Material for Sacrifice

Elisabeth Elliott in her devotional A Lamp unto My Feet says that our unfulfilled longings can be material for sacrifice.  This has provided much food for thought for me today.

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“I had been praying for something I wanted very badly. It seemed a good thing to have, a thing that would make life even more pleasant than it is, and would not in any way hinder my work. God did not give it to me. Why? I do not know all of His reasons, of course. The God who orchestrates the universe has a good many things to consider that have not occurred to me, and it is well that I leave them to Him. But one thing I do understand: He offers me holiness at the price of relinquishing my own will. 

“Do you honestly want to know Me?” He asks. I answer yes. “Then do what I say,” He replies. “Do it when you understand it; do it when you don’t understand it. Take what I give you; be willing not to have what I do not give you. The very relinquishment of this thing that you so urgently desire is a true demonstration of the sincerity of your lifelong prayer: ‘Thy will be done.’” 

So instead of hammering on heaven’s door for something which it is now quite clear God does not want me to have, I make my desire an offering. The longed-for thing is material for sacrifice. Here, Lord, it’s yours. He will, I believe, accept the offering. He will transform it into something redemptive. He may perhaps give it back as He did Isaac to Abraham, but He will know that I fully intend to obey Him.”

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books, books and more books…

It’s been busy in my part of the world.  I am on a cleaning, organizing and purging binge.  I’m actually enjoying paring down.  I need to eliminate some clutter.  We had a fire a couple years ago.  The books that were salvageable were packed away with charcoal to remove the smell.  The charcoal did the trick, but it made them a little dirty.  :-/  So today, I got them out and cleaned them all up and sorted them.  Now I just have to figure out where to put them since we decided not to replace the bookshelf.

I love books.  Books have been my friends.  It’s hard to part with them.  We live in a 900 square foot two-story house.  There isn’t a lot of room for books.  I have some favorites that have a reserved spot on my very limited bookshelves.  I have reread many of them.    There is one in particular that I am thinking I may need to read again soon.

I never wanted to start using digital books, but with the travel that we have to do and luggage limits, I have certainly enjoyed my kindle.  It’s a wonderful tool.  I have resisted Audible for years.  To me, listening isn’t reading.  My life has changed so much.  So much of my “free” time is now spend reviewing vocabulary and Japanese study.  When I do have time to read, I don’t always feel like doing it.  So I did a free trial of Audible.  It’s wonderful to listen to a book while I am working around the house, in the kitchen, or going for a walk. If you have been one to resist this technology,  I recommend that you give it a try.  I received two free books with my trial.  After finishing  them, I was hooked!!

The book that I finished today is Respectable Sins:  Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges.   I also have it in hard copy, so I can reference it.  It was so convicting.  I want to listen again and spend some time with my hard copy working through many of “respectable” sins.  If you would like to read a review, click here.

until the next time…