Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Go Time- Radical Read-Along Chapter 9

I'm linking up today with Marla's Radical Read-Along.  
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

To start from the beginning of my Radical Read-Along posts, click here.

The Radical Experiment.  Five challenges.  One year.  It's time to stop pondering and start acting.  It's time to take back my faith from the American dream.  For the sake of the poor, the oppressed, the lost.- it's go time!  In Jesus' name. 

Challenge #1:  Pray for the Entire World
Using the free online resource recommended by Platt on p. 189, Operation World, my children and I will begin praying for the entire world.  We will pray for the requests of a new country each day, Monday through Friday, at snack time right after school.  I plan on using the alphabetical list here.  This site has printer friendly prayer resources for every country in the world, which we will use to pray and then store in a three ring binder so we can look back at the countries we have prayed for anytime we want.  We start today with Afghanistan.

Why?  Because before the disciples were told to go, Jesus commanded them to pray (p. 186).  "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."  Matthew 9: 36-38

Challenge #2:  Read Through the Entire Word
I am not starting this particular challenge right now as I am involved in an incredible Bible study that brings a significant amount of daily homework with it. It ends mid-December.  But, I do have plan and a commitment for this challenge.  I met this really great sister at Relevant who hosts a Bible in 90 Days group several times a year on her blog, Mom's Toolbox.  The next one starts on January 3, 2011 and I'm already signed up!  Who wants to join us?
Why?  "If we want to know the glory of God, if we want to experience the beauty of God, and if we want to be used by the hand of God, then we must live in the Word of God." (p. 192)  Amen!

Challenge #3: Sacrifice Your Money for a Specific Purpose
This is something that I have not determined yet as it is obviously a decision that my husband and I will make together.  (And I am lovingly nudging him to finish the book now that I'm done :)  I love Platt's suggestions for rising to this challenge (p.196-107):  "The challenge is not just to give away excess stuff that you don't need anyway.  Sacrifice is giving away what it hurts to give.  First, spend your money on something that is gospel centered.  Second, give in a way that is church focused.  Third, give to a specific, tangible need.  Finally, give to someone or something you can trust."

Challenge #4:  Spend Your Time in Another Context
Again this is something that has not yet been determined.  Platt recomennds spending 2% of your time in the next year "making the gospel known in a context outside your own city."  (p. 200)  2% of your time in the course of a year translates into about one week.  I am confident that God will provide clear opportunities for us to meet this challenge this year.  I could imagine even how challenges 3 & 4 might be intertwined- perhaps we will sacrifice our money to spend it on a week long mission trip bringing the gospel to those who need it. 

Challenge #5: Commit Your Life to a Multiplying Community
Platt's suggestion to those of us who are committed to and serving in a local church, which our family most certainly is, is to "look for the best avenue within that community of faith to be about making disciples." (p. 206)  Because of the way that God worked out the details of a new book club ministry I will be involved in leading throughout 2011, and the theme that seemed to naturally flow from the books Andrea and I selected, I believe this will be one of the avenues I will use to make disciples.

God is up to something in the church.  And I don't want to miss it.  Am I a little bit frightened of the cost? Why, yes, I am!  But I am more disturbed by the notion that I might come to the end of this vapor of a life without having risen to His challenge.  I don't want to just call myself a Christian, I want Jesus to be glorified in my life.

Father, thank you for this book.  Thank You for Pastor Platt's calling and ministry.  Thank You for opening my eyes.  I pray, Holy Spirit, that You would lead me and empower me as I walk through this Radical Experiment.  In those areas where I have already made a commitment to obey You, help me to be faithful.  In those areas where I need Your direction, speak to me and show me how to obey You.  Use me Lord over this year and for all the time You give me here on Earth to bring glory and honor to Your name.  In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.


Andrea said...

love your list!!! I can't wait to see what the Lord will do in you! exciting!

Marla Taviano said...

Amen, amen, amen to your prayer, Natalie!! And I love all of your ideas!! Thanks so much for telling me about the free resource on the website. And thank you for your sweet encouragement!!

Missy said...

I really enjoyed how you connected the "why's" to you comments. Thank you for sharing!

Natalie said...

Thank you for your sweet encouragement, ladies!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you mentioned Operation World. Once I finished reading "Radical," I totally meant to pick up the book and forgot! I will look at the website instead. :)

Also, so glad you shared about the Mom's Toolbox Bible in 90 days group. Sounds like just what I need to make it through the winter months. One question: I dug around on the website, but never saw a place to actually sign up. Can you point the way?


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