Sounds of Canal Point

cries of greeting – long lost friends welcomed
harmony of the message sung, a gift from us
the Word preached
hymns shared among brothers and sisters

“Gator-watch” as we approach the canal road
calls of “Gator”
Where? I don’t see it. Ooh, that one’s big, go the replies

silence of the alligator, head visible in the water

twang of the bungee

click of the poles
thump of the tent cover
aaahhh, shade

scream of the mitre saw
droning of the vibrator saw
finishing touches of the saws all.
drills and screw drivers zoop zoop

slide of the doors at Lowe’s

shirr of the blinds pulling up and down
splash of the hose to clean

whirr to remove the screws
bang bang bang for the bumps
stick of the spackle
scrape of the sandpaper, get it all smooth
swish the damp cloth to clean it all

laughter in every room

squelch of the paint roller
swish of the brush
“I need more paint”

a quiet “oh no” on the nursery floor

Is it dry?
Does it need another coat?
It’s beautiful! I love it!

wheels turning on the cart at Lowe’s

screams of the lizard finders
Hey, wanna see a frog?
plonk of the rocks in the lake
thunk of a corn hole bag
clicks of stick swords and the happy yells of children
shhh from the after-hours pool crowd

knock, knock – no one is there, “cute”

roar of the trains
TRAIN goes the shout through the halls

calls in the gale winds jerking the tent apart
“the doors” – run the dry cabinet doors in before the torrential rains

high school girls singing “I’m so fancy”
hey sailor, mutant jellyfish, hit the deck, giggles and games
“Can I talk to my dead grandmother?”

hum of the floor cleaner, early morning at Lowe’s

satisfying snap of the floor boards connecting together
buzz of the rasp, Joe files the countertop edges flush
pop of a nailgun – quarter-rounds secured to the edging

clank of the plastic-ware
chop chop of the cheese and chicken
slurp of iced tea and lemonade
did you get enough to eat?
“here’s your peanut butter and jelly sandwich”
twist my arm to eat another chicken nugget

rumble of the Diesel engine
chirp of the price scanner at Lowe’s

murmur of conversations, bonds forming, friendships growing

click goes the hotel room door
spray of the shower
crumple of sheets under tired servants

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I’m back

It’s funny that my last post on this blog was the 2013 mission trip to Canal Point. And I’m back here because I have something from the 2014 Canal Point mission trip that I want to post :-)

 

Anyway, I’m back and will put some thoughts out here from time to time.

 

These are not my dogs, but they love me :-) Well, Nilla loves me. Doodles may just like me.

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What does our mission trip look like?

 

20130624-214718.jpgWe had three shifts today. The 7 am van took work supplies and got started on construction. Robert, Jerry, and Trent started taking some rotting wood from one front corner of the entrance. Trent also started taking off some skirting and clearing a path to put edging and the plan is to lay pea gravel. Great progress was made on all but plenty more to be done tomorrow.

The second van was scheduled to leave at 7:30 am but got off a bit late. This van took Linda and Clara back to Walmart to pick up cold foods for today. We already spent a few hours yesterday at Walmart and BJ’s picking up dry foods, etc.

20130624-214901.jpg The third van left around 8 am and drove straight to Canal Point. They beat van 2 this time. Once all were at the church Pastor Bill took the younger crew, including Jill and Beth, to a Haitian mission where the children were reviewing the lessons and singing the songs they learned last week at VBS. the mission group had a good time there and then visiting a few other sites.

20130624-214948.jpg Linda and Clara had a great lunch ready for a sweaty and hungry crew at 11:45. Then the men got back to work while most of us started getting ready for VBS. We put up decorations and reassigned teachers to cover blanks left by the crew members who couldn’t come.

Linda and Clara started on dinner. Anthony, Connie, and Ryleigh are the primary actors in the nightly skit. Bethany and Jenna are doing crafts with things prepared by Tina (transported on Jerry’s truck). Pastor Bill is doing the oldest class, Beth is teaching the next oldest class. Connie and Madeleine are teaching the kindergarten class while Hannah and Ryleigh lead the pre-k class. Music is led by Laura (me) and recreation is coordinated by Anthony with help from Spencer and a young man from the church here.

