radical response (final chapter!)

You did it. You made it! Hooray for you!! And me! And all of us!

This chapter made me want to sing. And dance. And go back to Cambodia STAT. And I have waaaaay too much to say about this Radical Experiment, so I’m going to stretch it out over the next few days. But let’s cover the basics right now. You ready??

The chapter, if you haven’t read it, is titled “One Year to a Life Turned Upside Down.” Platt leads us readers through five components of what he calls the Radical Experiment, five things we’re going to commit to doing for one whole year.

I don’t know about you, but I’M IN.

1. Pray for the Entire World

I’ve heard the verse about praying God would send workers into his harvest field a hundred times, but I never thought about it like this. “When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes,” Platt says, “apparently his concern was not that the lost would not come to the Father. Instead his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost.” (p. 187) Ouch. Why have a billion people still not heard the gospel?

Because we’re not praying.

Five minutes ago, I bought the book Operation World that Platt references on page 189. I’ll be honest. I was a little ticked when I first read about it. I was all excited when he said you could get all the info for free online only to find out that you can’t anymore. The author’s no dummy. If David Platt mentioned my book in his NY Times Bestseller, I’d probably go write a new book and charge $16.49 for it on Amazon too. (Boo.)

But I really, really want to pray for the world, so I sucked it up and bought a copy. I’ll let you know what I think of it.

EDIT: Thank you, Natalie, for pointing out that you CAN access the prayer info online for FREE. It’s all new from when I last checked and looks GREAT. Just click here. Woohoo!!

2. Read Through the Entire Word

I got off to a slow start, but I’ve been reading through the Bible this year. I started in Genesis, and a few books in, I decided to read the New Testament simultaneously, so now I’m in Jeremiah and Ephesians. I’ve read the Bible through several times, but this is a new version for me (ESV). I definitely want to do this every year.

There were some powerful words in this section of the chapter. Like, God has chosen by his matchless grace to give us revelation of himself in his Word. It is the only Book that he has promised to bless by his Spirit to transform you and me into the image of Jesus Christ. It is the only book that he has promised to use to bring our hearts, our minds, and our lives in alignment with him… When you or I open the Bible, we are beholding the very words of God–words that have supernatural power to redeem, renew, refresh, and restore our lives to what he created them to be (192).

3. Sacrifice Your Money for a Specific Purpose

This is one that’s going to take more space. So tomorrow I’ll tell you about my birthday money and our halfway-replenished Cambodia Fund.

4. Spend Your Time in Another Context

Yep, you guessed it. Thursday’s post. Two things I’ll touch on now. 1–the story of the dear lady in his church who asked why he didn’t just send the Sudanese $3000 instead of spending the money to go to them. And then Andrew’s statement that “a true brother comes to be with you in your time of need. Thank you for coming to be with us.”

I have some videos to share (that I forgot all about!) that will hopefully express how much it meant to those sweet Cambodian kiddos that we actually came all that way just to be with them. I’m having an especially hard time this week missing them like crazy.

And 2–that I don’t have to choose between Cambodia or Columbus. It’s “not either-or, but both-and!” (p.201)

“I am convinced that when we open up our lives to the global purpose of God, he will show us things we have never seen and take us places we have never been before” (p. 203). Amen and amen!

5. Commit Your Life to a Multiplying Community

Friday’s post! I’ll share more about the amazing group of people that make up our new church.

And I’ll wrap things up with a kickin’ quote:

Consider what you might feel after a year of being intimately exposed to the heart of God for every nation in the world. Contemplate what you might know about the glory of God after a year of listening closely to his voice. Think of all the possessions you have now that you would realize you do not need, and think of all the dire needs that would be met as a result of your sacrifice of them. Wonder about where God might lead you–near or far, to a reached people or maybe to an unreached people who have never heard the gospel until they meet you. Reflect on the community of faith that would surround you as you find yourself in relationships that are the primary avenue through which your life will impact the world. (213)

It’s been an awesome ride, friends, and hopefully this is just the beginning. I’ll save the sentimental stuff for two Tuesdays from now–November 30–our Radical Celebration (with prizes)!


1. Which of the 5 components are you most jazzed about?

2. Which one do you think will be the most challenging?

3. Any plans for the coming year you’d like to share? ARE YOU IN??

35 thoughts on “radical response (final chapter!)

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  3. sandee

    There was a great post yesterday from the young family in Haiti, on item 4, spending your time in another place and some thought provoking questions regarding short term mission trips. Well worth the read. Ihttp://allthingshendrick.blogspot.com/2010/11/are-short-term-mission-trips-answer.html

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  5. Cheryl Schroeder

    As someone said before me, I also love having a task list. If you had given me these tasks a year ago, I would have floundered around not having any idea how to go about it. What a difference a year can make. Some of the tasks can be easily checked off, but others require new action on my part. As soon as I saw # 3, 4 & 5, I knew exactly what God was wanting from me. When I started this book, I thought – this book is not for me, I am not on the same page as these people. But God used this book to show me things in MY little world. I do feel like I’ve been through the ringer a bit. But I’ve come out the other side with a clearer vision. Thank you, Marla!

  6. Rachelle

    Reading Radical has helped me and Clyde to step out in faith into unknown and unfamiliar territory. Into the world of fostering and adoption through our state Children, Youth and Families Deparment. We knew in our hearts that this was something God wanted us to do, but we always had good excuses not to do it. The book has been our catalyst. It’s as though I finally have permission to do something that I know looks crazy to our family,friends and community. Because we already have 4 children. And we are feeling led to adopt a teenager waiting in foster care. 🙂

    We feel like in a lot of ways we are sacrificing everything: our home, family, time, money, sanity…and at moments I want to literally “forget it” and run! We are half way through foster/adoption training and have been told stories that frightened us and broke our hearts for these children. This is definately something I want to “know that I know” God is orchestrating-because without Him we will surely fail.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Oh, Rachelle. Please put a tally mark for me on the side that thinks you aren’t the tiniest bit crazy, just STINKING AWESOME. I didn’t realize you were considering adopting a TEENAGER. I think that is all kinds of wonderful. PRAYING for you!! Prayed for you and Clyde already today actually. Love you!

