Thursday, December 25, 2008

No Where Else I'd Rather Be

After arriving back in Wisconsin I've received many questions about the work in Lakeshore and opportunity I have to serve there. Several people I have spoke to has asked “Isn't the work down there just about done?” This allows me to speak about Lakeshore, the severity of the storm, and the needs are still very present including physical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs.

The question that follows is “So what exactly do you do.” It is a position which is not easily defined. My tasks are a little different most everyday, though there are several things that are daily. But these questions have prompted me to think about how privileged I am to be serving in Lakeshore

Here's a very brief list:

  1. It is a privilege to serve alongside the believers at Lakeshore Baptist Church and the thousands of believers that flow through Lakeshore Baptist.
  2. I am growing in my relationship with the Lord.
  3. The Lord has shown me areas in disaster relief and other areas, I can serve in.
  4. I've learned to do many random things I doubt I would have learned elsewhere (forklift driving, rat killing, cajun cooking, building, designing homes, and mission trip planning among other things)
  5. I've seen the Lord work and begin to heal broken relationships, for which I rejoice
  6. Maybe one day I will be transformed into a nice southern belle.
  7. I've enjoyed leading the ladies Bible Study and watching the other ladies grow in their relationship with the Lord.

There is no other place that I can imagine being and nothing I would rather be doing at this point in my life. How many people can actually say they have a “job” they love? I can truly say I love serving in Lakeshore, look forward to future opportunities, and am excited to see how the Lord is going to work in my life and the lives of the folks around me.

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-21

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh The Deep Deep Love of Jesus

I had the opportunity to spend a little time with my pastor in Platteville singing and sharing songs with each other (basically me learning a few new songs). One song he shared with me was Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus. I hope to spend a little time learning it on guitar when I get back to Lakeshore and sharing it with the congregation.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus.
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blogging Hiatus

It's been nearly a month since I posted last, I've been on a bit of a intentional blogging break. But just for a very brief update:

Much has happened in Lakeshore over the past month. Lakeshore Baptist has had two congregational church meetings discussing the building of the new church buildings.

We've done a lot of planning the past couple of weeks for the upcoming volunteers teams. Beginning right after Christmas we have a group from North Carolina coming and a couple days later about 250 college students from Georgia. Two weeks after that we have ARBCA joining us for the relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts.

I've made it back to Wisconsin for Christmas. I made it back last Thursday before 12" of snow fell and survived all the family gatherings. I got to spend some time with my niece and my sister. And now I can relax for the rest of the week until I drive back to Lakeshore.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Praying for Your Pastor's Wife

While reading today I came across an article by Nancy Leigh DeMoss called 31 Days of praying for your Pastor's wife. She encourages us to pray for the woman that often in the shadow of the man who fills the pulpit. A woman who serves, loves, respects, and prays for her husband, who faces the same challenges as other women in the congregation, and needs encouragement, friendships, support and prayer as any other women would.

I plan to use the outline and ideas she provided as a guide as I pray for my Pastor's wife and would encourage ya'll to use this outline or at least get ideas from the outline to pray for your pastor's wife more specifically. The following are an example of a few of the days and how she encourages us to pray. For the full list check out Revive our Hearts.

Day 1
Pray that your pastor’s wife will love God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. Pray that God’s Spirit will work in her heart in power, and that she will value and follow biblical priorities. (Deut. 6:5; Matt. 6:33)

Day 20
Ask God to remind her of the hope and refuge God offers her each day. Pray that she will be encouraged in God, knowing that He is a firm, secure anchor for her soul. (Ps. 9:9-10; Ps. 42:5; 71:14; Heb. 6:19a)

Day 28
Pray that she will strive for personal excellence as a “Proverbs 31” woman, and will believe God to accomplish His will in her as a virtuous woman. (Prov. 31:10-31)

Day 29
Pray that your pastor’s wife will be a woman of faith and passionate love for God, not giving in to worries, fears, or an uptight and anxious spirit.
(1 John 4:18; Prov. 3:5-6)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for the inexpressible gift

Of all the things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving, the thing I am most grateful for is the inexpressible gift that God has given us in Jesus Christ.

Christ left his place in heaven to walk the earth perfectly and sinless, he faced every temptation known to man, he came knowing the death he was going to have to die to save sinful man. He willingly came to this earth, he died on a cross so that our sin would be transferred to him and his righteousness imputed to us. He faced separation from the Father during his death to be the atoning sacrifice that man needed to be saved and spend eternity with the Father. I am grateful that the Father orchestrated this that we, I, may be spared from eternity separated from him.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I appreciate my pastor

I often neglect to tell people in my life how grateful I am for them and how much I appreciate them. And many times it is the people that I am closest to or spend a lot of my time serving alongside that I forget. That said, this blog post is not entirely my idea. Abraham Piper posted to his blog, 22 words, asking us why we appreciate our Pastor.

I am blessed to serve at Lakeshore Baptist Church alongside my brother in Christ and Pastor Don Elbourne. It has been a great 2 1/2 years that I have been here and look forward to continue to serve alongside him and the rest of the folks here in Lakeshore.

As we look forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow I cannot help but thank God for the roll Don and his family, as well as the church family, have played in my life. I want to take this opportunity to thank Don publicly letting him know, as well as all who read, a few reasons why I appreciate my Pastor.

1. He faithfully preaches the Word of God
2. He puts up with me on a daily basis
3. He's willing to stop things to counsel or answer questions.
4. He loves his wife and children
5. He and his family have brought me into their family and life.
6. He's not afraid to correct and rebuke me when I need it.
7. He put PhD on hold to minister full time to a storm ravaged community.
8. He cares deeply for the members of Lakeshore Baptist Church.
9. He's a extraordinary cook.
10. He has a desire to spread the gospel to the entire community.
11. He been here 14 years and looks forward to staying as long as God has him here.
12. He's sacrificed so much the past three years since hurricane Katrina to minister to a hurting and devastated community.
13. He's not afraid to admit when he's made a mistake.
14. He loves God's Word and encourages us to read, study, and memorize the Word.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reformation Polka

Being from Wisconsin polka is something we grew up hearing...and being reformed I like Martin Luther. I came across this and thought it was cute.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Can Singles have a Standard of Beauty?

