Interrupted Chapter One – Let Me Hear From You?

Engage

“We spent every waking moment with Christians and all our efforts serving the ‘Already Convinced.’ We were so busy serving believers, in fact, that it never occurred to us to imagine a different way of not only doing church, but of doing life” (p. 15).

Has God ever “interrupted” your life? What were you doing when He did?

Encounter

“I can hear Jesus’ crazy words making sense: ‘Love your enemies.’ It’s harder to hate a rich country that is feeding you, adopting your orphans, building schools in your villages, and caring for your sick. It’s harder to dismiss the idea of a redeeming Christ when His followers are pouring their lives out for the last and least. It’s harder to hate the Christian church when her members are flooding developing countries with resources and compassion” (p. 26).

What method of sheep-feeding are you most familiar and comfortable with?

Do you think most of us take issues of mercy and justice seriously enough? Why or why not?

Express

“The truth is that in virtually every book in the Bible, God is screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least. It will not be enough to stand before Jesus one day and say, ‘Oh, were You serious about all that?’” (p. 19).

Reflect again on the statistics concerning the poor in the Interrupted member book (p. 22-23).

Do you spend your resources primarily on “you” or “them”? What is the balance supposed to be?

17 thoughts on “Interrupted Chapter One – Let Me Hear From You?

  1. Ok – Ouch! That kinda hurts! My natural instinct upon reading something that hurts is to stop reading, close the book, turn my head and walk away. Don‘t put myself through the pain if I don‘t want to endure it. I don’t like being uncomfortable (another great American attribute). Anyways – sheep feeding. Before I read what Jen had to say I would have told you that sheep feeding was a spiritual metaphor,. I believe in some cases it may be, but I would also agree with what she says – it is very literal. Hmmm – I like the aspect of it being literal. Again – sometimes I get uncomfortable, but really – how prideful is that? I mean come on – when was the last meal that you missed because you couldn’t afford to eat or find a friend or family member to feed you? And not because you were doing the starvation diet. Um, I say that has never happen to me. I remember being a little girl and my family was very poor. My mom would drive around from grocery store to store looking for something they had dumped in the garbage to feed her kids. Yet – we didn’t miss a meal. We hardly even hear of that anymore – not here in America. That‘s because based on the rest of the world – we are filthy, stinking rich!. I believe it’s because we chose not to hear. We don’t look hard enough for those sheep to feed. They are there, but we get uncomfortable and stop paying attention. We tend to extend mercy when it is convient and not when we are lead – even more so if we are out of our comfort zones. I am ashamed to say that “my” resources are spent on me first – my food, my shelter, my insurance, my, my my. WHAT? Shame on me. Lord, I want to hear from You – show me where to give and what to give. How easy is it to love those who love me in return? How hard is it to love those who do not love me in return? I have a hard time giving of my time and money and resources to those who don’t love me in return. When there is nothing in it for me, OUCH!!! (that’s the kind of ouch like falling off your bike in the middle of the summer onto the asphalt street wearing shorts and flip flops).

    1. I felt the same way reading. I just wanted to throw the book across the room. I mean, I teach bible studies for crying out loud. Isn’t that enough. It hit me hard how my total focus was on the spiritual feeding. That feeding is VERY important. It is just not the only thing. I think of Compassion Int. philosophy about how kids can’t learn (my paraphrase) while hungry. Meet those physical needs and then show the love of Jesus to them.
      I am glad to hear that we are in the same boat. Lots of ouches going along. I must say – you painted the best word picture for me = (that’s the kind of ouch like falling off your bike in the middle of the summer onto the asphalt street wearing shorts and flip flops). I copied it and put in my quotes book. You girl make me laugh in the midst of the conviction. It is so GREAT to have you hear doing Bible study. Now, when I can get you blogging, I will really be happy!

  2. I have just one more thing to add about feeding the sheep. Last night as I lay thinking about what Jen was talking about, I realized something else. I want to be open to God’s leading when He is clearly pricking my heart to give to or feed others. I always come up with this excuse “Well, Lord…’I’ have noticed how foolish that person is with their own money or resourses so I don’t want to “waste” mine on them. Don’t you think they should know better by now?” Jason and I have talked about this alot lately because then we tend to miss the opportunity that God has before us to give or feed someone else because of our own foolishness. Does that make sense? More recently, I have just been wanting to see what God can do, instead of what ‘I’ think that ‘I’ can do.

    1. I think you are right on here. I have decided that I too, talk myself out of doing stuff based on their responsibility. It is all going to have to come down to obedience. When God tells us to do something we do it – not based on their actions or if they deserve. However, ONLY through the constant communion and obedience to the Holy Spirit will we know what we are to do.
      If we just worry about being obedient when He says give or share this etc. We only become responsible for our part. God will handle what others do with our gifts – we handle what we do with our responsibility.
      With that said, for the bleeding hearts, let me caution us. There is a great book called, “When Helping Hurts” a must read for alleviating poverty. I don’t have much experience but I have found that working through our schools has been a great success here. The staff seem to really know what is going on with the families etc.

