Saturday, October 23, 2010

Radical

I did not want to read it. So much is being said about Radical that my flesh was rising up and saying, "I will not read it."

It was kind of like when my mom and many friends pestered me about taking her Breaking Free study and because they wouldn't leave me alone and because they told me how challenging it was, I refused for several years. On one occasion a friend literally told me that "it sucked." (The reason we are still friends today is because I knew the heart behind her words.)

Aside from my you can't make me attitude, the things people said about Radical scared me. This blog is where I first heard of it. If you take a few minutes to read it, you can see how the writer and her family have been impacted. See? Scary. The video promo I just happened to see for this book and lecture series made me want to hide under a chair.

"Curtis," I would ask, "Is this guy saying that you have to take a vow of poverty to be Christian? Or that you have to move overseas to please God?" This is how I interpreted what I was hearing. My heart was agitated to the point that I knew I had to see what David Platt had to say for myself. If a book was becoming this widely talked about, at the very least, I needed to know what it said.

So about a month ago I went into LifeWay to buy Francine Rivers' new novel. And I saw Radical. It's bright orange - how could I miss it? I grabbed it before I could talk myself out of it. I read the novel first. Then I had nothing else standing in my way and it was time! To be radical!

I am not going to endeavor to tell you everything I learned in that book. But what I want to say is that instead of this message putting a heavy yoke on my shoulders as I feared, chains fell off my soul and I felt free.

In the beginning of 2010, Curtis and I started feeling dissatisfied with our life. We had not set out to live the American Dream, but lo, we were! We have a cute house in a well manicured neighborhood, drive SUV's, have two beautiful kids and a golden retriever. If the American Dream + Jesus could fulfill you, we would lack absolutely nothing. But I remember Curtis saying that at age 20, if he would have guessed what his life would look like by age 30, this would not be it. Our life was too normal. This is not what we meant to do.

This year has been a very intense journey in many ways, much of which I have not been able to write about. We do not know, understand or always like what God has been doing in us, but at least we know He has been working! Thank You, Lord, that You do not leave us as we are, even though we often want You to.

I'm so thankful that God put this book in my hands, even when I acted like a child about reading it. Remember Super Mario Brothers? This has been like when Mario gets the mushroom and becomes adult-sized so he can pulverize bricks standing in his way. God has strengthened my "Yes" and loosened the chains of fear and greed. I would like to say that He completely set me free but this will probably be a lifelong process for me.

At this point you may be wondering what David Platt is really saying in Radical. And if so, then you're just going to have to read it for yourself!

62 comments:

Gene and Annie said...

Awesome Amanda!! I've been wanting to read it, and I am sure it will be life changing for me as well! I just turned 30 this past year and I have been wondering about some of those same things! I'm realizing more and more each day what really matters in ths world. For us, it means giving up stuff so that we can eventually pursue adoption. It's hard but I know it will be worth it!!

HJoy said...

Amanda,

I started attending The Church at Brookhills about six months ago and David Platt has challenged the "faith family" as he calls it so very much. I am glad you read it and was challenged. For me, it was so good to read it and the Word of God and see the Word of God in such a real way through what Platt said. So much of what we "hear" growing up, may not necessarily go hand in hand with what the Word says. I hope that makes sense. Anyways, I just wanted to affirm what you said. Praise God for the ways He speaks to us.
Your family is a blessing to me, even though I don't know you all personally.
Heather

ThirtysomethingMom said...

Well you have given me a challenge...I am going to check this book out! Thanks for blogging about it.

Jen said...

It's funny... my roommate and I were talking about the exact same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you'd asked either one of us at 20 where we wanted to be at 30, we both would have said something that equaled living the American dream.
Yet here we sit, 29 years old, single, and living and teaching in Cairo, Egypt. I would have NEVER said I'd be here. Many days I don't WANT to be here. But I do know that this is exactly where God has called me to be for now, and that the American dream is NOT what I want (but I still want to get married! :) )

Kiki said...

Love that you read it! I really want to know what or how you've changed.

Teena said...

I am reading it ... have been all summer. Not much time so I only read a few pages at a time.

God has been working on me too for the past year. So strange... but exciting and scary. Most do not understand and give me a blank stare... but I am not even sure myself.

My daughter left for Kenya about a month ago. To help in an orphanage, after 3 wks there she was able to connect with a Compassion graduate and now she is at a Compassion host home and will visit the Nairobi Compassion project on the 3rd. God worked this all out more than I could imagine...

see not even sure how to explain.

anyway... love your words, blog, tweets... and following you to Guatemala. :)

Hugs,
Teena

Marc and Charity said...

