Showing posts from January, 2014

Anatomy of a Facebook status update

I, generally, do not post many normal things for my status updates on Facebook. Sometimes my not-so-normal statuses just pop into my head and I get them into cyberspace before they leave my brain. Other times they follow a clear progression. This morning's update was of the latter variety. I had a little bit of my travel coffee cup fall of yesterday so I needed to use some superglue to get it affixed to where it was. I did that this morning and was proud of myself because, well, I didn't get any superglue on my fingers. This is a rare enough occasion that I thought I would herald it on Facebook: "Mark Dudley managed to use superglue this morning without getting any on his fingers." Well, that seemed a bit to ordinary so I thought it would have to make it a bit more unusual in the following manner: "Mark Dudley managed to use superglue this morning without getting any on his fingers. His gums, however..." But then I got nervous. What if my wife reads th

I prayed and it happened: Part 2

Thankfully I had some time that I could steal on Saturday and Sunday to review the message I was going to give at the jail so I felt very prepared. That is not always the case with me so that was something pretty new. Well, Sunday night rolled around and I experienced a bunch of somethings at the jail that I had not experienced before. When we got into the gym we noticed that there was not a ton of chairs set up in the place. It was a playoff football night so I expected that there would not be as many people there than in previous nights, but the amount of chairs that were set up depressed me a little. Then the prisoners came in and kept coming. We had around 80 people there which is a good size for our service, but I had never seen so many women before in all my years of going to the jail with Northridge. Half of the group were women and it was good to see so many. Well, when I got up to preach on Luke 15 there was no movement in the room at all. Sometimes things get a little row

I prayed and it happened: Part 1

C.S. Lewis reminds me that I need to think in this manner when it comes to prayer: I prayed, and it happened. In other words I need to report on the bare facts and know that correlation does not imply causation. I can't get all wrapped up in the "Was I the only one praying for this?" or "What if I hadn't prayed....would I have gotten the same result?" I know God has a million reasons for everything that happens, and I know that I was not the only one praying for the service in this circumstance, and that I may never know all of the everything I want to know about last Sunday night but.... We have been studying prayer and I have been confessing that I do not pray anywhere near as often as I should for much of anything. I used to pray quite a bit on my ride into work so I decided to resurrect that last week. I prayed for my boys and wife as they embarked on another day of homeschooling. I prayed for the teaching that I would be delivering that week and for h

Son of grace that I am...

What have I done? Who have I hurt? Who has left me? Who have I left? Where am I now that, if someone told me I'd be where I am, that I would not have believed them? The easy answer is "here", but where is my heart? What is true about me that is taking me farther from God and closer to destruction? Is this the life that I have always wanted? Am I beyond hope? Is my past so littered with sin and regrets that I can't see anything but a future full of what my past is? Am I useful to anyone anymore? Does anyone listen to me anymore? I have no strength apart from Him. I have no wisdom except His. I am done doing my own thing - because there is nothing good that can come from me groping my way along the wall in the dark. I have nothing but the voice that He has given to me and one, single, word: "Help." And on the other side there He is with gifts that I don't deserve and a love that withholds that which I do. There He is with the breath that will regener

Day Fifteen: Completion and Before and After

Well, day fifteen isn't really day fifteen as we started all of this on December 5, 2013 and it is now January 12, 2014, but I guess it is just the number of days that I bothered writing anything on the blog and/or you bothered reading it. Thanks for going on this journey with us and the tons of encouragement you gave us. It meant a lot to us to be able to share this with you and to receive so much positive feedback from all of you. are the proverbial before and after pictures: Before: After: It is all pretty dramatic and we are thrilled that it turned out the way it did. We are still in the midst of finding a place for everything (you should have seen how much stuff I put "just out of sight"), but we are much closer than we were even this morning. Thanks, God, for seeing this through for us. Help us to always know you are out for our good even when we cannot see your hand or sense your good pleasure.

Day Fourteen: Tile and microwave

Day fourteen found the guys putting in more than a full day's worth of work as they wanted to set the stage to finish up the next day. We actually had to leave one of them to his work while we went to share dinner with friends of ours (thanks Carlos and Jill!) and hang out with their new daughter Kirsten. Here is where we are now: This is the new hanging microwave. It is high up, but we are tall. This is the tile on the window wall. This is a close up of the tile and the accent with cardboard spacers. See all of those black squares? When we bought them at the Home Depot they were all brown squares. We then went to a tile place and bought one square foot of accent tile that had 144 one inch black squares, cut those all apart, and then replaced the brown squares the with black ones. Surprisingly it did not take us too long to do and we are happy with the result. The under cabinet lighting was also installed. We went with an LED ribbon that is hardwired into two switc

Day Thirteen: Countertops and schedule

Well, January 7th seemed like such a long time away when they announced that they would come to install the countertops then, but just like every other day, it eventually gets here and things that should be happening actually happened. The wood brace on the right is holding the undermount sink in place until the silicone cures. This used to be a desk. I like the cabinet more. This is our island with the lights on the ceiling reflecting off of it. Even though we purchased our quartz countertops at Lowes they were installed by Rocky Mountain Granite and Marble  in Webster, NY. We would not hesitate to use them again and, if you purchase your contertops at Lowes like we did, I would suggest asking for them to complete the job if you can. They were so good to us that I would not even bother taking your chances on someone else. So there they are. Our house smells like silicone but that will be gone soon enough. Our contractor is more than ready to get back to work here on T

Day Twelve: The Final Stretch

We received the final cabinets on Friday so, naturally, our dutiful contractor was on the job today getting them in and ready for the counter top installation on Tuesday the 7th. Here is what things look like so far: The range wall - the plug is for the microwave The fridge wall - the new fridge is still in the garage The 12 inch base cabinet to left of range - ready for counters  So the way the schedule is looking this week it looks like the counters will go in on Tuesday and the contractors will finish up over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So, if all goes according to plan, we will be completely done by this Friday. We have the tile picked out and the under cabinet lighting will be coming on Monday. Here we go. This should be it and way ahead of my end-of-January expectation of completion - thanks be to God.

Just in time delivery

We received word today that the cabinets we ordered from the alternative supplier are assembled, wrapped, and ready for us to pick up. I did not expect them to be in so soon as we had just placed our order for them on December 20 and, well, there were a couple of major holidays in between that time and today. There is a boatload of snow on the ground today and the roads are exceedingly bad (I just received a notice that a major route I take home is closed due to an accident) so it looks like I will have to pick them up tomorrow.  Our contractor is available on Saturday to put them in and it looks like we will have at least the base cabinet we have been waiting for in for the countertop installation on January 7. This is very good news as I think we have caused more than enough inconvenience for our contractors up to this point. It looks like I will have some updated pictures for days 12 and 13 pretty soon. This is starting to get a lot more real. At any rate we have been able t