Summary: God's holy word is a love letter to us clearly outlining how we are to live our lives. This instruction manual is meant to be read and obeyed for it is our bread.

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Matthew 7:24-27

Online Sermon:


This illustration focuses on my lack of carpentry skills. The first thing I did was I dressed up in an outrageous outfit. I had coveralls, a wig and a pencil by my ear to make myself appear like a “crazy carpenter.” When I started the skit, there was also on the overhead screen a picture of a crazy carpenter to help emphasize this theme. I then announced to the church that I was about to build for them a new bookshelf. I took out the instruction manual from the box. As I attempted to read it I complained profusely that while it was written in English it read awkward as if it was translated from a foreign language like Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic. I then made all sorts of puzzling faces. I commented that I needed to seek advice from another person on what I should do with these instructions. I then played a video clip of another me saying that real men don’t read instructions so I threw them away and laughed … I can build this bookshelf myself, who needs help?

Now came the time to begin construction. I poured the contents of the box out on a table where all could see. I then took two pieces of board, aligned up their edges and took a small hammer and nail and proceeded to attach one board to the other. As I was pounding in that first nail I grumbled about how awkward holding the boards together was and the length of time it was taking to get that small nail driven into place. I then looked intently up at the congregation as if I had an awesome idea and proceeded to ask it I could have a volunteer. I ended up choosing a known carpenter from the congregation to help me. I told him I did not want his advice just his hand to hold the boards together. I then told him the last nail took way too long to drive in so this time I was going to use a sledge hammer and a much longer nail for stability. I then awkwardly pounded in a nail in each of the corners of all four boards to make a box shaped outline of a bookshelf.

Now came the time to make the inner shelf. I took out a board and had a very puzzling look upon my face. I asked the carpenter if this board would fit inside the box to make a shelf? He recommended measuring it but I told him that would take way too long. So, I used my feet to measure the length of the box. I measured the length of the box at three and a half of my feet and proceeded to use a circular saw to cut the board accordingly. The carpenter of course just shook his head. I then placed the board into the box and found the best it would fit was on a steep angle. I looked puzzled but said it would do. I then complained that nailing in of the spikes took way too long. So, I took out my drill bit and just below the wood of the shelf I screwed in some rather long screws for the wood to sit on.

Now came the time to make a backing on the shelf. I showed the shelf to the congregation and tested its sturdiness. I concluded it was way too flimsy! So, I took a piece of pressed board that was slightly too big for the back of the box and proceeded to attach it into place. I again complained that the small nails, large spikes and the screws took way too long so I used duct tape and wrapped it around the box to hold the back into place.

The last thing I did was to try and sell the book shelf. I talked about the bookshelf and said many impressive comments about the carpentry work. I asked the congregation if anyone wanted to purchase this rare, one of a kind work of art? I tried to auction it off but no takers. So, to prove to them it’s worth I tried to place several books on the shelf. Of course, with each attempt the books just fell of the shelf and onto the floor. I told the congregation I was really puzzled for I had taken a long time to build this wonderful shelf, what went wrong? I then told them that if it could not be used as a shelf then maybe a chair. So, I sat down on the shelf and it collapsed. I got up and finished the skit by asking them: would you let me build your house?


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