Thursday, November 18, 2010

Project 52

Wow, after several weeks, many volunteers and thousands in donations we have come to the end of our 52 day time frame. We are so close to finishing and we couldn't have come this far without you. For those of you who came to NOLA, donated or prayed for us, we greatly appreciate all of you.
Our last volunteer group for the year left last week, so we as a community are rallying the troops and working on some of these projects as we speak. This weekend is our community work week in which we typically work in the community serving as the Church instead of having a traditional teaching service. This weekend we will have the bulk of our community working on the Gathering Place trying to get even closer to finishing. Our current projects that we will be working on are tile, insulating duct work, plumbing, drywall touch up and a few small projects.Please keep us in prayer as we are so close yet still have a few things to complete.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Joyful apology

OK i must apologize, it has been over a month since our last blog. As you can see the past three weeks have been consumed with something more precious to me than the building of project 52.
Not to take anything away from the project but we have been enjoying the birth of our little baby girl, Kennedy Eliana. I will make sure and get out another update on the building
later this week. Once again we want to thank everyone for your prayers, encouragement, generosity and energy in what God is doing here in New Orleans.

Grace and Peace,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Update on Project 52

Really, can words sum up these pictures. It is amazing to see what has happened in just a few days. Who would have thought toilets would have been such an exciting picture.
I will have a lot more pictures to show next week.
By the grace of God, we are moving so quickly in the completion of this
building. It is amazing to
watch the church in action, being
used by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Praise God, all Glory to HIM.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

week 2

Wow, after a good start last week we have continued the momentum and the GP is progressing beautifully. With the help of our friends from Fern Creek in Louisville and some Gathering peeps here we have been able to accomplish a lot this week. So far we have three bathrooms tiled (the fourth may be done before Friday), ceiling grid wire hanging from the ceiling, a slab was poured this morning that will hold the HVAC units outside, outlets and emergency exit lighting were installed and the fire suppression sprinklers were completed in phase 2 and 3. It is amazing to see how much work is being done each day and we thank our God and King for everything that he is providing daily to complete this project. We have been blessed with tremendous people who have come to serve, others who have donated materials and others who have sacrificially given. We praise you Father for what you are doing.
Below is an updated list of the materials still needed for the completion of the building. As we have been asking we have found that some people have a lot of these things lying around in their warehouse or garage not being used. If you have a minute we appreciate you looking around.

Project 52 Materials Needed


-5 ton split package system-3 phase (either 208 or 480)

-copper line sets





-$3,000 to buy dropped ceiling material

Entry Door

-$2,500 to buy roll-up door

Interior Doors

-$5,000 includes handles, frames, hinges, and closers



Cove base

Cove base glue

Fire Alarm




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Go time

Labor day weekend came with a bang! Lots of banging actually as the jack hammer was pounding away digging up old concrete in order to prepare for our new handicap walkway into the Gathering Place. Several people from our community came together this weekend to work as we celebrated what God was doing in this place. Thanks to some great volunteers from Indian Creek and and a group from Texas the concrete steps and a first coat of paint will be completed this week. Next week we have several volunteers coming from Fern Creek and we look forward to the adventure continuing.
Keep checking us out as we will be posting weekly everything that God is doing through His people to complete the building of the Gathering Place, Project 52.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Project 52 update

