Sunday, June 21, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

Verse (well, passage) of the Day:
"If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." I John 5:9-12 (ESV)

Quote of the Day:
"We pray to God because we believe in him through Jesus Christ, that is to say, our prayer can never be an entreaty to God, for we have no need to come before him in that way. We are privileged to know that he knows our needs before we ask him. This is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty. It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use, what matters is the faith which lays hold on God and touches the heart of the Father who knew us long before we came to him." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p. 181.
-It doesn't matter what words we use or what form but only that in prayer we express our faith in the living and loving Father. I need to be reminded of that too often.

Life at Annie Daniel Camp

On Thursday after I had left Chattanooga to come up here to Franklin, Cora prayed that God would "help Uncle Everett at camp, Annie Daniel Camp." That's my new name for Ann and Daniel's place. We've been having a good time. I got to experience several different kinds of Indian food: sambar, papadam (probably not spelled that way), idlis, green bean curry-very good, curry made from ridge gourd, and some other things, as well as delicious staples like goat biryani. One of the many great parts of Annie Daniel Camp is that the food is so much better than in other camp kitchens. I took Ann to get a library card where we enjoyed the beautiful and remarkably comfortable Williamson County Public library public reading room. We watched an Indian action comedy (several have pretty rough language but I don't think this linked one was too bad), a Tyler Perry play on DVD, A Man for All Seasons, and several Russell Peters sketches on YouTube. Neither is the activity planning skimped upon. The camp directors have had us out playing tennis (an aggregate 20 min. good tennis in 3.5 hrs), swimming, walking at the beautiful Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Art Museum, and riding around looking at houses while Ann practices driving. We also played the MadLibs card game which is fun even if lamely designed. They have a fine Sunday School class and we heard a sermon which good on the whole even if a couple of parts were quite irritating (other sermons from the series available here). After church we went out to lunch at the Bombay Garden with the camp directors' friends Dora and Santosh and their beautiful daughters. The restaurant was crowded for a birthday party and managed to be hotter inside than outside (no mean feat in 90+ degree weather), but the food was good and the company better. Also the birthday family shared some really good cake with us. I'll be sad to leave. I'm not looking forward to a 9 hour drive with no air conditioning, but I am looking forward to being home and I expect to enjoy the scenery as I travel across western Kentucky and then up the Illinois/Indiana border. I'll be taking the ferry at Cave-In-Rock across the Ohio, which should be fun and the Wabash Valley isn't entirely uninteresting.

BTW, this is post 200. Huzzah!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

Verse of the Day:
"And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab King of Israel and said, 'Thus says the LORD, "Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold I will give it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the LORD."'" 1 Kings 20:13 (ESV)
-I find it interesting that despite the evaluation of Ahab that there was no King of Israel more evil and perverse, God still gives him opportunities to respond and repent such that when he does repent momentarily after being confronted with the murder of Naboth God commutes his sentence onto the next generation of his family. God will even forgive Ahab.

Quote of the Day:
"It is pathetic to see people preparing for ministry who don't know yet how to give. This is like an athlete entering a race without knowing how to run. If we haven't learned to give money, we haven't learned anything. Ministry is a life of giving. We give our whole lives; God should have ownership of everything. Remember whatever we give God control of He can multiply and bless. God's blessing is not so we can amass goods, but so we can be more involved in his enterprise." John Wimber, The Way In Is the Way On, p. 123-124
-In this chapter on worship, Wimber lists five phases of worship: 1. Call to worship 2. Engagement 3. Moving into loving and intimate language 4. Our expression in worship 5. Giving of substance. The whole chapter, which consists of reflections by both John and Carol Wimber is a good reminder that all our life is to be worship and of the central importance of worship in the Vineyard Movement.

"'Now you're thinking like a scientist,' said Ender. 'Now, now please think like a sleeping person. We have a long day tomorrow.'" Orson Scott Card, Ender in Exile, p. 286.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

Verse of the day:
"Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.'" I Kings 19:2 (ESV)
-There are a lot of instances of this kind of vow in the Old Testament. Just this morning as I was reading it struck me that it comes true exactly for Jezebel. She vows that if she does not do to Elijah what was done to the prophets of Baal, then even worse shall happen to her. The prophets were slain. Jezebel fails to kill Elijah and is later killed by Jehu and there is not enough of her left to bury. I just found that very interesting.

