I like home improvement shows on TV. If I had the time and money to do it, I would possibly become some type of groupie for the likes of Norm Abram, Tommy Silva, Chip Gaines, and my personal favorite, Mike Holmes. These guys are masters at what they do, and I would love to learn a few things from them.
What could I learn?
Norm – What a craftsman! The skills he has in making furniture and cabinets is nothing short of amazing. I loved watching him on the New Yankee Workshop on Saturday afternoons. His deft skill at transforming wood into beautiful creations always left me with my jaw hanging. I know that I can give some credit to the miracle of television, but seriously, did this guy ever make a single cut wrong? If so, I never saw it!
Tommy – I think this guy could build a house with a salad fork and a spaghetti noodle. Tommy has such an encyclopedic knowledge base when it comes to construction! I have watched him work with steel, concrete, wood, brick, metal, plumbing, and drywall, and he seems just as comfortable with one as he is with another. He never seems to get overwhelmed by a project. He just reaches into his bag of tricks and makes something amazing.
Chip – First of all, I have never seen anyone who looks like he enjoys what he does more than Chip. What a nut! Second, I see a guy who has taken what he loves and has turned it into a career that expands and diversifies, but still keeps him doing what he loves – making old things new.
Then there is Mike – Mike has had a few different shows on television now, but I first saw him when he was doing Holmes Makes It Right. On this show he would go into a house where someone had started a renovation on their home that had gone horrible wrong. (Usually through a shady, inexperienced contractor) He would spend the first half of the show listening to the homeowner tell their story, digging through the project to find all of the mistakes and pointing them out to the camera, and ripping all of the bad work out to get to a clean starting point where he would begin to “make it right.
When it comes to home improvement projects at my house, I do not do a lot of furniture building or major construction. I also am not planning on flipping my renovating it for a resale. I am more involved in little projects to make it a little more habitable or fixing something that has broken. I have learned things from all of these guys that have helped with the situations I encounter in my little projects.
One of the things I deal with on a regular basis is the fact that my house was not built by professionals. The old Manor was put together over 100 years ago, and on her best days, she has some issues that need to be addressed. On others… Well, we just remind ourselves that we do love living where we do, and how thankful we are for the ability to own a home!
Over the last 100 years, our house has seen a number of changes in wiring, siding, plumbing, additions, etc. Over 100 years, wood has rotted and been replace, concrete has cracked and been patched, foundations have settles, and walls have shifted. When putting shelves up, the joke is always, “Do you want it to look right or do you want it to be level?” Yep. It is just that bad sometimes.
I think it is for that reason that I like Mike Holmes so much. His specialty of taking what is wrong and making it right again intrigues me. I see things in my house that need to be set right, and some of them are just not possible in my skill set or financial situation, but I still want them to be right! So, I have become pretty good at “fudging” it.
“Fudging It” – The art of crafting a facade that will fool the eye into thinking that things are as they should be while covering the fact that things are actually anything but the way they should be. (See also: Religion, Rationalization, Fooling Yourself, Wasted Effort, Whitewashed Tomb…Get the idea?)
When I go into a project at my house, I look for materials that will cast my abilities in the best possible light. Lately I have been enjoying using distressed, salvaged lumber and leaving it unfinished and raw. This method covers up the occasional mis-measured board, or poorly beveled cut. It looks intentionally flawed, and therefore, acceptable! Yep. I like this.
It also makes me look like I am a better wood worker than I am. I am improving, but I have a long way to go. I am learning new things, trying new tools and methods, and I am seeing results, but it will take a lot of practice before I gain the skill of the icons mentioned above. I realize that my work, while not terrible, is not perfect. I make no bones about it. I’m not satisfied with what I can do. I want to be like Mike, Norm, Tommy, and Chip!
So, it will take study, trial and error, and a #RELENTLESS determination to keep disciplining myself in the methods until it becomes second nature to me. Who knows? Maybe I will be on HGTV one day! (Not likely, but we can all have a dream…)
I started reading through the book of Romans the other day. Paul does such a great job of expressing our need for God’s righteousness in our lives. He explains our situation in sin, the price required for our sin, and the payment of that sin by Christ. Because Christ was willing to lay down His life for us, His righteousness was given to us, and we are free from the penalty! This is the message of the Gospel!
I loved what Paul said in Chapter 1, verse 17:
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” – Romans 1:17 NLT
Mankind can be compared to my old house. There was a day where the walls were straight and the floors were level. There was a day when the wood was not rotten, and the roof had no leaks. It was new, and it was as it was intended to be.
When God put Adam and Eve in the garden, they were perfect, just as God intended them to be. After they made their decision to push aside that perfection in favor of a desire for self above God, the decaying power of sin began to take over their lives. They were perfect, but then they were dying and in need of intervention in order to have a relationship with God.
God, in His wisdom, grace, and mercy, provided a way to keep a relationship with Him, and extended it to all mankind. That way is His Son. The promise of a Savior was given to mankind and came to fruition in Jesus who lived a sinless life and died a sinner’s death so we could live forever.
That death “made us right” in His eyes. Our sins are no longer counted against us. Am I perfect? Nope. Not even close, but through Christ’s death, my leaky, rotted life is covered and strengthened by His righteousness. My flaws are still there and can be seen, but I don’t need to be ashamed by them. They are now a testimony of how God can take the damaged and make it whole again. God #makesusright.
The project that is my life will go on until I die. As I learn more about how God wants me to live, uncover more of the things in me that need to change, and give control of those areas to Him, I will be re-made into what He wanted me to be. It takes time, and it may look like nothing is happening at times, but He is working His master plan to make me whole.
If you want to experience that same renovation in your life, reach out to God. Admit your sin and need for Him. Lay what you have at His feet and ask Him to take control of it and to change you for His glory. Get yourself acquainted with His plan by reading His Word. Find some teachers who will help you learn how to discipline yourself and provide accountability.
I think one of the most important things you can do is to then take the big step to tell others how He is making you right. Share the struggles you have and praise Him for how He is giving you victory over sin, guilt, and shame. When we are willing students of God and put ourselves in His hand for transformation, we can be sure that He will #makeusright.