Read carefully to avoid a DYI catastrophe!

When I start a building project, I make elaborate plans.  But because of my ineptitude, my plans must be revised each time I fasten one board to another. Two-by-four boards contribute to my frustration.

Suppose I want to build a deck in the backyard.  It needs to be 8 feet wide.  So, I visit the lumber store and buy 24 standard two-by-four pieces of lumber – the exact amount needed to cover the deck. 

However, when I run out of lumber, I still have a gap almost a foot wide in my deck. (hope the grandkids don’t fall in the hole.)

So how did this happen?  It’s because a standard two-by-four IS NOT actually 2 inches by 4 inches.   It is 1 ½ by 3 ½.

So, what gives?  The lumber mill starts with a rough board that is actually two-by-four.  But once it is smoothed down to where it is useful, it has become the reduced version.  AND YET they still list it as a 2 x 4.


There can be a difference between what something is called, and what it truly is.

– The sign says “tolerance” but it means “acceptance for the politically correct.”

– The sign says, “more buying power” but it means “more access to credit and to debt.”

– The sign says “pro-choice” but it means “freedom to choose for a mom but helpless doom for a baby.”

So how do we wade through such confusion?

When I shop for lumber, I ignore the signs and put a tape measure to a board before I buy it.   

The Bible is our cultural tape measure.  It was given to us as an objective, truthful means of evaluating the shifting values of the world in which we live. 

Psalm 119:160 put it this way, “The sum of Your word is truth.” (NASU)

I like the word “sum.”  It tells us that every bit of the Bible is true.  “Sum” suggests that we may not pick and choose what we want to believe and practice.  We should know and operate based on the whole thing. 

The Bible, however, is a neglected book.  The American Bible Society issued their annual “State of the Bible” report for 2022.  They found that only 10% of U.S. adults use the Bible daily, while 16% consult it at least once a week and 7% read it once a month.

This is sad knowing that the regular practice of reading Scripture, shapes our worldview, helping us sort truth from error and enabling us to see what things really are, regardless of what they might be called. 

We don’t need the opinion shows on CNN or FOX news to tell us how and what we should think.  We need the truth of the Word of God with which to evaluate the news and put it into perspective.

OK let’s get practical.  Lately there seems to be a throng of ads on TV that want us to improve our credit rating.  Being in debt, therefore must be a good thing – right? 

Start with a question: “What does the Bible say about money and debt?”   Read a chapter a day from the book of Proverbs.  Zero in on and consider the many verses that speak about money.  See if you can’t come up with a biblical answer to that question. 

There can be holes in a backyard deck and holes in our thinking too.  Use a reliable tape measure and you’ll never end up with either. 

A PRAYER: Lord sometimes we are in too much of a hurry to measure. Help us to be more diligent

This has been Jim Johnson and

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you