Life.  Some see it as a randomly assigned smattering of days with no purpose.  Others believe in divine appointments they rarely keep.  For most, ordinary.  But it doesn't have to be.   What if we dared to go the narrow way? Join me in taking THE FAITH DARE.

Caution: Participating in this challenge might force you to give up some of the things (people?) dearest to you. This challenge could change your life.  Join at your own risk.

Monday, May 31, 2010

FAITHdare #14: Humility means ____________

Pride means I am more important than anyone else.
Pride means there's no way I will talk to the homeless man on the street, or that person sitting next to me in church, or my neighbor.
Pride means I deserve what I have.
Pride means my needs come before those of my family.
Pride means I get all the credit.
Pride means "Look at me! Listen to me!"
Pride means I don't have to admit to my mistakes.
Pride means "I haven't done anything wrong!"
Pride means I can indulge my wants without having to think about anyone else.
Pride means I am the coolest thing around, and you all should know it.
Pride means I can flaunt what I have and take note of what you don't have.
Pride means what you think of me is more important than just about anything.
Pride means I wake up in the morning thinking about myself.
Pride means I go to bed thinking about myself.
Pride means "I'm tired so leave me alone."
Pride means "I'm busy!"
Pride means "That makes me uncomfortable..."
Pride means "Someone else will do it."
Pride means me, me, ME.

Humility means you are more important than me.
Humility means I will take care of your needs before my own.
Humility means I wake up in the morning thinking about how I can bless others.
Humility means I go to bed at night thinking about how I can bless others.
Humility means I am scared out of my mind but I am going to talk to _______.
Humility means I am exhausted but I am going to go the extra mile to bless ________.
Humility means I will do _________ even though it makes me really uncomfortable.
Humility means I will be friendly to _______ even though it will ruin my reputation.
Humility means I will apologize to __________ without making excuses...because I was wrong.
Humility means I will give credit for ____________ to God instead of taking it for myself.
Humility means I don't deserve what I have, so I will give _________ to __________.
Humility means I can be free from consuming thoughts about what you think of me.
Humility means I will give up my comfort for _________.
Humility means turning the other cheek.
Humility means letting others say what they want about me without having to correct them.
Humility means dying on a cross for a crime you never committed.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3).

FAITHdare #14:
Fill in one of the blanks above...without drawing attention to what you are doing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Hi FAITHdare friends! Just a quick note to let you all know that FAITHdare: Revisited and FAITHdare #14 will be postponed this week...expect to see them sometime Monday. I will be out of town until then. Keep your eyes open for ways to love the lost!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FAITHdare #13: Because He Loves Us

this is our last week focusing on the lost, and I feel lost. because we've hardly touched it. 4.5 billion people.

what more can we really do? we've prayed for the lost, sought out the lost, shared our story with the lost, love the lost. and yet there are still so many without the hope of Jesus.

What do I do?

Does it ever just feel too overwhelming, like you can't even imagine where to you just don't? I know the feeling. this isn't God-breathed scripture, but I love these words from Helen Keller:
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do something that I can do.

God has something planned just for me. He has given you and me both unique gifts and talents, equipped us for every good work He has planned for us to do. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something...the something He has called me to do.

Jesus did not call us to go it alone, to take on this lost world by ourselves...and I am so grateful! But He did ask us to surrender to Him, to submit to His call on our lives in obedience.
to stay connected to the vine. are you connected, or do you feel like this "going to the lost sheep" stuff is a solo project?

you can't do it alone. you can only love the lost because He is pouring His love over you like a drink offering. are you drinking it up?

I've really struggled to figure out what "challenge" to put before you this week as we conclude our month focusing on the lost.
so I'm just going to leave it up to you and God.

FAITHdare #13:

1) Watch the video below.

Ask God to give you eyes for the lost this week, and respond in obedience...are you praying for, GOing to, sharing your story with, and loving the lost? Where is He calling you to go?

Friday, May 21, 2010

FAITHdare #12: Revisited

I am going to be brutally honest.

I've struggled this week.