In his sermon series on the book of Song of Songs, Mark Driscoll addressed the question "Can Singles have a Standard of Beauty?" His answer is something good to keep in mind as a single who looks forward to the possibility of marriage one day. His answer to the question is...


"You need to marry someone you are attracted to. And I am talking attraction in the holistic sense. You are spiritually attracted to them. They love and serve Jesus. You are attracted to their ministry and what they're doing to serve and love others. You are attracted to them mentally. You like conversing with them and learning with them. You are attracted to the emotionally. You feel safe with them you feel connected with them. You are attracted to them physically...attraction is a holistic issues. To me again this is one of the disgusting things about friends with benefits and hooking up and cohabitation and porn. It's not a whole attraction it is just a physical attraction, that's it....The problem is if you are single and set a standard of beauty you are looking just at the physical, you need to look at it and consider it but not just that and then what about when you do get married and they grow or'll be dissatisfied because you'll have a standard of beauty rather than a spouse."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October's Lakeshore Update

The previous three months have gone by in somewhat of a whirlwind. During the month of August we hosted volunteers, but due to vacation time and transitioning back into school our numbers were a bit lower than they had been in previous months. The end of August brought in Hurricane Gustav, which forced us to evacuate to higher ground. I spent that week in several different locations with the Elbourne family and a few other folks.

September brought in a host of new volunteers from 13 different churches. We started home #31 from the ground up. A few of our homes we picked up the pace on due to Gustav. He flooded a couple of the FEMA and MEMA temporary housing units, leaving the home owners in hotels until we can finish their homes. We are working on the very last things to get the Cox family and Mr. Poolson homes inspected and the home owners in. Lord willing it will not be long now.

I began a ladies Bible study in September at the church. We are working through the Fundamentals of the Faith workbook put out by John MacArthur's church in California. We are currently on week five; the ladies and
I are really enjoying the study and are growing in our relationship with the Lord

We are almost through October. This month has been a productive one as we host at least 16 different groups, which will total well over 200 volunteers! We are also moving things around on the church property to, Lord willing, start on the new church building in the future. We are still talking with an architect and planning with the
church on what exactly we need and want as part of the church building.

At the beginning of this month I was officially commissioned as a US/C2 North American Mission Board Missionary. We had our commissioning ceremony in New Orleans. It was a great experience and a joy to spend
time with and hear what God is doing in the lives and churches of the other NAMB missionaries.

On a side note:
The Lord has been gracious and merciful to me and continues to teach me new things all of the time. I am so grateful and privileged to serve in Lakeshore and at this point in my life I cannot think of any other thing I would rather be doing.

Ways to pray for the ministry:
1. There had been some confusion with getting my monthly stipend since I have started my US/C2 position. But that has been worked out and I should now receive my checks monthly.
2. I've gotten to see God working right before my eyes. One example is we have a week when we have about 150 people scheduled and everything was lined up as far as one team cooking for the rest of the groups. I learned a few days before that all the cooks had backed out and at that time had no other team to cook. About 30 minutes late I got a call from one of the other groups saying they had a few ladies just sign up that just wanted to cook. Praise God for providing!
3. God continues to send volunteers. Some are returning groups and some have never been to Lakeshore before!

Prayer Requests:
1. Pray I would be obedient and bold in sharing the gospel to this lost community.
2. Pray the Lord would give me wisdom whether to begin or not a couple new ministries as I start to think and pray about them.
3. Pray the Lord would continue to send more funds to the church to assist with the rebuilding and with the rebuilding of the new church building. We have raised part of the money to rebuild the church, but still have a ways to go.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apostle Paul vs. Victoria Osteen

Last weekend Pastor Don preached from Ephesians chapter 5 as he is working his way though the book of Ephesians, faithfully bringing us the Word of God each week. The sermon was from Ephesians 5:22-24 where we have the command for wives to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord.

This week I saw that Victoria Osteen, Joel Osteen's wife, has a new book coming out. One that I don't intend to get my spiritual, relationship, or any advice from. Newsweek recently did a story on Mrs. Osteen called What's God Got to do With It? I was appaled at a quote in Newsweek from Osteen's book that read
"Submit to your man, or at least pretend you're submitting, and then do what you want anyway. 'I know if I just wait long enough,' she writes, 'eventually my idea will become Joel's idea, and it will come to pass."'
That "advice" is totally contrary to what the Apostle Paul has written to us in Ephesians and other places in scripture. And it seems very aparent, to even a secular news magazine, that God is left out and self is what is most valued in Osteen's book.

To know that this book has not come out yet, but is nearing the top of Amazon's spirituality books saddens me. This is not Christian advice, it sounds like it would be found in some secular self-help book.

I know there are many great books out by Christian female authors that are true to the scriptures and offer spiritual advice straight from the Word. Might I commend Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney as just one option other that Osteen's upcoming book.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mrs. Shiyou's workshop

I know Pastor Don just posted this to, but this has got to be the coolest thing I did all week!

I was the one driving the truck! It was a bit sad to think, though, that this was Mrs. Shiyou's workshop for 35 years and we brought it down in a matter of 20 seconds.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky

The story of Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak as told in their story They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky is one that broke my heart and gave me new respect and appreciation for a few of the Lost Boys I am acquainted with.

Deng, Deng, and Ajak are 3 of the tens of thousands of young boys who fleed from war in Sudan in the mid to late 1980's. These young boys were between 5 and 7 when they were forced to flee from their villages and their families to save themselves from almost certain death.

This is a powerful story told by each of the boys as they recount their expeiences traveling across Sudan on foot towards Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and eventually to the United States.

