Category Archives: Signs

Sabbath Lessons

During Jesus’ ministry he was repeatedly criticized for allegedly breaking the Law of Moses.  Those who had taken upon themselves the responsibility of making sure the Jews were obedient to the Law used their usurped authority to follow Jesus around scrutinizing his actions for any imagined violation.  Their motive was more to discredit Jesus than to please Yahweh.  They witnessed his signs and miracles but refused to accept the implications of them.  When we become more concerned with rule-keeping than godliness, we jeopardize our salvation and that of those we discourage and hinder.

It is instructive to study the words and actions of Jesus as he countered the “spiritual enforcers” in regard to the Sabbath.  It helps us know whether we are more concerned with mercy and compassion or legalistic rule-keeping. Are we focused on “getting it exactly right” while neglecting justice and the love of God? (Luke 11:42).  Is our goal the letter or the Spirit? (2 Corinthians 3:6).

What Jesus said about the traditions and teachings of men are applicable to today’s nit-picking counterparts of the Pharisee enforcers (Mark 7:5-13).  Here are nine points regarding the Sabbath for our consideration:

1. Many rules for keeping the Sabbath were men’s additions, inventions and traditions and therefore extra-biblical and non-binding.

2. Jesus is the law-giver (even the Law of Moses) and Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8)

3. The purpose of the Sabbath was rest and rejuvenation and was created for the benefit of humans

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

4.  The Sabbath, as originally given, did not restrict necessary physical labor (such as eating when one is hungry and the labor necessary to feed one’s self (Matthew 12:1-8)

5. The Sabbath did not forbid spiritual labor

Matthew 12:5Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?”

6. Compassion (relieving suffering) trumps sacrifice (laws and traditions)

Matthew 12:7-8 But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.     8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

7. Doing good on the Sabbath is lawful

Matthew 12:9-12 Departing from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse Him. 11 And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

8. If God, who gave the Sabbath, is working, then it is permissible for us to do His work

John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I myself am working.”

9. Rules which violate common sense and logic are invalid.

John 7:22-23 “For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?”

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Filed under Christlikeness, Edification, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Hypocrisy, Ignorance, Jesus Christ, Judgmental, Religion, Salvation, Scripture, Signs, Suffering

From Waterbed to Website

As readers of this blog will remember, someone stacked a pile of junk lumber in front of my shop.  In case you missed it, you can see it here.  All of it is destined for the fireplace or, in the case of the plywood, fiberboard, chipboard etc., the garbage.  That is, all of it except one board, which knew a former life as a frame for a waterbed.  It was pretty thick, crack-less and with only two knots.  So, I decided to do something with it.

I wanted a unique header for my refurbished gardening blog: “West Texas Gardener” and, since I am a woodcarver, I decided a hand-carved sign might be nice.  So, I set to work cutting the blank, sanding, routing, applying polyurethane, masking, applying the pattern, carving, staining the incised letters and, finally, outlining the letters to make them stand out.

As I carved, I remembered why I hate carving regular pine (as opposed to sugarpine which carves quite nicely).  It is an unpredictable wood, often brittle, and will sometimes “shred” under the sharpest of tools.  The knots are almost impossible to carve without them crumbling like a cookie.  But, I eventually finished the process, photographed it for my garden site, and I hope you like the result.

Another photo taken in the shop on the easel

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Filed under Blogs & Blogging, Carving, Home and Garden, Signs, Vegetable Gardening, Whitsett News, Woodcarving

Hand Carved Signs

If you have read the “about” section on this blog, you know that woodcarving is another thing I do.  Recently I have begun to carve in earnest in the hopes that I can bring in a few extra bucks.  As soon as I finish a carving I plan to post pictures on the “Whitticisms” blog and my other (less serious) blog, “In the Charamon Garden.”  If you like what you see, I am accepting commissions (that’s artist-speak for “job”) for carvings of all kinds.

The sign pictured below is carved from walnut.  The letters are not routed, but incised with chisels and gouges, given three coats of high-quality paint and gold leafed with 23 karat gold.  The critters were also carved into the wood, painted and shaded.  It was made for a family that collects elephants and frogs among other artifacts and antiques.
You can contact me by email: dwight.whitsett@gmail.com. If you are in the sign business, I will be happy to take your hand-carved sign subcontract work.

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Filed under Carving, Goldleaf, Signs, Woodcarving