Crazy Love - chapter 1

God as a handy companion; God as someone I should think about once in a while.

For the longest time, that was my attitude towards the Creator of the universe.

What arrogance! And it still pops up sometimes, as I continue to suffer from "spiritual amnesia."

The first time I remember reflecting on God as a being to be feared was in second-year university, when our theme as a Christian fellowship was "facedown" -- based on John's vision in Revelation. It started to sink in that, in the Bible (a real book!), John (a real man!) was describing the throne room (a real place!) of a Holy God (a real reality - the realest thing that can possibly exist!).

A few years later, my pastor taught a series on "The Attributes of God." Though I grew up in the church, I had not ever truly meditated on each of God's incredible attributes. I was well exposed to the phrases of "God is love" and "God is wise" (we can learn many good things from Him). But holy? eternal? all-knowing? all-powerful? just? fair? I realized that my ignorance of those attributes had horribly stunted & narrowed my view of the Lord.

Are you staggered by His awesomeness?

Do you live your life with an awareness that every action/breath/thought is completed in the presence of the Almighty? When you pray and sing to worship Him, are you mindful of the majestic holiness of the One you are worshiping?

Oh, it is so easy to forget. I do, all the time.

By His grace though, I'm starting to understand more and more about why God gave us the Bible, gave us the church (Christian community), gave us the testimonies of other saints (believers) who have gone before us, gave us praise music to enjoy ... it seems that the more we surround and immerse ourselves in these things, the less distracted we become with the world, and the easier it becomes to blow off the fog and see reality = the Lord is God, I am not.

What are some things you do to help keep the majesty of God in focus from day to day? Share some suggestions for us to try, so we can help keep each other out of spiritual amnesia.
example - I find my mood really affected by music (especially song lyrics) so I try to make a point of filling my days with songs that have worshipful words. For instance, the song below was shared with me a few months ago, and just listening to it caused my heart to overflow with praise. It's like being in His throne room! Though I know it is but a shadow! Take a listen (surround sound/earphones if possible)... do you agree?

And here are some more helpful follow-up questions from the CL Study Guide --

Stop and think about the last prayer you voiced. How did you begin? Our Father? Dear Lord? Jesus? What word or phrase did you use to start the prayer? Now, take a minute and consider the prayer you prayed before that prayer. How did you begin? Same word or phrase? Different? Sorta different or radically different? If you begin all your prayers in much the same way, ask yourself why.

Take on this scenario: You’ve just seen Jesus. One of those courtroom sketch artists has asked you to physically describe what you just saw. What do you say? Be as specific as possible. Try and figure out the sources of some of your descriptions.


  1. Jonathan Kang2/24/2011 9:10 PM

    I'm beginning to realize how severe my spiritual amnesia really is. If I take the time to look back at my life thus far, there have been so many God moments and answered prayers that it's pretty shameful to think that I still complain to God on a daily basis. For example, after 20 years of praying, my family witnessed my dad finally coming to Christ a few years ago. As much as I am still amazed by this experience, I find it still easy to whine to God about how much traffic there is on my morning commute.
    But from reading CL, I see that even this way of thinking is really self-centered. Loving and worshiping God is not something that should stem from my gratefulness, but from simply how awesome God is.

    There are definitely moments when I am mindful of His majestic holiness in times of worship, but those moments seem to last as long as how long I can keep my mind off of school (which isn't very long).
    I'm still trying to figure out how to keep God's majesty in focus everyday, but I think Carmen's suggestion of Christian community is key.

    Maybe we can put impressive pictures of scenery everywhere (room, car, computer, phone, etc.) to remind us of His majesty? I don't know.

    Lately, I've been starting my prayers with a simple "God". I suppose this is a testament to my lack of acknowledging the awesomeness of God or a reflection of my laziness. =/

    The image of Jesus I have in my head is some mix between Jesus from The Passion of the Christ movie and the portrait of Jesus that hung in my grandmother's house. I'm not very good at describing faces... he has long brown hair and a beard.


  2. Hey Jon, thanks for the sharing (x2!). My roommate finds that suggestion (of putting scenery pictures everywhere) very helpful actually. If you want proof, take a look at our living room and kitchen. ;)

    I guess the point of the question about how you start your prayers is not to say there's a right/wrong way to go about it, but to reflect on whether you are simply saying something out of pure habit. In the video that comes with the "group study resource," Francis Chan talks about how he just said the same rote prayer growing up... the same 22 words over and over (i know because i prayed that SAME prayer when i was young!! it's in cantonese.) When we really put our heart into praying, God uses it to transform us... but that cannot happen if we pray robotically...

    hope this "community" approach will help you get all the way to ch.10 :)

  3. Jenny Lee (Mexico)2/27/2011 12:06 PM

    I try to journal every day, in the morning to garner strength and wisdom and peace from His Word and His presence, and at night, to reflect on He provided and to thank Him for His blessings that day.

