Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord

I was reading some hymns written by Horatius Bonar when I came across this hymn. This is my prayer tonight, I hope this will be my prayer for each day.
"The Lord will guide you always." Isaiah 58:11

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.
Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.
Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.
The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.
Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength
My wisdom, and my all.
Horatius Bonar, 1857.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

hot chocolate and twizzlers

Tonight we began the ladies Bible study here at the church. I am very excited about how it started and I look forward to the coming weeks.

Following Bible study tonight we headed out of the church to find the weather rainy and cold (well at least cold for here). So once we got into the office we decided it was a great night for some hot chocolate and candy (side note ....The three of us received a package today from our friend Doug in Louisville containing an encouraging note and a bunch of candy). So here's Liz and Kristy enjoying the hot chocolate and twizzlers.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A few random thoughts on concerts

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a MercyMe concert in Baton Rouge with a group from Providence Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island. I'm not too familiar with MercyMe, but the concert was pretty good. During the show I was in awe as I listened to the music and watched the lights and the effects of the show. I am a bit of a nerd when it all comes to sound and lighting - especially sound...I really take an interest in it, but it's also a great opportunity to worship the God who created sound, light, and colors.

I haven't given this as much thought as I would like and haven't really thought about how I want to articulate this. So I apologize if it comes off as a bunch of random thoughts, since it probably will.

I was thinking during the show how awesome it is that God has created sound. There's the piano, guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. It's beautiful when they are all mixed together in such a way that you can hear each one of them. When one is not over powering and the people running the sound board strive for excellence in their service. When each individual instrument is tuned and the vocals are on the right note. I'm grateful the Lord has made sound and that He's allowed me to hear it and enjoy it.

The creativeness of music and lyrics is another thing I praise God for. It's possible for every song to sound the same and for every song to be about superficial things. But this wasn't the case during this show, though the songs did have a "common theme", but when the songs point you to Christ that's not a bad thing. Composing music itself takes creativity - a gift God has blessed some people with - praise God.

Obviously in a concert situation the performers and sound and lighting people are striving for excellence. There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence as long as self doesn't get in the way. There is something awesome about excellence and God is glorified through excellence. And though things are not always perfect, God can still be glorified through your actions and humility.

After the concert I reflected a bit on the greatness of God to allow us to sing, to play instruments, to hear the music, to see the lights, and to watch other people really worship God. It's kind of neat to be in a place with many other believers and worship together - some focusing on the lyrics of the songs, others on the technological aspects, but together worshiping the Creator of all things.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

167 hours from now...1 & 2 Peter study

One week from tonight I will be starting a women's Bible Study here in Lakeshore. I am pretty excited about the study. We will be looking at 1 & 2 Peter and going through the study John MacArthur has put out called 1 & 2 Peter - Courage in times of trouble.

For the past several months, I've been wanting to do another study. No one kept me from beginning one, I just hadn't found material to guide the study. I originally thought about co-leading a study guided by Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. It is a great book and I think the ladies here in the church would enjoy it as well. But I am not really qualified to lead that study...since the book is about being a wife and a mother (both of which I am not). But more than that, I felt a real burden to get the ladies here more into the scriptures than just another book. Books are great, but I want to see them cherish the Word of God and read, study, and meditate upon it. Hence the reason I chose to cover 1& 2 Peter.

Lord willing we will cover 1 Peter beginning next week and end mid-December. I'm planning on starting 2 Peter up after Christmas which will take us about 4 weeks. I am looking forward to the study and pray that the ladies involved would grow in the knowledge of the Word and would grow in their love for and cherish the scriptures.

Please pray for me as I lead the study and for the ladies participating in the study as we dive into 1 Peter together. It ought to be a great study.

Monday, October 15, 2007

cabinets and flooring

Things are moving along again this week. Last week a group from Tennessee put cabinets in Ms. Speed's house and a group from Alabama laid the tile in the kitchen and laundry room and the laminate floor around the rest of the house. I would love to see Ms. Speed get into her home soon, Lord willing it won't be much longer. But there's still plenty left to do...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Grace to Make it Through

My home church, Rolling Hills Church, in Platteville, WI asked me to record a video so I could inform the folks up there what is taking place here and let them know how things were going with me. Pastor Don also posted it on RebuildLakeshore, but I wanted to share it with some of the folk who aren't familiar with the rebuildlakeshore website and add a little bit more commentary.

I'm often asked what exactly it is that I do down here in Lakeshore. If I had an exact job it'd be easy to tell folks what I do, but the fact of the matter is I don't have anything that I do exactly the same from week to week. I do answer phone calls and field questions, but that is different each time I pick up the phone. I organize the sleeping arrangements, but some weeks that takes 10 minutes other weeks over and hour. I sometimes help line up the team with homes to work at and get them to the sites, but not always. But whatever it is I do, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the folks here and to be in the place the Lord has placed me – even if it does wear me out at times, I am so glad to be here in Lakeshore.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Lakeshore and to work alongside the folks here at the church and in the community. This experience has been amazing and the Lord has stretched and grown me in many different ways. The Lord continues to reveal truths to me in scripture, break me of sin, and sanctify me. He puts me in situations I've never been in before, but gives me the grace to make it through. I'm learning a lot of this “life lessons” people are supposed to learn, I guess, as they grow up - like looking for a car, dealing with insurance, budgeting, rarely but occasionally dealing with difficult people, and other random things.

It's sometimes hard, but it is overall awesome. To see the Lord working in such tangible ways is incredible, to see such great need is heartbreaking. To see what devastation a storm can leave behind makes me wonder about the force of the storm, but to know that our God is bigger and is capable of holding that storm in his hands makes me stand in awe of the greatness of our God. To see God give hope to the hopeless, a good nights rest to the weary, patience in the heat and hard times, food to the hungry, and the grace to sustain us through the day are just a few of the amazing ways I get to see the Lord work.

I know I could go on and on about how much I love it here in Lakeshore and there are so many stories to tell, but I must save those for another day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Movin on up

A team from Monticello, KY came in last Friday. They followed the the from NJ who put the posts in the ground at the Moran's. The team from Kentucky came down and totally tackled the house. Despite issues getting materials from the store the team wasted no time framing the house, by Thursday this week they hard the whole house framed the windows and doors in and the roof on. It was pretty awesome to watch them this week and I know the homeowners were blown away - and so happy to be able to sit on their front porch.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Gospel

This week I was encouraged to hear Mark Driscoll present the gospel in a very quick, yet not you just have to pray this prayer kind of way. It was truthful, acknowledging us as sinful people, Christ coming to suffer, Christ going to the cross, the imputation of our sins upon Christ, and Christ's resurrection. It encouraged me to hear an example of a quick, yet truth packed, presentation of the Gospel.
Here's the clip to that Gospel presentation.

I was also reading Timmy Brister's blog this week and was encouraged by his 2:00 am @ Mars Hill post. - A very encouraging example of a like minded believer sharing the gospel with his unbelieving co-workers.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

hurricane straps, collar ties, and house wrap

We continue to have teams working on Ms. Diane's, the Green's, Ms. Cindy's and Vic's home this week. A team from Providence Baptist Church in Franklin, MA is helping to knock out a few of the miscellaneous things that need to be done on the homes before we can proceed. Here they are working on Ms. Cindy's house.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rebuilding update

This week is off to a good start. After seeing fewer volunteers in the month of September, the numbers are picking back up for the month of October. This week alone we'll have almost 75 volunteers on site before the end of the week. We are beginning a new home this week for Ms. Judy. A crew from New Jersey is digging the holes and setting the pilings and a crew will be coming in this weekend to frame the house.