Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just for Fun Photos-Part 2

Pardon me. Would you like to purchase a bank vault across from the beach? How about a bridge? Photo taken on a foggy day. It is unclear where the bridge leads. "Donate Blood." Very tasty promotion for Dracula's Kitchen. The itty bitty t-shirt contest shirt as displayed proudly by Jordan Sikkema.
You fill it out well. "Have you been lifting?"

Just For Fun Photos-Part 1

From a recent trip to Orlando. A sign near the baggage claim carousel at Orlando International. Is Ramada secretly embedding Biblical truth in it's marketing campaign? "You do your thing." That's what I tell myself when I run from God...and if I run far enough eventually wind up buried and bound in surprise and sorry.
"Looking for a sign? Tell her you love her." Someone visiting our website asked for us to pray for her marriage to be restored. The husband was looking for a sign whether or not to stay in the marriage or depart. After giving appropriate Biblical directives I sent this tongue-in-cheek reply. Please note three things in photo. 1. In the background the warning of a "Diesel" line underground. 2. The lit cigar. 3.The absolute, unwavering trust in God's providence. This Florida Hibiscus is now a true Steel Magnolia. "Giving the tongue"
A sign at the IKEA store in Atlanta

Thursday, December 20, 2007

COs and so.

Today we finally got two COs, certificate of occupancy, on two of the houses we finished before Thanksgiving. Once your air conditioning unit is set a surveyor must come out and shoot your final grade for the finished construction elevation certificate. We finished all the work on these houses before Thanksgiving but it took a while to get all the paperwork in line to CO the homes. We also have the Howell's, Russo's, Gillum's, and Given's all at the same place, our work is done. Given's will just need an inspection, Howell's, Russo, and Gillum needs to pass electrical inspection, have power to the house, the city needs to install the sewer grinder, my HVAC guy will have to finish his work, and finally go through a final inspection. Thanks to the help of Russ, Josh, David, David, Doug, and J J we were able to finish these houses up. Of course Kenley, Clyde, and Andrew also worked tirelessly on these houses also but we met our goal, we finished what we had to before Christmas. Now to find work for the 70 folks coming in the 26th.

COs and so.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

wanna see the finished product?

Here it is....the outside of a house completely finished. It looks amazing. To Jordan, Andrew, and Clyde...congratulations boys, you have done an incredible job! Thank you for your tireless work, incredible organization, ability to delegate and allow volunteers to do difficult jobs, wake up insanely early and go to bed insanely guys are amazing. To the MTW leaders, thank you for your hard work and willingness to work so well with our Lagniappe staff. Thanks for being flexible with us! To the RUF students...thank you. Thank you for your fun attitudes, your hard work, your graciousness with mistakes, your vision for God's kingdom, and for coming here and serving as broken people loved by Jesus. We were blessed to have you. To everyone who prayed, to everyone who supported this financially, and to everyone else on the Lagniappe staff that worked to hard to make this happen, keep people fed, keep the place clean, and keep the rest of us sane....THANK YOU. Most of, thank you to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his son who "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking on the form or a servant, being born in human likeness, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Phil. 2:5-8. Thanks to everyone who modeled that method of ministry this weekend by entering into brokenness and seeking its redemption. Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Pictures

During Der Blitz over 500 photos were taken. Since we have so many ask for the photos we have made a web ablum for all 500 of them. Enjoy. Soli Deo Gloria

The Blitz Ends, but the Thunder comes

Sadly as fast it came, the Blitz is now over. Our RUF students on are going back home for Christmas, but as with lighting, the thunder will soon follow. We have already heard some of the thunder with work making the local news and newspapers, the sound of the car horns in support of locals. We here at Lagniappe are thankful for all the support all have given us, but we are most thankful for the support from God that He has given to us. Even thought we came to support victims from a hurricane, God came to us dead in our sin, and rescued us from death. We love because He first loved us, and His love compels us. We here at Lagniappe long to see; not just homes restored but see lives restored. We hope with this bolt of lightning, that people with come to see where the true source of the lightning came from and then come and hear the thunder. Soli Deo Gloria The house in the morning The last picture of the house, sadly could not get a picture of the finished house beacuse it was to dark

