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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Claiming Our Canaan.

I am begging God to continue working as we seek to build the Baptist Center for World Evangelism. God has so graciously blessed. We have seen Him provide all the money for the property. We now own the place that will house our future center. Now we ask Him to give us the funds to start the building. I thank you for praying and for all you have done to help us. I know that God will continue to work. Will you pray with me?

Below you will find a quote from Adrian Rogers biography that I find so beautiful and fitting. Enjoy as you read.

The day came for the groundbreaking ceremony.

It was elaborately planned. A platform was built with risers for a great choir. The entire church family was invited along with civic leaders and dignitaries.

We chose the theme, “Claiming Our Canaan.” I sang a song to fit in with the theme titled, “I Want That Mountain.” It spoke of Caleb's faith that God was able to conquer Canaan, the land God had promised to give them. Caleb was an Old Testament hero who defeated giants when he was eighty years old.

The little children received yellow plastic hats that looked like construction helmets. The pastor called them “Caleb's Kids.”

He had ten twelve-foot-tall giants painted on foam core board. These giants had names like “fear,” “unbelief,” “pride,” and “prayerlessness.” They were lying on the ground and could not be seen until later when they would be lifted up one by one.

The pastor stood on the platform and asked for a report from the twelve spies who had been sent to check out Canaan.

The drama department had created ten grasshopper suits. Their hind legs attached to the heel and the waist would pump up and down as they would walk. They walked up and stood in front of the pastor on the platform. The grasshoppers agreed the land was magnificent but there were giants in the land.

The pastor asked them one by one what their names were. One would answer, for example, “The giant of fear.” The giant with FEAR written on his chest would be made to stand. One by one the grasshoppers would report and giants would be lifted up. When each giant was lifted up, a banner would be lifted over the choir with the opposite characteristic.

For example, when the giant of fear was presented the pastor asked the kids, “Can fear keep us out of this land?” The kids shouted, “No!” Then he asked, “What do we need instead of fear?”

Then the banner called COURAGE came up over the choir, and the kids shouted, “Courage.”

All ten giants were raised and all the banners lifted. The pastor then dismissed each grasshopper to go stand by his giant and tremble. “Caleb's Kids” were near the grasshoppers and began to throw pebbles at them.

Then the pastor said, “We've heard a report from ten. Are there not others? Two men who represented Caleb and Joshua, dressed in beautiful biblical attire, came forward bringing a large cluster of grapes suspended from a pole between them.

When the pastor asked for a report, they said, “Let us go up at once. We are well able to take the land for God is with us.”

The pastor then said, “Very well! Let the groundbreaking begin.” The children released hundreds of multicolored balloons filled with helium. Each balloon had a Scripture verse attached. At the same time a miniature canon fired, and eighty trumpets began to blow.

Then the excitement really began. Behind a hill a deep-throated rumble was heard from the diesel engine of a mighty bulldozer that had been sequestered out of sight. The choir began to sing, “Victory in Jesus,” and the bulldozer squared up with a row of ten giants before it. By then people had figured out what was about to happen, and they began to shout.

For the groundbreaking the bulldozer blade dropped and the rich soil began to curl on it. The grasshoppers fled, and one by one the giants fell.

The cheering continued as another huge earth-moving machine came from over the hill with a ten-foot banner on its side that said, “Victory in Jesus.” It was electrifying. The memory was indelibly etched in the hearts of children and adults alike. For a moment we were all “Caleb's Kids.”

Paige Patterson and Joyce Rogers, Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers and His Philosophy of Preaching (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2005).

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