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20 September 2012

Dad Meets Europe

I was blessed to have my dad come visit me for twelve days. It was the first time seeing family in over six months. As you may know, Dad is a fun and encouraging guy to be around, so, needless to say, good times were had.

This was Dad’s first time in Europe. We could’ve lounged around Bratislava for twelve straight days, but we had no interest in such an idea. I used a bunch of vacation days, we rented a small red Škoda, and hit the road to explore new places and see old friends. Our journey is highlighted via photos below. 

DAY 1 // Vienna, Austria

Schonnbrunn Palace

DAY 2 // Salzburg, Austria

View from the Hohensalzburg Castle.

DAY 3 // Munich, Germany

DAY 4 // Stuttgart, Germany

 Visited Elke, a friend that came to Brazil to work with a German missions team at my parents' tribe.

Rubble from World War 2 piled forty meters atop a hill overlooking the city.

DAY 5 // Cologne, Germany

 Bridge in Cologne, Germany, with thousands of padlocks with engraved names. Lovers lock it to the fence and throw the key into the river as a symbol of their undying love.

DAY 6 // Berlin, Germany

 Brandenburg Gate

 Holocaust Memorial

Berlin Wall

DAY 7 // Prague, Czech Republic

 One man show. Played guitar, harmonica, xylophone, keyboard, and the drums.

 My new favorite cafe.

DAYS 8-10 // Bratislava, Slovakia

 Dad giving traditional Slovak food a go. Bryndzové halušky.

View of the sunset from the radio tower (highest point in the city).

DAY 11 // Budapest, Hungary

 Parliament building.

To see more photos (a total of 95 with a slightly lower image quality), check out my “Dad Meets Europe” Facebook photo album here.

18 September 2012


One word that has been consistently jumping out at me recently is “surrender”. It’s something that we tend to desire and discuss without actually doing. Despite our nonchalance on the issue, it is anything but trivial. We don’t inherit eternal life without it.


According to our acceptance of easy believism and cheap grace, there are times in Scripture when Jesus simply gets out of line. He goes too far. A perfect example of this is when the rich, young ruler approaches Him wanting to know what to do to inherit eternal life. “Just believe in me, and you’re good to go!” is what Jesus should have said. Instead, He exposes this man’s idol—his wealth—and tells him he has to surrender it before doing anything else.


We all know this story (found in Mark 10: 17-22), but you may have overlooked a tiny little portion like I had. Before Jesus told him that his obedience to the commands wasn’t good enough and that he had to go home, sell all his stuff, and give to the poor, there is a little portion that changed this whole story and gave it new life for me.


“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him….” (v. 21)—“loved him”! He wasn’t condemning this man or shaming him. He wanted to reveal to this man what was hindering him from truly inheriting eternal life. Eternal life isn’t just Heaven—it’s knowing Jesus! This is evidenced in John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”


That is the big idea. Knowing God and knowing the truth requires surrender. There’s no way around it, and without it, we will be restless, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled in our existence.

“Truth is God himself who cannot be known apart from love and cannot be loved apart from surrender to his will.” Thomas Merton