Oh My God

socs-badge_thumb.jpgI don’t usually use that expression. I’ll say “Oh my goodness” or just plain “Oh my” but I usually don’t bring God into the picture. I almost never do the “OMG” thing because I’m not sure God wants to be reduced to an acronym, or, more accurately, a net-centric abbreviation. I think God still likes the respect due a Supreme Being. I can get away using this expression today, because Linda opened the door in her SoCS prompt.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “enthuse.” Add a prefix or suffix to it or leave it as it is and go to town with it! Enjoy!”

Etymology of Enthusiasm

Theos – enthous – enthusiasm

As soon as I read the prompt, every part of my brain turned to the memory and said “you got this” and I was back in the Wesley United Methodist Church on a hot Sunday morning with Peter (my favorite minister ever) talking about one of the readings. The reading had mentioned “enthusiasm” and Peter, a scholar at heart had to stop and give us a language lesson. Peter would talk and then pause and you knew the sermon was going to run long.

“…Enthusiasm. You know, Enthusiasm comes from the Greek word “enthous” which means to be with God, and to be inspired.”

I don’t know what verse had been read, maybe it was Ephesians 6:7-17

“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

That was an old standard when I was growing up, working on my Memory Verses. Memory Verses were a little pack of cards that we were given every year in Sunday School. In addition to reading the assigned Bible reading and completing the worksheet we had been given the previous week, we always had to memorize a few Bible verses. We were quizzed by the teacher, and if we could recite one of the verses, we got a cookie, or a brownie or something wonderful that had been baked by the teacher. I rocked Memory Verses.

PM Church

This is the church I was raised in.

Work with enthusiasm” was a popular mantra in Pittsburgh. It was a blue collar town and people who worked hard were respected. Working hard was a virtue, it’s what you did. The other thing you did in the church I grew up in was to sing with enthusiasm. I wrote an entire post about singing in that church. I won’t go back over that today, but we sang with enthusiasm for sure.

I still work with enthusiasm, but I have to say that I’m glad I like the people I work for because I don’t know if God considers pecking away at a computer to be work. Maybe He does. Maybe anything that produces something of value is work in His eyes. I spent a few days this past week working on a PowerPoint presentation on information security. Seriously, I can’t imagine God putting that in the “work” column. PowerPoint? I think if God had to sit through a PowerPoint presentation, He might be reaching for the smite button. If you were dumb enough to put a cheesy animation in there – boom – smite – gone.

Let me lower the blood pressure of the writers who follow me: your pecking away at a computer is work. People who create something beautiful or informative or thought provoking, yeah, they’re inspired, that’s work.

I took a vacation day yesterday. I spent a long day in my shop. I’m making a set of doors to replace a broken set of sliding closet doors. I won’t say any more about that project until it’s done ‘cuz, you know, doors. When I’m in my wood shop, I feel like I’m working with biblical enthusiasm. Taking a piece of wood, a product of nature, and turning it into something useful gives me a chance to be inspired. Most of the time, I’m working on a plan. You don’t build a set of doors without a plan, but I’m not going to talk about them.

One place in my shop where I sometimes let inspiration take over is at my lathe. I’ve turned a couple of bowls where I just chucked a piece of firewood onto the spindle and tried to find a bowl. The pictures show the progress of one such piece. Most people wouldn’t think it could be anything other than firewood.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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80 Responses to Oh My God

  1. Loved going from Methodist study to a firewood bowl. You are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Hen says:

    Is there really a smite button . I’ll have to reconcider a few things in that case .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is probably the best post of yours. I loved the way you transformed that piece of wood into a bowl. Simply overwhelming. I am a fan of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Sharukh. There’s value in everything. Unfortunately, that notion causes me to keep several pieces of firewood in my shop longer than I probably should.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand that completely. I have a passion to create something from cardboard boxes as I used to during my school days. I keep collecting those boxes, but eventually I have to throw them away because I don’t get enough time to create and the number of boxes just piles up.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wendy Brydge says:

    Great post, Dan! I love that Bible verse. The sentiment is something I keep in mind every single day. I have a dear friend who is a terrible housekeeper. I mean, she’s a lovely person, but she verges on “slob” (her word), to be perfectly honest. And she asked me one time how I stay so motivated when it comes to cleaning. And I told her it was very simple: I just image that the Lord is coming over for tea. “If Jesus knocked on my door right this second, how would I want my house to look?” That is truly all the motivation I ever need. I’m never caught in the stereotypical “Someone just called/showed up at the door! Quick! Hide the junk in the closet!!” I’m not an OCD neat freak, but my house is never messy or dirty. And there are definitely no piles or boxes sitting around. Because as far as I’m concerned, Jesus always IS the unseen guest at my table. So whether it’s cleaning or making something beautiful, or any other kind of work, doing it for the Lord produces fantastic results.

