June 21, 2024

This was the third time my wife and I were attending the King And Country’s Little Drummer Boy concert, but for the first time, we were bringing the whole family.  I had five mobile tickets to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida for the Friday night showing on December 9, or so I thought.  After fighting horrible Friday night traffic heading into Tampa, we arrived, along with a large crowd, at the same arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning play.  We navigated our way though the heavy security line, got the green light, and headed to another line to show our tickets to the bar code scanner.  That’s when our problems started.  My mobile tickets would not work, and we were not allowed to enter.

Leaving the family behind, I headed back the way I came, down the stairs outside the arena to the Ticket Office on the first floor.  Finally, the problem was discovered.  I had purchased five tickets to Amway Center in Orlando, Florida for Saturday night.  Going to that was not an option for me, so I purchased five new tickets to the show we were trying to get into.  Worse seats in the upper deck at a similar price to my seats in 109.

I was not happy.  In the past this would have ruined my night, but I was determined to not let that happen.  We were going to enjoy the show, ‘like it or not!’  Cast your cares to the Lord, right?

Smallbone Joel and Luke
Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone on stage for Fox & Friends All American Summer Concert Series with FOR KING & COUNTRY, Outside FOX Studios in Manhattan, New York, NY June 19, 2015. Photo By: Derek Storm/Everett Collection

As usual, the show was great.  We headed home after a late night and put the kids to bed.  I quickly posted the tickets for sale online, knowing that getting help from TicketMaster was unlikely.  There was a small window of opportunity to sell the Orlando tickets, and I was not very hopeful I could get my money back.

I sold two of the tickets by late morning on Saturday.  While attending the local Christmas parade, I was learning how to transfer the tickets via the TicketMaster app.  I was also searching all over the app trying to get a hold of someone at the company to explain my dilemma, hoping that a sympathetic ear would lead to an easy refund.  I finally got a hold of someone via the chat and was told that the only thing that could be done was an exchange…for the same event!  Thanks for nothing.

Around 2 pm, just hours before show time, I received another text from an interested buyer.  They were interested in possibly all three tickets.  I convinced them that I was not a scammer, and I was able to unload the remainder of the concert tickets.  Happy to get my money back, I transferred the tickets to this couple.

This nice couple from the Orlando area explained to me that they were watching holiday movies on Friday night and the wife, on a whim, just happened to check if one of her favorite bands for King And Country was ever coming to their area.  They were, the next night!

A Boy Named Abraham

Sunday morning I was greeted by an ecstatic text from the couple that purchased the remaining three tickets.

“This concert is insane,” began the conversation.  “My wife is from Mexico and we sponsored a five-year-old boy named Abraham!”

CAST 1 Peter 5:7
CAST 1 Peter 5:7
Read CAST by Richard Nilsen and learn how to cast all your cares to God successfully!

At their concerts Joel and Luke Smallbone of for King And Country tell the story of how their large family immigrated from Australia with little money on the promise of their Dad’s job in America.  But, he soon lost that job and the Smallbone family was left destitute.  As a struggling family they were helped out in so many ways, sometimes by people they didn’t even know.  Today, the talented artists spend part of every concert trying to gain sponsors for Compassion International, a non-profit that does amazing work in developing countries.

As I get older, I find that I make more mistakes in areas where I would not have in the past.  One of these mistakes was purchasing five concert events for an event in the wrong city.  It could have ruined my night, but it didn’t.  It led to a boy named Abraham obtaining a sponsorship from a family in America.  Through Compassion International, Abraham can now attend classes, overcome illiteracy, learn about Jesus, and gain many benefits for his entire family.

What seemed like a very costly and frustrating mistake at the time led to a great ending.

Story excerpted from CAST – 1 Peter 5:7 by Richard Nilsen.  Now available direct from the publisher or online through Amazon in Kindle, Audible and Paperback formats.

Romans 8 28 all things

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