Posts Tagged ‘liberty raymond tavern’

Well tonight I will minister again and I am so looking forward to it. Tonight’s venue is one of my favorite’s, the Liberty Raymond Tavern in North Bloomfield, OH. It’s not a bar. It’s a lovingly preserved stage coach stop and Underground Railroad station that is used for midweek worship experiences and it is a great place owned by great people. I love this place and these people and, as with every place I go, I want to give them my absolute best and that might well be wrong.

You see it’s not really about my best. Oh, I need to bring my best to everything I do and I have Scripture to back that up, but it needs to be more than that. I need to come humbly, ready to get out of the way, so that something greater than my best can happen. You see what I really desire is a move of God. I want to see the power of God come in and take over and transform lives. If I can be used in some small way to usher that in, it will be far better than my best.

It will be what my maker deserves and it will be so obvious that something beyond me happened and the One who deserves the glory will get it. God deserves all the glory. So I have a plan for tonight and my prayer is that God has a bigger plan. Show us your glory Lord!

There’s a little chalkboard just inside the door at the home where I am staying. It always has a message welcoming me we I get here. Today beside my name is 1 Cor. 2:9. I rushed to my Bible to look it up. Here’s what it said:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
The things that God has prepared for those who love Him.

This lines up so well with what God has put on my heart tonight, and all I can say is “Lord, I love you, and I can’t wait to see what you have prepared.”

To God be the glory.

On my most recent ministry trip, my hosts (and friends) had a request for me. They had found a nice table at a yard sale and asked if I could paint something on it for them. I love to do things like that, and there is a fair amount of downtime in a four day ministry trip, so, of course I obliged. Then comes the usual question:

What should I paint?

She replied, “Pray and paint what you feel led to paint…”

It made me a little nervous, and I don’t really know why. After all that is basically what my ministry presentations are. Every single one of them was born out of praying and painting what I felt led to paint. That’s how they all start. I’m not sure what was so different about this one. Perhaps it was the fact that it is on a table they want to keep. In the beginning stages of my presentation paintings, I have the basic idea and I begin to work, but it usually goes through an awkward stage, and often gets quite bit of work before I can speed paint it. This would be one shot and done.

Nonetheless, I went to bed about midnight and before I went to sleep, I prayed. I awoke 4:00 a.m. with not just a clear image, but also how to set up the image, the idea of using templates, and exactly how to paint it. I saw three things, a butterfly, representing new life and new creation, flame representing the Spirit of God and a broken chain representing freedom. I moved forward with the painting and this is what came out.

tablepaintinglrWhen I showed my friends the final piece, it related to all sorts of things they were seeing in their prayers. God is amazing like that. He really does speak into our lives and if we will ask Him, He will give us things to do, pictures to paint, stories to write, etc. Things that will not just edify you as a creative, but also speak into the lives of others. If you find yourself in the midst of some sort of creative block, start with prayer. God is listening.

He’s good like that.

Yes, yes, I did. I ministered at the Liberty Raymond Tavern over the weekend. I know what you might be thinking so I better explain myself. This is no longer a working bar, though for the record I would minister in a bar if God gave the opportunity. If it was good enough for Billy Sunday, it’s good enough for me, but I digress. The Liberty Raymond Tavern is a great place.
liberty raymond
It’s a bed and breakfast, owned and run by my friends Bill and Brenda Weiss (no relation, except for the best kind brother and sister in Christ). It’s a beautiful, peaceful, historic place. It was build in the 1800s as a stagecoach stop and many of the marks of it’s history are still there. It was also a stop on the Underground railroad. In one of the closets there is a small hidden panel in the back wall that opens to a small room under the stairs and a hatch into the basement where runaway slaves could hide as they rested, on their way to freedom. It still feels like a place of refuge, rest and peace.
underground railroad
Aside from their wonderful hospitality, they also have these intimate, Spirit filled worship gatherings in the barn. I was privileged to speak and paint at these for several nights. You can really feel the presence of God in this place.
Liberty barn
So yes I ministered in a tavern, (no alcohol flowed but God did) and I hope to do it again, soon.

This past week, I have been about 350 miles from home ministering at a wonderful church Bristolville Church of the Brethren in Bristolville, OH. I have a had a great time and have been truly blessed. I love what I get to do and I really love doing it. About the only difficulty is being away from home can be a little rough after a while. I come to miss my family. What makes it better is the hospitality I consistently receive. People welcoming me into there homes and making me feel at home. I couldn’t do what I do for very long without this type of hospitality.

This week, though was above and beyond. I stayed at this awesome bed and breakfast called the Liberty Raymond Tavern. (No it’s not a bar) It’s a historical building, built in 1840 as a dedicated stop for a stage coach line and part of the underground railroad. It’s a gorgeous place and quite comfortable. But what it really made it stand out were owners Bill and Brenda Weiss. Yes we have the same last name, no I don’t think we are related, beyond the best relationship of all, brothers and sisters in Christ. These folks went out of their way to serve me and make me comfortable. It is clear that they use their wonderful place as a ministry, blessing many in a variety of ways. When I talk about 1 Peter 4:10 and using gifts to serve others, I am usually talking talents (and Bill and Brenda are talented people), but the passage does say “whatever gifts.” These two very talented people offered up their home as a gift to me and I am most appreciative. Add onto that an amazing gift of hospitality and you get a wonderful week. I worked hard this week, but I also rested well. I felt welcome and at home, not to mention blessed and encouraged. Thanks Bill and Brenda. I look forward to coming back.

So how about it, dear reader? This is another example of how we can use our gifts to be a blessing. How can you be a blessing today?