Nigeria: Happiness Amidst Heartache!

The two weeks spent here in Lagos, Nigeria have passed so very rapidly as my days are filled with consultation and assisting the Provost and administration at West Africa Biblical Seminary (WATS). I am staying in a guest house provided by WATS and walk to and from campus in the morning, at lunch time, and then in the evening.

The walk takes me down Osobola Avenue for about one-quarter mile. Fortunately, it has not rained one single day during my time of trekking! Also, fortunately, the walk takes me by the homes filled with children! Lots of children. And HAPPY children, at that.

For example, last week a group of seven boys and girls, all siblings, came up to me to give greetings and to touch my white skin! When they saw that I had a camera in my iPhone, they begged, “Snap us, snap us!”

My photographic propensity kicked in and a photo session ensued. I then turned the camera to video mode and asked, “Can you sing for me?”

You can hear their answer! Spontaneously, they broke out in song, without any consultation. One youngster started to sing, “Happy birthday. . .” He was immediately interrupted with the older ones leading, “If You’re Happy and You Know It!”

An amazing moment! You can see parts of the street–not paved and cleanly swept. Not a lot of luxury and comfort along Osobola Avenue. By American standards, not much to make children happy. I don’t see any electronic games on the Playstation! Sticks and improvised toys obviously capture the imagination of these dear children.

They’re happy. They know it! And they were proud to let others in on their secret.

Here’s a question for consideration and discussion: What makes for real happiness? What makes for happiness in the midst of the heartache caused by such social turmoil as Boka Horam?

Gotta get to the auditorium for a meeting with the administration and staff. Will watch for your comments.

Ray

Popcorn Popped–House Restored!

Hasn’t been quiet as simple as popping popcorn, but the Ole Farm House is virtually restored! While some small details still remain, I now pronounce that the house is restored into a home where popcorn and Dr. Pepper can spontaneously appear on the dining table for any unexpected guest. Just come on by and enjoy!

Thank the Lord for his gracious protection and provisions across these four and one-half months. We’ve had no injuries during the hundreds of hours of very demanding physical labor.

Here is the list of tasks that have been completed as a part of the restoration project:
  • New electrical system from meter base to outlets and light switches.
  • New waste and freshwater plumbing from faucets to sewer drain.
  • Easy Water’s “Iron Shield” to oxidize the iron and filter it before entering the plumbing.
  • Pella replacement windows to provide protection from the cold north winds that will blow this winter.
  • Drywalled ceiling to replace the deteriorating lath and plaster that had stood the test of time for 86 years.
  • New paint throughout that creates a fresh homey ambience for the family.
  • New appliances from the laundry to the cooktop and oven–they all now work properly. Come on by for a home-cooked meal!
  • New master bathroom and laundry-bath.
  • Solid oak floor from the front door to the back closet–a far cry better than the old dirty floors on which I worked for the past four months.
  • New knotty alder hardwood cabinets from Wyatt Cabinetry and Custom Woodworking shop in Forsythe, Missouri. Because we worked against a July 26th delivery deadline, they shipped the cabinets without drawers and doors. These will come later. Thanks to Jerrad for accommodating this rather unusual sequence.
  • Exterior paint on the north side of the house–will get to the other sides in the fall.
  • Repaired and painted the dormer gable and window on the east end of the roof.
  • Moved two storage rooms of our household belongings into the house.
This afternoon, I fly to Lagos, Nigeria for a month of academic consulting at West Africa Theological Seminary. I will be working alongside Provost William Udotong and the faculty, administration, and staff there (www.watsonline.org). Dianne will stay home and gather the garden produce as it come ripe–we have an ear of sweet corn just about ready to pick! She will be canning green beans, tomatoes, and corn while I work with the dear people at WATS. I return from Nigeria on August 30. Thanks for praying for us during this time.
You may be unfamiliar with the plans that Dianne and I have been following for the past year–leading up to our move from Mississippi to Indiana. If so, check out the blog update that I posted last November: http://deansoffice.easleycompany.com/?p=89. This may answer a question or two that you have.
Enjoy the pictorial montage below that highlights some of the recent developments.
Before and After









Installing cabinets from Wyatt Cabinetry
Popping the Corn!































































































I’ve got TONS more pictures to share but have run out of time. Must get my suit cases packed for the flight to Nigeria. Thanks for following Dianne and me in your prayers as we have trekked across the past four and one-half months. It’s been an interesting journey that really has just begun.

