radical experiment with a twist

If you read Radical with us (or without us) and made it to the end, you’re familiar with the “Radical Experiment.” Author David Platt encourages those who are serious about taking back their faith from the American Dream to commit to five specific things for one whole year.

1.) Pray for the entire world. 2.) Read through the entire Word. 3.) Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose. 4.) Spend your time in another context. 5.) Commit your life to a multiplying community.

Why am I bringing all this up again? Because a few hours after I wrote this post, I had a revelation. I’m going to sit on it a little, pray about it some more, but I feel pretty darn sure God gave it to me.

This afternoon as I was thinking through what I’m most most MOST passionate about, it hit me. It ALL fits under those 5 categories. (Well, when I told Gabe, he said, “what about your writing?” And I stared at him for a few seconds and then said, “I know how I can make it fit.” See #3 below.)

I promised a 400-word post today, so SHOW ON THE ROAD.

1. Pray for the entire world.

Before they go to bed, the girls and I pray for 1-2 countries using this book as a guide. We also find the countries on the globe, so as a bonus, I’m working toward my lifelong goal of knowing where everything is in the world. So far, we’ve prayed for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, and Antigua and Barbuda.

We also each pray for a kiddo in our orphanage in Cambodia and some of our other friends over there.

And since my friends (online and off) and family are part of the world, I’m praying more for them too.

2.) Read through the entire Word.

I made it 90% of the way through my pocket-sized ESV Bible last year, so I’m finishing that up in January, and then reading The Message Bible. Right now I’m reading a book called The Invitation by Eugene Peterson which basically gives an overview of the whole Bible and then book by book (which you can actually find IN the Message Bible).

I’m also memorizing 2 verses a month with 6,000+ other women on Beth Moore’s blog. All 24 verses are going to be about caring for the poor.

And Gabe is reading through the Bible this year on his phone. And the girls are reading too. Even Nina.

3.) Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose.

Here’s where the writing comes in. I haven’t had a book published in two years. That wasn’t my plan, but it sure as heck didn’t surprise God any. I have two book projects I’m working on right this minute. I’m very, very excited about them.

And since God and I made a deal about where any money I make would go, a book contract would mean getting to Cambodia that much faster. Faster than selling Scrabble magnets, that’s for sure.

My new motto: I write books to support my missions habit.

4.) Spend your time in another context.

I won’t belabor this point. I want to take my family to Cambodia this summer. Anything that helps make this a reality fits here.

5.) Commit your life to a multiplying community.

I’ve mentioned that Gabe and I (and the girls) are helping our friends Rich and Shalla as they plant a multi-ethnic church just a few minutes down the street from us. I have lots more to say about this, but I LOVE how the timing of this coincided with me reading Radical. We’ve only had three services so far (we’re meeting once a month for a few months and going to our old church the rest of the time), but we’ve gotten more involved in our city/community in these three months than we have in the four years we’ve lived here.

Shoot. 650 words. Forgive me?

Like I said, I’m going to sit on this a bit, pray about it, stuff like that. And I realize that I didn’t specifically address investing in key relationships like my husband, kiddos, extended family, and friends, so I’ll work on that. But I also know that my family is 100% involved in each one of these 5 things with me. And #5 encompasses all my local peeps. And I’ll find a place for all of you too.

And now I’m rambling. Thanks for being so awesome! And really, just putting up with me in general. Have a great weekend!

26 thoughts on “radical experiment with a twist

  1. Laura@life overseas

    Hey Marla!

    Can I just say a few things:

    1. I think we would be friends in real-life.
    2. I hunted down your pictures on your book site, and you and your family are stinkin’ cute.
    3. My Paypal acct. is screwed up right now, so sorry about that, I will let you know when it is fixed . . hopefully soon.
    4. I love that you are actively pursuing Jesus and balance and love and giving in such practical ways. LOVE IT.
    5. Just got a Kindle for Christmas and your book (Is that All He Thinks about?) is on it! 🙂 Can’t wait to read it and talk about it with the hubs!

    Anyway, that’s all. Love from here, L

    1. Marla Taviano

      1. FOR SURE!
      2. Thanks. Those pics are super-old though, so we’re not that cute anymore.
      3. Just let me know. The $ will be here.
      4. 🙂
      5. Sweet!! Praying God’s blessings all over your marriage bed!
      6. Love you, Laura! Praying for you! Would looooooove to “swing by” when we’re in Cambodia!!

  2. Becky Roode

    Great post, Marla-girl!

    I think using the Radical Experiment as a rubric, of sorts, is a great idea! It really does help to put things into perspective.

    Actually, what has totally piqued my interest in your potential trip to Cambodia this summer. If I’ve missed a past post on Cambodia let me know. If not, and it’s more than you would type here, email me. I’m not quite sure why this part of your post is sticking out to me right now, but it is. Very curious.