We are approaching our launch date for project 52. Can you believe it? We have collected and/or received commitments for $24,000, almost half of our $52,000 goal. In a couple of weeks we begin this project of completing the building. Once again we find ourselves in an area of uncertainty. We know that completing such a task is almost impossible. Yet we know we serve a God that is all about mission impossible. We believe that our friends have been called by God to do the impossible, to complete the Gathering place in 52 days. It is this excitement of anticipation that overwhelms us as we prepare daily for what God has in store for us. These next two weeks we will be looking for God to provide the needed supplies for week one to be kicked off with a bang.
Please look over the below and let us know if there is anything or anybody you know that could help with the following. Also, please join us in prayer as we seek God's discernment, His direction and His guidance as we desire for His will to be done, not ours.
Grace and Peace,
-2 urinals
-2 handicap commercial floor mount toilets
-14 toilet flushometer valves w/1”supply
-13 ½” tubular p-trap kits (including trap adapter)
-11 ½” chrome escuchions
-24 ½”x3/8” angle stop compression connection
-24 ½” chrome escuchions
-24 3/8”x1/2” faucet supply line (16”or 20”)
-2 ½”x1/4” compression angle stops
-14 closet bolt kits
-14 extra thick no-seep wax rings (w/black plastic piece)
-3 urinal flange connectors
-3 urinal spud (3/4” or 1” tube)
-3 urinal wax rings
emergency lights
exit signs
mc cable—12/2 w/ground
-50 20 amp light switches w/covers
-100 20amp outlets w/covers
15 ton ahu
5 ton split package set
copper line sets
ductwrap insulation
piping insulation
mains: 2100’
1050 pieces 4’ tee
1050 pieces 2’ tee
2400’ wall mould
Entry door
9x12 roll up
aluminum doors
70 gal exterior stucco/masonry paint
interior paint (300sqft/gal) 50 gallons
roller naps
Interior doors
21 doors
thin set
cove base
cove base glue
Fire alarm

Monday, August 9, 2010

Project 52

How many of you know the story of Nehemiah? How many of you know how God used this individual and his team of followers of the one true God to complete a task that almost seemed impossible. The completion of the wall around Jerusalem in just 52 days. These were men who were led by faith, who were obedient to the call and God did the unthinkable.
I have recently been approached by some friends from up north that have felt a similar calling. God has placed upon the hearts of many that phase one of the Gathering Place could be completed in just 52 days. We believe that this call is from God and we are willing to be obedient to that call.
Starting Labor day weekend we will launch Project 52 and believe God will bring phase one to completion just before November.
BUT, just like Nehemiah, we can't do this alone. We need the help of God's faithful, of His church, His community of followers. We need them to pick up a tool and help complete "the wall". We are in need of several things:
1st- volunteers in the construction process
2nd- funding for the rest of materials needed to complete phase 1
3rd- construction materials. Often times we have seen God connect us with people who have the ability to provide supplies and materials. (items include floor tile, lighting, plumbing fixtures etc...)
I would like to ask all of you to please join us. First join us in prayer as it is our desire to continually seek the Lord's direction, His wisdom and His will. Next, if you can join us in any of the above items, please contact us. We would love to partner with you in what God is doing here in this place.
(For a list of the items needed and time line please visit our website next week for complete details at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Being the Church

Over the past couple of years we have spent a lot of time teaching on the idea that we are called not to "go to church" but to actually "be the church". To be the spiritual community that God has called us to be. Sounds simple right? Actually, what we have found is that we live in a culture that has spent the past several generations learning a vocabulary that directs the way we live. Buried deep in our subconscious, we have experiences and teachings that direct the way we learn, listen and live. These are sometimes seen in our own vocabulary which then proceeds in the way we act. A psychologist once said, "people believe what they say, and they act upon those beliefs". If that is true how does that apply to "the church"? Well, what did you do last Sunday? Most likely you went to church. When you learned about the role of the church to serve, give, disciple and pray, based on the above quote, who's responsibility is that? The church, the place I went last week.
What if we changed our vocabulary? What if we stopped treating the church as a building, or place to go and actually started "being" the church?
In an effort to teach such lifestyle of responsibility, we at The Gathering have decided to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak. We have decided that every other month, The Gathering will replace a Sunday morning gathering with a service day. A day where everyone in The Gathering community will do service projects all over the parish and eventually, God willing, all over the world. Our mission is to be the spiritual community that lives as Jesus lived. We do not want to be a community that goes to church. If we are going anywhere, its where God is leading us to do His will.
Next Post be ready for Project52.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BP oil spill

