After six years of living by faith and attempting to share the results, I am unconvinced that it’s any easier to outwardly express the pain of a difficult moment than it is to live by faith through that moment.
Mainly because seeking comfort is logical (the unspoken rule of popular Christian culture), while seeking the will of God at any cost is not. So for those with the task of publicly displaying their burdens in the name of encouragement, the risk is great that some who hear will simply not listen beyond their own understanding, and miss the point entirely.
But for the sake of those who will truly listen – for the sake of those who recognize that God will never say “Well done my good and financially secure servant” – we will continue to take that risk unflinchingly, and to seek His will at any cost by aiming to emulate the heroes of faith, rather than simply quoting them.
To that end, I believe it is necessary to continue by sharing the struggles we’ve faced since the launch of The Extravagant Fool, five months ago. As there have been moments for my wife and I that seem utterly cruel on the surface, but in the end have increased our trust in God so dramatically, that His presence has become as discernable in our home as an additional member of our family.
Thanks in advance for listening.
It’s a heckuva thing to walk into a bookstore, see your own name and title on the shelf – knowing that its message is encouraging people all over the world – and chuckle at the bitter irony of not being able to buy even a single copy for yourself, or more importantly, not being able to buy even a single bag of groceries for your family.
It’s a heckuva thing to receive phone calls of praise from powerful people – those who sell millions of books, and those who show up in movies – while reflecting on the fact that your son’s wedding is three days off, and you don’t have enough gas in your tank to get to there.
And it’s a heckuva thing indeed to carry these heartbreaking moments around, knowing you’ve done your Father’s will, but feeling like that kid who’s been sent to his room the one and only time he didn’t deserve it.
Just after the book launched in May, as people began buying and being challenged, encouraged, and even transformed by it (with hundreds of good reports stretching from our own backyard, to Canada, and the U.K.) the fiery darts of the enemy – betrayal, false accusations, and financial upheaval – began to fly relentlessly against our mind, will, and emotions, to discourage, depress and fatigue our position as living-proof-witnesses – that intimacy with God –is– worth any price.
And without warning or explanation:
- Several close friends who’d declared the book a transformational read, and offered their full support, suddenly did an about-face, and severed all contact with my family.
- We lost our income when I was fired by my wealthy employer, who, after reading my book, questioned its validity, and referred to it and me as ridiculous, and delusional.
- By email I received additional accusations, character assassinations, and even a few threats, including one from an angry individual announcing that he was going to “hunt me down” after one of his family members who’d heard our story, decided to step out in faith.
- A dear friend who’d planned on retaining my services for a writing project was forced to postpone it indefinitely when a devastating fire occurred in her home just days before the work was set to begin. She and her family were unharmed, but it left them with months of costly reconstruction, and left us with no extra income to help fill the gaps.
- We lost the ability to cool our home in the nearly 100 degree summer heat, when inexplicably, all four of our A/C units (two main, and two wall units) stopped working within days each other.
All of which resulted in a temporary downward spiral of no income, dwindling resources, and the inability to use my office to work, write, or help promote the book. And ultimately, the inability to pay for our basic needs such as electricity, health insurance, car repairs and even food.
It’s a heckuva thing this journey of faith, not only in taking each step with a total dependence on God, but in the task of remaining credible witnesses by sharing the experience – warts and all – with everyone.
Some call it foolishness; we call it faith – the paradoxical dividing line between all that pleases God, and all that cannot. On one side we see a fool who claims to be led by God, yet he can barely afford to eat. On the other we see a God who makes fools into authors, and then requires them to continue practicing what they preach.
It’s a heckuva thing indeed, with a price tag that is hard to concede. Unless, of course, we first believe that there is no risk when we fully allow the Spirit of God to lead.
Plenty of good news about what God has done these last few months, what we have learned from it, and where He is leading the journey of The Extravagant Fool – The funny red book that takes the risk of irritating some, for the sake of inspiring, encouraging, and offering hope to an entire culture of believers. Come along and see what happens next.
For a free preview of the book, Chapter One is available at Amazon and Extravagant Fool.com by clicking the “Book Preview” tab.
For updates, please join us at our Website, Twitter, Facebook/Kevin Adams, and Facebook/Extravagant Fool.
Kevin, your story continues to inspire me, you have incredible faith and incredible guts both of which I admire very much…stay on your path…
Thank you for the encouragement! It really helps! God bless you.
Very Good, only when God calls someone to come IN His Holiness with Christ, that believer can see the Truth of God. My experience is that no one can experience Truth of God really witout going the Way of Faith and loose everything first…
Thank you Cornelius for taking time to share and encourage. After six years of this journey, I would have to agree that we can only be credible witnesses of His goodness by fully depending upon it alone, and by experiencing it, firsthand. Thank you and God bless you!
