03-Jan-2017 Work Progressing Rapidly
Work is progressing rapidly on our shop expansion. The foundation has been laid, walls erected and we are under roof. Sheetrocking will be starting as soon as we are fully "dried-in". To save money on the project I am doing all the electrical work. As an added benefit, I can get everything just the way I want it. The shop has some really nice and innovative features such as dust collection headers and electrical lines running through the slab. I will create an open house video when it is all done but... for now... it is utter chaos inside with everything having to be moved around to make room for new doors and windows.
01-Nov-2016 Breaking Ground
We reached an important milestone today as we broke ground to expand our shop! The expansion doubles the size of the shop and I'll love having more room to work. However, the really exciting part is that it will allow us to begin teaching woodworking as well.
The "remodeling" actually began three years ago when the Holy Spirit began preparing our hearts for this shift. It is clear that He has a much bigger plan than I have ever imagined but He only reveals small parts of it at the right time.
At first, I only saw this as a business expansion by helping people get started in woodworking with paid lessons. That will still be part of it but the primary focus will be teaching the art of woodworking (along with the art of living) to kids who don't have a father in their lives. While I am teaching them about tools and wood, the Holy Spirit will be teaching them about the Father who will never leave them nor forsake them.
24-Mar-2016 Expanded Product Line
This spring I am expanding our product line with projects turned on a lathe. This little 7" mahogany and maple bowl was my prototype of a carving combined with a turning. I still have a lot to learn but, as you can see, it will be worth the effort. The Hebrew word in the bowl is "grace" or "favor"... something I dearly treasure! The letters were cut into the maple and then filled with clear epoxy and emerald green glitter.
01-Dec-2015 New "Best Price" Option
Our website is not very sophisticated so it cannot add tax when needed, calculate shipping costs based on your location, or offer discounts for multiple items. Setting up a website like that is costly and time consuming to maintain. Therefore, we are introducing a much cleaner system using PayPal Invoicing.
To get the best possible price, click on the "Best Price" link at the bottom of each item's description. That will take you to a form which will email your order to me. I will calculate the best price and send you an invoice from PayPal via email. You can then complete the transaction by clicking the "Buy Now" button in the email paying by PayPal or credit card.
30-Oct-2015 Irish Inspiration
Carol and I just returned from a trip in southwest Ireland. The scenery was spectacular but the most inspirational part of the trip were three people we met. Each were crafts people who truly loved their trade. There was Anna from Blackwater Turners who not only showed us her extraordinary wood turnings but also shared her struggles to continue their business after her husband passed away a year ago. Garry from Goose Island Workshop showed me how he made the most incredible bent laminations for constructing Windsor chairs.
But inspiration comes in unexpected ways too. We stumbled across "The Sewing Shed" and had a wonderful time talking about quilting with Sarah. Yes, Carol bought a lot of great materials to work on when she got home but even I was really excited about the little "Cead mile Failte" quilted wall hanging. In Irish that means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!" Can you imagine that design made in wood?!
Truly, it is the warm and enthusiastic people like Anna, Garry and Sarah who make any place special.
03-Sep-2015 Relief Carving Class
This weekend, I am privileged to be taking a course in traditional relief carving at the Heritage School of Woodworking near Waco, TX. I am looking forward to adding new styles and products as my skills in these techniques increase.
The school is operated by a wonderful community that lives and teaches traditional crafts. Their excellent classes include bee-keeping, blacksmithing, cheese making, carving, pottery, fibercrafts, furniture making and much more. Check out their website at www.sustainlife.org!
01-Apr-2015 New Reflections Video
I have created a new video that doesn't have any explanations at all. Simply quick video clips showing a project from start to finish set to beautiful, relaxing music. Enjoy!
09-Mar-2015 West Side Christian School Auction
West Side Christian School in El Dorado, Arkansas was having a fundraising auction so we decided to provide a few carvings. We didn't know "what the fish might bite on" so we provided a wide variety. Turns out the fish were really hungry and almost every carving sold!
08-Feb-2015 More Fixed Price Items
I am moving many of our "Made to Order" carvings to PayPal pages where you can order them at a fixed price rather than the normal $15/hour plus materials pricing. The price is based on the amount of time it took to make the last one.
