Thursday, November 30, 2006

moving forward on Ms. Peewee's home

This week a group from Tennessee tackled Ms. Peewee's house, following the group from Mississippi who constructed the front porch. They got a ton accomplished from putting the windows and doors in, wrapping, siding, constructing the roof, and just in before this evening's rain putting the shingles on.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Life with no "better half"

A few of the new articles from the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood have been posted online by Sovereign Grace Ministries. One article that I recommend any single female to read is the Carolyn McCulley article "When You Don't Have a Better Half: Encouraging Biblical Roles as Single Women."

Here's a few excerpts from the article:

"I’m not called by Scripture to submit to all men, just my non-existent husband. But along with all believers, I am also called to submit to and obey my parents (Eph 6:1–3). And my pastor (1 Peter 5:5). And my boss (Eph 6:5–8; 1 Pet 2:18). And my governing authorities (Rom 13:1; 1 Pet 2:13–17). I’m also called to intimacy within the body of Christ (Heb 10:24–25), where my femininity is supposed to make a contribution to God’s purposes (Titus 2:1–14). But in a broader sense, the fact that I am a woman should flavor all my interactions."

"My prayer is that I can make a small contribution for the benefit of my single sisters in Christ."

Be a Help

"The Bible makes it clear in numerous passages that as Christians we are all here to serve."

"One opportunity is on the job. Whether with subordinates or superiors, we can emulate our Savior by being oriented to helping others—but this is especially important for our immediate bosses."

"This helper concept can extend to friendships, as well. We can express our femininity by encouraging single men to lead activities, while offering to assist them."

The Importance of a Question

"One of the best ways to serve men in any of our relationships—romantic, platonic, or professional—is to ask questions.

"I have to work very, very hard at killing the pride that motivates me to make pronouncements rather than to ask questions as a helper. But the reason questions are so important is that they position us to serve and counsel to men, and therefore leave room for them to make decisions and lead."

The Learning Curve for Leadership

"All that being said, we need to remember that there is a learning curve for leadership, just as there is one for “followership.”"

"There is a learning curve for leadership— and it requires grace and faith from young women as these young men grow."

Monday, November 27, 2006

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

Over the past several months I have become acquainted with this William Cowper hymn and it has become very precious to me. The hymn, rich in theology, contains a great picture of the sovereignty of God. I am reminded of what John Piper said at the 2005 Desiring God conference "...evil and suffering are not ultimate. God is. Satan, the lover of evil and suffering, is not sovereign. God is" I am grateful (beyond what my weak words can describe) that we have a sovereign God, who is sovereign over all things.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

-William Cowper

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A splended Thanksgiving Day

This was the first Thanksgiving that I was away from my family in Wisconsin, though my family doesn't have any real defined tradition for Thanksgiving it was kind of strange to be away from my family. However, this was a great Thanksgiving day. We had a service here at the church, which was followed up by wonderful lunch (open to church members, volunteers, and anyone in the community) complete with turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and plenty of dessert. Though I will admit the one thing I miss from the north is the mashed potatoes (so what if I'm still a bit of a Yankee-I'm not use to cornbread dressing).


I would like to add a note about the cooks. I don't want to seem like I'm playing favorites, but I really had a blast hanging out with the group from Grace Baptist Church. This group really ministered to me personally and I'm grateful and thank God for the friendships and all the memories (even though I didn't get to see the square dancing that took place mid-week)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ms. Peewee's home

One project we recently started is the home of Ms. Peewee. We stopped over to check out the project and chat with her, she's so excited. She told us that she had gone away from the property for just a little while the other day and when he returned there was already one wall up, she was thrilled - yesterday all four walls were up and they were working on putting the porch on.
Pastor Don and Ms. Peewee

Ms. Peewee's house on Monday


Working on the porch

Monday, November 20, 2006

Eleven teams, nine states

It’s the beginning of a busy and by the end of the week we will have had eleven different teams from nine different states. To be honest I can’t keep track of how many homes we have teams at this week, though I know we are working at least at seven or eight, plus teams working in the kitchen and the warehouse. I was able to run around today and check up on some of the teams. So here’s the tour of homes…

This is Mr. Bob from Highlands Fellowship in Virginia working at Ms. Lambert's home. He and a couple of guys from New Jersey put the floor into her trailer, she's thrilled.

Ms. Lynn's house has the inside painted and a team from Ellison Ridge Baptist in Mississippi is working on finishing the soffit, cleaning up the grounds, and other miscellaneous things around the house.

When I walked into James and Ms. Bea's house the team Calvary Baptist in Carney Point, New Jersey had guys working in almost every room mudding or sanding sheetrock. Their house is coming right along.

At Ms. Redford's the ladies from Trinity Lutheran in Joppa, Maryland worked at getting the lattice up n the front porch.

Part of the team from Calvary Baptist in Holland Michigan worked at Mr. Howee's home. When I arrived they were working on a number of different jobs. In some of the rooms they were mudding sheetrock, in others laying flooring. Outside they were working on getting the soffit put on.

And then there was the group from Florida... Actually, I’m having a great time having this group from Grace Baptist in Cape Coral here. They are serving the volunteers by cooking for us, with Ms. Kathy and George from MS, this week. I must say (having just eaten dinner) they can cook a pretty rockin meatloaf. I’m hoping by the end of the week to have them square dancing. They didn’t get around to it last time they were here, and I would really like to see that.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Builder and the Architect

Since arriving in Lakeshore I have been introduced to several musicians and bands that I was previously unaware of. One of my favorites has become Sandra McCracken and her The Builder and the Architect cd. (So I know I'm a little behind the times since the cd was released Nov. 15 of last year)

I am especially fond of the song “Grace upon Grace”, which is based upon a prayer called “Grace Active” in the Puritan prayer book “The Valley of Vision.”

