Wednesday, July 12, 2006

virtual tour of the new Hall house: part 2

continued from a previous post....Entering the sun room from the back door, and turning around you can see out into the back yard. I think this sun room is one of our favorite features of the house. Unfortunately, it is taken up with most of our furniture and kitchen items right now while we are working on prinside. Hopefully that will change soon...

From the same spot I can turn around and see Jules in the laundry area... We'd like to eventually have a stack washer and dryer here to free up some space.

Here is the oven--in a very inconvenient location. Our plan is to get rid of the wall behind it, opening up the kitchen and laundry area a little more. Then we'll move the oven to the other side of the kitchen. If you look up in the corner, you can see some exposed lumber. There was actually a piece of wall here that looked like inverted stair steps. Really I got rid of it.

This is the existing sink and counter with the diswasher on the left. The window looks into the back yard. Someone gave us a cast iron sink we are going to put in, along with new cabinets and countertops.

If I back out from the sink into the living room, you can see where we removed the wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. It still looks like a construction area right now, but we are going to put a counter top there on the half wall, making a kind of breakfast nook area with high stools. The layout for the new kitchen has the oven about where the fridge is now, and the fridge will go directly to the left of the dishwasher.

Blogger has a limit on the number of pics I can put up, so more to come later...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

virtual tour of the new Hall house: part 1

For our friends and family: Julie and I would like to take you on a virtual tour of our new house in Portsmouth.

This is a rough diagram of the layout of the house. Pictures of the inside will come later :)

This picture is taken from accross the street. You can see where we have cleared out a lot of the jungle already. Part of the "selling" point of this house was that it boast over a thousand bulbs in the garden. We did not see a mess of dead plants as a value however. We are keeping some of it, but we want to thin it out.

Looking down the driveway you can see the garage in the back. Now we are going to walk into the backyard from the gate to the right of the car.

This picture is looking from the gate into the backyard...

Going into the backyard you can look back and see the sun room off the back of our house. This picture is taken from next to the shed you saw in the previous pic.

We are thankful for what God has provided, and we look forward to many visits from our family and friends.

Monday, July 03, 2006

live in His presence

I felt the conviction of Holy Spirit today. After reading a portion of Genesis and being reminded of God's first act of creation that declares His sovereignty, I spent the day modifying the bit of creation that He has entrusted me with by cleaning up my yard - a task I did with joy for two reasons: first because this is the spot of ground God has given to Julie and me to keep as a stewarship for him, and second because I take pride in putting my fingerprints on our new property. God is good in all of His gifts; this is one that is easy for me to understand.

Clouds rolled in as I was cleaning up for the day and it began to rain. It was refreshing because I had been sweating all day, and I was reminded of the words written by William Cowper

"Fearful saints do courage take,
The clouds which you now dread
are bid with mercy and will break
in blessings on your head."

I pondered the thought that in this rain I had an illustration of the fact that often in dark times we cannot see how God is using our circumstances to accomplish His glory through forming the image of Christ in us. But sometimes when we step away from those dark times, we can see how those dark clouds rained down God's blessings on us in ways that never would have been so potent had we not experienced the darkness. I was praising God for this fact as it rained, because I have found this to be true so many times in my own life.

I went inside, showered and got in my vehicle to go see my wife at work and then go to the library to study. On the way I stopped at 7-11 to fill my extreme gulp (if you don't have one of these you need one) because I was parched.

As I left 7-11, an extremely thin man approached me. He opened his mouth and prefaced his story with the statement "I'm not a bum." I believed him. He went on to explain that he had cancer and needed medicine from the drugstore. He had everything he needed except that he was $3.86 short. I told him that I had no cash and I got in my vehicle and left. As I neared my wife's place of employment the thought struck me (or maybe I should say Holy Spirit confronted me); I had an opportunity to show this man Christ by speaking His name and I passed it by because I was busy. I had the opportunity to be the blessings showered on this man be introducing him to the grace of Christ when all he could see was darkness.

Please don't get me wrong. I believe with all my heart that God draws His elect to Himself and will accomplish their regeneration and perserverance. But part of my perserverance is to testify of the grace of Christ to those who do not have it in redemption. Peter exhorts us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have.

With this I challenge myself and my brothers and sisters in Christ; do not be weak. Live your theology and speak the Name. Walk in the presence of God, and let it be known by your life and your words. Share redemption.