Quote of the Day:
"If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free reign to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within limits of what seems permissible to the world) we should find it hard to train for the service of Christ. Where the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of the Discipleship, p. 188-189.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

Actually it's quotes first and then the verse. I've been at Geron and Lydia's the last few days having a great time. Now I'm in Franklin with Ann and Daniel.

"This is my butt. That's where the poop comes out." Niece Cora, 2.
"I can't see my hiney." Also Cora.
"I like Domino's because it's greasy and I grew up on it. I like Papa John's because it tastes good and it's made out of food." Ann

Verse of the Day:
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:17-18 (NIV)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Verse of the Day

"By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD : "O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: 'A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.' " I Kings 13:1-2 (NIV) The prophecy against the altar of Bethel almost 300 years before King Josiah of Judah fulfilled it as told in 2 Kings 23:15-20.

Extreme Build Completish

Sorry I haven't had quite so much time to get the final Extreme Build updates up. We were hit pretty heavily with rain on Thursday morning and afternoon, though still nothing so dramatic as Monday's lightning strike. That threw our schedule off quite a bit. I spent Thursday afternoon doing more ladder holding for people putting up soffits and siding. I caught a guy when he started to slip down, so I felt validated. Later in the day I helped bend metal to cover the outside of the eves and the bird boxes. Thursday night we went back after supper and I helped fill dirt back in where a strip had been dug out along the foundation for patching. Friday was a whole day of work as we tried to make up some of the time we lost to the rain. I built scaffolding along the back of the house to put up the top of the siding and deal with the eves. Most of the morning and early afternoon I spent working on bending the metal and putting up the bird box covers. As Daddy testified earlier in the week those things are a pain to deal with. I also worked on putting up the concrete forms for the front walk and putting up the metal in the back. The Meadors decided to call it a day after supper time but there were several folks out at the site deep into Friday night painting and finishing various jobs.
Saturday morning we thoroughly confused the poor hotel clerk trying to pay with a few different credit cards but eventually got it sorted. Back at the site the house was looking pretty nice since all the exterior work was done once we got the shutters up on the front windows. They also had shutters that went along the front door. I think that's weird but there you go. I helped out with various odd jobs and then helped Dad and Ricky cut shims for the window sills. We had a good lunch and then a dedication ceremony. The site leader estimated we were 95% done at the dedication. Some folks are going to come back next week and finish the job. All in all it was 10 days with over a hundred volunteers to build a house for a single mom and her sons. It was a good job.

After work on Saturday I headed down to Chattanooga to spend a few days with Lydia, Geron and the babies. It was a nice trip down. Cora and Cohen are so cute. On Sunday we heard a good sermon from their friend Merridel on James 4:1-10. We're having a grand time, except Geron's sick.

Amusing quotes:
Cora was playing with one of my shoes. I walked toward her as if I was going to take it away.
Cora: "Don't!"
Everett: "'Don't' what?"
Cora: "Don't, Ma'am!" -I never could get her to tell what she didn't want me to do.

"We Nazarenes have a problem with people who say 'Once saved, always saved.' But what about people who say, 'Once sanctified, always sanctified?' Ask your pastor about that when he comes back."

"Just trade those for whatever you want." Lydia in a game of Settlers of Cataan after a roll got me six wheats while I was on a wheat port.

"If you're not sure what to do, focus on collecting commodities you like in real life. For instance if you like weaving you could work on getting wool. Perhaps you're into carving, then wood is the stuff for you." Geron, quoting from Lydia's hypothetical Settlers of Cataan strategy guide.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Verse and Quote of the day

"For by me [Wisdom] your days will be multiplied
And years will be added to your life." Prov. 9:11 (ESV)

"We cannot know what God's purpose is in each event and every detail. But we can know that every event, each detail, is part of God's purpose. Everything is grace. Job's sores were grace. Job's abandonment was grace. Jesus' abandonment at the cross...was grace. Our abandonment is also grace." John Wimber, The Way In Is the Way On, p. 74

I'm really enjoying this book which is a collection of Wimber's sermons, articles, and book chapters about the life in Christ. It's dovetailing nicely with The Cost of Discipleship and with stuff I'm learning here on the build. I often find that I want to just quote whole chapters from both Wimber and Bonhoeffer.