In every station, new trials and new troubles
Call for more grace than I can afford
Where can I go but to my dear Savior
For mercy that pours from boundless stores.

Grace upon grace, every sin repaired
Every void restored, you will find Him there
In every turning He will prepare you
With grace upon grace.

He made a way for the fallen to rise
Perfect in glory and sacrifice
In sweet communion my need He supplies
He saves and keeps and guards my life

To Thee I run now with great expectation
To honor You with trust like a child
My hopes and desires seek a new destination
and all that You ask Your grace will provide.

I love the first verse stating the things we go through require more grace than I can come up with on my own, but I can go to my Savior who will provide grace and mercy that is endless.

I think my favorite line in the whole song, though, would be “and all that You ask Your grace will provide.” Reminding me that everything that God asks of me, He will provide enough grace to accomplish whatever that is.

Another favorite song is “Thy Mercy”

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue;
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last,
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart,
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground,
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own,
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son;
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

I think Sandra McCracken has done a beautiful job with the entire cd, but the depth of each of the songs is what I enjoy the most. The songs don’t necessarily paint a promised happiness or a light and fluffy picture of Christianity, but speaks of reliance on Christ and our inabilities, God’s grace and mercy toward us sinners, Christ’s death, and our redemption in Christ. Most songs are based off scripture passages and words of great hymn writers (William Gadsby, Isaac Watts, Joseph Hart, John Stoker and the Puritan writers), as well as a reformed perspective.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

returning teams and exciting casino adventures

A group From Decatur Baptist Church in Decatur, AL made a return trip to Lakeshore this week. They spent the majority of their week at James and Ms. Bea's house hanging and mudding and sanding sheetrock.

The group from Riverside Fellowship in Florida also made another trip back to Lakeshore. It was a blessing for me to get to meet them and spend a little bit of time getting to know them in the evenings. They spent much of their week at Ms. Lynn's house painting and laying the floor in the bathroom.

This past Thursday was the grand opening of the Silver Slipper Casino just down the road from the church. I never expected to be stuck in a traffic jam in Lakeshore, but I found myself there Thursday night after the women's Bible Study. While I found myself complaining that I was stuck in traffic, I knew just down the road was the folks from Riverside Fellowship, and man from Alabama, and Pastor Don taking advantage of the back up traffic by passing out $1,000,000,000 bills...of course not the real but one with a short gospel presentation on the back. When I arrived back at the church I grabbed a few myself and we headed for the casino. We got into the casino and began passing them out. This was the first time I had ever done anything like passing out tracks...and entering a casino for that matter. I'll be honest, it was a bit weird for me at first, but once I settled down and realized that God could use this opportunity I began walking around handing out the billion dollar bills. I got many different reactions, but most people just kinda looked at me funny and some turned down the bill but others took it. For a little more detail check out Pastor Don's blog. He does a fine job detailing the adventure.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

For the Record

I have been beginning to be asked on a regular basis what my plans are for after December. Well, I'’ve neglected to tell anyone for the past few weeks (unless I have talked to you in Lakeshore) mainly because I haven't had much time to blog about it and wanted to let me family know before everyone else. I have decided that I will stay in Lakeshore after December until "at least" June. In the past couple of weeks I extended my time as a semester missionary with the North American Mission Board to stay on through next semester.

As I have prayed through it I have not felt as though God is directing me elsewhere or to begin some sort of career and no other opportunities have come up (not that I was really out searching, as it was my desire to stay in Lakeshore). I am excited about staying in Lakeshore into next year. I continued to be amazed at the Lord's faithfulness and provision as I observe what happens around here. And I wish I could somehow express the amount and depth of the things that the Lord has been teaching me these past 5 months through the work that continues here in Lakeshore, the perseverance of His people, the teaching of His Word, friendships I've built, and life in general.

For those wondering, I will get to travel back to Wisconsin to see my family around Christmas time, but the thought of being in Mississippi most the winter is a comforting thought. As there will be warmer temperatures, which means (Lord willing) that I will spend more time on me feet than on my backside as I wont have to worry about several months with snow and ice. (As my family and friends back home will attest to I am not the most graceful person when it comes to keeping my balance, especially in slippery surfaces)

I will also be beginning a women's Bible Study here in the next week for the women of Lakeshore Baptist and anyone they invite. I am excited about the study. We will be looking at Pursuing God - A seekers guide By Jim Elliff. If you think to, pray for me for God's guidance as I prepare for this study.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A few sights from a busy week

This past week was a happening week here in Lakeshore. We had several teams here, some where around 70 people. I don't even really know how many houses were worked on this week, I let Greg keep up with every team. I was able however to get out to a few of the sites this week. But realized most of the pictures I took wasn't with my camera, anyway here's a few pictures of some of the things that went on this week.

This is Jame's and Ms. Bea's house before the insulation and sheetrock that was hung this week.

This is a couple of men from Harvest Community Church in NC painting the railing of the church office.

A group from West Virginia was here this week that worked on painting Ms. Lambert's trailer and hanging up sheet rock.

And at another place we are working. We are working on turning the old carport into a small apartment. This is a team from Tennesse framing it up