Northwestern Ohio District
Church of the Nazarene

ONE OF THE PRAYERS in the Bible is, “Teach us to number our days that we might attain to a heart of wisdom.”
I think the northern Ohio paraphrase of that might be, “Teach us to number the days of summer … because winter will surely come.” So, I hope you are enjoying the days of sunshine and warmth with vacations, ball games, picnics, fishing, long walks, gardening or whatever you like to do for summer enjoyment.
One of the things I am doing this summer is refinishing a few pieces of furniture. We have some items that over the years have gotten “dinged” here and there when something got dropped, or a dog decided to bite it or a pen pressed a little too hard.
My initial experience with furniture restoration was the first bedroom suit Mona and I ever had. We were getting married, and as a couple of college kids, we did not have much money. So, we went to an estate sale in Mount Vernon, OH. There was a painted (ugly) green bedroom suit. The lady said it had belonged to her parents for their nearly 50 years of marriage. I thought it sad that none of the family wanted it. Furthermore, no one else seemed interested in that ugly green bedroom suit, either … except us, and that was only because the price was right.
I started stripping the paint. It was more tedious work than I had anticipated. Underneath, I began seeing wood that I thought looked nice. I showed it to my grandpa, a carpenter, and he told me it looked like cherry to him. That gave me inspiration to carry on to strip, stain and shine.
Finally, I got all the pieces completed. We still have that set and probably always will. (And if our girls sell it at an estate sale, I will haunt them!)
Well, this is too easy for a Gospel preacher, but here goes, anyway: Sin does awful things to people. We see it, read it and have personally experienced it. But thanks be to God for his cleansing (stripping) grace that causes “old things to pass away, and everything to become new.”
Sometimes people tell me what they used to be like before Jesus. It is hard to believe they are the same person now. This is our story as Jesus people and the hope we offer to anybody and everybody!

Grace, grace, God’s grace.
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Grace that will pardon AND CLEANSE within.

Enjoy your summer!
Geoff Kunselman