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"To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life." Romans 2:7 NIV

Never underestimate the joy of giving honor to someone worthy to receive it. I recently returned from Pennsylvania where I was honored to address the student body of my former high school and present an award for the Alumnus of the Year. After receiving a commission from the school to design and create the award the presentation was made during a special assembly of high school juniors and seniors on May 21st. The event was also broadcast to the entire upper school. It was an exciting opportunity to revisit my old high school. There were 27 students in my graduating class in 1968 and I was amazed to see how God has blessed this school, how it has prospered and expanded over the past 53 years. The recipient of this years award was Cindy Hayes Williamson, class of ’88, who currently serves with her husband as a missionary in Guatemala.

Cindy Hayes Williamson '88 with Thurman Mason

Designing and producing the piece took about three months. The piece measures 21 centimeters high and is 7 centimeters in diameter at its widest point.The final product had evolved significantly from the initial concept which started out as a type of platter/dish. This project turned out to be a truly collaborative affair as my inspiration came over a period of several

Hoping these beautiful markings will remain

months - quite often while falling asleep or waking up. I had no idea if the markings which originally attracted me to this piece of wood would remain once I had turned it down to its final shape. The color and markings in the wood were essential. It was these markings that would define the piece and give it meaning.

Hopefully you can see various elements of worship, raised hands, rising incense, and flaming tongues of fire that I wanted to in corporate into the design. The sculpture, is both turned and carved from Box Elder (Acer negundo), and it is standing on a foundational base of exotic South American Bloodwood (Brosimum Rubescens) - a metaphor for the Christian life in which salvation, faith, and service must similarly stand on a foundation of the blood stained wood designed at Calvary over two millennium ago.

For all those pieces of dead wood, destined for the burn pile rescued, redeemed, and repurposed by the Master Creator, and refashioned into a unique and beautiful work of art which He loves and derives great pleasure from.
For all those pieces of dead wood

I dedicate my work to all those pieces of dead wood, condemned to rot or be consumed on the burn pile but, having been rescued, redeemed, and repurposed by the Master Creator, are now refashioned into an individually unique and beautiful work of art which He loves unconditionally and derives great pleasure from.

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Susan Hagner
Susan Hagner
Aug 21, 2023

I can’t believe I missed this presentation. Should I have known, could I have known ? I would have been proud to watch you present this amazing piece of your handiwork.

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So glad you like it. While I had ample time to design and create this piece the actual order of the presentation was not finalized until the day before. I was not clear as to whether I would be doing the actual presentation. It would have been great to have you and some of my other classmates there. Fortunately Steve Dill attended with me and may have been instrumental in permitting me to address the students and the recipient of the award. The event was supposedly in the DC Keynoter the following month but I never saw it..

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