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And Now Our Lives Will Never Be The Same…

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…

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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!”  

WAIT!!!!  

WHAT????????

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.

Brother Andrew

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.

So:

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.”

Nope.

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! 

122 thoughts on “And Now Our Lives Will Never Be The Same…

  1. My life was changed by Elisabeth Elliot’s book about her first husband, Jim Elliot and his ultimate sacrifice, The Shadow of the Almighty. It called me to be a missionary. I did my 2nd missions trip to Ecuador. Though I am still not a missionary, I wouldn’t be living in China if it weren’t for that book. (On my last trip home, I brought back Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot for my young Christian coworkers – though their old Christian coworker also struggles with purity). I was also greatly influenced by Keith Green’s life story and his music. I also read The Heavenly Man – which I can’t remember the guy’s name that it is about. Don’t enter me in the drawing – I can afford to buy a copy – but thanks for the 2nd reccomendation to read this book. Will see if Kindle Unlimited has it or if I can get a copy in English here. Oh, how could I forget – I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom over and over again!!! I had given my niece a bible – she was 10 at the time – even though she said her mom didn’t allow bibles in her house and that story inspired me about Betsy have a bible in the camp. (Said niece is an atheist now – she’s 25 – but she’s only 25 – God can still work on her heart). Anyway, I’m rambling! So much inspiration this week!

  2. We love these books as well – though we don’t have this one about Brother Andrew. And I’ve been wanting to live without regrets more and more…which means risk which means trust ❤️❤️❤️ He is good. Will be praying for your next “no regrets” step. ☺️

    1. My friend!! Thank you for praying for us!! You must read Brother Andrew! As it was, I just updated the blogpost – a friend donated FIVE books to give away!! Amazing. So I will draw from the names of the people who comment on this blogpost as well! xo

  3. Linny,

    Why must you leave us in such suspense? When will the YWAM book on your and your families life be coming out? Thank you for always keeping God center and our eyes focused on Him!

    1. Oh dear. So sorry…definitely isn’t meant for suspense – ha! I just cannot keep quiet and want to make friends aware of this book and challenge everyone to live more radically for Jesus!!! xo

  4. I would love to win this book for my family. We have also read many of the YWAM books. My kids love them and they are filled with such inspiring and life changing stories. Thank you for the opportunity to win! :)

  5. I’m so blessed to hear that you are ready to live even more radically for God! I love hearing about how you’ve read these types of books with your family and have in fact been looking for a list of titles to start learning with my daughter. Your christ-centered faith-directed lifestyle is what I want for my family too! So excited for you!

  6. I had to look up the YWAM books when you mentioned them at the beginning of this post – and now I’m convinced that we should be reading these… I’m not even sure why, but I trust you and I have a strong feeling about it. 😉
    I would love to be entered into the drawing!
    If you were to suggest one specific book to start with (from what you know of our family), which would it be?

    1. Hey my-old-neighbor-who-moved-so-far-away-it’s-not-fair! Haha! I would start with maybe George Mueller or Gladys Alyward. They are all amazing – but those two seem like they would be great for your kids! You must begin to read them!! Tell Mike we said “hi!” xo

  7. I’d love the opportunity to read something so life changing.. our family has lots going on that would be seen as a sacrifice (caring for disabled adult and foster parents, step mom to 3 Nicaraguans, immigrated them and my husband as I single parented our child and cared for others) however it feels like we could do more… Love to read this

    1. Well Nicole, by the world standard and most of the church’s standard – you are doing a lot! However, it’s God’s standard that matters most – and when He says, “Do this!” we would be missing out on tremendous joy, peace and true obedience to do otherwise! You MUST read it!!

  8. thank you for sharing this! I have been working my way through these books – they are my favorites! I can’t wait to read the brother andrew one! & I didn’t know he is still alive! so cool.

  9. I JUST heard of YWAM a month or so ago when my niece told me she was prayerfully going to Orlando This June! I’m so grateful for this, I will definitely be buying this for her!! Love you!

  10. I’m at a loss for words….sort of rare for me. Radical living. I will pray for all of you….and our hearts and minds as well.

  11. We love these books too. The story of Gladys Aylward (sp?) and Elisabeth Elliot are two of my favorites. This is one I’m not familiar with, but based on what you’ve written, it is right where my family is right now. Thanks for offering a chance to win!

  12. I’ve never heard of these books but would love to read them! You are such an inspiration!!! Would love to do coffee with you sometime if your schedule ever allows!!!

  13. When I was in our little church school, we read God’s Smuggler about Brother Andrew. It was so very inspiring. The Hiding Place about Corrie Ten Boom was another that excited and challenged me, although I felt and still do I could never live up to the amazing service these people did, the ministry they made of their lives. I am glad to hear about this series of biographies – I will keep my eye out for them. That said, you and your wonderful hubby have been just as inspiring to me!

