February 2

Watch Out For the Dream-Stealers

“so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’” Nehemiah 6:3

Dr. Haller Nutt of Natchez, Mississippi, had a dream. He wanted to build one of the greatest plantation houses in all of the South. Being a doctor and cotton farmer gave him the wealth needed to accomplish this dream home. He made his sketches and searched the nation for the best architect to make his dream a reality. He found Samuel Sloan in Philadelphia to design it. It was going to be an octagon-shaped mansion with eight rooms on each of the six floors all grouped around a middle piece, a six-story rotunda that would be capped with a 16-sided Byzantine onion-shaped dome. It was going to be beautiful with nothing else like it in all the South. Dr. Nutt went all over the world to purchase the very best furnishings for this masterpiece however, as soon as construction had begun, tragedy struck. The Civil War erupted. All the workers left to fight. Dr. Haller Nutt lost everything during the war.

Eventually, he moved his family into the basement of this grand mansion so they might be safe and have shelter. Dr. Nutt died in 1865 before the war was over. The family continued to live in the basement. In fact, they lived there for over a century, 111 years! Finally, some relatives donated the plantation to the local historical society and still to this day, it stands as a monument to an unfinished dream.

 In chapter 6 of Nehemiah, enemies tried to stop God’s prophet from completing the dream God had laid on his heart –that of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. But Nehemiah stayed focused. He completed his God-given dream in record time to the praise of His glory. He is a role model for us today. 

Are there any unfinished dreams God still has for Good Shepherd to accomplish? What about in 2022 and beyond? Today in our prayer time I encourage you to seek God’s wisdom and discernment for the dreams He has for our congregation.

Prayer for today: Dear Father; You have visions and dreams for GSLC beyond what we can imagine. As You did with the people of Nehemiah, instill in each of us, Your vision for our future. Help us keep our eyes, hearts, and minds on You so He will accomplish His plan within us. Help us to increase Your Kingdom in such a way that the surrounding community can see what a wondrous thing You have done so they will want to experience it too. We know that the enemy will try to distract us. Fill us with Your Spirit to keep us focused on the plan You have for us. Help us to use the gifts You have given us -our time, talents, and other resources -to glorify You. Amen.

Personal Prayer: “Lord, I want to please You! What do You want me to do to help make the dreams of our church come true?”