Sunday, December 29, 2013


A few days ago I was reminded once again of one of the greatest nicknames in all of human history. In the Gospel of Mark 3, we can read a synopsis of Jesus calling the 12 disciples. If you are like me, the disciple you can relate to the most is Simon Peter- because he was as big a screw-up as we are, yet Jesus built the church on his faith. I would love to be a Simon Peter. But also among the 12 are the brothers James & John, the sons of Zebedee. Let me press pause and say that if the story ended there, James & John would already be awesome, because Zebedee may be the best name ever! I would have fought to name my son Zebedee, but I enjoyed living with my wife and didn't want to spend all of my time praying to the patron saint of lost causes. Still, just being the sons of Zebedee would have been cool enough. But Jesus gave them a nickname that transformed them into rock stars. He called them "Boanerges," which means Sons of Thunder. While no explanation is given in scripture, it is assumed by scholars (and me!) that this nickname was a reference to their bold and zealous personalities - illustrated by a later incident in which they wanted to "call down fire from heaven" to destroy the people of a Samaritan village who had refused to allow Jesus and His apostles to pass through on their way to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-56). These guys knew what it meant to be passionate for Jesus. They had the fire in their eyes.

And clearly their Master knew this. James & John were always there (along with Peter) when Jesus needed his "inner circle." James would go on to be the first of the disciples to be martyred (Acts 12:2) and John would write his "revelation" from prison on the island of Patmos. These were men who gave their lives to Christ, not just in word, but in deeds- in big, honkin', passionate deeds. 

Beginning in January of 2014 I am going to begin a new series on this blog that will focus on what it could mean to our lives to live out that kind of faith. To be bold. To take risks. To pray to be used by God more often than we pray for safety from this world. To understand that following Jesus can lead us in to danger as much at is protects us from it. We are going to explore #DangerDays. We should focus on becoming believers who understand that following Jesus is everything, and who heed the multiple commands found in scripture to FEAR NOT! We need to seek to understand that being a people of love, grace and peace is not a weakness, but a bold stance for our Savior in this world we live in. Being a modern day Daughter of Thunder should create a radical presence for Jesus in our communities, and make us passionate thorns in the side of the institutional church. You see, so many in the church are spending time fighting with our culture that they have forgotten that the real battle is with ourselves. We need to sell out for Jesus! The #DangerDays series (complete with guest bloggers- I'l love for YOU to be one!) will be all about risk-taking and being bold- just like those first disciples. I know I am not alone in my desire to step out in faith in new and exciting ways. Jesus is looking for more folks (male & female!) with the cajones to call down fire from heaven when the occasion calls for it. Making the decision to follow Jesus and not just "do church" is in itself a risk. Your boldness may offend your neighbors and other Christians. The love and grace you offer to others may baffle them. You may be called upon to sacrifice for the cause. You almost certainly will be called upon to love people that others in the church have labeled unlovable. But when it comes to following Jesus, I am ready to take some chances and make some noise. I want to bring the thunder...

So let's make 2014 a year of living dangerously. Let's make #DangerDays not just something we can "deal with," but days where we actively seek risk in the name of Jesus. Let's be radicals for Christ. The 1st century Sons of Thunder helped turn their world upside down. A modern version could do the same. If you're interested in sharing in this adventure (including being willing to write a guest post for the blog series), leave me a comment and let me know. We can pray for one another that God will open our hearts to new risks and new dangers. Seriously. It's going to be a wild ride. And we're going to have AWESOME t-shirts...

Because of Jesus,

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