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Learn to be involved,
This review is from: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Paperback)
The least that I can say is that this book is inspiring.
As I read through it I couldn't stop myself of thinking of ways I could change things in my life as a person as well as a family. There are drastic stories in there and not everyone is called to do the same but everyone can make a difference whether small or big for people around us.
One story particularly touched me. The author is talking about a visit he had at one of the churches that was supported his work in the past. He had been invited to speak to the congregation one day and met with the elders as well. As he shares the ministry opportunities God had given him around the world, he expected them to share his excitement. However, something else happened. As he waited for comments, silence entered the room. Then someone said, "I think it's great you are going to those places. But if you ask me, I would just as soon God annihilate all those people and send them to hell." Unbelievable... And the story doesn't end there. The next day he preached about going to all nations with the gospel. When David Platt finished speaking, the pastor got up and gave him a check "so that they don't have to go there themselves". The pastor also recalled a story of when he was pastoring another church and a missionary from Japan came to speak. Apparently that same pastor said that if the congregation would not give financial support to this missionary, he would pray that God would send their kids to Japan to serve with the missionary.
It's hard to believe that some pastors are speaking like this to their congregation when one of our duty is to be available for God's work. Our church is very open to help others. We regularly have teams going to the Dominican Republic for mission trips as well as ministering to people in our city. We are currently in the midst of preparing to raise some money so we can complete the purchase of land and build a building - the campaign's title is Building Walls to Restore Lives. That's how we see our calling as a church. To help others around us and in places outside of our country.
So reading the story from David Platt, I just couldn't believe my eyes... It caught me by surprised and made me wonder why some people will just not want to get involved for God. I guess that I am not like that. The author of Radical presents stories of how being involved can make a difference in someone's else life but also in your own life. After all it is better to collect treasures in your heart instead of amassing material things around you.
I also enjoyed the story about John Wesley and how he lived on 20,000$ a year for part of his life - giving away the rest. It made me wonder about how to apply this principle in our life. In the past few years, we have learned to cut drastically in various ways. I also know that we can continue to cut other ways. At this point in time, we are trying to reach another level of financial freedom. Doing so requires a change of lifestyles. A few years ago, we have decided to homeschool our children. This meant not having a double income in our house. But in the end, I see a tremendous reward in knowing that my kids are learning at their own pace and that I get to know them better. My calling at this point in time is definitively homeschooling my kids. We hope and dream that we can go on a mission trip with them in the future. That will definitively be a life changing event for them as it was for us when we went back in 2005.
I find that everyone should take some time to read this book. It is an eye opener to be ready to help and step up to the plate on a daily basis. At the end of the book, the author will challenge you to a one year commitment - to pray for the entire world, to read through the entire Word, to sacrifice money for a specific purpose (not on yourself or your family - something that will have impact), spend your time in another context, commit your life to a multiplying community. If you are willing to be transformed, I highly recommend that you read Radical and take up the challenge.