Posts Tagged ‘CA’

All Solomon’s work was carried out, from the day the foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid until its completion. So the temple of the LORD was finished.

2 Chronicles 8:16

One of the privileges I have had over the last few years is to restore and build  the REFINERY Church in Chula Vista, California. It’s been a lot of team work, a lot of stress and a lot of fun. It has also provided me some interesting emotions.

I think that I have a  sense of what Solomon must have felt when he built the temple. My team and I are building the temple, and we are building a courtyard not so different in size from what Solomon and the Jewish people constructed.

Our stone layers recently finished putting down  pavers in the walkways in our new courtyard. For an outstanding price, given because this is a church, they laid down stone pavers and stone walls with stone caps in lovely earth tones of dark brown and charcoal gray.  It’s gorgeous work, fitting for a king. We paid about $13,000. The work is worth more like $18,000, but the contractor donated to the project. Afterall, it was for God. When I stand back and look at it, I feel satisfied.

At the front ot the courtyard are two beautiful iron gates, each worth over $4000. We paid $1250 for each. The metal worker made them far beyond our expectations and beyond his too. As he began the work, using some light iron pieces, he felt that God said to him, “This isn’t good enough. For my house the metal should be the best.”

And so he put asside the iron, and selected the best he had, and built out of that. Our God is a God who calls us to art and beauty and when we create he comes along side of us and inspires greatness. I stand back and look at the gates in our church courtyard. I am very pleasantly surprised.

A friend who sells electrical lighting came by to see our work in the courtyard recently. He was thrilled, so much so that the said he wanted to help light the courtyard. He asked us to pick out the decorative lighting we wanted. We have expensive tastes. It cost almost $1,000. He picked out the LED floodlights to light it at night. He selected the best for the applicaton, then he had all the lights installed. The bill for everything came to $3,200. He paid it. I feel grateful.

Satisfied, suprised, grateful — these are temple building emotions. Solomon must have felt them. I do. So also the builders who contributed to the poject. They are good feelings.

If you want to feel these things too, then I suggest that you go build something for God.

“Demo the porch,” said Richie. “It will solve a bunch of your problems.”

I looked at him blankly.

“Extend the porch out to here,” he said, pointing to the area about six feet out from the door of the house that I was hoping to turn into a counseling center, “and slope the rest of the porch down to the your walkway. That slope will end up about here,” he said, walking out on to the dirt and pointing down at his foot.

“Wow, that low,” I said. “That’s perfect! Then the walks on both sides of the courtyard will be about the same height.”

He had solved it! Richie, in only a couple hours on the site, had figured out solutions to the grading and leveling problems of the courtyard we are building at the church.

Orchestrated. That’s how I see it.

When we set out to do this project, a seventy by seventy foot interior courtyard garden for the church, it seemed impossible. We had no plan, no money and no professional support. A small old, dilapidated house sat in the middle of the site, surrounded by concrete and asphalt.

But, it had already been orchestrated. We just didn’t know how.

There was Vickie, the realtor, who introduced me to Joaquin, who had a business partner named Jesus, who bought the house. Joaquin put it on a truck and drove it down a two foot embankment, over the sidewalk and down the street.

We waved goodbye, and hooted. The house flew. And Jesus gave us some money for it.


Then there was Janet, the landscape designer, who volunteered to draw the design, and her boss who volunteered hours to solve design problems — free.

Then there was Josh, who revised the plan, created the fire exit plan the city demanded, added the detail for the wall, free, and printed out all the large scale drawings, three times, free.


Then there was Richie who came to me through a friend, Eric Richards, by referral. “I know a guy,” said Eric, who does this kind of stuff. He grades stuff and he’s got all the equipment to do it.”

Come to find out, Richie just graded the brand new Del Mar Race Track, and now he was at the church, volunteering all his experience and expertise, to us — at very little cost.


Then there was John. My daughter saw him at the college, putting up a wall, and came home and told me. And a light went on. Ask John, to build the wall to enclose the courtyard.


I walked past the dirt lot on Sunday. It’s growing weeds. It will soon be a beautiful inclosed garden, an outdoor room, a venue, a park, a worship center. How will that happen?

I’m not sure?

But I know this: It will be orchestrated.