Extreme Build Update

Tuesday afternoon we focused on hanging the ceiling and putting up the drywall. One of the crew leaders was telling me what was involved and said it would involve a lot of holding stuff and screwing up. I said, "I can screw up." That's a little harder than it sounds. I was able to hold up my meaning all right and after I put a few in I could do hers as well. On Wednesday I helped build more scaffolding and put up siding. Mostly though I was a ladder prop and a vinyl cutter. Still, it was a good day. For supper on Wednesday night the Georgetown Baptist folks went as a group to the Country Cafe in Pine Knot, some of the best fried chicken I've ever had.

This morning we found out I've got a crack in my distributer cap. Bummer.

Random EB quote:
"We brought out some big bottles so we'll be able to reuse the water." One of our organizers--he meant we'd be able to refill and reuse the bottles.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of Your hands." Psalm 138:8 (ESV)

"'Let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay, nay.' This is not to say that the disciples are no longer answerable to the omniscient God for every word they utter, it means that every word they utter is spoken in His presence." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p.153

Extreme Build Update

LIGHTNING! Yesterday afternoon we felt a few drops of rain and heard some distant rumbles of thunder. Suddenly there was a bright light and one of the loudest thunderclaps I've ever heard. Across the road from our build site most of a tree came down in the woods, less than a hundred yards away. "Everybody off the house!" yelled our foreman. Guys came down from where they'd been working on the roof. People put down metal tools. Bob said he'd felt a tingle just before the strike. It was very exciting. There were a few more drops of rain and another nearby lightning strike before it cleared up and we started working again.
Daddy spent the afternoon working on bird boxes, pieces that go under the eaves at the corners of the house. Gina Whittle and I spent out time putting up nailers for the drywall ceiling and then installing some sheeting inside the front of the attic over the porch. The house is really coming together. Most of the roof was on by the time we left for supper and the electrician was nearly done with the wiring. And nobody got hurt or struck by lightning.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Verse and Quote of the Day

"This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:11-12 (ESV)

"The truth is that the Lord's work is humble caring. Everybody should serve this way, and we should do so gladly. We learn how to be servants of the Master by imitating the way our Master serves the Lord. Jesus did the Father's bidding on earth; in fact His Father's will is all He did! He spent many hours in fellowship seeking His Father's will, living a life of total dependence on His Father's presence, voice, and directives." John Wimber The Way In Is the Way On
pp. 27-28

Extreme Build Update

I got down here Friday night after visiting my friend Cindee in Indianapolis for lunch. We had our kickoff cookout and it was good. We spent Saturday working and got the walls and roof trusses up. I got to set up scaffolding on the one side of the house that needed. We didn't have enough, but since it's only for one side of the house we were able to make do. I also worked on putting up OSB sheeting around the walls. It was a long day but good. Even though there was a long stretch where a lot of us had to wait while they worked on the roof trusses it felt like we got a lot done. On Sunday we worshipped with the First Baptist Church of Whitley City, including my cousins' aunt Lana and her husband. I also found out that during the week we'll be working on the afternoon shift and I'll be in Daddy's crew. I'm looking forward to a good week.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Verse of the Day

I'll be gone on Extreme Build in Southern Kentucky with Mom and Dad for the next week. Then I'll be spending time visiting Lydia and Geron and Ann and Daniel in Tennessee. I'll try to update things as I can.

Verse of the Day:
"But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you might have life in his name." John 20:31 (NRSV)

"The cross and the works of the cross, the poverty and renunciation of the blessed in the Beatitudes, these are the things which will become visible. Neither the cross nor their membership in such a community betoken any merit of their own--the praise is due to God alone... It is by seeing the cross and the community beneath it that men come to believe in God. But that is the light of the Resurrection." Dietrich Bonhoeffer The Cost of Discipleship p. 134

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Verse of the Day

"We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up. But God will not take a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished forever from his presence." 2 Samuel 14:14 (NRSV)