      1. Rachelle

        Thank you Marla! Let’s see…that’s 2 for the “crazies” and well…a whole lot for the, umm, not so into it. No, really our families (the ones we have bravely told) and friends are being very supportive. However, you should have seen the look on the social worker’s face when we told her! A mixture of shock and awe.
        Yes, please, please keep praying or I might just put on my running shoes…
        Love you too!

  7. Jen Hanson

    1. Most jazzed about spending time in another context. I recently got a letter from my 19yo Compassion girl that just melted my heart and I can hardly WAIT to finally meet her in March!

    2. Multiplying community, because getting outside the four walls of our church isn’t somethings that our church family seems real passionate about. The focus seems completely on building relationships within our church (which is great, but it isn’t the whole picture). AND I have a really hard time getting motivation to reach out to my neighbors myself, so I’m not in any position to judge my church. But hopefully I can challenge myself and my church at the same time.

    3. My hubby and I are going to Uganda Africa in March. Can. Not. Wait.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Praying for your church situation, Jen. Thank you SO much for helping make this Radical Read-Along so much fun. I really appreciate all the hard work you put into your posts–and in your REAL LIFE. I love that you and Devin are on the same page with serving Jesus! Love you!

  8. Melissa

    So this chapter was so awesome! I love having a definitive task list. I think the most exciting for me will be to pray for the countries with my family. The hardest will be spending time in another context…I need opportunities to bring along a 5, 3 and 1 year old 🙂 No plans yet, but I am in!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Mission trips are tough for young mamas. My kiddos were 9, 8 and 4 when we went to Cambodia, but I still can’t believe I left them for 10 days. Thankfully they were in heaven with all their grandmas, grandpas and cousins, and I had 22 kiddos to love on while I was gone. 🙂

  9. Brooke

    I’m currently reading through the word. I’m in Isaiah, Corinithians, and Proverbs.

    I’m excited – my husband and I are attending a fundraiser for a local ranch that takes in orphans. Its a spectacular program that I’m excited to learn more about and begin supporting financially.

    Today, I wasted $10 on lunch. That money would be much better spent to help reach the world for Christ. I need to be even more focused with my money. I have been blessed grately – He doesn’t want me to be selfish with it!

  10. Leigh

    This book has been so instrumental in changing my thinking and getting me to act on some things that have been brewing for awhile. I’m so glad I found out about the Read-Along (and to hear about what may be next!) Strangely, I think I’m most excited about figuring out a lifestyle cap. I’m not necessarily excited about the sacrificial aspect but trying to focus on which organizations or missionaries I can put more money toward and hwo God will end up using that. I’m a little freaked out about a missions trip because that wasn’t in the plans for this next year. That may mean not going on as many vacations as I had planned and not being able to visit my family as often. Plus, I have no idea where I would go! But…it’s still exciting to see how and where God will lead me.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thank you SO much for all your posts, Leigh. And today’s was just stinkin’ AWESOME. I’ve loved watching God work in your life. Maybe some of your family could go WITH you on a missions trip. 🙂

  11. Nina

    Thanks for doing this, Marla. I was late (didn’t discover your blog until recently) and only posted for a couple of chapters, but I hope to join in should you do more read-alongs in the future. I am looking forward to reading more of your inspiring posts on how Radical is changing you!

    1. Marla Taviano

      You’re so welcome, Girl-with-the-Coolest-Name. And thank YOU. Rumor has it there will be another read-along come January–something quite different from Radical but with radical potential nonetheless. 😉

      1. Sharon K

        I sure hope so because I let school get in the way of my Radical reading… but I have picked it back up! Thanks for leading us Marla!

    1. Marla Taviano

      No worries, sweet Meg. Life happens (believe me, I know!) and we can’t always put all our oomph into something. THANK YOU for being the one to get this whole thing started. I love and miss you, friend.

  12. Nancy

    I haven’t yet finished all of chapter 9 but I’m loving it so far. I probably wouldn’t have even reached chapter 9 by now except for your continued encouragement here. I usually get all excited about hopping on board for something only to fizzle after a little while. So, thank you for keeping me on board!! Hey, what about encouraging us in praying for the world over the coming year? Would you be up for that? My good intentions usually don’t get me very far…

    1. Marla Taviano

      Oh my goodness, Natalie. THANK YOU for that link. Oh, well. Knowing I spent good $ on the book will MAKE me use it. 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas and encouragement all these weeks, Natalie!

  13. Amber

    Marla- I am SO in! I love that this book is full of convicting thoughts and statements…and rather than leave us with a “change the world NOW” statement and sign off, he gives us very specific manageable steps to allow GOD to show us how. I am surprised to say that I’m most jazzed about praying for the world. I never would have thought of this on my own and I love that operation world has specific prayer requests for specific countries. It seems like this is something I can do right now to impact the world. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the OWorld book. My additional three copies of Radical just arrived in the mail today. Have already delivered 2 to fellow Christians in the neighborhood. Can’t wait to get started on these 5 components. Thanks SO much for doing this read-along!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Thanks so much, Amber. Prayer is something I reeeeeeally want to focus more on in the coming year. I love that it’s something EVERYONE can do regardless of our age, abilities, resources, income, whatever. And SO powerful. Yet so hard to make time for because we’re so “busy” with lesser things. 🙁

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