  14. I have been a lurker on your blog for maybe a year now. When I “somehow” found your blog (or was divinely lead here on purpose) I started back at the beginning and read every single post! I have been inspired by your stories of God’s faithfulness and provision. This post resonated with me today. I am a student in medical school right now. I know God has lead me here but I often felt stuck. Like I want to do more but my circumstances, pressures, time constraints, and selfish desires seem to hold me back. I remember you mentioning this series before, and I think it would be a great way to help keep my focus and perspective in the right place during this time in my life. I would love to be entered in the drawing! And it’s nice to finally pop in and say hello!

    1. Oh my gracious!! You have been reading a lot!! Your eyes must be weary. I think I have written almost 2600 posts!! I pray that God will continue to stir your heart and even in this difficult season, that you will still find ways to live radically for Jesus!

  15. I’ve read Radical by David Platt and was changed. Thanks for your encouragement to read a different book about living radically for Christ.

  16. I want to live a radical sold out life for Jesus too! Definity going to have to read this book. Miss you and your wonderful family!!

  17. I don’t believe anything would surprise me about the Saunders family! Praying for you and your family. Miss y’all!

  18. I am so glad you discovered Brother Andrew! I read his own book ages ago and have been re-reading others by him in the last couple years. I have a heart for persecuted believers similar to yours for orphans (God shut the door for us about that one though we pushed very hard!).
    God has really worked in my heart through Brother Andrews Open Doors ministry and Release International – founder Richard Wurmbrand whose book I also read and re-read about the 14 year imprisonment he endured in Romania. (You should read the Pastor’s Wife by his wife Sabina!)
    I have discovered how much God loves to answer the prayer that you can somehow have more money so you can give more and even though I am not working, He is helping me to give what I could not have imagined! and He has opened my heart to ‘really’ remember those in prison as if chained with them and those who are mistreated… Heb 13:3
    AND He is helping me to make work (I am a textile artist) that tells some of these stories because people do not know about persecution of Christians.
    HA! OK, passionate! But I am excited with you to hear how the story of Brother Andrew takes you further in God’s path!
    Sandy in the UK
    PS Please don’t select me for a book, but do give them to someone who hasn’t read the story. We do need to strengthen those who remain. We do need to learn what is the ‘step of yes’ that God is wanting us to take.

  19. I would love a book!! We have yet to ready any of the YWAM books but we want to live radically for Christ! I know we would all enjoy learning about Brother Andrew’s life and sacrifices!!

  20. I LOVE the YWAM books- I found them years ago because of you! I wish I owned every one of them. :) I would love to read this one as well- and to live radically!!

  21. Our youngest read about the Elliots and even portrayed Elisabeth in a class project. I have not heard of this particular book though. We were talking about finding more! What an inspirational series!!

  22. Loved reading your blog, turning 61 next month and after returning from 3 weeks in India working in the slums, leper colonies and the jungles I’m ready to take on “Living radically for Jesus!” Would love to read the book!

    1. Awww Mary!! My sweet friend! My heart warmed when I saw your comment. I love you and your radical living! Being in the slums, leper colonies and jungles of India sounds just beautiful! Thank you for authentically being His hands and feet to a very hurting world! xo

    1. Thank you friend! And Melanie, likely only attentive friends who stop by Our Place Called Simplicity frequently will begin to notice. We are not being mysterious for kicks, just the way it has to be! But sooooo stinkin’ excited!

  23. I’ve read three books in the last 6 months that have been truly life-changing. The first was “Money, Possessions, and Eternity” by Randy Alcorn. The other two were the Gladys Aylward and Eric Liddell books from this series, which I finished just last week. I was thrilled to see that our local library system has many of these books available, but I know for sure that I want this series to become a permanent part of our family collection!

  24. I have been reading your blog with so much interest for quite a long time! I find inspiration in your sharing…thank you so much…
    I am a single mom (french canadian) with two wonderful adopted daughters from China. I usually work full time but since many months i have been stop from work trying to catch my breath, taking real care of my self mentally and physically (and my girls) and finally reajust my priorities in my active family life…. It has been a time of silence, listening,questionning, praying, learning and discovering…. And, trying to figure out how to keep goIng forward while taking care of myself, my family and reajust my life in harmony with my profound values in my usual very busy life….
    I don’t know anything about the book your giving away….but i feel open to find new reflections, and listen to God’s way since i am really in a period of searching for peace and real goals in my whole life right now. I would be more than happy to discover what inspirations that this would bring to me!!!????……Thank you!

    1. Thank you Denise!! I am so happy you have stopped by Our Place Called Simplicity! I pray that Jesus will reveal Himself to you in a very powerful way and that you will understand how deep, how high and how wide His love for you is! If you don’t win, get this book!! It’s so powerful!! All of the books in the series are for that matter. They are all available from YWAMpublishing.com Here is the direct link, although I’m not sure if our website will show it clearly: https://www.ywampublishing.com/c-39-hero-biographies.aspx Either way, look on YWAMpublishing.com

  25. I haven’t ever read anything in the YWAM series and you have me all excited to do so! I am at a place that I’m not sure where God is calling me next and I think this is just the thing that will get me thinking and praying about it. Thanks!

