Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh, yeah, and by the way...

I am building my mother a house. That seems like a huge project for such a busy guy until you hear the dimensions of that house. It is 12'x16'. A rather small home, but many folks have camps for whole families not much larger. She does not have much, and I have no money to offer, but I have time and know how to build it, so that is what I am doing.
So, the funny part about the whole house thing, besides the size, is where I am building it. Mom's property is in Sorrento, Maine, a small oceanside town about 70 miles up the coast from us in Warren. Since I cannot drive due to my seizures, we decided to build it here. So, I bought all the materials, talked to the State Police to see just how large a building I could haul over the road, and starting building.
The house is in my driveway, up on blocks, and nearly ready to move. I cannot attach the roof yet, because it would not fit under the overpasses along our route to Sorrento. I built the floor system, walls, did sheathing, windows, door, and trim. Now, we just have to cut the rafters and throw them inside for the trip. At 12' wide, we have to get our route handed down straight from the State Police for safety reasons. Once we get there, we throw the roof on, level it up and go home. We are working on getting the wiring done and inspected, which may need to wait until the house is moved. After that, insulation and interior sheathing, cabinets, and plumbing are all going to be worked on bit by bit as we have time and money.
I meant to post pictures, but forgot to take any and it is now dark, so no luck on that front tonight, folks. I will get some later, in progress, on the trailer, and when it is finished. You would be amazed how much storage and living space you can fit in when you have to. We have learned to be very creative and taken a few points along the way from the motorhome industry. Every bit of space will be maximized except the attic. Mom doesn't do stairs well, so there will only be a hatch to store boxes overhead. I would have a loft if it were for me, but you can't have it all, especially when your interior square footage hovers around 175 feet.
I guess that sums up what we have been up to lately, with the 3 posts tonight. Enjoy the reading and please let me know if you have questions or comments. Advice is always welcome around here. I learn more from my mistakes than I do from my successes(the latter are fairly uncommon)

Have a great day.

Homesteading perks

The kids took my camera out and took a bunch of pictures. You can see them all here
This picture of Virginia is just one of the simple things that make homesteading worth all the work. Having time to spend as a family, working and playing together. It is all a great reminder that even though we ain't got much money, you just don't get life any better than this.


Evangelistic outreach is keeping us very busy

Pictured above are my wife and some of the ladies from the assembly stuffing bags. You can see other pictures of our efforts here.
We have been right out straight here lately, with something new every day. This week, we are finalizing plans for our Vacation Bible School, the first in many years at our church. I have been charged with getting everything together, but so many people stepped up to do the work, that my job has been very easy, though no less time consuming. We have printed invitations that will go out in the parade on July 4, along with lots of other things I will explain later.
Our family has also been busy with gardening, keeping up with the sheep( growing quite well) and a new run of broilers 3 weeks ago. The garden is going well, but new things must be planted and tended to each week. We have eaten greens from the garden every day for 3 weeks with no end in sight. I do love this new, larger garden.
So, on with our story. Our assembly has really come together for the purpose of reaching unsaved folks in our community for Christ. The salvation of those around us has been an ever increasing burden on our hearts, and we are working on many ways to reach them with the Gospel. Part of that is the VBS, another part is the parades that happen in the summer. We will also be having a booth at the Union Fair, a large, weeklong agricultural fair just down the road from our church.
The parade is our major blanket outreach, with a truck and trailer, along with a couple of dozen volunteers to walk the parade route giving out packets. These packets(1000) include an invitation to the VBS, a gospel tract with our 24 hour prayer line number. ( We take turns carrying the prayer line cell phone, and the number is labelled on all our tracts and magnets) Inside the bag is also a CD with a great gospel presentation by J B Nicholson, an amazing speaker with a heart for evangelism and a message that is complete and targeted.
Along with the bags in the parade, we will also be handing out free, ice cold water(1000 bottles) with a refrigerator magnet inscribed with John 4:13-14 and our prayer line number. This passage is probably familiar to all, a passage regarding Jesus speaking to the woman at the well in Samaria. Jesus tells her about "living water" and goes on to reveal Himself to her as the Messiah. This is a classic scriptural example of Jesus reaching out to societal outcasts with love, and a message of repentance and hope of eternity through the forgiveness that only He could offer.
We will have some folks walking the parade route in the crowd also talking to folks, giving out CDs and tracts. The goal is to get out 1000 bottles of water, 1000 magnets with the prayer line number, 1000 packets of tracts, CDs, and invitations, and about 4000 other tracts. This is a major amount of work and time, and so many have helped. You don't have to look very hard to see the passion for the lost souls of our area in this group. There are 2 families from another local church that will also be helping in this effort.
In August, we will do another parade with about double all this information put out, and the Union Fair offers us a lot of time and opportunity for many more to be involved. We are praying that these tracts, CDs, and other information reaches those whose hearts are open to the Lord and searching for the truth. We have been praying that God will open doors and allow us to start relationships with our neighbors, and those all around us so that we can share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please join us in our prayers, and if you are around this area, we welcome anyone with a heart for missions and evangelism to join us. If you are not near here, you might take the initiative to start a project like this in your own area. God has not given up on this world, and if we truly love our neighbor, we will tell them about the love of God and the consequences of inaction and choosing to disregard so great a salvation.

Sorry to ramble, it has been so long. Please be in prayer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

sheep pics

OK, I know I have been slow about this, but you can find pictures of our sheep here
I am sorry it took so long, been a long week. Everything is going well. We planned a summer children's ministry tonight with another young couple from the church. Tomorrow, we go to Sorrento to see my mother. Hope everyone has a great day.