  3. I am putting Anique’s comment here – she posted it in the intro post. ** Bear with me – I am trying to figure out how logistically make this all work. 🙂

    My response was conviction. Being reminded of the interaction between Jesus and Peter. “Do you agape (unconditional love and committment) me?” Then again – “Do you agape me?” and the last reflects Peters own answer as if to say “do you even phileo (have a friendly love)me?” I could almost here the sigh in his question the 3rd time. Of course Peter was a teacher and in Acts we see so much of his renewed committment to Christ and his obedience to his call to “feed the lambs and sheep”. My conviction came with the Lambs portion. Baby new born believers. Am I taking the time to be there when they make a decision for Christ? Am I mentoring? Am I teaching? Am I meeting their needs? Many that come to Christ do so out of desperation for their current circumstance. They are lost, without food, widowed, orphaned and they live right next door. That was a thought that will require much pondering.

    I don’t know if I am posting this in the right place, but these were some of my thoughts on week 1. Anique

  4. Anique,

    Great comment.

    Let’s ponder this . . . Is Jesus referring to a physical or spiritual feeding? Or both? Is it two sides to the same coin? Or must one be done before the other.

    Let me here what y’all think?

    1. I believe that it is both. Jesus commands us numerous tmes to take care of the poor, feed the hungry, etc. so this passage is consistent to that command. And sometimes there is an order. There will be times when “an empty stomach has no ears,” and therefore physical nourishment is essential before any kind of spiritual feeding can take place. There are other times when we can feed spiritually in spite of the circumstances because we know that the Word of God does not return void.
      Regardless of the order, I do believe Jesus is telling us in this passage to do both.

      1. I was just reading Matt. 10 and I looked up Warren Wiersbe’s Chapter by Chapter commentary. He says “Christ wants us to give freely to others. The apostles had power to do miracles. but even giving a cup of cold water is service to the Lord.(v.42) EVERYTHING we have is a gift from God (I John 3:27; 1 Cor. 4:7) and must be shared lovingly with others. We must live by faith and trust Him to provide.)
        I am being constantly reminded that He wants our everything for His everyones!!

      2. I know this is way past but God still is pressing me about this. I need to ask for your prayers as we open our door to a friend of one of the boys whose parents have split. He went to church with us and praise God wants to go back! I heard a message and wanted to share with you and ask your thoughts… Before He can send me out into the world, I first have to open my door.

  5. So week one of this book has as Jen said in her video ruined me! I have not been ok or content with the way church has been done for some time. I am reminded that in order to be the CHURCH we must extend outside of our buildings walls. For some time I have felt God asking me,”Do you look any different than the rest of the world?” My life was offically interrupted about 10 months ago when as a small group we decided to take sack lunches out to the homeless community. Before that day I dont think I had any compassion for the hungry hurting people I encountered. I had always just looked the other direction. As my husband and I walked away from the first person we encountered i sobbed, my heart hurt for their pain. We had our children with us that day and my oldest daughter asked, “why are you crying”? I didn’t even have words to describe what was going on inside of me. As the day progressed our children actully got out of the car and shared love at their level. On the way home I looked into the backseat to find my oldest daughter sobbing. At that moment she understood.

    I struggle a lot these days with what my response will be if His return is today.

    As far as my resources, this one stinks! Because of bad choices and selfishness in the past we don’t have a lot of resources. We are working to get out of debt so we have more to give. Bottom line is though most of our resources go to us even if it is literally paying for our past.

    1. Yes, I think I am ruined too. Brad and I keep talking about how WE are the church. What are WE going to do to personally look different. I love how God has put a group of ladies together that He has already begun ‘interrupting’ in many different ways. In the end, it is a passion to fully live for Jesus. To do whatever He asks for whomever He asks us to serve.
      Brad and I are also trying to get to a place where we can give more freely. I think you have described most of America. We have been convicted that we live right up to the paycheck each time and want to have more to be able to give to the church and to others. To stop spending so much on ourselves!! Dave Ramsey and his cash program have been a big help to us!
      Love you girl!!

