Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Wednesday, May 30

Faith or delusion?

In case I have forgotten to tell you – we are putting the house on the market soon and have been working up a sweat getting it all ready in time. Innumerable trips to the tip. £££ spent on a decorator. Chaos and disruption everywhere. But its beginning to come together as a nice marketable property.

So where next?

The motivation is to downsize and reduce debt, and also release funds so that I can finally apply for ordination training.

Also now that kids are leaving home, Mrs is increasingly wanting to have a job of some kind, and being un-employable after 20 years out of the workplace with no CV and no referees, she wants to run her own business, maybe a guest house, maybe a caravan or holiday cottage.

And she also (or maybe alternatively) wants to get into some form of Christian ministry. Possibly ordination, maybe just as a lay minister. She also wants to establish ‘Play Church’ for young families to whom the services offered by normal churches are inappropriate.

So we are looking for somewhere that ticks all these boxes.

We have found one place which has enough rooms for our remaining kids and a basement flat for any that come back from college but which can also be rented out as business on the side. It also has some of the best views in the town, and is in good condition and sufficiently well decorated for us to just move in. We would have about £100k equity left to clear debts, invest in other business, etc. This is the sensible option.

We have also seen another place. It used to be my daughter’s nursery. But when one of the town’s churches wanted to move to bigger premises, they sold their church to the nursery and it was converted to a very nice posh nursery. The old nursery now belongs to the church, as part of a part-exchange deal. So its basically empty apart from some of the church’s junk being stored there. They occasionally use it for garden parties. It has a larger footprint than our present house, and an annexe that could be rented out as a holiday cottage. It has sufficient room for our remaining kids – just. It also has a very large upstairs room with a huge window overlooking the garden, which would be an ideal meeting room. It would suit ‘Play Church’. The garden is also very very much bigger than the patio we currently have. So in many ways it is ideal. But it is more expensive, and overall bigger than our present house (although the area of habitable rooms is actually less), so it doesn’t count for ‘downsize and reduce debt’. And into the bargain, it needs a lot of work on it to convert it from derelict nursery to family home with ministry/business uses. This is the stupid option.

The church has invited offers, and would consider a house swap. So that would save us estate agent fees and a very long wait for a buyer and lots of hassle keeping it nice for viewers. So that makes the stupid option slightly more feasible.

This blog says “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat”. This blog is not about easy, sensible options. Reasonable men adapt to the world, but the world is changed by unreasonable men. Normal life – for the Christian – is an adventure.

So we want to do it, even though our better judgement says “Run away. Run as fast as you can”

Pray that we may distinguish faith from delusion, and Godly vision from human fantasy.

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