Friends Who Live Radically

Monday, January 09, 2012  ::  

I'm finally reading Radical by David Platt. I have issues because if people start saying, "You just have to read this," or "This is the best book ever," I lose interest. Maybe it's because I don't like to be told I just have to do something. Maybe it's because I don't like bandwagons. Maybe it's just pride.

First, let me say, I like the book. He's a good story teller, has wonderful points, and if people took his words to heart the world would change.

But what cracks me up is how people get all fired up like this is the first book ever written on this subject.

Chad and I are so grateful that we were invested in by people who have lived radically for a long time.

David Englehart at New Mexico State University has been used by God to mobilize college students to give their time, money, and lives so that the nations will worship Jesus. He discipled Chad and me while we were in college. For over 20 years, David has kept his hand to the plow and faithfully served God by inspiring students to live radically.

Jeff Lewis spoke at our campus ministry and many conferences throughout our college career. He blew my mind in teaching that God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to the nations. Every time I heard him speak he would say, "I just wish I had more time to get into this." I remember I always thought my brain was going to explode with the information he did have time to share.

A pastor and friend, Tim Johnson, taught me how to love people. Any time the church would gather I would watch him talk to as many people as possible, but Tim has such a love for people that each person he spoke to knew they were loved. People aren't just a number in Tim's church. They are valued. Tim knows how to value people.

In reading Radical I found myself wondering about Second Mile's statistics. Mr. Platt shares wonderful stories of how God is using people in beautiful ways to love people and change the world, stories of many people coming to Christ. As I've continued to read, I've asked God what radical things are happening in my church. Here are a few things that came to mind.

Josie was born at 23 weeks. By all science she shouldn't be here. But she is. She turned four last week. She is a light to all who know her. Her parents proclaim Jesus' miracles in their family to anyone who will listen.

Seven college students went to east Asia this summer to tell fellow college students about Jesus. They raised a lot of money to go. Some gave up jobs. Some dealt with unhappy families because of their choice to go. They saw sweet fruit of their labor, but what is really awesome is how their hearts were changed. The world is a smaller place and God is so much bigger to them now.

Yemi used to live in an orphanage in Ethiopia. Her parents went through hell on earth in the process to bring her home, but they stayed the course. Yemi is a firecracker to say the least. Her mom and dad continue to talk about caring for orphans. God has changed their lives through adoption, and their journey in loving children in distress has just begun.

Three years ago Jen gave her life to Jesus. Just three short years ago. She and her husband have committed themselves to radically follow Jesus, both are being discipled, and will be leading their own community group starting in February. They have decided to radically change their lives and align themselves with whatever God will have them do.

What about you? Have you considered following Jesus?  If you already follow Him, how has your way of life changed? Have you contemplated what Jesus meant when he said to take up your cross and follow Him? What does it mean to you when He says whoever wants to save His life will lose it, but He who loses His life will save it? Are there people around you who boldly live for Jesus? In what ways can you encourage them today? 

Matt 5:41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 

Luke 14:27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 

I John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome. 

For further reading on living radically please consider The Barbarian Way or The Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus. 

15 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Alisa said...

:) I've been wanting to read Radical! I enjoy David Platt's messages very much. Awesome change exist in our community, too.

wearitbaseball said...

Awesome stuff Angel! Love those radical folks!

By the way, I'm the same exact way and I think it's just stinkin' pride. "Oh, that movie is "the best" well then...I don't want to see it."

johnW said...

I'm reading it right now too. We should discuss.

Unknown said...

he hee, my post is about THe BEST book - you just HAVE to read it! :) Can't help myself - but, seriously I hope ya do! I sure did enjoy yours. Love hearing the stories - we've been blessed to know some great friends - but, mostly we know a lot of people who need Jesus. (love the adoption story too, we're an adoptive family)

Jessica said...

i read Radical and did learn from it, but I just kept being reminded this is the gospel. if you read the bible this is just how we as Christians should live. what an ecouragement to see all these fellow believers living for Christ.

Jenna said...

Today I read your post, and then went to read The Pursuit of God, and Tozer has similar things to say as you! I guess I needed to hear this message today.

An image that stuck out was how I carry my cross- when I am dependent on Jesus, I have got both hands on my cross and it's resting on my back. A lot of the time, I have got one hand on, something in my other hand, and a backpack on of unnecessary things. Thanks for the reminder that it takes all I've got.

Tori Einstein said...

I really enjoyed Radical but you already knew that. I would agree that it wasn't anything that I had not already heard but was challenging nonetheless.
This post was a good reminder that the message that Platt shared can't simply be something that we read and store in our minds for later but that the gospel message must move us to radically amplify Jesus' name in our every day lives.

grey rose (they/them) said...

yep. we read radical last summer. whew!
i love your writing, this post is great, friend.
to god be the glory!

Natalie @ NS Pottery said...

Amazing... I want to live more radically.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Angel,

Thanks for stopping by my blog post "Five Ways to Connect With Your Teen Son/Daughter This Week."
Yes, those times in the car are great times of hearing our kids' hearts, huh? I'm so glad you and your 6th grade son get those times too. What do you like to do with your other kids?

I found myself caught up in reading your next few blog posts here. Thank you for your thoughts on David Platt's book Radical. That is the next book on my list to read, and I laughed at your "rebellious" hesitancy at picking it up due to talk. :) I can relate. I look forward to reading this one though. I appreciated your approach to pointing out the many ways that we are impacted to live radically by people in our life, and to note the ways that is already happening. Amen. :) Have you read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts book?

Are you involved in church ministry?

Nice to meet you,
Jennifer Dougan

Unknown said...

I've heard so many great things about that book. I love your list of people and what they have done to be radical for Jesus.

Would love to have you link up to SDG sometime~

Laura said...

Do you know that I have not read any of those books? I'm sad to say that my church has struggled in many ways for several years. As I read through your list of radical believers, I felt my heart leap with...a bit of sorrow, a bit of excitement. I wonder if we need that first radical to ignite some others? I will be praying about this, Angel, and I thank you for making me take a good, hard look.

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

Hi Angel,

Glad I was able to come by...thanks for sharing all the stories...that is so great that God has blessed you with such great husband and I are praying for vision right now...right now, God has me in a time of quiet and pulling into Him, but I know it is a season.

Thanks for visiting my blog back in Dec. when sickness hit our family.

Blessings to you!

Unknown said...


That is a great list of people, and I loved seeing more about Yemi and Josie since so much has developed since we left.

I would add the Haynes family to the list. When I first meet you Chad was leaving Starbucks to do 2nd Mile full-time, and you just took 4 additional kids into your house. Not to mention you have to be a little Radical to start a church in the first place. I have admiration for you family and how you serve God in radical ways.

Christine Hoover said...

Angel, I just came over to your blog and saw that you know David Englehart. We do too!! From FOCUS. Before we planted, my husband was a college pastor in College Station, TX and we sent all of our students through FOCUS. We are Aggies and so are you guys so it was an instant connection. What a small world!

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