This morning’s OT reading was from Exodus, all about the people offering bits and pieces for the building of the tent of meeting. The bit that really struck me was about Bezalel, and what an extraordinary chap he must have been…

See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; he has filled him with divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen, or by a weaver — by any sort of artisan or skilled designer.

Exodus 35:30-35

So here was a guy who basically could

  • draw
  • work in gold silver and bronze
  • cut and dress stones
  • craft wood
  • design
  • embroider
  • weave
  • .. and anything else arty crafty
  • … teach other people
  • …. and do to the standard of a master in any of these fields
  • …… and (presumably) learnt it all while in slavery having to spend all day making bricks without straw in Egypt!!

Perhaps it’s because I’m artistically challenged, but what an amazingly talented guy – sure you can imagine someone who can embroider and weave, but who can also work metal, stone, and wood? I guess it’s a reflection of God’s creativity and generosity in pouring out His Spirit – and the really exciting thing for us is that while the Holy Spirit was poured out on selected individuals in the OT, in the NT we know He is poured out to everyone who believes (and asks). Wow!

The slightly odd title today is because there were two other stories I wanted to record, which didn’t really seem worth their own entries. The first is about Polycell Stain Block – it’s incredible stuff! I had a small accident with a radiator while decorating our spare room, which resulted in a very unsightly (but harmless) watermark on our sitting room ceiling. This was a problem on two counts – one because we’d recently(ish) decorated that room, so having a huge blodge on the ceiling was a shame, but two – and mainly – because we’re about to put the house on the market for our Big Move down to Bristol.

Anyway, I knew I needed to get some stain blocker to stop the mark coming through, and then I’d have to paint it over, a process I was dreading as I wasn’t sure the stain block would work, and I was sure the ceiling would be slightly off-white by now so that we’d have to repaint the whole lot to avoid an obvious white patch.

Cue Polycell Stain Block spray – put down a dust sheet, put up a ladder, climb and spray the ceiling. 15 minutes later it’s dry, and basically invisible, except for a tiny bit of stain showing through. A second spray, and you wouldn’t know it was ever anything other than white. Absolutely amazing stuff – no need to paint over it at all! Obviously if the ceiling hadn’t have been white we’d have had to slap some paint on, but it was so quick, easy, and effectively I was absolutely staggered. Top marks for Polycell. I have a feeling there’s a sermon illustration in here somewhere – “white as a ceiling, though our sins were as a watermark”. The only problem with it is that in one sense the stain is still there, only hidden from view/covered up, whereas with Jesus the stain is totally removed… Nevertheless it would certainly wake me up if the Vic got out a spray can of Stain Block in his or her sermon!

The last point is a “proud-parent” story; feel free to switch off now! One of the things my little boy does is refer to any drink in a mug as a “cuppa tea”. Most of the time he’s right, but I’ve been trying to teach him that when daddy uses a cafetierre (which is apparently a brand name, like “Hoover”, rather than the actual name of the device), it means the beverage is a “cuppa coffee”. Limited success. So I take a different tack.

“Ben,” say I. “This is a ‘cafetierre’ – used for making coffee.”


“Can you say ‘cafetierre’?”


Oh well.