Two weeks ago Aaron and I went down the road to get our badges from St. Bernard Parish so we could participate in meeting with fisherman, police, fire and government officials to talk about whatever they are struggling with. We are a part of the St. Bernard Pastors Coalition where pastors from all over St. Bernard are working together to minister to those going through such a tough and life changing ordeal. It was an eerie feeling as we walked through groups of people getting our proper identification. I had the feeling of Katrina all over again. There were all of the same elements but just being used in a different capacity this time. You had Gov't, police, military, special response teams, non profits, but then you had boat captains, fisherman and crew. Many of which were saying such things like, "i would take Katrina again over this". Can you believe that?!? This event could eclipse the catastrophic event of Katrina and effect the lives of so many people here in St. Bernard Parish and we are right in the middle of it. Every week we meet with Captains and crew before they head out to attack the oil with boom and other elements to keep our shores clean. As you can see from the photos it is a challenge. Because of the recent hurricane winds and rain have kept our fleet of fisherman in the docks and off the water. I talked and prayed with many of them Tuesday morning and frustration and fear are welling up inside them. One Boat Captain from Alabama committed suicide last week. That is a real fear to many here in St. Bernard. Please Pray for us as we seek to minister to those whose lives have been drastically impacted by this disaster.

The Rain

You know its summer time in New Orleans when it rains almost everyday. We don't complain though since it helps bring down the temperature to help cool off what usually begins as a hot and humid day.
This week we began putting primer on the walls as we are preparing to start painting in just a few weeks. We are at that point of starting to see some of the light at the end of the tunnel. We do have a few big things that we are currently working on that need your prayer and possibly your assistance.
Our current list:
  • Roof insulation to be completed
  • Fire suppression plans to be completed and pipes to be arranged
  • HVAC duct work assembly and completion
  • Drop ceiling materials and installation
  • Interior doors/windows/outlets/base cove to be installed
  • Flooring? Tile vs. Stained concrete
  • Phone system and fire alarm
  • Glass front doors
  • Wheel chair ramp
  • Completion of stucco
These are most but not everything needed to complete the Gathering Place. Would you please join us in prayer as we move forward day by day using what God has given us. If there is anything above that you may be moved to help us with please give us a shout.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Good Time

Community can be difficult. It's kind of like a family relationship. You have to work hard, sometimes have some tough conversations, can be a little awkward at times but when it comes right down to it these are the same people that we would rather spend our free time with. These are the people who we know and love and who know and love us. This is the type of community that I want to share with others around me. Community all the time. That is what we are about and sometimes community can be just about having some fun! Memorial Day weekend we hosted a block party at our house. It is something that we have been wanting to do for a long time but as you know we often busy ourselves with things that can prevent us from just having a good time. We had a ton of fun as we continued to invite people into our community as Jesus taught His disciples at the house of Levi. We had a water slide for the kids, volleyball, tether ball, corn hole, a large tent and lots of food. It was a great opportunity to spend some good quality time with those we love as well as meet some new friends and build some new found relationships.

Summer has begun

Its that time of year again when kids around the country are out of school, vacationers are going here and there and everyone's schedules are frazzled. Here in New Orleans it is similar yet with a different feeling of future uncertainty. There are many here with concern about the oil spill and what the future holds for their way life, their work and their families. The Gathering has been working alongside several other local churches to find a way to serve those in need, struggling with fear, depression and uncertainty. This summer we may be able to help specifically with our counseling department and with kids camp. Please keep these families in prayer as we seek Gods will and direction on how to be His hands and feet.
Summer plans for the Gathering Place. Hey speaking of vacations, what about taking a vacation with a purpose? What would be better than coming to the Big Easy, see some history, enjoy some foreign culture and participate in taking part in what God is doing here. This summer we will be priming and painting the interior walls, installing HVAC duct work, aligning our sprinkler system to fit the architectural plans, installing toilets, sinks, windows, doors, and flooring. We have a lot on the list needing to be done and if you feel that tug in your heart to help with any of these give us a shout. We would love to celebrate your vacation with a purpose with you.
As written last week, we continue to see God move in many ways. We just purchased a ton of HVAC equipment (see the pics) from a local church at a fraction of the cost. We also have a new friend who is willing to draw our fire suppression system plans. This will save The Gathering thousands of dollars!!
The Gathering already at use: last week we held our first unity prayer night at the Gathering Place. It was a great night to have many people from the community and several different local churches participate.
Outside the Gathering Place, we have just finished putting up a set of steps for a friend Chris that we have been ministering to for a few months now. He has been waiting to get out of his FEMA trailer and his house was completed except for steps leading to the raised house. The inspectors could not sign off on a permit until this was done. Our friend Chris just broke his foot as well, so getting in and out of the house was almost impossible. It was a great project and took a couple of days. Two other guys from our community helped me with this project. I have to admit they did most of the work but I was blessed to learn a lot.
Thanks again to everyone who has participated in what God is doing here in St. Bernard and for your support.
Be a blessing,