Thanks a million to my brother, Keith, who has been here for the past couple of weeks giving me invaluable help. He deservedly has his hand in the popcorn bowl!

Take a careful look at Psalm 103–I’ve memorized the first eleven verses. And know that we are still leaning on the three promises found in Exodus 33.14, Isaiah 41.10, and Luke 12.32.

Be blessed.

Ray


Not Streets of Pure Gold, But. . .











The new hardwood floor in the Ole Farm House definitely feels great on the bare feet–a far cry better than walking on the old floors as we have been doing since mid-March! I have just finished installing 1000 square feet of beautiful pre-finished oak floor. The floors now wait for our living room and dining room furniture to be moved in from the storage unit. Dianne and I are also ready!

In March, a neighbor friend told me of some oak flooring that he had purchased from Lowes in Carmel at a very good price. “I think they will be willing to sell you the more of this wood for the price they gave me,” he proposed. “I’ll call them and ask if they would sell to you for the same price. They are trying to liquidate their inventory.”
At that time, my need for hardwood flooring was three or four months away. I had just begun ripping out walls and running electrical circuits. Where would I store 1000 feet of finished oak flooring during that time?
“Sure,” I responded, “call them and see what they say.”
In a couple of days, Jack called to tell me that the people at Lowes/Carmel said they would sell to me–just come on in. As it turned out, I purchased this flooring for $2.50 per square foot which was one penny above their actual cost!
I hauled 89 bundles of the floor in the big red Ford pickup and stacked it on the front porch until installation time. Three or four days before I was ready to lay the flooring, I moved it into the rooms and opened the bundles for the wood to acclimate to the room temperature and humidity.
Tuesday, July 19 was D-Day for flooring installation. My brother, Paul, loaned me a floor air nailer. I had contemplated renting one but told Paul, “I don’t think I can get all the floor laid in one day” (just wanting to economize on rental costs!). Paul responded, “I think you will do good to get that floor laid in a week!”
Was he ever correct! Five long, grueling days of sorting boards, arranging them is appropriate rows, slamming the rubber mallet against the air nailer, sawing around door trim and corner posts–that’s what this past week was all about.
The joyful thing is that the flooring work is now finished! Both complete in installation and final preparation of the wood surface for use. Finished!
This coming week, I will set cabinets and install the oven, cooktop, dishwasher and garbage disposal. The cabinets will arrive in stages from the Wyatt Cabinetry and Custom Woodworking shop in Forsythe, MO.
We will also be able to move some of our living room and dining room furniture into the new space. I can do the finishing touches on wall and window paint as time permits.
The Gordon Easley family reunion takes place this coming Thursday through Sunday here in Greenfield. Actually, some of the activities will be held here at the Ole Farm House. Dianne and I are excited to welcome our family to the new home–even though it is not totally finished. All nine of my siblings will be present. We will have a lot of catching up to do during those days.
Then next week, on August 4, I fly to Lagos, Nigeria for four weeks of work at West Africa Theological Seminary. The time has arrived for me to devote some of my energies elsewhere other than on the Ole Farm House. Remaining tasks will have to wait for a later day.