29-Dec-2014 Reorganizing the Website
Yep... I'm going to move just about everything around somewhere. What a task! But hopefully it will make it easier for folks to find what they are looking for.
03-Sep-2014 Emergency Relief in Pakistan
Being a follower of Jesus Christ is never easy in an Islamic country and many Christians live almost as slaves. But things get really bad when disasters such as floods come. We were able to provide emergency food for seven families in Pakistan through Kashif Masih who is a native evangelist. Of course, we cannot even begin to meet the massive need there but when we add our dollars to our faith, our Lord will make up the difference. Please take a look Kashif's Facebook page to see the work that he and his family are doing in Pakistan.
14-Aug-2014 Pssst... Wanna see my goat?
I had a little fun this evening. During a business dinner, I said to an associate, "Hey... wanna see my goat?" I pulled out my phone and showed him this little fellow that was bought by Bright Star Ministries in Kenya with money from my wood carvings. He was really tickled and, after hearing about the ministry, now he wants to have a goat in Kenya too! I never dreamed that I would have goats, chickens and mango trees but I couldn't be happier!
05-Jun-2014 Widows and Orphans
When you read the Old Testament, you'll see that one of the things closest to the heart of God is caring for those who can't care for themselves. High on God's list are widows and orphans. I just got a bunch of photos back from Kenya showing some of the food that people received from the sale of one of our carvings. It was really overwhelming. Some day I'll be able to go there in person but, for now, I have the joy of knowing that I can participate a little in sharing God's love for these beautiful people.
Check out the great work being done by Bright Star Ministries on Facebook.
09-May-2014 Collaboration of the Arts Festival
We are packing up to go to this year's Collaboration of the Arts festival in Little Rock Arkansas. The festival features everything from music and dance to arts and crafts (and a bunch of great wood carvings!) that honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It will be this Friday from 6-9 pm at the River Front Pavillion. Admission is free.
06-Apr-2014 Bright Star Ministries now Supported
We are now supporting Bright Star Ministries in Kenya. To learn more about Bright Star's ministry to widows and orphans, click on the "Supported Ministries" page.
12-Mar-2014 Website Upgrades and Options
Our website now accepts major credit cards such as VISA.
In addition to the Voice of Hope Feeding Program, we are now supporting the missions work of Vickie Cline through Living Grace House in León, Nicaragua. Vickie is one of the sweetest ladies I know and ministers to Nicaraguan ladies with Bible Studies, English classes and teaching them job skills such as sewing. You can connect with Vickie on Facebook! To designate that your purchase is credited to Vickie, please send me an e-mail at Richard@HisWordInWood.com. I'll make sure the funds get to her.
11-Feb-2014 We Back!
What an incredible week! I had six students plus my faithful interpreter. They learned a lot (I did too!) and we had a lot of fun. Throughout the class we emphasized shop safety and covered some pretty deep subjects. Best of all, I was able to share the love of God with them freely and two of my students accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It doesn't get any better than that!
While I was teaching woodworking, the medical teams saw over 400 patients and the evangelistic teams led over 500 people to Christ! I left all our tools and supplies there and my wife and I are already planning our next trip to help build a permanent school and shop. It is so exciting to think what the Lord has planned!
04-Feb-2014 We are in Nicaragua!
We are in Nicaragua this week teaching woodworking and sharing the Love of God. I knew I would not have the greatest wood but this gnarly stuff totally blew me away! I went to bed the night before the first class feeling totally overwhelmed but the Holy Spirit reminded me that my main purpose was to teach them to use tools safely and tell them how much God loves them. The next morning, He showed me the moment I opened my eyes how to clean up that wild scrap wood with only a small tablesaw... And it worked! Here is my group of students with our first project finished.
01-Jan-2014 The Countdown has begun!
I am getting so incredibly excited about the upcoming Woodworking Discipleship course in Nicaragua. What could be better? Sharing the love of God with men while teaching them new skills to help them break out of the grinding cycle of poverty.
25-Nov-2013 Woodworking / Discipleship Class in the Planning!
