Monday, March 12, 2007

What an encouraging (but exhausting) week this has been! One of the highlights of our church’s year is hosting the annual Shepherd’s Conference. Pastors from around the world gather to be equipped, encouraged, and generally spoiled by our church. I can say that because I had very little to do with any of the spoiling. I did, however, have the priviledge of being on campus Thursday to witness what amounts to Disneyland for these men. Many of them come from churches that little appreciate the demands of teaching the Word of God, and this week alone is a breath of fresh air. We got to host 4 men from Texas in our home, who so overwhelmed us with their gratitude that we felt like we were the ones being served - even the resulting 9 loads of laundry felt insignificant. One of the greatest joys, however, was fellowship with a dear friend who is serving as a missionary in Croatia. Sitting here after dinner tonight, amidst almost constant laughter, he testified to the fact that his service in a foreign country is no sacrifice. Over and over again he isisted "It is no sacrifice." Sure, he is human, and there are comforts that he and his family forego living outside the United States, but they find such joy in doing the work God has called them to that it seems as if they’re giving up nothing at all. Lately Dan and I have been challenged to evaluate our financial giving to the Lord, but compared to what our friends have foregone in His service, money is nothing. If God is really going to be honored by the investment we make in His work, it must be a joy. And it is a joy. While it must be sacrificial, it is no sacrifice.

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