Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ricky's final thoughts .....

As most of you all know, Ricky has been serving in Youth Ministry for the past 2 years now.. (Has it been that long?.. yep... wow)

It's so funny because Ricky & I honestly are total opposites.  Where I find it completely easy to talk to these kids, ask questions, be the loud one of the group, Ricky is the one who talks to the kids individually & stays to the side & keeps the other shy kids company & he gets sweaty & nervous when he needs to speak up in front of the whole crowd.

aaahhh... exactly like my hubs

So we're having small group this past Sunday & it was beautiful & the number of kids were lower then normal.  Chasity & I both said, let's just combine the kids & head outside & enjoy each other & soaking up some Vitamin D... a perfect plan...

We started off with just a 'get 'em talking' question... "If your house was burning to the ground, what is one thing you would take?" We have to make the rule that family & pets are safe because we knew that would be the first answer....

The answers really surprised me... a lot of the kids mentioned pictures of their family.  See?  If you didn't have faith in the next generation - there's your spark of hope.  I don't think one person said their iPod or their gaming system or their TV....

One young girl even mentioned she'd bring a red sweater that her aunt that is serving overseas in the military gave her before she left...

Deep thinking kids....

Of course, leave it to me to be shallow :) ... I said I'd grab all my camera bags... I mean, I'm the person that when we have tornado warnings & we have to run to the basement, I seriously take my camera bags down with me in the basement.  Not even joking.  I always tell Ricky, if a tornado hits, I can take pictures & start making money to rebuild our home.  I'm just being smart if you ask me.

You are a genius
Yes... I feel like I am...

But Ricky spoke up & said, 'Well, since I was in a fire, I can tell you, I just want to get out with my life"

Bam... OK... my camera's sound even MORE shallow...


But he has a point.  If you don't know the story of Ricky, he was in a fire with his family a little over 30 years ago.  It is a story of both tragedy & miracles, all together... that's another story that is Ricky's...

So we're reading in the Bible about the story of the rich young man (that was hard to say over & over - "rich young man" - say it fast 5 times) & how Jesus told him to give up his belongings to the poor & this rich young man just couldn't do it.  How he walked away... the whole camel through the eye of a needle thing...

We started talking about if God called you to give up everything, could you - or even more - WOULD you WANT to?

The idea of giving up things was hard.  The idea of giving up comfort, of giving up our plans, of giving up our friends & relationships to move somewhere else to serve?  It was hard to take in.  We love our life & the comforts we have.

I think all of us were like, "Can we bargain it out with God?"... my thinking was "He would let me take Ricky - we took vows in front of Him to never separate" - the advantage of being an old married couple. 

But most people were like, "Do you think God would let me take my dog?  Or my clothes?  Especially a computer to stay in touch with everyone?  Or have a comfortable safe place to serve in?

We all wanted to make a deal with God if He called us to give everything up....

So at the end of the day, our Youth Minister gave a closing thought & then asked Chasity & then myself for a closing thought.... he asked Ricky & of course, Ricky just isn't comfortable speaking in front of everyone...

& we leave & Ricky said, "I had a closing thought & I just couldn't say it"

... I asked him what it was & he said, You know, we're all in a burning building if you think about it.  Life is a burning building & we think we care about these things that we're making bargains for, but in the end, we're all just wanting to get out with our life & the lives of everyone we love.  All of our things we say we can't give up, we really can at the end... everything will burn away... The only thing that will remain is God

Tell me my husband isn't a deep thinker in his quiet little world...

& yes, we want the people we love to also make it out of this burning building with us.  I guarantee if I didn't put the 'rule' that pets & family were safe to the kids, that would have been the answer they all would have given.  Why?  Because in the end, people matter because they matter to God.... not stuff....stuff doesn't matter one bit to God.

I love one girl even said, "People are worth it..." - I told her those simple words right there are perfection.

So I just had to post this today.  Mainly because I feel like God had a message for someone to hear.  He laid it so deeply on Ricky's heart & Ricky felt so badly he couldn't make himself speak up in front of everyone...

I told him that's why God gave him a loud mouth like me who has no problem saying it to people, or even posting it on a blog where it may touch exactly who needs to hear this.

A reminder that nothing else matter...
Not the car you drive
Not the purse you carry
Not the size of the home you own
Not the brand of shoes on your feet
... but people that God created & loves
... &God alone....


  1. Though I am a Christian, this is a message I will never tire of hearing. Ricky nailed it 100%! Beyond powerful...thank you!

  2. Ok, so Ricky needs to write a book!! This is SO powerful!!! I needed to hear this today. Although I know it, it is good to think about what is truly important.


    I love you sista' ~~ dawn

  3. This reminds me of a recent situation. A friend's mom passed away a few weeks ago. She has an older sister that she never talks about because that sister severed the ties. The thing is, NO ONE knows *why*. If she's asked, she can't recall why. So, after the funeral, my friend is helping her father go through stuff. Her dad wants to invite sister over for the opportunity to take what she'd like (he's REALLY trying to mend the fence, but it just isn't working). When they were there he tried to find out, again, what went wrong. Can they fix it and move on. The granddaughters blew up at him and they stormed out--stuff in hand.

    Your sentence, "...Because in the end, people matter because they matter to God.... not stuff....stuff doesn't matter one bit to God" has been exactly what my friend's father has been trying to do. He is rock solid in his faith with God (he and his wife were cornerstones in their church), and this is what he lives by. Forget the "stuff" that belonged to his wife. He really just wanted to to have his daughter and grandchildren around him again. But sadly? They're too focused on the 'stuff'--material stuff, emotional stuff, etc.

    Good message today, friend!

  4. Wow. What Ricky said... I'm just speechless. That was really powerful. This is an awesome post and a great reminder. Thank you!

  5. I wish I had something profound to add to that ... all I've got is a simple Amen!

  6. This post seriously gave me chills!!!! So weird this story reminded me when I was growing up I had the most irrational fear of our house burning down and at that time all I cared about was getting our dog out. This was a wonderful reminder thank you for posting!

  7. Quite the deep thinker you've got there! :) And so true, in the end it's definitely not the "things" you have that matters - it's your family and your friends and your memories. That's the important stuff!

  8. this was so good to read right now...as my husband and I are facing one more month of no job and what we will do, I realize this house and these things don't matter. I have a loving husband and a loving family and I get the opportunity EVERY day to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around me....no matter where I am. Thanks.


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