Saturday, January 26, 2008

Let there be no wasted days

Starting January 1st I began the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan to guide me in my morning devotions. I have enjoyed my time in the scripture as I begin to read through the OT once and the NT twice this year.

I have been convicted on days that I skip reading or just read to check it off my list by something I read by John MacArthur. In the 1 & 2 Peter study MacArthur writes
"A believer should count it a wasted day when he does not learn something new from or is not more deeply enriched by the truth of God's Word. Scripture is food for the believer's growth and power - and there is not other."
It stuck me hard, "a wasted day" many wasted days have I had? But I cannot change those days, but I can change how I will view my time with the Lord each day. We cannot grow closer to God when we ignore his word. The only way we grow close to anyone is to spend time with them. Not just 5 minutes a day. But we talk with them often and spend a good bit of time with them.

Lord - change my heart, I desire to know you. Convict me at times when I skip spending time with you or just read the Bible to check it off my list for the day. I desire to have no more wasted days, but to know you more deeply and personally. Thank you for the desire to know you - be glorified through me. Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

'Tis Glorious

A Poem By William Cowper

I was a groveling creature once,
And basely cleaved to earth:
I wanted spirit to renounce
The clod that gave me birth.

But God hath breathed upon a worm,
And sent me from above
Wings such as clothe an angel's form,
The wings of joy and love.

With these to Pisgah's top I fly
And there delighted stand,
To view, beneath a shining sky,
The spacious promised land.

The Lord of all the vast domain
Has promised it to me,
The length and breadth of all the plain
As far as faith can see.

How glorious is my privilege!
To Thee for help I call;
I stand upon a mountain's edge,
O save me, lest I fall!

Though much exalted in the Lord,
My strength is not my own;
Then let me tremble at His word,
And none shall cast me down.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Whole Terrain of Scripture

I was reading last night before I went to bed from Reflections of Jonathan Edwards 300 years later a book I purchased from Desiring God Ministries. As I read I came across a couple of convicting paragraphs written by John Piper:
How many of us have a plan for growing in our grasp of the whole terrain of Scripture? Don't most of us use the Bible as a source for getting sermons and devotionals and personal devotional help? But do we labor over the Scripture in such a way that we can plainly see that today we understand something in it that we did not understand yesterday?

I fear that many of us work at reading books on theology and church life with a view to growing, but have no plan and no sustained efforts to move steadily and constantly forward in our understanding of the Bible. Edwards's second exhortation is, this ought not be so. Study the Bible so steadily and constantly and frequently that you can clearly perceive yourself to grow in them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Weathered the Storm, Conquered by the Volunteers

John Richard's house weathered the storm pretty well 28 months ago, but his deck was in pretty bad shape and the siding on his home needed some repair. For the past few weeks teams have work with John on rebuilding his deck and siding his house. John is a faithful church member who has not asked for much of anything, he likes to see others getting back into their homes. The church was able to get some money through a grant for John to give him a safe deck to walk on and new siding that will better protect his home from the weather. We are hoping to get some new flooring in his house before too long. I know the crew who have worked with John have really enjoyed it and John is very grateful for all that is done for him and for this community.

These are some of the men from the ARBCA group from several different states who deconstructed the old deck and constructed the new.

This week some men from Grace EC church in PA roofed the porch.

The Grace EC group also worked on painting lattice, which they learned can be a bit tedious with all those little holes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Moran's sided home

This is the Moran's home. After framing and doing the plumbing, electrical and hanging the sheetrock, the Moran's stepped in and took over. They had family that knew house to finish sheetrock, paint, install light fixtures, put up trim, install flooring and tile. We sent a team over to help them put up the siding. When I arrived to check on the job I was amazed at all the work that had been done inside. It looked great.

The Living Room

The Spare bedroom

The Master Bedroom

Monday, January 14, 2008

Framing way up there

This is the Cox's new home. The ARBCA crew framed this house in just a few days, 10 feet off the ground. This is one of three that we are framing or about to begin framing.
Mr. Cox was sitting on the stack of lumber watching his house being built when we pulled up

The painstakingly tedious, but very necessary, work of nailing on all the hurricane straps.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Muddy inspections

The last of the large ARBCA group that was here pulled out this morning. We got a tremendous amount of things accomplished this week. It's been great. We have more volunteers rolling in about lunch time today for what ought to be another great week of work in the community. Lord willing over the next few days I'll post some pictures of things that got done this past week and pictures of the new groups continuing on in the rebuilding.

Here are some young men from the ARBCA group cleaning out holes for a foundation inspection.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Loes and oysters

It's been a pretty good week, I am exhausted...but that's usually a sign I've been busy and busy is good. The crews are still out working today, getting a ton of things accomplished. It's great to see.

I just got back from the bus station not long ago taking Loes to catch her bus. It was great having Loes around here the past couple of weeks...she was scheduled to leave Tuesday this week, but we talked her into staying a few more days....It was great fun. Loes is from the Netherlands and had been studying at the University of Wisconsin Platteville and had attended my home church while she was there. She had a few weeks before she headed home that she wanted to spend in Lakeshore volunteer, she was a huge help. I was sad to see her go.
Last night Loes and I got to experience something we had never done before...eating raw oysters on a half shell. It was one of the most interesting things I've eaten since I've been here. But I decided they were actually pretty good. I didn't know what to expect or even how to eat them. So after watch Greg and Don eat one Loes and I tried one and then another.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Dwelling

Well I am not officially moved into my new camper yet...I still have a bunch of random things in my old camper, but I'm living in the new one. I'm pretty excited about it, there's a bit more space - especially closet space! - and a little living room area and kitchen area. I worked on cleaning it the other day, it was a bit gross with dirt and grime. But a bit of bleach and a good scrub worked wonders. Today Brit and Loes (two of the most daring girls) tackled the bathroom, which I hadn't gotten time to get to...they did an amazing job and they even washed the curtains for me!
Welcome in to my living room..don't mind the wont be there long, just until I know everything spick and span
I was commenting to the girls last night, it's kind of like a mini apartment. Though I still cannot imagine housing a whole family in one of these things for over two years.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A whirlwind of activity

Things have been a whirlwind since arriving back in Lakeshore. Last week was spent gearing up for this big week of volunteers. The Lord has provided 150+ volunteers this week most of them being skilled. I'm sure it will be a great week and much will be accomplished.

I'm having a hard time just sitting down to write a blog post, so I will try to write a little throughout the day and if it seems like a bunch of random thoughts, it probably is.

Wow, we have people working all over the community – it's pretty cool. They are doing all sorts of jobs from clearing land, demolition, framing, sheet rock, insulation, plumbing, electrical, etc, etc...

It's been a busy day, but very productive day. We also got another trailer for sleeping volunteers and got it set into place.They are also converting a shipping container into our children's church.
I took just a few minutes this afternoon to stop by a newly framed house to check on an inspection. As I was there I was reflecting on all the things that were taking place - the fact that I was standing in a house constructed by mainly teenagers, that at that moment we had 160 mainly skilled adults and young people taking on projects at almost every house we are working on at the present time and out visiting many in the community...but as I looked out the hole in the wall, which soon will have a window placed in it, I was reminded of all the destruction that is still around and the long road ahead of residents here in Hancock county and all over the gulf coast. Out behind the home there was dozens of trees snapped off about 30 feet up, some debris still visible from the woods, and an empty concrete slab that once a house sat firmly atop. It is amazing to see the Lord orchestrating all of these efforts in the people and skills he brings to the area and sustaining us as we try to guide the volunteers.