Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A phrase around here that has been used in many sermons, Bible studies, blogs, orientations, excuses, praises, and prayers is "He is striking straight blows with crooked sticks". God is using us to carry out His will. So that seems to play out in every day life for me as a 25 year old kid with no prior construction experience who is trying to run the construction side of Lagniappe. This is just the practical side of that statement. There is also the whole completely depraved side and yet still we are able to make an impact on people's lives down here. Of course I am so completely depraved I am able to overlook that aspect and be discouraged in the practical, the "what am I worth?", the "what can I accomplish?" side of being a crooked stick. For those reading this blog, please do not pass this on to your construction coordinatoors and skilled guys who have to come to LPC and take their marching orders from me. We have 100 or so folks here, 7 good jobs going and houses going up and being worked on. No one is sitting and we are making progress. Andrew, Clyde, and Ryan are working their teams, and we were able to order the material for our first two LPC houses cleared with credit, clear property deeds, mortgages in place, and grants ready to go. Yet still it is 5:20 and I am discouraged. I got the truck stuck, we have a few houses at a stand still due to a failed inspection over one nit-picky problem and some incomplete plumbing and electrical problems that I do not know how to address. Not to mention I feel like I should or could have done more to push things along, and why am I done at 5:00 with work? Apparently 10 hours isn't a long enough day. Here even in writing this I am attempting to justify my value, my worth by listing off what I did do. I am sitting here in my office talking to Ruth who is walking right with me relating to all of this. We are discussing Andrew who is one of the most talented and knowledgable guys -incredible at leading teams through construction- that I have seen and he is feeling the same way - discouraged that he "just" does on-site work and doesn't deal with the logistics and the stress of juggling teams and jobs. And yet, my lack of skill in the job that he performs is what discourages me while working this job. The unfortunate and yet absolutely beautiful thing about all of this that I just dumped into writing is that this is how it is suppose to be as a Christian. "When you are weak, I am strong," and all those many other verses that fit into this thought - to live in that tension of being weak, to do something that you are not capable of... but yet here we still are. It is unfortunate that it is not easy, nor always fun, but the beautiful thing is that we are able, not capable, but able to do this- to live in that tension, to do what we are incapable of because He is capable. And with that comes all the insecurities and self doubt when I do not find my rest and worth in Christ... but talk about feeling alive and pushed to have to find your rest and worth in an absolute rather than something temporal. In closing -in that I have no more and that this blog is long enough (hopefully long enough so that not too many of those who have to depend on my construction knowledge when they come down here read this) -pray for us and also get in too deep. God is never so big or real as when you are in over your head.


Anonymous said...

What a priviledge I get to labor alongside of you!!! Not really that I "labor". But I've been plucked down here, "living in paradise, living the dream" striving for the common goal. I feel just like you do, inadequate, but I have the experience of understanding his sovereighty. It has really nothing to do with our efficiency, but with his ability. He is able and he is the one who gives YOU the ability. Because of him YOU are able, you come across with knoweledge and you have unbelieveable experience. When I understand the workings of Lagniappe, I am impressed with all of the gifts that God brought together. What an amazing team. You are right, in a nutshell, none of us are adequate to do this task. But he is. I'm thankful that I know you.

joan said...

Joshua and Caleb...two guys with great courage....said "WOW, God be praised, this place is great! He's right! It's worth fighting for! Let's go!" (or a similar variation thereof) You, fortunately, are not leading "murmurers in the desert", though the murmurers are present, sometimes in the form of an inspector with an attitude (he probably wishes he were working with you!...pray for him/her), a delivery person who is delayed by the whim of another, or some such.

You and Andrew, and the rest of the crew at Lagniappe, be strong in the Lord, work with joy and singing, and know that you are there to change lives, not build houses. Just as Joshua and Caleb were there to courageously lead a people to God's land in God's hand. Josh 1:9

And at the end of the day, no matter how long it is, remember that God created time so that it's always 5 O'clock somewhere!

I'll be praying for your strength and courage to continue, and for a deep seated joy in all your efforts!

Love in Christ