I can never imagine having to flee from my home leaving behind everything I knew, traveling for days, weeks, months, years to an unknown place. The story paints the picture of what these young boys had to do to survive the heat, the wild animals, and the war that plagued their country. From traveling in packs, drinking their urine, hiding, and searching for any sort of food they could consume. They were all very malnurished and suffered injuries and illnesses along the way that left them on the brink of death.

I recommend this book to all to educate us on the horrors of war and the trials all these young boys suffered through, many dying along the way.

Friday, October 03, 2008

conquering the temptation

For as long as I can remember I have had a problem with feeling sorry for myself and getting myself in a woe is me pattern. I have been praying and thinking about this some this past week. I know this does not glorify the Lord and with His help I can conquer this as He's helped me before; but I've also realize I must take some steps on my own to help myself avoid the temptation to feel sorry for myself. So far I've thought of these steps..
  1. More time in prayer and scripture
  2. Take medicines regularly
  3. Take vitamins regularly
  4. Exercise several times a week
  5. Get outside more
  6. Get away part of a day each week
  7. Visit people in the community more
  8. Start conversations with others as I am out and about
  9. Talk to friends and mentors more often
  10. Sing more/Listen to more music
  11. Disciple a young lady
  12. Preach to myself
  13. Minister to those in the church that are sick, hurting, or lonely.
  14. Don't make myself so busy with these things that it wears me out more than helps
Help me out, I know many at least at times are prone to feel sorry for themselves and have a woe is me attitude. What are some of the steps ya'll take to avoid and conquer this?

I am happy to say that with the Lord's help I am seeing some improvement in my attitude and have been much better in fighting the temptation to feel sorry for myself. I write this not to have others feel sorry, since that is what I am trying to avoid myself. Rather to gain insight from those who have been there, those who are more mature in their relationship with the Lord, those who are older and have more life experience. Or to encourage others struggling with the same.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

I recently finished reading A Long Way Gone - Memoirs of a Boy Soldier written by Ishmael Beah. It is a captivating story of a young boy who at the age of 12 had his village in Sierra Leone attack and he fled. About a year later he was picked up by the government army and was forced to become a child solider.

It is an amazing story as he shares the grim details of fighting, killing, losing his family, watching friends die, and life as I could never imagine. But it is a frightening tale to see how a normal young boy can be transformed into a drug addicted killing machine in just a short time.

He fought as a soldier until UNICEF came in pull Beah from the fighting. First placing in him a rehabilitation center. He now resides in the United States and speaks publicly about his time as a boy soldier.

I recommend this book to all. It is important for us to be aware of world issues, this being one that is easily hid and rarely spoken about. It ought not be hidden but exposed for the world to see.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fundraising for our kitchen

When Gustav tore down the kitchen a few weeks ago. We began thinking fast about the new kitchen we'd like to build. We'd been thinking about it for some time, but hadn't made any concrete plans on the new structure. But no we have some ideas of what we'd like to do, how big the building might be, and where we will put it.
First we must clean up the big storage tent that Gustav also took down. This week we are going to begin cleaning out the tent, putting things in the warehouse, putting things in the distribution center, and figuring out where we will put the rest until we can put them in the houses. Then we will have a team erect the big white tent (if it is not too damaged) over the slab where the kitchen is currently. Cleaning up this tent will allow us to make more concrete plans for building our new kitchen.
But we need your help! We could really use the manual labor this weekend and the next couple of weeks (OR whenever you are able to come). We are also raising funds to build the new kitchen. There are a few ways to donate to the cause. You can send a check to
Lakeshore Baptist Church
PO Box 293
Lakeshore, MS 39558
on the memo line write "camp kitchen" in the memo line

Another avenue to donate or join us in raising support is through our facebook group. You don't have to even be a member to donate this way. This is a safe online way to donate.

To Join the facebook group, you have to be a member, but can find the facebook cause here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spurgeon Quotes for Sept. 28

"I learned, when I was a boy, that the chief end of man was to glorify God and enjoy him forever; but I hear now, according to the new theology, that the chief end of God is to glorify man and enjoy him forever. Yet this is the turning of things upside down."

We endeavor to glorify him now by our actions, but then he will be glorified in our own persons, and character, and condition. He is glorified by what we do, but he is at the last to be glorified in what we are."

Friday, September 19, 2008

In the midst of hurricanes much is being done...

The internet came back up yesterday after about a week of being out, so I guess that warrants an update of what happening around here. We had several groups in these past couple of weeks working primarily on Betty Cox and Larry Poolson's homes. Both of these families had their FEMA or MEMA temporary housing flooded during hurricane Gustav. They are currently living in hotel rooms until they are able to move into their homes.

At the Cox's we pretty much finished everything up that we can do and now are waiting on inspections to tell her whether her family can move into the home. It shouldn't be long now!

At the Poolson's we are plugging away. We laid flooring and set cabinets this last week. It will be a little longer yet before we are able to move Mr. Larry in but Lord willing not long.

We had a team also working at the Smith house prior to Hurricane Ike's arrival to the gulf. But as Ike passed he produced flooding near the coast and all the bayous and inlets. Mr. Al's house sits right on a Bayou so the team was not able to get back to the home to work on in. But the good news is the home is high enough it did not see any water inside during the last two storms.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner's prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

©1998, Kevin Twit Music.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Defeated Feeling

It has been a exhausting week physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for me. There's been so much going on. Evacuating really wore me out emotionally, I was unsure and a bit nervous as the first hurricane since Katrina and my first hurricane headed toward the Louisiana/Mississippi gulf coast. We then returned to Lakeshore and when I learned that my cottage had about a foot of water in it, I came away feeling very defeated. We were almost done with the sheet rock and now we are having to tear part of it back out. A great group of guys from Sovereign Grace Church in Slidell, LA came over today and tore the sheet rock out of the house for me.

