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The Next Chapter

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The Next Chapter

A couple of years ago, Holly and I had the privilege of buying our first home. The move was a culmination of years of planning, saving, and praying. Ever since, a strange thing has happened to me. The act of buying a home has somehow aged me by 20 years.

Since 2013, I’ve become the textbook suburban guy. Where I used to spend my Saturdays hanging out with friends, now I spend them mowing the lawn and waving to my neighbors as they walk by. In the summer months, we even hang out in our rocking chairs on the front porch. It seems like just yesterday I was worrying about my next term paper or exam. Now, I’m wondering about which retirement plan would be best. My life is completely preoccupied by oil changes, bills, projects at work, and HOA board meetings.

When Holly and I bought our home, we didn’t just land in any suburb. We moved to the suburb of all suburbs – McKinney, TX. Last year, Forbes Magazine ranked our city the #1 place to live in all of America. We’re just 30 miles from downtown Dallas but our city has the type of small town feel you’d expect from a Norman Rockwell painting or one of those divorced-from-reality movies on the Hallmark Channel. Our town is absolutely pristine and, if you’d like, it’s completely possible to forget about life outside our malls, downtown shops, and larger-than-life homes.

It’s a completely sanitized world. It’s also… small. Too small.

Over the past several months, I’ve become increasingly convicted by this. I live in the mother of all comfort zones, yet I serve a God who increasingly calls his people away from such a lifestyle. I come from a spiritual heritage of men and women who gave their lives in service to Christ. Today, Christians in places like the Middle East and India continue in their footsteps. But when you compare our suburban concerns to the priorities of God’s Kingdom, there is an obvious disconnect.

Hiding the Obvious

When we’re completely honest with ourselves, most of us would admit we understand this problem but the reality of changing course is incredibly difficult. It requires a complete rearranging of our priorities. Yet, we love God and we want to serve him so we find every other possible way to express it. We attend endless Bible studies over the week, raise awareness for important causes (whatever that means), and give a little extra money every Christmas to the poor. But there is a problem with all of these solutions.

Discipleship isn’t measured in knowledge but obedience. And God doesn’t want what’s left over. He wants it all. Even more, raising awareness for causes doesn’t help much if no one does anything about them. In other words, we’re ignoring God’s commands and offering him something he never asked for as a consolation prize. We’ve reduced the cause of Christ to entertaining worship experiences, eloquent sermons, and small-group discussions.

But is this really obedience?

A New Journey (And an Invitation)

This has been an issue on my heart for a while now. It’s something that I’ve found deeply convicting, yet I’m not sure exactly how to respond. In my gut, I don’t believe I’m alone either. So this marks a new chapter in this blog.

After a year of silence, I’m back and this is the issue I want to tackle. It’s going to be a journey and I have no idea where it’s leading but I invite you to join me. It won’t always be this heavy, though it’s an important subject. We’ll discuss some funny quirks about our Christian culture here in America. We’ll also tackle some major blind spots too. We’ll look at how this effects a number of issues – from the idea of calling to our political engagement.

Though it may seem like it, this won’t be a scathing rebuke of American Christianity. We have more than enough of that. Rather, it will be a chance to think seriously about our practices as a Church and contrast them to the commands in Scripture. Not everyone who reads this needs to repent the same way I do. This isn’t about throwing everyone in the same defendant’s chair. Rather, it’s an honest, sober discussion.

I invite you to be a part of the conversation. You can sign up to receive email updates, join the discussion on social media, or comment right here on the blog. However you choose to engage, I pray you’ll help craft the discussion. This can’t just come from one voice. It needs yours too.

Discuss: Where are you in all of this? Where are the blind spots God is revealing to you?

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