Monday, December 1, 2008

The American Dream

"What am I doing in my life right now that requires faith?" Francis Chan

Really tough question isn't it.

What comforts can I eliminate to be forced to practice faith? How do you jump, when He says so, and how do you hear Him telling you for sure?

Faith is a risk in every aspect. No fear of consequence requires no faith, so what are we living for? We need risks. We need to stop tirelessly pursuing the American Dream, and pursue the vision of Christ. To condemn the world to gain eternity.

But what does it look like. I want to hear from you.


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  1. Great question!
    Right after Thanksgiving 2005 we moved from North Carolina where I grew up my entire life to Texas. We moved then because God had removed every reason I was not obeying him. I knew earlier that year (perhaps sooner) that God wanted me to move to Texas. I ignored it and said someday. I had every excuse, I was finally an executive in my company and had dedicated to the CEO that I would be there for 10 years at least. All of my family is in North Carolina, we had two houses, and an HUGE pile of debt to go along with it. How could I afford to drop everything and move half way across the country? It just was not practical! Well God decided it was time. My company lost a major investor and all of the sudden corners had to be cut. I saw the writing on the wall because I was in the meetings and saw how the cutting was going and knew it was only a matter of time even though I had assurances I would be one of the ones to stay. Even after I got laid off I spent another month looking for another job in NC and almost took one. After much prayer and soul seeking I turned down the job and moved to Texas with nothing more than a promise from God.

    It was not easy when we got here either. We lived in a hotel for a month while I looked for work. Heather worked at Wal-Mart for a year (be nice to the cashiers please!), we filed bankruptcy, and lost both our houses. Things were tough we were wondering what we had done, had we made the right decision. When you are homeless people assume the worst about you. It is amazing how bad people treat you.

    I am afraid to own anything now because I don't want to loose it all again. I don't want to be in that situation again where I know God wants me to go and do something but the things of this world have my hands seemingly tied. I don't know what God will ask of me next but I know I want to be free to follow.
    I believe the reason we moved to Texas was to become foster parents. Not sure why Texas and why then but I know that I would not trade what I have now for anything. We don't have much, but we live on what we make, the bills are paid and we still have some play money.

    Be free to follow!

  2. something I read this morning by Richard Alves---"hope is hearing the melody of the future....Faith is to dance to it now."

  3. Good question for sure! I think that sometimes having faith means stepping out and doing something that is crazy...Just recently God has been working on me and asking me to do things I would have never seen myself doing six months ago. And I would not change it for the world. The recent experiences I have had because I stepped out in faith has changed my life forever!

    Also, I have you and Laura to thank for that by the way. Thanks again!

  4. YES YES YES! But be prepared for the consequences. We take a lot of crap for the risks we have taken. In the eyes of the world we are mere fools. Yet, we know God has called us to a life of risk.

  5. I totally agree. Besides adopting five children, four of them older, one with fetal alcohol syndrome, one with special needs, and two from previous families, I feel led to do more. This is my dream to serve Him. I want to open a big home where I can help many adopted hurting children----- but because of the cost, my "American dream" will probably never be. Great post.

  6. i think sometimes it looks noble and wonderful like the lives of the apostle Paul or Billy Graham. filled with turmoil and risk and reward. other times, it may not be so obvious. i think there is risk in the "small" decisions of everyday life as well. there is risk in deciding whether or not i'm going to watch a certain movie. i know that sounds a little crazy, but it's true. not only have you the content of the movie to consider but you are also choosing to entertain yourself for a couple hours over doing something for Christ for a couple hours. during the time it takes to watch a movie, you could be engaged with your family or friends or spending time with God. time is priceless. i mention the movie thing because it is a small sacrifice that everyone can relate to. i have almost no problem sacrificing movies but i fill my time with other methods of entertainment. Basically what i'm trying to say is that, if we will sacrifice or take small risks than God will lead us to bigger sacrifices and bigger risks. God will know us more and we will know him more.

    i realize i don't know them extremely well but i would say that the rockstar family is a good example of what a family looks like that takes risks and serves God.

  7. I remember a while ago you mentioned that you had kept a prayer journal to help you "increase your faith". I started one a couple years back. Every time I saw a prayer answered, I'd cross out the prayer. I somehow forgot about it with the busyness of life. I picked it up again the other day and flipped through the pages. So many of the things that I wrote down and prayed for for so long (almost wondering if it was too much of a stretch to even ask God for) were answered.

    I don't think that faith is about huge risks at all, although, it definitely can be. Being faithful and being gutsy aren't necessarily synonymous to me. I think faith is relying wholly and completely on God in every aspect of life. A faithful person seems to be a person who walks with God so closely and so habitually that it seems to become effortless. It is a person, who when they go through the trials of life, will see God and hold Him near.

    When I think of a faithful person, I think of Betsie Ten Boom. Her and her sister, Corrie, were in a wretched concentration camp during the Holocaust. The prisoners were packed into this warehouse practically on top of each other on boards to sleep. There was a row of boards on top of each row, so that there wasn't even enough room for them to sit up...they had to crawl to the position they had to sleep in. It was impossible to get up to use the bathroom, so often times, they would be lying in other womens' waste. She described that there were fleas everywhere. It became futile to even shew them away because they were crawling over everything. They would be bit by these fleas all night long. Corrie was fed up with all the fleas one night and Betsie assured her that God must have had a reason for sending them to their warehouse. Later, you find out that the guards would not enter the warehouse, and openly, Betsie and Corrie could use their New Testament books to tell the others about Jesus. The guards would not enter because of the fleas, and many women came to know Christ because of them.

    I think a great way to look at faith is to look how you react when you're infested with fleas, so to speak...or when asked to walk on water. :)