September 2009

As we continue our study of “Light for the Journey: Seeing our Way through Change,” Kate Thomas shares what it means to be lit with the light of God, from the inside out, transformed by “the fullness of joy.”

 By Kate Thomas

Being fully you


There is a cry within our heart of hearts to be that fearfully and wonderfully made creation that God originally intended for us. The hustle of life pulls us from task to task in a way that allows us to close our hearts to the still small voice of God. But God IS always there, tugging at us, loving us and crying out for us to grow and bloom and smile and sing at the top of our lungs.

 Life can be lived with fear, hiding in the shadows of who our true self deeply desires to be. But life can also be lived ALIVE and with intention for each step. Life can take us by surprise, lead us into the depths and swirls of unknown, breath-taking or even heart-breaking places. It is there that we realize why we have had to follow this path. It is there that we fully realize why we have lived with a tattered wing or a pain in our step. And it is there that we also can see our unique voice in the way God has so perfectly and uniquely tuned.

 When the breath of God oozes from our true selves, it is the hand of Christ touching those around us. It is the light in the darkness and the fresh breeze on a hot day. It is contagious in a giggle until your stomach hurts kind of way. This is God’s dream for us — God’s kingdom fully alive amidst us in everything we do.

 So carve out that space in your heart for God – not just the room that you think God will fit in. Carve out the room that God needs to allow and ocean of purpose to well up and overwhelm you. Carve out time and energy and deep thought in your day just to BE with God. For there you will meet a God breathes love and passion into you in a way that will make you never want to turn back.

 “You show met the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy.” – Psalm 16: 11


  •  What fills those places in your heart that you carve out for God?
  • What are among the first changes you might make to be “fully you,” as God intends?

 Today we pray for the Young Adult Council of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Morning comes early down here, even if it is an hour later than home.  We were up at 6:30 AM and enjoyed a great pancake and egg breakfast made by Ron.  (He brings his own homemade pancake mix.)  By 7:30 we had reported in to Sheila the coordinator, and had started to scavenge the warehouse for items for the day.  We found a spline tool, some spline, electrical boxes, outlets, 2 by 4’s, drill bits, paint, paint brushes, short scaffolding for starters.  We still forgot to look at the floor tiles (3rd time in a row).  We got on the road for the 20 minute drive to the work site.  Ron’s truck went straight to the work site, but Eddie’s truck stopped at Lowes.  We did get Eddie out in a reasonable amount of time with more supplies to add to the bathroom floor/deck project.  Eddie and Frank got to work on their bathroom addition project and have the base for the deck floor complete.  Tomorrow they will add the decking.  Ron got to read about the wiring and then went to work pulling wires for lights, switches, fire alarms, etc.   Marian went to work on the screen and finished 3 window screens and then ran out of screen frames.  Dave and Larry spent the day framing the ceiling for drywall and breaking drill bits trying to put up furring strips for drywall in the front room.  Sarah painted the walls in the center room to see if the paint and the walls were compatible.  They are, really nice.  Sarah also got to cut wood on the big table saw.  This is her new favorite toy.  

            Larry had trouble today keeping up with his pencils,   At the end of the day he had finally found one to call his own. If only he could remember that he put it behind his ear.

            Dave finally has the ants out of his computer.  Seems the first night he slept in a bed that had ants.  Monday he put his computer under his pillow to keep it out of site, Monday night when the computer came out from under the pillow it kept having ants come out on the table.  It took us awhile to figure out the whole story, but the end result he changed beds and does not have ants or aunts anymore. 

            Sarah is having way too much fun with the tools so everytime they need something from Lowes they send her.  She says it is because she has the credit card, we do not believe her.

            Eddie and Frank are just too gung ho on their project.  They played in the mud to get to the base of the plumbing, before putting their deck base up. 

            Ron managed to get so dirty that it took two shots at getting his elbows clean after the shower.  He was on the floor and ceiling all day with the wiring.

            Marian got high marks on her lunch for a second day, now they have nothing to look forward to tomorrow, she only knows how to make 2 lunches. 

            We are all really tired and exhilarated from completing more on the home today.  We didn’t get as far as we thought we would, but we are really excited that we got as far as we did.  We are on to drywall tomorrow and have a big truck to deliver it instead of us making lots of trips.  Glad for your prayers and love.   Marian
We finally go the internet access working so we uploaded the pictures to Dave’s online album. Check it out below:

  You are invited to view dave’s photo album: Katrina Relief Mission

Katrina Relief Mission D’Iberville, MS – Sep 22, 2009
by dave Biloxi Katrina cleanup mission in View Album
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Welcome all to Day one of the Biloxi Katrina Relief Mission.  Today was a day of making new friends, developing our teamwork skills, and despite overwhelmingly oppressive heat and humidity… dirty dusty demolition.  Upon arrival, the team assessed the home and quickly got to work on the jobs that were most needed.  Dave, Larry, Marian, Ron and Sarah put their muscles straight to work tearing up a good part of the back third of the floor.  Frank and Eddie set out tearing down the bathroom.  By noon, the first team had the entire floor out and was already setting replacement floor joists.  While Dave and Larry went for supplies, the rest of the team enjoyed lunch.  It was the best Bologna and cheese we’d ever had.  Frank and Eddie had hoped that much of the bathroom could be saved, but in the end, once they added Pastor Sarah to the bathroom demolition team, all that remained was the roof.  She went crazy once we put a saws-all in her hand. The homeowner, Shantdtea (pronounced Chant’a), also lent an enthusiastic hand and made a substantial collection of refuse.  By the end of the day, we had attracted a bit of attention and some of the locals also lent a hand. In particular Shandtea’s nephew, Denzel, came home from school and pitched right in helping Dave and Larry nail down the floor.

We’re getting ready to sit down to a well deserved meal, cooked by the loving hands of Sarah, Marian and Frank.  In reflection, it was a good day and I think I speak for the entire team when I say we’ll all sleep well tonight. The showers never felt better. We are all extremely grateful that Ron decided NOT to follow through on his threat to not shower for the week.

We are now making our plan of attack for tomorrow: Which looks like finishing the floor, wiring in lights and outlets, painting, starting some drywall, and starting to put the bathroom back together.  

Please keep us and everyone here in the Gulf area who is still suffering from Katrina in your prayers. 


Taylorsville UMC

We have arrived here in D’Iberville by various means. Ron left Friday morning and drove to Charlotte, NC where he got to experience Frank’s hospitality. Then he got up Saturday and drove to Mobile, Alabama so that he could pick up Sarah, Marian and Larry Sunday morning at the Gulfport airport in Biloxi. They arrived after a flight that took them through Memphis. Dave and Eddie meanwhile left early Saturday morning headed to Charlotte and stayed Saturday night with Frank. Frank cooks a delicious Salmon dinner on the grill, so if you ever happen to be in NC. be sure to stop in. He has a whole freezer full that came from Alaska. Sunday the three of them drove from Charlotte to D’Iberville arriving just before 6 PM. While they were driving the others all went over to the house to survey the situation and see what we would be doing. The house was in much worse condition than we had envisioned it. We have our work cut out for us. While we were unloading at the bunkhouse behind the church some of the members came over and told us they were having a church supper and revival that evening. We enjoyed a tasty dinner of cajun homecooking followed by a rousing revival service. Turns out they are going to be doing this tonight, tomorrow night and the next. So it looks like at least part of the dinner planning and grocery shopping we did this afternoon is now out the window. But I think we will happily trade our own cooking for a church potluck.

Thanks for your prayers.

We look forward to what is in store tomorrow.

(Dave) for Your Biloxi Mission Team

Taylorsville UMC