Rockin’ it

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What a difference dry wall makes! Some of our guys, Mike Poirier and Randy McCarver, started hanging the sheet rock. They were joined by a great group of folks from churches of the Mid-Lakes Baptist Association in Missouri. The following week another great team from Lake Shore Baptist of Massachusetts continued where they left off. This week Mississippians from Dumas Baptist Church finished the job.

Selecting Colors

A great team of folks from Mid-Lakes Baptist Association of Missouri are doing a great job hanging the sheet rock in our new building this week. Which means we will need to select paint colors soon, and that reminds me of a story, I would like to share.

Shortly after the storm we erected our current “temporary” church building and began worshiping in it imediatly. We built interior walls and finally hung sheet rock. When the time came to paint the focal wall, I needed to decide on a color. So, I turned to JoEll for input.

If you have been to Lakeshore, you have probably met JoEll. She has been serving as my secretary since the storm. Over the years, I have learned to value her opinion and her friendship. She often helps me think through decisions like this and she usually has very good advice and thinks through things well.

Now remember, about six grueling months had past since the storm and the landscape remained desolate. We were still in the long process of removing debris, there were no leaves on the trees, all the grass was dead, All the FEMA campers were plain white. The quonset huts were mud brown. Everything was dreary, lifeless, colorless, and depressing. Even when we were building sheds, we just gave them a utilitarian white wash and called it good enough.

JoEll recognized that we needed a little life injected into the dreariness of the long-term recovery efforts. We needed some color to brighten things up, something sunny. She said, how about “sunshine yellow?” I started picturing this big wall in the front of the church, splashed with “sunshine yellow.” I imagined people having to wear sun glasses to worship. I respectfully vetoed the idea.

At that point, I said, “I think I need a man’s opinion.” (See my article on Masculine Church Architecture.)I turned to James. He said, I think we need a man’s color; something like deep blue or green. Now that’s more like it! Green it was. We selected a nice earth tone green.

But I hated the idea that I had to reject JoEll’s suggestion and I really wanted to brighten her day. So the next morning, when I was doling out jobs for all the volunteers, I saved a special project for a couple of the ladies. I sent them on a “secret mission.” Once JoEll had gotten to the church property, they snuck off to purchase paint, and then over to JoEll’s FEMA camper, to paint her shed, yep, the brightest “sunshine yellow” they could find. I wish I could have seen the look on her face when she got home that evening. lol
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Ready for Spring Break?

Are you looking forward to spring? Historically our spring break weeks have been full of mission teams. At this time we still have several weeks open as we continue working on the new church building. We do not have anyone scheduled yet for March 2-6, March 23-April 12, and April 20 through the end of May. Want to come? Talk it up in your church. As the weather warms, we look forward to a glorious time in the Lord on the gulf coast this spring.

The Reformed Baptist Project

The Lord blessed us last week with a wonderful time of Christian fellowship and productivity when nearly 100 volunteers converged on Lakeshore to push forward with the new church building construction. We hung siding on the south side of the building, installed the air conditioning units and ran the duct work, dug the elevator pit, pour steps for the front entrance, set the large columns for the front portico, and several other things.

The team consisted of a network of Reformed Baptist Churches who have been to Lakeshore every January for the last nine years. I truly have been blessed by the relationships forged through this partnership.

To read a detailed account of the happenings throughout the week, check out their blog “The Lakeshore Project

Happy New Year!

It is a happy new year indeed. Progress moves forward on the new church building and fund raising efforts look good. This time last year the corner of Lakeshore Road and Second Street sat as an empty field with nothing more than stakes in the ground run with string. Today the edifice of a new building stands tall, waiting completion, for the glory of God.

Over the past twelve months we saw pilings pounded into the ground, footers dug, pillars set, the slab poured, the floor joists hung, the walls built, the trusses swung into place, the roof shingled, windows and doors installed, a back deck constructed, the building wired, the plumbing run, and a thousand other things.

For those closely following the progress, you know we were “dreaming of a white Christmas” with the hope of spray foam insulation last week. Before we broke for the holiday we decided to juggle priorities and hold off on that application for a few weeks. This change does not jeopardize the schedule in any way. It simply gave us some breathing room to ensure that all the rough in electrical, plumbing, and HV/AC could receive the attention it deserves.

As we look forward to 2014, we see the promise of a completed project by summers end. In a few days, 100+ volunteers will flood into Lakeshore for an intense week of loving labor. Plans include constructing the front entrance, setting the massive front columns, starting the siding, and preparing for the elevator, among other things. Lord willing we will begin hanging sheet rock in February.

Come March, we will need some more hands to move forward with paint, flooring, trim, restrooms, and the punch list that will be several pages long on a project this size. Its not too early to plan a Spring Break mission trip. Would you like to come? Contact us for details.

I would like to also ask you to join us in prayer concerning our financial goals for the project. We need an additional $37,000 to complete the building. For a church our size, that is still a substantial sum, but I do not believe it is insurmountable. The LORD owns the cattle on a thousand hills… His cattle, His house, His glory!

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I doubt it will snow on the Mississippi gulf coast this Christmas season, but I am looking forward to a white Christmas of spray-foam insulation in the new church building. If everything goes well, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day will see the inside of the structure looking like a flocked Christmas tree.

As Santa’s Elves put finishing touches on toy trains and dolls, hard working volunteers are wrapping up the rough-in electrical, HV/AC, and plumbing. The Hancock County Building Inspector anticipates making a list and checking it twice, before December 25th as he rewards the hundreds of volunteers who have proved in 2013 that they have been good boys and girls. I can’t seem to come up with a tune that works, but I’m singing, “All I Want For Christmas is a Passed Rough-in Inspection.” I look forward to spending New Year’s Day in the Winter Wonderland of a newly insulated church building. I can not thank everyone enough for making 2013 such a great and productive year!

Old News

Last year our old web site hosting company closed down. Another company generously picked us up with donated hosting. In the move, six years of blog posts fell off the back of the truck. Well, that’s not exactly how it happened, but I lost all the posts in the transfer. I could explain the behind the scenes, legacy servers at our old site, incompatible WordPress versions, PHP stuff, and Sql database techno-bable: but suffice it to say all the old news went off-line. The good news is, I finally got it all back. I pulled a few fist fulls of my hair out in the process, but I finally got the wheels turning again. You can now go back and read 558 old posts, dating all the way back to August 2005, right after the storm.

I just went back and read some of the old posts from the fall of 2005. Wow, this has been some kind of ride.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

The Back Porch

The Back Porch

The back porch of the church building is complete. The structure will hold the air conditioner units for the building, serve as the platform for the elevated electrical meter and feed, as well as provide rear egress from the building.

Men from Grace Covenant Baptist Church, Bermingham Alabama dug the footings, built the forms, set the rebar and prepared for the slab. Local men and our church members poured and finished the concrete. A great team from Pine Forest Baptist Church, Vidor, Texas built the deck and stairs.

The project turned out very nice. One of the volunteers said, “Its a shame such a beautiful back porch has to hold ugly air conditioner units.” Someone else replied, “God deserves the very best.” Everyone agreed.

The Back Porch

The Back Porch