As I worked alone on the flooring last week, I kept thinking of the promise Jesus gave his disciples as recorded in John 14: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (English Standard Version). The Heavenly Father is preparing a place where He can gather all the family together for one GRAND REUNION! My work this summer has just been a microscopic reminder of that spiritual reality.
Oak flooring or streets of pure gold (Rev. 21:21)! Doesn’t really matter if the Family is together in the presence of our Father.
Have a blessed week.
Ray

Making Choices: Colors and Cabinets

A LOT has been happening here at the Ole Farm House–long hours of joyful and satisfying work. We are beginning to see the end of the renovation of the interior of the house. A couple of items we’ve had to deal with in the past two or three weeks pertains to paint color for the interior walls and cabinet style and shape.

Choosing Paint Colors

At this point, we’ve decided on a five-color scheme throughout the house. The picture to the right shows the Home Depot color chips for these five colors. We will use white on all the ceilings. Semi-gloss brilliant white will go on the window, door, and base-board trim. I understand that the trend today is to paint ceilings something other than white. We’re not going to follow that trend this time!

Not sure that we like the top color–kind of a taupe greenish brown. The Home Depot paint department calls it “Pebble Clay”–very descriptive for helping one to know the color, I know. But that’s its name! It looks good in a room to itself. However, we have positioned it adjacent to the wall in the dining room. See the second picture–I took this late at night after I’d finishing painting.

The lower portion of these two walls is new bead board painted an off-white called “Oyster”–again another very descriptive paint name! The bead board will trim with a chair rail that I’ll paint the same as the window trim. Presently, the window trim has only a primer coat on. Eventually, I get to the finished coat then install white faux wood blinds.

It seems to me that the upper wall color on the right side of the dining room what a bit too much yellow or brown in it. Seems to me that a lighter shade of green would work better in blending with the left side. What do you think? Any opinions or advice?


Choosing Cabinets

We made the circuit in shopping for kitchen cabinets–Home Depot, Lowes, Mennards, Kline Cabinetmakers, and Wyatt Cabinetry and Custom Woodworking. The choices of style, colors, materials, and price range almost as broadly as Americans’ opinion on what to do to solve the national debt debacle!

Don’t want to take the time to bore you with all the shopping details. I will just cut to the chase and tell you that Wyatt Cabinetry and Custom Woodworking in Forsythe, Missouri “won the contract.” Their motto, “If you can dream it, we can build it,” reflects the action that owner Jerrad Saffle has demonstrated. He has given us personal attention to the particulars that we wanted by helping us know that whatever we wanted, he could do. We aren’t just buying cabinets out of a box, so to speak. Furthermore, Jerrad’s prices were very, very competitive.

Let me just add this short commercial: If you’re needing cabinets, give Jerrad a call and tell him that Ray Easley told you about him. His phone number is 417-546-1600. I don’t get a commission–just want to pass along a word about a good vendor that I’ve discovered.

Working from my pencil sketch, Jerrad computerized the kitchen layout and emailed back to me the exact layout with dimensions and components for me to verify. Hopefully, the sketch will be dark enough for you to read and understand.

The 3D perspective drawing Jerrad provided helped get literally a “bird’s eye view” of the kitchen. The island in the middle will contain a 36″ gas cooktop on which Nana Dianne can prepare those scrumpious biscuits, eggs, and “Nana Jam” for the grandkiddos.

The appliances will be delivered from Lowes this coming Saturday. The cabinets should be ready for delivery by the end of this week or the early part of next week. With family coming to town and to the house on July 29th, I have still a lot of work to get done.

Yesterday, I started laying the oak hardwood floor. Gotta have that finished before the appliances and cabinets arrive–that’s my project sequence.

Dianne has taken pictures of the new floor going down. If I get time, I’ll upload those for another update!

Or I may just keep on laying floor–not lying on the floor! Have a good day.

Ray

Replacement Windows: Out with the Old, In with the New!

Two weeks ago (yep, it’s been that long ago which shows how far behind I am on the blog update!), our Pella replacement windows arrived from Lowes. Thirteen vinyl double hung windows with low E-glass and Argon gas filled for high energy savings awaited installation.

