Monday, July 5, 2010

Follow Me?

Through a series of providential twists and turns, I'm going to South Africa. Just my husband and me. No, it's not a holiday or exotic trip. We're going to change our lives and the lives of our children. It's a long story, almost 40 years in the making.

Have you every thought, "There's got to be more to life than THIS?"

THIS is wonderful, I mean it's the American dream: house, kids (lots) cars (some that work), family and friends and good times. Even church on Sunday. Life is planned, categorized and is prone to run like mostly everyone else's life. But, what if THIS is not what's ITS about?

God comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. We've been disturbed out of our comfort zone. So we are taking action. It's a miracle that both my husband and I are of the same thought process. Usually, when he's on some kick (like drinking goat milk) I'm not on the same page. But, I do believe that God brought us to the same point in our lives, together, yet distinctly apart so we both know, apart from each other's influence, that things are about to change.

To paraphrase Francis Chan, "We should be living in such a way that if God didn't come through for us, we would be in trouble." No THAT'S faith. Big Faith. 

Some people might call it living radically. I call it living like Jesus asked us to live. Based on what Jesus tell others in Luke 9, here's what He asked us to do:

1. Expect to be homeless. Shelter is not always guaranteed. (Luke 9:57-58)

2. Follow Me, even if it means not saying good-bye. Jesus told the would be disciple not even to bother burying his own father. (Luke 9:60, 62)

3. Jesus say what? "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

4. "Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:27) Wait, I thought I learned in Sunday School that our burdens were lifted and thrown away. I distinctly remember the flannel graph stone being lifted off the shoulders of the flannel graph man! But a cross--how do I carry a CROSS?

5. "Sell everything you have and give to the poor then come...follow Me." (Luke 18:22)

6. And the painful..."If anyone does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33)

Wait a minute, where the 'sinner's prayer?' I prayed it once when I was little (so says my mother) and once in first grade to impress the teacher. That was sooo much easier! Admit, confess, believe and pray this prayer after me. Shazaam! You're saved. I didn't find that anywhere. And that scares me.

More about this later, but I wanted to say that I'm both crazy excited and pee my pants scared about going to South Africa that I can barely stand to live with myself.

"Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours." Rich Mullins

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