Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thank you for taking this journey with us. Now, let's all go out and love Jesus with a crazy love!!
Leah, Channy and Spence
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
QUESTION 1: Who do you look up to as a faithful believer in Jesus Christ? Who are your heroes of the faith? Why?
QUESTION 2: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be known for once you are gone from this earth?
CHALLENGE: There are at least 3 things that make up our earthly legacy: our faith, our character, and our holiness. Ponder on these things and examine the legacy you have built so far as compared to the legacy you desire to build. Ask Jesus to help you build the very best legacy for the generations that come behind.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Question 1: Describe a time in your life when you were obsessed with something or someone. When the rubber met the road, what emotions surfaced as a result of this obsession.
Question 2: Francis Chan profiles a person obsessed with Jesus Christ. From the list given, which of these do you feel like describe you best? Which do you feel like you need more of in your life or which do you struggle with the most?
Challenge: Ask the Lord to work an obsession for Jesus Christ into the very marrow of your bones this week and in the weeks to come.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Do you understand that it's impossible to please God in any way other than wholehearted surrender? Do you grasp the beauty and deep joy of walking in genuine intimacy with God, our holy Father and Friend? Do you want to see God more than you desire security?"
"Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers".
These are very challenging quotes, to say the least. Our questions today match them, I believe.
Question 1: "Christians today like to play it safe. We want to put ourselves in situations where we are safe 'even if there is no God.' But if we truly desire to please God, we cannot live that way. We have to do things that cost us during our life on earth but will be more than worth it in eternity." What are some ways we/you play it safe?
Question 2: God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him completely--so much so that we do not hesitate to put ourselves in situations (with His guidance and blessing, of course)where we will be in trouble if He does not come through. What are you doing right now, at this season in your life that requires that radical kind of faith in God?
Question 3: Do I really think of each person I come in contact with as if they were Christ? How would my life change if I did?
Challenge: Beth Moore's daughter, Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick, has just returned from a Compassion International trip to India. Her posts on the Living Proof blog have been incredibly moving. Take some time this week to read them. You can find them here, here, here (this one really rocked me), and here.
Consider and pray about how God would have you respond to this week's chapter.
Leah, Channy and Spence
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”
QUESTION 1: Balance in our relationship with God is important so that we don’t ‘humanize’ God to the point that we infer the failures of humans on God. How often do you think of God as more of a concept rather than a real person? Which is more of a struggle for you: intimacy with God or reverence for God?
QUESTION 2: We all have ‘baggage’ that we tote around with us and toss into our various relationships. What kind of baggage do you bring to your relationship with God?
QUESTION 3: Does your relationship with God resemble a ‘love’ relationship? Why or why not?
CHALLENGE: Ask the Lord to show you this week any baggage that you pack up and bring into your relationship with Him.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Chan believes that too often there are patterns in church and in our lives that we follow simply because it has always been done that way. On the study resource video, he gave the example of building their church sanctuary. Once they outgrew their previous sanctuary, they simply built a larger one. Chan said that only afterward did he realize that he never asked God if that was the biblical thing to do—the thing God desired for them to do. He gives us much to think about when he said in the video that we are fed so much in the church that may not be biblical, but we accept it as if it were. We accept it simply because it has always been done that way.
In Chapter 5, Chan quotes Tim Kizziar who said, “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” After reading chapter 5, share honestly your answers to the following questions:
Question 1: On pages 83 and 84, Chan says the following: “As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians.”
Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
Question 2: We need to be totally honest with ourselves, yet not feel any shame over the answer to this next question. If you sensed a lukewarmness in your life, trying harder is NOT the answer but rather pressing deeper into the Lord Jesus Christ and allowing Him to assure you of your salvation or come into your heart for the first time. After reading chapters 4 and 5, do you have any doubts about your salvation? Where did Chapter 5 leave you?
Challenge: Make a commitment to NOT be the type of Christian who ‘gets to go to heaven without having to commit to anything’.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.”
Question 1: The quote above puts the spotlight of lukewarmness squarely on the shoulders of the church in America. What do you see in America and in the church today that substantiates or lends supports this statement?
Question 2: I would argue that if you are doing this study of “Crazy Love” your life does not exhibit all or even most of the characteristics of lukewarmness. However, if you are like me, you were able to find yourself in more of these characteristics than you would care to admit. Share honestly which of these characteristics of lukewarmness hit you squarely between the eyes and why.
Question 3: What changes do you plan to make or have you already made based on this week’s chapter on lukewarmness?
Challenge: “Do not assume you are good soil!! Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Do not assume you are good soil!!
Leah, Spence, and Channy
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Hey, some of you haven't checked in for Week 3 yet. We want to hear from you!
