idea (noun): something imagined or pictured in the mind; a plan for action 

“We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus…”

2 Timothy 1:9

God has so many ideas.

Billions and billions of them.

I don’t pretend to understand them all, and I know I miss a lot of them in my hurried little life. But I’m pretty convinced that every single idea of God’s is designed to give us another glimpse of his extravagant and unconditional love.

One of my very favorite God-ideas is a life-changing place called Malibu Club in Canada.

Malibu Club has a story that only God could have written…

Once upon a time, in 1945, a luxury resort for the rich and famous was built in a remote inlet off of the Vancouver, British Columbia coast. For the next few years, movie stars and politicians such as John Wayne, John F. Kennedy, and Bob Hope vacationed at this beautiful, peaceful, and protected spot.

Even with these superstar guests, Malibu Club closed down after only five years in operation. The owner, Tom Hamilton, listed the resort for the way-out-of-reach price of $1,000,000. At the same time, a relatively new ministry called Young Life was in the process of developing a camping program to introduce teenagers to Jesus Christ. The founder of Young Life, Jim Rayburn, was on the hunt for a potential camp property in the Pacific Northwest.

In the intricate and creative way that God connects people, a couple who had been guests at Malibu flew Rayburn up to the property to see if the abandoned resort might work for Young Life. Immediately, he determined that this was the place for the next camp. Through a series of God-connections, Rayburn invited Hamilton to see Young Life in action at an already established camp in Colorado. He graciously dropped the price by 70%, and Young Life bought Malibu Club in Canada for $300,000.

Of course, this story does not end here. This idea of God’s continues to unfold as every boat full of campers comes and goes all summer long. Beginning with just a few campers in the summer of 1954, Malibu has become a place where hundreds of teenagers hear about Jesus every week, experiencing his love in a place of natural wonder and incredible adventure. For many of them, their lives are forever changed.

And one of those teenagers was me.

Malibu was not the place that I met Jesus, but it was the place that he and I grew close. Spending weeks of my summers in this remote and majestic inlet, I began to feel his presence in ways I never had before. I experienced his adoration for me in the wild-and-crazy, hilarious fun, in the messages and songs, and in the silent majesty of the mountains rising above the deep, cool water of the inlet. I felt new freedom to ask questions and be vulnerable, to have honest conversations. I was stretched to the end of myself as a volunteer as I learned a new standard of cleanliness and service that reflected the excellence of Jesus. And then there were the people. I am beyond grateful for several lifelong friendships that were formed at Malibu with amazing people who loved Jesus and loved me in ways that continue to encourage my heart.

His ideas are for us.

“I know what I’m doing.

I have it all planned out–

plans to take care of you,

not abandon you,

plans to give you the future you hope for.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Invite Him in: Thank Jesus for his ideas. The things that he is imagining for you are way above and beyond any of yours. Ask him what he has in mind, what seemingly out-of-reach dream he might be working on for you.  His ideas just might change your heart, your mind, and your world.