Thoughts of the Mason



THOUGHTS OF THE MASON is about an Italian American boy, born and raised in Brooklyn USA. His likes were typical of a kid from Brooklyn; stickball, punch ball, skelsy and an assortment of many other street games. The mason had an affinity for the wonders of creation though he had never seen the countryside up close. Being raised Roman Catholic he was taught about God, the birth of Christ; his life, death, and resurrection. As he grew he always gave God credit for everything beautiful in nature, things that he would see in books and the movies. The words he heard from the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)” always rang true to him. For many years the mason knew of God but did not know God. He grew thinking his ego and pride were good things and getting even was honorable.

He became a mason ( bricklayer ) after attempts at being like those he looked up to from his neighborhood failed. Bricklaying was in his blood and there was no getting away from it. He always remembered his first foreman calling him  Michelangelo because he would lay a few bricks, step back and admire the straight and clean lines of his work (they became much straighter and cleaner after some time). The foreman would yell “Back to work Michelangelo, it’s not a painting its bricklaying.” Somehow the mason thought differently.

He loved those he loved intensely, liked those he liked tolerably, and others . . . well that’s another story. He married the perfect woman for him. They had children and raised them with love. He loved his family and was a good provider with an intense work ethic learned from his Grandfather.  Throughout his life he always thanked God for most of what he had.  For some little accomplishments he gave himself the pat on the back for a job well done. Those clean and straight lines on the brick wall were his meticulous doing. That volunteer block job; he gave himself credit for.

Many years into his life God revealed Himself to the mason during a service he went to solely to keep his wife company. Remember he had heard about the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection in his childhood. It was always in parts, seen during holidays like Christmas and Easter. But that night he heard the Gospel as it should be heard, in one continuous line. The reasons for the whole picture were laid out. God opened the mason’s ears and he heard. From that point on his heart changed. He began a new life. His favorite story in the Bible was Saul on the Damascus road (Acts 9) because the same thing happened to him, the very same miracle. These following pages reflect what God did and continues to do in his life.

The thoughts that he had when the foreman called him Michelangelo are the same but now all that he does, the brickwork, the words in a poem, the songs he sings he hopes are for God’s glory, for he believes now that there is not a thing that he does that can be done without God. Oh, and a little secret, the mason’s little fantasy is that when he arrives in heaven God will have saved the last course of brick on the mason’s mansion for him to complete with his grandfather’s trowel…..


John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”




The Beginning

It was nearing the end of a long hard day. Work was getting harder because of approaching deadlines. Most of the men the mason was in charge of were reacting to the pressure. There was plenty of overtime, actually too much. Nerves were on edge and tensions at danger level. He was in charge of all of this mayhem; thirty-five construction workers to be exact. Each new day brought on the same drama and tension. It was an extremely large project, spread out between two massive air terminal buildings. He estimated that he walked probably 10 miles in a day; three floors, each building, a stairway to each roof, and about one hundred yards between buildings. Ten miles might be underestimating.

Each morning the mason would get up at five A.M., leave the house, get a cup of coffee for himself and one for his wife, leave it on the table for her, kiss her sleeping head and then go to work. His wife had been praying for him to come to know the Lord for years. And for many years the mason went to work without anything of God on his mind. He did call out to Him on occasion. And he always thanked God for his family and creation. He was always looking for rainbows, admiring sunrises, and sunsets that he gave God credit for . . .  but back to the story. He wasn’t spending too much quality time at home due to the many hours of overtime. Stress for all involved was at a really high level. During all this his sweet wife would ask him when available if he wanted to go to church. His answer was, “You go, be happy. I just need to rest. I need peace and quiet.” Remember those words later on.

The mason got home early for him on a Friday evening; five P.M. to be exact. Reluctantly but with hope his wife asked him to go to church with her for it was Good Friday. The mason, having been brought up Catholic was well aware of what Good Friday was, and felt no need to go. He showered, came out and was deciding on what comfortable things he could put on for his peaceful evening at home. She was almost ready to leave when he said, “Wait, I will keep you company.” He wanted to be with her. They arrived at the packed church and he thought to himself “What did I get myself into; standing room only; just what I needed.” Tired, irritated, and uncomfortable, he settled himself in for the long, long haul.  The preacher began to speak as the mason muttered to himself, “I know all this. I’ve heard it all before. I saw the movie; more than ten times.”