  26. I think it’s SO easy to think “I’m doing enough”…this post spoke directly to my heart! I don’t want to have regrets either!! ~I’m looking forward to reading more of Brother Andrew’s books and having the kids read them with me. :)

    1. It is always easy to think that, isn’t it? But Brother Andrew’s life was lived in contrary to all of that and he still regrets he didn’t live “A LOT MORE RADICALLY”! I was absolutely undone by his words!

  27. You are bringing back so many memories… My farther met brother Andrew many years ago. I believe he slept at our house… But it was all part of a big secret… We were not allowed to talk about it 😉 must ask my 87 years old mother… Wonder if she remembers 😉
    I don’t realy understand the word “radical” just guessing… But I just ordered one of his books today, something about making the impossible possible… I am excited at the idea of reading the book with my husband.
    Thank you for always pointing to the Lord our God… Sharing your thouths is a real ministry ! ( Sorry for the mistakes I’ m french)

  28. I’d LOVE to read the Brother Andrew book! And hopefully be inspired to get up off my rear-end and do MORE for the Kingdom.

  29. My prayer lately had been that I want to stop ” going through the motions” of life. This book sounds like a good start!

  30. Thank you for the advise. I have been looking for more missionary books to share with my kids. I will try these. I will also share on FB. Can you get these books in ebook form? I will take a look and see if I can answer my own question.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  31. We love YWAM books,but have not read Brother Andrew. I agree that we need to be living RADICAL, God has called us to be different and we need to make a difference. Thanks for this reminder.

  32. We just started reading one of these through our homeschool curriculum. I would LOVE to read one about someone still alive. I will certainly pray for you and family, and already pray for the Gems. Your blog is so very encouraging…I would so appreciate prayers that would even give me the DESIRE to live radically. This season seems to be one in which it seems rather radical that we’re merely SURVIVING! Thank you again for such encouragement – I lurk around here often, and wanted to tell you I adore the videos of Miss Ruby! Bless you!

    1. Thank you Lisa for stopping by!! I pray that you will begin to feel an urgency to live Radically for Jesus! Time is short! Get the book, if you don’t win, and dig in!! Brother Andrew’s words echo in my mind all the time now! We cannot wait around to figure out what to do! We must just START!

  33. I would love to read this book with my family. My kids and I have read many of these books, and so far George Mueller is my favorite, but they are all so very convicting.

    1. Wasn’t George Mueller an amazing man? That’s why we named our Elijah, Elijah Mueller. Such a man of faith!! And yes, they are so convicting! May we never settle for “comfortable”!

  34. I love books like this. So interested to read about Brother Andrew. I have heard of/or read about all of the other people you mentioned but haven’t heard of Brother Andrew. Love that God used this book to speak to you and your family at this time. May you continue to do radical things for the Lord until He calls you home! Love you friend!

    1. Well actually, the story may never fully be told publicly. We will have to see what the LOrd has in store! Attentive friends who stop by Our Place often will likely notice bits and pieces in the days ahead. Either way, we are full-steam-ahead and can’t wait!!

  35. This book sounds amazing! I will be praying for you and your family as you continue to live radical lives devoted to the Lord. Thank you for writing about your lives here. It is so encouraging and faith building for me. Fun thing I noticed- Liberty and I are super close in age! Too bad we don’t know y’all personally! Blessings.

    1. Oh how fun that you are close in age to Liberty!! You two would probably have a blast together!! She’s easy-going, laughs easily and a tremendous blessing to all who know her! I’ll bet you are too!!

  36. My favorite part of the MFW curriculum when homeschooling was being introduced to this series of books. I’m looking forward to hearing what your next step is. I’d love to read the Brother Andrew book to my family.

  37. We LOVE the YWAM books but actually have not read the Brother Andrew one yet.
    And May 11 is a very special day here too. 3 of my children were born on that day!
    Blessings from Maine!
    Jen

  38. Hi, We have the entire series and they are wonderful! We read them on road trips too. My husbands favorite is Sundar Singh…if you have not read their book on him, start it now. Each of the missionaries you mentioned were very interesting. I really have enjoyed them all, Paul Brand, working with the Lepers in India was really good too.
    We are currently reading their book on CT Studd. They are all wonderful books and all leave you feeling ashamed of how little you do for Jesus. I am asking God that very question now as CT spent 10 years in China, 10 years in India, and he is just getting to Africa where he is apparently best known for his work there. At this point in the book he is 50 and in poor health and feels God wants him to go to Africa…what is it that God wants me to do.
    Also, my Chinese daughter really enjoys them, especially the ones on China.
    God bless.

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