Joseph Herrin (12-09-2010)
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It has been a couple weeks since I have posted an update on my conversion work on the Carpenter School Bus the Father has led me to fashion into a motorhome. I have not been as active on it during this time, as I have spent time taking care of other matters.
I have been blessed to meet with two different groups of saints. Art, a brother in Christ who writes the New Wine blog,
was traveling with his family from the Boston area to the South Carolina coast. He had to pass through Macon, Georgia and I was blessed to be able to sit down with him for lunch, and to meet his family.
Yesterday a group of three saints from the North Georgia area drove down. They brought a great many gifts for transforming the ark. I asked them if they were Greek, as the proverbial saying about Greeks bearing gifts came to mind. One of them said they had some Creek Indian in their lineage. Perhaps I will have to come up with my own proverb about Creeks bearing gifts. It will most definitely be a positive saying, for I was greatly blessed by them.
I have also been printing prison newsletters, writing blogs, and carrying on a large correspondence. This has led me to a slowdown on the bus, but certainly not a stoppage. Much has been accomplished. The hand of the Father is very evident, and I want to share with you His mighty work.
I have been able to bring a few projects to completion that had been lingering until I financially able to finish them. I got the right piping and fittings to hook my stove/oven unit to the propane tank mounted under the bus. As the saying goes, “I am cooking with gas” now.
The photo at the top of the blog attests to the fact that I have installed the stove pipe for my woodstove. I decided that routing it out the window was the best solution. Following are a series of pictures showing the process of installing the piping.
I positioned the pipe atop the stove, trimming the riser section so that it would pass through the center of the window. I purchased some sheet metal and mounted a piece on the inside, marking where the pipe would pass through. Using a hole saw, I cut a small circle in the center of the cut out, then I used my metal shears to fold back the edges, forming a circle the same diameter as the 6" stove pipe.
I then attached an identical piece of sheet metal to the outside, scribed where the hole needed to be, then took it down and cut a similar hole. Before replacing the outside piece I mounted a couple pieces of 2x6 between the metal sheets to give the enclosure some rigidity.
You can tell that the bus definitely needs a good wash, but that will be one of my last acts before painting it. The two holes matched up perfectly, and the pipe ran through the dual holes forming a very snug fit.
Yesterday was a very cold day for us in Georgia. The temperature got down to 22 degrees at night (a great number), and the high was forecast to be 44 (Yahweh likes the number 22 and its multiples). Knowing that I had friends coming to install curtains and other accessories, I fired up the stove and it did a great job warming up the inside of the bus. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
After completing the two stoves, I turned my attention to getting mattresses for the beds. Neither of the beds are standard sizes as I built them to accommodate the space I had available. Therefore, I looked for foam mattresses that I could cut to size.
The price of foam, 4" or greater in thickness, can be quite expensive. The local Wal-mart sold a 4" king size mattress that I could cut in two to use for both beds, but the price was $124 dollars. The thought came to me to check first with the Macon Rescue Mission’s thrift store. I asked Martha there if she had any foam mattresses, and she led me directly to some that had been donated and were priced at $10 each. Yahweh is very good indeed! Amazingly, these mattresses were made of 6" of foam, much better than I had anticipated getting.
One of the Mattresses Before Cutting
I found one of those razor knives with the break off blades in jumbo size at Home Depot, and I used it for cutting the thick foam. It worked very well. The Father revealed a parable as I worked. I had to cut off 6 inches (the number of the flesh man) from the length of both mattresses. These mattresses were formerly used on hospital beds. Marked inside the mattresses, between the layers of foam, was stamped the word Head and Foot. These words were evidently to guide the people manufacturing the mattresses, for they could not be seen once they were assembled. However, when I cut one end off of the mattresses, I discovered what end I had chosen.
“HEAD” Stamped on Foam
Without any planning or intent, I cut off the HEAD end of both mattresses. A parable became immediately apparent. In order for the people of God to enter into Sabbath rest they must cut off their own heads. This is what is signified in the book of Revelation where it speaks of those martyrs who have been beheaded for the sake of Christ. It is not a literal beheading, but a spiritual beheading. In order to take Christ as Head, we must first lose our own. This brings us into a position of rest. If you want to learn more of this most fundamental of spiritual principles, I recommend very highly to you the book SABBATH. It can be read freely online.