The only one who heard him was God. Now it was the mason’s time to walk the Damascus road. In an instant the words the preacher was speaking came alive. He was suddenly remorseful over the punishment Jesus received. The cross never seemed so real, nor sin so convicting. His first thoughts were, “Oh God I am so sorry. I hope it is not too late for me.” The mason didn’t know that right then he was saved. Conviction and repentance in his mind lasted a few days. He prayed fervently thinking it was too late.

A few mornings later after he got up at five, went out, bought coffee for his wife, left it on the dining room table, kissed her sleeping head he went to work driving and thinking, “My God, what if it’s too late?” Arriving at his trailer, he turned on the overhead single light and opened up the Bible his wife had given him a few years before. He decided to pray instead. He prayed, asking forgiveness, expressing his undying love for his Lord, to Jesus who died on the cross for him (he had realized it that Good Friday). Realizing he had been praying for almost twenty minutes without drifting, he felt a connection. He knew God was listening. Remember that peace he sought earlier in the story? It filled his innermost parts. He experienced a feeling he never knew, joy. He knew happiness many times in his life; his wife and children but not this new feeling, joy.  He cried, laughed, prayed thanks, then called his wife and said, “I’m saved.” Seven o’clock walking out to the same men, same job site, same mayhem, same deadlines, now a new creation!

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Good Friday Night

The sacrifice on Calvary

That picture in my mind

To say how much I am thankful

Sufficient words I cannot find

It was that image of Your sacrifice

That crushed me deep inside

That very night You found me

Where I thought I went to hide

My focus now on Calvary

Where You washed away my sin

I knew that night You called my name

With open arms You welcomed me in.



Page 2

Shaped And Molded


A short time after this awakening experience the mason was praying during some quiet time. He thanked God for the way He had protected him when there were no thoughts of God in his heart; many instances when one wrong choice could have been life altering. He thought of things that he realized God allowed him to go through to strengthen him. The book of Ecclesiastes sprung up in his heart.


To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter

under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time for war, and a time for peace;

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


The mason thought about how God was working and showing him through things he now understood better. His way of thinking was that of a mason; a time to start a job and a time to finish. Every strong, good building starts with a good, strong foundation. You can use the finest material that money can buy for the structure but if the foundation is weak eventually the building will fall. From his construction background he knew this to be true. Way back in the day in Oregon a friend and he had built a cabin and he remembered their focus on its foundation; big oak stumps set in concrete. It was just a two room cabin with a double sleeping loft but it could have been a high rise based on the foundation that was set. And now he was so impressed by the emphasis on foundation in God’s word. God before time thought of him. Then that day came to create him, to work on him, to painstakingly bring him to a God glorifying conclusion. The work the mason did was done almost the same, yet one day would perish. God’s work would never perish. The mason smiled as he had the image of his completed brick job, how he would wash it all down with diluted acid. It would look great after it was cleaned but perishable. His smile came from the thought that something stronger than pure acid had cleansed him, the blood of Jesus Christ! For the mason, now a time to live and a time to live eternally…..

Now the mason looks at things men have accomplished; skyscrapers that reach toward the skies. He compares that to what the master builder has done with his life, realizing that the buildings despite their foundations of concrete, strong steel and fine material will all fade away; but he was created, molded, and shaped by God to last forever. Glory to God!

Isiah 64:8 But now, O Lord You are our Father; We are the clay and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

Potter’s Hands


My God one so forgiving

He always remains so true

Jesus the life so perfect

The example of what I must do

When I fall so short of the glory of God

He so lovingly understands

With the Spirits help I press onward

  Lovingly shaped by the Potter’s hands.



Page 3

To God Be The Glory


The mason had the opportunity to brick up one whole side of a house including the chimney. It was a well-received task for he loved masonry. He enjoyed the precision needed for a good looking brick job. The day came to begin the project. He began the necessary steps; foundation, laying out the material, and supplies. He went about the task with determination to finish in good time but took great pains in making sure of straight corners and clean lines. Near the completion of the task after working in sometimes bad weather conditions, working without breaks until no light was left in the day, he was unable to complete the top of the chimney. This job was in a location he could only do on weekends. It was located in a country home in the mountains and he lived in the city; thus the determination for rapid completion but with precision.

