Summary: A look at the Unexpected Journey that God sent Abraham on.

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1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you.”

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar… 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. (Genesis 12 – NIV)


Place within our hearts a passion for your Word and compassion for the world. Your son Jesus possessed both of these traits and so should we. Forgive us of our self-righteousness and give us humility to be satisfied with the Savior and not self. As your people, we are blessed when we hear, remember and do your Word. May the gravitational pull of our lives be toward your will above all other forces. For it is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray!

Bilbo Baggins is the main character of “The Hobbit.” In the Unexpected Journey, Bilbo is caught up in an epic quest to help 13 dwarves reclaim the dwarf kingdom of Erebor from a dragon named Smaug. The storyline starts with a visit from Gandalf the wizard. The scenes unfold as dwarf visitors make themselves at home in Bilbo’s kitchen as they sip, slurp, burp, gorge and laugh their way to a reunion.

In the adventure, Bilbo is invited to steal gold or, as the dwarves believe, reclaim it from a dragon (Smaug) who has it holed up in the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain. Our hero is faced with a choice: stay or go? Stay and rest in the warmth of a peaceful existence in the Shire, marked by meals and seasons, or go and break free to join 13 strangers on an adventure - an Unexpected Journey.

With Hobbit-like enthusiasm, Bilbo tracks down the band of dwarves leaving the Shire. Upon catching them, he signs the contract to join their adventure, proving his loyalty to the mission. Bilbo and company are then adventure-bound toward an obstacle course of dangers that Tolkien wraps in moral dilemmas, as they face cannibalistic trolls, a subterranean world of goblins and other surprising encounters. The Hobbit tale is unmatched for reminding us that God is the author of the Unexpected Journey. The Bible provides many Tolkien-esk adventures wrapped up in the lives of:

Abraham’s Unexpected Journey – Path of Bold Moves

Joseph’s Unexpected Journey – Path of Painful Moves

Moses’ Unexpected Journey – Path of Impossible Moves

David’s Unexpected Journey – Path of Inspirational Moves

Jonah’s Unexpected Journey – Path of Rebellious Moves

The Big Idea: God is the author of the Unexpected Journey.

Life is lived out through a story metaphor or word picture. What metaphor or word picture do you use to describe the life that God has given you? There are many answers to this question. I have heard people describe life as a circus, a minefield, a roller coaster, a puzzle, like climbing a mountain, a ten-speed bike, a deck of cards, a carousel, acts of a theatrical play, an adventure, a multi-colored painting, a sporting event, a drama, a river, a merry-go-round, a symphony, a quest, like people in a boat, a race, a party, a dance, a series of unforgettable memories or a journey.

Leanne Andry is a Starbucks employee who works on the corner of 35th and State Street a mile from the home of the Chicago White Sox. While getting acquainted that morning, I did a little “Man on the Street.” I asked Leanne to describe her life as one of the metaphors. She announced through her big smile, "Life is a painting, but not a Monet or Rembrandt, a simple crayon sketch." When asked why that image, she immediately said, "Life is filled with various colors because life has so many experiences."

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