Today was a great success! We had 11 kids show up for VBS and we all had a great time. We look forward to doing this 4 more times this week! Thank you all for your prayers and support.

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Founders’ Key – Book Review

In my reading I am occasionally revisiting the era of the founding of the Unites States. I’ve read a biography of George Washington, John Adams, and just this week one on Thomas Jefferson. Another book, from Thomas Nelson publishers that fit in with this era was called The Founders’ Key by Larry Arnn.  The subtitle is “the divine and natural connection between the Declaration and the Constitution and what we risk by losing it”. The book is a response to a practice I had missed in our politicians. That of stating support for the Declaration of Independence, but distancing it from the Constitution. As if the two documents are opposed to each other.

The book was well written in clarifying the points in the Declaration that were not only against the form of government that England was imposing on the States, but also showing the form of government that the Declaration demonstrated was a better way. Then the author shows how the Constitution is a natural product to implement just that kind of government that the Declaration identified as better. The case is made in eight chapters that are clear and easy to follow for the most part. The second half of the book is a collection of the original documents referred to in the first half. This includes the Declaration and the Constitution, of course. Plus the specific letters from the Federalist Papers that are referred to most frequently.

The book is fairly timeless, which is a strength. It refers to a few specific politicians and recent events, but the scope is the unchanging purpose of the Declaration and the Constitution and why the vision that led to those documents is not outdated due to the passage of time. I was intrigued enough, however, to want to learn more about what current politicians actually are saying to themselves to be able to say one document is good while the other is not. I think any book that covers its chosen topic while also stimulating interest in related topics has done a good job.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Enemies and the Psalms

A group of women at my church are reading through Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The main character is Much-Afriad and she is journeying to the High Places of her Lord. While on this journey she is being pursued and harried by her cousins Pride, Resentment, Craven Fear, and Self-Pity.

At one point she was cornered by all 4 and finally called out to The Shepherd to save her. A few pages later she recited Psalm 27:6 and thought about how rough it must be to be an enemy of the Lord. All of this coming so close together made we look at the Psalms differently than I ever have. I’ve always struggled with the part of the Psalms that talk about enemies and false witnesses. Probably because I’ve lived a fairly safe and maybe even cowardly life, I don’t have many enemies to talk of. But Much-Afraid is grappling with her own voices of Pride and Self-Pity so I suddenly realized those were enemies I can relate to. Now when I read those lines in the Psalms I can apply them to my life.

It was also interesting that the Psalm she quoted was Psalm 27. A few months ago at our church Wednesday night lesson on feasts and festivals, it was mentioned that the people would recite Psalm 27 for one of the feasts so I decided to memorize it. It is a demonstration of my lack of focus that over 2 months later I am still not done memorizing the 14 verses in that Psalm. But each verse has been important to me and it is changing how I pray.

Psalm 27:1 begins

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

That includes those voices trying to steal my Truth. That leads right into verse Psalm 27:2

When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.

It does feel like I’m under attack sometimes when my fear and pride and resentment get going. Especially when helped along by some hormonal storming.

The latest verse I’m memorizing is Psalm 27:12 and when I was struggling with fears about an issue at work this is what calmed me down and reminded me I am protected.

Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;

for false witnesses have risen against me,

and they breathe out violence.

That is what it felt like as my anger and frustration and fear kept trying to make me feel terrible and alone and weak. Those are false witnesses. That is NOT who I am. What is my only hope in life and death? That I am not my own, but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God, and to my Savior Jesus Christ. (Question 1 of the New City Catechism)

Verses Ps 27:4-5 have brought me back to calm peace and trust.

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after;

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;

he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;

he will life me high upon a rock.

Then Ps 27:6 is the one Much-Afraid quoted in the book I mentioned above.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;

and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

He is faithful! He hides me in his shelter. I have prayed the words of Psalm 27 many times in the past 2 months. Much-Afraid tries hard to ignore the voices of her enemies. She stuffs cotton in her ears at one point. But then she finds that singing songs of praise works even better at drowning out their voices. That is what Psalm 27 has become for me – I will sing and make melody to the Lord!

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