Our First Registrations for Holding on to Hope

We have received our first registrations for our women's conference February 22-24, 2007. Thank you for your interest and for those registrations. I am always blown away by the faithfulness of God in these things. After preparing over these past months and sending out the brochures, I must admit I have the fleeting questions, "Will anyone come?" Thanks be to God for His moving in the hearts of those who have registered and will be in the coming months. I am so aware of my own unbelief in trusting God in this event. Oh Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Please call or email me if you have questions. We look forward to seeing you all face to face soon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Blitz Continues

The Blitz build continues here at Lagniappe. After a day of rest the build from the building on Saturday, we continued today here in Monday. We once again started at the crack of dawn and the blitz started up again. The blitz build has also gotten the notice to the local community with people horning their horns and waving their hands, support from the fire department, and the local newspapers and news stations. WE here at Lagniappe thank all of our supports and to the parents of the students of the college who came and gave up part of their Christmas break. THANK YOU! Soli Deo Gloria!
We passed Inspection!!! Bottoms Up? Around the work site Have a nice day Merry Christmas from all of us here in Lagniappe

Day 2 !!!

I will begin by saying that my post will not be as spectacular as Sam Berton's....let's just say I'm technologically challenged and getting anything posted to the web is miraculous for me!'s some progress from the morning!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If we feed them, they will come..............

Scared? Well he ought to be! Earlier this summer, John Sabin found a racoon in the tool crib and promptly beat him to death with a shovel, much to the horror of the tool crib girls. This week, after finding our cat food crate open and empty several days in a row, the search was on for the culprit, and guess who it was! This wiley racoon reminded me of a memory I have of our youngest son Reid, who at age 12, spent the night in our barn so he could stage an attack on the racoon tribe that incessantly raided the cow food tub everynight, causing Reid extra work every morning. When I went down to the barn to check on him, there were
dead racoons scattered around the barn floor, and when I asked him why he hadn't disposed of them, he stated that he was leaving them there as an example to all the other racoons who thought they could get a free meal at his expense. Well, since one of the tool crib girls' jobs this summer was to teach John Sabin sensitivity, they absolutely forbade him to ever again beat a racoon to death with a shovel, so he now has a more politically correct method of catch and release. Tool crib girls, be proud! Here Ruth offers wiley racoon a peace offering of green apple before he is released into the wild blue yonder.

Revive, Resource, Replicate

Mo Leverett, accomplished urban ministry entrepreneur and critically acclaimed singer-song writer, blessed an attentive crowd of RUF students with many of his songs tonight at Lagniappe. Over 50 RUFers from around the country are with us for 5 days to blitz build our newest Lagnaippe home. Mo's current ministry in New Orleans, Rebirth International, is another model of the church's call to participate in the restoration of creation as he seeks to replicate Jesus's ministry of word and deed among the poor, and we were so blessed to have him share his ministry and music with us. Thanks, Mo!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Der Blitz

Day is December the 15th, temperatures are reaching up into the 70’s and we are still building. Right now we are doing a “BLITZ” build which started today. Current at Lagniappe there is 55 college students from Reformed University Fellowship better known as RUF. These 55 RUF students are current and are going to a house from the foundation up in 3 days!!! Today was our first day of build and our 55 students started at 7:30 in the morning and worked to until to 5:15. We will let the pictures speak for themselves on the progress that happened in just one day! Soli Deo Gloria Morning's Glory Here is a time laspe of the progess on der Blitz through out the day
The process of putting up the post looked familar Pictures from around the day. Soli Deo Gloria: To GOD alone be the GLORY


This first picture was taken 2 days ago on the corner of St. John Street and Dunbar--in the heart of Bay St. Louis. These are the supplies for Lagniappe's Blitz build, taking place this weekend with RUF students here with MTW. The Lagniappe construction crew (Andrew, Clyde, Jordan, John Sabin, ect) has been working tirelessly for the last week to get ready. They were nailing, hammering, sawing, and gluing the floor boards at midnight last night, with some help from recently returned interns, and office girls like me. Today at 7:30, 55 RUF students showed up with faces painted to represent their different work groups. Roosters were crowing (seriously), and by 8:15 hammers were flying, nails were being pounded, and saws were cutting. By noon....walls were up. It is unbelievable. I cannot tell you all how encouraging it is to see this thing moving so quickly! We will be posting multiple times each day for the next few days, so keep up with the blog and we'll make sure you stay updated!

Friday, December 14, 2007

How Did I Get Here?

