Welcome to “Whatsoever Things,” my collection of things that are important to me – words, bread, and wood. I wanted to bring them all together into one place as a kind of creative sandbox for anyone who might be interested.
The name of this site, “Whatsoever Things,” comes from the King James translation of Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” These are the “whatsoever things” I think about and want to share with anyone who cares about the same things.
I consider myself a craftsman. That’s what all the Myers-Briggs surveys say I am. ISTP of the A variety – an assertive solitary craftsman, problem solver, tinkerer, maker. Leave me alone and don’t tell me how to do something unless I ask. I’ll figure it out. I am happiest when I’m working with material, rearranging my little corner of the cosmos, whether in the laboratory, the workshop, or the kitchen. Don’t give me a desk or sales job or make me wear a tie. I’ll rebel.
Craft is a celebration of beauty. Raw material – words, flour, wood – is transformed into something beautiful, meaningful, and maybe useful. It’s a priestly act, lifting up the things of creation before the Creator of all things. Unlike the Maker, we don’t create ex nihilo, out of nothing. When we craft, we take something given to us and add something of ourselves to it, lifting it up, elevating it before God, and handing it on to others. I believe that we are most human when we create. It’s no coincidence that Jesus spent the formative years of His childhood in a craftsman’s workshop.
Entering into the “third trimester” of life, the age of wisdom when one is expected to sit with the elders at the city gate and AARP is hounding you for membership, I look back on the things that I have done as a scientist, a pastor, a baker, a woodworker, and I find a common thread: I want to be admired for what I do not for who I am. Whether it is writing a sermon, making bread, or building a piece of furniture, what matters most to me is that you admire my work. I don’t like to hear, “You’re a good preacher, a talented baker, a skilled woodworker.” I can’t live up to those expectations. What pleases me is to hear, “That’s was an inspiring sermon, a delicious loaf of bread, a beautiful piece of woodworking.”
Whatsoever Things is about words, bread, and wood. Wordcraft is a collection of essays and articles on life, spirituality, and whatever else is on my mind along with my occasional attempts at “poetry.” It’s also the blog roll for Whatsoever Things. Breadcraft is about making bread with your hands. Woodcraft is about things I’ve made from wood. I have a little shop store where you can purchase items I offer for sale. It helps support the habit.
You might notice that there is no comment stream anywhere on this site. I’ve never seen much of anything lovely, pure, or virtuous emanating from comments streams. They seem to bring out the worst in us. Feel free to contact me by email. Or not.
One last little thing. Do you see that little cute little “©” at the bottom with my name on it? That means something to me, and I assume it does to you as well. Everything here is on the honor system. If you see something you would like to reprint or use in some way, please ask me first. In all likelihood, my answer will be yes. If you want to share something you’ve read here, please share the link to this site and don’t cut and paste the content.
The coffee is on. There’s fresh bread waiting to be broken. Pull up a well-crafted chair and spend a little time pondering Whatsoever Things. You’re always welcome here.