Last winter, I stood with my brother, Paul, in the fridge house inspecting the prospect of renovation. Paul said, “You’ll need to put replacement windows in here–these old wooden sashes are way beyond the point of restoration.” He continued to explain what these windows were and how they are installed. “Once you get the hang of installation,” he remarked, “you can do one window in about thirty minutes!”

“Humm,” I thought. “Thirteen windows at thirty minutes each would be six and one-half hours. Not bad!”

Now the time had finally arrived for me to get the work completed. I followed Paul’s instructions by completing these Six Easy Steps to Replacement Window Installation (no, that’s just my made-up check list, nothing official from Pella! Actually, I have ten steps in my list):

1. Remove the small trim around the inside of the window that holds the lower sash in place. Use a putty knife to gently pry the trim loose. Be careful not to break this trim as you will be replacing it after the new window is set in place.

2. Remove the lower window sash. If a rope counter weight is attached, cut the rope so that the window can come fully free. Set this sash aside for disposal or some other worthy project.

3. Remove the small trim between the lower and upper sash. This trim will be nailed in a groove along the sides and top of the window. Use a screw driver or chisel to pry the trim out. Don’t worry if the trim breaks. That’s okay because you will not be using these pieces.

4. Remove the upper window sash as in step #2.

5. Using a paint scraper, clean the outer stop trim of any paint chips. This outer trim is the piece that held the upper sash in place and kept it from falling out of the window! This trim will be the piece that holds your new replacement window in place.

6. String a bead of siliconized caulking around the inside edge of this outer trim.

7. Set the new window in the opening by placing the bottom of the window on the old window sill and pushing it against the outer stop trim coated with siliconized caulking.

8. Fasten the window in place with large screws on each side of the window. The window will have the screw holes bored. Screws come with the window.

9. Spray a small amount of foam insulation in the cavity between the new window and the old window frame. This will be critical in keeping winter winds from seeping into the house. Make sure the cracks are all filled with the right amount of insulation.

10. Re-nail the trim removed in step #1 tight against the new window. This adds another point of security to hold the new window in place and gives it a finished look.

Repeat these steps for however many windows you have.

What about the thirty minutes per window? Well, actually, I was about 10 hours installing the thirteen windows. I guess 45 minutes for my first effort at installing replacement windows is okay.

I am happy that task is competed. We will see how these windows perform later in the year when the winter winds begin howling down from Canada. Will the Argon gas, the low E-glass and the vinyl frames keep the cold out?

Remind me next April and I’ll let you know!

Ray

Restoration: From a Coon’s Den to a Master Suite!

While a “coon den” might be a tab bit overly dramatic for describing the Ole Farm House before we took ownership, we saw definite evidence that racoons had been living in the house, both in the attic and the back rooms that have now been renovated as the master suite. I started the month of June with the plumbing system installed and ready to take on new bathrooms. During the three weeks since my last update, I have virtually completed three key rooms: the Laundry/Bath, the Master Bathroom, and the Master Bedroom with adjoining walking in closet.

Just take a quick photographic glance at the progression of restoration–from a coon’s den to a master suite! While taking this glance, think about the notion of restoration!

Laundry/Bath

The space through the stud wall will become the laundry room and half bath–we’re calling it the “laundry bath.” This area had been the original bathroom for the ole house as well as a very narrow, long closet. I removed an interior wall, two windows, and one door to create this room.

Grandson, Jacob, gave me invaluable help in placing tape on the drywall joints.

Having never laid porcelain floor tile of this nature, I used the telephone to consult with my brother, Paul, and a new friend, Jack Holland, regarding the intricacies of floor tile.

The FIRST piece of tile goes down. Just wish I could have laid the LAST piece first and hence have avoided all the knee-killing work! Seriously, I enjoyed the challenge of doing something new that will last for a considerable time and give a radiant beauty to the spots where coons had . . . well, pooped!




Master Bathroom




Originally, we had purchased a three-piece fiberglass tub surround to place above the bathtub. It would have taken only a couple of hours to have installed the surround. However, we decided that this restoration project deserved something more substantial and classy. I set about the task of placing porcelain tile on the two walls above the tub. This took considerably longer that I had allocated for the bathroom but has already proven itself to have been the right decision.