"The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." C.S. Lewis

How do we get into the messes that we often find our selves in? Do we suddenly wake up one day and find ourselves standing in the midst of ruin that has become our life? Does a teenager spontaneously become pregnant? Does a man wake up next to a woman who isn't his wife, scratch his head and declare, "Huh. When I went to bed I was alone. Now I find this woman in bed with me. What's up with that?" Smeagal (Hobbit/Lord of the Rings) didn't suddenly become Gollum and Anakin Skywalker (Star Wars) didn't suddenly become Darth Vader. First Gollum had to take the Ring of Power, take a life, withdraw from community, and move into a mountain cave condo. Anakin had to first believe he knew more than anyone around him, ignoring counsel, regardless of experience, and wisdom. Then he had to kill a tribe of sand people, withdraw from community, embrace the counsel from someone who agreed with him, and kill all of the children at the Jedi boarding school. Through gradual steps we venture away from the security of God and His people. Convinced that we are right, and/or deceived into believing we are strong, we slowly move away from the place of truth, grace, and peace. Eventually we are so far away that we can't hear the cries of our family and friends beckoning us to return. Their voices are gradually quieted by a resolute conscience. Our desire to “become like God” crystallizes as we take possession of the object(s) of our desire; power, a relationship, drugs, control, prestige. If by God’s grace we are awakened to the horror of what we now possess (The default that is built into every temporal pleasure), crying out in repentance, it is true that “Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, love and power.” Here the church is called to model her Savior, to forgive what He forgives, offering the restoration of fellowship and love. Apart from repentance the Church should also model the attitude of the Father as displayed in the Parable of the Prodigals. There the Father scans the horizon anticipating his return, upon which He runs towards, embraces, kisses, restores honor, and throws a celebration feast. How many prodigals would return if they believed the church was an inviting place for them to return? Are you running from God? Are you running from God’s people who are calling you back? If so make haste in your return. Your reward is the promise of satisfaction and fullness in Christ, restoration that comes on the other side of dieing to self. Apart from repentance there is only the promise of greater emptiness, becoming less than what you were made to be. You will become Gollum. You will become Darth Vader because though they are mythological characters they represent gospel truth. What promises life can only produce death (James 1:14-15). “He who seeks to save his life will loose it but he who looses his life for my sake will find it.” You will not be transformed into something more glorious, mature, and full. You will be distorted and disfigured, empty and wanting. It will always be Winter and never Christmas (Narnia-speak). Do you know someone who is on the safe road to hell? Are you warning them in love, coming along side of them as one who also struggles, who has also received mercy from the Savior? Have you taken the log out of your eye before you approach them about the speck in their eye? If they have run, ignoring all pleas, are you praying for and anticipating their return? Are you a friend who stands ready to receive the repentant one, bringing a warm embrace and kiss rather than hypocritical scorn, gossip, and shame? Remember the order of reward the Father bestowed? Embrace, kiss, honor, celebration. May our steps be toward the Savior who promises to receive all prodigals. The safest road to hell may be the gradual one without signposts but the quickest way home is marked clearly by the Cross.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Leaning Tree of Lagniappe

We received a wonderful fragrant Frazier fir tree yesterday from Wayland to Waveland folks. The tree itself is lovely, especially with the lights. Take note of the definite lean to right and know that this tree resides in a community of brokeness. We are increasingly aware of our personal brokeness and sin the longer we stay here and at the same time more aware of the grace and mercy that comes to us in and through the work of Jesus. Sarah, Kim, Hannah Grace, Ann Elizabeth, Laura (intern from this summer) and Keri are busy working on popcorn and fresh cranberry garlands to adorn the tree. Stay tuned for a picture of the decorated tree.
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Kudos to Calvary Classical

Thank you, Calvary Classical School for your awesome gift of $250.00 in Lowe's gifts cards. Words cannot express our gratitude for the ongoing support you send our way. Thank you for making Lagniappe your mission project for the year. We notice that you have creative ways to fund raise like the Bike-A-Thon. Lagniappe Church is committed to classical Christian education and we are praying to the end that God would use Lagniappe to begin a classical Christian school here in the Bay. We have been blessed to have Kim and Zach Hughes, parents of a Calvary student and involved in the school, serve here for a week in the spring. We look forward to having them return in '08 along with others from Calvary Reformed church. We can't accomplish the task God has given us without your partnership in prayer and support. Be assured the Lowe's cards will be used on the homes we are building now and in the future. God bless you.
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