I can't believe it's here...I can't believe I actually stuck with this...and I am sad that it's over, yet excited to see what happens in the next year. Reading this book has brought some many mixed feelings up...feelings of regret, conviction, embarrassment, excitement, expectancy...oh I could go on and on. All through the first 8 chapters, I knew what was coming in Chapter 9. I knew there was a commitment...I knew there were specifics. I have never been the type of person to read the end of the book first, and so I have waited...I didn't even peek. My book is so tattered and worn, but the pages of Chapter 9 are fresh...untouched until this past week. I would hush my mom when she tried to tell me about the commitment. I would tell my friends that I didn't want to know what was in Chapter 9 until it was time for me to get there...and I'm glad I didn't.
Can you imagine if I had just read that last chapter and that was all I did? I would have been like...sure I'll pray...read..."sacrifice"...go...get involved in my church...big deal. I would never have stuck with any of those things if I had done it that way. But now when I see "pray for the whole world", specifics are brought to mind...4.5 billion specifics and I really do want to pray for them. I want my kids to pray for the world and know that their prayers make a difference. I'm excited to pick different countries and tell the kids who we are praying for...my prayer for us is that we realize that we need to personally be invested in the gospel.
The second dare was to read through the Bible in 1 year. Gulp...I have to admit, I have been a Christian since I was 19 years old and I have never read through the ENTIRE Bible in a year. Sure I read my bible...that's enough right?? I am excited to take this challenge underway....I am ready for the challenge and anticipating God growing me through it. Why would this be part of the Radical Experiment you ask? Platt said "we hold the matchless Word of God in our hands, and it DEMANDS a superior position in our lives, our families, our small groups, and our churches. If you and I are going to penetrate our culture and the cultures of the world with the gospel, we desperately need minds saturated with God's Word." May my mind be saturated...may I hide His word deep in my heart.
The third challenge is to sacrifice you money for a specific purpose. This is one I so saw coming...I mean the whole book has stepped on and broken my toes over sacrificing. I am so grateful that I already know what I will be sacrificing my money for and I can't wait to share it with all of you...I am literally busting at the seams(and not because I am eating chips and salsa at 11:00 at night) to tell people, but I have to wait for the right time. So I know where my money will go...now where to take that money from. I am horribly convicted over the money we spend in eating out and unnecessary trips to the grocery store...I know that through planning and using coupons I can cut our budget in more than half in that are, but those things take discipline and that is something I am short on sometimes. Not now...it's now a choice...it's a commitment and to me that is binding so I will strive to sacrifice in that. We are looking to cut back on many other things in our lives just to be able to give together. We want to sell this house that looms over my shoulders now....Lord willing we will get to that point as well. This challenge makes me crazy nervous...if I'm being real and all. Lord help me to sacrifice.
The fourth challenge is to spend our time in another context. Well...I kinda know where this one is going too and I am beyond excited for it....I mean beyond! But above that, we, as a family are going to do one mission trip every summer so that our kids lives aren't eat up with free for all vacations, but teaching them to minister to others. I am praying that God will specifically lay a ministry on our hearts that we can get involved in and really invest our lives in.
The fifth challenge is to commit my life to a multiplying community...my church. Some could say that I have this one in the bag since I am married to the ministry per say...but I believe it goes so much more deeper than just having our names on the role. If I am to encourage my church body to live radically, then I have to live a radical life out in front of them. I have to be involved because I want to, not just because I am expected to. I want to take that extra time to pray with people...encourage people...love on folk! I won't lie...ministry is tough and sometimes I feel like the church gets more of my husband than I do. Sometimes I feel like it sucks the life out of us...and that my friends is what happens when you minister in the flesh. May I throw all that aside and just minister for Christ's sake, because really, it's not about me or my wants at all! May my precious church in Georgia get on board with this Radical Experiment...I can't wait to see what God does in spite of us!
It's been a great ride these last 9 weeks...one that I am glad doesn't end just because the book did. May God be please with my life! This next year I will ...pray...read...give...go...and commit. To God be the Glory!!
I'm joining in the Radical Read Along over at www.MarlaTaviano.com. Come on over...