From The Vellum

Well, here goes.  I’ve put this off long enough, but now I’m finally writing my first ever blog.  The painful truth is that I honestly don’t want to write a blog but feel overwhelmingly compelled to do so.  I mean, does anyone really read blogs?  We have all become such scanners and sound biters that rarely do we plumb the depths of any topic. So why should I waste my time and write a blog, when I could just as well take a hike with my dog? And while I don’t have a solid answer for this question I am driven, today, to start anyway.  So here I go!

My blog is “From the Vellum”.  And for those that might wonder why the name, let me devote this blog to its explanation. But a quick explanation may be getting too far ahead of myself, so first I must answer the basic question, “what is a blog?”  Well, I think I know the answer to that but I’ll check with Google.  I’m really quite insecure without Google, aren’t you?  OK, here’s how Google defines blog…”a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, which is written in an informal or conversational style.” After reading Google’s definition I noticed the higher authority on the topic just a few notches lower on the search, Wikipedia!  So I naturally had to read what Wiki had to say. It seems that it’s the way the world is educated nowadays, the one-two punch of Google and Wikipedia. And now, after an exhausting read about blogging I have discovered that I am becoming a blogger as I enter the blogosphere.  Sounds like a whole new world to me, but I will bravely go forward with my keyboard waving into the fray!

So why call the Blueprint for Men blog, “From the Vellum”?  Well, it’s simply a metaphor with deep significance.  But before I answer the question completely I need to warn you that I am a metaphorical man. And what that basically means it that I am a simple man who must break down complex truths into simple illustrations that pretty much everyone can understand. I discovered during my 30 years as a teacher that if I can’t make it simple, in the form of an everyday physical metaphor, I don’t really understand, whatever it is.  While I am firmly convinced that metaphors are the best tools for keeping things simple they are actually far more.  For as you unpack a fitting metaphor you will discover subtle hidden truths that were not even possible to understand with a complex description.  And here’s the thing. What we also discover when we use these metaphorical methods is that we have actually done nothing more than follow the teaching methods of the Master Educator, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He continually used metaphors, similes, and parables to teach unfathomable spiritual truths.  And today, two millennia after He spoke these truths, we are still groping with the meaning of many of these parables.  I love it!

 

When I started Blueprint for Men just a year ago, I chose the name because it represented a plan for men to follow, a blueprint of sorts.  And just as a blueprint is a copy of an original plan or prototype that influences subsequent design or practice.  And just like a blueprint is a copy of an original, so each man’s life must be built according to the original, THE MASTER BLUEPRINT, Jesus Christ.  Only He provides the perfect example of how men are designed to live, MEN BY DESIGN!

Now, it’s interesting to note that the highest quality blueprints are often called “vellum” prints. Today’s vellum prints are actually made on an imitation vellum, but vellum, real vellum is made from the skin of animals. The term vellum and parchment are often used interchangeably since they both are made from animal skins but vellum is the finer quality of the two. Vellum has been used for thousands of years for just about every significant written document you can imagine such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible, and the American Declaration of Independence. And what I believe is the basic point to this connection between vellum and these documents is the connection between death and freedom.  Just as an animal was sacrificed after man first sinned, and its skins were used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve, representing the freedom from sin that Messiah would bring, so too, do these important documents represent freedom, but with a price of risking death.  Jesus is the ultimate vellum, the original document of freedom, freedom from sin and death. And so I begin my blog, “From the Vellum”, I will humbly seek to convey the message of freedom that God offers to all men that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  But herein lies the challenge.  To live in freedom each man must die to self, take up his cross, and follow Him, daily.  Let’s go!

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