A lesson in geography and a zoo trip

Growing up, everyone (by “everyone” I mean “texans”) thought the capitol of Kansas was Kansas City. I remember learning the capitols in 4th grade and being amazed it’s actually Topeka.

But then I forgot that. Cause I forgot about Kansas.

Then God in His infinite goodness brought us to Kansas and we re-learned of Topeka! It’s only a 45 min drive from Manhattan. We’ve only been twice, but both times we went to the zoo. It’s actually FREE to get in with our Manhattan passes! Wahoo! We made a trip for Beckham’s birthday week over the break.

We really love zoos. The midwest has some great ones. We love the big ones, like Omaha obviously, but we really appreciate the smaller ones too (like Manhattan and Topeka). I love that the entire zoo is doable in an afternoon. And when the zoo is smaller, but necessity, the animals are closer! Like this tiger:

They were looking at the hippo, but you can see the giraffes in the background!

Also went to their insect zoo and learned a little too much. Ignorance WAS BLISS!!!

Brian got “tied up” (hahahahah!) with the spider, so we left him.

A close second to our love of taking pictures riding things….

Is our love of those face cut out photo ops! We can’t pass them by!

There’s also the funnest huge park right across the street from the zoo with tons of concrete animals

There are also train tracks…but we haven’t found the train and are hoping to research that when it warms up!!

We can’t stop her!!!

We’ve tried it all and NOTHING works.

Nothing.

Every year, they get a year older.

This week it was Sadie Piper.

6.

Years.

We celebrated with the girls in her class at “The Dome”- the place she takes cheer classes at. Only the coolest building in all of Manhattan.

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

 Sadie and Daisy. Queens of the mats!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Damian made an amazing obstacle course the kids loved!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Berkley couldn’t even stand still for a picture! Proving the fact that an object in motion will stay in motion….until it crashes for an early bedtime!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And remember those parachutes from elementary school that you make a cave from??

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And there was a “castle”

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And “swords” and “caves” (the possibilities with mats and an imagination are endless!!)

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

These girls have seen a camera or two in their lives, you think?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

It was a perfect day to eat outside too!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

And then, as if they hadn’t run enough, they played chase outside!Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

There was a casualty. They both survived and then recounted to me about the last time they rammed heads. Happens often i guess?

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Brian and Damian playing around with a ball and a camera. Captured a pretty cool shot!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Even blow up house fun!!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

Love this picture! This is my favorite smile Boo does!

Sadie Piper's 6th Birthday

At 6, Sadie Piper is owning Kindergarten. She’s confident and social. She has a laugh that will light up a room. She loves all things girly. She and Berkley “play school” every day. Lots of dress up, pink, crafts and shows in our house these days. We love it!!

Speaking of The Mighty Works of God

I was reading this morning in Acts 2 and when I got to verse 11 I got hung up. I’ve read this before and I usually think about tongues and how the people hear the Galatians in their own language.

Here are the actual words, “both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

I tend to see this and wonder why God doesn’t do that today and just marvel at what a great work God was doing in that time. This morning though it hit me different, for the first time it was the end of the sentence that has me scratching my head. I tend to think they were giving some rehearsed Gospel presentation to all in attendance, but that’s not what it says.

The people of God were telling those around them from various nationalities and religions “the mighty works of God.” That absolutely includes the Gospel, but it speaks to those early Christians and their proclamation of the greatness and mightiness of God to people no matter what the beliefs of those they spoke to.

I confess, I am not always as bold as I wish and I fear part of that is a false assumption that if I am to speak of my God and Savior to strangers it is to share the Gospel message. This morning I am encouraged by seeing the very early Christians speak of the mighty works of God.

So what did they say? What are the mighty works of God? Creation of the everything? Deliverance from Egypt? Building of the Temple? Feeding of the 5000 or raising Lazarus from the dead? I don’t know and I love that it doesn’t tell us because God has done some amazing mighty works in the past worthy of being spoken of and He is still doing mighty works today that are worthy of being spoken of.

The Greek word translated here “mighty works” is Megaleios defined as “mighty works” of course, but also magnificent, splendid and wonderful works. This got me thinking about how we speak because I want to speak more like this early Church. No, not in tongues, but with the wonderful works of God on my lips all the time.

