Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hard Core - part 1

Let's Get Hard Core
Part 1 
The Phone Call came late at night - my siblings and I were about to crawl into bed when it came... I shall never forget that night. I knew something was wrong when my dad got really silent on the phone. It was a pastor from our church. What could have happened that would warrant so late a phone call and so serious a face? Why did I have the feeling that something terrible - something that I had feared - had just happened. Dad pushes the red button on his phone and ends the call. He tells us: My grandpa is dead. 
At first the news was too shocking for tears. I guess my stubbornness refused to accept that he was actually gone. Grandpa Freddie wasn't actually my grandpa at all. He was a member of our bible study and I loved him so much. He was easy to talk to with a funny Texas accent. I knew that if I was facing a spiritual problem - he was there for me. He worked in the prison ministry and brought more people to Christ than anybody I have ever met. He truly lived his life entirely devoted to Christ. We were going to have him over and "adopt" him as our grandpa. But The Phone Call got to us first - I would never get to call him grandpa... I never even got to say goodbye. 
That was the night that changed my life, though not as drastically as some people might think. It was a gradual process. The acceptance that he was gone, the grief and tears that followed, and the questions seemed like they would overpower me. Why did God take my grandpa away? I still needed him, I still wanted him. Why? 
I found my answer. Life is to quick to lay by and wait for changes to just happen. I've seen far to many teens, kids who could do so much, just sit by and wait for the Change to take place in their life. But you may not have tomorrow to change. You may not have next year. What if you learned that you weren't going to live to see your next birthday? Would you be living you life any differently? In James it says:  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)
 Image result for many people are going nowhere fast quote
God has given you a life, not so you can live passively, but so you can glorify Him. God is a jealous God and created you as His child. Yes, that includes you teenagers! 
I hear people talk about teenagers like it's a stage in life to be detested and nobody can do anything about it. But I don't believe that's true! Teens can do so much to affect the world, and it can be as easy as turning off the TV and helping your family. 
But you have to be motivated to change. Nobody can make you change your heart. You can go through the motions of being helpful, you can plaster on a smile that gets peeled off as soon as you're behind closed doors, but that's not doing anything. If you're heart isn't serving, then neither are you.
We should live our lives to glorify the One who created everything and who we will one day live with for all of eternity! In the end, will you ever remember that TV series you watched instead of helping your brother or sister? On your death bed will you want somebody to bring your shoes that you bought so you can say goodbye? No. The thing that will matter is your family, friends, and your relationship with God. God is going to show you, imagine a big screen TV, everything you missed out on, every chance that got passed by, that you could have taken advantage of. We should be striving to hear God say "well done, good and faithful servant." Because this life isn't about us! It's about Him! 
So where am I going with this? How does this tie into my grandpa's death? When he died, I realized how easily I could died as well. It just takes one dumb car driver to swerve into you on the road and you're gone. I honestly realized that I wasn't ready, but I wanted to be. 
Since then I've been reading my bible and realizing just how awesome a God we serve. I wanted to please Him. I changed my heart. There's no one like Him, and He wants to love and care for us! We just need to turn to Him. And if you do that, He will use you to accomplish a lot more than finishing a level on a video game. 
But you need to get Hard Core. 

I'm going to end with this story. If you have never read the book Do Hard Things by Bret and Alex Harris - you need to. I would quote the entire book if I could because it is one big Gold mine of wisdom.
Before I started writing this I got an email from their website - Therebelution.come . I would like to share it with you.

"It's one thing to promise you that adventures await those who step outside their comfort zones...
It's another to PROVE it with real life examples.
That's why I love the story of Riley Banks.
She's a shy girl who went to visit Kenya at 13-years-old and repeatedly felt in over her head.

In fact, Riley even fainted while trying to help care for babies at a Kenyan hospital (see picture below). Not a great way to start your missionary career!

Riley, Age 13, in Kenya
But rather than letting herself give up and crawl back to Branson, Missouri to live a normal teenage life, Riley decided to go back to Kenya the following year… 

And the year after that… 

And the year after that…

And the year after that…

Seven years later, Riley runs her own non-profit organization, operates a school in Kibwezi, and oversees a thrift shop and food pantry in Branson to fund operations. 

In the near future she’ll be opening a five-acre community center in Kenya with a feeding program for kids and a training facility for single mothers to learn a trade and provide for their families.
She is changing lives… And it has changed her life.
Here’s how Riley puts it:
“God doesn’t call the bravest, the strongest, or the smartest, but when He calls and we respond with simple child-like faith, amazing things can happen.”
Isn’t that inspiring?"
 Are you willing to change?


  1. This is something that I needed to hear. Thank you Elly. <3

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it! I hope all is well with you and your family! I miss you!