When followers of Christ become engaged, the powers of darkness become enraged. Soldiers do not become strong without seeing combat. You cannot have a victory without a battle. Faith that is not tested, is useless. Through the deep rewarding time of … Continue reading Until Then, We Fight
Deeper times of prayer began. A corporate fast was called, with the directive to ‘fast until its funded’. What was certain about this Call, was that we were to fast as the Lord led each of us, and our obedience would loose something in … Continue reading Deeper Still…
2016 began right where 2015 left off. Advertising. Publications. Mailings. Videos. Guest appearances and speaking engagements. Phone calls, letters, e-mails blanketing the community. Statistics and data were shared, risks were communicated. Some folks got ‘on the bandwagon’ with the need for shelter to … Continue reading Not By Might
2015 was a year of doing ‘all we know to do’ regarding the House.
Development included personal calls & visits, radio & video promotions, mailings and publications, events, social media opportunities, and so much more.
Through every avenue we had at our disposal the story was told.
The need was communicated.
The vision spelled out in detail.
Invitations to be part of the solution were extended.
By the end of the year there were very few people in any walk of life in our community who had not heard about the need for safe shelter for our kids, the solution through the Barnabas House, and the opportunities to support the project.
The architectural firm worked with our staff to come up with a decidedly different, yet completely appropriate design for the House.
The previous fall, 40 days of prayer and fasting was declared. Dozens of people joined in, claiming at least one day to pray and fast for the project. Early in 2015 we did another fast, and saw the Lord strengthen the individuals and the Barnabas Team for the journey ahead.
While the ‘surface’ of the project appeared to be standing still, behind the scenes significant work was being done to prepare the plans, and the Team, for God’s divine move of provision.
Ephesians 6 outlines the spiritual battle all Christ followers are in. Each piece of the armor is detailed, their full purpose clearly defined.
Just before describing our armor, God tells us through Paul’s pen “..that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Unseasoned warriors assume that success requires movement.
In spiritual battles, sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is simply STAND. Refuse to move, refuse to quit, refuse to sit down in defeat.
When the enemy whispers in your ear “had enough yet?” we must stand.
When his heart-piercing arrows draw blood deep in our soul, we remind him that ‘He is close to the broken hearted.’
When our adversary arrogantly taunts with his ability to distract, discourage, divide, we hold firm to ‘greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.’
Any time anyone or anything attempts to knock us down or away from our post, we lean into God’s strength to stand right where He has placed us. We declare victory by the simple, unmistakable reality that we’re still here.
We’re still His.
He’s got this, and He’s got us.
It was a quiet, yet profoundly informative meeting. Barnabas leadership had given permission to ‘look deeper’, to better understand just what was happening with the design. In an early morning meeting we learned the design we had fallen in love with, that … Continue reading …into a Brick Wall
Fine-tuning designs, systems, plans and projections.
Architects and designers talked their language, contractors added their area of specialty.
Prayer warriors did battle on their knees, promotional professionals helped communicate the message & vision all across the community.
Donors got excited to be part of something so vital for today, so powerful in leaving a lasting legacy.
Smiles from God included a “does the ball field have to wait?” question from one of the key contractors. Our intent was to put in the field when additional funds were available. The contractor ‘just happened to have’ stone dust on hand that needed to be placed somewhere. “If it’s okay with you, we’ll excavate the area for the field and install the stone dust, at no cost.”
Beautiful blessing, understood deeply by those who know the power of a ball field for teaching, and the significant meaning for myself personally.
Several softball teams and a handful of youth baseball teams have gotten a lot of use out of what one team called their “field of dreams”.
Small ‘smiles’ from the Father, to encourage us on the journey.
Every step of the way there was some form of confirmation. A phone call, a letter, an e-mail from someone ‘out of the blue’ to encourage us to keep going, don’t give up.
Consistently we have been reminded “God’s got this, and He’s got us.”
Momentum was building in nearly every area of indicator within, and around, the community.
With every yard of dirt turned over on the site, more people became excited about what they saw and chose to become part of it in some way.
Building plans were submitted to the township for approval, with all of us in an “any minute now” attitude, ready to start construction on the House.
Not long after they were submitted, the plans returned to us with a rejection letter that included nearly two dozen points of refusal.
“No problem, we’ve got this” we were told.
Corrections were made and plans re-submitted.
Another rejection letter followed, showing only three of the rejected areas having been resolved.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get it passed”.
The excitement of ‘any day now’ began to become tempered slightly by the awareness of our design being consistently rejected by the township officials.
The township made a move to reject, we moved to correct.
They denied some aspects, we countered with different segments that would still include the core of the vision.
There was no doubt this was God’s project; what was He wanting us to see and learn in the delays?
Nearly 18 months passed in this cycle of submit – reject – resubmit.
The next move in the chess match came from a trusted man of prayer and influence, whose simple question of ‘can I look deeper into this?’ changed everything.
Gaining PUD approval from the township was a huge step forward. It was also jus the beginning of many approvals needed to make the House a reality. As is often the case, several of the approvals were dependent on each other. For … Continue reading The Chess Match Begins