main image

              I’ll be the first one to admit that there is comfort in doing things the way that they’ve always been done, in the convenient way, in the familiar way, and in the way everyone else does it.  We’ve all sat in a meeting before where someone came up with a “crazy” idea and you tried to hide the look on your face as you thought “nobody does it that way”.  As much as I may not like doing things in a different and new way sometimes, I’m constantly reminded in Scripture of how God operates regularly in the “nobody does it that way” method. 

                This is a silly way to approach things, but if God had a meeting where plans were made for some of the great stories of faith in history, this is how they would have played out with me at the table.

  • Abraham Moves to Caanan – Genesis 12 – If God asked me my opinion on the best way to start a great nation of people who will love God, my first thought is when he mentioned Abraham is that it’s a great idea because Abraham has wealth, livestock, and land. He’s got everything we need to start a powerful nation.  He can rally those around him, those he has influence over and we’ll be well on our way to having a powerful nation for the Lord right there in Haran.  Then God says, well I was planning on asking Abraham to move, but I’m not telling him where he’s going.  About that time, I’m fighting off the urge to say “nobody does it that way”.  God goes with his plan, despite in my mind it being a bad idea…and because of Abraham’s faith, it works!
  • Conquering Jericho – Joshua 6 – God’s got his people moving into the land…by the way that’s the same land that Abraham moved to…yea that land where God decided to move Abraham to make a great nation despite all my reservations. Anyway, God says we are going to conquer Jericho.  I put on my military general hat and I’m trying to figure out how many soldiers we have, what weapons we have, what are we going to do to breach the walls of this city.  Realizing it’s going to be impossible to breach the walls of the city, I advise God we probably should just leave them alone and find another city to conquer.  God then puts forward the idea of marching around the city and on the final day blowing trumpets and the walls coming down.  When I hear the idea, I fight off the urge to tell God “nobody does it that way”.  Crazy thing happened…it worked.
  • David and Goliath – 1 Samuel 17 – The Philistines have become a massive annoyance to God’s people, so God brings up dealing with their greatest soldier Goliath and in the process using this event to prepare a future king for His people. I begin to think about our best soldiers, the strongest, the most influential, the ones who would be the greatest leaders.  I begin to name the best of the best, each time God saying “no”.  He finally says I want David to do it.  I’m like, “Who’s David?”  When he proceeds to explain David is just a shepherd boy, I fight off the urge to tell God “nobody does it that way”.  Amazingly enough, despite my better judgement, David was able to defeat Goliath and ultimately was a king for God’s people.
  • Jesus Crucifixion – Matthew 27 – First of all let it be known that when God decided to send His son Jesus into the world as a baby, I didn’t think it was a good idea. Then as His life progressed and God started talking about how Jesus would die on the cross, I was pretty sure that was a misguided thought.  Jesus could conquer the Roman empire by rallying his followers, He is God’s son after all.  Jesus could have called down the angels, defeated anyone who opposed Him and set the world straight once and for all.  Despite what I thought, God said the only way to fix sin was for His son Jesus to die.  Again, as I’ve grown accustom to, I fought back the urge to say “nobody does it that way”.  You’d think by now I’d realize when God wants to do things in a new, different, sometimes crazy way…it works out.  In this case, Jesus did die, He rose from the dead and God’s plan to defeat sin worked.
  • Great Commission – Matthew 28 – After the whole Jesus dying on the cross thing and Him coming back to life thing worked out, I was convinced Jesus was going to begin to rule. He’d spread His message of repentance and salvation through Christ.   We were on the verge of the world changing.  Then God said, it’s time for Jesus to come back to heaven.  I’m going to put my followers in charge of continuing to spread the gospel.  My first thought is why would you put your all-star Jesus on the bench, let Him do His thing and the whole world will know.  I again resisted the urge to remind God that “nobody does it like that”.  The idea of trusting a bunch of sinners to carry out such an important mission for God seemed crazy, truly “nobody does it like that”.  Yet despite my better judgement when Jesus returned to heaven, the early church formed and spread like wildfire and continues to grow globally. 

               I could go on and on with story after story of all the bad ideas, in my opinion, that God has had over time and with every one of them I’d have to admit I was wrong.  Over and over and over again, God chooses to do things like nobody else does.  As much as doing things the comfortable way or the way everyone else would do it sounds good to me, I’m constantly challenged with the reality the God’s ways just don’t always make sense to me.  That’s where faith comes in.  Next time things aren’t going according to your plans or you feel like God wants you to do something a different way and the urge to say “nobody does it that way” comes, remember…God does it that way!

Posted by Jeremy Shirley with
main image

As we journeyed home from the “Billy Graham Experience” trip, you could hear murmurs & comments on the bus by many that this was our best trip yet led by our fantastic 55+ leader Dallas Brower.

Labelled “Billy Graham Experience Plus”.  Indeed, it was!  Our trip took us through five states.

Highlights from North Carolina were:

The Billy Graham Chapel - located on 1200 acres nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Mrs. Graham is responsible for putting all the details together and has done a wonderful job.  The property is kept in pristine condition.  The volunteers who work there love what they do, and it shows in their work!

The Billy Graham Cove - a beautiful retreat, conference and training center.  This is an area that you can step away from everyday activities and be richly blessed by walking the grounds and spending time with the Lord. 

The Billy Graham Library/Museum – About a 1- hour tour of the Book Store, Dining Area, Graham Family Home, Memorial Burial site and Prayer Garden to list a few of the many areas to visit. 

Then to Nashville, Tennessee where we enjoyed Dinner, Show and Cruise on the General Jackson Showboat.

Our last stop was to Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center to view and shop. This hotel hosts 2,888 hotel rooms. The 9 acres of atrium indoor gardens house over 8000 tropical plants and is a beauty to behold.

We had a fantastic trip, great lodging, good food, wonderful fellowship.

 

Posted by Janet Stephens with

12345678910 ... 9394