Sunday, May 2, 2010

the only thing that counts...

Galatians 5:6 has really been getting to me recently. To be fair, I was already pretty messed up because of all the stuff we've gotten into by becoming a foster family and from reading the book Guerrilla Lover by Vince Antonucci. But then when he used this verse in the last chapter it has just hung with me. 

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself though love.

Now how on earth are we supposed to get around that? The answer is we're not. If we want to be what we claim to be--followers of Jesus Christ--then there's no avoiding the outward expression of those beliefs with not just random acts of kindness, but a life characterized by unselfish compassion. James 1:27 has been hounding me about it for years (or probably decades, since the Bible I used as a teen has this written in the margin: dirty hands, clean hearts). 

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

It's in the Bible practically everywhere you look yet it's hard to find when you look around the church. I guess that's not true. I do see people serving each week for an hour or two or giving generous amounts of money, but I guess what I mean is that I want to see that on every day of the week. That we the church would give our WHOLE lives to Christ and not just the few hours per week we decide to allocate to our Creator. That we would get our hands dirty up to the armpits and allow the way we express our faith as love to bleed over into every single thing we do. 

So here's my big ask: come get dirty with me. Let's go live out our faith as a group that boldly carries the message of His great love and mercy into our world. Let's pick someone or a group of someones that God has placed into our paths and just literally love the hell out of them.

For Brannon and I, it has become profoundly clear that who that means for us is our foster daughters' mom. She sincerely wants to be a good mother to her girls but she doesn't know the first thing about it. And as much as Brannon and I would love to just fill that gap, we have found that our efforts are always going to come up short. We can never push hard enough to get that plane off the ground. 

So, I would like to invite all of my friends, in person, online, and otherwise, to come join us on this mission. We will send out an event invitation on Facebook and then ask some of you in person. (If you haven't friended me on FB, please do.) We'll start off by getting together over a dinner party and just share the details of the situation (no physical family to speak of and no Christian family but us). Then we'll brainstorm what we need to do to love her. Then we'll figure out which people are going to be good project managers or administrators and who will be good movers and mentors and chauffeurs and phone callers and givers and everything else that she needs. Then we'll just do it. And we'll keep doing it not just until she gets her girls back, but until she has developed her own permanent Christian family (which of course by that time may include some of us). And all along the way we'll meet, and party some more, and hold each other up, and walk alongside each other, and laugh, and cry, and just generally become more like Jesus. 

So come and go on a mission with me. It will be really hard. It will seem slow and frustrating. You might lose interest in TV or sports or whatever other hobby you may have had. But you'll feel more alive than maybe you've felt for a long time. And you'll be living the life that is really life. You'll come to know God better than ever. Plus, you'll get glimpses of the face of Jesus over and over as the body of Christ comes together and does what we were called to do. What we were made to do.

Pray about it. Ask God if this is what He wants you to devote a season of your life to (because I'm not just asking for a couple of hours a week). And if this particular journey isn't your next step, then ask God what yours is and jump into it with both feet. And share what you're doing with us to encourage us along the way. 

Who's in?


ReverendZed said...

I'm in K @ B, and although I may be many miles away, i've already been digging into this through prayer! I spoke to a group a week ago and recounted some of your story and it inspired them to push on in their opportunities to be dirty footed Jesus followers. So, keep me informed and I'll pray and if I make it over to OKC again I'm more than happy to get 'dirty armpits'!

chad houck said...


Picked up your blog on a RT from PrincessJes.

Thank you for being courageous enough to take God at His word, that he actually meant for us to follow His words in action.

And then thank you for having the tenacity to remind the rest of us to do the same.

Next time we pass through OKC, we'd love to join you in your mission if we can be of assistance.

Trying to get dirty daily,
The Houcks

Bea said...

HUMMM Yes indeed!! We are happy to join you. God has big plans for Ashley!!! Keeo me posted.

Anonymous said...

I'm a foster mom, connecting with other foster moms, christians are even better!! :) i love this post!!!