But it still encourages me each time I hear... the Lord is still ruling and reigning in heaven and was completely in control of the storm, it's path, and the damage it brought.
The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Gustav clean up

We've got back to Lakeshore yesterday and scoped things out. Returned again today. Things are torn up around here. The kitchen has been destroyed as well as the big storage tent and some of its contents. As far as the Church building, the office and most of the Quonset huts they fared pretty well. We have a few down trees and another that looks like its going to come down. Things are pretty messy around here, though not as bad as it could be.

I went back to my house yesterday and saw that it had been flooded by the marsh water at that time thought it was about an inch. Went back in there today to check on some things and realized there probably was more like 8 - 10 inches inside. Which means probably about 3 to 3 1/2 feet in my yard. I was happy that I hadn't moved in yet. Though there is still a feeling hard to describe, thinking I was pretty close to being in.

I had my first experience going through a Point of Distribution today. That is a place where they hand out water, ice, and MRE's to people affected by the disaster.

Pastor Don also posted more pictures on

And for humor's sake. While we were preparing to evacuate we made sure we had everything...including the blue alien. He's like family and just in case things flooded he was ok. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Monday Morning Waiting

I'm the first to rise here in the church. Just listening to the radio no since the computers have very limited and sporadic internet access. Storm hasn't made landfall yet but there is rain on shore, and its now raining in Franklinton, LA. Hearing reports of tornadoes in Hancock county (near Lakeshore). Mostly just talk now on the radio waiting on the storm to hit and then to see what happens with the storm surge.

I can't wait just to go home back to Lakeshore. I have a feeling today is going to be a long day once it begins to rain and get windy. Lord willing we wont see the hurricane force winds up here. They say we shouldn't but you never know I guess.

Well I guess I am going try to go back to sleep, just a bit nervous. And I need to be in a good mood so I stay calm today.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


With hurricane Gustav expected to make landfall in less than 24 hours we have evacuated Lakeshore. Last night the 7 of us (Pastor Don, his wife, 2 children, Allison, Zack's college roommate, and I) spent the night at Pastor Don's house to escape the traffic that would probably be flowing slowly Sunday morning. We left this morning to go north to Clifton Baptist Church in Clifton, LA. We are staying up in the church until the storm passes and we are able to make in back to Mandeville and Lakeshore to check out any damage.

I've recently learned there is mandatory evacutation of Hancock County south of I-10, this includes Lakeshore. We've made contact with most of the church members, most of who are leaving. Bob Turner came today and cleared out several pieces of equiptment, housing units, and cook trailer.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Complete in Thee

Complete In Thee
Aaron R. Wolfe, 1821-1902
Refrain, James M. Gray, 1851-1935

Complete in Thee! No work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
The blood has pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee! Nor more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
The blood has pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee - each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
The blood has pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Dear Saviour, when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are
Among Thy chosen will I be
At Thy right hand, complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
The blood has pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Watching Gustav

As most have heard by now there is tropical storm/hurricane Gustav out in the Caribbean approaching the gulf and the gulf coast. For the past few days we have been watching it closely to see where the projected path (the Hurricane Center's best guess at this point) would lead the storm. So far their best guess has it jumping from one point on the coast to another. Yet Mississippi still seems to be in the middle of it all.

It is far too early to tell where it will actually end up hitting there is still nearly 5 days until projected landfall. And we saw what Fay did - throwing all the computer models off on it's destination. So I am not going to hold my breath on way or another, best thing to do is to watch and wait.

We are making preparations however in case we do have to tear down Quonset huts and move trailers. There is an association of churches in Jones county ready to come tear this place down Saturday if we decide we need them.

Tomorrow is the three year anniversary of hurricane Katrina. Mississippi residents are daily reminded of the devastation Katrina left in its wake, and new fears with this storm are reminding them all over again of what has happen and could easily happen again.

Until it's closer there is no need to panic, but we are getting prepared just in case. Fears around town though are growing I heard Wal-Mart was crazy today, yesterday they ran out of gasoline, and today gas prices jumped 20 cents from yesterday. I'll try to keep ya'll updated or you can also check out for information.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pray like Jesus

This morning I was thinking about unsaved family members of mine and how I pray and hope so much that they would be saved, yet in all my and others attempts to share the gospel they are still hard hearted and the Lord has not yet opened their eyes. I was discouraged. But the Lord brought to mind previous conversations I've had with believers on why we need to continue to pray for lost loved ones and a sermon series preached by Mark Driscoll that I listened to while flying back to Lakeshore last week.

The series is entitled "Pray Like Jesus". The series was good stuff and I recommend taking the time to listen, but I was reminded of one thing that he said several times. And it sounds very simple, like duh I should not have to remind myself of this. But God answers prayer. His answers are yes, no, or later.

I am encouraged to think that as I pray no matter what the answer God hears and answers. But there is still that hope within me that maybe God is saying later when I pray for the unsaved. I don't know for sure and no matter the answer he still receives the glory. But I am less discouraged now as I think there is hope that he will regenerate them and that he has heard my prayer. May the Lord's will be done.


Driscoll's sermons in the series include:
Pray Like Jesus
The Lord's Prayer
The Gethsemane Prayer

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let Us Love, And Sing, and Wonder

Let Us Love, And Sing, And Wonder
John Newton

Let us love, and sing, and wonder
Let us praise the Saviour's name;
He has hushed the law's loud thunder,
He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame;
He has washed us with His blood,
He has brought us nigh to God.

Let us love the Lord who bought us,
Pitied us when enemies;
Called us by His grace, and taught us,
Gave us ears, and gave us eyes;
He has washed us with His blood,
He presents our souls to God.

Let us sing, though fierce temptation
Threaten hard to bear us down,
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conq'ror's crown;
He who washed us with His blood,
Soon will bring us home to God.

Let us wonder! Grace and justice
Join, and point to mercy's store;
When through grace, in Christ our trust is,
Justice smiles, and asks no more;
He who washed us with His blood;
Has secured our way to God.

Let us praise, and join the chorus
Of the saints enthroned on high;
Here they trusted Him before us,
Now their praises fill the sky;
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood,
Thou art worthy, Lamb of God.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It is time for an update...