    My housemate and I, when it's just me and her in the car (as my other housemate isn't a Christian), we pray the 10 mins it takes to drive to the school we teach.

    I have a rooftop patio here in Mexico, that faces the Sierra Madre mountains. So close that it's meditative to survey the mountains and realize His majesty again and again.

    In prayer, I find I do say the same couple names for God. Two years ago, the church I attended during university did a series on God's names, and that really opened up the variety of names that He has, and how limited I was in viewing Him, and how that affected the way I prayed.

    I find that certain verses will move me to focus on Him, especially from the Psalms.

  4. Hi my name is Esther. I am currently a teacher in Philadelphia. I was excited to read this book because of the title CL which was has not been characteristic of my Christian walk these days. I grew up in Christian household and accepted Christ at a young age. Even though it has been a blessing knowing Christ for so long, I have often took God for granted.

    As I have been reading this book, watching the video (galaxies), and going through my membership classes at church has been reminding me of how GREAT God is, how majestic, and awesome He is. Words could not do justice to descrbing how great He is. I remember my Dad telling me that in scripture, they would say "holy, holy, holy, is the Lord" and they would say "holy" 3 times since one was not good enough. Also in those times, they were not allowed to read the word "God, Lord, Christ" in the Blble since His name was too sacred.

    I only hope and pray that God would continue to expand my heart and mind to know Him and worship Him as fully as I can.

  5. I realize that I am not in awe nearly enough about God's attributes. So many other things crowd my mind from I wake up that I often forget about who God really is. I think that to remember God's majesty, the best thing for me to do sometimes is to get away from my surroundings. Whether it be taking a walk, leaving the library for a little bit, or just sitting at my desk, I realize how important it is to take breaks with God and actively set aside other distractions. Sometimes I guess it helps to just "get away from it all".

  6. Paul! I totally agree that nature just makes you stand in awe of Him. I, personally, LOVE the sky, any time of day. My bookmark for CL is a picture of the sky I took one beautiful clear blue day. We need to get outside more often.

    Jon! First off, PRAISE THE LORD, that your dad has come to know Christ. Thanks for sharing that with us. I start a lot of my prayers with "God" as well. I feel like it helps me to know how close God is at all times, the immediacy of his presence, that, like Esther said, we take for granted.

    Jenny...WOW, could you take a picture of those mountains and send it to us?

    I feel like we need to take a road trip out to Yosemite or the Grand Canyon this summer...any takers? :) Would love to go some day.

    I thought a lot about rights while reading this chapter - how much I protect them and build standards around them...and yet, in the end how building upon them is like building on sand. What rights do I think I have?? My prayer is that this question would surface for me each time I tighten my grip on them.


  7. AMEN to this post and to everyone's comments!! I too had never meditated and worshipped God simply for who He is... Until God changed my heart recently, I never understood who God is... Simply put, I never fell in LOVE with God. This was totally reflected in my love for the New Testament, especially books like Ephesians and Philippians. There are nice verses in there where I could follow some instructions and feel like an OK person at the end of the day haha

    BUT!!! I can't get enough of learning about God and just diving into His Word these days... I love this quote by RC Sproul that was in this chapter: "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God." WOW. It blows me away that our God, a God who is infinitely more wise/powerful/loving/holy can love us... we who are so INSIGNIFICANT and who constantly IGNORE Him...

    I also used to struggle with how we are to FEAR God because He is HOLY. I liked to picture God as my buddy, my friend, so I'd gloss over parts of the Bible that highlighted His hatred for sin/His jealousy/His anger. Now, knowing this, I can see how CRAZY it was for God to send His son so that He can reconcile our relationship with Him. CRAZY LOVE. For reals.

    I agree with everyone when they say that nature is such an amazing, daily reminder of God's handiwork. Honestly, I may gripe and whine (often unfortunately) about studying, but the human body has God's fingerprints ALL OVER IT and I like to remind myself that studying the body and its intricacies is a way to be awed by and to worship God. We still have so much to learn and so much we don't understand... which is nuts because people have been studying the human body for centuries! haha

    YES GNA! Let's go to Yosemite &/or the Grand Canyon!!! haha I'm down.

    <3 akim