Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Ultimate Love Language - Aaron and Sadee

Since its Valentine’s Day, I thought it appropriate to feature this week a couple in love: Aaron and Sadee Van Ruler. While this is not a pic from Super Bowl XLI, they did stay up until 4:30 am to see their Colts win.

and Sadee live in the downtown area of beautiful Freiburg, Germany. Lest you think living in Western Europe is a piece of cake though, their apartment has a bathroom/kitchen combo affectionately known as a ‘bitchen’. Sadee writes, “You could literally flip an egg on the stove while taking a shower. Thankfully, the toilet is closed off in its own little room. It still grosses me out though - yuck, who wants their bathroom in their kitchen.”

Their team is a combination or sorts too with STINTers, ICS and a national staff all serving together. The Lord is doing great things in Freiburg as several committed believers have joined their movement and they have seen two girls accept Christ this year. They have a shepherd team of 7 students that are coming up with great ideas and running with them. Last Friday, was a Valentine’s Party for the girls and a lot of non-believers came out.

Sadee says, “We have talked about movements everywhere a TON this year. We are encouraging students to dream about this: ‘What if there were pockets of people that were following Jesus all over Freiburg. We want to have spiritual movements everywhere all over this whole city so that every student can know someone who truly follows Jesus.’ Steve Douglass would be very proud, I do believe. Students are getting this. We are trying to launch several new bible studies and/or spiritual discussion groups at the beginning of next semester.”

Thinking of their shepherd team and what today is, I recall how Jesus in John 10 says that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. Five chapters later, sandwiched between verses about His command for us to love one another, Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus was not just making some nice little quip to put on a greeting card.

Acts of Service? Encouraging words? Physical Touch? Gifts? Quality Time?

Laying down your life: the ultimate love language!

When you care to send the very best…

His agonizing in the garden later that same night was not like me going to Safeway and agonizing over which Valentine’s card to get for my wife. His love for us cost him his life.

John writes in His first epistle (1 John 3:16) that what know what love is because Jesus laid down His life for us. John picks back up Jesus' command by saying that in turn we should lay down our lives for our others. I don’t know what that might look like for you when you think of your team, your co-leader, and your students. But I know God calls us every day as a leader to decide who is going to pay for our leadership – us or our ‘sheep’.

May we give the gift of love today by laying down our lives.

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