Saturday, November 13, 2010

Revelation Commentary, from a Handyman? Part 4

From Part Three, I ended it with a description of the Church of Ephesus, the legalistic church. This post is going to cover the church of Smyrna, the suffering church.
And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive: I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synogogue of Satan. Fear not those things which shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death. Revelation 2:8-11 KJV.

The church of Smyrna, as with many churches in the first century and today suffered and still suffer heavy persecution from unbelievers. Churches in every nation, including the United States face persecution as individuals and as a group. This can range from rude remarks, all the way to beheadings, or worse.

When the seven year period known as the Tribulation comes, this will intensify. Tribulation saints (but not the church) will be here to face the brunt and the wrath of the one known as the Antichrist. In Smyrna, the time from arrest to execution was ten days, but the Lord promised them as He does us, to endure to the end and receive a crown of life. For me personally, this sounds like a win/win if I ever heard one. Our lives can and should be there to glorify the Lord, and what better way than give your life is this is required.

A Cheap Fix for Collapsed Radiator Hoses.

I've been working on cars since for nearly three decades and have learned there are things better left to a pro. However, there are times that we really can save money if we do the work ourselves if we know what we're doing. Saying this, I'm not in control of your work or situation and you should approach any repair with a degree of respect. Working on the cooling system can be dangerous and unless the engine you're working on is completely cool, you could get hurt. I had to replace a valve cover gasket on a 1975 Nova 20 years ago with a hot engine and broke a heater hose. The result was a first degree burn on my forearm that could have been much worse. Do not work on any engine or any part of the cooling system unless you're sure it's completely cool (overnight is best).

The car was and still is a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am with the 2.2 liter four and the original issue was a leaking cam (or valve) cover. This was a simple straightforward job that still took me a couple hours because of trying to figure out the hose issue and cleaning the cover in Simple Green. The hose problem was that they were collapsed, and I assumed that the hoses were bad. Any time, I would say that after five years the hoses and belts need replacement. With the way car parts are now, we need to try and maximize their use. I replace them when they start to weather check or swell and as long as they're resilient, I leave 'em on unless I have to take on off to replace another part.

These hoses looked fine, but they had been on the car since 2004 and it is 2010. So my friend and I went to Autozone and the clerk priced out the upper and lower rad hoses for this beast. The top hose was $10.99, but the lower one was $65.00.

Talk about sticker shock, but this was a pretty convoluted part. Still, money's tight this week and I never have the money to swap out parts on a whim. Off to NAPA and I purchased what I needed for about $7.50 at the advice of the counterperson there.

I removed the surge tank cap and at once, the hoses returned to their rounded shape. The problem was the cap wasn't equalizing the pressure and once the engine cooled, the pressure in the cooling system became lower than that of the surrounding air. I replaced said cap with a new aftermarket and saved a lot of money and frustration. Admittedly, the hoses and belts in this car are going to need to be done soon. However, it makes no sense to replace something before it's time. This is much like getting a new humidifier pad every six months instead of annually. It definately makes no sense to replace the wrong part and still have a problem. Maranatha!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Avoiding a Catastrophe!

Today, after several 12 hour days behind the wheel and in front of furnaces, business slowed to a trickle. I had one clean and check on a Carrier 80% unit in Dewitt today. That was my one and only call besides helping my boss with a unit heater in the garage. While the furnace itself had the usual signs of neglect (A very dirty flame rod and a hot surface ignitor ready to fail) the humidifier was a sight to behold. Because of privacy concerns, I didn't take a picture of said humidifier, but it was the worst case of mildew I've seen in several years. This was a General Filters model 1099. the big one with the clips holding the top and bottom to the chassis. This whole chassis was black with mildew, the steel frame on the pad was rusted and the aluminum substrate also had a mask of black fungi. Take my word for it, this was gross.

Because there was a fair amount of luggage nearby and this was a finished basement with carpeting throughout, I elected not to use bleach to clean the chassis out. Instead, I opted to use evaporator coil cleaner with a spray bottle and some elbow grease to get this muck out; not easy with a General. This humidifier fills through the top plate and drains excess water through the bottom. Since this is a bypass humidifier, using a pipe from the opposite duct, there is no fan to move the air through. It uses the furnace fan to move the air through the wet pad and substrate. The excess water drains through a hole and a tube in the bottom plate.

The problem was the pad had not been changed in five years and material and dirt had clogged the drain. This water stagnated and caused the interior of the chassis to remain wet. Because the coating designed to keep biological activity to a minimum on the pad was long gone, the mildew situation intensified; it had all the makings of the perfect storm. Months of no maintenance dumped more dirt into the drain and created more mildew. This in turn created more material to plug things up. The result could have been a nightmare for the homeowner because the drain could have failed completely and the water would have had nowhere to go but over the edge of the plate and onto the floor and into the furnace. This water would have ruined drywall, carpeting, furniture and that expensive luggage inched from the furnace. It could have also caused issues with rusting the duct work.

But the worst of the worst is air quality. Mildew or mold isn't fun to breathe, nor does it help the quality of furnishings in a home. The toxins released by this stuff can sicken people, especially if they have allergies (the homeowner does). The pad was about $50 installed and included expert installation, which is another caveat that homeowners need to understand. Just because they can buy something in the store doesn't make them qualified to install it. I've seen more than a few bungled humidifier pad installs to know that these are not idiot proof, including one rather talented homeowner who elected to put a #10 Aprilaire pad into a Model 550 humidifier. This one resulted in a three inch gap that's going to let gallons of water ruin his drop elbow and furnace when the pad (an aftermarket knock off) finally collapses in a heap.

My advice is to call a professional to get this work done the right way. Make sure he or she is bonded and has some training, but the most important thing is to make sure this person gives a damn about the job they are doing. You would think that as a homeowner, you'd know and care more than the guy who does does this for a living every day.However, this isn't the case. I've had thousands of dollars in training and have hundreds of dollars of tools and equipment to help make sure the job is done right. I've also worked on more humidifiers in one week than most laypeople will do in 50 years.

Other technicians will probably have similar stories too, but the message is clear. Some things are better left to a professional, and need to be done. Maranatha!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Revelation Commentary, From a Handyman? Part 3

Earlier, I made the comment about the seven stars in Jesus' right hand.

1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the seven angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Let's take this verse in. There are several references to "stars" being equated to angels in the Book of Revelation in addition to elsewhere in the Bible. David Jeremiah has an excellent commentary on angels if you're interested. Here's the link

We should also know from the Book of Matthew, chapter 25, or Acts 17:11 and other references (salt and light for one in Matthew 5:13:16). So the church is to be the light of the world, this we should know, but in practice this isn't always the case for Christ's unworthy bride. This is a sad reality elaborated in Revelation Chapter 2.

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience and how canst not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hadst found them liars; And hadst borne, and hadst patience, and for my name's hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that have an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith onto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Jesus is addressing Ephesus, which is a church that follows through the motions and has adopted a very legalistic style. The problem is that they've forgotten about Jesus while going through the motions. One word here about the Nicolaitanes. These are people who wanted to centralize the authority in the church, replacing the Bible and Jesus with the hierarchy of men. This is why Christ despises them to this day.