By His Grace

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept for you in heaven, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Catch up

It would be pretty silly for me to just say it's been a long time since I've posted because that is a gross understatement. Needless to say a lot has happened in my life since then. Funny, in some ways it feels like I haven't done much at all since my last post. Still, I will try to bring you up to speed.
I was visiting my family in Kansas last time I posted, and I ended up returning to Louisville about mid-January. For the next three months solid I worked 6 days a week on finishing up the online course I have been taking for medical transcriptioning. I am glad to report that just this past weekend I took the final and am awaiting the results! A friend asked me if I felt any different now that I'm finished and I think I was being a weirdo when I said no. I wasn't really having a good attitude because I should be thrilled to be done. This has been, honestly, one of the most intensive, self-disciplined 3 1/2 months of my life and it's truly a gift from the Lord that I was able to work on it so consistently and for so long and not get burnt out. So, looking back I am much more thankful for being (nearly) at the end of this long road. I prayed so much for the Lord to help me persevere with this and He really did and so for that I am thankful and praise Him for His kindness. I should know the scores in less than two weeks, and barring how well I did, I will hopefully have a job very soon. I am now praying that I will find the perfect job for me quickly and that it may have the flexibility I am looking for.
As far as Lakeshore goes, out church is taking several trips down there over the next several months and I am excited at the prospect of hopefully being able to go on most of them. I have entertained thoughts of going back for a number of months, but as of yet do not see that as a viable possibility, at least for this summer. I do miss it a lot, but am also enjoying life here.
The Fullerton family, the family I live with, is doing well. Christy, the wife, has recently finished her chemotherapy treatment and her body is now able to begin slowly recovering from the havoc wreaked on it for the past 6 months. The Lord has been gracious. This family is so dear to me; they have been an immense blessing in my life and have do so much for me.
Well, I think that's about it for now. Told you it wasn't too much.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tiling pictures

Ok, so I'm finally getting around to posting those pictures I've been promising for a long time now. It seems like this tiling adventure was so long ago, and I think a lot has happened to Ms. Gillum's house since I've left Lakeshore, but it was fun! I hope you enjoy the pictures.

We've got to make sure those 1st few tiles are perfect!
bathroom #1
bathroom #2
bathroom #1 after grout
bathroom #2 after grout on the floor and tile on the tub
(Liz finished the tub tile after I left) :(

Thursday, November 22, 2007

an illustration of assurance

On this morning of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share an illustration I read the other night. It's found in the last chapter of J.C. Ryle's book Holiness, which I have been reading for some time. The book is quite excellent and I commend it to you for your sanctification. I particularly liked this illustration as very clear on one of the many blessings a believer can expect to gain from having an assurance of his salvation. May we all be stirred to fight for assurance and to thank God for our salvation this day, even if we are vexed with doubts at the present. The excerpt goes as follows:

Assurance is to be desired because it tends to make a Christian an active working Christian. None, generally speaking, do so much for Christ on earth as those who enjoy the fullest confidence of a free entrance into heaven and trust not in their own works, but in the finished work of Christ. That sounds wonderful, I dare say, but it is true.

A believer who lacks an assured hope will spend much of his time in inward searchings of heart about his own state. Like a nervous, hypochondriacal person, he will be full of his own ailments, his own doubtings and questionings, his own conflicts and corruptions. In short, you will often find he is so taken up with his internal warfare that he has little leisure for other things and little time to work for God.

But a believer who has, like Paul, an assured hope is free from these harassing distractions. He does not vex his soul with doubts about his own pardon and acceptance. He looks at the everlasting covenant sealed with blood, at the finished work and never–broken word of his Lord and Savior, and therefore counts his salvation a settled thing. And thus he is able to give an undivided attention to the work of the Lord and so in the long run to do more.

Take, for an illustration of this, two English emigrants, and suppose them set down side by side in New Zealand or Australia. Give each of them a piece of land to clear and cultivate. Let the portions allotted to them be the same, both in quantity and quality. Secure that land to them by every needful legal instrument; let it be conveyed as freehold to them and theirs forever; let the conveyance be publicly registered and the property made sure to them by every deed and security that man’s ingenuity can devise.

Suppose then that one of them shall set to work to clear his land and bring it into cultivation and labor at it day after day without intermission or cessation.

Suppose in the meanwhile that the other shall be continually leaving his work and going repeatedly to the public registry to ask whether the land really is his own, whether there is not some mistake, whether after all there is not some flaw in the legal instruments which conveyed it to him.