I found this argument really interesting. The speaker is the "wise woman from Tekoa" (also the hometown of the Prophet Amos) who has been sent by Joab to David to intercede for Absalom. Just like Nathan in ch. 12 she sets David up by telling him a story to which he responds with judgment and then turns his judgment back on him. Her claim is interesting because on the one hand we have manifest evidence from throughout the history of the people of Israel that God will indeed take a life but that he also devises plans to restore the outcast. Just a very short time after this encounter David will himself be banished from God's presence when he flees Absalom's rebellion but commands the priests and the ark to remain in Jerusalem saying, "Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, 'I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." (2 Sam. 15:25-26). David is only able to return to God's presence after Absalom is defeated. But there is also the ultimate divine plan to restore the outcast, Jesus' death and resurrection for those who were his enemies and banished from God's presence by their sin.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Chicago Mission Trip

I spent the weekend at Roseland Christian Ministries on the South Side of Chicago. I went down on Saturday morning with about 20 other volunteers from my church. We spent the day working to renovate a house on a block that is known as "Skid Row". There has been a lot of gang and drug activity on the block. In recent years RCM has been running a homes program where they will buy a foreclosed house, renovate, then rent or sell it at reduced price to local families. The house we worked on will be a rental or may be used to house summer volunteers. We spent the day on several projects in the house. Some painted cabinets, porches, rooms, or the upstairs floor. Some cleared weeds and trash from the yard. Some laid down tile in the kitchen and bathroom. I got to work putting up joist brackets under the porch and helped Mark do the trim in the kitchen. He did most of the measuring and cutting while while I smoothed surfaces, pried off boards to be replaced and nailed down the new trim, and generally supplied a second pair of hands. Mark and I stayed late to try and finish our job after everyone else had headed out. We didn't quite make it but we got to do a walk through before turning out the lights and locking up. I don't know what it looked like before we got there, but the upstairs looked fantastic where the team had been scraping, cleaning and painting all day. The house isn't done but I could really see that we had made progress.

In the evening the team served supper for women and children at The Strong Tower, RCM's short-term living shelter. Mark and I didn't make it back in time to be part of the supper crew but I did get to hang out with the children and play Simon Sez and Duck Duck Goose after dinner. Later we had a short devotional and worship time before same of played Clue and then turned in for the night.

During our devotional time David, the director of the homes program, and his wife Laura, the Volunteer Coordinator for RCM, shared with us about the history and vision of the ministry. This was a neat time. I had been in a small group with David during my second time around at Trinity and had met Laura on occasion. It was very encouraging to hear their vision for the ministry and some of the things that they had learned. We heard about families who had been settled in homes who had then been able to take out equity loans to send their kids to college or start a business. One of the houses that RCM had taken over had been a notorious drug house where someone had been murdered with an axe. The ministry bought the house after the gang was driven out and renovated. It's now owned by a lady from the church who tells the gang members and drug dealers to get out of her neighborhood but also that Jesus loves and is willing to save them too. David describes it as a model of how God works. He is a God of restoration, taking fallen sinners and making us new. Their vision is to see Skid Row become Reformation Row. Laura talked about working with the women at the shelter. When she was in seminary she expected that God would work through the things she said to people. But she has learned that He works even more through her presence, through her willingness to be there and listen and help. They share the gospel and tell the people about Jesus' love, but they are there in the neighborhood living that love. It was a powerful time and honor to be able to serve with them and to be able to pray that God would encourage and continue to support them in the ministry.

On Sunday morning a few of us stayed behind to clean the volunteer space at RCM while the rest of the team served a breakfast for the community at Roseland Christian Reformed Church. We ended up serving breakfast for 30-40 members of the community, some homeless, our 20 volunteers, and 50 folks from Iowa, The Gospel Singers Male Chorus of Oskaloosa, Iowa, with their wives. It was a delicious breakfast and interesting time talking to the men from the Roseland neighborhood who were there for breakfast. After breakfast we celebrated Pentecost at the church. It was a great service with joyful worship, good singing by the Iowans, and a powerful message from Pastor Huizenga about how the God who reigned at Passover, Sinai, Calvary, and Pentecost is the same God who reigns today.

I was touched by the time we spent there and I hope it was a good warm up for next week's Extreme Build in Whitley City. It's good to be able to serve.