Since this picture was taken, I have finished painting the wall to the left of the toilet. All that remains is placing the floor trim around the base of the wall and installing the replacement windows. These should be coming into the local Lowes store in another 3-4 days. We have already begun using this room, as it is MUCH larger and more convenient than the bath/shower in the RV!

Master Bedroom





Last night (June 26), we slept in our regular bed–taken from storage and set up in the new bedroom. This is the first time since February 15 to sleep in our own bed! This also signals the progress that we’re making on the restoration.

Throughout the month, I have quoted Psalm 23 numerous times to myself as I worked alone. I’ve especially pondered the Psalmist’s phrase, “. . . He restores my soul. . .” There’s that notion of restoration which implies that something has deteriorated and exists in an unsatisfactory state. I guess you could say that this is simply descriptive of human life–we all encounter those periods of life where we need restoration.

The Great Shepherd is all about restoring the life of those who follow him!

Just wondering–does life around you feel like a coon’s den? If so, invite the Good Shepherd in for a renovating restoration. He’s a MASTER at restoration.

Headed to that comfortable bed for a night of restoration. Goodnight.

Ray

Setting Goals and Planting Seeds


Goal setting and seed planting share a common theme: they both impact our future. Today, Dianne and I set a goal and planted some seeds.
Goal Setting. Rather ambitiously for sure, I told Dee that my goal by the end of this week is to have both bathrooms finished so that we can move appliances, toilets, lavs, and vanities into these rooms. They could then be very helpful as we continue living in our RV.

I need your advice or opinion regarding the flooring for these rooms. We plan to use Porcelain tile called “Montagna Belluno” sold at Home Depot. We are going to use both the 16″ and 6″ sizes. What do you think about this style of floor for a bathroom. Is porcelain the right stuff to use? What about the larger squares (16″) as opposed to the smaller 6″ squares? Does one size work better or last longer? Thanks for any insights you care to share. They will help us reach our goal for the week!

According to two tile installers that have counseled me, I will need to put down 1/2″ Durock on the subfloor before laying the tile. As you see in the accompanying photo, the subfloor of the ole farm house appears to be in rough shape. However, it is very, very solid and should provide a solid foundation for the tile flooring.

Planting Seeds. Planting season is like the future–neither will wait for you to get ready. We concluded today that NOW is the day we must get our garden planted if we intend to have any produce in the future. Bryan and his children had gotten a start on garden planting a couple of weeks ago. However, we had many more seeds that we wanted to plant. Late this afternoon, just as the sun made its final turn toward the western horizon, we set about planting. Here’s the list as best as I remember (Dianne’s got the official planting roster):

  • Five mounds of cucumbers
  • Six rows of sweet corn
  • One row of okra
  • One row of carrots
  • Three rows of lima beans
  • One row of flowers (not sure what kind)
  • Six rows of peas
  • One row of squash
  • One row of zucchini squash
The soil appears to be in perfect condition for gardening. Just the right amount of moisture. The rich top soil made a welcoming bed for our seeds. Can you find the seeds in this picture? If so, what kind are they?
Hey, fifteen hours of work today and I’m bushed. Good night because I’m headed to bed–getting ready for the future! You do the same!
Ray


Everyone Needs a Bath and a Meal!

All day long, Thomas Oden’s declaration has been running through my head: “Everyone needs a bath and a meal!” I kept repeating it to myself as I installed the tub faucet and shower head. In fact, after about an hour of work, I could have just turned the water on–cold, mind you–and taken a bath. But its not yet time for that.

The week began on Monday with installing the fresh water lines–what a way to spend Memorial Day (We did have a cook out in the evening with the Philip Going family). Finished that up on Wednesday and began hanging drywall on the walls of the two bathrooms–the master bath and the laundry/half-bath. I had to remove and frame in the open space from two window and a door in order to make the laundry/half-bath.