Monday, May 24, 2010

God is moving

As many of you know we have been in the process of building what we call the Gathering Place. It has been a long journey for us with many lessons from God along the way. We have learned that for much of our lives we have been taught to depend on ourselves, our initiative, our knowledge, our determination. We were taught that if we put a plan together and work our plan with hard work it will come together and we would be successful. We have learned that these concepts are actually foreign to the scriptures. We have learned that the best laid plans and the hardest work may get you somewhere but it may not be where God wants you. After several years here in New Orleans we have learned a pretty valuable lesson. A lesson of trust and dependence. We have learned about Gods timing, even though we still don't understand it, we know it's not the same as ours. In this course of time we have seen many things happen with the Gathering Place. We have seen many faces and we have been blessed by thousands of people who have all been willing and and had a desire to serve with us here. We have now come to the point in construction that we are in the finishing stages and we could not have done it without the help of all of you who have been such a blessing. WE wish to thank all of you greatly for we appreciate everything you have done. We will be updating our blogspot weekly with new updates and pictures for all of you interested in the completion of the GP and our ministry. Thank you all again.
We are currently working on:
  • finishing drywall
  • stucco on the front wall (you can see in picture of building)
  • Painting begins June 14
Grace and Peace to all of you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New Testament Cannot Overturn the Old

I read this title in a chapter of a book last week and thought, "well, why would I think the New Testament could overturn the Old? Don't they kind of go together?" I kept reading and in the process, flushed out some misconceptions that I have harbored since childhood. Though I believed the OT to also be the inspired Word, I never put a lot of effort into understanding it. Whether it was that the prophets were too hard to understand or I was just tired of the same old stories in Genesis and Exodus, or Numbers and Leviticus are too boring, I always found myself running back to the New Testament.

I thought I knew where it all began. . .that lush garden where Adam and Eve walked with God. . .and screwed up. . .but seriously, there's so much more to it than that. If you persevere and keep reading, the richness of the Torah grabs you. It draws you in and helps you understand how a God who loves His people sets them up to succeed. And they do. . .and then they don't. . .and they do. . .and don't and on and on. It's fascinating and infuriating.

So why, until the past year or so, have I missed the fact that the richness of the OT is for me as well? That the people of the NT (specifically Jews, but also Gentiles) actually knew what the OT said and put it into practice! Clearly they were a part of the NT, so obviously it wasn't written for them! I'm not saying it all makes perfect sense, but reading the NT and knowing more of the OT has put things in a new perspective. The NT has come to life. It is helping to see things and understand things as the disciples would or Gentiles that are being introduced to what Jesus was saying. So, instead of being ignorant of the times, the context begins to fill in. The colors begin to sharpen and the fuzziness of it all begins to become more clear as the background comes to life.

Where am I starting? Well, I have a reading plan that has me in Exodus, but I'll admit to getting a little too hungry to stop there. Some days you'll find me in Leviticus, but lately I'm committing to starting at the beginning with some weekly jumps to the Gospels to see where Jesus pulls it all together.

Hope you are enjoying the journey. The springboard for today's title-check out Boundary Stones by Aaron Eby.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plumbing Challenge

Each month brings more progress on our "hub", otherwise known as The Gathering Place. As we drive by and check inside, we are able to see the progress that has been made as walls go up, wire is run, and concrete is poured. This week we add on the passing of a few inspections that we needed for us to continue. What is ahead?

Our Plumbing Challenge is here. In order to have supplies bought, installed, and to have the inspection completed, we need $4300. Someone has generously stepped up and has pledged to match what our Gathering Community can come up with-up to the half way point. So are we, Gathering Family, up to the challenge? We have until January 31st to come up with our half. Are we willing? Do we believe in what we are doing and why we are doing it? Are we willing to back it up with our dollars as well as our time?

I can't wait for January 31st! I can't wait to see how our community comes together not only in fun, in learning, or in serving, but in giving generously out of the joy of our hearts.

May the offering we give, give off a pleasing aroma to the Lord.