I love this Amanda. I have to admit that at times I'm very jealous of the American Dream. Reading Radical was freeing for me too- sometimes I think we should sell what we do have and go to the bush in Africa instead of living here in the UK where my life is physically comfortable. I could write a lot here...anyway...we love you guys!

Laura said...

My husband and i are teaching Radical at our church (both our first times to go thru it). It has been so impactful, i still don't know exactly how it will be used in our lives. But i love that the desire to serve Father COMPLETELY as He intended is in front of us....and we're (hopefully) walking towards it.

Amber said...

Your ending reminded me of Reading Rainbow (You don't have to take my word for it...)! Ah, the good ol' days:)

I feel kind of like you felt about the book, but I still haven't read it. My husband still has it and it's taking him a long time. He said he's having to take it in small bites!

Kelli said...

Weren't you so glad you read it?? I resisted for a while too but for different reasons since we already live overseas... Praying for you and Curtis and the journey God has you on. In our 15 years of marriage some of our most precious times as a couple have been when we're left looking at each clueless thinking, "WHAT is God doing now?"!! We're in the midst of a limbo year ourselves and it can get interesting!

Laurie said...

I love David Platt and I look forward to reading this book!

Holly said...

I love several things about this post...
I love that we are reading the same two books together--for some reason that makes me feel a kinship and friendship with you, sister.
I love that God does not leave us to our own way, but gently directs and redirects our hearts because He is for us and with us.
I love that you referenced super marios bros. :0) That makes my heart happy.
And I love walking this journey out--in a "I'm not alone" fashion. We need to be iron sharpening iron--and I am blessed to be sharpened by you, dear Amanda.

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Becky Kiser said...

Thanks for writing this. I sent my hubs to Lifeway last week to get the new Francine Rivers novel. He came back with that book and Radical. I wasn't thrilled. I "knew" what it said and I didn't want to hear it. As much as I feel so dissatisfied with our life and how we've stopped risking for Christ, I still didn't want to hear it. But, after reading this, I know now I need to. There's not better time to hear that message than now. Thanks girl!

Myriam said...

Amanda
I finished reading it about a week ago and I hope to never be the same. It is a radical book. The message is radical and life changing.

I vow to take the one Radical Experiment and may I never be the same. The story that gripped the most is the one about the 'rich man and the beggar outside his gate'. I never really identified with the rich but in many ways I am like him.

Thanks for your input. Would love to know if you are doing the experiment or maybe you were already engaged the activities.

Myriam

KR said...

I'm just started it Amanda (after you tweeted about shutting off tv) It's making me nauseous--- over myself, church and myself some more. I am terrified to keep reading. And more terrified to put it down.
So thanks for the encouraging post.
And please post about your post-tv experiences as a family. What will I do without Caillou for 3 year old?

Dave Steinbeck said...

Okay, I have been reluctant to read this book too, for all of the same kinds of reasons (to me, it has felt like watching a scary movie with one eye peaking through my hand; just enough to see a little bit, but too chicken to take it all in)...this gave me a good shove and so I appreciate it. I'm currently going through a season right now where the things of this world and the job that I have to accumulate those things is feeling less and less of what I need to be grasping hold of, and realizing how horribly tight my grasp has been. Thanks for sharing about this... :) Heather Steinbeck

Emily said...

First, I just have to be honest here...I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who blogs on a Saturday morning! Okay, onto the important stuff, I have been wondering whether or not I should take the time to read "Radical" in the midst of my seminary studies (especially after hearing sooo much hype and so many reviews...), but the way you wrote this post has compelled both my heart and head to action. Off to buy a new book now... :)

albritton5 said...

I'm a big fan of your blog...and just had to comment. I love the book Radical. We're in the middle of a very similar time in our life...we look like this very nice family living the American Dream, but that just isn't what we want at all. Reading David's book really helped us clarify some things God was speaking to us about. I have to admit, I had to put it down several times, because I take everything so personally. But I did find so much freedom in the message of the book. God is changing us, and we're making some big decisions, and I'm grateful that God is using David in such an incredible way. Thanks for this post!

Kylie said...

So many of your posts I feel like I could write myself. (not as elequently of course but I can relate to what you say!) I literally cried when I read "We didn't set out to live the American dream but lo, we were..." Sounds like I'm gonna have to get that book.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'm in the midst of reading "Radical" right now. I'm trying to read it slowly (not my usual style) because I want to absorb it. I want it to sink in and not just trickle through. It is definitely resonating with the truth God is teaching me in so many areas right now.

And this? Chains fell of my soul and I felt free. I loved.

Dionna said...

I hadn't heard of this book "Radical" until now. You definitely have my curiosity piqued.

Corrie's Blog said...

I feel ya!