Mattresses Trimmed and in Place
I have also been working on the plumbing for the bus. I have the cold water supply mostly plumbed, with perhaps a half day of work to complete it. I had planned to install an electric water heater under the sink in the kitchen area. I had gone so far as to purchase a small 6 gallon point of use water heater, and an expansion tank and fittings. However, numerous setbacks occurred as I constantly discovered I needed some additional fitting. I made four trips to the hardware store, and then discovered I still did not have all I needed to do the installation.
The Father used these delays and some other influences, to get me to stop and reconsider this project. I discerned that He would lead me in a different direction for hot water. I returned the electric water heater and expansion tank and I am now working on a design for a passive solar water heater to be mounted on the bus roof. A hot water storage tank will also go on the roof, mounted on the large luggage platform at the rear. This will provide gravity fed hot water for the shower and kitchen sink.
About a week and a half ago Ellen, a sister in Christ whom I have had correspondence with for a number of years, contacted me. She told me that the Lord had placed it upon her heart to offer to make curtains for the bus. She is a skilled seamstress, having run a bridal business for some time. She told me she had a bolt of curtain fabric that she thought would go well with the colors in the bus, so we began corresponding back on forth on the dimensions and design.
Ellen also offered to make complementary matching covers for the dinette cushions, and to replace the curtain over the front window with fabric that would match the rest of the bus. Her offer to perform all this work came at the perfect time, as I had to be at a fairly advanced place in my conversion in order to hang curtains.
I had met Ellen back in April when I was invited to speak at meetings in Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia at the home of Kevin O’Connell and his wife Julie. Sautee Nacoochee is an Indian name derived from a former Creek Indian village. Kevin and Julie also contributed to this project and they drove with Ellen down to Macon yesterday to help install the curtains and cushions. These three saints also brought new mattress pads, sheets, blankets, pillow cases and towels with them. Creeks bearing gifts. It has to have a positive meaning.
The Curtain Crew
Julie - Kevin - Ellen
Kevin removing the old curtain to hang the new one Ellen made
Interestingly, Ellen was thinking of where she could find loops that would hang the curtain at the front. She remembered some button material she had for use with her bridal designs. I thought this was appropriate that this bus is adorned with bridal material. The Lord has signified that this bus which is made by Carpenter Body Works, and was once a church bus before becoming a vehicle used for entertainment (attendance at NASCAR events) is a symbol of His body. The Bride which has given herself to entertainment and pelasure must make herself ready for the coming of her Bridegroom.
Ellen Standing Surrounded by her Handiwork
As you can see, Ellen even made place mats for the table. She told me a remarkable story relating to the fabric used for the dinette cushions. She told me that she was disappointed to find that the pattern on the fabric was not printed straight. The lines did not run straight. However, when she made the cushions everything came out looking straight. She was not sure how this happened, as everything just seemed to fall into place.
I was immediately reminded of the following Scripture which I shared with her.
Every ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; And the crooked shall become straight...
This will certainly be the work of the Spirit of Christ in these last days, to make the crooked straight; to take those children of God whose lives are twisted to form in them righteousness and holiness and truth.
The entire look of the bus was transformed by the labors of these three saints. I am delighted to see how very attractive everything is appearing. Mr. Stanfield wanted to see it all today, so we walked out and I gave him a tour of all the recent changes. He remarked that he is very pleased with how everything is looking, that it is beyond his expectations.
Brother Norwood Stanfield at Table
Curtains Hung in Front of Sink
Ellen and Julie Adorning the Beds
The Beds Arrayed
I told these three that all of the changes have made me desirous of moving into the bus soon. It is really becoming a functional, comfortable, and beautiful place. What a great God we serve!
It has been my mind to make the beds seem like private domiciles. They remind me of a passenger compartment on a train. The following picture shows the inside view.
A Look from Front to Back
For any who want to see the entire progress of the bus from start to finish, I have set up an album at the website www.skoolie.net. You can find the album for The Ark at the following URL.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063