What does woodworking have to do with discipleship? Plenty! I am very excited that I will be going to Nicaragua next February to hold a five-day woodworking class for the poorest people. These are hardworking people who have just never had a chance to learn anything beyond manual labor. My prayer is that they will be able to learn skills to help them get better jobs. Meanwhile, we will discuss life... from being a skilled woodworker to being a good employee, a loving husband and father... and how much the Lord loves them!!!
20-Oct-2013 New Video Series Celebrates Freedom in Christ
Our third video tutorial is now available showing how to make a beautiful walnut carving with raised letters, a smooth background and a cove cut frame around it. This 8 part video series introduces the band saw, oscillating spindle sander and router table. It also shows how to make the same carving without those tools.
03-Aug-2013 Another New Video
I've added a new video tutorial on how to make the beautiful "Shalom Star" carving! This 11 part video series goes into even greater depth and demonstrates the use of the jointer, gluing up wide stock from narrow, using the table saw safely and using the scroll saw.
To see the videos go to YouTube and search for "Shalom Star Carving" and "His Word In Wood". Or you can go to the "His Word In Wood" channel. Take a look at the videos and let me know what you think!
03-Aug-2013 Video Tutorials!
This is a really exciting day as I have just completed my first YouTube video series!
The 8-Part series takes you through all aspects of creating a simple cedar sign. I created the series to teach young men in Nicaragua how to do this type of carving. I am hoping to set up a small wood shop for Voice of Hope Ministries there this winter and hold Woodworking - Discipleship seminars a couple of times each year. I'll be making additional video series demonstrating more complex carving soon.
To see the videos go to YouTube and search for "My Heart Carving" and "His Word In Wood". Or you can go to the "His Word In Wood" channel. Take a look at the videos and let me know what you think!
02-Jul-2013 Jesus Loves Me This I Know - Cause a Beaver Told Me so!
I've been collecting a wide variety of local wood for a series of carvings next year. I'm a tree hugger at heart so I only pick up storm damage and stuff loggers leave behind. Yesterday I was wishing I had some Ash. That evening, when I went bicycling I found a freshly fallen Ash tree beside the road. While I was wondering how I could find some, God directed a beaver to gnaw through the wrong side of a tree where I would be in a few hours. Thanks Lord... I love You too!.
21-Jun-2013 New Redwood and Hemlock Boards
I just got back from a week-long business trip to Idaho. While there, I found a couple of pretty Redwood and Hemlock boards. They were each 6 ft long so I asked the lumber yard to cut them into 2 ft lenghts so they would fit into my suitcase. They never had that request before! I wonder what airport security thought when they scanned the suitcase and saw lumber. Hehehe.
So what would you like me to make for you with them?! The boards are 5"-6" wide so I can make a nice sign with a single board or join them almost seamlessly to make a larger project. They would probably make a nifty little treasure chest as well.
01-May-2013 Why is all this about Missions?
While building a church in the village of Tomas Borge, Nicaragua, I noticed that the life of the village revolved around a water well that Red Rocks Church in Colorado had built. Hundreds of people depended on that well and came to pump water and carry it home several times a day. When I didn't have anything else to do, I and several other guys in our team would pump and carry the water for them. Some of them laughed at us (it is really hard work for gringos) but it gave us a connection with them. One fellow actually gave his life to Christ while we were pumping water for him! As I pumped countless gallons of water, I wondered if the church that donated the well knew how much it meant to the people.
Later, we saw a man upgrading his little hut-house from cardboard to wood slats from old pallets. We asked if we could help. As we pulled nails and put the boards up with him, we talked - in very broken Spanish - about life, the well, and wood carving. He gave me a couple of the best boards from his house to make a carving thanking the church in Colorado for the well. The sign will ship tomorrow. It reads, "Thank you for the Living Water!" from the village of Tomas Borge.
Missions is about sharing the love of Christ with people in many ways and changing the course of their lives for eternity. If you have never been on a trip like this, get in contact with Ray Henley of Voice of Hope Ministries. I guarantee it will change your life.
30-Apr-2013 Mission Sale!
