Krista and I had a really incredible weekend a few weeks ago at the Tim Tebow Foundations Celebrity Golf Classic. Being that we are neither celebrities nor golfers, and we live in Nicaragua it doesn’t make much sense that we would be in Jacksonville for this, right?!? 🙂 Well, we have some long time family friends who had a spot open up on their golf group for that weekend at the last minute. They invited Krista and I to come as a “date weekend” and to enjoy the event as guests. This was only a week prior to the event, but in an almost miraculous way we ended up being able to go. Gramma and Papa gave the green light to watch our kiddos, our calendar was open for just that weekend, and all of a sudden we were booking tickets to Jacksonville.
It was such an awesome weekend in many ways! Once we decided to go, it was honestly a little intimidating. There was a formal dinner to attend, golf on a PGA tour course, and all the refined things that go along. I made sure to try to not embarrass Krista too often! We got great advice on what attire to wear and the Lord provided that for us too, in pretty wild ways. You may know this, but we do not often wear formal attire. Ok, we never do 🙂 The Lord settled my spirit by giving us the assurance that He was giving us a fun weekend together and we should just enjoy it. We also felt confident we should go and just point to whoever we ran into and pray for them and bless them in Jesus name! Both of those things happened all weekend long. We had an amazingly enjoyable time together and prayed for people all over that place! It was awesome!!!
We have so many crazy stories to tell, but the “where are we” feeling of the weekend is captured in this story. During the Friday night celebrity gala there was an amazing presentation of all the incredible things the Tim Tebow Foundation does, it was so encouraging. There was introduction of celebrities and a live auction and silent auction to raise funds for the Foundation. Praise Jesus for that! Their ministry includes “Night to Shine,” which is a Prom put on all over the US and the world for special needs children and their families. The weekend before Valentine’s Day these families are invited to a huge party. It was so incredible to hear these stories!
Back to the story I mentioned. Our table was off to the side and after the auction Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum got on stage to sing. The Emcee for the evening was Scott Hanson from NFL Redzone, and as the concert started he stepped off the stage next to us and we introduced our selves. This guy loves the Lord! He shared quickly about how long he has known the Lord and asked us what we do. He said his family does missions once a year and he gave us his contact info. Really cool. As we are finishing our conversation, Krista asks if we can pray for him. Well as we start praying, Chris Tomlin walks right by us onto the stage to sing “Good Good Father” live with Hillary Scott. We could feel the Lord’s presence in the room and here are Krista and I at the side of the stage praying for the guy from NFL Redzone while Chris Tomlin is singing live on stage with Hillary Scott. If that is not a crazy Christian dude’s wildest scenario ever, well I don’t know what is! And that is how the whole weekend went.
We spent a lot of time with friends we hadn’t seen in years as well as our friends we were just with in January. Special times. We got to meet so many different cool people and hear some amazing stories about ministries in Haiti and in Tennessee. These were ministries that do amazing work. We had a powerful time praying for that couple from Tennessee after a luncheon on Friday. Such amazing stories and very compelling about the need to reach families that have children with special needs.
We got to meet Tim Tebow and pray with him for the weekend. He is a genuinely good man of God, very impressive with all he has going on in life right now. He takes time to speak with everyone and engages in conversation. We brought him a cool man gift from Nicaragua that we were able to give to him at the end of the event. It actually had a real spiritual meaning behind it and tied into a word the Lord had given me to share with him before we left. To be faithful to share that word was another moment where I just had to let go and share. It was awesome to pray with him. There were surprising connections to Nicaragua with some others who work for his foundation, so that was very fun too!
Definitely the wildest moment for us was when we found out Chip Gaines from the show Fixer Upper was going to be the celebrity our foursome would golf with on Saturday. Krista and I love that show and their Magnolia products too. So, when I told Krista who our celebrity was going to be she really did flip out a little. She stopped for a moment and we had a God moment in our rental car in the parking lot of the hotel. Back in January the friends who invited us visited Nicaragua and we did a Bible Study together as families with another friend Kerry who is developing a really powerful series called “Becoming.” It is a powerful study and really gets you connecting to the Lord. At the end of one section we came to the “Ask” moment. We were challenged to ask God anything, anything just something crazy, something the Lord could do for you, hang it on a clothes line and let the Lord do it.
Well sitting in the car Krista looks up at me and says “babe you know what I asked God for in January during Kerry’s Bibles study?” I said “What?”, and Krista said “to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines.” Of course I said, “NO WAY!” She said it was so funny but she just felt if the Lord wanted to do something for her she would love to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines, so she asked. But she thought, we aren’t even going to Texas any time soon. Well here we were are a month and a half later and we are going to play golf with Chip Gaines the next day!!! We not only got to meet him but were going to spend the day playing golf together! As goofy and random as that is, the Lord showed himself real to us in that special way. Nobody knew this was Krista’s “ask”, except maybe her mom. There is no way we could have planned or arranged this, last minute trip, being able to go, both being invited, etc… There were so many celebrities there, most of whom we never even saw from a distance, but we end up golfing with Chip Gaines! It was crazy! And if you know Krista she isn’t particularly star struck so an “ask” like that was so random. But here we were on this crazy weekend. It was such a crazy and random “ask”. We are encouraged by the reality of God and his crazy love for us. Also encouraged that the other things I asked for that day are being worked out as well! Amen.
We had a great time playing golf on Saturday. The whole event was incredible! I played the TPC Sawgrass which has the famous island green on 17. I didn’t land my ball on the green, but at least I shot past it and didn’t land short in the water 🙂 Chip Gaines was equally as genuine as Tim Tebow. He signed autographs all day, shared some stories and testimony with the crowd before we had to do a crazy lip sink dance on 17. He always took pictures and always seemed full of the joy of the Lord. So great to be around and very encouraging. We had an awesome time praying with him as well on the last green, and Krista was able to give him a gift she brought for Joanna Gaines just in case we happened to see them on the weekend 🙂 Joanna wasn’t able to come at the last minute, but we sent it back with Chip. It was awesome to pray with him and his coworker who was traveling with him! A moment with God on the final hole at the TPC Sawgrass. Awesome!
We had gifts for other dear friends we got to see and even for some random people we didn’t really know. I got to hand Gary Shuffield a Nicaraguan cigar on the practice range. We prayed for many more people on the golf course, at the gala and at the dinner after golfing. We had the feeling that the Lord was just carrying us along.
The true feeling Krista and I had, all the way to the last minute getting on the plane coming home, was that we were in a dance with the Lord. He was guiding our steps without us even having to think. We didn’t have to arrange seeing our friends as they arrived, we just ran into them in the lobby. Timing was perfect. And we were faithful to just pray for whoever the Lord led us to pray for, no matter where we were or who it was.
We do feel like God had some other purposes for that weekend as well tied to things here in Nicaragua. We will see what all unfolds, but we are going to be faithful to do whatever the Lord wants for his Kingdom here in Nicaragua as it is all over the world!
Krista and I had an amazing weekend together too. It had been nine years since we last got away just the two of us. We love being with our kids so it was something we never lamented or even realized was the case. But it was surprising when we realized it had been that long LOL! This was the most amazing “date weekend” we could have planned. And we didn’t have to plan it. 🙂
So we wanted to share this crazy story with you who know us, support us, pray for us and are a part of our ministry. God gave us a huge hug with this weekend and we wrote this to testify to that! There are so many more crazy and funny stories. We hope to share if we get to see you in person.
As long time Seminoles fans and alumni we can say….Tim Tebow is an incredible guy! Even if he is a Florida Gator! 🙂
Ask God for crazy things! He will surprise you! We testify to that!