Archive for August, 2014

Matthew 20:1-16

I recently had the opportunity to preach on Matthew 20:1-16. I’ve never preached before, though I have given plenty of “talks”.  We are doing a series on parables and I was allowed to choose whichever one I wanted. I’ve also felt a little pissed off by this parable so this was a good opportunity to explore that.

The audio of the sermon was recorded on my phone and it’s not of the best quality but here it is anyhow.

I had written a little parallel to the parable based in an Emergency Department waiting room as it seemed fitting. I didn’t use it in the sermon but here it is below.

A doctor went out into the A&E waiting room early in the night shift to speak to the patients who’d just arrived with their sprained ankles and sore throats. He explained the waiting times, the fact that there were no beds, the fact that there wasn’t enough staff. He then apologised and promised that he would get to everyone by morning. The early-comers thanked him for their explanation and waited patiently.


A few hours later he came out again and explained again to the new arrivals with sore ears and back pain that it was a very busy night and that everyone was waiting a long time. The newcomers took their places amongst those waiting and settled down for the long wait. As the sun began to rise on the waiting room, a couple of smelly, dishevelled, patients arrived by ambulance, clearly intoxicated to various degrees. The doctor went to them almost as soon as they arrived and these patients were brought into the main department.


As the sun rose and the morning staff arrived the rest of the patients were all seen and treated before the end of the shift as promised. Yet those who had waited from the beginning of the night grumbled and complained that they waited in the cold and the dark and smell of the waiting room whereas those junkies and riff raff went straight to the front of the queue.

The doctor replied, “friends, i told you that you all would be seen and you all agreed to wait. Am I not allowed to decide who gets seen first? Or are you envious because I treated those patients first?”

The book I found the most helpful was Craig Blomberg’s Interpreting the Parables. 

The Shed

One of the joys of working part time is that you have time to do stuff other people don’t. You don’t have the money to do much with that time so you end up building things instead of buying them.

I spent the past month building a shed. The one that came with the house was the usual crappy, bought off the shelf, wooden number that had a hole in the roof and most of the timbers were rotting.

With the advice of our friendly tall Scotsman I figured I could have a go at something a bit better.

First off the original shed needed dismantled


Lorraine enjoyed this bit as you can tell. This was how we spend our wedding anniversary. A family that dismantles sheds together stays together.


We were left with this base that I dragged across the garden and converted into a temporary “tee pee” to hold all the stuff till the new shed was built.


Next step was clearing the ground so I could put down hardcore and a concrete base. This was probably the hardest bit of the job but very much worth it.


Jurgen lent me his “mattock” from his gardening days and that made the job a million times easier. There were blisters as you can imagine. There was also some help from the other 2



Next came the hardcore, nearly 3 tonnes had to be wheelbarrowed from front of the house to the back and then spread out evenly under Martha’s expert supervision


Speaking of Martha, most of the timbers used in building the shed were pulled out of the walls of her house when she was getting it refurbished. Waste not want not, though I did have to spend an awful lot of time with a crow bar and angle grinder removing all the old nails.



I had watched a lot of youtube series on making sheds by this point so i felt fairly confident. Though there a lot of plans drawn and re drawn and even resorted to having to  look up terms such as hypotenuse in order to work out all the angles involved


Me and Jurg hired a plate compacted and a cement mixer and in went the base


This dried fairly nicely and smoothly and then it was time to start building the different frames that would be bolted to the concrete to form the walls of the shed.





It took ages getting the ground prepared and doing the concrete. Putting the frames together and connecting them took about 2 hrs in the end.

Next came the roof sections. These were kind of tricky and it took a few goes to get the angles quite right as I didn’t really have anything to measure them by. Not ideal I know but it worked out pretty well in the end



These were then fairly easily lifted onto the walls of the shed and secured



There had been some initial debate as to whether to put a felt roof on or a steel one. The steel one was undoubtedly the better job and bizzarely actually worked out cheaper than the felt one. I confess I hadn’t much of a clue what I was doing with the steel and it took me a while to figure out the best way to connect all the different sections. There was also the breathable membrane that needed fitted before the steel too.




There’s a little bit of silicone between each piece to try and make it a bit more water tight


The final bit i needed for the roof was a custom made ridge piece that went on top.



The walls came unpainted from a saw mill down the road. Once these were painted they were easily fitted to the frame.




I had to leave space for windows and in the photo below you can hopefully see the little frame I made to hold the glass (preserved from the original shed)



This is the (pretty much) finished product. There’s just a little bit of touching up to be done to the paint. Ultimately I’m going to put a walk in lean to on the right hand side of the shed for the bikes to be kept under as it’s a pain the bum taking them in and out of the shed all the time.


As liz says a few hanging baskets on the side should finish it a treat. incidentally the door of the shed is actually the front door off the house as we replaced it. I went through nice new circular saw blade trying to cut out the frame too…

At the minute I’m starting to organise the contents and fit some work benches (which are left over from the original kitchen of the house).


All in all a fun job for a 16 by 8 ft shed that’s probably better put together than the extension that came with the house…


  • Steel roof €160
  • Shiplaps for walls €390
  • Timber €80
  • Screws €40
  • Concrete floor €200
  • Paint €40


August 2014