Follow the $$….nope

Over the past few years I’ve begun to see how the Lord weaves themes into my life. Today’s started at breakfast, only I didn’t know it was a theme yet, that happened much later in the day.

Over breakfast Brenda shared a story about traveling to Estonia on a mission many years ago, and how an Estonian shopkeep was turned off by Americans flashing their money around making normal purchases. It was offensive to her, a turn off. After a few weeks Brenda endeared herself to the shopkeep and the relationship changed for the better. When the shopkeep felt valued she became more receptive.

Church offering- I was trying to be discreet as I fished a bill from my stash for this trip. A young Slovak friend saw more than he needed to and whispered, You’re rich! I whispered back yes, Rich with friends like you. And quickly added, It all belongs to God anyhow, I’m just giving some back. Later, I handed him a pocket coin (as pictured) and told him my prayer for him was two-fold, that he would believe the Lord is always there for him and that he would learn to see the world through Jesus’s work on the cross. He smiled and gave me a big hug. When he felt valued he opened up to love.

Afternoon Matt message- as part of Matt Hannan’s encouragement to us I heard him remind us the good news of the US dollar is never gonna get us where the Good News of Christ will. He also asked us to remember the point isn’t to get thru all the material, it’s to get thru to the people we’re here to serve. Value people over program.

Teaching block- finger prints are unique, rare, one of a kind. These words are often associated with value. Jesus valued people over things. He told stories about leaving the secure ones to go search for the lost sheep, the lost coin, the outcasts, and less thans. He valued them all the same.

Running in the rain- I squeezed a run in this afternoon and pondered this theme. I was struck again by “the gift” Jesus gave to me which cost Him dearly, and cost me nothing. I suddenly felt overwhelmed at how much He values me, and everyone, and you.

I’m grateful for all of His many blessings- His love, family, and friends. I’m going to work on valuing people more, judging less, and see what happens.

Thanks for praying…it makes all the difference! You know who you are, and I value you.