On Friday afternoon, after a long day of work, Donna and I along with our daughter Megan, got on a loud, old, prop airplane and flew to Houston. We then hopped a bus to switch terminals and ran across that terminal, down two long hallways, to barely catch our connecting flight to Lexington, Kentucky. We arrived late in the evening and then waited in frigid temperatures for the shuttle to take us to a hotel with a sorry room. It was past midnight before we got settled in to try to sleep in the blazing hot room in a hotel that was being remodeled (to our surprise) and didn't have many of the features it was advertised to offer. At ten the next morning, our daughter-in-law picked us up and whisked us to a church building to move tables and decorate for Zach's surprise party.

How much did this cost? Irrelevant!

How much sleep did we lose? Irrelevant!

How much work did we leave behind that needed to be done? Irrelevant!

The look on our son's face Saturday afternoon when he walked into his surprise party? Priceless! He's our son; we would do anything we could to let him know that he is priceless to us.

You see, he had worked to support his wife through Physical Therapy school. He was blessed with a good computer programming job, and so he deferred getting his Master's Degree in Computer Software Design so Mandy could finish. He has been working on completing his class work and then his project a little at a time while working. It's taken awhile, but on Wednesday, his project defense was successful. Along the way, he's done very well in his job and won the Kentucky Academy of Science programming award for his project competing against other graduate university students as well as programmers for high tech firms in the state. Yes, we are proud of him, love him, and want Zach to know it.

So you see, we were willing to do whatever it took to be there to say, “You are our son, we love you, and we are pleased with who you are and what you have done!” His accomplishments, he himself, and his precious wife Mandy who planned the secret party on her birthday are all priceless to us. Sometimes the cost-- in time, effort, hassle, or money — of things is not an issue. Sometimes the person you love is too priceless to not let them know.

While our trip has been a bit of brief hassle and a bit of expense, there was another trip that was a messy, dirty, hard, ugly, and costly burden. The Great and Glorious One, God Almighty chose to travel into the womb of a virgin peasant girl from Nazareth to live as one of us as Jesus of Nazareth. After having done nothing but good — showing kindness, teaching the truth, and lifting people's burdens — jealous religious leaders, with the help of their political co-conspirators, put Jesus to death on a cross. They sought to humiliate and abuse him so his followers would be forced to give up their loyalty to him.

We cannot fathom the cost of this gift. We can, however, be touched by it and receive it. For in this gift, the Glorious God, the Almighty, has told us one thing beyond all others: to him, the LORD of heaven and earth, the Yahweh and the great Deliverer, we are ... PRICELESS. He would rather leave the security of heaven's glories and face the humiliation of human rejection than to have heaven without us.

So today, as you begin this week, remember that no price was too high for your Father to pay. No trip was too far for your Father to take. No rebellion was too far for your Father not to search until he found you. For you are to him — priceless.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10 TNIV).

We cannot fathom the cost of this gift.

Phil is going to Uganda. Please be part of the prayer team that prays for this trip. You can sign up by going to the bottom of response list and leaving your name and a prayer by going to this web address:

For more on the Uganda trip with Compassion International, check out Phil's blog information:

To learn more about sponsoring a child with Compassion, check out: