Tag Archives: Christianity

Radical

I’m an adventure seeker by nature. Some may say it’s because I grew up overseas. Some may attribute it to personality. Some may say it depends on the company you keep.

I’d agree with all of the above, but more importantly, I think my sense of adventure stems from Christ.

In David Platt’s book, “Radical,” Platt challenges the church to live a life of adventure, a radical life, in Christ. He argues that Christianity isn’t the safe, American dream that it’s become. Christianity is not the safe road by a long shot.

I love that.

As the title of my blog suggests, I like the path, that Robert Frost calls, “The Road Less Taken.” Following Christ, wholeheartedly and with all abandon, is taking the road less traveled by. Why is it less traveled by? Because staying in America, working on your 401k and building a family with 2.5 kids is easier. It’s easier to worship Jesus in a packed sanctuary where no one sees you come and go.

It’s harder when you are living in a different country and worshiping in a house church.

But, now, even though I live overseas, I tend to take the cushy road sometimes. It’s easy, for me, to do this because I grew up in Chiang Mai. It’s more familiar than America. Platt’s “Radical” challenged me to take a look at how I am living and see if I am manipulating the Gospel to fit my cultural preferences.

Are you? Is your version of Christianity the American dream? Platt goes into this more detail in his book and I’ll save the details for you to read.

Platt’s book challenged me to take a look and Christ’s message and take a look at my life and find the disconnect in where I am and where Christ is.

This adventure seeker (I’m talking about myself, in case there was any confusion) wants to stay on par with the radical life Christ has for believers. Now, does this mean it is always easy? Not at all. The road less traveled by is that way for a reason. It’s stinking hard sometimes.

Adventure isn’t always fun. Growing up, my parents trained my brother and I to see potentially frustrating circumstances as adventures instead of annoyances. In the same way, our view on how good our life is varies based on whether we choose to see life as an adventure or whether we choose to see it as a series of pitfalls.

Being at the center of God’s will is where we have the most freedom. As I was reminded in the sermon in church today, freedom comes through discipline. We have the freedom to play any song we want and play it well on an instrument because we’ve put in the time and effort into practicing. It’s the same with our faith. We find freedom in Christ when we are disciplined in reading his Word and going to Him in prayer. It’s then we experience the abundant life.

As Brian Regan said in his comedy routine about going to the optometrist, “Who doesn’t have time to see?” (That was a paraphrase) Who doesn’t have time to find abundant life?

Who doesn’t have time to live a radical life in Christ?

WaterBrook Multanomah’s Blogging For Books program provided me with a copy of David Platt’s “Radical.” My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Life

The Butterfly Effect

I know some of you have been pondering, maybe even musing, at my choice for the name of my blog. I’m really happy to share the meaning and reason for my choosing this as my blog’s title.

The butterfly effect was not my own invention, although I wish it was. It’s actually a scientific theory. In 1963, Scientist Edward Lorenz came up with the butterfly effect.

His theory is, as summarized by Andy Andrews in his book, “The Butterfly Effect” :

 

“A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air— eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.”

 

The scientific community laughed at Lorenz. But, his theory was deemed accurate and is now called The Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions. If you ask me, The Butterfly Effect, is easier to say and understand, but I guess scientists need to invent fancy names to sound smarter.

His theory doesn’t just refer to butterflies, but to people. In essence, one act, as simple as a flap of a butterfly’s wings, makes a difference of cosmic proportions.

“When you know that everything matters—that every move counts as much as any other—you will begin living a life of permanent purpose,” Andrews says, quoting a man he met.

I heard about the butterfly effect long before reading Andrews’ brief book, but reading it enforced and expanded my affinity for this theory.

The butterfly effect is a call to live a life of permanent purpose. Everything I do has a meaning and purpose. The lives I touch with each flap of my wings matter. If everyone lived life with this same determination the world would be a different place. God intended us to bring glory to Himself.

Andrews gives several examples of the butterfly effect applied in life. Because George Washington Carver, yep the peanut guy, took interest in Henry Wallace, the former vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wallace became interested in agriculture. He became the Secretary of Agriculture and later hired Norman Borlaug. In the 1940s, Borlaug hybridized high yield, disease resistant corn and wheat for arid climates. This saved two billion lives from famine.

The idea in Andrews’ book and for my blog is this:

“You have been created as one of a kind.
On the planet Earth, there has never been
one like you … and there never will be again.
Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your
ability to reason and act all exist in no one else.
The rarities that make you special are no
mere accident or quirk of fate.”

You have been created in order that you might
make a difference. You have within you the power to change

Of course the power comes from God and not ourselves. God has a specific mission for each of our lives. Don’t ever feel like where you’ve been placed is insignificant. You’ve been placed there for a time a season and a reason.

What is your butterfly effect?

Most likely, we won’t know that until we reach heaven. Until that day, let’s keeping flapping our wings.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson’ BookSneeze, I was provided with an electronic copy of Andy Andrews’ book, “The Butterfly Effect.” My thoughts and opinions are my own. I enjoyed and appreciated his book as it fits nicely with my blog.

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Filed under Book Reviews