Spence, Channy and Leah
Monday, March 30, 2009
At the beginning of Chapter 3, Francis Chan says, "For years I 'got' God's love in my head, checked the right answer on the 'what God is like' test, but didn't fully understand it with my heart." Does that resonate with anyone? I know it did for me. In chapter 3, Chan compares God's love for you and me with a parent's love for their child. Just like with a parent and child, God doesn't need us for anything. He just flat out loves us and wants a relationship with us. Examining how we should respond to that was a big part of this week's chapter.
I encourage you to go here to the Crazy Love website and view the video for Chapter 3. Now for our questions for this week:
Question 1: Choose and share one word or phrase to describe your feelings about God in the early years of your Christianity. Then choose and share one word or phrase to describe your feelings about God in your current walk with Him. Finally, if you can, please explain why you chose those words or phrases.
Question 2: Jeremiah 1: 4 The LORD gave me a message. He said, 5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world."
God knew you and me before He made each of us. As you meditate on this concept, what feelings, thoughts or emotions come forth?
Question 3: Share the moment in your life when you first realized that you loved God with your heart, mind and soul.Thank you to each of you who are willing to share your thoughts as we move toward a deeper walk with Christ. He is so worthy of our love and devotion.
Spence, Channy and Leah
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Chapter two begins with two very profound, yet simple thoughts. The first is that you could die before you finish reading this chapter. We are reminded that we are not promised another breath past the one we are currently breathing.
The second thought is that on the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. If you don’t believe that take a look at a little child—an innocent little child. The entire world lives to serve and please them. It doesn’t get much better as we grow older.
On page 44, Chan gets in our faces and says, “frankly, you need to get over yourself.” You and I play the supporting role in this thing called life. Our great big God is the main character; we are the supporting actors and actresses.
Author Max Lucado echoes Chan’s thoughts in his book 3:16 The Numbers of Hope when he says, “The hero of heaven is God. Inhabitants of heaven forever marvel at the sins God forgives, the promise he keeps, the plan he executes. He’s not the grand marshal of the parade; he is the parade. He’s not the main event; he’s the only event.” p.93
As we go through this life, are we living as if it is all about God or all about us? Think about it!!
On page 40 Francis Chan quotes Fredrick Buechner. “Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever.”
Why do you think we live as though our lives will go on forever?
On page 42, Chan says the following:
“Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.”
“Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.”
“Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.”
Worry and stress are big deal things that affect virtually EVERYONE. What would it take for you to dump worry and stress completely?
After reviewing the answers given by others in the group to last week’s questions, have you made any changes in your life or your thoughts? Have you had any revelations with regard to your love for Jesus? Do you view your relationship with Jesus Christ differently because of last week’s study and if so, how?
Revelation 3: 1 – “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive,
but you are dead.”
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 – “His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
Chan says, “All that matters is the reality of who we are before God”.
Carve out some time this week and examine who you are before God. Determine to get gut level honest with yourself and with God. Ask Him to reveal who you believe you are before Him and who you truly are in His eyes.
Channy, Spence and Leah
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It is not too late to comment on the Week 1 material. If you have not left your answers to the Week 1 questions, please do. Also, please go back and read all the answers that other group members have left. Doing so may stimulate more discussion.
Channy left a great comment late yesterday that you will definitely want to go read. She had the opportunity to attend a conference this past weekend where Francis Chan spoke and she talked a bit about that. She will be posting more in the days to come about her experience there.
Watch for the Week 2 discussion questions tomorrow. Encourage your friends to join us!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hello! Welcome to week 1 of the "Crazy Love" discussion group!! Remember this will only work if you actually DISCUSS, so be sure to engage in the discussion via the comments form link at the bottom of the post. Try to answer all the questions, but if you only feel led to answer 1 or 2, that is ok. If something spoke to you in the chapter that we didn't touch on in the post, feel free to begin a discussion on that topic. We want this to be engaging and beneficial for everyone. Let's get started!!
In Chapter 1, Chan says a couple of things that we think are great for giving us a perspective on this first week of discussion. On page 28 he says, "I sometimes struggle with how to properly respond to God's magnitude in a world bent on ignoring or merely tolerating Him. But know this: God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him." Then on page 31, Chan reminds us, "there is no way we can ever fathom all of who He is."
Chapter 1 is really about the bigness of God and how, when we really grasp it, we realize that first, we are pretty insignificant, and second, this huge God desires to make us significant by entering into relationship with us.
Questions for Discussion
1. Francis Chan says on page 21:
"I hope it (this book) affirms your desire for 'more God' even if you are surrounded by people who feel they have 'enough God'." What does it look like, in your opinion, to have
2. Chan quotes R.C. Sproul on page 26. "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." This is where a review of the first 10 or so verses of Isaiah chapter 6 becomes helpful. Where do you most often see the majesty of God displayed? Describe it.
3. Which of the attributes of God that Francis Chan listed in Chapter 1 resonates most deeply in your heart? Why?
4. From the Week 1 video - Chan says that sometimes we become so familiar with someone they become common to us. Do you still have a sense of awe for God? If yes, how does that affect you? How do you express that sense of awe?