The owner requested for reasons unknown that the chimney be completed by another worker during the week. Sadly the mason agreed and the chimney was completed.  He went up to see the finished project and was sadly disappointed. The chimney was obviously completed without the same care for precise corners and fine straight lines. To him the whole job was ruined.

Some years passed and after other brick jobs came and went the mason heard and understood the Gospel. He fell in love with Christ and through reading and hearing, the things in this life took on other meanings.  After reading Ecclesiastes he went to his computer and brought up the picture of the brick job on the mountain with the picture cropped so you couldn’t see the top of the chimney. He remembered the joy in working out in the fresh air on the mountain. How he would step back and look at what his work looked like. He stopped and prayed and asked God for forgiveness for not knowing and understanding till this moment that he never forgave the owner or the other worker for ruining his job. Never till this moment had he thought in this light. The fresh air he worked in, the bricks he was using, the talent he was applying were all gifts from God. No one now remembered which mason started or which one finished, it didn’t make a difference. The only thing that mattered was God receiving the glory. Ego and pride were taken out of the mix.  He looked at the picture and focused on first the foundation and thought of Christ, then looked at the bottom brick in the corner and thanked God for that brick and all that came after it for none were possible without God. To God be the glory in all things this mason ever says and does……


Romans 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God


C.H. Spurgeon  “The like may be said of the builders of castles and abbeys: when the mode of life indicated by these piles ceased to be endurable by the Lord, the massive walls of ancient architects crumbled into ruins, and their toil melted like the froth of vanity. Not only do we now spend our strength for nought without Jehovah, but all who have ever labored apart from him come under the same sentence. Trowel and hammer, saw and plane are instruments of vanity unless the Lord be the Master builder.


Page 4

There Is A Time


So many mornings the same ritual: no alarm, waking naturally at five AM, at work preparing for his day, filled with various projects of the building. Each section had its own deadlines, time was of the essence. The mason thought back to before he knew the Lord, which wasn’t that long ago, how it was always about rushing. There was no holding back; full speed ahead regardless of the toll it took on the workers.

Knowing the Lord, gave him that inner peace to deal with deadlines. He had always been responsible, paying attention to his work and when it had to be done. He was no longer frantic about time. Time was in God’s hands; all of it. He would work as fast as possible without sacrificing his attention to clean lines and straight crisp corners. To God be the glory was his concern in all he did. Deadlines were met most of the time and when they weren’t he dealt with those that were in charge with grace. You see now in his heart was the image of an hourglass in God’s hands. A time to be born and a time to die.  He thought, “Man is obsessed with time.” He recalled hearing people say, “If I could turn back the clock,” for this or that and knowing one can’t people become fatalistic in their thinking, “Time is running out.” Then everyone becomes consumed with squeezing too much into too little for gratification.

This was kind of like a little dream on his lunch break that started with prayer. It was time to get back and while he was walking back, he thought of that image of the hourglass, his hourglass in God’s hand. It had no sand, it was filled with eternity. Praise God…..


Psalm 113:2 Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forevermore!

Psalm103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children

Page 5

The Servant

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.


He awoke in the middle of the night, which happened on occasion. Since it started happening he decided it was a great time for prayer and often he would fall back asleep praying or singing a hymn or reciting memory verses. For the mason this wasn’t normal practice for many years. He’d actually only been doing this for the past five years of his nearly seventy years.

One of his prayers was to have a true servant’s heart and as he was praying he started to remember certain events of his life. It was early fall in the northwest hills, beautiful colors, slight biting chill in the air. The mason was on his way to do the task of building a small fence for a neighbor. It was a short truck drive away through some really beautiful country roads. He was looking forward to this job for the fence was to be of decorative cinder block. That was the lure; cinder block. He loved preparing for the job, measuring it out and then mixing the cement to the just right texture. Then finally the wall itself; straight corners and precise lines. The day filled with love for his work, short breaks for a drink or a quick bite, till as the light began to fade he was done. The neighbor asked how much for the fence and the mason replied, “It’s okay.” Thanks for the lunch. I haven’t had the opportunity to do this for a while and this kind of made my day.” He could have used the money but the words just came out.

