10 Ways Woodworking Affirms Your Spiritual Life (Part 2)

Years ago my wife bought me a table saw for Christmas, and I’ve enjoyed the first hobby I’ve had in my life. I like what the Canadian born physician, Sir William Osler, once told an audience of medical professionals:

No man is really happy or safe without a hobby, and it makes precious little difference what the outside interest may be—botany, beetles or butterflies; roses, tulips or irises; fishing, mountaineering or antiques—anything will do as long as he straddles a hobby and rides it hard.

The master carpenter scrapes it smooth.

(Photo: by Just plain Bill. Own work, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

But woodworking is more than a hobby. It has marvelous metaphors for your spiritual life.

In an earlier post, I shared the first half of 10 ways I’ve discovered that woodworking affirms your spiritual life:

  1. You will have to cut cross grain, so stay sharp.
  2. Good tools save you time and give you better results.
  3. You can do a lot more than you think with the little you have.
  4. Following a plan gets you where you want to go with greater success.
  5. Mistakes always teach you, and they rarely ruin the piece.

In this post, let’s complete the list it’s taken me years to write.

What would you add to the list?

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10 Ways Woodworking Affirms Your Spiritual Life (Part 1)

My favorite Jewish carpenter other than Jesus is Norm Abram. I’m a weekend woodworker, and the hobby has done more than just save me money and provide a healthy diversion for my mind.

It’s more than sawdust and saw blades. For me, it’s also spiritual.

10 Ways Woodworking Affirms Your Spiritual Life (Part 1)

(Photo: Completing a recent project)

During the many hours I’ve spent woodworking, I’ve come to realize how much of the craft relates to our walk with God. I’m not alone. The Shakers of the 19th-century viewed the craftsmanship of their unique furniture as an extension of their worship of God.

I want to share with you 10 ways I’ve discovered that woodworking affirms the spiritual life. I’ll do this in two posts.

For fun, I’ll also show you some pictures of stuff I’ve built.

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Last week I mentioned that the IMAX Jerusalem film would release soon. Turns out, it releases next month, but in very select places, primarily in museums and science centers.

If you don’t see your local museum theater listed, you can ask them whether they plan to exhibit Jerusalem.

Until it comes to the Dallas area, I guess I’ll continue enjoying the stunning photography in this trailer as well as in the previous one I posted.

The Western Wall Tunnel—An Underground Journey to Century-One Jerusalem

Question: What major site in Jerusalem can a visitor see after the sun goes down that still requires men to wear a hat? (Okay, so you could wear a yarmulke instead of a hat. Most men remove the hat anyway.)

Answer: The Western Wall Tunnel.

Men's prayer area under Wilson's Arch

(Photo: Inside the Western Wall Tunnel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

When you say the words “The Western Wall,” most folks think of the Western Wall plaza:

  • It’s the place where bar- and bat-mitzvahs regularly occur and where soldiers are inducted.
  • It’s the spot where ultra- and orthodox Jews come to pray—as well as many tourists—and the place of national prayer gatherings.
  • It’s Judaism’s most sacred site.

But like the tip of an iceberg, the Western Wall plaza represents only a small part of the whole. There’s much more of the wall to see.

Most of the Western Wall lies buried beneath the rubble of time and hasn’t seen the light of day for centuries.

But a tunnel lets you see the entire length of the wall today.

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A good friend reminded me of this video yesterday, and I thought I would share it for any who may not have seen it.

The full version is supposed to release in 2013, but no ETA is yet confirmed.

I have flown over Israel in a helicopter before, and it is awesome! It’s like flying over a map.

This video will give you a taste of what it’s like.

Tell me what you think: What scene is this video did you like best? To leave a comment, just click here.

God Will Give You a New Name

If you’re ever on the island of Anglesey, Wales, be sure and visit a town with one of the longest names in the English language.

It’s the quaint little village named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. No joke. (The short form is Llanfairpwllgwyngyll).

Click play to hear a Welsh speaker pronounce the name:

God Will Give You a New Name

(Photo by Photodune)

The name means: “The Church of St. Mary in a hollow of white hazel, near to the rapid whirlpool, and to St. Tisilio Church, near to a red cave.”

As strange as that mouthful may seem, it strikes me as quite biblical. A name in the Bible is often a description of the person himself or herself—or of what the parents would like their child to become.

God gives names as well. Even more significant is when He changes a name.

In fact, did you know God will give you a new name?

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