August is nearly over; I am still trying to figure out where it has gone. This month saw fewer volunteers than the past few months, yet many things were accomplished. Earlier this month a team from Chippewa Falls, WI worked a great deal on my house. They worked on hanging, mudding, and sanding sheetrock, building indoor and outdoor stairs, and building an area for the hot water heater. It is coming along. Still some work to do on the sheetrock, but Lord willing it wont be long before I can texture and paint.

We were also able to get one woman and her daughter into their home, finishing a few details on the home as FEMA pressed to take their camper back.

September is quick approaching Lord willing we will be starting another home for a family in Lakeshore. A church from Virginia is planning to send people down for 5 weeks straight to get as far as they can on the building of the home.

I took a little time away from Lakeshore and caught a ride back to Wisconsin with the Chippewa Falls team. I was able to spend about 4 days at my parents house with my folks, sister and my niece (who I met for the first time!). Following that I spent one night at my sister place and then headed for Chippewa Falls where I spent about a week. It was a grea time away and a great time to reflect on several different things, prepare for the ladies Bible study, and get a lot of sleep.

I know it has been some time since I've posted and there is a lot more that has taken place than I've briefly touched on here. Lord willing I will be writing a little more frequently, but we'll see how that goes as time goes on.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Seeing God work

One of the great things about serving in Lakeshore is the numerous times each week I see the Lord work in very tangible ways. Tonight was no exception. Allison and I were waiting to eat dinner, talking with the ladies from the Bronx New York group when we received a phone call from their men. They were near Wal-Mart when our trusty old blue van broke down.

Allison and I rode up there, then back to the church to get some jumper cables, and back again. When we arrived we found the guys just joking around waiting on us. Once we started to get the hood open, we realized none of us could. Struggling wondering what we would do and local man stopped and assisted.

He had owned an old Ford van and knew the trick of getting the hood open. Then he pulled up and assisted us in jumping off the van. It finally cranked and we were able to get back to the church. I praise God for the attitude of the Bronx group and the help of the local fisherman.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Summer help - Betsy

Betsy left us this morning after a bit of an extended stay and an unexpected delay. Betsy is 16 from Hilton Head Island and a real joy to have around Lakeshore. She's been with her church several times before and came once by herself during spring break, but she devoted a month of her summer to serve in Lakeshore this year. She is a tremendous worker and great friend. I am grateful the Lord has brought Betsy this way and given her a heart for Lakeshore. Lord willing she will be back sometime this fall. Thanks Besty for your hard work! Look forward to seeing you this fall.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer help - Sonja, Kayla, Derek

Things are going great in Lakeshore even though I haven't updated ya'll over the past week or so. Last weekend and early this past week we said goodbye to a few kids from Michigan that were here for about a month this summer. Sonja, Kayla, and Derek headed home after a great month and many hours of hard work in the hot Mississippi heat. It was great having them here and getting to know them this summer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

memorizing ephesians

After listening to Andy Davis speak on memorizing scripture and reading Timmy Brister's blog post about his plan to memorize the book of Ephesians I was convicted of my own practice of memorization. I began the year off great working each week on the fighter verses put out by Desiring God ministries, but about 4 months down the road I failed memorize one week, and quickly fell off pace and stopped memorizing.

After being convicted I decided I too would work on memorizing Ephesians with the same plan as Timmy Brister. Allison agreed to memorize the book along with me. We began this week, I am looking forward to the next 25 weeks that we will be working on the book.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mars Hill Doctrine Series

This past week I had a little extra drive time as I was dog sitting and as a commitment to myself I wanted to make the most of the time that I had to grow spiritually in my relationship with the Lord. The majority of my time was spent listening to sermons. I listened to the sermons from the 2008 Founders Conference and then began in on The Doctrine Series preached by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill in Seattle. For the most part I found this to be a great series a definitely worth listening to. I've made it through all but three of them and I look forward to hearing what Driscoll will bring to us from the scriptures.

Trinity: God is
Revelation: God Speaks
Creation: God Makes
Image: God Loves
Fall: God Judges
Covenant: God Pursues
Incarnation: God Comes
Cross: God Dies
Resurrection: God Saves
Church: God Sends
Worship: God Transforms
Stewardship: God Gives
Kingdom: God Reigns

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mid - Summer Update

I finally got on top of things and wrote an update...I've been meaning to this since the beginning of summer but since that didn't happen here's my mid-summer update. Lord willing I will be sending the pdf update out in an email shortly.

Mid- Summer Update

We are about half way through the big summer rush. It's been an exciting summer so far. We've seen a lot of progress on our homes. We've recently started framing 2 new houses. We've moved 1 woman into her home and few more are very close, Lord willing by the end of the summer we will have them in. We currently have about 15 homes in progress that we are sending volunteers into week after week. We are doing everything from sheetrock, painting, building porches, trim work, siding, roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC...and the list goes on and on.

We will see between 1200 and 1300 volunteers this summer equaling between 48,000 and 52,000 volunteer hours. That's amazing...Praise God he continues to send volunteers this way.

June 1st I began my new missionary appointment with the North American Mission Board. I've transitioned from a Semester missionary to a US/C2 missionary. This Lord willing will allow me to stay in Lakeshore for the next two years. I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do in the future!

I also became an aunt early this summer! My sister had her first child a baby girl, Kailey. She was premature and was in the hospital about 1 month, but was able to come home about a month and a half before her actual due date. Praise God for his healing power and protection for my sister and the baby.

The Church has also begun building me a little house that will make my stay in Lakeshore a little more homey. It is approximately 200 square feet plus a loft for sleeping. The best parts though is the private bathroom and the space I will have to spend time in the Word, undistracted.

Ways to pray for me:

  • For a freshness in prayer and Bible Study

  • Boldness in sharing the gospel

  • Pray for deliverance from loneliness, discouragement and depression.