I can’t wait to see what God does next in your story. You and your family are so inspiring. Stay the course.
Thanks my friend! We have much to be thankful for, and I will be sharing those things as well, coming up. You are and have been a true blessing of encouragement!
Truly inspiring, I’m so blessed and encouraged as I’m also serving God and living by faith in him to supply all my needs, God bless you.
Thanks brother, I believe God is waking up His body for radical intimacy with Him. The cost is authentic faith, but the rewards are beyond expression. Let us both keep going! Blessings to you!
…hmmmmm…let’s see, is attack (in this case) spelled with a big “A” or a small one
Amen John, and that is exactly how we see it. Thanks for the reminder. There is much good news to share also, but in the name of integrity, we have to first share the difficulties (attacks) as well. God bless you my friend!
I understand completely. My husband and I have and are living the same way right now. The betrayal of friends over something you right, the slander, the no income – (our family was freezing with no heat), but it is all done in the name of sharing Christ with the drug addicted and homeless. Long story, but I know what you are going through. One thing I know, is that God will make all of this beautiful in ways that we can’t even imagine – and when we look back, we will be able to say that walking by faith was worth it all! Keep encouraged!
Thank you Kristen, and amen! We are constantly reminded that childlike faith, most often requires courageous patience. I’m sure the heroes of scripture would agree. God bless you. And let us both keep going with joy, just as He leads!
Reblogged this on Coffee With God.
Hi Kevin! Leaving us hanging to hear the rest, huh? 😉 You have skills for fiction, my friend! Can’t wait to hear the rest and will step up my prayers for you and your family. We should email soon. I would like to ask you a question. (That’s my suspense fiction side coming out too!)
Fiction huh – why not? 🙂 Yes! Of course! Lets catch up! Thanks you for your continued love, encouragement, and prayers for us, my friend. You are a blessing. Will email.
I’m sorry for what you are going through. God will vindicate you in His time. I know the pain of the wait. I know the pain of the want. I know the pain of the insults and financial struggles. Praying you continue to shine your light even in what might feel like darkness in your own circumstances. Thank you for your faithfulness and obedience. Praying for you all.
Thank you Susan, I know you can truly identify, and therefore your prayers are coveted. And He is at work in incredible ways even as we speak! Hoping to share this as well over the coming weeks. God bless you my dear friend.
Reblogged this on LaTanya A. Davis.
Kevin, I am so encouraged by your story. I thought about 1 Cor 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness … for they are folly to him, and he cannot know [them] because they are spiritually discerned. I’ve been walking by faith for the last two years, just putting one foot in front of the other. Count it all joy!
Amen LaTanya! That is exactly it. We are pleased to walk with Him at any cost and to count the process as joy, knowing He is tutoring us by the Spirit for the good of others. And honestly, without a measure of suffering, there is no cross to pick up, and therefore would be no value to our words of faith. Please stay in touch, much more on the way – good news! Blessings to you!
you are so right–it can be a tough call to live under Gods control–it cost his son his death and his disciples suffered greatly–of course there were others that we do not know about–like the jailkeeper or others but never the less leaving our selves in Gods hands is the only way to fly for eternal values.
Thank you Kenneth, your words are very encouraging. And even regarding the breakthroughs, it’s funny how scripture is filled with victories that came only at the behest of logic. Something we all need to pay close attention to. God bless you.
Keep up the good fight brother. Our story is similar and some call it foolishness. Your blog encourage me! Thank you friend.
Thank you Richard! Keep going! All God wants is radical intimacy (sonship), and for us to rest in His arms like happy children.
Faith is the essence of things hoped for… as you said, you must come to place where nothing is more important (even food) than doing His Will. Praying for you and with you for God to get the glory.
Thank you so much Rachel – that is our deepest desire and prayer. God bless you.
Reblogged this on Anglican, Plain: My Life and the History of the World and commented:
“Mainly because seeking comfort is logical (the unspoken rule of popular Christian culture), while seeking the will of God at any cost is not. So for those with the task of publicly displaying their burdens in the name of encouragement, the risk is great that some who hear will simply not listen beyond their own understanding, and miss the point entirely.”
Thank you Julie for helping us spread the word! God bless you!
