crazy love and other God stuff

After nine solid hours of roller coasters and carousels and scramblers and monsters and who-knows-what-else-kind-of-motion-madness, I can make NO promises that this post and the thoughts and ideas contained herein won’t come out screwy and scrambled.

But rather than take the day off from blogging (like a rational person), I’m going to just start typing and see what happens.

And try not to close my eyes, or I’m right back on the Vortex. (Oh that’s right. I never mentioned we were at King’s Island all day today. One last–and first–summer hurrah before school starts Wednesday.)

Okay, so Crazy Love. Have you read it? I almost hate to mention it since some of you reading Radical with us have not read a book all the way through since, oh, first grade.  I don’t want you to freeze up on me if I start throwing out other book titles. Focus, focus.

But I find it a bit “coincidental” if you will, that Crazy Love (Francis Chan is the author) keeps coming up. In conversation, e-mails, blog comments. People talking about Radical and then mentioning Crazy Love. Seriously, it has happened a bunch of times in the past week.

I read Crazy Love back in January, on an airplane on my way to Houston where I had the most crazy-amazing weekend with some dear, sweet women. And I’ve been meaning to re-read it ever since.

So I opened it up last night, red pen in hand (I marked it all up in purple last time). On the first page I had written 1.21.10–en route from Dayton to Charlotte. So this time I wrote 8.22.10–en route from comfortable to radical. So I’m reading and marking and looking up verses and TOTALLY stopping every 20 seconds to praise God for speaking to me LIKE NUTS. At one point, I wrote this book + radical = AWESOME.

On page 20, Chan talks about how God began to change his heart. This took place largely during the times I spent reading His Word. The conviction I felt through the teachings of Scripture, coupled with several experiences in third-world countries, changed everything. Some serious paradigm shattering happened in my life.

Back in January? In the margin? I wrote, I want to go to Cambodia.

All glory to God.

And then there’s the part where he starts talking about BUGS (I know!) and how they “echo the truth that God is glorious.” And I realize it’s just bugs, but if you could read all the e-mails and the facebook messages and hear the “coincidences” and the provision and the miracles and see how women’s HUSBANDS want to read Radical too (even after they’ve heard rumors that you’ll want to move to Africa after you read it!), then man alive.

You might think God is ready to move.

Or rather, that we are finally ready to join his movement. And I’m not talking movement as in cult, phase, trend, blah, blah, blah. I’m talking about the God of the universe and his true and holy Word and his plan for his people and all of creation and how, as Francis Chan puts it, God is not “some benevolent Being who is satisfied when people manage to fit Him into their lives in some small way,” but that “Jesus commands everything from his followers.”

Oh my. I totally didn’t mean to start preaching. It’s the tilt-o-whirl talking. (or perhaps the Holy Spirit?)

My point? God is up to something. And I, for one, am thrilled to be a part of it. And I would LOVE for a few of you to share your stories of how he “convinced” you to read Radical, because so many of you have shared them with me, and they are POWERFUL.

It is NOT too late to join in, and we still have several books available for scholarship. I’m praying several more of you take advantage of that TODAY. Just click here and tell me you’d love to read it if you only had a way to get a book.

Hope your Tuesday is just CRAZY in the best sort of way!

19 thoughts on “crazy love and other God stuff

  1. Genie Blazi

    I had the honor of teaching Crazy Love to the teenage girls in my husbands youth group and I don’t think I got thru a single lesson without breaking down in tears…over my apathy…my “americanized christianity”…my leagalism….my materialism…..my selfishness..the borders I put up. It changed my life…for the better. I don’t know if those girls learned a thing, I hope they did, but if they didn’t…I know God changed me for the better! I love Francis Chan…his other book Forgotten God is awesome too!

  2. Sandi

    I have had a copy of Crazy Love here for about 9 months, and even given away a copy. Finally picked it up yesterday, and just finished it. I will no longer assume that I’m good soil. But I want to pray that the Lord will make me so.

  3. Kelly

    Francis Chan came to Grace once…I wish I would have paid attention. I just ordered both books…let us all cross our fingers that my debit card works! 🙂

  4. missy @ it's almost naptime

    Crazy Love has been on my nightstand since June too, and no, I am not sleeping with Megan. Not since she dumped me.

    SORRY! None of those kinda jokes on the Christian blogs. 🙂

    I just wanted to tell you that I am as slow as you, because it took me months to realize that 1) Sophie’s pastor whom she loved 2) the guy whose podcasts I loved and had been listening to for months and 3) the guy who wrote Radical were all the same guy.

    I know. We used to be so smart.

  5. Hannah

    So I’ve been lurking. Ever since I read your guest blog on “It’s Almost Naptime”, I’ve been lurking…wanting to join in, but hesitant for some reason. But today, I’ll come out of dark. And I’ll join in, and say that I CAN’T WAIT to read Radical with you gals (and apparently some guys too). I LOVE David Platt, and it was his sermon I was listening to today that pushed me to go ahead and read his book (that I already own). So count me in!! It feels good not to be a “lurker” anymore =)

  6. Ali

    First of all, I’m basically crying to see Liz Puffer’s name up there. She’s my mom’s BEST FRIEND from childhood, and we’ve reconnected via facebook, and she read my post about Radical, and then ordered the book, and then said, “so how does this group read thing work?” and then shazam! She’s posting comments on your blog. And she works for Rick Warren at Saddleback, and I’m a big fat fan of Purpose Driven Life, so there’s another book to add to the list of awesomeness.