Before the drywall could be hung in the half-bath, I had to finish some electric wiring, so wrapped that up on Friday. Now it was time to begin hanging the 22 sheets of drywall that I had purchased on Wednesday.

Oh, yeah, remember: “everyone needs a bath and a meal!”

By LATE Friday evening, I had completed the drywall installation on the walls in both bathrooms. Since we want to finish those two rooms first, I worked all day today in those rooms–finishing some electrical hooks, installing the tub/shower faucet, and then taping the drywall joints. These tasks give much greater satisfaction than busting out old plaster and removing stud walls. FINALLY, it seems that we’re making some progress.

So, tonight as I write this update, the joint compound is drying on the drywall. Next will come the joint finishing of the walls and ceiling. Then priming and painting the rooms. Then the tile flooring followed by installing and painting the trim. Then mounting the lights and electrical outlets. Then setting the toilets and lavatories in place. Then moving in the dryer and washer. Then installing the storage cabinets. Wow! There’s more to do that than meets the eye.

EVERYONE needs a bath and a meal! So says Thomas Oden.

Okay, let me explain. In his noteworthy textbook, Pastoral Theology, Methodist theological Thomas Oden used this expression in introducing his discussion of the theological significance of baptism and communion. In Christian baptism, penitent sinners find they faith in the forgiveness and mercy of God to be as refreshing as a cleansing bath! In Christian communion, those who come to Christ’s table in faith enjoy a spiritual meal that nourishes the soul. A bath and a meal! Two sacred moments in the Christian walk.

There I sat in the dry bathtub installing the faucet and shower hardware pondering the notion that “everyone needs a bath and a meal.” Soon, Dianne and I will have facilities to provide both for our family and guests. And my prayer is that you and I will also regularly enjoy that spiritual bath and meal that the Lord Jesus so graciously offers to his children.

Enjoy your bath and meal! Goodnight.

Ray

Plumbing Finished: Now Moving Forward

Earlier today, I made the final connection for the cold water supply line to an outside water faucet. The plumbing in the ole farm house is now FINISHED! Wow, what a good feeling! A clean, reliable fresh water system of pipes to serve cold and hot waterto the family also feels good! Just so you’ll know, these items now constitute the system I installed:

  • Kitchen sink
  • Dishwasher
  • Water for ice maker
  • Washing machine
  • Toilet for half bathroom
  • Lavatory for half bathroom
  • Lavatory in master bathroom
  • Toilet for master bathroom
  • Tub/shower for master bathroom
  • Fifty-gallon water heater
  • Three outside water faucets
Compiling this list brings to my mind a comment that David Gyertson shared with the leadership graduates at Regent University: “So what! Now what?”
So what? Hey, its a MAJOR deal to have reached this milestone. The old was not serviceable at all. The new will make life here more enjoyable and healthy. Just take a look at the before and after pictures of one section of basement where some major plumbing converges.
Now what? That’s what Dianne asked me this morning:

“what are you going to start today?” Well, two projects are now underway–one inside and one
out. I started painting the exterior. Look at the pictures and see if you can tell where the new paint is. Make note that no section of wall has been completely painted. What do you think of the new color?

A second project now underway is hanging drywall on the master bathroom and closet walls. The laundry/half-bath will also get drywall on ceiling and wall. Tonight I completed the master bathroom and walk-in closet. If I stay focused on drywall tomorrow, I should be able to have the laundry/half-bath completed.

June 1st has now arrived. We’d hoped to be moving into the house this month. Don’t think I will meet that goal. But gonna keep pushing forward. I guess you could say that I’m going to mimic the Apostle Paul: “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3.13-14).

Join me in pressing forward to the goals that God has planned for us! They are worthy of our efforts.

Ray

Plumbing–Learning New Skills

Plumbing! Where ever did that word come from? I understand the word “plumbing” comes from a Latin word, plumbum, which refers to lead, a soft metal that in the early days of modernity was used to make water pipes. Lead has fallen out of favor these days among plumbers and national health regulators. Supposedly, its bad for your health.

