The timing is beautiful. I believe the timing of things can reveal how the Lord enjoys the process of our lives. As some of you already know we started a huge window project last year right before the winter hit. This old hotel, built in 1893, had windows that were exposing us to the outside elements. The size of hotel windows during this era dwarfed most men, so when the replacement windows were installed they insulated the rooms immediately.
Without killing your time with trivial details, I’ll just make mention that the foundation that financed this project accomplished it in two phases. The first grant was for our 4th and 3rd floor windows, and the second grant was to finish off the 2nd and 1st floors. We partnered up with Brennan Enterprises due to their online reviews and the rest is literally history. Now back to my story.
After working out the details it took a few weeks to manufacture the windows before I got a call from the installers. The start date was the first time I met Pancho Peters, the brain and brawn who would see this project to the end. I heard good things about Panchos’ work so I had a lot of confidence in him. I instantly liked the guy, his handshake didn’t contradict what was in his eyes. Like most men, we started off with small talk, but our relationship really started to open up when he noticed a portion of Spurgeon’s Grace for Grace sermon hanging on the wall of my study. He too is a fan of the “old dead guys”.
In one of our early conversations Pancho asked if there was anyway he could bless this ministry with his personal hobby, woodworking. He had no idea that I had been trying to find a pulpit to teach from. I went all up and down Main Street to find such a relic. My need came from not having enough room to set everything on while I taught class. At In Triumph, I teach all throughout the week, and I prefer to use the means of Church History, the Systematics of Theology, and even Christian Apologetics to preach the Gospel of the cross to the Postmoderns that check themselves in. A pulpit desk seemed to be what could handle my Schuyler Quentel Bible bond by Leonard’s, along with a catechism and a historical document or two that a regular podium couldn’t. The problem was that today there is no demand for a pulpits, most pastor’s TED Talks don’t require one. Just a headset, slideshow and a water bottle. Pancho, understanding the old style of teaching I am convicted to bring, said he would love to construct such a thing in his shop.
I sketch a pulpit desk on Adobe Illustrator for him and sent it to Pancho with an additional picture of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s old pulpit desk. He had a few questions concerning my favorite wood and functionality, but other than that, I expressed that I wanted him to take some creative freedom to be an artist. I wanted this to come from his heart, not from a spec sheet.
Today, Reformation Day, and the last day of Pastor’s Appreciation Month, Pancho delivered my pulpit desk after over 75 hours of labor and love. This one of a kind piece is solid mahogany that refuses for it’s beauty to be captured on camera. The pictures do not do it justice.
What a gift. What a friend. He not only built a pulpit that functions according to my needs, but he also handcrafted a family heirloom for anyone of my sons or grandsons who is called to preach Christ crucified as well. I love this pulpit! A good teacher doesn’t want to abandon his notes. He works too hard, and prayed all week for them. Too many hours of research goes into a sermon to just walk away from your pulpit to follow the white rabbit down it’s hole. The greats always used their notes like a map to stay on course. To follow suit, I am an expository preacher—an old soul with a new fire. I think this throwback pulpit desk not only reflects who I am, but it also reflects all those “old dead guys” who inspired me as well.
Do you know what makes the timing of this pulpit even more beautiful… besides it being Reformation day and Pastor’s Appreciation Month? Tomorrow I preach on Galatians 1:17-18, where Paul and Peter started an exact friendship as Pancho and I did. A friendship that is built on our desire to live and die like Christ. My brother blessed me with a gift that will keep on giving.
Here are a few picture that he sent me afterward he delivered it.
And the “Prince of Preachers” Pulpit.
Pancho and I