That means I need to stop and consider what mighty works God is doing today. The Sun came up. The town is covered in snow. I’m in a house with a heater and under an electric blanket all designed and built by a community of brains created by God. I am a sinner who despite growing up in a skeptical world now lives by faith in the only son of God. My children are alive and healthy and kind. My wife is a amazing even though I was not wise enough at the time to choose her wisely, that’s grace on grace in my life. We drove to Houston, Texas and back and didn’t wreck despite driving one way through freezing rain making the interstate into an impromptu ice rink.

I need to learn to do this better, to see the mighty works of God not just in Scripture, but today and to learn how to work this into my daily conversations. To tell both lukewarm americans and passionate muslims the mighty works of God and not just try and figure out how to give a Gospel presentation or to speak on the lowest common denominator that ignores the existence of God.

One last thing. Expect varied responses. The next two verses in Acts say, “And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Some will love to hear what you share about the mighty works, others will think you must be drunk to say such things and that’s ok, it is God who gives sight to blind.

Today, consider the mighty works of God, look for them, speak of them.

Crazies at Camp NRA

 

 

Yes, that’s Beckham with a dead bird. Posing it. (And I think that’s SP in the background carrying another one around like it’s a toy?)

Back in September Joy and Jesse got married in KC, and Brian got to officiate. So we headed to Kansas City!

So Crazies headed to “Camp Nummie” (aka Scott and Carmen’s) for the weekend. And we got these pictures texted to us:


Our sweet girly girls hanging out with dead birds…

While we were hanging with pretty girls in pretty dresses!!

Beckham is clearly digging this…

 

 

 

Christmas: 80 degrees, Texas style

 We headed south for Christmas this year. Try not to be jealous of our road trip food stops:

All of the Hough cousins were together for the first time ever! You can see we have the lone girl cousins. They don’t seem to mind being spoiled! This is the best picture we could get of them all!

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013Me and Tricki Vicki!

Mom & Laura

Brian went through old picture. Here are a few that caught my eye.

He’s always wanted a rooster??

Then:

Now:

 

Then

Ladies and gentleman, I think we now know where Berkley learned her cat handling skills (Brian circa 1984)

Now

 And this one. Seriously. I don’t have words.

Christmas 2013

Since it’s never winter in Texas, you can plan outside adventures all year. So we met Greg and his boys at the Houston zoo for a morning!

Christmas 2013

Tricki Vicki needed fruit snacks too!

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Poor Littlest didn’t make it up in time to make the picture (see the corner). Story of her life…

Some people are tree huggers. We are giraffe huggers. Playing in the meerkat tunnels!! We would make such good meerkats.

Sadie grooming the goats

We had quite the bunch! Lots of littles and littles are the best!!

They misspelled “Oh my”

Where there’s a body of water….there’s Brian trying to catch something…

Then we ate at the best Mexican restaurant ever: Gringos!!

Then come Christmas day, we had a sick one. This is how she spent Christmas day:

But this is all she missed! 🙂

Christmas 2014

Brian’s side is kinda Duck Dynasty…

Christmas 2013

upload

I love our Sadie Piper

Christmas 2013

In Dallas we went to the Perot Museum with Scott. Beckham and him did something with DNA, I actually have no idea.

And they were both fascinated by the animal insides. The volunteers there were all very surprised/impressed that Scott knew where all the parts were!

Brian in the “Christmas Story”

oh Berkley Boo…

The kids love Butters!

My brother: Uncle of the year. 🙂

Crazies fought over who got to push Violet. They are obsessed with their baby cousins!

Cousin love

At Northpark there are a lot of sculptures. They, on their own initiative, copied the art!

Sephora sucked us in. As always. The girls enjoyed picking out their make-up to try on. Berkley went with a “K-State” (which is what she calls the color purple) theme. She rocked it.

Sadie stuck to her signature pink. But I really loved her lipstick color!! I was impressed!

They really wanted a picture in front of these lights

 We saw my grandma (crazies call her Little Foot), so here’s 4 generations

Four generations of girls.

When we are in Dallas on a Sunday my favorite place to worship is at New St Peter’s. Our old friends George and Kasey go there too, so it’s always fun to see them there too!

1503254_10151854244135924_835130090_n

Oh, and we ate Chick-fil-a. We miss CFA.

Christmas 2013

How to really live the golden rule.

