Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book Review: Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Crazy Love has been quite the adventure and I'm a little sad to be closing the final chapters of this inspiring book. I wanted to share a few highlights:

In his opening chapter, Francis directs his readers to view two videos available on his website. The Awe Factor of God is brilliant.

Chapter 4, "Profile of the Lukewarm," gets pretty personal as Francis addresses some specific attitudes and behaviors of so-called lukewarm Christians. (He even at some points go as far as to say that lukewarm Christians cannot exist.) Page 68:

"Lukewarm People don't really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for it; they're merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one."

He included a beautiful prayer from A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God, which has been prodding my heart more towards the heart of Jesus:

"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I ant to want Thee; I love to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long."

Good book. Great author. Glorious God.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day #5: Let's Kick Fear in the Face

I was on the treadmill at the gym this morning when an interesting line popped up on the TV screen during a commercial for Ghost Hunters. Yes, ridiculous show but they are hooking viewers with a quite profound line:

"Get Fluent in Fear"

I have been spending my time on the treadmill praying, reading a Beth Moore book, and interceding for the Village small group that Brad and I are going to be leading at our church, The City Church. And I tend to be one of those people that likes to turn everything I encounter into something spiritual or having to do with the Gospel. Please, don't stop reading because I found a piece of truth in a dusty corner of media.

Assuming all my readers are English speakers, have you ever noticed how we never have to think to speak in English? Our thoughts, even though rarely put into vocabulary, always seem to be in English. We rarely have to grasp for a word, or translate in our heads when we need to communicate. Those that have learned other languages have probably encountered a time when their thoughts (or sometimes dreams) switch easily between their native & new language with ease. That might be considered a time when we become fluent in something other than our native tongue.

The same is true when our minds think in fear, like the above quote. When we start learning the language of fear, whether through bad experiences, uncontrolled emotions, or just plain humanity, parts of our brain start making the switch. We practice the language because, for many of us, it's actually easier to speak & think "in fear" than remember how we were created to think. Before long, our minds are fluent in the language and - because we live in a land that thrives on fear - it becomes our primary way of functioning.

We make decisions because we are fluent in fear.
We build walls around our hearts towards others & God that protect us - because the language of fear requires isolation.
We don't even realize that we are dreaming, thinking, and living "fluent in fear" because it's become so natural.

I don't know about you but I want this to be the year that I kick fear in the face. How many times in our lives have we missed out on something great because we're afraid? As I stand on the fifth day of 2010, I want to view the year before me with eyes of FAITH & ADVENTURE. I want words spoken to me "in fear" to sound like gibberish, easily recognized as such and even more quickly dismissed.

Walking in this adventure requires leaving FEAR behind so I'm bolting for the cross, where faith meets my soul.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day #1: Reading Adventures

Within one month (late November through late December) I read the last three novels of the Twilight saga. Between these three books, I logged over 2000 pages in these high-energy, sweet romance drama, vampire/werewolf madness. I loved the books and it was a great way to finish a year of increasing my book list.

So the adventure in 2010 is to organize my reading efforts into three categories:

Faith (books related to my walk with God)
Fiction (novels, "fun" pleasure reads)
For Reals (non-fiction doesn't technically start with an "f")

My plan is to keep one book in each of the three categories by my bedside and commence late night reading. I'll update everyone with reviews, tidbits, and personal revelation I receive from what I read.

So, here is the list for January:

Anyone want to join the book club?

Friday, January 1, 2010


I saw "Julie & Julia" a few weeks ago and was completely inspired by Julie's blogging endeavors. (I secretly hope I will get a book deal someday. *wink*) I figured that with the start of a new year, now might be a good time to start some sort of series or theme that relates to the next 365 days. Oh wait, is this a leap year? Nope, 365 days indeed.

My most honest and raw topics tend to be related to being a mom and having children (and yes, those can be two different things) so I'm going to dub this my "Year of Adventure" and broaden my theme to include other parts of my existence.

Those closest to us might say our marriage has been one big adventure: one strong-willed woman marrying a quiet, although strong and passionate younger man, which turned quickly into a story of becoming pregnant, struggling through some very dark times, and finding ourselves with two children within 3.5 years of being "the Thompsons." It's only fitting that the year 2010, a new decade, and potentially the most life-changing year we've faced, become the platform for sharing life on a more consistent level with the cyber masses. Adventure, though some might call it change or stress factors, has always been a part of our lives.

So here's to TwentyTen. I might not have over five hundred recipes to set a particular goal but I do believe that God is creating something more unique than "beef bourguignon" within the space around me and my family. And, more than that, He is creating space within us (and in the days before us) that requires an adventurous spirit, one that embraces His great goodness and leadership.

Will you join me for the Adventure?