Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Hole in MY Gospel

I've learned my lesson about being hasty and exclaiming "I'M BACK" after a long absence. How many times have I done that here?! Twice? Three times? Ten?

So, I'm not back. Just here, for now. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe next week. Maybe not. But I will try.

Here's my life, in list form:
  • I'm attending my church Bible school, part time, and loving it.
  • I'm shuffling my kids back and forth between school and home.
  • I'm looking to revamp my life.... as usual!
In the past few years I've read several books that have really changed my perspective and challenged me to reexamine my life: Not For Sale by David Batstone; The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns; Compelled By Love by Heidi Baker; Crazy Love and Forgotten God by Francis Chan; Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt; More Than Conquerors: A Call To Radical Discipleship by Simon Guillebaud; books about African culture seem to regularly find their ways into my hands. I can't read these books about the harsh realities faced by christians, trafficked peoples, and the poor in hostile places without comparing my easy, sheltered life and feeling very sick at the blatant contrast.

When in history did it become okay for a christian to pursue comfort? When did it become more strange for a western christian to shun wealth and safety than to live like a non-christian? (And when I say "live like a non-christian" I don't mean being "evil" but being "normal". When did "normal" become acceptable behavior for us?) Why do I fit in with non-believers so comfortably? Does my life more resemble my non-christian neighbors or Jesus'? When did the word "missionary" become dirty? When did Christianity become acceptably private? Am I really achieving my best when the total sum of my witness is not drinking, not cussing and not watching X-rated movies?

How different am I- really- than the world?

And when I ask these questions about myself and don't like the answers, what does a homemaking, military wife do about it?

That's what I want to pursue over the next few posts: how to become all I can for God, from where I am, in the context and position of my life as God has given it to me now. Is it a matter of buying less and giving more? Spending more time before God, crying out for wisdom and opportunities? How am I to speak and act differently in the light of a new way of thinking- a new way of being?

In truth, I think there is a wave of change moving across the Western World. I believe that the People of God are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with our lifestyles and more convicted by The Spirit to step into new and exciting things. I'm going to explore what this might look like for the average person.

I heartily recommend the books I've mentioned here. There's also the subject of human trafficking and how buying fair trade products can make a difference, and what to watch for in our own communities to spot trafficked people. (None of us want to believe it can happen near us, but with 2-4 million men, women, and children trafficked every year, there's a chance you could come into contact with someone who has been victimized.) There are missionaries to be sent and missions to support, children and impoverished communities to sponsor. Skim through these sites: Smile International, Stop The Traffik, World Vision. Over the course of several posts I want to introduce some people I have met who are making a difference in the areas God called them to.

We all have a part. What's yours?

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  1. I agree. I think it is becoming a movement discomfort with God's people. I can see it more and more. And what does that mean for me? I'm with you, figuring it all out as I try to grow. I love your list of books. I've read a few, have a few waiting, and will read some others on your list.

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