Sunday, May 27, 2007

making sacrifices When I first started brainstorming "the beauty of sacrifices" for this Carnival of Beauty, I instantly pictured my grandparents, both paternal and maternal. I imagine my PawPaw as a young boy taking care of his baby sister--combing her hair and dressing her. I picture him doing without so many times thoughout the years so that others may have. I can see with my mind's eye my NeeNee as a young newlywed living alone as her new husband served our country overseas. I see her crocheting blankets, using her time and talents so that others can be warm. I see my Grandpa as a boy during the Depression. I see him and my PawPaw both as young men dressed in their uniforms, ready to serve our country and lay down their lives. I envision my Grandmother as a young girl picking cotton, giving up her dream of going to college, so that her family's needs are met. I think of her working late at night at her sewing machine so that her five children will all have clothes to wear. I can see all of them giving of their time, talents, and money to the things they care about and to their churches. I see them volunteering . . . teaching Sunday School in the preschool department, teaching English to new immigrants, working in the soup kitchen, delivering food to shut-ins. I see four people I want to be just like. I see four people I admire so much words fail to convey my true admiration. What my generation and those that follow mine lack as a whole is an understanding of the beauty of sacrifice. However, it is something our grandparents fully understand and embraced. For that I am grateful. Wasn't it Jim Elliot who said, "he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose"? Father, please help me to not be a fool. Help me to freely give what I can't keep anyway so that I may fully gain that which I can't lose. Thank you ever so much for giving me godly grandparents who seek you and were willing to make and still do make sacrifices for their country and for their families. Help me to truly understand the beauty of sacrifice. This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by following an unknown path. This week the theme is The Beauty of Sacrifice and is hosted by Ann at Holy Experience. Join us next week for The Beauty of Esther. In September of last year, we also visited this same topic. At that time, I wrote about being a living sacrifice. If you'd like to see what others wrote about please visit Renee.
wait, wait, wait A Maranatha Music song from the late 1970's has been running through my head all weekend: We must wait, wait, wait on the Lord We must wait, wait, wait on the Lord . . . In His timing He will tell us What to do, where to go, what to say You know there are times when the path might be unknown, but there is only one way to go--forward--so that is what you do. But, what about when the path has a "y" or comes to a "t"? Ahh, that is when life gets exciting. That is when faith is tested. So, here I stand at a "y" in this unknown path waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It is, oh, so tempting to do things the Amanda-way. It is, oh, so tempting to apply Amanda-logic. It is, oh, so tempting to not be patient! "Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long" (Psalm 25:5). I found this sermon by James Smith (1869) to be of great comfort, encouragement, and exhortation. If you find yourself in a place of waiting--please do click over and at least skim if not soak in what he is saying. Here is a not-so-brief clip: Believer, you may be independent of all creation by realizing your dependence upon your God, and waiting upon him continually. You must believe: the love he has to you, his watchful care over you, his delight in you, the promises he has given you, the provision he has made for you, the glory he will get by you, and the honor to which he intends to raise you. In so doing, the fear of man will die, joy in God will spring up, the peace of God will fill your heart and mind, your dependence on creatures will cease, and you will be happy in looking only to the Lord. "My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from him." "Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land– when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it." . . . Before us are difficulties, seemingly as great as the Red Sea before Israel; behind us are obstacles, as fearful as the Egyptians behind them. Besides which, we have no Moses with the rod of God to make a way for us. What can we do? Do as the prophet of old did, who said–-"I will wait upon the Lord, who hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him." Yes, wait on the Lord, who has given you this precious promise–-"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye." He will point out the way, he will teach you in the way, he will guide as a loving Father or a faithful friend. There are no...

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