May 30, 2013

Lines (8)

Continuing notes from "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"

Chapter 8    Joy   Psalm 126

pg 92  "Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence."   Boy do I like that idea!

pg 95  "Joy has a history.  Joy is the verified, repeated experience of those involved in what God is doing."  This is one I can attest to personally... I find deep joy when I realize that I have been blessed to be involved in something that has Kingdom value.

pg 96  "One of the most interesting and remarkable things that Christians learn is that laughter does not exclude weeping.  Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow." 
Joy is what God gives - not what we work up.
The joy that develops in the way of Christian discipleship doesn't come from feeling good about yourself - it comes from knowing God and seeing that His ways are dependable and his promises true.

Chapter 9  Work  Psalm 127

pg 104  "The main difference between Christians and others is that we take God seriously and they do not."  Or at least we should be taking Him seriously!
Paying attention to God involves a realization that He works.  Genesis begins with this information - He created, He made something, He did something. Genesis 1 is a journal of work by God.

pg 105 Christian discipleship, by orienting us in God's work and setting us in the mainstream of what God is already doing, frees us from the compulsiveness of work.  Our work goes wrong when we become frantic and compulsive (Tower of Babel anyone?) and also when we become indolent & lethargic (Thessalonica).
The foundational truth is that work is good.  Work has dignity: there can be nothing degrading about work if God works (& we know He does). Work has purpose: there can be nothing futile about work if God works.

pg 106  In Christ, we learn to work in a way that does not center around the acquiring of things, but that responds to God and builds relationships. "People are at the center of Christian work."

pg 107 Such work can be done anywhere if we learn to pay attention to and to practice what God is doing ~ in love & justice, in helping & healing, in liberating & cheering.
"Psalm 127 insists on a perspective in which our effort is at the periphery and God's work is at the center."

May 19, 2013

A Happy Birthday

So it was my birthday.
 And all four of our kids were here and my parents came up... and Mom even made me a double chocolate fudge cake with lots of candles to humor the kids.
Steve bought me a beautiful pellet stove for our home.

Saffron thinks it is for her.

We had a lovely day together.  There was LOTS of laughter and that is what makes for a truly Happy Birthday in my book.  God has truly blessed me far beyond my grandest dreams.

May 8, 2013

Starting at the Top

**Photo intensive post**
Our first major project here was a new roof on the house & detached garage.  We had several companies and contractors bid the project and were shocked at how expensive roofing is - of course this house is much larger than the house in Merrimack and we have the additional space of the garage AND we were doing thick rubber roofing on the sun porch & back dormer due to the low pitch on both surfaces.
This project was unusual in that we didn't go the traditional route of choosing the least expensive bid, but instead actually opted for one of the pricier companies.  This proved to be an EXCELLENT choice!  One of those prime examples of 'you get what you pay for'.
We went with Viking Roofing and throughout the entire process were very thankful that we had chosen them.

From the beginning we were impressed with Jeff Taylor - one of the owners - as he talked extensively with Steve about what they would do and how it would be done, as well as many different options for accent work and the types of materials that could be used.  He was extremely knowledgeable and not pushy at all.  You could tell that he spoke from years of experience and he inspired a great deal of confidence making us feel comfortable that he really knew his stuff and left us feeling like more educated consumers without that 'talking down to us' sense we'd had from some other companies. 
The crew that worked on our project was made up of 5 guys and led by Joe R.  They were all extremely courteous and polite.  Joe took care to explain the work progress to me and they were a really great bunch of guys.  This was the first time I'd ever had a crew of construction workers on a project where not one person used foul or off-color language or spoke harshly amongst themselves.  I was tremendously impressed and truly appreciative of their behavior - especially as we have teen children here at home that hear everything!
The crew cleaned up every evening, swept the driveway & deck and were very thorough in using the magnet bars to be certain there were no stray nails in the yard anywhere.  Given that my kids go barefoot as much as possible and we also have a big dog outside a lot - this detail was very important.  They also used tarps and covers to protect the house & shrubs, moved anything (like my birdbath and bird feeders) that was in the way and replaced it after the fact.  They were very careful with our property and I was thankful for the extra attention.

These are some of the many photos we took during our project (mostly taken by Steve as he takes such marvelous pictures!).


The entire project took about 5 days to complete and we are absolutely thrilled with the way the roof looks and are more than willing to recommend Viking Roofing to anyone who has a need.  They won't be the cheapest - but that is something to really consider... you do get what you pay for and when it comes to your home - it is worth spending a bit more to have the job done right.
These last photos are an update added after we had the exterior of the house/garage painted.  The new colors really make the roof stand-out!