    Secondly, Miss Marla Taviano, have I told you lately that I am so stinkin’ glad we are friends. It just makes me all kinds of happy.

    I think we need to visit you and Miss Nina one day next week. It’s been too long.

  7. colleen

    Crazy Love is an incredible book. I picked it up last spring and then passed it onto Anthony…we both were so moved by it, we decided that we’re going to go through it with our lifegroup this fall…I’m excited to see what God does…

  8. Kelly S

    I started reading Crazy Love with my husband about a month ago, and we are slowly making our way through it. Slowly, not because it’s boring, but because we are reading it aloud and going back to highlight and re-read parts of it and figure out what it means for our lives.

    Then, I got Radical so I can take part in your fine book club idea. I am in the middle of chapter two right now… figured I’d get a bit of a head start because I am so eager to read it!

    I am also reading The Present Future by Reggie McNeal – I work at a church, and our staff and leadership teams are going through it right now.

    I am blown away by how many parallels are in these three books. I think people are probably sick of me talking about them, because any time one book is mentioned, I find myself bringing up the other two!

    It excites me so much, though, to see how God is moving and stirring up people’s hearts. It excites me to realize that this isn’t just one person’s ideas that some people are jumping on board with… this idea of radical abandonment, of letting the Holy Spirit change our lives, of getting over ourselves and the (sometimes incorrect) ways we have been brought up in the church and following Jesus with our whole lives… I see how this really is a message that God wants us to hear loud and clear… and apparently I need three different books telling me that message before I get it. 🙂

  9. Sharon Meekins

    Dear Marla,

    I NEED to read this book. Haiti is so very hard. All I want to do is quit. I’m so glad that the Lord provided the means for me to get that book in my hands! 🙂

    Much love,
    Sharon

  10. Rachelle

    Last year I stumbled onto the Radical Sermons; I listened to all 9 in about 4 days while wildly scribbling notes, many times with tears running down my face. I don’t know that I have ever been so moved to “do something”. I put the sermons in my MP3 and listened to them over and over again-and so did my husband after him seeing how they had impacted me.

    I was so excited to join this “read-along” because I know God continues to light that way of what he wants from us; I am ready to give it all. Can’t wait!!

    When God is all you have you will find that He is all you need.

  11. Teresa Henry

    I decidped to read Radical with you because I want to feel “uncomfortable”…God is calling me to be “uncomfortable”….and it scares me to tears. On Sunday one of the points our pastor made in his sermon was “His love will propel you to do the uncomfortable”. Okay…that just sealed the deal! At first I completely blew off reading this book. Right now I am sitting here in my favorite chair…my three kids are still asleep…I am getting ready for work…I am a single mom…with a teaching certificate (without a teaching job)…but working minimum wage this summer just to pay the bills (barely)…I just started my masters (yesterday)in counseling…completely overwhelmed…wondering how…how I can do it…I just founded a not for profit that I want to be my mission and my “job”…called What Is Beautiful…dedicated to teaching and encouraging girls and women in their TRUE identity…and I sit here…book already ordered…wondering how I am going to do this all…but knowing God is calling me to read this book…and leave teacing…and start a new mission with youth that are hurting…Really Lord…How is it all going to happen? I sit here…overwhelmed and fearful…how God…but He knows. I can’t wait to read this book with you! I pick it up today at our local bookstore…And I love Crezy Love…our church women’s and men’s ministry are both reading it as a bible study starting Sept. 15. Can’t wait to read that again too….did I just add one more thing to the list? Thank you Marla for your heart…for your awesome amazing from the heart faith…You have inspired me as I have read your blog over the last year. And I love giraffes!!!!

  12. Liz Puffer

    I have not read Crazy Love but had planned on reading it after Radical. I have heard great things about it. I agree God is doing amazing things and I want to be part of it. Lord don’t let me miss what you have for me today!

  13. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    ummmmmmmm. I have Crazy Love on my nightstand. It’s been there since June. I agree, it so often comes up in conversation with Radical. I am SO serious about this – a little revolution is in the works!

  14. Marissa

    My mentor first mentioned David Platt to me, and then another friend also mentioned his name. I thought, why is everyone talking about this guy? At that point, it was just the sermon series, the book hadn’t come out yet. So I started listening to the sermons. And I really wanted to stop, but I knew I had to keep listening. I could tell God was getting my attention with this truth from His Word.

    Then the book came out, and I’m a better reader than listener, so I ordered it immediately. Now I’ve had to order a 2nd copy to pass around to friends, because I don’t want to let mine go! 🙂

  15. Christy @ pureMotherhood

    Just asked my sister (who is not a ‘practicing’ Christian) to buy me both books you recommended after she asked me what she could get me for my birthday. I really want the books and I’m hoping the titles and descriptions catch her eye too. 😉

  16. Mary

    🙂 Loved my sneaky little shout outs!! (At least I hope they were or else I’m embarassed now – ha!) I read chapter 1 of Radical last night and am loving it! Lots of underlining

  17. Susan J.

    First of all, I love Kings Island. =) Second, those are the two books that I have been dying to read for the last couple of weeks. I just got 6 books for my birthday and I’m about halfway through those, so Crazy Love and Radical will be coming up soon! Love the idea of reading along with a group, but just too much going on in my life right now. Good luck getting back into school mode!

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