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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: The Greatest <I>But</I> in the Bible
By william price


I am a but man and proud of it. Every time I read the Bible I find another great but. Its been a passion since I was a child. Over thirty-five summers ago my Grandfather Franklin taught me the importance of the seemingly small conjunction.

That July was unusually hot in Alpena, Michigan. As a ten year old I was dreaming about a day of being knocked over by the waves of Lake Huron. Grandfather had another idea.

“Boy, get your shoes on, we have to get those tomatoes out of the garden before they burn up.”

I would have normally jumped at the chance to get out of his house because it had that smell of Aqua Velva and Vicks Vapor Rub, but I didn’t want to work outside, I wanted to swim.

“Pa, I really would like to help, but…”

He cut me off. “But what boy?”

I remember looking at his lips move and his false teeth staying put. I guess he didn’t use enough of whatever he used to make them stick. I tried, unsuccessfully, not to smile.

“You think that’s funny boy? I can see right now I’m going to have to straighten your but out.”

Once I figured out what form of the word he was referring to, I found out my but was the cue for my heart to speak and that it was the most important word in my vocabulary.

“Boy, whatever follows your but defines who you are. You‘ll either be a man of faith, or a man of excuses. If you don’t believe me you can read it in the Bible.”

I didn’t go swimming that day, but I heard a lot about buts, and picked a bunch of tomatoes.

Even now when I read God’s word, I am amazed at the power and beauty of His peoples’ buts. One of the more classic examples is in Psalms 3:1. “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. BUT thou, O Lord, art a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head.”

David’s but was actually a weapon more mighty than any spear he ever threw or sword he swung. It was the vehicle he used to launch his faith. His but testified he knew God.

I believe the most powerful but in scripture was uttered by Jesus. It would release all the events that led to the cross, His resurrection and ascension to Heaven. Without it, we would have no salvation or hope.

Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was time. One of the strongest words He ever used on earth was about to be released. Jesus got down on His knees a stones throw from His sleeping disciples. He prayed so earnestly, an Angel from heaven came to strengthen Him. Luke 22:44 says, ”…His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” It was there, Jesus spoke the but that would change the world.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, BUT yours.”

Can you imagine Satan after hearing that?

“What did he say? Did Jesus pray, ‘but yours‘?”

He had to know he lost right there, because he would not be fighting against the life of Jesus anymore, but the will of God. The same holds true for us believers. When we surrender to the will of God, the enemy is not fighting against us anymore. “…not my will, but yours.”

I believe the greatest but in the Bible, belongs to the person reading it. John 14:12 says: “…anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even GREATER things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Just imagine how GREAT our buts can be.

Years after my grandfather passed away I flew back to Michigan and had, “but Jesus said“, engraved on his tombstone. I think he would have liked that. He didn’t leave me a million dollars, however getting my “but straightened out” was one of the greatest things I ever learned. As a grandfather now, I’m teaching my grandson to be a but man, however we talk on the white sandy beaches of North Florida and not in a tomato patch.

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This article has been read 1147 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany07/13/06
Wow...this was excellent. I loved the description of his teeth...I could just picture the grandfather speaking. And that great devotional in the middle with the wrap up at the end just brought it all together! What a great mixture and style of writing. This was creative. Loved the voice.:)
Sharlyn Guthrie07/13/06
Well done! You did an excellent job of combining your Grandfather's wisdom with humor.
Brenda Bates07/13/06
Great wisdom flows from our grandparents. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. Very well written indeed!
Keith Wallis07/15/06
"But" will never seem the same again. Nice reflection.
Pat Guy 07/17/06
William, William, William - another perfectly great entry. I am very impressed. When I got to the most important 'but' and knew where 'it' was going, it brought tears to my eyes.

I love the many layers of this piece - I hope it places.
Edy T Johnson 07/18/06
I'm a pushover for stories about children and their grandparents and this one fits that heart mold. What great lessons we learned from them, in the garden, the kitchen, or anywhere we did things together. You have written a wonderful parable that has enough here for a whole book, I think.
Lisa Vest07/18/06
This is so good, not just because it's well-written, BUT because it is so true! What a wonderful revelation. It will certainly make me think next time I use that word. Excellent! I think this piece will be a winner.
Brenda Craig07/18/06
Ok, I give, and join the HTML challenged! I so enjoyed this story. It provoked some serious thought on my part. I loved the line:....I believe the greatest but in the Bible, belongs to the person reading it....This is so true. You are a very wise man and the acorn didn't fall far from the tree. This is a winner. Blessings Brenda
Valora Otis07/18/06
Wow! William, this was a blessing from beginning to end. The life lessons were precious in this piece. This brought tears to my eyes as I remembered my own Grandfather. He was much like yours. Bless you!
Jen Davis07/18/06
Great story and so true! Definite creativity at work here. I agree with Edy, this would make a great book filled with "but" stories. Very well done.
Jan Ackerson 07/18/06
Wonderful! I smiled all the way through this.
Ann FitzHenry07/18/06
How perfect! An absolutely wonderful lesson! I loved your descriptions. I agree with everyone posted above. This is great! :-)
J. C. Lamont07/19/06
This was a very good article/devotion, I have but one suggestion. From the first line about Jesus to "not my will but yours" was alittle drawn out. I think it could be even more powerful if you tightened up that spot. Overall though, great writing.
T. F. Chezum07/19/06
Very good story. I enjoyed it a lot. Great job.
Laurie Glass 07/20/06
Very well written. A piece like this could easily be boring actually, but it wasn't boring at all. You made your point come to life and kept my attention all the way through. Great job.
David F. Palmieri Sr.11/20/07
I was writing to thank you for your comments on my article...in so doing I read some of your stuff...now I am jealous and envious of your writing...you have caused me to sin...lol...I loved "The Greatest But in the Bible" the most...thanks for the motivation to work at my writing much harder...