The one shall never doubt his title but just work diligently on. The other shall hardly ever feel sure of his title and spend half his time in going to Sydney or Melbourne or Auckland with needless inquiries about it.

Which now of these two men will have made most progress in a year’s time? Who will have done the most for his land, got the greatest breadth of soil under tillage, have the best crops to show, be altogether the most prosperous?

Anyone of common sense can answer that question. I need not supply an answer. There can be only one reply. Undivided attention will always attain the greatest success.

It is much the same in the matter of our title to "mansions in the skies." None will do so much for the Lord who bought him as the believer who sees his title clear and is not distracted by unbelieving doubts, questionings and hesitations. The joy of the Lord will be that man’s strength. "Restore unto me," says David, "the joy of Your salvation, then will I teach transgressors Your ways" (Ps. 51:12).

Never were there such working Christians as the apostles. They seemed to live to labor. Christ’s work was truly their meat and drink. They counted not their lives dear to themselves. They spent and were spent. They laid down ease, health, worldly comfort, at the foot of the cross. And one grand cause of this, I believe, was their assured hope. They were men who could say, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness" (1 John 5:19).

I hope this illustration will encourage many of you and may make you desire to read this book for yourself. If you would like to read it you can go here. The first eight chapters were his original book. May the Lord be given much thanksgiving today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

two weeks

I have been back two weeks today and the time has flown. So much has happened and yet at times I feel like I haven't done much. I have mainly been working on my online course for medical transcriptioning, helping out with the Fullerton kids a bit, running a lot of errands to try to get my life back in order, and spending time with friends. For those of you who don't know, I live with the preaching elder at my church, Ryan Fullerton, and his family. His wife, Christy, found out she had cancer a few months ago, just days before the birth of their 4th child. She has had surgery to remove the cancer, but is not undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The Lord is amazing in His timing because I had planned on coming back from Lakeshore on November 6th because my best friend was due to have a baby on the 15th. Then everything came up with Christy having cancer and she started chemo exactly one week before I came back. Now I'm here and have had a bit of time to settle back in without having to do too much because Ryan's mom, Pam, has been here for several weeks pouring herself out in service for her son's family. Overall, Christy has been in good health so far, but is told that the cumulative effect of the chemo will make her sicker and sicker probably. So, she will have her 2nd chemo treatment today and Pam will be here for another week. The Lord is so good and I am just praying that I will have strength from Him to serve the Fullertons in whatever way I will be needed over the next several months. Thank you to the many of you who are praying for the Fullertons; Christy has been very encouraged and says she knows it is because so many saints are praying for them. I will write more later, I must do some school work for now!

P.S. Today is my mom's birthday. Thank you mom, for serving me for many years as you were raising me, I am thankful to the Lord for you. Happy Birthday, I love you!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tomorrow's the big day

Well, tomorrow I'm leaving Lakeshore, MS and going back to my present home of Louisville, KY. It's hard to put into words what I'm feeling because I am experiencing a whole gamut of emotions: excitement, sadness, anticipation, nervousness, gratefulness, etc. My time here has been so life-changing and it is something I will never forget. I pray that God will help me to remember the things I've learned here when I go back to Louisville. I just wanted to write a quick note before I leave, but Lord willing I will write again soon and post some pictures of my tiling adventure!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1 week to go...

I really can't believe I will be leaving Lakeshore in 7 days. It has been such a memorable experience and I don't think I'll ever be able to express everything that's happened in my time here, partly because I can't remember it all! I am looking forward to moving back to Louisville though, but these past couple of weeks have been really neat because I have been able to work on a lot of projects at specific houses. Along with a host of other little things, I have learned how to lay laminate flooring, put up trim and baseboards, and will hopefully be tiling two bathroom floors before the week is out. Liz, another long-term volunteer, and I have been working together on these named projects with a team from Ohio who'll be here for 2 weeks total. I will write more about Ms. Gillum's (the house where we've been) later and show y'all some pictures.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Hey everyone! I wanted to post a few pictures from my time with the Providence Baptist team. We put up Tyvek, as in the first picture, did collar ties, lots of hurricane clips, framed up two windows, and I got to use a sledgehammer to beat two 4x4 posts in a house. It was so fun and these are just a few of the highlights! In case any of you are wondering, collar ties are boards that go across the rafters on the inside of the roof; it looks like an A when you're done. Also, just fyi, the house that we are working on in the first picture is up 8 ft off the ground and we are on 3 levels of scaffolding, so we are really high as you might be able to tell!

I know I haven't been posting a lot lately, but I will try to catch up soon!