Sacrifice is when we care about others over ourselves.
It may be giving our time, money, or possessions. It’s almost always doing the opposite of what we might choose to do with those things.
It costs us something because it draws from a depth of caring that is very close to our heart. We feel the withdrawal from our soul and it can be painful. Yet, it turns out to be a joy to know our sacrifice made a difference for someone.
Even if they don’t know about it.
What if the recipient of your sacrifice isn’t grateful for their circumstances changing because of you? That is part of your sacrifice.
It hurts when you know what you’ve given and it is not appreciated. And sometimes, it’s even thrown back in your face.
If you’ve wondered about Christianity, that’s really what it’s all about. Jesus gave his heart to the world. He sacrificed himself and endured the cross because of the joy that awaited him.
When you sacrifice it is noticed by God. Don’t focus on the pain. Focus on the joy that comes from sacrifice.
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I know what it feels like when it seems that things will not change.
It feels like your situation will never end and it will consume you.
The thing I have personally experienced is – it won’t.
Have you thought about the immensity of the earth and 2/3 is covered by water?
And yet it does not overtake the land.
How much more important are you?
God is fully aware of your situation.
We have to be patient and wait. He knows the right moment for it to change.
Meanwhile, God keeps you close. It may not seem like it but he does. It’s not until you look back that you see it.
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Standing at your child’s grave is surreal. Even after many years you wonder, did this really happen?
At the same time, you know it did.
I stare at the etched letters of his name. I look at the date of his birth and remember. I look at the date of his death and remember.
So much life has gone by.
I remember being afraid I would forget his voice. I haven’t.
I’m in two worlds with two different measures of time. He is not here, he is there. But where exactly? I know there is heaven. But I don’t know where it is or what it looks like.
I just know this: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). And it gives me peace.
I clean the headstone since I can’t stand the little bits of green moss that settle in the crevices. I pull a couple of tiny weeds. I didn’t help him then – perhaps I can be of help now?
There are no tears. I’ve cried them all.
I leave that place under the pine tree with an empty place in my heart.
And I wait.
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When you’re hurting, you have to put the pain somewhere.
You many not be thinking in those terms, but we all cope in our own ways.
Why do you think so many people have addictions? And it’s not just drugs, alcohol, and sex. It’s food, over-the-counter medications, television, cell phones, social networks, exercise, and more.
Don’t confuse a healthy helping of activities that help you find fulfillment and peace. Some organizations like MADD are started by people who experienced pain.
But those things are still limited. When you lay your head on the pillow at the close of another day, where does your mind go? Is it peaceful? Or are the next day’s activities of whatever you are doing to ease the pain swirling around your head?
God has promised rest and peace for our souls. But we have to look at him for it. He’s always there waiting for you. In the midst of tragedy, he is the only one who can help you. When you believe that nothing goes unnoticed by God, that he is so near to you that he knows how many strands of hair you have, you will bring your pain to him.
You can survive even when pain tries to paralyze you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The Lord himself will lead you and be with you.
He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.
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We believe what we see.
But what we see is not always true.
Sometimes, we have to take off the glasses.
Shadowy forms come into focus. Depth perception increases. And was the sky always this blue?
Mindsets become our lens. We aren’t always right.
Are there perceptions .. thoughts .. opinions .. which you are clinging to?
Some people are easily frustrated or discouraged. Some worry or complain. Others are bitter and unforgiving.
Try taking off your glasses and tell me what you see.
Now try putting someone else’s glasses on.
There’s more to your life than meets the eye.
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Hidden away in the tall, slender blades of orchard grass, a subtle purple hue nestles in just right. It is a slightly swampy area and lays lower than the rest of the meadow. It might go unnoticed if it didn’t catch your eye in just the right light.
It might not feel like it right now, but something will catch your eye and make life meaningful again.
And you will smile at your discovery.
The world is a beautiful place. Ugly things happen. Yet, intertwined in the tapestry is beauty that is meant to bring us relief from our pain.
Wait for it.
You will find it where you least expect it.
The vehicle in front of me hit a bird.
My heart sank.
The driver didn’t stop. Most people do not.
But God does.
What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it?
He didn’t say God stops the sparrow from falling.
He said God knows about it.
A bird. There are millions of sparrows. Yet God sees the one.
He knows about you, too.
The world has become a stressful place to live. Mostly because I think we are not made to be overloaded with so much information and entertainment. The internet provides us access 24/7. Our cell phones are with us constantly. Television is on all night. When I was a kid, there was no internet, no cell phones, and there were 5 major channels to choose from. Television used to go off around 1 am. Sound boring? Not really. It was simpler and calmer.
Only you can control how much you let in. I know too many people who can’t sleep at night. This leads to thinking too much and ultimately worrying.
Our brains are over stimulated.
If you have trouble sleeping, think about your routine.
Some tips to consider:
1) Don’t take your cell phone into a restaurant. You don’t need to be accessible 24/7.
2) Computer and phone go off at night. People lived for centuries without them. And they slept!
3) Turn off phone alerts that tell you every time someone posted or sent you an email.
4) Reduce or eliminate social networks. Do we really need to know everyone’s thoughts all throughout the day and night?
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