  • Pray for patience as church staff and volunteers work together and patience for others as they work with me :)

  • Pray God would be glorified in and through me.

Ways to pray for the ministry:

  • That God would be glorified in all that happens through Lakeshore Baptist Church.

  • That the Gospel would be spread throughout the Lakeshore community and the Gulf Coast.

  • That volunteers would continue to flow through the church

  • That finances would continue to come in to keep this operation funded.

I appreciate all the prayers and support from friends and church family. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve Lakeshore Baptist Church and this community.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summer's reading list

This summer brings many volunteers to Lakeshore, praise the Lord, and the recent building of my house has allowed me to spend several hours working towards it's completion, which doesn't leave for a whole lot of extra reading time. But that hasn't stopped me from buying more and trying to finish the ones already begun and start a few more before I purchase even more.

Recently Started

Save Me From Myself – Brian Welch

An Autobiography of Korn ex-band member who was graciously saved from the wrath of God and out of the rock and roll and drug addicted lifestyle.

A Bright Red Scream – Marilee Strong

From the book's back cover: Why do some people need to inflict pain on themselves?? At least two million Americans, and millions more worldwide, are cutters - notably, the late Princess Diana. Yet, the reasons behind the need to self-mutilate are profoundly complex and largely misunderstood. Marilee Strong shatters the stereotypes and dispels the myths surrounding the phenomenon of self-mutilation and gets to the heart of the matter by way of her subjects. The voices of cutters themselves, combined with Strong's own astute observations, make for an unparalleled exploration of the disorder that has been called the “addition of the nineties”.

The Gospel According to Jesus – John MacArthur

From the books flap: Is it possible to accept Jesus as Savior while refusing to accept him as Lord? Can someone truly believe without actually repenting? How do obedience, commitment to Christ, and turning from sin fit together with the truth that we are saved by grace through faith alone? MacArthur carefully answers these questions in light of Jesus' own ministry – that a humble spirit of unconditional surrender to Jesus' rightful authority as both Lord and Savior is the ver essence of genuine faith

Recently finished

Humility – CJ Mahaney

God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Mahaney writes on the struggle every believer has at one point or another, pride. Mahaney uses scripture to teach on the subject of pride, in light of glorifying God.

A Gospel Primer – Milton Vincent

Vincent stresses the importance and the benefits of the practice of telling the gospel to yourself daily. He lists many things that the gospel does including :

  • The gospel serves as the means by which God daily constructs me into what He wants me to be...
  • The gospel slays sin at the root and nullifies sin's power over me
  • The gospel reminds me that my righteous standing with God always holds firm regardless of my performance
  • On my worst days the gospel encourages me with God's unrelenting grace toward me
  • God deliberately designed the gospel in such a way so as to strip me of pride and leave me without any grounds for boasting in myself whatsoever.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him

Today the Lord really helped me to see that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. I woke up this morning saying I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do today. I got into the book of Hebrews bright and early...then my day became one of the most interesting days as far as things going wrong, yet enjoying everything that went on.

First we were expecting a shipment of bottled water on Monday, but that was problem to me but we were out of bottled water for volunteers to take out the the job sites, but we made due. The Lord provided a few cases of water to quench the workers thirst.

Then a volunteer came to me to inform me that there was no running water in the kitchen or the shower house. So I went to check out the well and saw that it wasn't working properly. I wasn't worried at all since this has happened several times before and it's always been fixed. So I called James, I figured if he couldn't fix it he could find someone who could...but he took care of it.

A few minutes later a volunteer walked into the office to inform me the air conditioning wasn't working in the Quonset Hut they were sleeping in. I went to take a look and the problem seemed apparent to me, but had James take a look at it too. It was a problem neither of us could fix easily, but again no big deal. There is an A/C man coming later this week and I knew I could find a place to sleep the ladies that were in there if need be.

There were then a few miscellaneous things that took place, but I spent most of my afternoon working on cleaning the office and then headed for my house to continue working on the sheet rock for about 2 hours.

On my way to dinner I was talking with Allison and her dad about some of the things that came in on the truck and he mentioned a grill that was taken. That immediately made me look over to the place where our grill normally sits and I saw that it was gone. He said it wasn't that grill that was taken, but one that was donated which got me looking to where our grill had disappeared to. I then spotted it sticking up out of the dumpster!

I weighed the options 1. Go in after it to get it out or 2. Tell pastor Don I had no idea what happened to it. Since lying is wrong and I was having such a fun day already I decided to go in after it. So we ate dinner then Allison, Allison's mom and dad, Zack and I went to retrieve it. We saved that and several folding chairs that had been tossed into the dumpster. So I thought things couldn't get more interesting, but I was wrong. As I was climbing off the dumpster I stepped onto a bucket that contained some very liquidy paint type stuff...That lid gave way and my foot went sploosh into the bucket...I couldn't help but to laugh hysterically.
It was a great day and I as really able to see how the Lord is working in my life as he transforms this wretched sinner. I could see the Lord working in different ways in each situation, but I was able to praise him throughout the day as I was not bent out of shape, frustrated with anyone and if it were not for him working in my life I could have made today a terrible day. But instead it was great - To God be the Glory!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cottage Rocked

I can't express the thanks that I wish I could to the teams that have come to Lakeshore and gave their time to work on my little home, when there are still so many things in the community that are going on and need to be done. I am grateful for the hard work and dedication to that work that has gone into the progress of my cottage. I am excited as the work progresses and as I am getting closer and closer to getting in.

These guys from Jones County Mississippi worked diligently hanging the sheet rock. The last day they even arrived 2 hours before the rest of the teams got started in order to hang as much rock as they could.
I was surprised this week when I walked out to my house to see that it had been taped and looked great. I am not sure when it got done, but I have a hunch it was a man from West University Baptist Church from Houston, TX.