Sometime later after he had moved back to the city he was back to doing what he loved, masonry. It lasted for a decent time till construction came to a standstill. There were layoffs all over the city and the mason found himself pumping gas to make ends meet. A friend approached him one day and asked him if he’d be willing to do a brick wall in his kitchen and the mason jumped at the chance. After a few days of working on the wall just a couple of hours a day (after pumping gas) he was done. He stood back and looked at the wall and was pleased, happy to be able to do this kind of work. His friend asked him the price of the wall and the mason took only enough for groceries for his family. His friend was flustered and insisted to give more but the mason refused saying “I really enjoyed doing this. It’s okay.”

Things got better for him as time went on and the mason started a service business. He remembered going to a house to repair a lock. He arrived at the house and went to a small basement apartment. An elderly man opened the door with a smile and asked him to come in. The problem was minor and it was done in a short time. When he was finished as he was about to write up the bill he glanced at the older lady at the table and then back to her husband and said, “Thank you. It’s okay. It’s on me.” They both refused to let him out without something.

He got home that evening and as he walked in to his house, his wife asked him how the day was, for it was still a struggle trying to start a new business. The mason showed part of the take for the day; a loaf of Italian bread, a small canning jar of homemade wine and some homemade cookies, and told her the story. The couple reminded him of his grandparents and he felt he wanted to do something for them. His wife smiled appreciating the gesture and said, “I guess we weren’t meant to be rich.”

A few more like stories went through his mind in a flash. He realized that the servant’s heart he had been praying for was a gift from God. Building and repairing were gifts. He always enjoyed doing those things to the point that he was almost sad when they were done.  The mason got a little emotional as he realized God was showing him the joy he experienced when he said, “It’s okay, it’s on me,” or when he accepted cookies, wine and bread for a job. God was blessing him before he knew God. As he remembered Ecclesiastes though the work he had done in the past was not about bringing glory to God. Talent used for self-satisfaction and ego is grasping for the wind; good deeds but vanity none the less. His servant’s heart now a gift from God, to do good yet now in a God glorifying way.


Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

“What a wonderful blessing from God,” the mason thought as he fell asleep praying for a bigger servant’s heart.


Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.



Each day I pray

When my day is through

Tomorrow my Lord

May I be more like You

To follow Your example

How You chose to live

May I have that heart of compassion

Never to take, only to give


Page 6



Singing To An Audience


The mason was leaving church saying his goodbyes to the people of the congregation. It was a really good service, a good sermon, fully Gospel centered; one of hope, not too much conviction, though some was always there. He knew how far from perfect he was. The thing that struck him so much though was what happened during the worship in song part of the service. He had been singing with the worship team less than a year and enjoyed singing praises. He had been in the school choir and as he got a little older he sang with a doo wop group. He remembered practicing any place with good acoustics; the way the voices would come together and mesh into something so beautiful in subway entrances, hallways, or the school bathroom; that when it happened perfectly it was almost unreal.  It was also an escape from the fighting and drugs that was a part of his surroundings. Singing on stage at a high school dance was a chance to show people the happiness there was in singing; what these four guys could do together; no fighting; no drugs. Though there was a fight or two at some of those dances but that is another story.

Soon after his heart was changed the mason asked about singing in church. To him it would be kind of like the old days, having a chance to sing and show how happy singing made him. He was unfamiliar with the song’s beautiful lyrics; not like the oldies he knew. As he began to know how some of these songs went and got more comfortable he was able to understand the words; not just read them. Back to what struck him that service during the worship in song part. He was singing out, “Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table, Jesus thank You.” The happiness he once displayed singing had turned into incredible soulful joy. He was so far removed from the high school auditorium in this church with a hundred or so people. With joy he realized he was singing to an audience of One…..


Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.


