Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Deuteronomy 11:1
The Basic Bible Truth
God has given us the secret for a Godly life. To love God and keep His decrees. It sounds so simple, and is so important. If we follow His recipe, the outcome is always a success. He furnishes all of the ingredients, describes in detail how to combine everything, and then explains what the finished product will be like. The Master Chef knows all.
Ingredients For Conversion Varnish (Cocoanut Oil Resin, Urea Resin, Butynol, Isopropanol, Butyl Acetate, Sulfonic Acid) Small Container Small Brush
As a woodworker by trade, I had occasion to obtain a recipe for conversion varnish. Don’t let the name fool you. It has nothing to do with religion. Conversion simply refers to the chemical reaction that takes place when these chemicals are mixed. I now make my own clear wood finish for about 1/3 of the cost of retail products. For this lesson, I prepackage the correct amount of each chemical. In class I pour all of the ingredients together and stir. In about 3 minutes, I have conversion varnish that can be brushed out on wood. It will be dry to the touch within just a minute or so. The smell can be a little strong, so I only do this in a well ventilated or outdoor area.
I tend to be a self-sufficient kind of guy. I wash my own cars, change my own oil, rotate my own tires, and make my own clear wood finish. Let me explain that last one a bit. I have my own small woodworking concern and we finish most of the products that we build. I learned about conversion varnish some years ago and began using it. I used products from a small, independent paint manufacturer, and was very pleased with their conversion varnish. If you have never heard of this type of finish, don’t feel too bad. It is not well known because it is not consumer friendly. It requires some effort to use. For example, barometric pressure and temperature must be considered when mixing the material that will be used that day. Once mixed, you have 24 hours to use it, or you have to throw it away. Those issues keep most people away from the product. However, on the up side of the scale, it is amazingly durable and dries to handle in a half hour or so.
My supplier went bankrupt and out of business. But I liked their finish so well, that I took the time to track down the CEO of the company at his home and asked him if I could obtain his formula. He graciously gave me the recipe, and I have been making my own product now for the last 15 years.
Let’s make some varnish, shall we? I have all of the ingredients here carefully measured out and ready to mix together. We start with the butynol, isopropanol, and butyl acetate. These are the solvents in the mixture. While stirring, we add the two resins gradually, so that the solvents pick them up right away and thin them out and into the overall mixture. The last thing we add is the sulfonic acid. This is nasty stuff. You do not want to get any of this on any skin. Now we mix all of the mixture together an additional 30 seconds and let it set for one minute and allow the acid to begin the chemical reaction. Once settled, we can take a brush, wipe some out on a board, blow a little air across the surface to carry away the evaporating solvents, and we have a clear finish on the wood. Over the next 24-48 hours, crosslinking will occur in the resins, creating a tremendously hard and durable finish.
This all seems fairly simple doesn’t it? But let me warn you, if you do one tiny thing wrong with this recipe, you will experience failure. Your varnish will not cure correctly, or it will turn into a crackled finish and fall off, or it will remain sticky forever. There are so many ways to fail with this product and only one way to succeed.
To succeed in life does not happen by accident. We must make a conscious effort to administer our lives in God’s ways. First we must come to the point in our lives that we understand that we cannot do anything by ourselves. That goes against the way I was raised as a child. I was taught to toughen up and do it yourself if you can. God’s design is that we toughen up and get on board with what He is doing.
Once that threshold is passed, we must communicate with God about our role and place in His plan. We cannot just jump in head first and expect to never get hurt. The prayer of a righteous man is a really, really good thing. Being honest with God is not always easy. And we must be willing to listen for His response. That leads to a confidence in what He has asked us to do.
We know that we can trust Him completely. We know that, but do we always believe it? When our prayer life is where it should be and we have a response from God, nothing can stand in our way. We can afford to go all in and not fret about any part of the job. Jumping in with both feet can be a daunting idea, but the reward of seeing something through to the end is priceless.
The entire process is all about Him, and not us. We were allowed to participate in something that He could have done on His own, but He chooses us to be involved to learn and grow spiritually. A heartfelt “Thank you” from us to Him would be in order.
God has given us the recipe for a wonderful and amazing time here on this earth. There are so many ways to fail at this thing called life. But there is one sure way to succeed. Follow the instructions exactly, with no deviation, and God guarantees success: (1). We understand that we are nothing, (2). We pray and listen, (3). We believe that He is always there with us, (4). We step out and work for His kingdom, and (5). We remember always to say “Thank you”.
It’s such a simple prescription. An easy recipe to avoid failure.