sacrifice

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.

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Driven or Directed?

I desperately want to be led by the Holy Spirit, in every area of my life – my decisions, conversations, priorities, relationships, etc. If I’m honest, however, sometimes I’m more driven than directed.
For me, here are some key indicators that I’m being flesh driven rather than Spirit led:

  • my flesh tends to dictate my actions.
  • my perspective gets very self-absorbed.
  • I can be more results oriented than relationship attentive – achievements become more important than connecting with people.
  • Fear often dilutes any expression of genuine love from me.
  • I become more consumer minded rather than thinking how to be generous.

Let’s be careful that we stay in Step with the Spirit & not controlled by our flesh 🙂
Be sure to pre-order my newest book about how to stay In Step with the Holy Spirit!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Happy 4th of July!

I love America!  I love our heritage, roots and history.  I love the way we celebrate our nation on this day with hot dogs, barbecues, baseball, fireworks, watermelon, grilling, swimming and the stars and stripes.  We live in a wonderful country!

I know this because I am extremely fortunate to get to travel around the world and I see nations that are very different than ours.  I go to nations where the absence of freedom is normal.  I visit nations where it can be dangerous to express a dissident opinion.  I visit regions where being a woman is a burden of survival in the most depolorable conditions.

We live in a very great nation and today we celebrate freedom, one of the core values on which our nation was founded.  May we also recognize that freedom is tethered to responsibility.  Without maintinaing responsibility, our freedoms will erode and become an elusive memory.  We are a great nation today because of the sacrifices made in the past.  This makes me pause to consider if we are making sacrifices today that will keep us great in the future.

Let’s be sure that we continue to pray for America 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, listen, living, prayer, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Memorial Day

Every year we take a day to remember Veterans & Military service folk who have & continue to serve our country. We can look back over the history of our nation & find heaps of heroes whose sacrifices have contributed to making a great nation. Such sacrifices have included laying down their lives, spending time away from families, doing hard work in awful situations & lots more. I’m altogether grateful for such sacrifices because I live in the freedoms & benefits these hardships earned. 
Let’s remember these individuals today with honor & gratitude, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, our ultimate hero. 

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, Jesus Chix, living, prayer, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Looking for Love

  
I think it’s part of our human experience to have a desire to be loved. We want to be valued, appreciated, recognized, affirmed . . . . not only for what we do, our looks, our talents, achievements & more. We went to be loved for who we are.  
While I’m more than grateful for the many wonderful people who have been in my life from infancy until today, let’s be very certain that we’ll never find anyone who loves us with such purity & holiness as our Heavenly Father. 

Today being Good Friday, this reminds us more than other day that the Triune God loves us. Today, we honor Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross for us, a brutal, gruesome & barbaric death in contrast to the most pure & undefiled love ever expressed throughout the entirety of human history. 

It is indeed a Good Friday to know that God loves us all the way through human depravity & death. You don’t have to keep looking for love. Let the Holy Spirit pour love into your heart, Romans 5:5

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 1 comment

Looking for Love

  
I think it’s part of our human experience to have a desire to be loved. We want to be valued, appreciated, recognized, affirmed . . . . not only for what we do, our looks, our talents, achievements & more. We went to be loved for who we are.  
While I’m more than grateful for the many wonderful people who have been in my life from infancy until today, let’s be very certain that we’ll never find anyone who loves us with such purity & holiness as our Heavenly Father. 

Today being Good Friday, this reminds us more than other day that the Triune God loves us. Today, we honor Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross for us, a brutal, gruesome & barbaric death in contrast to the most pure & undefiled love ever expressed throughout the entirety of human history. 

It is indeed a Good Friday to know that God loves us all the way through human depravity & death. You don’t have to keep looking for love. Let the Holy Spirit pour love into your heart, Romans 5:5

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

honoring Veterans

220px-Joshua-chamberlain I recently read a story about Joshua Chamberlain, a commander of 80 Union soldiers who were the defining force that captured 4,000 Confederate troops at the Civil War battle in Gettysburg.  Despite being outmanned, out gunned and out of time, Chamberlain’s troops were victorious, against all odds.  When Chamberlain was later interviewed about how could continue to face such impossibility and find the wherewithal to continue fighting.  He replied,

“I had deep within me the inability to do nothing.”

When I read this story, I was deeply inspired not to let external opposition & hardship overcome the guts inside of me.  Many of the Veterans that live among us today & have valiantly sacrificed their lives for our freedom found within themselves the same as Joshua Chamberlain, the inability to do nothing.

Let’s be as inspired to make a difference in our world!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, living, missions, nightcare, prayer, saving moses, values, watch, 1 comment

Hot Topic: Ala Carte

“Extra pickles & no onions” – my burger, my way ala Burger King’s mantra: have it your way. So much of our daily living is structured around being a satisfied customer. This is true to the point that we can almost be conditioned to believe that we get to have everything our own way, including our spirituality. 
But alas, such a perspective in relation to following Jesus is inherently dysfunctional. Jesus said that whoever would follow Him must lay down their life & take up their cross. While there is tremendous satisfaction in following Jesus, walking with Jesus is also the path of total sacrifice. Maybe we can start our relationship with Jesus in ala carte mode, getting to pick & choose what we like, but becoming increasingly mature in Jesus is more about being consumed than being a consumer 🙂  

#selah

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, hot topic, Jesus Chix, listen, living, missions, prayer, relationships, saving moses, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

winning

FinishLine   I love to win & I hate to lose – in pretty much everything.  So I automatically like all of the Bible verses that talk about me winning, being victorious, more than a conqueror, etc.  On the opposite end, the Bible verses that talk about sacrifice, losing my life, crucifixion, pain, . . . . these aren’t nearly as appealing to me as the winning verses.  But life seems to have both the winning and losing experiences wrapped into each day:  driving, competing at work / school, controversial conversations, competing against myself, etc.

I think that it can feel much better to win than lose, but let me throw out a few perks that can happen from losing:

  • losing can reveal our character when we might be at our lowest
  • empathy seems to grow better when we lose rather than win
  • winning can be sometimes be an impediment to connecting with someone
  • losing can be a place where strength, endurance and roots can grow
  • sometimes humility grows better in the soil of losing more than winning

Please don’t take this blog to mean that losing is everything.  On the flipside, winning isn’t everything either.  Maybe “everything” boils down to genuine love 🙂

#selah

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Jesus Chix, living, prayer, relationships, values, watch, 0 comments

Thinking about Good Friday

TGIF takes on an entirely new meaning when I think about it in light of Good Friday.  This day marks not only the conclusion of a workweek, but more importantly, Jesus’ crucifixion which was humanity’s windfall.  Jesus’ death on the cross was:

  • the defining moment for humanity’s reconciliation with Heaven.
  • the conclusion of approximately 2,000 years of Law with human shortcoming & failure.
  • the ultimate expression of Genuine Love for an unworthy planet
  • the fertilzer for resurrection
  • the place where our lives receive ultimate freedom, redemption and acceptance

Truly, Good Friday is good and God’s ultimate expression of Genuine Love & I find myself in a state of awe, wonder, gratitude and overwhelming astonishment at such extravagant love.  May Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection work redemption into our hearts, through our lives and reconcile the world in which we live to our loving Heavenly Father.  Today is truly a Good Friday.

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments