Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is this the last load?

This little truck has experienced a ton of work. I made a trip with Jared last night at about 10:30 to get the mud and tape. We decided to head to Home Depot on Clybourn so that makes 5 different Home Depots that have been used in the making of this production. No Home Depot carts were seriously hurt.

After about 15 trips hauling 20 sheets of drywall each time this load was the mud. . .

6am this morning. . . Ismael the tape guy. . .

Let the mud slinging begin!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How much does drywall weigh? Too Much.

I am pushing to get the drywall done . . . by LAST week. So, hopefully at least by this week! Here are photos of the 3rd floor which is about 50% done and the kitchen which is now drywalled.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well, I didn't get as far as I'd hoped today but I did get some of the detail work done on the drywall -- around the bay window and up the stairs. I hoped to finish Caleb's room but only got part of it done.

Also had a plumber visit today. Good guy but still expensive. still working on this as far as planning. Will I get the home ready to live in by Dec 1st for Jared and I? By Dec 10th for the rest of the fam?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stewardship of Suffering

What does it mean for us to suffer? Does our suffering have meaning? Since no one is sticking flaming spears into my extended armpit, does my pain count as suffering? Since I am a member of a privildged class and race, does my suffering bear meaning? Am I just feeling sorry for myself? I think these are all questions that many of us wrestle with when it comes to considering so many different things in which we experience pain but wonder if it is "real" pain or "relevant" pain. For those of us who sense that our culture is perhaps overly pre-disposed to find theraputic answers, we bite our tongues and bear it.

Unlike previous generations -- those who bore the pain of WWII and could never bring themselves to discuss it with their children. . . that generation in which men found it difficult to say "I love you" to thier kids -- we are more expressive than those who've gone before us. But our relative comfort has left us wondering if we actually suffer, or if we are just having a pity party.

I have become convinced that one of the aspects of our "wealth", one of our gifts from God, one of the very real aspects of what it means to be ambassadors of Christ, members of the body of Christ, brothers and sisters is the gift of the capacity to suffer.

Now obviously all people suffer. But as Christians we know that Christ causes "all things to work together for good for those that love the Lord" and this includes our suffering. We have been granted the joy of knowing that our suffering is not in vain. It is a witness to the love of Christ. As John Piper has said: the suffering of Christ was propitiatory, the suffering of Christians is proclamatory.

Furthermore, we have the capacity to enter into the suffering of others. For many of us our suffering is primarily the bi-product of others -- we enter into the pain of those God has put around us. Children. Friends. Neighbors. Family. Strangers.

Often this simply means sitting. . . .listening. . . honoring. The more you do this the more you realize the very real pain of others. When I say "realize" I mean "experience in a learning way, a way that helps others to see that the pain they experience is in fact real. We help others with our own question. Is my pain real? Yeah, I feel it too. Is my pain meaningful? Absolutely. Do I know exactly how it is meaningful or what the meaning is? No. that has yet to be fully realized.

First Corinthians 12:

22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

One more for the day

One more post for the day. . . (couldn't resist the shots of Corban and Caden on pajama day at school!)

I have been working for the past week on drywall. As a friend once told me: Gravity is your friend. Well, I am sore enough to suggest that some days, a little less gravity would be great.

Since my wife and family are in Florida and staying away for a month I am posting these before getting and posting all the interim photos so they can check it out and see that I am NOT loafing.

They are gone for a month during which time I need to get this place literally ready to live in . . . by Dec 8th. And, I and Jared need to move out of our current home by Dec 1st. So I guess I actually need to have it ready for mankind by Dec 1st. I hope to finish drywall on 1st and 2nd floor by the end of this week. Here are some photos:

The last shot with the peace sign is for Caleb. Caleb, that's your room!! At least it has a ceiling. . .

H'nick Abode in process

We have had literally hundreds of volunteers at our home over the past 6 months. I will try to add posts and photos as I collect them from groups that have been in. If you have some photos please send them to me!

Here are some good shots of Westminster tearing out the flooring on the second floor.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A comment on the "before" photos

Did you notice the diagonal line in the living room wall photo? This is from a stair way that used to enter into the living room.
In the before photos of the front of our home you will notice 2 front doors. The one on the right was added sometime after 1950.
Like so many buildings in our community, during a time of high density, overcrowding, etc... a home designed for one family was divided into multiple living units. We are "deconverting" the unit, as the city calls it.

There are literally thousands of empty lots in our community -- most are from buildings that simply wore out and were torn down. This traces directly back to a time when the city was cordened off in specifically racist ways --- the black community there and no where else. "Restrictive housing covenants" they called it. (look up the Hansberry case on wikipedia!! the Hansberry's lived in our neighborhood, one block from the Sunshine building! Raisin in the Sun!)

There are at least 10 lots on our block in which buildings didn't survive. Why did this home survive?

H'nick Abode Before (2)

I finally found the photos that I took inside before our project began. It is interesting to look at them and think about how much work has gone on since then. It is also interesting because when I look at some of the photos I think "hey, that didn't look so bad. . . did we really HAVE to do all that we've done?!!" and then I think about the termite and water damage that we found and the change in layout once the chimney and numerous walls were removed. Yup, we had to!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A New Cityview

I am preaching at Cityview Presbyterian Church in the west loop nieghborhood in Chicago today. One of the topics that I am touching on is how we see the city as believers. I would like to develop this thought with input from others. Here is a summary of the concept.


1. Most of the places that God is readying his Bride are urban
2. Most of the places that God is calling his church to start new works are NOT racially homogeneous.
3. Most of the places that God is directing his people to proclaim his cause are NOT isolated, but densly populated.
4. Most of these places have high levels of poverty – the poor will be with you in these places.

Why do I suggest that this is true:

1. God has clearly called his people to start new works, proclaim his name, and live for him among the nations of the world – and the nations of the world, most of the people in the world now live in the cities of the world.
2. Most of the 70 million annual migrants to the cities of the world are poor – squatters in fact.
3. The isolated SUB-urban communities that many of us have experienced or perhaps view as the “real” American dream are rapidly being urbanized in the sense that as gentrification happens in the urban core, the racial diversity and presence of the poor in the SUB-urbs is growing rapidly. In America, the inner-city is moving the burbs.

I won't elaborate here but outline a distinction between what I think too many of us generally think about the city as opposed to what my above assumptions should call us to in A New Cityview:

Average Cityview
Negative, “user” mentality (I hate this place, especially the traffic but I'll drive through, go shopping and get out!)
Temporary (I’ll put up with this for a while)
Optional involvement
A place for some fun

New City View:
The city and the believer as mutually redemptive
The city as a place calling and instilling a deeper dependance on God
A place of identity for the Bride of Christ
A place of calling for believers
A place of Joy

Thursday, November 1, 2007

H'nick Abode Before

Here are some photos of what we started with. The exterior structure in the front was and is in good shape. It was originally single family home built in 1888, during the era of the Worlds Columbia Exposition.

During the 1950's (aprox), like most of the housing stock in the community, the home was divided up to serve multiple families (notice the 2nd front door). For the past 50 years or so the Franklin family lived here, raising their children who attended neighborhood schools. Mrs. Franklin had the roof done and new windows put in in recent years but found the interior repairs that were needed to be too much for her.

The rear portion of the home was added after the original construction. We found papers in the walls of this addition dating back to the 1930's so it is still pretty old! Above the brick (painted green) is an old 3-season porch that was rotted away. We had to tear it off, including the 1st floor ceiling.

The back area used to have a garage, only the pad is left which is pretty much totaly broken up at this point. We hope to rebuild a garage some day. The fact that the home has a side yard is an incredible blessing in the city. Our young kids and dog are very excited about it!

The Hamernick Abode

During the past 9 months the hamernicks have been working on rehabbing a home in our neighborhood. As a family of 10 (7 kids, 2 adults, 1 home-school helper!) we are quite tight in our current 3 bedrooms plus laundry room. So in February we were blessed to be able to buy a 120 year old house that needed to be gutted and have been working on it ever since. (serious termite and water damage!)

As usually happens with these projects it has taken longer than we'd planned and is costing more (gulp!) but we are anticipating a home in the community that will be a tremendous blessing and create both a bit more family space but also a great place for ministry itself.

I am working to collect a series of photos from the hundreds of people that helped with the demolition of the interior in particular so if you were here and have photo evidence, I'd love to see it!