Skip a stone over water and you will discover you cannot control its destination. Some stones leap to the sky, others dance across the water, while others simply sink. My prayerful meditations are like these skipping stones. I never know where they will land, but I believe God is revealed in the process.
Part Two of the series, Influencing Moses, extends our conversation on the women who influenced the earliest part of Moses life.
Part One of the series introduces Shiphrah and Puah and the influence they would offer because they’re grounded in a healthy fear of God.
The second message in the series looks to the powerful influence of the mother of Moses and the daughter of Pharaoh. These two women would have an influence upon Moses far beyond what we learn in the second chapter of Exodus, but we do learn the source of the influence. Continue reading →
I was able to turn two bowls over the holiday weekend. Both bowls were cut from larger pieces of wood from Hampton County, which were given to me by a couple of friends.
The first is a piece of Pecan. It is about 8-9 inches in diameter. I think it has a pretty awesome grain pattern. I finished it with a solution of mineral oil & beeswax. Overall, I was pleased even though I had a couple issues with tear out.
The second bowl is cut from a juvenile cedar tree, which lends the pinkish hue to the bowl…where as, older cedars have darker heartwood. I was really pleased with this bowl – there were some cracks/checks in the wood that I feel adds additional character to it.
Moses was certainly an influential leader in the history of Israel. To become a person of influence, however, Moses would first be influenced by others.
Influencing Moses is a series on the individuals who influenced Moses in the earliest part of his life. And, really, it is a series about the extraordinary courage of a number of women!
Part one of the series considers two lesser known women: Shiphrap and Puah! These two Hebrew midwives defied the order of the king of Egypt by allowing the boys born to the Hebrew women to live!
But, a little consideration of these women will reveal they have not acted out of disobedience (of the king); rather, the act of these women is one of radical obedience to God, whom the reverently feared.
The influence of these women is far reaching! By their actions, the further leader of the Israelites would be born! Through Moses, these women would have an influence upon all of us!
More poignant, these women influence the way we ought to view the decision we face every day. These women were given a choice: keep the command of the king or obey the will of God. These two women chose to obey the will of God even at the cost of disappointing man! And, for that reason, these women are not only an influence upon us, but they are also an inspiration to all of us – there will be times when serving the will of God will require us to disappoint man.
I know, the eclipse is old news by now, but our message from a couple weeks ago leaned upon the (then upcoming) solar eclipse to consider how we might be a source of obstruction.
The message challenges us to remove ourselves from “the shadow of darkness cast upon us” to contemplate how we might be the obstruction to the light!
Essentially, our message is about the influence every single one us has on other people; and, the message challenges us to acknowledge the effect our influence had upon others – Does the true light shine through you? Or, are you obstructing the true light causing a shadow of darkness to be cast upon others?
The key verse leading our message comes from Matthew 15:14 – “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” The message explores the context in which this statement of Jesus is made and how it might be applied to conversation about our influence and its effect…
I was given two nice pieces of White Ash from West Virginia. There is a very neat story behind the wood. Apparently, the wood was originally given to my friend by a timber buyer who purchases wood for the Boston Symphony among other people…
Anyways, this was my first time working with Ash. I had a little trouble getting the smooth edge on the end grain, but an overall enjoyable experience. The picture above shows two different colors. The one on the left is picking up the natural light from the window. The larger bowl on the right is reflecting the light from the overhead lights.
The first of the two bowls is about 10.5 inches with a high gloss tung oil finish.
The second bowl is about 12 inches. It also has a high gloss tung oil finish.
Now that the fall garden is planted and sprouting, I’ve been able to get back to the wood shop. After my wife gave me the lathe for Father’s Day, I gave a lot of attention to turning bowls and chalices. I’ve done a couple of small plates, but I have not had the time or the opportunity to work on larger plates that would work well for patens. Since I would like to start making communion sets, I’ve been wanting to work on some plates/patens.
Below are pictures of three plates I recently finished. I started to feel a little more comfortable with the process by the third plate! The biggest challenge I experienced was turning the underside of the plate — I ended up leaving a small rim to elevate the plates off of the table. Still, I am going to need to give a little more attention to smoothing out the surface of the plate.
This first plate is made from African Zebrawood. It is a little over 9 inches in diameter. It was very fun to work with this Zebrawood. I have about thee more pieces of it left, so I will probably be working with it again pretty soon.
The second plate is a segmented piece consisting of Walnut and Poplar. It is about 10 inches in diameter. The gluing process was not too difficult, but there are a few gaps. I went with a simply design, but I like how this plate turned out.
I am not sure what type of wood is used in this third plate. It came from a box of scrap pieces from Berlin G. Myers…good people. It is around 11 inches.
My father came across a cedar tree on a pile of debris earlier this summer. I’ve been able to use this particular cedar tree in several projects already.
I cut one of the logs into blanks a few weeks ago. The piece of wood I used for this bowl was among those blanks.
I have been excited to see what could come off this particular piece of wood! The blank was cut at the point of an emerging branch. Due to its dual-tone grain, cedar already offers interesting patterns. I was especially interested, however, to see what affect the darker branch would have to the overall look of the bowl! I will include a picture (with a different filter) of the inside of the bowl, which shows the variant in tones between the lighter living tissue, the redness of the core, and the darker branch at the base of the bowl. Once more, I have left the wormholes in the living tissue for added character.
I don’t believe my father is accustomed to using a gavel in his courtroom, but I wanted to turn one for him to have, at least, for display.
This particular gavel is a bit different from traditional looking gavels, but it is what I imagined. I thought I would put some rounded beads in it, but I like the look of the lines so I left them as they are.
The gavel was turned from the piece of Sapele my sister gave to me, which my father thought was pretty cool.
Also included are some pictures of a small bud vase I gave to my mother turned out of oak.
I am not sure if it I turned a vase or a candlestick holder. Whatever it turned out to be, my wife apparently liked it enough to place it on the mantle!
I started with a section of a branch from a Magnolia tree. I intended to turn a bud vase, but the particular tool I used to cut the inside wall was not sufficient enough to cut to the bottom of the vase. The outside wall was so thin that I did not want to risk another cutting technique. When I get an extension for the drill chuck, I will come back and make a deeper cut.
I began working on a spalted Oak bowl a little over a week ago. The Oak was still green when I cut into it, so I used a microwave to quick dry the wood before shaping it. I also experimented with CC glue to fill the cracks that had formed during the drying process.
The final piece was not nearly smooth as I would have liked! There was a great deal of tear out on the end grain. I eventually set the bowl to the side because I was growing frustrated. In the meantime, it has been quite functional in the kitchen!