HisTreasuredPossession said...

like you and so many others, I've been hearing a ton and feel sick to my stomach to read it. Hoping I get over that quick and follow suit. thanks for sharing that reading it was a positive experience rather than feeling bogged now. I'm a little less skeered. =)
rachel

Corrie's Blog said...

P.S. One of my old yl kids and now currently dear friend of mine (whom i went to africa with also with the heads) is about to move to haiti along with the hendricks (good friends of theirs!) Small world! She had me read that book after our friends, the beaches, were on extreme makeover and it changed my life! Ill see where God leads. So far its been growing for me too! And i loved your mario analogy...encouraging! :)

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

Hi Amanda
I have heard alot about the book but now I reckon I will have to get it I just bought Francine Rivers new novel and Travis Cottrell book also so I am getting ready to call Barnes and Noble to see if they have it .
I am glads like one seista said as one iron sharpens the other I am glad we are being sharpen by you.
The Lord Bless you
Carol

Hendrick Family said...

Glad you liked it :)

I agree. Such a great message delivered with honesty, humility, and, grace.

What freedom! We love how Platt encouraged our family to seek first God's Kingdom. We will be forever grateful.

Heather

bethany said...

I'm reading it too Amanda. It is definately doing something in me although I'm not sure yet what it is...a bit too deep to put words to yet. I think it will take some processing time :) I dont want to be the same though...I want to be radical and never get comfortable living the American Dream. I want God to be my everything and I want to drop the chains of self-absorption so that I can be used by Him in the way that He intends to use me...I don't want to miss anything!

Marla Taviano said...

Do you know how badly I want to drive/fly down to your house and sit on your couch and talk to you face-to-face about this for HOURS?? I'm praying for you, girl, and look forward to hearing more about your journey as you feel free to share.

Michele said...

For the record . . .this book has me all goofed up. . . goofed up in a good way . . . but I'm really at a point of repenting of living my "country club" "American Dream". I've been so challenged, yet freed at the same time!

Debbie said...

I've heard about this book, and now that I'm done with school and can actually do some leisure reading, I think this will be the first one I pick up. I'm up for the challenge.

The Brannan Brief! said...

Amanda,
I felt EXACTLY like you said about reading this book. I was NOT going to read it. I live in the gulf south where David Platt is talked about constantly. He went to seminary here in New Orleans and he's like a legend. I didn't want to read his book because my FLESH cried out in rebellion just like you said. Finally, I did, and I am so glad that I did!!!

Sitesx6 said...

Read it, loved it, changed by it....

I read it right before I went on my first mission trip to Haiti (in July) and finished it on the plane there.....

Now, I'm home, back to living in my nice house, raising my nice kids, driving my nice car..and I struggle with how to live out what I read on the pages of Radical.

Tara G. said...

The book's message sounds similar to a book my brother in law sent us- Generous Living by Ron Blue which was written back in the '90's, I think. It's another good read- very practical and probably not so emotional. There's a chapter on handing down more than money to our children, too.

JottinMama said...

You convinced me.

I'm going out to buy it tomorrow.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention:) Have a good, love-filled week!

Blessings,
Kate :)

Alison said...

I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts of this--especially as a fellow "American" pastor's wife. It's so easy to assume our lives should look like all of our church members...or at least we want it to. And is that really what it's supposed to be?

A little scared to read this book, by the way.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Amanda - i have this book at home in my 'to-read' stack. I will move it to the top as soon as I get home from a week long revival my husband was preaching in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

another good book is Travis' new book "Surprised by Worship" with an amazing forward by your mom. I had the chance to review it on my blog and I will say that the book changed my outlook tremendously!

Many blessings to you and your sweet family.

Angie said...

Hmmmm.

I've been digging my heels in about this book too. I've read about it on so many blogs and it seems... scary. So I asked my husband (who is a pastor and has a huge collection of books) if he'd heard of "Radical." I swear his face went white. He said, "Yes... why?" I told him I wanted to read it and asked if I could borrow his copy. With a big deep breath, he said yes and admitted that although he'd been hoping I'd read the book, he was afraid that I WOULD! ha ha... that about said all I needed to know about the book. So there it sits, on my nightstand. I'm afraid. He said that once I read it, he'll have no excuse but for us to put it into action. Scary! Because I haven't read it and don't know what that means!!! But... I will. I didn't ask the Lord to give me a neon sign instructing me to read it, but He has!!!

Cindie said...

I just finished reading it and it is radically changing my thinking and my life...one day at a time. Some of the "things" I felt were important pale in comparison to what I now see...
Praying that everyone will read it and we could all be radically changed for Christ.

Carolina City Girl said...

i am a huge fan of the book...like you, i was scared to start it, but it just sucked me right in! my selfish nature, of course, would rather have me thinking about ME, but reading "Radical" did a number on my perspective. I am so thankful for truth!! thanks for sharing :)

Kevin said...

