By Lavonne West

Read Psalm 127

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  Psalm 127:1

We have an activity center here at Stillwater Lutheran. The house that God built.

I moved to Kalispell in 1985 fresh out of college at St. Paul Bible College. In fact, six teachers were hired that year to fill positions at Stillwater Christian. It was called Flathead Valley Christian in those days.

That means I have been a member of my church for 38 years. In that time there were three tries for a larger space to be built. We had the land and a plan. The same architect developed a drawing and mockup. Finances were a factor and perhaps some fear. The death of a vision.

When I look at this beautiful facility that is paid for. ($1,000,000) I stand in awe and have a heart full of praise. It’s marvelous to use our fancy commercial kitchen, although I needed lessons with the convection oven and burners.

When we look back, we rejoice. It shouldn’t have happened now. There was a pandemic and shortages of everything. Prices skyrocketed but laborers came together to get it done and we can’t be more excited. The Lord built the house indeed.

My house in Wanamingo that I grew up in is still standing. There have certainly been some upkeep costs and repairs. My brother has built a lovely shop and garage next door. Coming home still feels like a warm comforter on a chilly winter evening. The Lord was ever present in that house as well.

My sisters and I bunk upstairs when we visit now. Not as much giggling as there used to be. This past summer we made this graham bread recipe. It’s a darker bread – too much sugar unless it's a special occasion but we loved it when we could sample it fresh out of the oven and slather it with butter. Enjoy

Lord thank you for building. We cherish the places that you built. Our church families, our family farm homes, our dwellings where we know you dwell with us.  Thank you for being our strong tower and our place of refuge.  Thank you for reminding us that where two or three are gathered you are there. Thank you that we can gather once again. Bless everyone who reads this prayer today, Lord. In your precious name. Amen

Graham Bread   

1 cup sugar
1 egg
1½ tbsps oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp soda
1 cup wheat graham flour
1 cup white flour
½ tsp salt

Blend well. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.