Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Radical means…

ramblings & thoughts after chapter 1…

when I looked up the definition of the word radical, here is what i found:  “original;  extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms”

original – that struck me, because, well, isn’t Jesus The Original when it comes to the model for how we, as followers of Him, should live?

and then the next part…”extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional form” --- is the way I “do life” as a Christian based more on tradition than actually following Christ?

quote from pg 7, 2nd paragraph “I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable.”  That nailed me. I have just started to realize how much “being comfortable” affects so many of my daily choices.  I am just starting to see what high priority that is for me.  yikes! that is cold water in my face.

quote from pg 11, 5th paragraph “Yet the kind of abandonment Jesus asked of the rich young ruler is at the core of Jesus’ invitation throughout the gospels…Jesus was calling them to abandon their comforts, all that was familiar and natural to them.”  Do I want to have that heart? well, sure! do i, though, really?  “to abandon my comforts & all that is familiar & natural to me.”  I am sitting here trying to imagine what that would even look like for me.

last night, i asked jay what sort of things have run through his mind, possibilities of what Jesus might call us to do.  He said, giving away our savings, forsaking financial security.  then he asked me the same question, and I said, selling our house (aagh! are you kidding? this house we have worked so hard on & dearly love?) and moving to a smaller house in a “not so lovely” neighborhood, with the purpose of ministering to those who live around us.  jay then reminded me that we both know that God gave us this house, so maybe He is calling us to truly allow it to be used to minister to others in a way different than we may have previously considered -  being foster parents, or even adopting.  (can i just say here, that even typing these words makes my pulse go up? anxiety.)

so, as i was thinking about chapter 1, and conversation with jay, i also thought of a conversation i had with daddy over the weekend. he & mom have been at our house for a few days to visit.  when i asked him if he had heard of or read this book, i went & got it so he could see it.  he glanced at it, and then turned to me and said, “well, isn’t following Christ radical? isn’t that what He calls us to do? put aside ourselves & be filled up with Him?” 

when i think about it, my dad is one of the more radical followers of Christ that I know – in that he has stood by his convictions & not been conformed to the world around him.  for him, when he gave his heart to Christ, he truly gave His life to Him, gave up control.   and that is how he has lived since.

being obedient to Him, and going to West Africa this May is radical for me….how in the world can i think that i could follow Him to “abandoning my comforts & all that is familiar & natural” on a permanent basis?

please comment & tell me what you think.


  1. personally, i think God sees where we're at. I think He asks that we take babysteps, sometimes. that really what He wants is not radical, crazy behaviour, but a willingness to do what He calls you to. For me, this past year God has been challenging me to love a woman who drives me nuts. I've become her friend, not because i love her, but because God does. and as i've obeyed, God has brought love to my heart for her. did i sell my possessions? nope. but was that radical? i think so...but those are just my thoughts. :)

  2. I'm also following through on the Radical Read A Long and having similar thoughts as you. We just moved to a new house near downtown. Wondering what God has intended for us here. How can we live Radically in our comfort.

  3. One radical step at a time is all God wants...praying for and with you!

  4. Great thoughts, Niki. And I had to smile when you said your pulse went up just writing about adoption/fostering. I feel the exact same way.

  5. Hi Niki! Thanks for directing me to Radical by David Pratt. I love your challenge about this subject--a great concept to consider. Btw, great to find your blog!!!! Keep writing!!!

  6. Well you are third person this week to tell me about the book Radical! Let me tell ya we are doing something radical and that this week we made the decision that we are going to adopt. We don't know how in the world the finances are going to come and we know that only God can make it happen. We know He will give us the tools to make it happen. So we are just following God's leading in all of this! Please pray for us and we will be keeping your trip to Africa in our prayers!

  7. Niki, I'm going to get this book. Also, where are you going in West Africa? I know some missionaries in Niamey. Yes, that's a radical step and you will be SO blessed.