Song For You

I sing out to You Savior

With a message from my heart

Words drenched in love

As much as I can impart

With a thankful heart

These words barely explain

My love for You Lord

Who took on the pain

I sing out with great joy

Since my new life has begun

This world fades away

I sing to an audience of One



Page 7


Asa And The Mason


After a time in God’s word the mason felt blessed; then troubled. He’d read about King Asa who had overthrown a mighty army because he sought the Lord. He read:


2 Chronicles 15:2: He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”

The mason sought direction from God most of the time now as compared to before when he relied solely on his street smarts. He related reliance on God to his construction knowledge and experiences; how starting a job with no blueprints would be a disaster; how doing something he had never done before without seeking advice would be a disaster. Now knowing that he trusted in God and not on himself the mason felt peace in his heart, resting in the comfort of what God’s word was speaking to him. Just as starting the job with a good set of blueprints one can see the job to the end with confidence as long as you follow the plan; a child of God has God’s word, the Bible. Another verse came to the mason’s mind, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Then the troubled part set in. He thought of his family, children and grandchildren; his extended family, and friends and people God had put in his path. The second part of the verse (2 Chronicles 15:2) that says “. . . but if you forsake him, he will forsake you,” worried his heart. The mason had read on:


2 Chronicles 16:7-9 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”


God is so good he thought as he finished praying. God had spoken to his heart through scripture giving him joy and peace and in the same moment had caused his heart to feel concern for those he loved. He paused and prayed for God to reach out to them; for God to use him as a means to an end. The mason prayed that those on his heart would be mindful of the Lord in all ways; that they wouldn’t be a part of the verses that troubled him. He thought of a message for them.


Before You Go


When morning comes
and it’s time to rise
when a new day dawns
and you open your eyes
before you get up
before your feet touch the floor
before you start your day
before you walk out the door
spend just a silent moment
be thankful for a new start
ask God for His blessing
allow His love to fill your heart
before you go.






Grand Opening


He was finished with his last project and on to a new one; a large multi-billion-dollar building with three separate sections or wings. He remembered it as a big hole with large machinery in and around it. He had seen pictures of the completed project and the outcome was magnificent but now all he saw was that hole. He felt fortunate to be there for all the phases; the concrete foundation, the steel, the outer walls, the interior sections, stairways, escalators, windows, lights; all playing an intricate part.

The mason after so many days, months and years began to feel exited as the finished project neared completion. The drawings he saw long ago became a reality as the day of the grand opening neared. A lot of the people who started the building were gone because their phase was done but the mason was standing off to the side as all the suits (i.e. the owners and bosses) prepared to cut the ribbon. In one snip the ribbon was cut and the people entered as the building was revealed.

Now after many years passed as he finished a conversation with his wife after reading God’s word this story came back to him as sort of a parable. The people waiting outside the building then are the people he loves and prays for now. They have seen pictures of the building but have not gone in. They saw it being built yet couldn’t see the finished project.  The mason reflected on the verse, “In My Father’s house are many mansions if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

The mason prayed right then for all those he had been praying for constantly; for the truth to be seen by their eyes. That he would be there to see the ribbon cut and the truth to be revealed to those waiting outside; the truth that has now been revealed to him by the appearing of his Savior Jesus Christ who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.


The Ribbon Is Cut

Just words to those who do not know

The story of Christ for them hard to understand

They who do not pay mind to God think

Why would I be part of what He planned

As in an unfinished building

It is hard to imagine what will eventually be

Then the ribbon is cut people enter

The completed project they all see

So too for those dying in sin

The day God’s voice calls them to be healed

The ribbon is cut, they enter in

The truth has been revealed




Buried Treasure


The mason had come upon a stash of bottles he found years ago at a construction site. He had tucked them in the back of the closet which is what you are supposed to do with treasure.  He had done some excavating at the airport working with the back hoe operator. He would be down in the pit (hole) and with hand signals guide the machine operator. He came upon some interesting rocks and some beautiful old bottles. To him it was like buried treasure.           He always thought there was treasure all around; always looking down along the shore for that most unusual shell or rock.  There might be a valuable bottle among his collection; or not. As usual he started to think, “What lesson is there in this for me?” Almost instantly he smiled within, knowing the answer: “What better treasure to pass on than the word of God?” He thought about the many wonderful pearls of wisdom he found hidden in the scriptures, the invaluable lessons pointed out.

Now the mason is digging and God’s Spirit is showing him where to dig, uncovering not great old bottles and beautiful old stones but insight, direction, peace, understanding, and blessings from the word of God.

He imagined someone digging in some remote area and finding a Bible; someone, not knowing God; having never heard of Christ picking a Bible up from out of the ground; brushing it off and starting to read. God being God would be able to reveal Himself right there. What a find for that person; God’s word, the real example of buried treasure. Had that person found earthly treasure, he would have been rich but only for so long. But the treasure found in the word of God lasts eternally.


