Freshly found fragments from Genesis 6


“Eh? What? Who’s that?!”

“Ahem, it’s God.”

“Oh. Hello.”

“I’d like you to do something for me.”

“Of course. Anything. You name it, I’ll do it.”

“Wonderful. I would like you to build me a boat.”Carpenter Series 1

“A boat? You want to go sailing?”

“No. A big boat.”

“A big boat. Here, in the desert?”

“Yes, I can’t think of a better place to build a boat.”

“Ooookaaaay. You do realise that there are not many trees around here to use to build a little boat, never mind a big boat?”


“And you do realise that I have never built a boat before in my life.”


“And you do realise that everyone is going to think I have lost my marbles.”


“And you still want me to build you a big boat?”


“Why does it have to be so big?”

“Ahem, well, you are going to have some companions.”

“Some companions?”


[God whispers in Noah’s ear].

“You have got to be kidding me God!”

“If I was kidding I would have started with ‘Have you heard the one about the bloke who built an enormous boat in the desert…'”

“So you are serious about this.”


“Ahem. You know I said ‘You name it, I’ll do it’…”


Even God’s foolishness is wiser than the most intelligent human thought ever.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

wood you believe it?

I had a sense of satisfaction on Saturday after I successfully installed two shelves onto a wall in my study. Not only have they stayed up, but when I put the spirit level on them at the end they were both perfectly level! I am a DIY Expert!

Or not.

I can correctly identify 11 different types of wood: as proved by my victory in the wood recognition test at a recent blokes’ carpentry morning. (Those hours watching DIY and carpentry programmes on TV have not been wasted!). I know which end of a hammer to use when hitting nails into something. I still have (and am still using) the wooden book stand that I made at school 30+ years ago.

But these things do not make me an expert. They prove that I managed to follow the shelf-installation instructions correctly. They prove that I have remembered some things I saw on TV. They prove that my woodwork teacher taught me well.

I love making things out of wood, but I don’t have the time, the tools, the patience or the skill to do it well. That is why (to my shame) the wooden items I have made and which still remain intact in our house are:

wooden bookstand (as previously described)
small wooden stand (with inside shelf) designed as a small bedside table for my son.
wooden shelves with dividers designed as a homework organiser for my son.
wooden shelves that were mounted on the wall in my daughter’s bedroom in a previous house, now floor-standing in her bedroom
wooden framework used in ‘sawing a person in half’ magic trick

Thankfully some of these will never be seen by anyone with even the remotest amount of skill in carpentry and joinery.

I wonder how Jesus got on in Joseph’s workshop? Was he instantly an expert in all sorts of joinery and carpentry or did he have to learn, to improve, to serve an apprenticeship? I suspect it is the latter. He grew in wisdom and knowledge just like the rest of us.

Wouldn’t you love to see some of the things he made? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of his early pieces were as dodgy as some of mine? And what about the later ones, when he had mastered the techniques? Never mind a Chippendale chair, what about an original Jesus BarJoseph?

I am coming full-circle (almost). When we were getting the answers to the wood-recognition test at the Nelson Woodcraft workshop, David told us about the different sorts of wood and you could see the appreciation and knowledge that he had for the different pieces of wood: the inherent beauty and strength contained within them. I suspect Jesus had an even greater appreciation of the wood he was using, since he was in the original design team for the trees!

And he was in the original design team for you and me. He has the greatest possible appreciation for you and me.

Be blessed.


>Carpentry – the family business

>Yesterday I had the privilege of taking a funeral for a man who had been a carpenter all his life. Aside from this being Jesus’ family business, there’s something about carpentry that I find fascinating – probably because I struggle to do it. There are one or two pieces of wooden furniture in our house that I made myself and which are still standing, but I don’t think that in a century’s time they will be eulogizing them on the equivalent of the Antiques Roadshow!

The Nelson Woodcraft Team and some of their work

I was struggling to find the words to use to describe what it is about carpentry that is so special, so I phoned a carpenter friend of mine (hi Dave!) and asked him what he would say. I am paraphrasing him a bit, but he spoke of how he found joy in taking the wood that God had made and bringing out the beauty and strength of the wood in a piece of furniture or other work. He said that when he gets a fresh piece of wood he pauses and looks at it, admiring it and seeing how it inspires him. He described his work as ‘art without paintbrushes’. Having re-read the blog I feel I ought to clarify that the Nelson Woodcraft Team picture above relates to Dave, who is not the person whose funeral I led. Dave is alive and well.

I found that helpful in understanding master craftsmen and also understanding The Master Craftsman. Consider him looking at us and imagining what we can become. Think of the joy it causes God when he looks at you and anticipates bringing out your inherent beauty and strength which he placed in you when he was forming you in the womb.

That thought gave me a lift. Hope it helps you too!

Two carpenters were working on a house. The one who was nailing down fascia boards would reach into his nail pouch, pull out a nail and either toss it over his shoulder or nail it in.

The other, figuring this was worth looking into, asked, “Why are you throwing those nails away?”

The first explained, “If I pull a nail out of my pouch and it’s pointed toward me, I throw it away ’cause it’s defective. If it’s pointed toward the house, then I nail it in!”

The second got completely upset and yelled, “You moron! The nails pointed toward you aren’t defective! They’re for the other side of the house!”