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Home Tip - Minimizing the Risk of Wood Rot

Wood rot threat #1Wood rot is one of your home's most deadly foes. Here are two common causes of the scourge, as well as practical ways to limit the threat.

One common cause we encounter is gutters filled with leaves. When they don’t drain correctly, gutters not only keep the facia and soffit wet, but can deposit decaying leaves on wood which can trap moisture, intensifying the problem. We even see the edges of roofs rotted. Put in the money or labor to keep gutters clean before you have a bigger problem on your hands!

Wood Rot Claims Another VictimDid you also know that wood can suck up moisture like a rose in a vase? Any place that you have wood ending at concrete, or another source of moisture (like a metal threshold), it is imperative that it be maintained to avoid rot. I have a door casing that rotted inside of a nice thick paint layer, because we could not get to the lowest point. If you can get to the end, soak it with primer and paint several times. Keep everything well caulked. Repairs can be done by removing the whole piece (difficult when it is the door jamb), cutting out the rotted piece and splicing in a piece to match (preferably with a composite such as PVC), or with Bondo® type products like body putty for cars.

Categories: Home Repairs Advice, How-to Tags:

"The Biggest Blessing I've Ever Received"

We got a reminder recently of what a difference a relatively mundane thing, like putting on a new roof, can make for a hurting person. This should be an encouragement to all followers of Christ. You have practical skills and abilities you can use and give to bless others. What are they? Putting that gift to use for someone in need might just give you an opportunity to share why you're doing it. That's the great thing about a mercy ministry like home repair. What a great way to introduce a hurting person to Christ, or encourage a believer going through a trial!

Ms. Ingram had experienced an incredible series of major difficulties befall her. She shared, "I'm a widow of two years and shortly after my husband’s death I went blind. My roof was leaking and then part of my ceiling fell in." .

The Lord has provided for her in some amazing ways. After four surgeries, her vision was restored. But she still had house problems to deal with – roof leaks and several other necessary repairs. That’s where, through supporters like you, HRM was able to enter the picture.

The eave of Ms. Ingram’s roof was improperly built and had large gaps. We stripped the roof, rebuilt the way the fascia boards were attached (gutters had torn them loose), did a lot of deck repair and reinforcement, and installed long-life shingles. Representatives from five churches participated.

Ms. Ingram

A Recent Widow Received Several Repairs and a New Roof.

The project had an amazing impact on her. Here is how she described it in her own words:

"I'm very grateful to Harvey, Andre, and the volunteers for the very hard work they put into my new roof and all the major repairs needed. I've had my eye surgery and with my restored eyesight and new roof I can work. This is the biggest blessing I’ve ever received in my life and carries heavy on my heart to pass this blessing forward."

So, who are your Ms. Ingram's? How can you be out in the community showing and sharing Jesus' love with people in need? If your church is interested in pursuing home repair as a mercy ministry, we'd love to help you get started. We have no-cost resources designed to help churches start or grow teams. Learn from our mistakes! Church home repair resources

The Mercy Mandate

I love God for His mercy - His undeserved forgiveness of sins and unfathomable offer of a relationship with Him, to those who put their faith and trust in Jesus. God’s mercy is the reason HRM exists. In fact, we are called a mercy ministry, but what is our mercy supposed to look like and what are God’s expectations of us?

There are many passages in the Old Testament that provide guidelines for mercy. Some seem obscure in the digital age. Israel was told to leave “gleanings” (leftovers after crops are harvested or which ripen late) for the poor or alien (a refugee, perhaps?), whom the farmer was to let enter his field. It was an early form of social welfare, and it wasn’t technically a gift to the poor. It was a requirement of God’s Law.

Deuteronomy 15:4 says, “But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess...”. In verse 11, there seems to be a contradiction, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” (ESV) I take these verses to mean, God will provide us the resources, so we should go and find the needy, and help them in a way that improves their prospects for the future. In the New Testament, Jesus equates our walk with Him, in part, to how we treat and serve the poor and marginalized. (Matthew 25:31-40).

Categories: Devotionals, Mercy Tags:

HRM Home Tip - Addressing Issues With Shutoff Valves

Shutoff valveWe often see problems with shutoff valves for sink faucets and toilet supply lines. Since it's such a common occurrence, it might be an issue you face someday, also. Fortunately, there's a fairly easy trick that usually fixes the problem.

A lot of valves, start leaking around the shaft when turned off after a period of non-use. It is hard to see where it’s coming from, but tightening the nut just under the handle often ends the problem. This can be done with a proper size wrench, Crescent wrench, or even pliers. Don’t make it too tight, though, or you won’t be able to turn the valve at all.

Categories: How-to Tags:

Meeting Critical Needs - Stewarding Resources to Help the Most Vulnerable

House needing workWe get many more requests for help than we can possibly meet. They can range from changing out a toilet valve, to painting a room, to replacing an entire roof. To make the biggest Kingdom impact, and to help people in the most desperate situations, HRM’s focus is on meeting the most critical needs, including:

  • Providing or improving access to a home (and the outside world) with ramps and widened doorways to help the disabled live their life more fully.
  • Addressing safety issues by adding grab bars in a bathroom, repairing roof leaks, replacing rotten railings, steps and floors (especially if water is present) and changing out electrical switches or outlets which are inoperable or dangerous.
  • Avoiding fines or possible home condemnations by taking on projects to address violations and citations.
  • Preventing multi-hundred dollar utility bills for people on fixed incomes, or with low income, by providing light plumbing for water leaks .
  • Removing conditions which make a home unlivable, such as animals or pests in the home.
  • Supporting or enabling people involved in the work of the Kingdom, with projects such as renovations or repairs for families involved in adopting or fostering children.

We find that people who call us often remove themselves from consideration once we explain the priority of critical needs.

Homeowner Spotlight - Rodrick

Rodrick and His RampMeet Rodrick Peterson, or as Andre, our Urban Atlanta Ministry Director calls him, Rod the Determinator (for his resolve). Rod’s strong desire was to be able to get his power wheelchair out of the house and up the street so he could catch the bus (or a ride with a friend), visit his doctor and just live life. He could barely get out of the house and up the street on his crutches, but by the time he got there, he was completely worn out. Andre built him a ramp, which lets him get up the hill with his wheelchair, see his friends and live independently. Rodrick has asked for Andre to disciple him.

Service - A Call to Greatness

Throughout the Bible, God directs His people to service, both to those inside and outside the church. The mandate is clear:

  • 1 Peter 4:10“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace…” (ESV)
  • Mark 9:35 - “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (NKJV)
  • Titus 3:14 - "And let people learn to devote themselves to good works in order to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.” (NRSV)
  • 1 Samuel 12:24 - “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” (ESV)

These are just a few of the many passages dealing with service. Volunteerism, clearly, is very important to God. Why? For one thing, loving service to God shows others His love for them, and brings Him glory (Matthew 5:16, John 13:35).

Second, when we serve out of thanksgiving and love for what God has done for us in Christ, we’re actually honoring God’s two greatest commands. “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV). We mirror the Great Servant, Jesus, in a small way, when we serve others (Philippians 2:6-7), and service to the poor, the forgotten, the vulnerable and members of the church, is an evidence of saving faith (Matthew 25:31-46, James 2:14-26). To top it off, Jesus said we will be richly blessed when we serve and give (Acts 20:25).

Second, when we serve out of thanksgiving and love for what God has done for us in Christ, we’re actually honoring God’s two greatest commands. “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27, NKJV). We mirror the Great Servant, Jesus, in a small way, when we serve others (Philippians 2:6-7), and service to the poor, the forgotten, the vulnerable and members of the church, is an evidence of saving faith (Matthew 25:31-46, James 2:14-26). To top it off, Jesus said we will be richly blessed when we serve and give (Acts 20:25).

If you live in metro-Atlanta and would like to join us in serving low-income widows, single mothers, seniors and people with disabilities, we need both skilled and unskilled volunteers. Sign Up To Serve Here

Categories: Devotionals, Service Tags:

One Thing the World Desperately Need to See - The Visible Gospel

I think many in our country today share the following attitude towards Christianity: "Show me the gospel!!!" (with respects to the movie, Jerry Maguire). As society drifts away from knowledge of what the Bible teaches, I believe it's helpful for people to see Jesus (through Christians serving), so they can hear Jesus.

Jesus, Himself, in the Sermon on the Mount, directed His followers to, “...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, ESV). 1 Peter 2:12 exhorts Christians to “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (unbelievers) honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (ESV).