Matthew 6:19,20 – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth  nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 4:4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

The mason wished he could paint a picture of the valuable bottle he was holding, shattered in pieces dimly lit and the Bible next to it with a glorious light around it. He laughed to himself because his painting ability was probably fifth grade level or lower. Yet the image in his heart was beautiful so he tried to explain it in words.


What is written of in God’s word

More precious than all silver and gold

The picture painted in colors unknown

A masterpiece of glory to behold

The birth, life, sacrifice, resurrection

Salvation through Christ, the real treasure

The living word of God

The gift beyond all measure


Psalm 19:10,11

 “More to be desired are they than gold,

Yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them Your servant is warned,

And in keeping them there is great reward.”



Lesson On A Vacation


Walking along the beach, waiting for the sunrise with anxious anticipation: He loved sunrises, sunsets, snowfalls, and mountains. The list was endless!  The mason loved creation before he realized it was God he was giving glory and praise to. He grew up in an urban area; never went to camp so all of his appreciation came from books filled with pictures of forests and mountains and wildlife.  He looked back at the waves that started to glow with the colors of the sun rising; the ocean so vast; the horizon too. It made him feel so small.

He turned to look at his footprints in the sand and was reminded of how many places he had been. He had taken so many steps without appreciating God.  A picture of all of his footprints on the beach, footprints made over sixty years long appeared in his mind. He knew now that God had been there as he made every one of those footsteps in the sand! For as small as he felt earlier compared to all creation, he was a creation made by God. He was known to Him before time began and was loved by him. “How good is God!” the mason thought as he looked at the ocean. For more than every drop of water in that ocean is the Grace of God upon those who follow Him. It was God’s grace in every footstep on that over sixty year long walk on the beach. The sun rose up.  He made more footprints as he walked along singing to himself…..Amazing Grace.

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.


End Of Darkness


Not so long ago in life

I constantly tossed and turned

In my sin I looked to rest

By my conviction always spurned

With His Grace He reached out to me

I repented and confessed my sin

I felt the comfort of His arms

I was free, my rest could now begin

With the dawn of my new life

The end of the darkness like night

  Heart filled with radiance brighter than a sunrise

By His Grace in His glorious Light.








Sovereign Grace


He awoke with a start. It was that same dream of hanging from a window sill a few stories high. Although scared he never fell and he would always think how lucky he was. He sat up on the bed and recalled that day. . . .

The mason had been working on the scaffold and one of the workers warned him to avoid a certain plank ending. This plank was not secure yet and it would tip if someone stepped on it. He nodded yes and continued his work. It was a beautiful day; sun, warmth, gentle breeze, just perfect conditions to be outdoors working. Daydreaming was one of the disadvantages of working in precarious conditions and before he knew it, sure enough, he stepped on that plank and was hanging three stories above the ground. He doesn’t remember now if he called out to God or thought he could do it without God’s help. But he remembers thinking for a moment with clarity to rest his foot on the scaffold brace to give him leverage to move his hands one at a time to get closer to the scaffold. Mission accomplished he sat down and again gave himself credit for saving himself. The mason even had a tiny rip cord drawn inside his jacket as some sort of safety net superstition. He recalled other instances; not responding to the invite for a ride from one of the neighborhood guys and how they were caught in that stolen car, the (shudder) gun incident – it being pointed at him and misfiring. “Really good having a rip cord,” he thought.

A few more memories and it was time for prayer. The dream was always a reminder of how until the Lord reached out His hand and brought him back to safety, he would always be hanging there until he could hold no longer. His “rip cord” was God’s sovereign grace that protected him. Nothing could happen unless God permitted it to happen.  Even when He was saved from eternal death it had nothing to do with what the mason did. It was all God’s doing through the sacrifice of His Son. Now he does all he can to tell people not to step on that board, to make sure their footing is secure in the Gospel. Christ is the only way back off the ledge…..


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.



The Pile

God was continually putting things on the mason’s heart since he was saved. He would think about them as he was working and jot them down when he got home. Some were thoughts that would work on his heart and he felt the need to share them.

