August 30, 2010

Radical Thinking

I'm in the process of doing a very dangerous thing... I'm listening to the Radical sermon series* and just finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me.  I don't suggest this, unless you have plans to sell all of your belongings and move to Ethiopia with my friend Dee Dee.

I have been passionate about a lot of things in life, some of them have come and gone, but one has, the entirety of my life, remained constant.  Children, specifically children who are "lost," have had a constant tug on my heart.

Radical faith, radical abandonment and radical giving are about as un-American as driving on the left side of the road.  As Americans we're almost hard-wired to think of ourselves first, to keep up with the Joneses and to "protect" our family, most often from those who are different than us.

Did you know that hugging a child who has been hurt, neglected and abandoned feels the same as hugging your own child?  Did you know that, no matter how dirty they are, or what their parents have done (in some cases even what they have done) their little arms still feel the same around you, and that they all want the same things?  Did you know that God demands that you help them?

I recently read this article citing the six signs that you've made it to middle class in America.  Middle class, not insanely rich.  To much of the world, our middle class is beyond imaginable.  I have two cars in my garage, central heat and air, and I've never opened the refrigerator to nothing.  Clean water runs freely from my tap, I honestly don't even put much thought into it. I don't even think of these things as luxuries, because in my world, these things are given.  But, what if, even just for a week, all of these things went away?

"To whom much is given, much will be required, and to him who they entrusted much, much will be demanded."  Luke 12:48

Living radically will change you, will change your family and change your children.  Living radically isn't comfortable, or glamorous and it definitely won't make you popular.  But it might be just what you need.

People always tell us that we're doing amazing things for our kids.  Our response has always been the same, from the second they were placed in our arms, our kids have done amazing things for us.  As with any ministry, the person who is most often changed and ministered to is the exact opposite of what you would expect.  And like the book Same Kind of Different as Me, reaching out to those who you normally wouldn't associate with, often fills your life with just the thing that you didn't know you were missing.

I've been blessed to experience this, I hope you will stretch yourself to do the same.  Maybe it's foster care, maybe it's ministering to the homeless, maybe it's work on the mission field, maybe it's sending your husband off to serve our country, maybe it's sending your kid to an inner-city school and allowing them to minister there.  The possibilities are endless, but the result is the same, your life will be changed.

I have a long way to go, my life is in no way radical, but I want it to be.  I'm on a mission, won't you join me?

* You can listen to the Radical sermon series for free online using this link.  There is also a list of study guides available.  I have had better luck listening to the audio only versions, as the video versions are harder for me to hear.  If you do better with written words, David Platt has also written a couple of books and study guides:


Midlife Army Wife said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Someone in our ABF recently recommended Radical to us, and I just bought it a couple days ago! I also have Same Kind of Different as Me on my shelf waiting to read! I was already planning on reading both of those within the next week or two! I haven't read anything by David Platt before, but from all I've heard he sounds similar to Francis Chan. If you haven't read "Crazy Love", I encourage you to add that to your list. It played a huge part in us answering God's call for Hubby to join the Army at age 39! It's about "What are you willing to do for God?", and about how much He loves us. Awesome!!

You ARE doing an awesome thing for those children...all 4 of them. You are loving them as Christ would. I am blessed to call you friend!

Thanks for linking to my blog and including us in the list of radical movers. That actually brought tears to my eyes. We are hoping to be used by God in a big way. What an honor to be used by Him!

Anyway, I could talk about this for ages, but I'll stop now. We need another playdate :)

Kylee said...

Brit, I started tearing up as I read this because I absolutely love how full of truth it is!

Every day I am so saddened by what I see around me (and in me). Our society is full of a whole bunch of self-absorbed people, and as I way too often participate in it, it sickens me.

Thanks for sharing this. Thank you for being so vulnerable and real. Thank you for being that change that so few of us have the boldness to be.

I appreciate you so much!

Living with Three Boys of Our Own said...

The two of you are among the most "radical" people I know! Kylee, your age still shocks me... to have the knowledge and insight, care and compassion that you do - when I was worried about boys and make-up only. I stand in awe of the beautiful woman that God is creating in you!

I'm adding Crazy Love to my reading list, would love to read some of the inspiration behind your current journey!

Julie said...

I mentioned this on Blog frog but wanted to comment here too!! We loved that book and are in the process of overhauling our lives. It's exciting and we feel like God has been moving us in this direction for awhile...we just needed the extra nudge!

Anna said...

What a beautiful post! I'm going to check out the audio cd's... for the car rides. I've been feeling God stirring me to get out of His way in my life. Not sure what that means, yet. And a little nervous about it. :) But who am I to argue?

Paul and DeeDee said...

I think you are pretty radical:) I really want to read that book!
Sorry I didn't make it to play group this morning...I have not been feeling well the last few days and didn't even check my email!! Starting to feel much better today though! Hope you guys had fun!!!

Paul and DeeDee said...

I think you are pretty radical:) I really want to read that book!
Sorry I didn't make it to play group this morning...I have not been feeling well the last few days and didn't even check my email!! Starting to feel much better today though! Hope you guys had fun!!!

Shannon said...

We have just read the book and listened to the message series. Have you listened to the Faith Works series? It's what started Radical. Our lives have been turned upside-down. Everything changes when you view life through glasses that aren't "american dream" colored. Now we're praying about what God would have us do next.... We don't want to be full of good intentions but actually obeying and doing.