Golden Rule Matthew 7:12
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

The golden rule we learn at a young age. It is an idea that is seen even outside of Christianity. I attended a public elementary school and I remember being told not to do to others what I wouldn’t want them to do to me. I think that is why I tend to think of the golden rule in the context of children.  We’ve taught it to our children when teachings them how to be loving.

However, I confess I’ve taught it almost exclusively from the negative mindset. One of our kids won’t share and I remind them, how would you feel if they wouldn’t share with you? Then you should share with them.

I think that’s why reading slowly through this verse today I was surprised to find it on the lips of Jesus from a positive stand point. It really starts with us asking an honest question of our own desires. What do you wish others would do to you? Or for you?

Do you wish that friends cared about the details of your life?
That the asked questions and really listened?
Or saw your need for a break from kids or town or just needed a night out and would help make that happen?
Do you wish someone would buy you coffee or affirm you or compliment you?

What is it you really wish someone would do for you?

It’s a real question. One that we likely answer with complaints out of our mouths.

Why don’t they… How come no one… I wish they would…

Regardless it’s a question Jesus is asking us to ask, not so we can complain, be discontent or even so we can demand it from others. No, Jesus has us ask the question so we can offer the answer to others. Whatever you wish others would do to you or for you, go and do it to them.

Care about the details of their life, ask them real questions and listen, figure out how to give them a break from children or town or just a night out. Buy someone else coffee, affirm them, compliment them.

It’s so simple that we really can teach this to our children, yes from negative, but also and maybe more importantly from the positive side. What do you wish your sister would do for you? That would be great wouldn’t it? Jesus says if you would really love that from your sister, you should do that for your sister. How can I help you do that for her?

But we also need to remember Jesus said this for adults too, not just children. So model it for everyone in your life, find joy in the act of obedience in regards to the golden rule. Apply these words of Jesus on campus and at work, in the church family and in your home. Let our natural love of self supernaturally guide our love for others as we ask this question and apply these words.

If I Were the New Baseball Commissioner…

Baseball Commissioner

At the end of the 2014 MLB season Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is stepping down. Like the previous Pope he’s had enough and he’s calling it quits. This is the office that legend has it George W. Bush really wanted and only after he realized this was out of his reach did he settle for the office of President of the United States. So with the office vacated I would like to throw my hat into the ring and run on the following platform. Just like the coke machine in the lunch room every person who has ever run for Student  Council promised, this is my list of what I would I change about America’s pastime.

1. Get Rid of Instant Replay. I fully understand reply would get calls right, that it would take umpires out of the results of the game. I don’t care. I hate instant replay. I used to watch football and really enjoyed it. I don’t enjoy it anymore for two reasons. First there are only 11 minutes of live game action in a 3 1/2 hour games (researched fact, not assumption). The other reason is instant replay.

It used to be when the Aggies or Oilers scored a touchdown I could go nuts; we scored and if there was no flag in the first 2 seconds of that celebration I knew it was real and thus celebration could be enjoyed. After reply I learned that there was a delay in my celebration. The player scored and I waited, no flag, this was good, then I waited to see if any time in the next two minutes or so a coach threw a challenge flag, now it had to be reviewed and only then can I celebrate. Who has real excitement a few minutes after the actual event? It killed the joy of celebrating and it left me on the side of the situation hoping for a flag. I was not longer watching football so much as coaches and refs were making the big plays, the actual moments of excitement and really, that’s just boring. It slows down the game and ruins the pace.

I also don’t care if they get the call wrong. It’s a game, its entertainment and I love the conversations the come up around missed calls: one guy proclaims victory while the opponent decries injustice, but again, it’s a game. With replay that conversation is gone.

Plus replay ruins the manager throwing a fit. I know these moments are not always edifying, but there is something that makes you love your manager when he goes and argues a call for your team. Hat turned backwards, dirt being kicked up, maybe a bat or two tossed onto field. It’s embarrassing, but it’s passion, it’s real emotion and instant replay removes passion from the game. Now, the manager calmly turns in a challenge request and we all wait while they look it over. No emotion. No passion.