He wrote of past experiences, of how it was so evident that God directed everything in his life. In his reading of the Bible he loved to receive a clear message for his heart; how it was truly the living word. That thought struck a chord and he remembered of something he wrote when he was seven years old. It was something God put on his heart then to share all these years later.

The story was of a leaf, how it grew on a tree only to change colors, be admired, fall off, be swept up, put in a pile, and burned. To him, then as a seven-year-old it was a sad story but he remembered how his sister and parents laughed when they read it. They laughed not so much at the story but the ending for the leaf was saying as it was swept up; “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.” It might have been too much drama, but it was what he pictured. Now he felt the need to share what a clear picture this was of salvation.

All of us born on that tree grow.  Then autumn comes at different times in our lives. We show many different colors in different walks and ways.  Some fall from the tree not having anything to cling to; belief, faith. Separated from the tree they are gathered up in the pile and burned. He wished his parents knew the real story and not laughed but hung on to the tree. Thus the reason to share this story written by a seven year old; those goodbyes that shrunk down to a whisper were futile last minute attempts. He stopped his thoughts and started to pray for unsaved loved ones, prayed for God to put people in his path so he could share the Gospel. The story was sad but only for the leaves that fell away. But there is the tree of life that those who are saved cling to eternally. This particular story the seven year old wrote has a happy ending.

The mason closed his eyes thanked God once again for that morning in his trailer when he was saved from the pile…..

John 15:1-2 I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Matthew 13:30   Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn….

All The While

A heart filled with words of thanks

With love, praise, and glory too

I put into stories, songs, and poems

And in all else I say and do

For from this humble heart I speak

Of this joy that has been with me all the while

Since You through Your mercy and grace

Chose to save me from the pile.




A Lesson Well Learned


The mason finished reading his Bible and like so many other times his heart and mind were both saying, “Wow!” He was so blessed those times when certain things he read spoke so clearly to his heart; how it would cause him to reflect on what God was showing him through his experiences, how God was working.

He had had a brief encounter with God in his thirties when thinking he needed to change his heart he said the magic words, thinking it was something he could do by himself. After he had made that decision he went about doing everything he thought he should do being a follower of Christ. That new person lasted a couple of years and it became more and more difficult doing what he thought he should. Eventually it was easy to just disregard that way.

Later on he understood why it was easy to walk away. To him, being a mason it was clear. It was like starting a brick job and showing up without his trowel or level or having no mortar or water. He needed all those things for the job to be done, each individual one was needed. Above all he had to be a mason (bricklayer) to even attempt the task. He couldn’t just say today I am a bricklayer and be one; there are not any “magic words.” It is God’s will, His calling that draws you. It is through His sacrifice that you are regenerated and are truly a Christian, a follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives the “tools and materials” to do the task.

Galatians 5:22-3  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.


His brief attempt to be a Christian was him trying on his own something that only God can do. When God called him he was fully equipped. Still as in any other endeavor in life practice makes perfect; this he understood. So the most likely path would be for him to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who led a perfect life.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

            Following in the footsteps of Jesus, “So much easier said than done,” he thought. The mason was putting all the pieces together. God was ministering to his heart. He was going over all he was equipped with to attempt this task. He put it into terms he understood. It was the calling of the master builder: The plans were given to him (the word); he was then fully equipped (the fruits of the Spirit). The task was clearly to bring glory to God, being used to advance the kingdom, spread the good news. Being such a wise Master Builder, God gave the mason one more valuable tool. If anything was going astray, if there were any bumps in the road or if he just needed to talk, God gave the mason the gift of prayer; the ability to call on the Master anytime, anywhere, for any need.


James 1:2-5 Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Philippians 4:5-6 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


The mason suddenly realized how confident he felt for the task.


Romans 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,


The mason was so blessed with all that came out of one little reading and all that comes out of a sermon he hears and the thoughts that filled his heart as he prayed. He thanked God for the ability to express what is in his heart, how he was enabled to put those thoughts, emotions, and love for God into words. He thought again how God made something that seemed impossible so much easier for him.


John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

God Allows


Sunday service over, the mason walked out of church with heart and mind racing. The sermon was on the song, How Deep the Fathers Love for Us. His heart racing with the joy of confirmation and his mind filled with thoughts and visions, a mental picture of the sermon.