Throughout this FAITHdare journey, I have learned so many lessons. One of them is this: I can do nothing on my own. At least, nothing worthwhile. So the crucial action on my part is a continual surrendering to God...spending time with Him daily...keeping a constant prayer window open...begging Him to give me eyes to in His love so that I can love others the way He calls me to love them.

I shrivel and die when I am not surrendering.

And this week has been...well, one of those weeks. One of those weeks when I feel like a two-year-old, staring up into her daddy's face and saying, "NO!!!!"

And yet...He loves me still.

I am so thankful for that.

All this to good intentions to love someone extraordinarily this week didn't pan out. Why? Because I didn't surrender, and I'm, in my old nature that is S L O W L Y dying, lazy.

When you're not with the lost you can't love the lost.

So today I'm humbled, begging God to bring me to my knees in surrender. 'Cause it's only there that anything will get done.

What did you do to love someone this week?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

FAITHdare #12: The will know us by our love

"A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).

They will know us by our love.

Really? Because I think our love looks a whole lot more like hate a lot of the time. Or maybe just disinterest, or judgment. Are you known by your love?

The book Under the Overpass (Yankoski) is a fascinating and challenging account of two college students, followers of Christ, who take half a year off of school to "become" homeless. They, in all possible ways, live a homeless life. They leave their families and stuff and money and go to the streets, meeting many different people along the way. I was blown away by their account, particularly their retelling of how the Church reacted to them. Here is one incident they recount:

"We still had a few minutes before the service began, and Sam had an idea. 'I'm going to ask the pastor if he can help us out with some food. My stomach is growling.' He got up and walked away, but was back shortly, looking disgusted. 'You wouldn't believe what just happened,' he said. 'So, I went and asked the pastor if he could help us out, if he could hook us up with someone who could feed us. I told him we didn't have any money...You know what he said? He said, 'That's not what we do here. We're here to worship.'"

Later, they muse: "'Why do we so often overlook obvious ways to show the love of God we so loudly proclaim? If someone's thirsty, give them a drink! If someone's hungry, feed them! Who is going to show the world Christ's love if not the church?"

One of the things that disturbed me most about their account was their admission that drunk people stumbling out of bars were more kind to them than men and women coming out of churches. WHAT?

How is it that someone walking down the street will feed a homeless man, but a church will bar him from even entering to worship? (something that happened many times to them)

Where is our love?

My story will be ignored if my life, my actions, do not compliment it. I don't know if actions speak louder than words, but they can certainly be a roadblock or a catalyst.

Jesus did not just say cool things. He didn't just self-righteously tell sinners to stop sinners and ignore them after that. He LOVED sinners. He cared for PHYSICAL needs so that a door would be opened for Him to minister to SPIRITUAL needs.

"You will know them by their fruits...A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits" (Mt. 7:16-20).

Are you known by your fruit? Are your actions complimenting your words? Will the lost know you are a disciple of Jesus by the way you love others?

FAITHdare #12:
Commit to loving the lost this week by performing at least one "act of random kindness." See if you are noticed by your love.

I'll leave you with another passage from Under the Overpass:
"...The 'love your neighbor' part of Jesus' teaching starts with simple actions and small opportunities that are available to each of us. Little things DO mean a lot, especially in the kingdom of God, where giving a drink of cold water has eternal repercussions. And I am convinced that the more committed we become to impacting one person at a time--whether through a cup of coffee or a genuine conversation--the more we'll prepare our hearts and our churches to respond at both a community and national level" (Yankoski).

Friday, May 14, 2010

FAITHdare #11: Revisited

A story can be the thing that changes everything. Maybe that's why Jesus always taught in parables.
Have you written your story?
Have you shared it with someone?

Consider sharing it here.
Thanks to those of you who have already shared! To read my story, go HERE.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

FAITHdare #11: Storytelling

Personal stories are powerful. They are the tie that binds then and now, the link that explains the in-between. Because they are personal, they cannot be refuted. No one can say, "I don't agree with what you said; that didn't happen!" A testimony tries to explain what often cannot be said with words alone.