2. Outlaw Symmetry. Basketball has a set field size and shape. So does football, and soccer is always a big rectangle. Every stadium is basically the same in those sports. Baseball is unique, every field can be difference. You want a left field that is only 315 feet, that’s fine. You wanna giant part that is hard to hit out of it, have it. You want a giant green wall, you got it. Ivy on brick, that may kill someone, but ok. A hill in centerfield with a flag pole on the field of play, that’s insane, but go for it. All of those are real fields in major league baseball. I love it. But then there are the uncreative, symmetrical “for the sake of consistent stats” people who want every field to have same symmetrical dimensions. I’m looking at you Jon Meyers.

So with my power as the Commissioner I would ban symmetry, force the Dodgers into doing something creative with their least interesting field in all of baseball.  In MLB there are only four symmetrical fields left, so this would be an easy fix with some construction in LA, Toronto, Oakland and Kansas City.

However as MLB Commissioner I would overstep my bounds and require every league in the world to do this too. College fields, high school, little league, Japan, Australia, Mexico, wiffleball in the yard, yes every field.

It would give us unique fields everywhere. Little league fields should be awesome. Each town should have their own stadium quirks, not uniform metal mesh fields. Make them all different, one is great for lefties, another for righties, pitcher parks, hitter parks. Yes limits on minimum fence length, but let’s see some interesting designs. Work existing buildings not just into the background ascetics, but the fence itself.

Best Fields: Fenway, Wrigley, San Francisco’s AT&T Park, Houston’s Minute Maid Park, Camden Yards.

Worst Fields: Dodgers, Toronto, Oakland, New York

3. Wooden bats at every level. Baseball is not a futuristic sport, it has no clock, when you play time stops, you have to slow down which is weird because all at once baseball is one of the most American things and also counter-American culture of rush rush rush. But I digress.

Part of what makes baseball great are the little things, including the sound of a ball cracking against a wooden bat, I hate the ping of metal, sounds like golf. Make wood universal for bats except in the littlest of ages for the sake of being able to swing light bats. Mostly for college and high school though, wooden bats only.

4. Town Teams. Return to a time when every town had a team made up of residents. Someone organizes regional leagues for smaller towns to compete against each other with local players of any age in the summers. I’d love to see Manhattan vs Topeka or Junction City or Overland Park. Not for money, but for for the pride of home.

5. Use MLB to promote Wiffleball or some soft version of baseball. When I was watching Ken Burns Baseball documentary I was really surprised at the photos of the early days of the game. No gloves on the players hands and people standing to watch insanely close to the batter, mothers in dresses, barefoot children, bands playing music all within feet of the field and nothing to protect them.

Then it was a game that could be played anywhere without fear of someone getting killed. The ball in later years became harder and thus dangerous for games to be played in this fashion. Now we need fences to protect spectators and helmets and baseball gloves and that’s fine for organized baseball.

However, MLB needs to get develop some version of the game that makes it accessible anywhere and anytime. A recreation version that is fun for, kids, families, church picnics, city streets, etc. Wiffle is best existing option, but MLB has no relationship with the Wiffle Ball company and the generic  plastic ball with swiss cheese holes are just not fun. Make a deal and promote wiffleball for the sake of baseball evangelism, spreading the joy of playing the game. Or develop something better, a softer, version of the game that replicates the actual game pretty well.

6. Make video games simple again. I want real players names, minor league teams and players, stats to be kept, I want all that stuff to be real, but I also don’t want to spend three weeks training so I can play a video game. So I would mandate MLB develop a game with only two buttons, no more. I want my old man dad and my little boy son to be able pick it up and play against each other right away. RBI baseball returning this spring gives me hope, please be simple. Baseball Stars or MLB Power Pros is what I’m thinking. I just want to see a baseball game that can serve as a fun game to be played between people rather than a second life to be dedicated to.

7. I would establish a club for people who have visited every MLB ballpark currently in use. Seems like great father-son or group of friends goal to be working towards. Some official way to register each new park visited and then an exclusive club to be in that gets fans something. Free nachos or a room in each park only for people who have hit for the Ballpark Cycle.

8. Color. This will likely be what gets me impeached, but I would mandate brighter uniforms. Why does it feel like our home team always plays the same team no matter who is in town? Oh yeah, it’s because everyone we play wears gray. Unless gray is your team’s color don’t wear it. I want to see Oakland in green when they are in town or the Astros in orange when the visit Kansas City. Brighter uniforms.