Decimated bathroomThat’s one of the things that’s so exciting about home repair. Homeowners, and those watching, understand how important it is to live in a safe home, and they can see the value and relief we provide, in Jesus’ name. Many of those we serve face very difficult financial decisions. Will the homeowner fix the leaky roof that threatens the structural integrity of the entire house, feed her family, buy her medication or pay utilities? Through our supporters and volunteers, HRM can help alleviate some of these financial and safety challenges, and serving them can provide an opportunity to share why we’re serving - the wonderful gift which Jesus has given us - eternal life and a personal relationship with God, through His shed blood, to pay for our sins (and it’s available to you, too, Mr. or Ms. Homeowner!).

Would you like to partner with us and help show and share the gospel with low-income homeowners? Support HRM's work

God's Heart for the Single Mother

There are many Bible passages which affirm God’s heart for single mothers and their children. In 1 Kings 17:7-24 and 2 Kings 4:1-7, God miraculously provides for single mothers through Elijah. Psalm 68:5 states, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.” In Zechariah 7:10, God commands, “...do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor... ” Exodus 22:22-23 says “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry...”

A Single Mother's Testimonial

A Single Mother's Testimonial

A single mother’s life is not an easy one, but it’s probably more difficult than you think. The poverty rate for single-mother families with children, in 2013, was 39.6%, nearly five times more than the rate (7.6%) for married-couple families. The rate of extreme poverty rate was 20.6%.1 Of particular interest to HRM, one third of all single-parent families spent more than half their income on housing,2 which is generally considered the threshold for “severe housing cost burden.”

However she became one, the single mother is often functionally, if not actually, a widow. She is vulnerable and may find herself desperately needing help beyond her resources. That’s the situation all of us are in before God, and why we celebrate what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us. He met our most critical need, one we absolutely could not meet ourselves, providing the payment for our sins and offering us eternal life in His presence, claimed by faith and trust in Him. He gives those who accept the offer His righteousness and takes their punishment.

HRM serves single mothers, as well as other people in need (typically widows, seniors, people with disabilities and the poor), to thank God for serving us, the undeserving, and to model the love of Jesus to them. I love 2 Corinthians 9:13 - “By their approval of this service, they (single mothers and those we serve) will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them . . . “

Would your church like to show Christ's love to single mothers and other homeowners in need? If you live in metro-Atlanta, Join us on a project. Or, if you'd like to start your own ministry wherever you live, sign up for our free resources.

You can also help us provide critical repairs, affecting safety and quality of life, and modifications to make a home safer and more accessible, by making an investment in people in need, through HRM. Make a Donation

1 - National Women’s Law Center, “insecure &unequal - poverty and income among women and families 2000-2013, by Joan
Entmacher, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Julie Vogtman, and Anne Morrison

2 Joint Center For Housing Studies Of Harvard University, “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2011” (Table A-5) ©2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College.

What Legacy Will You Leave?

Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you hope to leave? It's a great question, isn't it? We hope that, after looking at this blog, you'll share what legacy your church, nonprofit or organization hopes to leave! And if you'd just like to share what legacy that you would like to leave personally, that would be great, too!

As far as Home Repairs Ministries goes, in the simplest terms, we want God to be glorified among the hurting and those watching, especially in the midst of an increasingly skeptical, and even hostile, generation. Specifically, we’d love for HRM to be remembered for:

1) God’s love being shown and shared, and accompanying professions of faith, from many homeowners with diverse backgrounds. HRM makes a point to try and share why we are serving the homeowners we work with - to say “thank you” to God for His undeserved gift of salvation and eternal life, through Christ.

2) Churches starting their own home repair teams, helping them to take better care of their own. As a result, the world will see a beautiful witness of Christ’s love through volunteers sacrificially serving other followers of Jesus. John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV) What a powerful statement - the world will see Jesus’ love in how His followers love and care for each other. Additionally, we would love to see these churches serving those in need in their communities.

3) Many HRM Hubs (service areas like we have here in Gwinnett and North Fulton counties), in various regions across this state and the country, starting a mercy ministry movement that makes a difference for the Kingdom.

4) Hundreds of faithful volunteers and supporters impacting the community and making the growing efforts of the ministry possible.

Categories: Ministry Impact Tags: