A few weeks back I grabbed one of the YWAM series books written by Janet and Geoff Benge to read to the kids. Little did I know it would change my life personally and our lives as a family .
Over the years I have talked about the YWAM series of biographies written by this married couple. Geoff and Janet write as a team and each book is powerfully intriguing, often heart wrenching, always fascinating and clearly Holy Spirit anointed. I am in awe of how God has used their books in our personal lives.
Our Emma (who serves the broken-bodied orphans on the mission field and has for four years now) had her life profoundly influenced by the book about Lillian Trasher. Personally, my own life was radically changed many years ago by their book of George Mueller’s life. As a family we have sobbed through both Gladys Aylward and Amy Carmichael…passing the box of kleenex around the car on a road trip. And the long, long, long list goes on…
So when I opened the Brother Andrew book to read I expected another challenging story!! Little did I know that it would radically change our family’s life!!
Why did it change our lives? Because Brother Andrew (who is still alive today) has lived most of his life so powerfully radical for Jesus that we are in awe. If I could have coffee with anyone alive today (that I didn’t know) it would be him! Of course I would probably just sob through it! But I would love to tell him what his life has done to our lives!
As I read it aloud to the kids, I would start to cry at different parts, but then the last two chapters, I literally wept through each word! I knew God was doing something. I was so moved. I know it was the Holy Spirit speaking to my soul.
This selfless man has lived more radical than anyone I have ever heard of with courage in the face of overwhelming danger (even though he was shaking and his heart was pounding)!! He did things that left our mouths gaping!
God was stirring and stirring and stirring something in my soul as I read. After we finished the book, I decided to search to find out what I could about Brother Andrew and how he is doing today. He’s still alive and he’s actually 88 and will turn 89 on May 11th!! The very same day our Liberty turns 18!
I was able to find an article where he is interviewed and reading it astounded me!! He was questioned about looking back on his life and his response was, “I wish I had lived a lot more radical!”
This man, who has lived the most radical life I had ever heard of has one regret – That he didn’t live A LOT MORE radical!?? Are you serious? I was stunned and completely undone. My eyes became fountains.
Immediately I thought of something that would be radical for our family. Radical for me personally for many reasons. Probably radical to many of our peers. After all, we are comfortable. But God didn’t set me free from a life of tremendous pain and heartache to live comfortably. He didn’t. He gave His all. I cannot do less.
To be perfectly honest, two months ago I actually said to Dw, “Nope! I would never do such-n-such.” What I said I wasn’t willing to do, is not exactly our next step, but it is in the same ‘ballpark’. Sort of.
Pretty sure that the Lord must have been chuckling about that one! Of course, about that time He started drawing me to read the Brother Andrew book. He knew!! He works so beautifully in our souls, doesn’t He?
There is no doubt, as I read the book aloud, that it was the Lord and only Him stirring my heart and fanning the flame like nothing I can ever remember before.
Frankly sweet friends, the very last thing I want to do is have any regrets at the end of my life. Regrets that I didn’t live more radical. Regrets that I didn’t take more risks. Regrets that I didn’t do something that I had in my power to do. Regrets that I lived “comfortably” and didn’t “go for it!”
So a few days later, Dw and I were on our way to lunch with precious friends who not only support us each month, but support our ministry and The Gem Foundation. I had been praying about a quiet, uninterrupted opportunity to tell my sweet hubby what the Lord was doing and what He had whispered to my heart.
As we drove, I ventured into this very unchartered waters for us. I had no clue what he would say. But really, if God was preparing me, then He would have to have been preparing him.
As I tried to tell him the story of Brother Andrew I began to sob. In fact I sobbed so hard that I would have been deemed a basket case to anyone in other cars noticing (and I have zero clue if anyone was). In fact, I had to keep stopping because it was so hard for Dw to understand me. I can only explain it as the power of God moving in a truly dramatic way.
Actually at one point Dw said, “Babe, you better stop telling me or G and D will think that I’ve been beating you!” True enough. Ha!
But I kept sharing and eventually, as the story of Brother Andrew was winding down I blurted it out, “Honey, I want to live radical!!!!”
Dw laughed and asked, “So having 14 kids, adopting 11 of them, being almost 62 and still having 9 at home, 2 kids in wheelchairs, 2 kids medically fragile and everything else is not radical enough?” I told him that there was way, way, way more we could do!!
He then asked the precious question that I was longing for him to ask, “What would be radical to you Linny? What do you want to do?” And with that question, I poured out exactly what I felt God was calling us to do.
Listen friends, I don’t want want to have any regrets. And it really is about living radical in complete devotion to the God of the Universe who sent His only son to die for each of us and set us free from a life of pain! It’s not about anything else.
I seriously wish I could get this book in every hand that stops by Our Place Called Simplicity.
My precious friend just read this post and texted me and said, “I will ship 5 books to your home. Give away five! Just don’t name me!) WHAT?? That’s a radical thing to do my friend!!
So on that note: I want to have a drawing and give Brother Andrew’s book away to five different people who long to live radically too!
Comment on this post to be entered in a random drawing in which I will choose three winners. Share the post and get an extra entry in another drawing (but you have to comment that you did or I’ll have no way of knowing) where I will give away the two remaining books.
1. Comment to be entered in the first drawing for one Brother Andrew book.
2. Share the post, then come back and comment again to be entered in a separate drawing for one of the Brother Andrew books.
3. Comment on this actual blog post for another drawing of one book from those who comment.
Friends, life is too short. There is so much more that we can do! Even when our lives are very full!! We can’t live thinking, “Okay, I’ve done something radical, like adopting 11 kids so I’m good.”
It’s about doing more for the Lord! It’s about living obediently to His holy word and it’s about saying “YES!” to whatever He asks us to do!!
Sometimes we can be told by our family, coworkers, neighbors or peers, “You are doing enough!” And of course the world and even most churches will say, “You are doing too much!” Which, seriously, is ridiculous!
We are here for one purpose – to serve God with our entire being every day of our lives! There is no “comfortable” when serving Him!!
Please get this book or enter one of the drawings…then ask the Lord to change your heart as you read it! He is good and His plan for you might be different than His plan for us. But I am convinced that God will call others to do the same thing we are doing!
Lastly, I am overjoyed that God spoke so powerfully. Giddy in fact. Our kids are! Dw is! We are a team and we will look back on the reading of Brother Andrew as a pivotal point in all of our lives. We cannot praise Him enough for His daily movement in our lives! He is just so faithful!
PS. Although we will not be sharing what we are doing anytime soon, we covet your prayers. God is so faithful and we are grateful for each of you and always for your prayers!