Normally, all proceeds from this website are donated to feeding children in Nicaragua through Voice of Hope Ministries. However, during May, the proceeds from all sales will fund a missions team going to Nicaragua to feed the people both spiritually as well as physically.
We have also set up a special "Mission Sale" page without shipping charges for people who can pick up carvings locally in the El Dorado, Arkansas area. This page shows all of our carvings that are in-stock including some not shown on the other pages.
21-Apr-2013 A Great Celebration
Heather had severe bleeding in her brain. The doctors said it was almost hopeless and she only had a slight chance to live. Even if she lived, she would have severe disabilities. While she was in the hospital, the Lord spoke a scripture to her that she had not heard before. Psalm 118:17 says,
The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
Well, she lived and has no disabilities! To celebrate she ordered this beautiful carving of the word, "LIVE" in Hebrew. Why is it in Hebrew? She says that way people will have to ask her what it means and she can "Proclaim what the Lord has done!"
I took the carving with me to church this morning to show it to the children and tell them about Heather's healing. When I asked if any of them like to pray for people a whole group of them rushed forward.
Heather... we rejoice with you!!!
04-Apr-2013 Major Commissioned Project Completed
I just completed "The Arkanbox" which is the most complex woodworking project I have ever done. It required 31 actual working hours stretching over 31 days. You can see this beauitful carved box based on Romans 8:19 on the "Custom Carvings" page.
15-Jan-2013 Back Home from Nicaragua
What an incredible trip that was. Erecting a church building was greate but the best part was just being there to proclaim to the people of Tomas Borge that God really does love them.
I was asked to present the carvings I had brought to the church at it's dedication. I have always been a quiet and shy person and didn't know what to say. However, during the worship time before the presentation, the Lord began to reveal to me the story that He had woven into the creation of what I thought were random and unrelated carvings. As I shared the story behind the carvings, the Holy Spirit came upon me and I rejoiced in the Love of God for these people... and for me that I could be part of His love for them!
07-Jan-2013 Traveling to Nicaragua
Today I am traveling to Nicaragua to help build a church in the poorest of the poor villages... Tomas Borge. To celebrate, I am taking a whole series of carvings as gifts to the church including this big, beautiful Cypress carving of the name of the church. "Iglesia Pan de Vida", Bread of Life Church. This carving was going to have the normal crystal-cut background but when I milled the surface down in preparation for the crystal-cut, I was amazed at how pretty the wood grain was. Thus a new style is born!
08-Dec-2012 Shop is Finally Complete
Wow! That was a lot more work than I ever dreamed it would be but the shop is finally finished. Day by day, I kept looking at a spot over a big double door and wondering what I could put there. Well, the answer ended up being this gorgeous carving with 13" gold letters floating over a black shadow floating over the wall. What does it say? YESHUA! My Lord and Savior's name in Hebrew. After all, this is very much His shop! This carving is available as P-042 in the Hebrew carving section.
14-Aug-2012 New Workshop Construction Begins
My screaming router and roaring shop-vac are not welcome in the house so I work in a corner of a large garage-like building. But winter is cold and southern Arkansas summers are blazing. Thus, I have decided to upgrade to a 14x24 ft; air conditioned work area. It will be a lot of work but it's going to be NICE!
31-Mar-2012 First Round of Auctions Completed
In the first round we sold four carvings from the website and created a custom carving for someone. This raised $280 for Nicaragua which is one of the poorest nations on Earth. Between the grinding poverty, war, drug abuse and communist rule, Nicaragua is a tough place to live. Yet the people are hungry for a real relationship with God.
14-Feb-2012 New Chinese Carving!
A few days ago when I was trying to go to sleep, I started wondering what our Lord's name would look like in Chinese. OK... forget trying to sleep... after several hours of Googling I had worked out the design and couldn't wait to start carving. JESUS IS LORD in Chinese! Check it out on the Other Languages page under Gallery of Carvings.
07-Feb-2012 Big Auction is in the planning
Everything on the website will be auctioned on Facebook to raise money for a mission to Nicaragua this summer. 100% of the sales (not just profit!) will be donated to a team going to Nicaragua this summer. Last year 1,200 people accepted the Lord during one week of crusades. It doesn't get any better than that!