Book Review: Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Journey of a Thousand Miles

Book Review:  Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Basic Info…

Title: Crazy Love

Author: Francis Chan

Publisher:  David C. Cook

ISBN-10:  1434768511

ISBN-13: 978-1434768513

Website:  Crazy Love Book

My thoughts….

I love how easy to read this book was.  It was well written, soundly based in Scripture, but it still remained easy to read. For me, when a book has a lot of theology and Bible verses and explanation of those verses using history and Greek/Hebrew translations, it’s not something I pick up when I only have a few minutes.  Don’t get me wrong, I think those books are extremely important.  But Francis Chan easily conveyed significant verses with real life examples and made this book life changing and powerful.

I am a huge fan of listening to Francis Chan preach, but this was the first book of his that I have read and I can’t wait to get his others.  I love…

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Contemplative.

I haven’t been posting a lot here (although I have been posting on my personal blog recently).  I have been thinking about how to be most effective.

I can recite or post a million statistics or stories of horrible atrocities.  Sad pictures of children who need a mommy and a daddy.  Awful realities of what it’s like to live in the 3rd world while we enjoy a rather lovely 1st world experience.

No matter how poor (which believe me, I am poor) we are or how hard times can get, I still have a home.  I still have indoor plumbing and running, clean water in my home.  I still have heat in the winter and a/c in the summer.  I have a car.  I have food and can easily obtain more, even if I can’t afford it — only 2 blocks to the nearest food bank.  I have parents who still help me when I need it and I always have had loving parents who made sure that I knew how loved I was.

I get weary of defending my passion for Africa and the orphans there.  I care about ALL orphans, but God has placed a burden for Africa on my heart.  It’s hard to stand alone for a long time.  It’s hard when money is tight and you try and you try and you try but it doesn’t happen.

It’s just hard.  But I am learning that relying on God and His strength can renew you.  And not exhaust you.  And it’s worth it.

But I want to be effective.  Not exhausted.  So, I am figuring this out — little by little, step by step.  And in God’s time, it will happen.  Meanwhile, I am going to pray and advocate and do whatever I can for these precious children.

Adoption. God’s Heart for the Fatherless.

National Adoption Day.

So, I can’t remember if I shared this before on here, but I am adopted.  You can imagine then, I think adoption is pretty amazing.  It completely changed my life and rewrote my story.  Someday maybe I’ll share more of my story or if you would like to know more, send me a message…I love to talk about the miracle of my adoption.

And someday (hopefully sooner rather than later), I want to adopt.  I think that my family would not be complete without an adopted child, I believe that God has pressed upon my heart that somewhere out there is a child that was meant to call me “Mommy.”  A child who needs love and family and I can’t wait to meet them.

I have been studying the theology of adoption.  It’s been life changing.  In the adoption world, there is a lot of heated debate on both sides.  The concern of baby-selling, coercion, and exploitation.  The other side concerned about institutionalization, neglect, and an unloved/unwanted child.  And I think both sides are concerned with all of the above…it really comes down to what’s more important and those answers vary.

I think all sides have good points.  Important points.  But I believe that God’s heart is for the Fatherless.  And that He specifically equipped His church to look out for them.  I personally think government has a lot of roles (more on this another day) but that some roles that the government has taken on would be better left to the Church.  But the Church needs to stand up and take back what was given to us by God…a calling to protect the Fatherless, to look after the orphans and the widows in their distress.

Church, we need to stand up.  We cannot sit idle while children go to bed hungry and feeling unloved.  We cannot rest until there is no child uncared for in the world.  Get involved, do SOMETHING.  You can do something wherever you are, with however many (or few) resources you have.

Let’s make National Adoption Day 2013 even bigger!  You have 365 days.  Use them wisely.

One Day, One Voice, One Purpose

I have seen a mixed reaction to Orphan Sunday.  I can understand both sides, for and against but I staunchly believe that Orphan Sunday is an amazing thing.  As a Christian and a dedicated follower of Jesus, Orphan Sunday is the Church’s expression of God’s heart for the orphan and the widow.

Christian Alliance for Orphans has created an AMAZING video that I encourage every single person to watch.  It really shows what the heart of Orphan Sunday is about — LOVING on children who have been orphaned.  Sometimes that expression of love is adoption, sometimes it’s giving financially, sometimes it’s prayer.  Whatever way that God speaks to our hearts individually is between Him and us.  We need to make sure that our actions are in the best interest of children, do our homework on programs before we get involved, be dedicated to following best practices, but continue to press on and to love them.  Regardless of the circumstances that have led them to be in orphan care, they need love and they need to be shown love.  I encourage you to watch the video and to search your heart for where God might be leading you.

A Life That Matters.

Isn’t having a meaningful life something that we all aspire to?  Each of us has our own path, our own skills and talents, and our own life goals.  But really at the end of the day, we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

It’s so easy to become discouraged and burned out.  Pushing through the hard days is sometimes almost too much, especially if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  People let you down.  Dreams die.

Whenever I am feeling especially discouraged, there are two things that I do.  First is to remind myself that usually really great stories have a trial in them somewhere.  If life moved along perfectly smoothly, it would be easier but I think that we would miss a lot of things.  Amazing things can be born out of darkness.  A sunrise wouldn’t be so special and amazing if there was no night.  A rainbow wouldn’t mean as much if there was no rain.  The joy after the suffering is special, it reminds us just how good joy is.

And secondly, I remind myself that in trials, there are lessons to be learned.  And I really push myself to try to figure out what lessons I can learn and grow from.  If I think that life in Spokane is difficult, what will I do in Uganda?  No family, different culture and language, none of the luxuries I take for granted every day.  Same God.  It’s learning how to deal with anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, joy, love, all of those emotions and feelings and most of all, relying completely on Christ.

When we can rely completely on Christ, focusing our attention and energy on Him and what He has called us to do that day, that is when we will begin to impact and change the world.  We will have a life that matters…no matter where we are or what we are doing.

Love.

Love has continued to be such an overwhelming theme in my life and my heart.  So many times I have heard that whisper in my heart….Love them.

Just love them.

In the midst of my busy thoughts and my incessant planning and organizing and trying to figure out something so much bigger and crazier than me, while enduring the constant barrage of people saying why I shouldn’t do this.  It’s so easy to forget why I should.

I should because I am called.  I should because it’s the right thing for me.  I can’t help this intense love for people I don’t even know.  I can’t explain how I feel like my heart lives somewhere else these days.  I don’t want to leave my friends and family, but I feel like I can relate to Jonah in a new way.  And that if I am not obedient to what God has called me to do, then I believe I will probably end up in the belly of a fish too, perhaps more figuratively then literally in my case.

I ask God all too often why He couldn’t have called me to something else.  In my personality tests and such that I have done for school and training, my results are ridiculously lopsided.  Call it mercy, being “blue”, compassion, feeling, whatever…it’s what God gave me to work with.  So, I get that people think I don’t see the whole picture — because honestly, I probably don’t.  I see hungry kids, starving babies, mommas dying of AIDS and knowing they can’t do anything to change what is going to happen — not only to them but to their children.  I see people who don’t understand God’s love because they have never known human love.  And my job is to love them and serve them and cry with them and pray with them and hold them when there are no words.  Because I can’t know about what is happening in these far away places and not do something.

There is a quote by William Wilberforce that says, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

I am choosing not to look the other way.