Monday, March 30, 2009

Crazy Love: Week 3/Chapter 3

Is everyone hanging in there? The discussion has been great and I can tell that we are all growing in our love for the Lord through this study. Those of you who have not left your comment/answers to the questions, please come join us even if you are not reading "Crazy Love". Feel free to go back and comment on previous week's questions, as well. All of these questions should provoke some serious contemplation from most any heart. Ok, now on to Week 3/Chapter 3.

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

You Might Not Finish This Chapter - Week/Chapter 2

Crazy Love Week 2

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!!

Question 1

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?

Question 2

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?

Question 3

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


Hi Crazies!!

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

Crazy Love - Preface/Chapter 1


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, Francis Chan leads us to think about God. The God of the Universe. The Great I AM. Did you take the time to watch the two videos - "The Awe Factor" and "Just Stop and Think"? If you didn't, please stop right now and go here and watch them.

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
'enough God'?

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

Gaining Perspective

As I prepare to delve into this book again, I feel compelled to go buy some steel toed army boots. God used this book to show me my complacency, my apathy. It left me restless to live wilder, more on the edge for a God who holds nothing back for me. I hope it makes you want to leave all 110% on the field of earthly life.

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

"Think Crazy Love" discussion group Roll Call

Hi all,

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

Enough God

My friend, Janice, will be participating in the Crazy Love discussion group. After she purchased her book and read the intro and first chapter, the Lord led her to write a poem and I wanted to share it with you.


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.

Janice Smallwood
February 25, 2009