I post rarely these days because of my very limited time and mental capacity for forming complete sentences. However, I wanted to share with the 3 or 4 people who actually read my sporadic posts a dream/vision/calling that is on my mind all the time.
About a year ago I was doing a web search for Craftsman house plans for the dream house of our future. I love the Craftsman style of architecture in general, and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular. I had searched several times, but had never been able to find exactly what I wanted in a home. On this day I glanced over at an ad on the side of a house plans search, and I saw IT! There was a picture of MY HOME! I discovered it was a book of Craftsman house plans that just happened to be on sale for less than $10! I immediately ordered the book and anxiously awaited its arrival. When the book came, the plans for the house were even better than I hoped.
The dream began as a desire to build a large home in the country that would be a family homestead. Rooms for each of our kids and their future spouses to come and spend the holidays in comfort. A funny thing happened on the way to that dream, though. God began to stir in our hearts a desire to use the home for more than holidays. I began to do new web searches for retreat homes. Not a bed-and-breakfast or fun time get-away, but a place of ministry. I stumbled upon Pastors Retreat Network's website and discovered a really neat organization. I'm still doing some research, so I won't go into all of that.
Still, God started prodding us to implement a plan to build a pastor's retreat home. Most churches are small, 100 members or less, even here in the Bible belt. When a church is that small, the pastors must be bi-vocational. This translates into very overworked, generally under appreciated, and certainly underpaid servants. So the people who need to get a break the most, are often those who can afford it the least. We want a place that is independently funded, where pastors and their spouses can come for restoration, rest, and perhaps some counsel. Doug and I are trained and equipped to do just that. I have an M.Ed. in Counseling and staff licensure through my denomination. My husband's job is one that can be done from Tulsa or the country, and his experience growing up on a cattle ranch trained him to take care of just about anything a large home and acreage could throw at him. The one thing we don't have at this point is the provision for the land and house. In the natural, it will take about 6 years to try to put it all together. We also know that God works in the supernatural, and we are open to whatever, whenever, and however He wants to do it.
Basically, we just want people to pray with us that we will know how to proceed, directed step-by-step, that we will have the courage to walk by faith, not by sight, and the wisdom to make those decisions. We looked at some land yesterday that would be perfect, but it's for sale right now and there is no natural possibility for us to buy it. It may be that God is just showing us what's possible. We're o.k. with that. But we also know He's an amazing God. Amen.
p.s. The name of our home is Barnabas House, because Barnabas means son of encouragement.