9. Player Retention. Make minimum contract length 3 years once free agency is earned, promote players staying with a team longer. Biggio and Bagwell have helped grow a love for the Astros, they are part of the fabric of Houston because of permanence.

10. More knuckleballers. Ok, no way to make this move with the support of logic or reason, but I’m in this scenario I’m the Pope of baseball  and I wanna see more knuckleballers. So teams fielding knuckleballers get $5 million for each knuckleballer. We’ll collect these funds from teams with a knuckleball pitcher. That makes R.A. Dickey and Blaine Sims more valuable. This Kershaw guy is ok, especially being from Texas, but knuckleballers are really where it’s at.

11. Round Up. To get in hall of fame a player needs 75% of the votes. Craig Biggio received 74.8% of the vote this year. One idiot turned in a blank ballot trying to make some point that was lost on me. This is a problem because any ballot turned in counts in figuring the percentage. Another guy only put one name on his ballet to make a statement for last year of eligibility guy, Jack Morris. Biggio came 1.25 votes short of being the first Astros inducted into the Hall of Fame. Nothing a little rounding up wouldn’t solve. You take a math test, get 74.8%,  That’s a 75 in any grade book. If we need instant replay for anything it was the hall of fame vote this year, let’s get this call made right next time.

 

Summary: Also I would put a coke machine in every junior high lunch room in the country. Wouldn’t baseball be great if I were the Commissioner? That’s my platform, so please vote for me. What? There is no election? I’d change that too!

Life on the Bicycle 2013

2013 was busy and I didn’t find as much time to get on the bike as I would like. I’ve missed it. Riding is a stress reliever that I just need more bicycle therapy in my life. Since I first rode off on that Iron Horse January of 2009 I’ve rode a total of 6,678 total miles. That’s the equivalent of riding from Los Angeles, up to Seattle, across to Boston, down to Orlando and then over to Austin, TX.

The move to Manhattan has changed the way I ride. In Johnson County there are over 50 miles of smooth paved pathways across the region, sidewalks on nearly every road and everything is spread out. To ride from home to Church was about 13 miles round trip. So there I rode less often since 13 miles required a bit more lead way So riding was mostly for leisure not real world transportation, taking my day off and spending three hours on the bike just going. I really enjoyed that, it was safe and smooth like being on rails and gave a sense that I was actually out of the suburbs and in the country.

In Manhattan there is one trail around town, it’s only 9 miles long and mostly crushed limestone. Makes riding slower for sure. However, everything is close in town. I can get to anywhere quickly even on a bicycle so I ride for transportation more often, but my miles are less. Plus we live at the top of a hill so the return home ride weighs a little in my head while I ride. When I want to adventure ride, it is literally “off the path” I leave town and find gravel roads that make for great adventures, but again slower and tougher riding.

Bicycling has been a sort of microcosm of our life right now. It’s not as smooth, it’s tough, it’s not as nice, but the adventure is great and I try not to compare life before to life now so much as just embracing the life we actually live, the life God has called us to. This is true on the bike as well. I try to forget those smooth trails in Overland Park and grow into my gravel grinding adventure style riding and the all around town commute riding. So anyway I know no one really cares about this, but it is fun for me to look back on so here are my stats for the year, second least miles I’ve ever ridden at 1,323 miles.

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 8.36.55 AM

I like to divide the year into thirds for a little perspective too. I rode most of my miles in the summer months. This year our family was split up since I still had responsibilities at Redeemer and we had sold our home and could not get into one in Manhattan yet. So Laura and kids went to Texas and I lived in the homes of vacationing Redeemer families which was a huge blessing to us. Anyway, without family I rode a bunch this summer.

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 9.11.14 AM

Here are some of my best bicycle memories this year.

First was being able ride our kids to school in Manhattan, We’ve never lived close enough to be able to do that before and the route is wonderful. I can’t wait until Spring so we can do this again. Here is a video with a great song of the trip, I think it is worth watching.

 

KATY TRAIL 

Tony and I rode the Katy Trail again this year which is always a great adventure.

For the second straight year we picked up these hotties along the way

They take a bunch of jumping pictures which cracks me up though I think Tony may feel differently about this tradition.

 You can see picture and read about the whole adventure here, Katy Trail 2013

 

LAST FAMILY RIDE IN OVERLAND PARK & OLATHE

We rode through construction to Church on a Sunday evening one last time. Along the way we ran into my summer intern Connor Lutz which was really fun.