    1. Marla Taviano

      I’ll do a whole post on it soon, Becky. In a nutshell, Gabe and I went this summer for 10 days, and I’m dying to go back and take our girls. We raised our $5,000 support online lickety-split, but we don’t feel right doing that for all 5 of us. So we’re earning the $ ourselves until we feel God giving us the go-ahead to ask people for the rest of it. In the meantime, we’ve been exchanging letters with the kiddos we met (our church sponsors an orphanage) and skyping with a couple friends over there.

  3. Danielle

    Marla, thank you so much for being an encourager to my heart through your faithfulness! Honestly, I fell off the Radical Read Along because I was feeling a little too radical (people were staring, and not in a good way.) I realized recently I tend to be a lot like Peter in the Bible, so no wonder people were feeling trod upon by my passion. Anyway… I just started rereading Radical and needed this reminder from God, through you!

    This is a great challenge, and i think we’re actually doing some of it, but I’m gonna talk to the hubby about doing this with intention. One cool thing is that we started memorizing Romans 8 with our home group folks. Our friend, the youth pastor at our church, loved the idea, so starting this Sunday we’ll get all the Mid and High school kids memorizing Romans 8, two verses at a time.

  4. Nina

    Writing to support your missions habit–oh, I LOVE it! I pray that all of your projects in your five categories all work together successfully for His glory and that you don’t get too overwhelmed and out of balance in the process!

    (BTW, I just read your most recent post about @stickyJesus and I’m starting to wonder if we’re long-lost twins or something. Sometimes reading your writing (including seeing that picture of the towering stack of books) is like looking at my own inner self in a mirror.)

    Take care, and have a wonderful weekend!

  5. alittlebitograce

    did i tell you that i figured out where to give my money? i don’t have a lot to work with, so i decided to give up half of my monthly spending money. i really wanted to sponsor another child, but figured i couldn’t afford it. then in december, our organization launched a child sponsorship program in the philippines. not only does this meet all the criteria david platt laid out, it’s also for exactly the amount of money i have set aside. my husband has been to the philippines twice and it’s an area close to our hearts. God is so good in providing the perfect opportunity for me to give. 🙂

    earlier this week, i was thinking i should write you to thank you for hosting the radical study. God used it to change me in a powerful way. it shames me to see how much of my heart attitudes were contrary to God’s, especially in the areas of evangelism. i can already see a huge difference in my theology and reactions and hope to see an even greater change. thank you!

  6. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Sweet friend, it sounds like God has laid down some Kingdom Order on your swirly-overwhelmedness. 😉 He’s awesome to show up with that order thing, isn’t He?

    I LOVE the idea of writing to support your missions habit and I am praying the projects which you are working on come to fruition in the coming year.

    I love you, sister.

  7. Addie

    Oh, thank you for the world book suggestion – I like the idea of praying through it with my kids and I think its something they would enjoy… and it would go great with our nightly Bible story – maybe make God/Jesus a bit more real to them.

    I want to start reading through the Bible too, but cant seem to find that push to start… ugh…. need to get on that, maybe I should pray for motivation? (although, gotta say, not a huge fan of the Message Bible, if you want an easier version to read, but is more closer to the translation, try the NLT – sorry, tangent)

    Thank you for walking us through all of these great ideas… Im excited to see where 2011 takes me!

    1. Marla Taviano

      I know the Message is a paraphrase, but I love the poetic language and God has reeeeeeally used it in the past few years in lots and lots of ways in my heart and life.

      I’ve read through the whole Bible 10+ times in 4-5 different versions, so I’m not worried about it not being an exact translation.

      I’m excited about 2011 too!

  8. joyce

    Love this…I need to think but I was nodding as I read…

    1. I like your system because alphabetical appeals to me.

    2. I am reading the Bible thru in chronological order this year for the first time. So far so good but it is only January 7th! : ) And I’m in on the LPM memory team and have my daughters doing it along with me so we can encourage one another…I’m memorizing the first chapter of James as I want to be more of a do-er this year and not just a hear-er.

    3-5 are where I need to put in some thought…I’d like to take on one of the bigger Compassion support projects but haven’t done anything about it yet…hubs and I need to sit down and figure this out now that life is settling down after holiday travel and kids home to visit.

    I like a plan!

  9. Kathleen-NM

    You’re killing me girl….in a good way! Every time you mention a book it’s now going on my “Marla” list…love it. I have a suggestion for you if you haven’t read it, I would love to send it your way. “A Hole in Our Gospel” Rich Stearns ( Pres-World Vision) He is coming in two weeks to speak at our State Prayer Breakfast which we are so grateful to be able to attend. So, thanks again for the challenge….

    1. Prompted to do this, but quite there with family yet.

    2. Reading thru the bible (chronological) with hubby

    3. Kevin is challenging our family to sponsor a well this year, our church supports many missions but this will be in India where we partner with a church and their ministry to surrounding villages.

    4. Praying..

    5. Investing in non believers thru our kids, their sports, seeking intentional relationships with women…praying for heart change, discipleship, community, multiplication

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