Gospel Power

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  Romans 1:16 AV

As a young man I was blessed to intern at a race car manufacturer in Great Britain. They were a small company with little more than a handful of people, limited resources and equipment, and yet they competed successfully in a world market. As I worked at the various stages of manufacturing the thing that impressed me was how they were able to do the most with the least. In fact, I found “doing the most with the least” was common thought out the culture there in Great Britain. Undoubtedly that culture was also part of the founding of our nation however, somewhere along the way it has been lost. One can only wonder how many things haven’t been attempted for lack of the “right” equipment.

There is a woodworking store a few miles away that I frequent on occasion. Until recently, every time I went there and looked at all the amazing tools a voice inside me would say, “If I had those tools I’d do a lot more woodworking.” One day, when I left the store, still dreaming about all the woodworking that I’d do with those amazing tools, truth confronted me. If I was passionate about woodworking wouldn’t I be doing it already with the tools I already had?

The people I worked with in Great Britain figured out ways to utilize the tools they had. In fact, they did an amazing job even though it would have been easier with better tools. When faced with a task they rose to the challenge and weren’t afraid to work harder. I’ve been making excuses based on what I don’t have. Lord, do I do that with the gospel?

*Why the block plane?  When I was a boy I had a woodworking teacher, Walter R. Olsen (1927-199?); Mr Olsen to his students.  He was a tough kind hearted man who I now have the highest respect for.  He was a principled man who strived to bring out the best in his students.  We didn’t have the latest and greatest tools like some of the other schools but now that I think back on it I can only wonder if Mr Olsen wanted it that way.

I had a project that required me to plane down some boards.  We didn’t have a powered planer so I had to do it the old fashioned way, with a 12 inch block plane –by hand.  I glued up 2 qty 3/4 x 24 x 42 inch boards for the sides, 2 qty 3/4 x 24 x 24 inch boards for the ends, 2 qty 3/4 x 12 x 24 boards for the rockers and a 3/4 x 6 x 36 board for a stiffener and set out to make them flat.  To my surprise they were flat by the time I reached 5/8 of an inch.  I asked Mr Olsen if I could stop there and he replied, “What do the plans say?”  I said, “1/2 inch” to which he said, “Keep going!”  Mr. Olsen didn’t want to hear that I made the plans and I could change them.  I spent the whole semester planing boards from 3/4 to 1/2 inch!

Thank you Mr. Olsen, I miss you my mentor, my friend!

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A man, husband and father, struggling to be a blessing in the lives of others.

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