The pastor had spoken of the mocking voices at the cross and the mason remembered that night when God opened his eyes. He envisioned the cross and felt like he was there among the scoffers for he had turned his back to Christ. He never thought of the other thing that was said, about what held Christ on the cross. If asked, most people would answer nails, but it was sin that held Him there. Christ could have done a multitude of things to change the situation, but then would not be able to say “It is finished.” God allowed it; Christ did it willingly. The mason in awe repeated, “It was my sin that held Him there. It was my mocking voice among the scoffers.” The mason was reminded during the sermon of how he still used that mocking voice, for whenever his words were used contrary to God he was mocking. His silence was even mocking as was a simple non-truth; a hurting word or even to withhold his testimony or witness when opportunity presented itself.

In his heart conviction turned to joy, when he realized God cares for him by showing his error through scripture and preaching.  The more he meditated on what he had heard and his past, the more the mason was in awe of God. Places he had been, things he had seen. Majestic mountains, mighty rivers, forests, eagles soaring skyscrapers, bridges, jets flying; all still standing, still flying, only because God allows. The mason prayed that his non-mocking voice proclaim Gods majesty and hand upon all things. He thanked God as always for forgiving him of that sin that once held Christ on the cross, thanked God for the risen Savior who gave him life, a new heart. The mason then reflected on scripture, 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ.” He loved the book of Acts and prayed for the zeal of the Apostle Paul, who after going through so much for the advancement of the Gospel, still in his final days, had that fire.


Acts 28:30-31 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.


“No one forbidding him,” the mason thought, not even himself. He imagined himself thinking loudly in his mind and heart as someone was approaching him, I can’t wait to tell the story of the Gospel.


Psalm 26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,

And tell of all Your wondrous works.




Bright Future

Ecclesiastes 7:10 “Do not say, Why were the former days better than these?            For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.”


He walked away thinking of the way God speaks to those who want to listen and even to those He calls that had no intention to listen. This time though the mason was thinking about how God uses people to perk up the ears and hearts of others. After just hearing someone explain some things from God’s word in Ecclesiastes his mind was filled with hundreds of thoughts. He was excited for he had that anticipation that God was showing him something. He prayed for clarity and understanding.

He had heard the Pastor say that memories and old photos and desires for things from the past were okay and natural but lingering on them was not a good idea. The mason was a story teller. He had hundreds of them; good, sad, funny, scary and sentimental. Some stories from his youth he loved telling because it was kind of like reliving those moments. There were however many moments that he chose not to focus on, not to remember, more than just a few. He smiled thinking about what the Pastor had said, “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.” The mason counted his blessings thanked God for every memory, the good ones and the bad.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

                Then again thinking on the term the good old days he thought, “Would I want to go back to a time I didn’t know my wife or my children or most importantly before I knew God?” A resounding “No” cried out from his heart. He thanked God. He thought about his past so far gone; times as a little boy singing Silent Night while thinking of presents under the tree to times as a man singing Silent Night thinking of the greatest Gift of all.


Luke 2:11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Good old days? Yes! Better days; now. Greatest days; ahead.


Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father   with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works…..


A very bright future…..


Bright Eternal Future

Look back, yes at the birth of Christ

Never a greater gift could there be

So too look to the sacrifice on the cross

That enabled those bound by sin to be free

Now you who believe look ahead

The time is drawing near

The bright eternal future, Christ

On the horizon will appear



Glory to God, for the way He changes, shapes, and molds us. Glory to God who conforms us to His image. I pray The Thoughts of the Mason shows you the thankful heart he rejoices with for all God has done and continues to do for one so undeserving. God’s love, grace and mercy is so wonderful. The mason could not ever thank Him enough.

Never Enough


The words thank You Lord

Fill my heart every day

Thank You Lord weaves in

Every time I pray


Thank You for my family

And each and every friend

The privilege of prayer

The song in my heart with no end


For the beauty all around

Your grace that flows so free

The ultimate beautiful sacrifice

The way You died for me


Thank You for Your Living Word

It pierces my heart, shows the way

The rain, the moon, the stars and sun

Precious breath You give each day


Thank You Lord for calming the seas

For reaching out when the road became too rough

If I thanked You every minute of every day

It would never be enough.