Build a Bench from Salvaged Wood
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” –Colossians 3:9-10
Transparency time. Most of my posts are targeted toward unsaved Christians. It’s not likely that unbelievers would bother reading something with Bible verses all over it; they may scroll down to look at the project photos. Most likely these posts are read by Christians, saved and unsaved. Yes, it is an oxymoron; but nonetheless, unsaved Christians exist.
I would start every post with, “Dear, Unsaved Christian,” only nobody would think I was addressing them. I know because I was one. I used to be congratulated on my clever biblical quips and my inner peace knowing that God loved me completely, sin and all, and that He didn’t need me to change. Because what does He expect; I’m not Jesus. I believed I understood the gospel entirely, shallow study and half-hearted efforts were enough to satisfy my religiosity that God and I were still “good”.
Only I wasn’t happy . . . and I had no peace. But I was certain of my salvation because I knew God loved me. Only I was never saved, had never felt saved. And more obviously, I had a testimony of “saying the right words” but had no heart change, no desire to be obedient to God in my life. I was a benched Christian and not in the game at all . . . and I had no idea.
To be “saved” means that you have repented of your sinful life and accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. God has baptized you with the Holy Spirit; you are “born again” but this time not of your mother but of your Heavenly Father. Your name has been written in the Book of Life (which is in Jesus’ possession to never be erased), and God has reserved a place for you with Him and all other believers for all eternity. Salvation follows true repentance. And repentance means “to change direction.” If your life looks the same as it did before with no directional change, you may not be saved; it’s the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to turn from our sin.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor. 3:17
It’s tempting to construct a list based on my own experience to use as signs that you might be an unsaved Christian. But I can’t. It’s like making a list for people who think they have ADHD. Do you get distracted sometimes or have trouble listening? Do you struggle sitting still for longer than 1-2 hours? Very vague, and extremely subjective. Because even though you may be saved, you are still a sinner. And sometimes our sin looks just like an unbeliever’s sin. But if it does, stop right there!
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” -Col. 3:9-10
If you are saved, you have been renewed and repurposed in Christ and for Christ. Your new life should not look like your old life. To quote David Platt:
“. . . There are a whole lot of people who think they’ve been born again, but they are dangerously deceived. Imagine you and I set up a meeting for lunch at a restaurant, and you arrive before I do. You wait and wait and wait, but thirty minutes later, I still haven’t arrived. When I finally show up, completely out of breath, I say to you, ‘I’m so sorry I’m late. When I was driving over here, my car had a flat tire, and I pulled over on the side of the interstate to fix it. While I was fixing it, I accidently stepped into the road, and a Mack truck going about seventy miles per hour suddenly hit me head-on. It hurt, but I picked myself up, finished putting the spare tire on the care and drove over here.’”
“If this were the story I shared, you would know I was either deliberately lying or completely deceived. Why? Because if someone gets hit by a Mack truck going seventy miles per hour, that person is going to look very different than he did before.”
I so badly wanted to change for Jesus like other Christians, but couldn’t; how could I make it work for me? How could I find the joy? My pastor encouraged me to do some deep self-reflecting, Bible digging, and praying. Without him speaking into my life I wouldn’t have started on the road to repentance. I was telling people I had been hit by car as I sat there unwrinkled and unbleeding. It’s not about being good- it’s about Jesus. Being obedient is our response to God’s love, grace, and forgiveness. But being good without being renewed and repurposed by the Holy Spirit can not earn God’s favor.
And how is our “new self” being renewed after the “image of its creator”? By knowledge! If there is any part of you that questions your salvation; the only way you will find out is by increasing your knowledge of God. Study who God is, what God cares about, and what He wants from you. Gain a saving knowledge of Christ and ask God to save you from the death-price of your sin through Jesus. Get your nose in the Bible, and don’t let up until God has helped you figure it out (start with John chapter 3 in the New Testament)!
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13
Dear, Unsaved Christian,
Transparency time. I don’t care if you care about my benches. But I care if you are a benched Christian like I was. I would love to speak with you about this if you have concerns; find me on Instagram or comment below. Take the time to check your own car wreck. Are you properly disheveled to go with your “hit-by-a-car now I’m born-again” story? Or are you still in clean, ironed clothes, lying to yourself and others, begging to be renewed and repurposed? I was an unsaved Christian my entire life; but thirty years after I was a believer, God saved me. I am praying that He saves you, gets you off the bench, and gives you your new purpose in Christ.
I built two benches a year ago out of salvaged treated 2x10s and 4x4s.
During the move, both benches incurred some damage and needed repairs.
These are made up of 3 types of cuts:
2- treated 2x10s cut to the desired length of the bench width with 45 degree corners (Mine are 2 different lengths)
2- treated 2x10s cut to the depth of the bench with 45 degree corners (leaving room for 1.5″ space)
4- treated 4x4s for legs, cut to the desired height of bench angled parallel to ground (I kept mine low for good support, if you get too high, you will have to use a stretcher piece to connect the legs)
Other supplies include:
Exterior Wood glue
Exterior Wood Screws
Stain & Sponge Brush
Polyurethane & Sponge Brush
Sander & Rough Grit Paper
The 2×10 piece that held the legs on underneath cracked down the middle on both sides (this can happen with salvaged wood especially). So I first took out all of the screws holding this bench together.
Then got out my exterior wood glue and clamps.
I filled the crack generously with glue and clamped it tight.
While those were drying, I sanded down the large pieces with rough grit sandpaper on the oscillating sander. You can tell by the first photo that they were still covered in dirt (I had pulled them out of the ground, literally)
Then, after all the pieces were clean I started staining. I used Minwax Gunstock stain & Mahogany Gel Stain (buy at Home Depot, Lowes doesn’t carry gel stain) to match my window boxes and front door.
Then left all pieces to dry. You can get a better view on how the legs are screwed together for support. I used long Tapcon concrete screws to connect the 4×4 legs; that was what I had on hand at the time. And they did the job, those babies aren’t going anywhere.
When everything was dry, I reassembled the pieces using the existing screw holes and reused most of the original screws. I did opt for longer screws to hold the legs on this time, as they came loose during the move.
Then, I put a quick coat of poly on it and let dry. I was in a hurry this time, but if I were taking my time, I would have put on 3 coats.
Now these benches look like they belonged here the whole time!