During the last week of June I took a road trip Nashville/Smithville TN. I visit Tennessee almost every year and I always enjoy my time there. I usually go, spend a few days visiting with friends, and preach at their church. This year I decided to expand the trip by a few days and spend some time in Nashville. My hope was to make ministry connections and get more done for the miles traveled.
|Betty & Wally|
When I first started planning for this trip, I had no idea how the plans would come together. Funding, traveling companions, and finally a car accident were obstacles which I watched God remove one by one. It was so encouraging to be reminded once again that I had friends and family in full support of what God had called me to do. In approximately three months I raised enough money to pay for the trip in full and still had money left over at the end.
My brother Nathanael, my friend Bob, and I left Grand Rapids at 5:00 PM on the evening of June 24. We rolled into Nashville at about 1:30 AM central time. We were tired but grateful that God has given us journey mercies throughout the trip. Despite the fact that I do not like to travel at night it was a relatively pleasant experience.
The first night was once again a test of trust in God’s faithfulness. As I alluded, to already I had seen God go before us in the planning and execution of this trip to this point. So when the hotel room was not what I anticipated, I should have rested in the fact that God had a plan. Instead I started to get irritated because in my mind there was no way I can go through Monday morning without a handicap assessable room, especially since this was a business trip and I wanted to be looking my best as I fulfill my business obligations.
After sleeping three hours the first night, we drove to Franklin Tennessee to visit the Wally show at Way FM. It was a blessing. The opportunity to meet people whose radio ministry had been a blessing to me for two years was amazing! The best part was they were just as genuine off mic as they are on the air each day and I found myself wishing we could just throw on a rerun and go grab but a bite to eat.
Wally and his entire staff were very easy to talk to and I enjoyed watching the organized chaos that is a national morning radio show. Afterword, I got the opportunity to interview Wally. It was very exciting! I look forward to sharing the interview in a couple of weeks on my podcast. If you have not already I hope that you will take the opportunity to subscribe to the Speaking4Him Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher so that you do not miss this fun and interesting interview. Wally is the real deal and when you listen that will come through.
After we were done at the station, we went back to our hotel and sought assistance in finding new arrangements for the remainder of the trip. At first it seemed as though nothing could be done, but soon they were calling around to other hotels and by that evening we had a new room at a different hotel which ended up feeling like a major upgrade. God had done it again!
One of the most amazing things that I’ve learned about God throughout my Christian walk is that some of his greatest blessings come despite the fact that I recently complained. And I am so thankful that he remembers that I am dust and loves me anyway!
The next two days were spent largely sightseeing around the area. Once again this is not my favorite thing and I would’ve been happier if the time had been filled up with ministry -related meetings, but God often puts us in situations to stretch is out of our comfort zone and into put others first! We visited the country music Hall of Fame and the Cheekwood Gardens. We also went to a Civil War Museum and a resale shop owned by one of the guys who host American pickers (although the resale shop wasn’t much to write home about). I’m glad I put aside my anxiety because each of these places was a fun experience.
On Saturday night I visited with the Mahan family who are longtime friends. Mr. Mahan met my dad in Bible School and is the Pastor of the church I would speak at the next day. They picked up their daughter Rachel from the Nashville airport and we met at the Golden Corral restaurant. It was a good time of fun and fellowship. I hadn’t seen Rachel in years and it was great to catch up and reminisce. We even enjoyed cotton candy! I also met their daughter Christina’s fiancé. It’s such a blessing to see God working in their lives.
The next day was Sunday and we traveled an hour and so that I can preach at Faith Baptist Church in Smithville Tennessee. I really appreciate the saints of this church and their love and generosity is much appreciated! After church, we went out for Chinese and then over to the Mahan’s for more fellowship. It was a blessing to see all three of their children for the first time in approximately 16 years. It was very good to see their son Jon and to meet his wife and three children. It was a blessing to talk about our mutual love of the Scriptures and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The next day was Monday the 29th and we spent the day on the road. We arrived home around 10:00pm. I am very thankful that we had no travel related issues. God is so good!
I’m not sure what God has planned for my future but this trip was a pleasant reminder that I’m on the right path! God never promised that life would be easy but he did promise that if I trust him he will direct my path. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5 I can’t wait to see where he takes me next!