Thursday, March 22, 2007


so, when i was just a young whippersnapper, radical was, like, totally a valley girl/ surfer term. you would hear it thrown in every once in a great while on shows like saved by the bell, the california dreams (do you remember that show? it was like saved by the bell meets the partridge family meets.....a really crappy group of writers and actors) and then, of course, tmnt.

what is with this new turtles movie coming out? i have very mixed emotions about it. i mean, the first ones were good. if you can pull in a social icon like vanilla ice into your movie sequel, you must be doing something right. but now, they are animated. no modern parallel to vanilla ice (if one exists) is going to want to be animated. they are shooting themselves in the foot in my opinion, but i may need to go see it at the dollar theatre after a while. i know one thing- it's not going to be up to par with the brave little toaster, the best animated film EVER!
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so, back to radical. i have always thought of it as something that you say, not something you live. then this book that is all the rage on our campus came along and gave this word new meaning. the book is the irresistible revolution by shane claiborne. the author just came and spoke in our chapel program and was great. he has so many challenging things to say in the book. not only does he say challenging things, but his life is a challenge in and of itself. he has basically decided to live out the call of Jesus and try his best to model the sacrificial attitude and lifestyle we read of in the early church. but don't take my word for it, buy the book and read it (all the profit goes to charity).

so all of this talk about wealth and possessions and knowing (not just knowing of) the poor has got me reeling. my head is hurting and spinning, working overtime trying to figure out how my life should look when it is exposed to this truth. this truth, by the way, is not that studying scripture doesn't have value. this truth is not that experience trumps or negates the Bible. this truth is not that being a part of a traditional, americanized church is bad. what i identify as the truth of this book is that often times we as followers of Christ are more like admirers of Christ. sure we know Jesus, but do we follow Him? have we become fans of Jesus who wear our Jesus fan gear as if He were payton manning and we were cheering Him on in the super bowl? are we willing to follow Christ with our lives, not just our thoughts or our words or even with our hearts? the Christian life is hard. it is unnatural. it is countercultural. but if we truly want to follow Christ, that is what we are signing up for. we are agreeing to take the chance of being uncomfortable and penniless. we are agreeing to make ourselves vulnerable by choosing to love people without expecting to get anything back. if we follow Him with all we have, we are likely to get hurt and maybe even taken advantage of.

now, this is not a guarantee either. i am not saying that if your life doesn't have difficult situations, you must be doing something wrong. but i think we need to be aware of the possibilities of what it means to follow Christ. this health and wealth Gospel we hear from some is not only inaccurate, it is unscriptural. you can throw the prayer of jabez at me all you want to say i am wrong, because i have this little book of job in my corner, as well as the model of the life of Jesus himself. following Christ does not exempt us from all bad things. life is going to be hard at times, but we are not to let our circumstances dictate our level of faith. we are not to let our perception of ourselves as "struggling financially" exempt us from helping those around us. we can't get so wrapped up in ourselves that we neglect the people around us.

i am realizing as i type just how hard it is for me to land on a coherent thought about this topic. my mind is jumping all around because there is so much to it. so i just want to pose a bunch of questions to ask ourselves, both practical questions and those which cut right to the heart of our walk with God. i challenge you to ask these questions of yourself and view them through the lense of Jesus- His life, His teaching, and His call to the people who are bold enough to wear His Name.

who is my neighbor? how far are we to go with social justice and social action? does He REALLY mean we are to sell everything and give it to the poor and follow Him? wasn't that just the rich young ruler? should i have a retirement plan? should i own a tv? do i have too many clothes? are there people suffering right under my nose that i don't pause to notice? am i serving God with my time, money and abilities? Should I rent an apartment or own a house? What kind of car should I drive? does the church need professional ministry staff? what about foreign missions? isn't there so much to do here? is america making it harder for me to be a Christian? does God care about what companies we buy our jeans and shoes from? do we support inhumane actions when we buy products from companies who use sweat shops? how could i use my free time to serve? are there children in my life that i could help raise in a Godly way?

i hope this post wasn't too disjointed. there are a lot of people rethinking what it means to be followers. i am truly thankful for this book and all the people who have stepped back to think about its contents. this process of examining myself and my ministry has been and will continue to be very healthy for me, and i hope we can all constantly be searching ourselves to make sure we are always striving to serve the Kingdom in more profound ways.

Friday, March 9, 2007

my car (update)

(fyi- my car is being 100% covered by saturn. yeah! thanks for the prayers.)

sorry to finally post and then have it be this self-serving, but i want to ask anyone who reads this to pray that saturn will pay for my car to be fixed. long story short, i don't keep records of my oil changes (big mistake apparently) and now that my engine is blown on a year old car, they are trying to use my lack of proof to say i didn't take proper care of my car and want me to pay for the engine and labor. well, the guy at the dealer is going to try to fight for me to have to only pay labor costs or nothing at all. since this car is a year old, i think it's ridiculous that i should have to pay anything, and I really don’t need the headache of fighting with customer service and all that jazz, so I hope he just comes back and says it is all covered. i hope you will join me in praying for that result. thanks in advance for your prayers.

I still think saturn is a great car company and makes great vehicles. I just think they are like any business and the bottom line is turning a profit.
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