What Is Sacrifice?

I’m making my way back home from speaking at a pastor’s conference in Bangledesh. This has been a “quick trip”, considering that getting to Bangledesh can be a 30hour journey with a 12 hour time change – so no travel to Bangledesh is a in reality a “quick trip.” When I was deciding about this trip, I was weighing the cost of the trip, not only financially, but the cost of time, impact to my family & Spring Break time together – sacrifices.
With all these considerations, I felt in my heart that I needed to join this conference – a very unique opportunity to meet Christian leaders in a Muslim country & hopefully encourage & minister to them. And in light of our new nightcare in Bangledesh, I felt that this opportunity would also be strategic & a great way to begin some important relationships for the future.
Before I left for this trip, most of what I felt was a mix of hope, anticipation & sacrifice. Now that I’m returning home, I recognize the sacrifice to be sure. But getting to team up with Holy Spirit to minister to such incredible leaders has left me astounded. Additionally, I experienced some progress on some questions in my heart. And I sense a significant green light from God about Saving Moses growing in our nightcare work throughout this region of the world. Yes this trip was a sacrifice & I’m physically very tired. I’m also very awestruck with God’s generosity that counteracts the sacrifices that we make. I’m very thankful.

Be Available

Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people on two occasions because of availability. On each occasion, everyone was in dire straights, but Jesus came through with a miracle of plentiful provision based on the simple principle of using what was available. Jesus used a meager few fish & loaves of bread, the provision that they had, along with His disciples as distribution agents. I would speculate that maybe one or two of the disciples thought it was crazy to be sent to feed thousands of people with such a paltry provision & yet because they were available, Jesus worked His miraculous provision through their available hands & feet. Jesus prayed for the provision & then told His disciples to go & give
Seems to me that the same principles apply to us today. Jesus merely asks us to be available & then to go & give. 

Watch this video of some magnificent peeps recently who did exactly what Jesus said & multiplied His love by being available:  

love, love and more love :D

I was talking with a friend yesterday & we were talking about our husbands & kids with their different love languages.  I found it helpful to remember to express love to others based on what is meaningful love to them and not just the kind of love that I like.  With this in mind, I decided to do a brief summary of Gary Chapman’s love languages here that you might find helpful.  We all have different ways in which we easily receive or feel that we are loved (we tend to give the kind of love that we want to receive).  With this in mind, here are the love languages that Gary presents:

  • gifts:  the person with this love language likes to receive gifts & when someone gives them something, it is super powerful & meaningful to them
  • quality time:  the person with this love language likes to be with a person they love be that in quality conversation, activities (sports, hiking, shopping), etc
  • acts of service:  the person with this love language likes to do nice things for the people they love (run errands, clean, help with their kids, get fuel, etc)
  • touch:  the person with this love language likes to touch, snuggle, hold hands, . . .
  • words of affirmation:  the person with this love language likes to give / receive encouragement, affirmation, atta boy, etc

Clearly, this is nothing more than a brief summary, but hopefully it helps us to love with greater authenticity & with less manipulation 🙂

pervasive love

  I had a really cool conversation with a friend last night & we were talking about having a deep & close walk with God.  As we were talking, I was thinking about the immensity of God’s love for us.  Sometimes I think we have a hard time recognizing God’s love for us because we are accustomed to experiencing human love, which has lots of flaws, shortcomings & distortions.  I think that God’s love for us is of such infinite, pure & outrageous quality that we often neglect to observe & certainly experience His love because we are so used to the human distorted love that is commonly expressed in our world. 

Most certainly God does express His love to us through various relationships we have, but we must be careful not the confuse the person for the Source.  God is perfect love & He loves us perfectly even though we are unable to comprehend His love.  Perhaps part of why we sometimes struggle with God’s love is because we try to understand it with our mind rather than also letting ourselves experience His love with our hearts.  And one of the most grand adventures that I have experienced so far, is letting God love others through me – now that’s better than snowboarding, paragliding in China, watching nests of flying fish in Africa or anything else 🙂