  6. Hi ladies! Sorry I am so late in posting this. I really didn’t want to rush through what the Lord was teaching me, so figured better late than never ;).
    Engage – has God ever interrupted my life. Yes indeedy!!! I honestly can’t say that there is a particular moment that sticks in my mind, but I do know that He has been so faithful in His leading of me when I was going down other paths. I know that if I am open to the Spirit’s leading, He will continue “interrupting” my life for His glory and purpose. Praise!
    Encounter – oh nellie, isn’t this a tough one. The method of sheep-feeding I’m most familiar and comfortable with is discipleship, but shame on me, it’s within the church. Not that there’s anything wrong with iron strengthening iron, but I do have to honestly say, I don’t step out of it enough. I do not take the issues of mercy and justice seriously enough and that makes me so sick to even verbalize that. Yes, I believe in what the Word says, the hurt that I see, and how we as a church are called to honor the Lord in our response to that, but as far as do I do that in a way that shows I am SERIOUS, I mean business, no. Yuck.
    Express – This, again, is such a tough one. My resources are spent almost entirely on me. I can make a bunch of reasons for that being the sole provider for a family of four, the struggles we face with that, the bad decisions in the past (amen Jenn) that have led to additional difficulties now, but when I look at the statistics of “me vs. them” I am humbled by how blessed I am. Brad posted on his fb the other day about how he’s never missed a meal, and neither have I. I have struggled, but I haven’t REALLY struggled to the point that we were going to die. I think it was in here (I read a lot so get a bit confused what comes from where) about the degree of obesity in America yet there is starvation going on everywhere. It’s ridiculous. My oldest daughter humbled me so much one day when I said we couldn’t do something because we were poor (and I said it off the cuff) and she said, no mom, we’re not poor. There are millions of people who are truly poor. We just don’t have tons of money. Likewise, a girl I know won’t let her kids say “we’re starving” because she has taught them that there are truly starving people out there. I pray that the Lord will continue to bring this disparity to light in my life and my heart and that the balance of my giving and serving would be reflective of that.
    Love all of you ladies (even the ones that I don’t know) and pray for all of us, the amazing things that the Lord is going to show to us and how He is going to use us for the glory of His kingdom through this study. Awesome stuff!!

  7. I too, am a bit late posting – so sorry! Actually this very week I have been “interrupted”. It’s such a lengthy story, I hate to even go into it, but it has to do with investing in a family – not with my money, but more with my time and emotions. I know that the first section of this book talks a lot about feeding the poor and giving of financial resources and I too had immediate feelings of selfishness and guilt as I read. I literally thought, “I think I’ll bail on this study.” I am in the same boat financially as far as reaping the crop of bad decisions (it’s almost harvest time though praise the lord!) but I think that this goes much deeper than our pockets – it’s also about how we spend our time and emotions. God reminded me that the family I am investing in is “poor” in many areas – maybe not financially but definitely spiritually. I can give a poor person money all day, but if I don’t give them Jesus what difference does it really make?! Okay, little rabbit trail…so, I was going to throw in the towel on this study – too much guilt. BUT GOD: He showed me some things that have already been mentioned in your comments (don’t you love confirmation?!) He reminded me that the great commandment is to love God and love people (side note: Mark Batterson’s book Primal approaches the great commandment like NOTHING I have ever seen…I highly recommend the read it’s SO good!) To love God is to know God. We must, must, MUST know who God is and who we are because of Him. If I look at those statistics in that book it’s overwhelming. What can little ol’ me do to help? God showed me that I can’t help them all (whew!) and He’s not asking me to (double whew!) All He’s asking of me is to be AWARE and ALERT! I need to realize how blessed I am and be thankful for what I have, and I need to be aware of the needs of those less fortunate than me. So, I must first be aware and then I must be alert and ready to act on His voice at any moment in my day. How can I hear His voice if I don’t KNOW him. I have to be so in tune with His Spirit or I am bound to miss an opportunity. I certainly don’t want to miss an opportunity. I want to do what the father says do and I want to go where He says go. I guess I should answer at least one of the questions – I am just going to throw it out there because my opinion is a little different on my thoughts on the passage Jen references with Peter and Jesus – It’s obvious that Jesus refers to literally feeding the poor in many passages in the Bible. My personal opinion on this particular passage is that it is not literal because if it were totally literal it would mean that Jesus had some sheep out back that needed feeding. I have a hard time thinking that a passage of scripture can be be partially literal and partially spiritual. I think it’s either one or the other. I could be wrong, sometimes I get frustrated trying to figure it all out! : ) Most of the time Jesus talked in parables and it seems like he did that much more than He talked in a very literal sense. NOW, I do believe that God used this passage to spark something in Jen’s spirit about feeding the poor – I am not knocking that at all. I think what she describes in the book is a personal revelation that ignited something in her. That’s just my opinion – don’t stone me : ) I am excited to continue on the journey with you girls! Wow, I didn’t even know I could talk that much…maybe I should start blogging ha!

    1. Oh how I wish we were all able to sit around and talk. We are for sure going to have to plan a “skype” night. I love to hear what y’all have to say. It is awesome.
      Now, let’s think about this. We aren’t discussing a social gospel here. The one purpose that we are left here on this Earth is to show the world who HE is. Jesus left us with the Great Commission – go and make disciples of all nations. That is clear. My question is . . . does what we do and spend our money on affect the way we “show” the world who He is? Do the statistics of the poor in America really need to cause us alarm? If we are sharing the gospel and discipling others – is that enough? What really is required of us?

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