A load zoned bridge located approximately 13 miles outside of Junction, Texas serves as a portal, if you will, from a lonely stretch of road in the beautiful Texas Hill Country to the most relentless form of hospitality one may possibly lay their eye’s on this side of Heaven. At one time, however, this bridge served as a potential barrier to the countless number of lives that would ultimately be changed forever and the countless number of souls who would come face to face with the true meaning of the word “refreshed”.
Steve Blaylock is the epitome of hard work and perseverance. When Steve is not working as a geophysicist in Midland, Texas, he can be found serving food at the Blaylock Ranch just on the other side of this load zoned bridge. If you want to hold a conversation with Steve though, you better get ready to run. Once the cooking is done he’s on the go loading folks on kayaks in the crystal clear waters of the South Llano River that flows through a portion of his ranch. Then there are the many projects throughout this ranch that require a consistent tending to. While many would spend their “golden years” relaxing at a ranch like this, Steve and his band of hospitality warriors-Mary Ann Blaylock, Joe and Sandy Chapman-just to name a few, spend theirs in what they would say is a “Kingdom Assignment”.
Several years ago deep inside Steve and Mary Ann Blaylock brewed the desire to ultimately have a place that would serve as a ministry of hospitality. However, there were a few obstacles that stood in their way-money, land, and a load zoned bridge. The Texas couple were no strangers to the obstacles life can throw at them and handled them the best way they knew how-through prayer. Steve and Mary Ann would ultimately pray about this desire for several years. During these seasons of prayer God would move the puzzle pieces around, to include several instrumental people, that would help remove two of the obstacles-money and the land. But then, there was that stubborn, immovable, load zoned bridge. This bridge has a maximum weight capacity of 10,000 pounds. In order to deliver the materials on 18 Wheelers to build what is now the Great House, a much larger bridge would be needed. The Blaylock’s continued praying and they found a way around the bridge when a neighboring ranch agreed to let them use a low water crossing on their ranch and their ranch roads for almost a year at no cost.
Today the Greathouse has the scripture passage Philemon 1: 7 stenciled above the food serving area located inside. The passage reads, “you have refreshed the hearts of God’s people.” On a weekly basis, numerous faith based organizations hold marriage retreats, discipleship retreats, prayer retreats, etc. How much does it cost to reserve a spot at the Great House? How much does the food and recreation activities cost? The answer may shock you. Just your time. Their kingdom assignment is to take Philemon 1:7 to heart. And this they do-relentlessly.
The men that attended the April 2019 session at the Blaylock Ranch came face to face with some of their “load zoned bridges”. The question that they had to come to grips with during this week was, “What in life is keeping you from becoming the man that God wants you to be?” If it is anything like the load zoned bridge located 13 miles outside of Junction, Texas there’s just one thing to do-go around. This is done by becoming a man of prayer and a man that takes God at His word. There are no barriers or “load zoned bridges” with God. These men took some serious steps this week to do just that. If you are reading this and have been thinking about a load zoned bridge in your life. Perhaps it’s time to go around. God Bless!