I have read the Hendrick blog for a long time and am always challenged by them. I too have been afraid to read Radical. I think God might be telling me something!
Lord bless

Susy said...

Thanks for that! I feel like I have been living in a cave, but I had not heard about that! It's on my reading list!!

Lauren said...

I love your Super Mario Brothers analogy. Ha!

Alicia said...

Hey love.
I have read that book and everything in it is amazing. And highly convicting. I have heard David Platt speak on multiple occasions and he is just so anointed in speaking truth in Scripture. Miss you and glad you go to read it!

Missy said...

I'm reading it, too - you warmed my heart to share that you were "freed" by the message! I'm discovering that, also. Thank you for sharing.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I am reading Radical for the third time right now..such an amazing book and I love how it points us back to Scripture. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Erica said...

I am so glad I read this post. It's funny because often times a friend of mine will joke that she did not hear this message or that talk b/c she doesn't want to be held "accountable" for what was said. We know that she is kidding, but something in our hearts just wants to be okay with being okay, but then Jesus, breaks that mold and calls us to somthing deeper! Oh, how he has been working on me and my family in this "American Dream" interruption. I definitely need to get my hands on that book!
I long to live a life that is truly worthy of His calling!

Toknowhim said...

Great post Amanda... I read this book several months and was so convicted with many of the things you referenced in this post... I put the book down for awhile because it was so much for me to digest...

There are many changes I need to make in my life...I won't get there overnight, but I guess I need to at least make one step toward living radically for Jesus...one small step at a time..

I will check out the blog that you linked to in this post...
Blessings, Kim

Karen Campbell said...

One of my friends had this book in her hands the day after you posted about it the fist time. I thought it was interesting that two days in a row I was hearing about this book. She is letting me borrow it. I love to read and this is something my husband and I discuss a lot. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie said...

Hi Have you read The Hole in our Gospel? Its a GREAT book. I just started Radical... (after I read Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury's new books:)

o u r g r o w i n g f a m i l y said...

I loved this book and am still processing!

Nesha said...

Radical has been on my nightstand for some time. I did start it but then stopped knowing I would need more time to digest that book. After basketball start up, I will pick it up again.
I am reading 'Her Daughter's Dream' right now and can so clearly related to the family dynamics in that book. With God's strengh, I am hoping to 'stop the cycle' (my motto) now. I now know why God gave me boys more and more!

katiegfromtennessee said...

God seems to be using this book, and others here recently talked about. I heard of Radical at my church, it was part of the reccomended reading for our Kingdom Challenge this year end and next year. I read it first, and it made me think about everything in my life the way it is now. I'm not satisfied either. There's still a vacuum, and it refuses to stay empty. What it is filled with should count for something that matters, something that is eternal...It has got me examining myself.

Blessings much,

katiegfromtennessee

Lindsee said...

I've had the book sitting on my nightstand for 3 weeks now. Avoiding it for many of the same reasons. All that to say, I started reading it last night. I can already feel my heart stirring...scared and excited for the adventure ahead!

Nickie said...

My pastor challenged all us readers to read this book. I haven't read it yet, but have it on my list. And now that I've read your post, I want to get it even faster. Maybe I'll head to the bookstore this weekend. :)

Amanda said...

I have peeked at your blog many times...and today after reading this post, I actually had the Ugh...sigh...ok, Lord, I'll finish the book;)
I have started and stopped a few times, sensing the "stir"...this post encourages me to get over myself and finish it...I think my fear is that I KNOW I'll be changed. And we don't like change, do we?

And your previous post on being a mom of small ones...I could have written every word! Sometimes moms who are past this stage or people who aren't there yet look at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them I was actually sweating doing a seemingly routine activity like grocery shopping...with a 2 year old. I could use a shower after those kinds of grocery trips!!

Blessings to you...
Amanda

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Hmm, must be living in a hole. Never heard of it. Sounds like my kidn of book. Love the word "Radical" cause living radical is the only thing that has saved my life. My family thinks I'm a kook and brainwashed, but I'm starting to get over that. But it is lonely being the only Christian in my family. My grandpa was but he died of cancer over a year ago. Now trips to see my family are downright painful! Remember to visit my blog http://www.spaparazzo.blogspot.com/

Tasha Via said...

We read that book a few months ago and WOW was it life changing. Like you, we were feeling that same kind of feeling before reading it and after reading we knew we had to do something.

I think it is so awesome that so many people from all over the world that we have talked to are feeling this stirring from God in our hearts. He is up to something big and I feel like this is all preparing us.

Ashley Haupt said...

Thought this might encourage you:

http://ashleyhaupt.blogspot.com/2011/02/radical.html