I was able to get out to my house today and sand some of the mud...Hopefully I will have a little time tomorrow afternoon to get back out there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Accomplished Much

Progress at Al Smith's home:

Laying Flooring at the Cox home-

Hauling Concrete at the Dahl's -

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Updates by Twitter

I've succumbed to the popularity of Twitter. Originally only to follow a few different groups and people who update frequently. But I realized today how easy it is and plan to utilize the Twitter updates myself. I've placed them on the side of my blog in hopes I can update a bit more without the entire blog post...though I will still attempt to update the blog as frequently as I can, which obviously has been a bit slow lately. Lord willing some thing else will be up here in the next day or so....I've got a lot to say and there is a lot happening around the church and the community!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

cottage update

I didn't get too many chances yesterday to get out to my cottage to see how things were coming along, but I was able to get out last night after the teams had wrapped up for the day. They completed the wiring and rough in plumbing, then began inserting the rafter vents then hanging the insulation. Lord willing they will begin hanging sheet rock today. Pictures to come....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plumbing, wiring, and a clean yard

A large team from the Jones County Baptist Association in Mississippi has been with us since Monday morning scattered all over Lakeshore. I think we have about 150 of them working with us and they have many more at a couple other local churches
The group asked to work on my little house, so excitedly I let them. So the plan is to have the rough in wiring and plumbing done by Wed morning and then they plan to begin hanging insulation and sheet rock.
I ordered the siding Monday and picked up the flooring. I must get the tile for the bathroom picked out from our storage tent to lay in the bathroom!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Gospel Reminds Me

"When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ. Perhaps some of them are in their condition because of sin, but so was I. Perhaps they are unkind when I try to help them; but I, too, have been spiteful to God when He has sought to help me. Perhaps they are thankless and been abuse the kindness I show them, but how many time have I been thankless and used what God has given me to serve selfish ends?

Perhaps a poverty stricken person will be blessed and changed as a result of some kindness I show him. If so, God be praised for His grace through me. But if the person walks away unchanged by my kindness, then I still rejoice over the opportunity to love as God loves. Perhaps the person will repent in time; but for now, my heart is chastened and made wiser by the tangible depiction of what I myself have done to God on numerous occasions.

The gospel reminds me daily of the spiritual poverty into which I was born and also of the staggering generosity of Christ towards me. Such reminders instill in me both a felt connection to the poor and a desire to show them the same generosity that have been lavished on me. When ministering to the poor with these motivations, I not only preach the gospel to them through word and deed, but I reenact the gospel to my own benefit as well."
(A Gospel Primer for Christians, by Milton Vincent. Pages 38-39.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Doing things right in the Matters of the Heart

John Ensor introduces us great examples of Biblical manhood and womanhood in his book Doing Things Right in the Matters of the Heart. The objective of the book is to "provide a winsomely radical alternative to the prevailing ideas, almost absolute doctrines, that guide out current thinking about manhood and womanhood and define our actions and expectations when pursuing matters of the heart."

In the first section he deals with what the heart of manhood and womanhood is according to the Bible... In Ensor's words "What does it mean to be a man and not a woman? What is distinctively meaningful about being a woman and not a man? What marks the mature man? What does it mean to be, dare I say a godly man? What marks the mature and godly woman and makes her attractive and fulfilled How do we complement and fit together?" The second section he lays out the ways to answer these questions. The book is written for both genders which helped me to not only know female roles but also to learn what the godly male role is to look like and understand that a bit better how they work together.

I want to share what is one of my favorite quotes from the book. It is is reference to the man initiating and the woman responding.
"I was speaking with a small circle of college students, Christian brother in their mid-twenties mostly. One of them expressed the problem squarely. "I don't like to ask until I see all the right signals that she is going to say yes.

My response? "Coward! You are the man."

By this I meant to say that being a man means something distinctive.

Brothers, it falls to us to be the initial risk takers in matter of the heart. Headship means being the one to go ahead and ask.

It is ours as men to suffer the embarrassment of rejection if need be. It is our role to initiate. It is hers to respond with a signal of reception or rejection. Get to it merrily.

We are the hunters. They are the quarry. It is for men to strike out into the forest and look. It is for women to crack the twigs and stir the leaves so we know were to find them." (p. 91-92)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Palatable sins

This was a bit thought to make sin sound better...from the blog of Abraham Piper

Struggle: Christianese for "giving into sin, but then feeling guilty"

We’re not porn-addicts; we “struggle with lust.”

We’re not arrogant; we “struggle with pride.”

With a simple cliché our sins become palatable.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Back to the grind

I can't say how many times I have opened the dashboard of my blog in an attempt to write something in the past week and a half, but have come away with nothing written or nothing anyone else would want to read. So here I am again...

I'm back in Lakeshore from my extended vacation, which was great. It is great to be back though. While I was on vacation, of course after I left Wisconsin, my sister gave birth to her baby girl Kailey. The baby was a couple months early and weighed in at a whopping 2 lb 12oz. She'll be two weeks old tomorrow. Both mom and baby are doing well, though it will be a long recovery. Kailey's my first niece, so I am totally excited.

We are gearing up for this summer in Lakeshore. This week begins a very busy summer (somewhere around 1500 volunteers in a matter of 2 months!) Lord willing we will be finishing several house and starting several more!

I've officially been approved and have begun my service as a US/C2 missionary. Lord willing, this will extend my stay in Lakeshore until June of 2010. I never would have thought my first summer here would have turned into 4 years, but I am sure happy the Lord has placed me in Lakeshore.

Oh...and my house was begun to be wired! one step closer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vacation pt 3

It Tuesday afternoon, I think...I haven't been sure of what day it's been for about two weeks. I am currently in Louisville, KY where the New Attitude Conference took place. Things wrapped up today around 1:00 pm after CJ Mahaney spoke on the doctrine of adoption. The conference has taken up the last four days and has been amazing. The amount of teaching we took in was incredible...Four days filled sermons from Josh Harris, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, Eric Simmons, and John Piper. I know I will planning to relisten to most of the messages to take in things that I missed, which can all be found on the New Attitude website. I'm heading back to Lakeshore tomorrow and I'm looking forward to applying some of the things I learned at the conference and getting back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vacation pt. 2 - the smell of lilacs

This week has been pretty great. I made it to Platteville yesterday to surprise my mom - it was fun...As far as I know she had no idea I was coming. Prior to arriving in Platteville I stopped to see my pregnant sister. I also got to spend a couple hours with my pastor, his wife, and son.
This morning I got my moped out and took a spin around town to look at what all has changed. Then I went for a walk in a favorite park of mine on my college campus. I went to visit a few of the places I spent hours in prayer and scripture. It was even more beautiful than I remember.

