Home Improvement Projects

This past Monday, I started a project on our retaining wall that I figured would only take a few hours to complete….yep, I figured WRONG. 🙂

This is pretty normal for me and home improvement projects.

Initially, I planned to cut out a few tree stumps, trim down the railroad ties and put them in place and then plant a garden and finish with some mulch.

After five hours, the stump was still not totally gone…and none of my other aspirations were even started.

It began mid-morning with my neighbors trying to help me figure out how to get rid of the stump. I thought my 14″ electric chainsaw would do the trick.


My most experienced neighbor looked at my chainsaw and immediately told me to go to Home Depot and rent the biggest chainsaw I could find.

After a rather embarrassing attempt with the electric chainsaw, I took off for Home Depot. As I was leaving, the store associate told me to be careful and that he didn’t want me to end up in the ER.

After a first attempt at the stump…the chain stopped moving. I tried everything but no luck, so I loaded it up and went back to Home Depot. The store associate took one look, pushed the chain break back and it started working right away.

Back home for more work….several long cuts…a very dull chain…an overheated saw…and another trip back to Home Depot. This time he ended switching it out for me. Back home…several long cuts…a very dull chain…lots of sweat…my 4-hour limit was up and a final trip back to Home Depot.

My vision for that project was not very accurate. In fact, I overestimated my tools and talent and underestimated the work. There are times this can happen in our Christian life. Sometimes we overestimate ourselves and underestimate the task at hand.

This Sunday, we continue our final series in Romans. Paul is writing his conclusion. Last week we discussed some of his ministry milestones….and this week we are going to discuss Paul’s vision for the future. He really wanted to get to Rome and Spain but was planning on a stop at Jerusalem first.

Even though his plans didn’t go quite as he had anticipated, there is much to learn from Paul’s vision and the effect it had on his priorities. If you have some time, you may want to read from Romans 15:22-29 so you can have a head start on the passage for Sunday.