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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Experience in Lakeshore

Well, I got back from Lakeshore Mississippi around two weeks ago. Yes, yes, I know that this post is coming late. You can look at the post before this one to find out why. But late is better than “not at all.” So, here is the late report of Lakeshore...

We left from Louisville at about 6:45 Thursday morning. Five of us piled into a five person vehicle and made our way to Lakeshore. It was an eleven hour trip (stopping to eat included) so we got there around 5:45 that evening. We worked after supper until there was no light in the sky. The next two days were constant work.

Now let me break off and explain who we are and what we did down there. We is defining five people, including myself, that are members of Immanuel Baptist Church. Doug Thorpe, Ashlea Davenport, Kristi Rhodes, Jill Edwards, and myself. What we did was small construction projects on houses being built by Lakeshore Baptist Church. So, we sanded dry wall, nailed hurricane strips, Tyvecked part of a house, and other small things while we were there.

That is how Lakeshore runs it's building ministry. They have different teams build a little on a house. One team will put the frame up. Another will put the outside ply-boards up, etc. No one team sees a house built from start to finish. It is doing a little bit there and a little bit here and leaving the next part for the next team.

Back to our time, that is what we did the two days we worked. Sunday, we attend the service at Lakeshore. That afternoon Doug and myself got to spend some time with paster Don Elborn and be an encouragement to him. That night we started our way back to Louisville.

I really enjoyed the time we spent down there. The trip was short, but we were able to provide a little help. It was a good time of service to the people of Lakeshore and fellowship with my fellow Immanuelites.

If there were somethings that stood out to me while we were down there it was the depravity of man and the need of regeneration by God in each person's life. Three years after Katrina hit and there was already a newly built Casino on the beach and a Porn shop right off the main city road. Very little time went by after this major disaster and people are right back in the sin they were in before.

After seeing these sights I pondered, “Don't you think that people would think twice before they leap back into the lives they once lived? I mean, a major storm just wiped your whole town off the face of the map three years ago. Shouldn't you have a little more fear of God before your eyes because of it?”

Now, don't hear me saying that “God brought Katrina upon America to punish this nation for it's wicked action!” I am no saying that I know this was a judgment from the Lord to punish sins. Though, I do believe that God caused Katrina (Isa 45:7), it is that I do not know the motives for such actions.

Even still, after a calamity like that happens it is right to step back and ask, “Is God angry at me?” It makes sense that people would begin to question some of their ways and lifestyles because of a disaster. People, however, were not doing that. On the contrary they were going right back into their sins.

With these things in my head I read this verse later on that night, “And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.” (Gen 8:21) The context for this verse is God establishing a covenant with Noah after the flood. Noah made a sacrifice to the Lord and as the verse says it pleased the Lord. Then the Lord says that He will not curse the ground on account of man. I believe that the curse mentioned here is what took place in chapters seven through eight. Namely, the great flood. That is the most obvious curse to be referencing. Then God gives the reason for not cursing the earth again, because the intentions of man's heart is evil from his youth. The problem with this world is that evil resides in every man's heart.

What verse 21 is saying is that changing man's sin problem in this world cannot be brought forth by external influence upon him. The problem of evil in this world dwells in the heart of man. To just change the outside influences whether it be paternal, maternal, cultural, philosophical, or what have you does not solve the evil in his heart.. There must be a change in the inside of man.

The flood bears great witness to this. Even though the world began a fresh with a rigtheous man at the helm and no evil cultural influences, man still falls into sin. One does not have to go far into the Bible to discover that man found himself in the same predicament as before the flood. A disaster of immense magnitude will not remove the evil in this world.

So what will bring about this change in man? It will be by a work of God, but not one done outside of man. It will be a work done on the inside, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6)

I was reminded while sitting on my bed of human depravity and and need for divine regeneration. Send a horrendous storm upon evil people that takes everything that they have away from them. They, however, will return to the sin that they live in before the storm. Their only hope is the salvation that God brings when He sovereignly moves into someone's heart by means of the gospel. Then their eyes will be open to the Savior who satisfied the wrath of God on there behalf. And the holy Spirit will do a work in their heart that truly changes their desires regarding sin.

Here are some pictures from the trip. You can see the temporary building for Lakeshore Baptist and the old steeple. The Mobile Relief Unit is where we stayed while we were there.