And everyone has one. I used to think my story was boring, that surely no one would care to hear what Jesus has done in my life. Now I can look back and see the way in which God has refined me and woven the gold thread of His hand through my life. Everyone has a story. For some, a story means near-death adventure. For others, a story is more what would have been than what is. Everyone has a story.

What's yours?

1 Peter 3:15-16 says: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

Always be prepared to give an answer. Are you ready? Being ready obviously involves a whole lot more than a personal story, but don't you think that's a good place to start?

FAITHdare # 11:
Write out your testimony by answering this question:
How has Jesus changed your life?

Keep it somewhat short, full of gentleness and respect. Are you ready to share it?

Friday, May 7, 2010

FAITHdare #10: Revisited

How did you spend your "time in another context?" My prayer was/is that God would be ministering to YOUR hearts through interactions with people you perhaps would not have otherwise spent time with. Please share your experiences with the rest of us! I will share more about my time with the girls at the crisis pregnancy center soon...God is blessing me so much through my time there! And I am so thankful for all of you who have joined me on this journey...while I perhaps entered this project thinking of the ways God would use it to reach other people, more than anything He has changed, encouraged, grown, and blessed ME. I am so challenged and encouraged by everything you all are learning and sharing...I pray the same is true for you! Please share away!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

FAITHdare #10: GO!

Go to the lost.

As Jesus is sending out His disciples, He starts out with that simple command: Go. But if you are anything like me, "going" looks a whole lot more like sitting and attitude of, "if someone comes to me, I'll be more than happy to love them and serve them! But they need to come to me, cuz there is no way I am going THERE."

Jesus could have easily taken that strategy. After all, He had people flocking to Him without even trying! But Jesus goes out of His way to CONNECT with people.

Take a look at John 4:1-26.

Jesus could have easily taken His drink and moved on. He could have condemned her. He could have quickly told her all of her sins and what she needed to do to rid herself of them and then moved on. He didn't, though. He met her on her level and LOVED her.

It is impossible to meet people on their level if you are never with them. And if you never meet people on their level, it is hard to love them the way Jesus tells us to. Which is why, I think, Jesus commanded us to GO.
But where?

Jesus went straight to "the lost sheep of Israel," and He commands His disciples to do the same. Jesus went to the neediest, the poorest, the most despised, the sickest. What about you? Do you spend much time with the needy, the poor, the despised, the sick? Or do you find yourself WAITING in your safe home, your safe neighborhood, your safe church?

Are your ready to GO with Jesus? To CONNECT with the lost? To serve them and show them what LOVE looks like? It's easy to throw words at people, to tell them how they are wrong and what they need to do to get right again. But to love them with the heart of Jesus? That's hard. That takes time and effort and lots of hurt. And it's exactly what He commands us to do.

FAITHdare #10:
Spend some time this week in another context.

We tend to gravitate to security. (At least, I do). Jesus invites us to abandon security in His name, and I am inviting you to do the same. Consider spending some time this week with people you would not normally spend time with. How about visiting a nursing home, or a jail, or a homeless shelter? How about a "bad" neighborhood? Or maybe even just a neighbor that is hard to love? Spend time with the hurting and lost, and SERVE them. Go without an agenda and see what God can do through you. You might be surprised.

For a couple of weeks now I have been spending time at the local crisis pregnancy center. Already I can see how God is changing my heart toward the hurting, and as I shared a couple of days ago, being WITH the lost makes PRAYING for them a whole lot more meaningful. I am excited to see how God is going to work IN me through my time with these beautiful girls I am meeting.

Won't you consider stepping outside of the realm of comfortable and into a life of reckless faith?

As you GO, please share with the rest of us where God takes you.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FAITHdare #9: Revisited

This week I learned that praying for the lost is a lot more meaningful when you are spending time with the lost. It is easy for me to forget about the world if I am not in the world, but when I am building relationships with those outside of faith, praying for them comes naturally out of love.

What did you learn this week? Take the time to share!