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Green Wood

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“… a wise man who built his house on a rock.” (ISV)

Growing up in a Carpenter’s Union president’s home, I heard many interesting stories about building construction. Several stand out in my memory, but one account about green wood is one of my favorites. 

Some of Dad’s chief enemies were non-union builders who used materials a union builder would never use. In one large tract of houses he had found out a carpenter’s horror story. When the builder had framed the houses (framing is when the studs are put up that the walls are later nailed to), he had used green (not dried out) two-by-fours.

The sheetrock was nailed on these far cheaper green studs and the houses (more than 200) were then nailed up and completed.

The summer in Fresno came with its usual 100-plus degree heat and dried out the green wood. All of the houses that people had started living in, looked good from the outside, but now had interior walls that looked like the wavy mirrors at a side-show. Of course, Dad was somewhat glad for the free publicity for buying Union homes, but since he had accepted the Lord shortly before and his heart had changed, he also felt sorry for the people (but not too much - "dummy" was one of his favorite words).

Growing up in a world of construction and becoming a carpenter myself for three years, I didn’t know much except the construction approach to life as I followed my grandfather’s and father’s trade.

Then, I started reading the Bible. And of course, I was attracted to Jesus being a carpenter and verses that talked about construction—from Noah being a master carpenter (if ever there was one!), to building the Tower of Babel, and many other accounts.

One of my favorite instruction pieces was about building a house on sand (something no experienced carpenter would do) and the predictable results. It sure would take a dummy to build a house without a proper foundation.

“Jesus is the rock that I want to build on every day of my life,” I thought. “My house will be secure as I watch this painfully confused world try to live on a slippery slope.”

I often think the devil is also a builder; one who specializes in deceiving buyers into buying buildings looking good on the outside, but which have black mold hiding in the walls.

Use the proper building materials as you build your life, or you will pay the consequences.

Copyright © 2017 Dr. Bob Segress. Used by permission.

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About The Author


Robert L Segress, Ph.D., Th.M., served as a college professor (full-time and part-time) and psychotherapist for 25 years. He was the Director of Psychological Services of The Riverton General Hospital in Seattle, Washington and is an ordained minister who served as an interim pastor. He wrote The Biblical Approach to Psychology in 1974. After retiring, he became a prison minister at Shelton Prison in Washington State, in which capacity he has served for 15 years.

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