists simply to bring Joy and Purpose to Orphans. How simple and how amazing. They help orphans all over this world and they also help parents who want to adopt. What an amazing ministry they have. Since I could sense God stirring in my heart I decided to join their blogging team. Therefore, periodically I will post information about Life Song's work and their needs. Here is the first installment:

Let's be the Hands and Feet of Jesus!

This week we are inviting our faithful readers and supporters to step up and help us in a time of need for Lifesong Liberia.
Lifesong has partnered with The Master’s Home of Champions orphanage and is providing a loving and safe home to many destitute and abandoned children, some of whom are deaf.  We seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and are focused on the goal of raising up champions for the good of Liberia and glory of God! 
This summer, another orphanage was in dire need, and thanks to an unexpected donation Lifesong was there.  Praise the Lord we can help more children!  But now, we need help too!  We need your help to make sure these children are fed every day!  We need your help to care for the fatherless!  Will you join us?
70 sponsors in one week is a tall order.  We know this.  We also know that we serve a big God who has told us that caring for the poor and vulnerable is at the very heart of who He is!  We believe we can make this happen! We pray that God will call hearts this week and we trust that you will answer!
Contact us at to commit!
Hear personal stories & follow the progress on our blog all this week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Introducing blood:water belt

So it all started with the Radical Read Along..

Now a belt is saving lives.

Introducing blood:water belt

Stay tuned for a blog about what God is teaching me through Radical and this Sisterhood of the Traveling Belt.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Radical- Sandpaper

I have now read Chapter 1 three times. I say or write “OUCH” in the margins each time. This book is like sandpaper. Making me terribly aware of my sin and selfishness.
I wrote that first sentence and was ready to write a very inspiring post. But then I was interrupted by life…plumber to fix the leak, medical expense receipts to sort, household files to organize, parents to send off to the airport, and a work conference call to take from home… Now I sit down to write again and I don’t feel as inspired. I am also noticing that has creeped back in here. Six times its used in just four sentences….sick and disgusting I tell ya!
This whole post is an example of a point Platt makes in the first chapter of Radical. So much of our time, our focus, and even our worship, is focused on ourselves. It’s no wonder that our image of the Almighty God has been limited to a benevolent grandfather who hands out good things.
Yes God is good and yes he showers amazing blessings on us. But He is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!
Now back to the sandpaper thing….through this chapter God has sandpapered two areas of my life. First, God is beginning to show me the depths of my materialism. I whined to myself this morning that I had nothing to wear and should treat myself to a shopping expedition. Then I counted 20 plus business casual tops in my closet. So I shut my mouth and picked a shirt. That’s what this book does…it sandpapers off the dirt and mud that has caked on our eyes from years of life focusing on ourselves. Second, God is showing me how much of my faith and my worship center around myself and catering to my needs and wants. I could write a book of example but let me just say that for many many years I have measure my church by how they met my needs and how their worship style matched mine.
Now I have read some of the other posts from the Radical Read A Long and once again I am blown away. Someone has already said EXACTLY what I am feeling and could not put into words. Check this out- Quitting Comfortable.
So I am going to stop my babbling and let that soak in…how can I quit being comfortable?????

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Radical Awakening- Losing the I

 It has been very hard to start this post and introduce this first attempt went something like this:
        "I do not know why I am starting a new blog...
         I already have a blog...
         I have a strong desire...
        I  have been...I was....." 
In other words, the first draft was all about me.

That is exactly what this blog is NOT supposed to be. Its supposed to be about God and what God is doing in this world and how God is changing perspectives and desires. This next attempt will endeavor to avoid sounding like a two year old saying "me me me" all the time. Let's see if the focus can be turned away from "I."

So let's try doing this again.

Marla  introduced me to  to this book through her  Read A Long campaign.

Although I've never met Marla, I decided to join her little project, experiment, group...whatever you call it...

Only a few chapters into the book and it has rocked my world! God is teaching me that the Gospel is not all about me and that God is doing amazing things in this World that He wants me to be a part of.

So as part of the Read A Long Gang over at Marla's site, I am endeavoring to blog about what God is teaching me through this book. The hope is that this blog will focus on God and His Glory. Not to give the book away (I confess I cheated and read ahead...could not help myself) but this blog is my own Radical Experiment.

So tune in on Tuesdays for my blog entry in the Radical Read A Long. On other days, tune in to see God's work around this world and maybe we can all learn how to lose "I".
Before this post ends, let me leave you with the words of a song that I can not get out my head...