Choose any of the Scriptures from Chapter 1 and meditate on it or memorize it this week. Listen for the Lord to speak to you through it. Share with the group over the next week how this particular Scripture is being used in your life by the Lord.
Let's love Jesus with a Crazy Love,Channy, Spence and Leah
Sunday, March 15, 2009
My first impressions after reviewing the preface, the first chapter, and viewing "The Awe Factor" are all about my insignificance. I need to have a magnifying mirror to look at myself (you know, the ones that make your pores look like moon craters). If I can stand to look that closely at myself and see how miniscule and meaningless I am in the scheme of things in comparison to an unfathomably huge God, I gain a perspective to grow on. In Isaiah 6, the prophet is confronted with Almighty God. "Woe is me. I am undone." I can't even imagine how I would feel. Certainly Isaiah was living in days of unprecidented evil in the kingdom of Judah. They had wandered so far without ever leaving the promised land. Are we so different? We call ourselves a Christian nation; somehow I don't think Christ would agree. I am positive I wouldn't have uttered a word, I would have been too busy trying to tunnel under the holy marble of the temple to get my unholy self far from the presence of He who embodies Holiness.
After developing this perspective, I can then truly marvel at truth. The God who commands the galaxies--who spoke them into existence, designed each cell in my body precisely according to His unique plan. Furthermore, he continues to note the loss of each gray hair I yank. (One day, he'll stop replacing them and I will indeed be sorry.) He uses an electron microscope on steroids to zoom in from His vastness to get down to my level and know me. Even with the foreknowledge of how arrogant and unworthy I would be, he predestined that my shame would be covered by Jesus' blood. He wanted me to be able to meet Him in the throne room. He truly loves me and wants to use my life to display His glory. When we "get it", our response should be faster than Horshack on "Welcome Back Kotter". We should jump at the chance to be chosen, to be picked by God to carry out His holy will.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We are only 1 week from beginning our discussion group for the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I thought we would do a roll call to see who is going to participate. Please click on the 'comment' link below and leave a comment with your name (first name is fine) and where you are from. You are welcome to leave other info if you would like but don't feel obligated.
Spence, Channy and I are very excited about this and we believe that we are ALL going to be blessed and challenged!! Get ready for your love for Jesus to become a "CRAZY LOVE"
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I go to church at least once a week,
The rest of my time I have much to seek.
I get my fill and am quite satisfied,
That’s enough God, my brain is fried.
I have my quiet time every now and then,
Between kids and work when I can fit it in.
That’s enough God for a day or two,
I’ll catch up if I make it to Sunday School.
I enjoy talking to God and spending time in prayer,
But deadlines and commitments keep me in despair.
Every day I think I will set aside time,
But tomorrow comes and time I can’t find.
When I get to church and they pass the plate,
Does God really care that my tithe is late?
After all, times are bad and money is tight,
That’s enough God, I reason, without much fight.
Life goes on and then troubles arise,
The first thing I do is raise my eyes to the skies.
Oh, God, I need You now more than ever,
Will you lend me an ear from Your throne up in heaven?
“You said you only needed a little bit of Me,
I have so much more to offer if you will only heed.”
Enough God, enough God, the thought makes my ears ring,
God is so awesome, there shouldn’t be such a thing.
Forgive me for settling for so little of You,
There’s nothing little about You and all that You do.
Help me to remember as I travel earth’s sod,
I should never think I have enough God.
February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Looking forward to March 18th. We have about 20 signed up to participate in the discussion. Should be great!!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Hello, glad you stopped by. This blog is devoted to a discussion of the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. We are just organizing and so we would love for you to join us. Have you ever heard of "Crazy Love"? If not, go here and check it out.
Now, are you interested in reading "Crazy Love" and engaging in some discussion via the internet? You DO NOT have to be a blogger to participate, just a seeker and lover of Jesus. Here are the particulars:
- This would last for 10 weeks and we would focus only on one chapter each week. The chapters are about 14 pages long, so this is very do-able.
- I would like to give everyone time to purchase the book and read the preface and Chapter 1. You can go to http://www.crazylovebook.com/ and find retailers who stock the book. Think Lifeway Christian Stores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, etc. The book is only around $14.
- On March 18th we will begin our discussion when I will post a chapter 1 overview, a few questions for discussion and a challenge. You will then be invited to leave your comments and questions as we begin our discussion group. Feel free to address each other's comments, but please be respectful and Christlike in your words.
- Even if you have never left a comment on a blog, you can participate by signing up for a Google ID or even just leaving an anonymous comment. I will ask that all anonymous comment be signed, please.
- Please share this with friends and family members. The more participants we have, the more in-depth our discussions will be.
- Finally, if you are interested in participating, please either leave a comment on this post or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know that you will participate.
I look forward to hearing from you and I believe the Lord has some exciting things in store for us.