Katy and I spent the past week attending a course at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. We studied anthropology and communication in theological perspective. In other words, studying a culture's anthropology will influence how we effectively communicate with the people in it.
Phil Zarns, one of our classmates, is an Assemblies of God World Missionary who directs university student ministries in Sweden. In class, he pointed out that most authors of our textbooks consistently used the phrase "this is my attempt" when introducing theories or ideas they put forth. Phil noted how that's such an appropriate statement to make as God is simply asking for us to attempt what He's called us to do.
This challenged me to remember that God sees obedience over sacrifice. Our best efforts won't make the difference if God isn't guiding what we do. Katy and I are attempting to make a difference in the lives of university students in Dublin. One of our responses to this calling is to take classes giving us tools for understanding Irish culture. These courses are part of our "attempt."
Let us never forget amidst all of our efforts and hard work…there is no possible way to complete God's call over our lives without Him. His grace, His love, and the work of the Holy Spirit are the key ingredients.
"What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." - 1 Corinthians 3:6