The first official book review ever is going to be (if you haven't guessed by the title)....<<<((((drum roll)))>>> Crazy Love by Francis Chan!
I had heard briefly about Francis Chan and fell in love with his encouraging quotes before I looked him up on youtube to watch some of his sermons. The sermons alone were pretty amazing. I learned from those how he really doesn't sugar coat anything and gives it to you straight. Crazy Love was no different and I don't feel he held back at all. It was extremely convicting.
Chan hits several convicting aspects of a believer's life but the main focus is on having a passionate love relationship with God. I know I fail miserably at loving God in my life. Even though He's blessed me beyond what I could ever possibly deserve and that's just with the sacrifice of His Son, never mind the daily blessings like the very breaths I'm taking as I type this out.
He starts out saying a very real truth about our culture and though it stings to hear it I truly believe it to be true; "We are a culture that relies on technology over community, a society in which spoken and written words are cheap, easy to come by, and excessive. Our culture says anything goes; fear of God is almost unheard of. We are slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry." Another thing he talks about is how we have spiritual amnesia at times. Where we are so often reminded of God's art around us (sunsets,rainbows,galaxies etc) yet we still forget.
In chapter 2 he hit on worry and stress and how God feels when we don't trust Him.
I know I have major issues at times when it comes to stress. In school and growing up I've always carried the label, worry wart. Like a high strung puppy I would easily freak out about the smallest things. Its really embarrassing to think back on it now but the sad part is that though I'm better than I use to be I still struggle with it a lot. Its a battle for me to just trust God. After all God created the world, mountains, leaves on trees, animals of the earth ,birds of the skies and knows exactly how many hairs are on my head. My worries or stresses are no large overwhelming task in His eyes. Chan says "Both worry and stress reek of arrogance." Wow! Honestly though when I worry it basically does tell God that He's not good enough to take care of whats going on in my life.
Chan also talks about the call to share the gospel. He quotes that " Christians are like manure spread them out and they cause things to grow but leave them in a pile and they just stink." God gave us this precious gift of the gospel why do we hide it? I know for me many times it was for my own comfort and not wanting to be in an uncomfortable situation or there is always the constant contender of our own apathy. To quote my friend, Debbie, who once spoke on this topic at a luncheon. When we don't share the gospel we sound like a little kid, you know the toddler age where everything is "mine mine MINE". I could go far more in depth on how awesome and how deeply changed I feel from reading this book but it would be like me writing a book!:)
One thing that seems to be a pattern lately that God wants me to hear it seems in the messages I'm hearing/reading is this call to mission and sharing the gospel. Like I said before in my last post, I'm very ashamed because I have done nothing surmountable in sharing the gospel for God's glory. My husband and I ,since before we were married, have had this desire to go to Ghana, Africa to help do mission work. A missionary that our church helps and hosts often is from there and he has done great things there in the Lord's name. We plan on going there when the time is right. So many things to work out first. We do want to try for another baby so we will see what happens but either way we will go to Ghana it will just depend on how soon. I would love to go the sooner the better, but we'll see what God has willed for us. We're really just going to put all our trust in Him as He truly deserves it. I feel like I've learned so much since we lost the baby. I can admit to myself and out loud that I buried myself in my grief for a little while after everything. At first I felt happy to be alive since I hemorrhaged so badly and we weren't sure if I'd have a hysterectomy or not. I lamented so much over the missed miscarriage. I feel deeply convicted over it now though when I see how my pain and suffering over losing her was a tiny fraction of the pain so many are bearing around the world. Somewhere right now a believer is in prison for his/her faith and being tortured. Some of them may have lost friends, family , neighbors. In 2010 925 million people across the globe weren't getting enough to eat. Every year 15 million children die of hunger. Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. That's insane! I've been writing this post out for around an hour so based on that around 960 men,women and children have died from hunger! In the Asian, African and Latin American countries, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank has called "absolute poverty".
What keeps echoing in my mind is
James 4:14- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.and Mathew 28:19...
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I keep thinking that I could die tonight and I don't want to be in God's throne room and have done nothing great to bring glory to Him. He gave His Son for me and though I know there is nothing I could ever do on my own to repay that debt I owed there is one thing I can do and that is to obey Him joyfully, lovingly, and with a strong desire.
If you haven't guessed by now, I loved Crazy Love and high;y recommend the book but be aware that it may make you uncomfortable with the truths it will reveal in yourself and this world we live in. It was an amazing and powerful book! Prepare to be deeply convicted!