We moved into this restoration project with the intention of replacing the entire plumbing system. Most of the fresh water piping was galvanized steel. The drainage system contained a mix of older vintage cast iron and newer vintage PVC pipe. Furthermore, we were relocating the bathroom and adding a half bath. I began the task of removing the old and installing the new system last week. A couple of hours tomorrow and I be finished with the rough plumbing installation!

Let me share some of the lessons that I have learned! Remember, I am NOT a plumber! Far from it. I have never designed and installed an entire water system in a full house before. So, I had some ‘learning curve’ to climb. Here’s some of the highlights of my learning:

  1. The plumbing system in a modern American house actually contains three elements: a drain system to remove waste water, a fresh water system to provide potable water so essential for maintaining life, and a ventilation system that removes odorous and dangerous gases from the home. These three systems must work harmoniously together in order for the plumbing system to function as it should. Let any one of these three elements get out of order and the household suffers. Humm, I suspect there’s a life lesson hidden here! Think about that!

  2. The power of gravity can take a small advantage and turn it into a mighty movement! Without getting too graphic, a 3″ sewer line needs to be only 1″ lower at the down stream end of a 10′ pipe. So, for example, if you have a 30′ pipe of sewer under your house, it needs to be 3″ lower at the end closest to the final destination. The force of GRAVITY moves the liquid and solid waste down this very slight decline. Doesn’t take much slope for gravity to do its job! More decline is okay–the waste will get on down the pipe much faster if the slope is greater. Just remember, the unseen force of GRAVITY is what makes the drainage system function correctly. Mess with the force of gravity and you’ve got sewer problems.


  3. Kinda reminds me of another unseen force that impacts the lives of us all–the GRACE of God. Ever present, ever persistent, this benevolent generosity of a Superior is lavished on we Inferiors even though we do not deserve His loving kindness. Yielding to the grace of God will solve the dysfunction that we encounter in our relationships, our careers, our families, our daily lives.

  4. Wow! at the considerable variety of plumbing parts and pieces that go into making a full system. The size matters–3′ or 2 1/2″ or 1 1/2″ or 1 1/4″. Gets confusing which to use where. The joint pieces will challenge your memory: the tee, the long-slope tee, the wye, the elbow, the 45 degree elbow, and the 22.5 degree elbow. The list could keep on going but I think you get the point. Just look at that stack of parts. I’ve not mentioned any of the parts for the fresh water system. The other day, Steve at the local Home Depot said, “I’ll see you tomorrow” as I concluded picking out a basket full of plumbing parts. “Invariably,” he predicted, “there’s something that you need but will not know about it until you get further along with your project.” I’ve made several trips since then to the Home Depot!


  5. There is no single plumbing piece that does it all! I also suspect that most every kind of piece is used somewhere in the plumbing system of a house. Transfer that notion to life and see if it has application. If you need some priming, read I Corinthians 12!

  6. Plumbing can be DIRTY work–especially if the work must take place in the crawl space under the floor. I can speak from personal experience. The master bedroom and bathroom do not have a basement under them. Nevertheless, there is where most of the new plumbing needed to be installed! I cut a temporary hole in the bathroom to give “easier” access to the crawl space where I could crawl–mostly belly, elbows, and toes–to the points where plumbing parts needed to be installed. After coming up out of the crawl space, I looked like a coal miner covered with brown coal dust–if there is such a thing.


  7. Dirty, yep! But someone must do it if the family is to enjoy the comforts of life. Don’t be hesitant to tackle the dirty and difficult tasks just because they are hard. If they are the right things to be done, get about those tasks! You’ll wash off and clean up! I did!

  8. There is more but I’m tired and want to go to bed! Just the honest fact.

Go make a difference in someone’s life by tackling the difficult and let God’s grace enable you to succeed! Good night.

Ray