One of my favorite spots, a place I rode bike and hiked was now guarded by barbed wire fence. Maybe due to the old railroad bridge that was falling apart for the last several years.
And maybe one of the things that I have been looking forward to the most is the smell of the lilacs blooming in the spring.

Monday, May 19, 2008

vacation pt. 1

For a little update...

I've been away from Lakeshore now for a week and having a great time at my friends Jer & Katie's house in Chippewa Falls, WI. I'd forgotten how beautiful this state is...when I was flying in over Minneapolis then driving into Wisconsin just the beauty of the landscape the trees, the grass, the rocks, and the hills it's awesome.

I've also been able to reconnect with people I've met in here in the past or that have been to Lakeshore to volunteer. It's been a great, yet challenging week. I can't think of any time in the last several years that I've been away from the Internet for more than a couple days. While it has been hard for me to think of all the emails that are piling up and the things that I could be looking forward to on the calendar and all the interesting things happening on facebook :) – it's been great to be away from it with my mind not totally focused on those things.

It has also been challenging spiritually, yet renewing. I've learned a great deal about myself and what I need to improve on as I grow in my relationship with the Lord. I have had a lot of time to read as well, but sadly I haven't done much...almost every time I've sat down to read the eye lids close and I fall asleep. Maybe I've been a little sleep deprive, who would have thought? But I have begun working on what I would like to go through this fall with the ladies Bible study. If not for the ladies study, it's a great personal study of the attributes of God.

I am now looking forward to the next leg of my trip...a visit to see my sister and a surprise visit to my hometown for just a few days before heading off to Louisville, KY. Now I am just hoping no one will check the blog from Platteville in the next few hours before my arrival...

Friday, May 09, 2008

I wonder what the worship song would sound like...

I was reading Abraham Piper's blog 22 Words this morning, a blog that has become one of my favorites. He posted yesterday "10 things we don't mention in worship songs, but that I'm happy God saved me from" He gives his own list of things and as I was reading it over, I began to think of all the things the Lord has saved me from or is still working on in me (many of them still working on, but know in Christ can have freedom from). Some I wish I still didn't have to struggle with. It makes me realize how far the Lord has brought me and made me stop to pray and thank God for not only saving me or working on these things in me, but also for saving me from eternal damnation and adopting me as one of his own.

My list in no particular order:

1. Death (deserved or self-inflicted)
2. Self-injury
3. Immorality
4. Over Analyzing
5. A Psychology major
6. Self-Centeredness (woe-is-me attitude)
7. Fearing what people are thinking
8. Addictions
9. Uncontrolled Anger
10. The need to please, fear of failure

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Through the Lord alone

Because I've left most people out in the on for a brief update on what the Lord is doing in me and the ministry of Lakeshore Baptist Church....
  • I returned from Atlanta last month from my interviews with NAMB. Lord willing I will be finding out officially in the next couple weeks if I will be an approved missionary.
  • March and April were pretty amazing, many groups and a lot being accomplished.
  • Mrs. Diane's house is almost complete...just waiting on the county to install the grinder.
  • We began 2 new houses. (the Boyds and Calhouns)
  • My little home has been started.
  • Lord willing in the next week I will get to do a little traveling between Mississippi, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.
  • I've been enjoying experimenting and cooking...I don't cook much, but I love to learn and try things for myself.
  • May is low with the number of volunteers, but we do have an Americorp group that is staying on site and helping us out for a few weeks.
  • I've been enjoying time with Britt and Liz (a couple of our long term volunteers.)
  • I helped Tyvek for the first time ever (I send out people to do all these things and I watch them, so every now and then I like to put myself to the test to see if I am capable of doing come of these things). I installed collar ties for the first time too - I hope they are even enough to hang sheetrock on.
  • I've been reading Galatians in the mornings and trying to read a bunch of different books in the evenings.
  • I enjoyed seeing and spending time with the returning group from Providence Baptist Church in Franklin MA that was here last week. I've never seen a group consume so many snickers and m&m's.
  • The Lord continues to work in Lakeshore and in my life - conforming me more and more into his image. He's teaching me and reteaching me things through his Word and the counsel of other believers. I am grateful for all the Lord is doing in my life, the folks who I work with, and among the people in the community. May the Lord continue to be glorified and praised.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Last True Story

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq has seen good reviews from most, but I wasn't as impressed. It begins with author John Crawford complaining that his National Guard unit was called up one semester before he was set to graduate and while he was on his honeymoon. I don't know about most people, but I've been aware that if you sign up with the National Guard, thinking you're signing up to get tuition benefits, there is the chance that you will be called up to serve (most of the time in a war you don't agree with). I'm afraid this affected my attitude as I read the rest of the book.

But I did feel for him as he was separated from his wife and as he told stories of relationships that ended in divorce while husbands were serving overseas apart from families for a year or more. He accounts life in Baghdad as we may not have heard from the nightly news: insufficient body amour, homesick soldiers, life always on guard, extreme weather, recreational use of prescription drugs and alcohol, grizzly things they are asked to do, and the people they are to protect.

But throughout the book it appears that Crawford has no agenda, but to reveal to us what he and others experienced in Iraq (of course in the most crude language possible) and to make sure we know that he wants nothing more to do with the United States Army.

Despite my feelings for this book, Crawford's story continues increase my gratitude for the men and women who serve in the armed forces and my support our troops, whether or not I agree with the tasks they've been sent to do.