Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Where's my faith?

God blesses radical choices with supernatural results. Where’s your faith?
-Francis Chan 

Can we live radically kids?

I mean really radically?

Can I live radically?

Live in a way that just screams insanity if there isn't a heaven? Can I be that kind, that loving, that generous? That sold out?
Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church in California's Simi Valley, says churches are often theologically accurate when they teach about giving. But they haven't reoriented themselves.
Chan asks, "Do our actions show that we really believe that our money belongs to God?" Cornerstone gives away 55 percent of what it brings in. And staff members have tried to model financial generosity in a number of ways. Some raided their retirement accounts and gave the money to organizations serving the poor and needy. Some started businesses and donated the profits (and then their free time) back to the church.
The example spread to church members. A college student moved into his car, showered and shaved at friends' homes, and gave what had been his rent money to a Christian aid organization. A single professional moved in with his parents so he could give away a large percentage of his paycheck.
Cornerstone faced a difficult choice when its leadership looked into purchasing a new building. After five years of stagnant attendance, the church realized that its building limited growth. So Chan and the rest of the pastoral staff brought in consultants and architects who laid out a sweeping new campus for the church: an extended complex of buildings, brick streets, fountains, and gardens.
"I really felt it was repulsive," Chan says. "It showed us spending money for our own comfort."
Chan showed the designs to the congregation. When the gasps subsided, he told them it was off the table. Instead of a huge sanctuary, he explained, they were building an open-air amphitheater and saving millions of dollars. A few small buildings would suffice for offices. "There is greater joy in sacrifice," Chan says, "than when we give just out of our excess."
That greater joy comes from habitual, routine, and generous giving—even automated giving—and forms our lives. It's what teaches the giver to be cheerful.
I want to be like those staff members--I want to be like that college student. I want to have a relentless desire to become like Jesus. So much that I'm actually willing to do anything to attain it. Even if it means for me going to school right now. blech.

See when I talk about being tired of mediocre and nominal Christianity--I'm talking about the Christianity that doesn't impinge on our life at all. Where we can go to Church, serve in the Church, Love people within our Church, but somehow miss our Fathers heart for the world. 

Step outside your box for just a moment [yes, you do have a box--I promise you... everyone does]. And think about it for a moment. Yes, you're in school right now. 

But what about after that? What's your life going to look like? Ok, you get married. Then what? You have kids? Ok then what? 

See people, infact my reasoning goes deeper than just me--but I want to model my life in such a way that shows my kids [if I ever am blessed to have any] that I really buy this whole Christianity thing. I don't just want to know theology and doctrine--I want to believe it so much that I actually live it. I want them to see that I really trust and depend on a God to take care of me in every way. That I believe that so much that I'm willing even to give my money to the poor and needy even if it impinges on my life style and my comforts.

I want to be able to be willing to go anywhere in the world, do anything for this amazing Savior of mine.

Because he swept me off my feet and captured my heart. =) 

And I want nothing more than to do what He wants me to do--even it hurts like heck.

Not because I feel like I have to--but because I want to.

Because believe it or not I absolutely love and adore this Father of mine.

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