    Looking forward to seeing these doors (of which we will not speak), and the bowl looks really good too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. loisajay says:

    Two words: smite and burl. Oh, please let me smite the next person who presents a PowerPoint with everything they want to say on that slide–and then proceeds to read it to us! SMITE! I love it. The bowls….beautiful, Dan. Is that a burl in the bowl? Any art show we go to, my husband has to talk to every woodcrafter about the burl. I might have to smite him if he keeps that up…. :D Seriously loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Lois. I don’t think it’s a burl, just a notch where a branch had come off the main trunk or a large branch. It’s very hard to work with because the grain goes every which way. If I had worked to avoid the “defect,” there wouldn’t have been much of a bowl left. I would have had a candy dish. Don’t be smiting your hubs for chatting up a wood worker. At least he’s not reading a slide to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Almost Iowa says:

    Minnesotans never show their enthusiasm because it may be misinterpreted. Someone might think you are having fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a wood-enthusiast, I can feel your enthusiasm. The ability to see something new and unique buried in a piece of firewood is right up my alley (though I can’t do it myself). I love the character of wood, the beauty in the “imperfections,” the splits and gaps and holes. Lovely work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL! I laughed out loud when I read, “I think if God had to sit through a PowerPoint presentation, He might be reaching for the smite button. If you were dumb enough to put a cheesy animation in there – boom – smite – gone.”

    I think he would have a “That was Easy” button right next to that Smite button and hit that right after sending the PP presenter to where ever they go after getting hit with the Smite button.

    The comments have been quite enthusiastic and entertaining too!

    I love your bowl! I never would have seen that in the stump you brought in.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, I’m new to your blog. Came by way of the other Dan, and I’m glad I did so. I admire the way your mind moved from a sermon regarding enthusiasm when you work to the result of your own enthusiastic work in your shop. I’m a handyman’s nightmare, so what you accomplish with wood, tools and a a big dose of creativity amazes me. Gorgeous candy dish. Sweet story behind it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks for dropping by. I just left a comment on your post about the other Dan. Other than my daughter, he’s the only person I’ve reblogged more than once. I love the way he writes. I also enjoyed your appreciation of pre-Internet history.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sammy D. says:

    Creativity and artistry all over this post from beautiful bowls out of stumps to humor about God’s smite button. Enjoyed wandering your mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Now only you, Dan, would connect the dots from a Methodist “enthusiasm” to a workshop “enthusiasm”. LOVED this post!!! I am like you, rarely do I use OMG and when I do, I feel “guilty”. I like OMGOSH. As for your bowls, they are really beautiful. It is there within Creation, one finds God many times. That’s my take on it, anyways!!! (smile) Love, Amy <3

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Amy. I think you’re right, in an act of creation we can channel our the energy and spirit of our own creation. I like OMGOSH, that conveys the element of surprise in a tasteful manner. I’d say that I was going to borrow it, but I’ll forget :) As for connecting the dots, I think that was the mission of those ladies in Sunday School. they wanted us to always remember those lessons and tie them to everything we do. Thanks again for you support Amy, it means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        I was taught in private schools and I know what you mean when you say how you were taught to remember to connect the dots. A lot of what was taught I countered and stood up saying, “No, this is wrong.”. (yes this as a kid!) Of course I was punished. One thing I remember clearly is when I was taught about Limbo, and immediately I said “God would NEVER put babies who died in a place that was not Heaven.” Yes I was punished. Yet years later, and we are talking 30 years (?) when the Pope declared there was no place such as Limbo, then OH different story. Anywho …. I have lots of stories like that. And you are very welcome about supporting your work. I feel the same way about how you support me.
        I’m enjoying the sunshine and my gardens today. My Heart is in a very quiet place, much needed, after the months of toil I just walked through saving two of my cats. Sending Much Love, Amy <3

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          Thanks Amy. I enjoy supporting the people in this community. I have a ton of email tonight, but I spent a very nice day hiking with my daughter, do HD backlog is worth it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • AmyRose🌹 says:

            Groan. You said the “back” word. I have one entire month’s worth of backing up to do with my posts on Petals. I’ve been outside for the majority of the day ….. just Loving the sunshine, flowers and fresh air … if you can call it that. LOL

            Like

        • Dan Antion says:

          BTW, I’m trying to imagine little Amy correcting a teacher:)

          Liked by 1 person

          • AmyRose🌹 says:

            GRINNING!!! I just knew in my Heart that what was being taught was so SOOOOOO wrong. I suppose I was a rebel even back then. I stayed quiet after that punishment was given (I was about 7 years old at that time), up until I was a Senior in high school. My tipping point burst. When a priest taught us the reason why people get married is to have children, I was SOOOOOO furious that I stood up, red in the face and shouted NO! The reason why people get married is because they LOVE one another. That man failed me in religion. That was the only F I ever received. (I was a straight A student.) But it was well worth it because I saw this man flinch and get really angry with me. Hope I made him think a bit …… LOL <3

            Liked by 1 person

            • Dan Antion says:

              I’d wear that F like a badge Amy!