You read that whole post here, Bicycling in Olathe with the Family

 

LAST INDIAN CREEK RIDE

There were a great deal of last this year and for me riding the Indian Creek Trail one last time was really sad. Although I loved bikes as a kid and mountain biking at the start of college it was here in Johnson County that I fell in love with Bicycling as an adult again. I miss the trail. Below is a picture I took with a timer, which might be worse than a selfie do to the effort involved. Here is rest of that ride.

 

FIRST MANHATTAN RIDE

It took me longer than I would have liked to get my first ride in, but it was nice, good chance to get a feel for the town and the surrounding areas. This place is beautiful and just a different pace of everything which is nice. It’s just one of the those places that feels under appreciated and we are grateful to be called to proclaim the Gospel here. Here is the post from that first ride, First Manhattan Ride

Here is last year’s post Life on the Bicycle 2012

 

 

 

 

The Rich Guy & Astros Socks

RichGuyandAstrosSocks

Today I was in Mark 10 where Jesus is telling about the Rich Young Ruler. They guy wants to know a simple question but of eternal significance. How can I have eternal life? The guy is ever aware that his life is not going to last forever, that he will die. He has gathered a whole bunch of stuff, good stuff that is valuable and Jesus tells him basically you want eternal life? Ditch the crap and follow me.

It’s almost like so many shopping experiences I’ve had. I see something I would like. Not long ago I was at an Astros game in Houston and I saw some Astros socks that I loved, I wanted them. Blue and orange stripes with their new logo on them. This is what I wanted more than anything else in the store so I asked how much they were. $19. Are you kidding me? I mean I want the socks, but I don’t think they are worth that; I’m just not willing to part with $19 to gain them. I don’t value the socks that highly, even really cool ones like this. So I walked out of the store sad because I did want the socks, but not at that cost.

That’s what we see here. The Rich Young Ruler really does want eternal life. He was very honest about that part and his desire for eternal life was strong enough that he actually inquired of its cost. In a very un-evangelical manner Jesus tells him, “You lack one thing; go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).

Seems simple enough: you know all that nice stuff you have, yes, well, just… go sell it and then take all the money you get from selling it and give that away to people who have nothing.

I think the Ruler saw this like $19 Astros socks. The price Jesus told him was not one he was willing to pay. He was unwilling to give up all his stuff. It seems clear that being rich was an identity for him, after all we don’t know his name. We know him simply as a Rich man, that was his identity and that is still his identity 2,000 years later.

Obeying Jesus in this way would have changed his identity, he feared it would make his new identity “the Poor Young Ruler.”

What Jesus really does here is point out to the man that He is worshipping his riches, his money, his place in society is his god and he is unwilling to abandon that god for a God who gives eternal life to His people. The Rich Young Ruler wrongly assessed value.

If those Astro socks gave me the ability to fly or run 100 mph I don’t think I would have hesitated to pay the $19. If this man really understood the value of knowing God, of being a child of God, if he rightly assessed the value of eternal life with Christ, then selling all his stuff and becoming a poor man would have been an easy decision.

Very few of us relate to the Rich Young Ruler ourselves because we know those with giant houses or fancy cars who really need to hear this, but luckily not us. Ha. There is a value system that every one of us wrestle with each day just like the Rich Young Ruler.

The question though is this. Are you willing to lose and let go of idols and all their short term benefits to follow the Lord in 2014? Not to earn your salvation, you simply can’t do that, but to rightly value God above everything else.

  • What is the value of eternal life to you?
  • Would you give up that promotion to stay and keep your family in that church?
  • Would you give up the hope of a future husband and serve for the Kingdom now?
  • Would you cut off pornography for the joy of seeing God instead?
  • Would you let your house get dirty and spend a morning hearing God in Scripture and speaking with God through prayer?
  • Would you give money you earned to further God’s Kingdom at the risk you’ll never see the results in this life?
  • Would you give up your child’s high level sports to make worship with the people of God your family’s true priority?

You know your heart, what are you holding on to that you stupidly value higher than eternal life?
What have you wrongly valued and are holding onto today that needs to be sold and given away for the joy of the Lord?
Imagine if Jesus asked you to give it up and come follow Him.
Would you do it, or would you go away sorrowful unwilling to let go?