I loved this chapter so lots to share from it . . .
"Faith is the willingness to look foolish." -- Think of Noah building an ark for years and years, the Israelites marching around the wall of Jericho with trumpets, Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water and so forth.
On page 151 the author states that "normality is overrated" and declares that we are called to be like Christ who was a nonconformer. Mark believes diversity should be celebrated in the church because God created this variety. We should not all seek to act, dress and think the same way. We are the body of believers ... and body parts differ greatly. Not all of us can be arms or toes or eyes.
Loved the part about the kingdom of God being "child-centric." Afterall Jesus did tell us we had to become as little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. (see pg. 155)
Page 156 includes an e-mail one of Mark's church members sent him regarding children. It was wonderful being reminded how children have so many dreams -- they want to be superheros or doctors or spies or astronauts when they grow up. However, as we get older we tend to stop dreaming, we embrace limits, "reality" some would say. But the woman says we "internalize limits ... [and] worse, we become small people with a small God." She asked what limits we are holding onto -- we are too old, don't have enough talent, not enough money, it's too weird. She reminded us that Jesus saw 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and saw a feast for thousands of people. Our God owns it all. We don't need to live limited lives. Dream. Live. Chase lions!
Pages 159 to 162 discuss David's utter joy and dancing before the Lord. How he was not afraid to look foolish in front of his people because he was doing this for God's eyes, not for humans' approval! Wow! Oh that I could live this way consistently and dare to look foolish for Christ's sake! The author says:
I think David gives us a picture of pure worship. Worship is disrobing. It is taking off those things outside our relationship with Christ that we find our identity and security in. It is a reminder that our royal robes are like "filthy rags." It's not about what we can do for God. It's about what God has done for us. And that understanding produces the greatest freedom in the world: having nothing to prove. Instead of trying to prove himself as the King of Israel, David was consumed with worshiping the King of Kings.
One of Mark's "core convictions" -- "Christ followers ought to be the most passionate people on the planet." (pg. 163)
Chapter 9 -- Unleash the Lion Chaser Within
"I have an unshakable sense of destiny because I know that as long as I pursue God's calling on my life, then God is ultimately responsible for where He wants me to go." (pg. 168)
Lion Chasing Skills
You have to start by trying to comprehend the infiniteness of God so that you can believe He can help you to defy the odds. You have to face your fears, or they'll hold you back forever. You have to learn to reframe your problems through Scripture reading, prayer and worship. Then you'll shift your perspective so that your problem becomes less significant and God's greatness becomes more evident. And remember, you must take risks. That is the essence of faith. Then you're ready to seize the opportunity. But you have to be able to see it to seize it. That means getting yourself in tune with the Holy Spirit. You have to listen to His still, small voice prompting you and believe that He is setting you up for success. And finally , you have to accept that you're going to look foolish sometimes. Chasing a lion usually looks pretty crazy to everyone else. But following Christ is doing the will of God no matter how foolish you look in the process. (pg. 169)
What lion is God calling you to chase?