My 100th 4thdayletter was on August 27, 2013, “Open My Eyes Lord“. In that email I promised that I would soon tell you more about Broken Door Ministries. Today I want to share my vision with you and ask you to help me make this a reality.
On October 2, 2012 God gave me the inspiration for the Broken Door Parable. I wrote about it in my email The Broken Door. To this day it is the only 4thdayletter I have written that God put on my heart in a parable.It came into my heart in an instant and the parable and its explanation were complete. I then ran to my computer to type it before the thought left me.
One month later, I made my 2nd eight day silent retreat. In the middle of the night as I was praying before the tabernacle, in a flash I believe God put on my heart the entire idea for forming Broken Door Ministries. I went back to my room in the retreat house and wrote down all that I had experienced in my prayer.
I received the inspiration to build a retreat house in the mountains of North Carolina. Jesus so loved the mountains. Matthew 14:23“After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” Jesus went to the mountains to pray and I envision a place where people from all over will come to pray. The message on my heart was so clear. I knew what the retreat center should look like andI knew what its mission and purpose would be. Would you like to help me make this a reality?
I have spent nearly a year putting the foundational pieces in place.Broken Door Ministries is now a fully operational 501(c) (3) not for profit organization. Currently we are a mobile ministry. We have been traveling around to any Christian group who has invited us to share the message that was placed on my heart in either one hour talks or half day retreats. While these talk and retreats have been well received they make up only a small portion of what I felt God calling me to do. In addition to the talks, retreats and 4thdayletters I feel strongly called to build a retreat facility in the mountains.
This will be a very special place. I have begun the process of looking at mountain properties and talking to an architect. I will explain the content and mission of the retreats in a moment but let me describe the retreat experience. The motto of the retreat is borrowed from St. Benedict and it is “ora et labora” which is Latin for pray and work. The phrase expresses the need to balance prayer and work in monastic settings and has been used in many religious communities from the middle ages onwards.
The message on my heart was for the retreat center to be built by those who attend the retreats. Over the next 50-100 years as people make their retreats in addition to experiencing instructional time, studying scripture, and time for group sharing, they will also experience times of silence in which they labor and help in the process of building the facilities for those who attend in the future.
I envision facilities built from wood and stone, simple structures perhaps post and beam or even log cabin structures. There will be a chapel, a meeting hall and many small cabins that will house four people each. I see a location that is 50-100 acres. It will be simple, beautiful, quiet and a place to come and unburden the chains that bind those who attend to recurring sin and allow them to draw closer to our Lord and savior.
Many of the topics that will comprise these retreats I have written about in my previous writings. In The Broken Door which inspired this project, I wrote about the fact that we are all “broken doors” that can lead others to Christ.
God’s Divine Mercyis another subject that will be a main point of these retreats.God loves all of us, and no matter how bad our sins are God wants us to know that His mercy is greater than our sins. He also wants us to let His mercy flow through us to others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7)
In my email, Recurring Sins, I asked each of you if you have areas of sinfulness in your life that no matter how hard you try you just keep repeating. I also ask this question to all of those who attend my talks and retreats and everyone attests to having this problem. They also say that they would like to stop repeating their sinful habits. On the retreats I hope we can show that with God’s grace and authentic Christian community people can improve the chances for breaking these sinful habits.
In the 4thdayletter Sin by Sin, Brick by Brick, I discussed becoming trapped by sinful habits. I envision people, while on these retreats, being given the opportunity to tear down the walls of shame that imprison them. This will allow the light of Christ to reach the deepest parts of their soul and begin the healing process.
One of the key components of the healing is removing the masks that we all wear to hide our brokenness. I wrote about this in Masquerade.Understanding the importance of removing our masks is one of the most vital topics that will be included on these retreats.
Finally on these retreats there will be a heavy emphasis placed on the importance of living out one’s life as part of small Christian Communities. In Mark 6:6-7 we read: “he sent them out two by two.”In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 we read: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. St. Catherine of Sienna records that God told her “For I could well have supplied you with all your needs, both spiritual and material. But I wanted to make you dependent on one another…” My friends our Christian journeys were not meant to be walked alone!
In the movie Field of Dreams Kevin Costner’s character said: “If you build it they will come.”That is how I feel about the message God has placed on my heart. Our world is full of people who are broken for all kinds of reasons. Each of us has our own brokenness. Sintakes a heavy toll on all of us. Christ took our sins to the cross. He calls us, even in our broken condition, to bring others to Him.My hope is that this retreat centerfocused on authentic Christian fellowship can help many people to strengthen their relationship with Jesus.
So what can you do to help Broken Door Ministries?
- Visit us at www.Brokendoorministires.com
- Pray for the success of this new ministry
- Invite us to speakat your church or parish or next Christian gathering.
- Keep Sharing 4thdayletters with others to help us get the message of God’s unconditional love through our inspirational emails out to everyone.
- Plan to attend our retreat center in the earliest days to be part of the foundational work on this important facility.
- Consider the opportunity to Donateand help us with the vital financial support we need to make this vision a reality.
I need your help tomake the Broken Door Retreat Center a reality. The cost of the land and thechapel and the meeting hall will be about$1,000,000.
Please pray about this. If you can see how, what God put on my heart, could impact lives including yours and mine and so many others consider making a gift of financial support? If you are reading this now and God has given you the financial resources to fund the entire $1,000,000 project please consider doing so. Maybe you are in a position to give $50,000 or $100,000 to help this vision become reality. Maybe you could help with $1,000. No gift is too small. Every gift makes a difference. Praying and working together is the motto for Broken Door Ministries “Ora Et Labora”, and together we can make this a reality! You can click here to Donate by credit card or by mailing a check. There are no salaries and no payroll for Broken Door Ministries, everyone donates their time. Please do not give anything to this minsitry if it means taking it away from your local parish or church, they come first.
Dear Heavenly Father, I believe you put the vision of the Broken Door Retreat Center on my heart. For a year we have been sharing your good news in our “mobile retreats” by taking the message on the road to many locations. Now Lord I ask for your guidance and blessing as we enter the next phase of building the retreat center. We are broken people Lord. Heal us with your grace and mercy, Amen.