Buy or Build It?

I like being able to see my iPhone screen when I am working on my home office computer. There really is no way to prop it up without using something that takes up the limited space. I probably already have too much stuff on my desk as it is, which makes dusting the desk an infrequent task. After looking at several different types of holders on Amazon, I decided to do what I know my dad would have done. I built one.

I had some scrap birch 2” x 2” and a small piece of leftover ¼” plywood. After a little cutting here-and-there on the bandsaw and a coat of black paint, my stand was ready. I think if Dad were to see my creation, he would smile with approval and would probably make one for himself.

My home made iPhone desktop holder and charging station.

The Skilled Hands of Grandpa and Dad

My grandfather, Berger Winquist, Sr., was skilled with his hands as well. He was a carpenter by trade. He made things like circus wagon animal cages for my aunt’s pet shop in Waukegan. I don’t know what tools he owned, but I don’t recall seeing a bandsaw, table saw, miter box or drill press in his workshop. I suspect he drilled by hand, cut by hand, and shaped and sanded by hand.

Dad had more tools, but he was also skilled with his hands. My father and I different in many respects, but we do have similarities. Dad was a frugal man. That was normal for someone who had been born during the Great Depression. Things weren’t discarded when they broke. You fixed them or did without. If you had parts, you would make your own “whatever” from whatever you had on hand.

Dad even made his own motorbike from a regular bicycle and a small motor. That doesn’t surprise me. Dad could draw house plans, design machinery, build a boat, rebuild an engine, make a piece of furniture, refinish a table so that it looked like new, or fabricate a piece he needed on his metal lathe. If he could get the parts, had the parts or could fabricate the parts, he would fix what was broken.

Wayne and Russell enjoying the boat “Dinky” that our father made. c.1962

The Chip Off of the Old Block

I tend to do the same thing. I look at the need and consider making something to fit the need. For the broken item, I look for ways to make it last longer with a simple repair. However, before I buy something, I will usually pause and ask myself, “Could I make that?” Of course, sometimes that is adding to my already overflowing list of projects. But part of the joy of making my own is the design and creation of something that works or completes my vision of the finished product.

Pause and think about the things you learned from your parents. Hopefully, you have some good memories of their character and the things they taught you by how they lived their lives.

God’s Workmanship

Thankfully, God doesn’t just discard what is corrupted, soiled, or broken. He realizes that what each of us needed wasn’t a tune-up, but a transformation. The transformation was a new heart and a new spirit. That transformation work was completed on Good Friday with an exclamation point on Resurrection Sunday. The finished workmanship of Jesus makes it possible to be more like my heavenly Father: clean because of Christ and useful once more to give him the glory he deserves as Creator.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.” – Ezekiel 36:26-29