              Liked by 1 person

            • AmyRose🌹 says:

              Laughing out loud!! Thank you, Dan!! I will never forget that day for as long as I live! I even remember the priest’s name. LOL To give a student a failing grade just for independent thought, well, that is pretty low. Yet that was the mentality then IF you dare go up against authority. Come to think of it, every time I go up against “authority” present day to shout NO!!! I still get an F. See how that F has followed my entire life. LOL *still laughing*

              Liked by 1 person

  12. joey says:

    That was a great etymology lesson!
    I also learned I have a surprisingly Methodist work ethic for a heathen.
    That bowl is nothing short of OH MY! Amazing! Just beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks. The work ethic is important but you have to sing too. This lesson is over 30 years old and I can still see him light up as he walked us through the etymology.

      Like

  13. Why do I read every word in every post? Because I know it is going to an enjoyable trip. :-) I had a hearty chuckle at God’s recall sign. My husband and I are celebrating a very big anniversary (in numbers) and I just told him I think we’re off the paved highway of life and are now on the dirt access road. :-) I LOVE the bowl – it has character. Happy weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. GP Cox says:

    OMG Dan – you are amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow. Ohmygosh…I want to learn how to make those bowls. Very cool of you, Dan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Audrey, I think you could handle making a bowl like that. You would be working with something that most people would ignore, that might break apart at any second but, if handled properly will turn out beautiful (to some – some people have told me that the bowl is “interesting” but weird). The process is, set it up carefully, take it slow and stay out of harm’s way as best you can.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. My favorite post from you! I love the bowls. I don’t like perfect . . . not enough personality in it for me. Give me rugged any day and I’m happy. Thanks for sharing your faith, the Bible, God, and you beautiful craftsmanship! ~ Sandi

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Smite Button? Dan you slay me! I thought I’d heard the funniest thing ever when I was told about a street named Scufflegrit Road. That had me rolling for half an hour. But Smite Button tops Scufflegrit. Mega hugs! :D

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Aunt Beulah says:

    I enjoyed this peek into your life and thoughts plus an education on the word enthusiasm. When young, I wanted to be a carpenter; not because I had any aptitude or even interest, but because my friend’s dad had a carpentry shop and I loved how it smelled, couldn’t breathe deeply enough. Then I thought I’d marry a carpenter, but didn’t manage that either, though I tried twice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thank you. I do love the smell of sawdust and freshly cut wood. I tried to do this for a living but it just didn’t work out. I hope to keep it as a hobby for a long time.

      Like

  19. reocochran says:

    You know how to write such a variety of thoughts and get them organized, Dan. I liked your humorous take on religion and sermon. I am enthusiastic about your bowl. Wow-zers!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. reocochran says:

    Dan, I also liked the way you made the blonde wooden bowl with cracks in the sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. cardamone5 says:

    Are you kidding me? Bowls with missing sides are a hot commodity to mid century modern lovers like myself. I would pay lots for this, or, at least, buy you a few beers! Awesome. Eclectic post that I loved. Also, I just rewatched the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and I was reminded of the father always finding the Greek origins of words when you broke down enthusiasm. Funny.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Those bowls have such ‘character’! Of course no one minds a piece missing, that’s what makes the item unique. God would be proud you used the gifts He bestowed upon you in such a marvelous way. We are all uniquely made by our creator, even though we have similarities no two of us are exactly the same. Great job! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ‘Work with Enthusiasm’ is a fantastic mantra and one that I’ll keep in mind.

    I absolutely love the bowl you made Dan – especially the fact that one one side there’s an imperfection and you can see the rough wood. And that you used the – um, I don’t know the term, the flat bit where there used to be a branch? – as the base of the bowl. Beautiful and very creative. And that’s definitely very worthwhile work!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Funny how the past and present all flow together and inform our art. I’m glad to see your finished product, both bowl and essay. Enthusiasm doesn’t come easily to me, taught to be silent in church and in most other times. I’ve learned to keep feelings inside, including enthusiasm. My blog is one place where I get to express that emotion. I think that is one of the blessings of the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Kelly Grace says:

    You could sell these in a ritzy shop at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The ones I saw there didn’t have anything on your ‘firewood bowl’. I gotta get me a lathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Kelly Grace says:

    Dan you need your own etsy.com shop ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Deborah says:

    Well, I certainly feel enthused after reading this! I love your process, both of writing this, and of the candy dish. I’m feeling some of that inspiration of which you write. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I love the bowls Dan, they are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. misifusa says:

    Love the bowl you made! You think out of the box!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Peter Nena says:

    I love that breakdown. From Theos to enthusiasm. It’s amazing. I also respect your stand on the use of OMG. Thanks Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Peter. I was pretty sure I replied to this comment before, but it doesn’t show up here. Peter, the other Peter, led us through that derivation in church, and I have never forgotten it.

      Like

  31. Dan Hen says:

    One man’s firewood is another man’s bowl . I enjoyed reading this post again .

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Paul says:

    Hmm. Dan’s Custom-Built Firewood? I’m thinking this could be a good side business. You could carve designs for people to burn. Bosses, in-laws … all kinds of things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      “Your Ex-Husband/Ex-Wife carved onto a log you can burn on New Year’s Eve (while watching the Marathon of course). I bet those would sell better than my furniture did Paul :) Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

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