Thursday, December 8, 2016
It made me begin to think of our human concept of sacrifice. When we give to charity, we don’t dig too deep to actually feel it. We pat ourselves on the back when we give a few extra dollars to the missionary, above and beyond our tithe. This, to us is sacrifice - to give a little out of our overflowing abundance.
What was Jesus’ view of sacrifice? “Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!” Ephesians 2:6-8
He sacrificed his throne to save you - to save me! And what does he call us to do? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset of Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:3-5
This feels like a gut punch to my soul. I want to value others interests before my own. I want to give when it hurts (money and time!), not only when it’s convenient. When Jesus asks me to give up my apple, I want to do it willingly and not be so focused on my own interests. But all too often I sacrifice just enough to look good or make myself feel better.
I am reminded of Andrew’s favorite Bible story: Feeding the 5,000. His Bible story book points out that the boy didn’t keep part of his lunch for himself, he gave the whole thing. That little boy offered up all he had to Jesus without expecting anything in return. It wasn’t about how much he had, it was about his heart being ready to give it all for Jesus to use. Oh, that I would have that same spirit of giving this Christmas season.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
From 2008 to 2009 my days were filled with stories... stories of how the Lord moved, how people's lives were change, and about all my cultural and language mishaps. It's so neat to look back and see how the Lord used me but even more how the Lord changed me during that time.
Now that my days are mostly filled with diapers, dishes and play dates, I don't have the same wild adventure stories, but I do still get to see the Lord move. I get to see Jesus forming and shaping my son as he grows and learns (He said "Jesus" the other day - I screamed in excitement and scared him so much that now he doesn't want to say it anymore!) I still get to come in contact with people who desperately need Jesus; it just may be a mama instead of a crazy college kid. And I still get the opportunity to speak words of truth to believers who need encouragement.
As my time in Ecuador came to a close, I remember thinking 'If the last two years have been "mission work" I can do that anywhere. It's just taking the time to make friends and love people toward the Gospel of Jesus Christ." I pray that my life is JUST that - whether in Ecuador, Dallas or Timbuktu may every day be spent sharing the love of Jesus with those who need to know him, whether that be to my son, my neighbor or a stranger.
bus rides, salsa dancing, and my absolute FAVORITE STORY that still makes me laugh when I think about it. Do I miss those days living in beautiful Loja? You better believe it. My view is a little different these days, and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! I'm doing the same thing today as I did 7 years ago, sharing the love of Jesus with whoever he puts in my path.
* All the links are to the stories on my old blog that I was reading through today. Feel free to read them and reminisce with me if you like!
Monday, January 19, 2015
Thinking about that makes me chuckle a little now that I have my own little guy. I find myself telling him often: "Listen and obey." Even at 16 months, I see the wheels in his little head turning - 'To obey or to do what I want...' No one had to teach him to be disobedient or selfish, but I do need to teach him how to be obedient. Just like my mom had to teach me to come home when I heard the whistle.
This is what the Lord has been teaching me lately... to listen and obey. So often when I hear his gentle voice say, Go I wait around pretending like I didn't hear. When I feel a nudge from the Spirit to pray over someone, to speak the truth of the Gospel or give an encouraging word, I hesitate. Like my son Andrew, I want to do what I want. I don't want to be called out of my comfort zone to what could be an awkward situation. I don't want to risk rejection or humiliation. I want to cuddle up with familiarity and safety.
But we have not been called to safety and comfort (though I find myself longing for it daily). As believers in Christ, he has called us to adventure, danger and a fight for people's souls.
I want to be as in tune to the Spirit of God as I was to my mom's whistle. When I hear it, it means it's time to move.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
It’s been a year. It’s been a year since I’ve seen her round face and strong dimples. It’s been a year since I’ve heard her sweet, gentle voice call my name.
As I sat on the plane, headed to her house, all I wanted to do was crawl up on her bed and tell her all the things that she missed this year. My first year of marriage to the most wonderful man, my new job and our new apartment. She missed multiple shoe shopping expeditions and candy runs... mostly because I didn’t do them since she wasn’t here. The plan this weekend was to do all the things that we would have done if she were here: buy a pair of shoes... preferably on sale. (If they are cheap enough, she’d tell me to buy two!) Go to the candy store and buy one of every kind that I like because life is too short to just choose ONE. Go to the dollar store and buy a good pen... or maybe a few pens and figure out which one is the best. Buy a bowl or a plate or a cup. Really whatever is pretty. It doesn’t have to match what I already have because it’s more about it being beautiful than matching. Watch a good cooking show and maybe go get a taco at 10:00 at night just because the craving came to me. The plan was to eat good food and not feel guilty about the calories, because let’s be honest: calories at Gramma’s house don’t count. Finally, I wanted to read about the goodness of the Lord and pour over his psalms highlighting places where he talks about heaven and healing because she has journals upon journals that do the same.
Yet, there are some things that are impossible to do. Drive all the way into downtown because we missed our exit due to excessive talking and laughing. Fall asleep next to her on her bed while we watch some crazy action movie. Recount old memories or days gone by. Watch back to back dollar movies to fill an entire afternoon.
Let’s just say I tried to do all of these things to no avail. I TRIED to go buy a pair of shoes, but couldn’t find one that I really liked. I TRIED to go buy 20 pieces of different kids of candy, but the Target we always went to has since gotten rid of that section of the store. I TRIED to go buy a pretty bowl, but Ross had a line with literally 100 people in it (and I would have had to find the FIND OF THE CENTURY to get me to stand in it). I walked away from Saturday a bit sad that I couldn't honor Grammee this way. But then mom put it all into perspective: if I could hear from Grammee right now, she would tell me to store up my treasures in heaven because at the end of life, they are just shoes gaining dust in a closet.
I guess it boils down to this: I always want to remember. I vividly remember the talks we would have about boys and how I shouldn’t keep secrets from my mom. I remember peeking into her room and she would be pouring over Scripture. I remember that she would get on facebook just to keep in touch with her grandkids. The woman I remember, I never want to forget, because I hope one day to be just like that woman.
Thank you Grammee for showing me how to walk with Jesus... miss you Grams.