**pst...there's a giveaway at the end of this post...don't want you to miss out...**
I mentioned speaking at a MOPs group last Friday, but I didn’t tell you I also spoke briefly that night…in the same room…to a completely different group of ladies.
When I said "yes" to our women’s minister, I didn’t really know what she wanted me to talk about. Then she sent me this question:
“How uncomfortable are you with uncertainty?”
Ask me about humility in motherhood, raising boys, blogging…I'm good. But uncertainty... hmmm...
My eventual answer?
I’ve never been a big risk-taker. Homeschooled from 3rd through 8th grade, having lived in the same house for 18 years, having a cautious personality, upon entering college I described myself as “disliking change” and “risk averse”.
Then I got married and moved 5 times around the country in five years. Instead of pushing back against the uncomfortable I began to embrace it. Being in new towns with new faces, sometimes without the comfort of shared faith (particularly in San Francisco), I learned to see each person as a treasure box to be opened and known.
Instead of seeking my comfort in a conversation, I looked to get to know the other person. To help them feel comfortable. To connect people to each other based on common interests/backgrounds/goals. Through my uncertainty I discovered a new way to “deny myself”...to deny my comfort.
On the heels of speaking on the topic of God’s Mission over Our Comfort, I have been given the opportunity to share with you a review Lisa Chan’s second installment of her True Beauty video series, “Deny Yourself”. (maybe you remember my review/giveaway of her first video, "Be Still"?)
Here's the trailer (if reading on email click here to see video):
True Beauty Deny Yourself TRAILER from Flannel Staff on Vimeo.
Mission over comfort? Denying yourself? Jesus' words: ‘…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33.
These aren’t popular topics.
No matter how resistant you may be to the message of this DVD, the artful production and breathtaking cinematography will keep you watching. By the end of the video you may actually warm up to the idea of laying down your needs for another.
Lisa (wife of best-selling author and pastor Francis Chan, mother of 5 children) shares her thoughts on the idea of “denying yourself”:
We love to talk about: the love of God, the forgiveness of Jesus, the salvation God provides…after all, these things are astounding! But Jesus has always asked us to consider the cost of following Him. Following Jesus has always meant both death…and life.
This idea isn't new to those raised in the church, but revolutionary for our culture. A culture full of “self-indulgence, inundated with lifting up greed, having it all…take care of me & mine.”
My absolute favorite part of this video is the story interwoven among Lisa’s teaching. It’s a story about Irene. A woman, who fell for the “bad boy”, ended up pregnant and married this man despite his drinking problems and meanness.
After 10 years she decided she had enough, she was ready to leave him…despite his repentant heart and pleas for forgiveness.
A godly mentor of hers encouraged her, “God wants you to forgive him.” Irene heard God’s gentle reminder of how He had stretched out His arms, took His last breath for her. How could she want God to forgive her, when she was unwilling to forgive?
Once she decided to forgive, she also decided to obey God.
Sometimes we spend so much time in struggling and in misery because we won’t deny ourselves. God is saying, ‘If you would just do it, you would stop whining and complaining because you would be so filled with joy and peace.’
What we cling to is meaningless compared to the joy waiting for us.
For Irene and her husband, Domingo, they found joy and peace and a life worth living when they decided to open their home and adopt children without one.
In the video you see the precious faces & smiles of the 11 boys and girls who have found love, acceptance and family. My heart swelled as Irene’s voice shared the background on each child, while that child’s sweet face filled the screen.
Included with the video is a devotional booklet with vivid color photos from the film, quotes, and discussion questions (even Scripture for further study).
How wonderful to think of all those lives transformed because of the redeeming work in Irene & Domingo’s relationship--from them choosing God’s Mission over their comfort.
Their story was a big story of obedience. Lisa encourages us to look for small steps of obedience and denying ourselves. Opening the door for someone. Giving up a new shirt to new friend. Letting go of your right to be right. Listening more than talking. little acts of obedience.
Deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow Me. If you lose your life for My sake, you will find it.
Great news? I am giving away one copy of the "Deny Yourself" DVD to a lucky reader. Tweet and/or comment below to be entered to win! Giveaway ended April 25th, 2013. CONGRATULATIONS Julie Wenning!
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