Monday, November 24, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or the Top Ten Reasons To Be Thankful

As I was pondering my life during the wee hours of the night last night, I was amazed at what God has done in my life since God moved John and I to Lagniappe, and I began to review the good, the bad and the ugly. The GOOD involves the amazing journey beginning in April of 2006 when God arranged (for years) a divine appointment at the RUF Mississippi State University Crawfish Boil with Andy and Cammie Chapman, and our lives as we then knew them were over. That day began an eight month journey of experiencing God literally moving our hearts and spirits in another direction, a direction that was unexpected and even shocking. I still sometimes experience the shock of what God did, but I know as sure as I'm typing this that God did it. How odd of God to take a crooked stick like John, who said for years, "I'm not a missionary and I'm not going anywhere", and a crooked stick like me, the chief of sinners, to plop us down in the middle of what I am convinced is the most incredible picture of God's restoration of creation - the restoration of US! Which brings me to the BAD........we have learned so much of our own brokeness...........and the UGLY..........that we are much more sinful than we ever dared believe.........which brings me back to the GOOD..........that we are much more loved than we can even imagine, to the point that when God looks at us, He rejoices over us with singing! The blood of Jesus hides the BAD and the UGLY so that when God looks at us, He ONLY sees the GOOD! How amazing is THAT? Can you even picture God in Heaven rejoicing over US? With SINGING? It is incredible. Top ten Reasons to be Thankful 1. That Jesus' blood covers the bad and the ugly and God only sees the good, which isn't even ours, but is Jesus'. 2. That the same God who makes things broken then proceeds to restore them. 3. That God can use ANYONE to accomplish His will, even broken people like us. 4. That God is in control of all things, even the Kings, Presidents, Pastors, the details of my life and the number of hairs on my head! 5. That God established marriage as the perfect picture of Jesus' love for His church. Christ loved his Bride enough to DIE for her! 6. That God is still on the throne and history cannot and will not be changed. The Alpha and Omega has established it from beginning to end. 7. For the fellowship of the saints, the most fulfilling fellowship and communion we can ever experience on earth. 8. For the Beauty of the Earth 9. For Music 10. For the promise of Heaven and getting to see Jesus face to face. That's it! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, ending with the GOOD, or as they say in the Bay, "It's All Good!" Have a Blessed Thanksgiving week.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you Cammie!

As you may or may not know one of our staff members is moving to another part of the coast to continue the restoration work in a different capacity. Cammie Chapman and her daughter, Kate will be moving to Gulfport, Mississippi and she will be working with R.S.V.P., a program that allows local senior citizens to serve their 'own' communities. Many of you know Cammie as the friendly voice behind our reservation hotline. She has helped provide 'air traffic control' for over 10,000 volunteers who have served at Lagniappe. She has done an amazing job and will be a great assett to Harrison County. We are sad to be losing her, but she is only moving her 'vocational' work. She is still part of the Lagniappe family, an active member of the church and deeply loved in this community. Cammie, thanks for all you have done. We know that the work of restoration will be furthered by your participation through the Harrison County Chamber and R.S.V.P. P.S. Lynne Sabin will be picking up the torch on reservations, so please call or email her with any reservation needs!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


If you have not yet read Sarah Denton's blog about the Mockingbird Cafe' please read it. It describes well the community attachment to the cafe'. If you have been to Bay St. Louis as a volunteer then there is a good chance that you have spent the better part of one or many evenings enjoying the porch and the culture that surrounds the Mockingbird. I recounted to Martin (one of the owners) how I hoped that one day Lagniappe would be as beloved as the cafe'. It may be hard to get your mind around, but as Jean IV recounted to me, "Dad, there were hundreds of people there Thursday night- everyone was there. (NOTE: Jean had gone home early and we live about 1 block from the cafe'. At present I am out of the country so this story was recounted to me via Skype on the internet) He continued, "about midnight I heard this roar and cheering. It was louder that anything I'd ever heard in Old Town, then I got a text from Connor. It said, "They're not closing!" As the city contemplated the closing of this beloved establishment I had one resident say to me, "We might as well just move!" Funny isn't it? Katrina galvinized the city, but when faced with the thought of losing community, residents would rather move than be isolated from each other. All that to say that I'd like to encourage you to give. Not give to get. Not give to have a tax deduction, but give to help. We have had hundreds of thousands of dollars given to help individual families, but this is a place that helps all of us cope; all of us gather and all of us have community. The Mockingbird is trying to raise $10,000. I'd love to see them raise $100,000. Please consider sending a check to them. As is popular to say these days, "We bailed out Wall Street, but what about Main Street?" Here's your chance. Their contact information is as follows: Mockingbird Cafe', 110 South Second Street, Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520, Attn: Mockingbailout. 228.467.8383. Here's a link to the Sun-Herald story about the bailout.