Excited to read your new post! Faith vs Foolishness is a very thought provoking idea. As you are familiar with in the movie “Faith Like Potatoes” there is a line that reads -there is a thin line between Faith and foolishness… and I believe there is a lot of truth to this. Foolishness in this context is being “LUKE WARM” – not being able to understand the true definition of Faith and relying on the worldly definition which turns it into Foolishness and creates fear. People who see an authentic walk with God as foolishness are driven by fear and Faith is much stronger than fear! Your book is an authentic expression of Faith and I see your faith growing even stronger in the “now” and beyond and looking forward to more posts. His mystery is just as important as His revelation! (2 Timothy 3:10-17 comes to mind, Paul final charge to Timothy)
Thanks Rob! Funny how our culture of comfort sees total dependence on God as risky, and quite often, unnecessary, while at the same time views wisdom as the fear of everything but the Lord. God bless you my friend, and thanks for you encouragement!
Kevin – my wife gave me your book yesterday and I just finished reading it. I appreciate the story God is telling through the life of your family and it hits very (very) close to home. Your book has been an encouragement and undoubtedly will touch people many of whom you will never hear from or know of. Our job is to obey first and understand later…right 😉
Wow, Dylan, I cannot express how deeply encouraging your thoughts are to me! Thank you for taking time to read the book, and for reminding us that He is at work in ways we may never get to see. Thanks for being a light! And stay tuned, there is much good news to share in upcoming posts. God bless you!
Kevin ~ like the autumn spices and fragrances of cinnamon, nutmeg and hazelnut, may the pressing and crushing all believers in Christ experience, be a wonderful taste and aroma of Jesus to those we come in contact with. We are among the great cloud of witnesses. Keep the faith. Jesus is the prize.
Chris, you always have a way, brother. Thank you my friend for such an eloquent reminder of truth. His fragrance. You are a continued blessing to me and my family.
Wow! Even when we know there is an enemy hunting us down, we underestimate the attack. Thank you for your honest post! Our family is going through some similar attacks after stepping out in faith in a huge way. We’ve seen God do amazing things, but are still on the edge of the chasm looking into the abyss of uncertainty. But we are certain of who God is and his love and care for us. Your post is so timely and encouraging. It reminds me to be excited that the enemy wouldn’t feel the need to attack if we weren’t walking well in faith, and that God has a plan to overcome every situation or redeem it for good no matter how dire it appears. Praying for your family. Thank you!!
Thank you Laura, for you faith as well as you encouragement. Holly and I have begun to look at the “uncertainty” as an adventure. And in that, we have much more to share about His goodness in the coming weeks. Thank you for taking time to share with us, and to join us in prayer. You are a sincere blessing.
Just found your blog today (because you followed me on Twitter). I love your message even if I don’t agree with you completely on all points. I apologize if you have heard this before, but one source of inspiration that I have received n my own life of holding to a life of faith over logic is a song that came out many years ago. It’s by Michael Card, and it’s called God’s Own Fool. It could easily be the theme song for your work.
I’ll post the lyrics here for your enjoyment. You can listen to the song on Youtube..
Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to man
He must have seemed out of His mind
Even His family said He was mad
And the priest said a demon’s to blame
But, God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane
We in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
We in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well
So come lose your life for a carpenter’s son
For a madman who died for a dream
And You’ll have the faith His first followers had
And you’ll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Find the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see
So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well
Thank you so much for taking time to read the post and offer those lyrics. They are a great reminder of 1 Corinthians 3:18 – the theme of my book, and burden for all the sleeping giants within the body. God bless you.
Kevin, rooting for you, brother–there’s a reason it’s called a faith journey and not a faith saunter, eh? ;>) There are a few parallels in my own faith journey: http://mitchteemley.com/2014/09/02/why-i-believe-part-one/ Praying for–even more–great things for you!
I thank God his ways are not our ways and he is above understanding. I have to remember that when I start to question “where is the love” among those who claim to love God. We all want ” benefits” without sacrifice. When we are faithful in the hard times ( no need for that kind of faith in the time of plenty, right? ) we get to experience Gods faithfulness, peace, comfort and joy in ways the world doesn’t and can’t understand … YET, but by being the living example we can continue to live the life we were called by the Power of the Holy Spirit in us… And that produces much JOY. You know what that is. Through each struggle and triumph may we become more like Jesus. Such a timely read for me. Continue to step out in obedience , many lives depend on it! Gods richest blessings to you and your family… And yes he will bless abundantly!
Awesome testimony! My husband and I are on a similar journey! My husband, after leading worship for more than 16 years, felt God calling us to Birmingham from our hometown 2 hours away. (You can read about that in my blog; Faith Without Borders) We took paycuts, lost friends and moved away from everyone and everything we have ever known to obey the voice of God. It has been a faith building move for sure!! We love it and are excited for the journey ahead!
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