“How-to Books” and Teaching Books
This will include short booklets, as well as longer works, all available for purchase online:
My first book on lutherie was a compilation of a series of web log posts, chronicling the building of a commissioned five-string fiddle. I offered it for years as a free .pdf download, but it did not work well on phones, or other small screens as the text was too small to read. So, I have revised and re-formatted the book as an electronic form, and am releasing it as a Kindle book. I hope to offer an online series of lutherie lessons later, in keeping with this style.
Kai Jensesn, a NASA engineer who loved violins, began to build a cello…but he was getting up in age, and his health failed before he could complete his beloved project. Years later, long after his passing, his daughter brought the instrument to me to complete it for him, so that she would have her father’s cello to play. This is the story, step-by-step, of how Kai Jensen’s dream was fulfilled and blossomed into a beautiful cello. It is also the story of how his daughter inherited her father’s joy. She named the completed instrument “The Swan,” because the first music it played was Saint-Saen’s “The Swan.” These are the Journeys of the Swan.
“This is a sweet story for anyone who has a cello that they love. I remember reading about the Swan cello years ago. Mr. Bishop has told the story of a daughter’s wish to honor her father and of a luthier’s effort to make her wish come true. It’s delightful reading and a lovely tribute to all string instruments.”
Linda Jensen Monk
This will probably become a list of articles or short books on resurrecting old fiddles. Only one for now, but more will come. These will appear on Kindle for their minimum price
The Bread Bag Fiddle is a short work (3,800 words, 30 photos) chronicling the transformation of a “junk-store special”…a sadly neglected and abused violin, into the daily player of a gigging fiddler.
“Resurrection of Another Dead Fiddle” is a little shorter, still, but it includes details of internal structural repairs, as well as replacement of missing rib wood and a full neck-set. The customer had sadly set this one aside and bought a cheap violin on which to practice, but after the repairs shown here, this violin returned to being her daily player. She has become a Happy Customer!
This will include longer books, full builds or major overhauls. Both “Show-and-tell” books and tutorials will appear here, as they become available. I am still learning how to self-publish, so keep checking back. Some of the books are already complete: otheres are in the works.
Bible Commentaries: “A Layman’s Look…”
These are serious commentaries on various books of the Bible, using the King James Version, for reference. In these commentaries I unfailingly treat the Bible as the Word of God. (Some people may reject this idea, but that is how I see the Bible and that is the way I teach it.)
I entitled the overall series, “A Layman’s Look:” because I do not claim any high credentials or degrees: for nearly fifty years I have actively studied the Bible, including about four years of formal schooling in the Bible and ministry. I always teach both Bible content and application, and for 45 years I have been writing my notes in notebooks or in my computer. This year, I’m finally beginning to compile the notes into comprehensive expository commentaries, with the hope that they will be helpful to the readers.
“A Layman’s Look at the Epistle to the Galatian Churches” came first, as my first completed and published commentary. It is a 56,000+ word, verse-by-verse and idea-by-idea treatment of Paul’s letter to the churches in the province of Galatia. These churches were facing a problem: a group of false teachers were subverting the faith of the new believers, telling them that they had to subject themselves to the Jewish law and traditions to be saved. This concept still arises today, and the Book of Galatians is still as pertinent today as it ever was.
The Book of Ephesians is a “Nuts and bolts” tutorial on the Normal Christian Life. This commentary is a 70,000-word, verse-by verse, and idea-by-idea examination of Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus. Paul first addresses the Believer’s Position “in Christ.” Because the believer is permanently “In Christ,” placed there by the Holy Spirit, the moment he or she believed; certain things are eternally true of him or her, without further conditions.
Afterward, He addresses our “Condition” as believers. (My condition can vary wildly, but my position is secure.) Next he addresses the believer’s “Walk” with Christ; the relationship with Christ, relationships between believers, husband and wife, employee and employer, etc.. Finally, He discusses the “Warfare” of the believer, and points out that “other humans are not the enemy.”
This is a smaller commentary (32,900 words), because it is a smaller epistle: But, it is rich in encouragement, as the book of Philippians is the only epistle with no corrective teaching. It is all blessing and encouragment.
These people were the only church who regularly supported Paul in his ministry. They were very poor, but desired to be part of his work, and supported him financially, working with him to see the Gospel spread around the Mediterranean world. This book teaches the believer how to experience the Peace of God. Romans 5:1 tells how to have peace with God. But Philippians addresses the Peace of God.
This is also a fairly small commentary (34,300 words; Colossians only has four chapters.) The Book of Colossians teaches many of the same things as Ephesians, in more concise form, but it also addresses some truths about Christ Himself that the other epistles do not offer. Jesus is seen as the Creator here, that “All things were made by Him and for Him, and by Him all things consist” ( It literally means, “By Him they hold together.”) Jesus Christ is shown to be all-sufficient, and the believer is shown to be “Complete in Him.”
The theme of the Book of Romans is “the Gospel of God’s Grace.” In it we learn the “bad news” of our lost state, as the fallen Human Race. We learn about the “Good News”…what God did to overcome our lostness. We learn how His remedy is to be received, and how completely efficacious it is, that we are permanently Joined to Christ, and fully identified with Him in His death, and Burial and resurrection.
Then we learn in chapter 5, just how completely our new position in Christ has changed our status with God . In chapters 6-8 we see our new separation from our old sin nature: it is still there, but it has zero authority over us. We are free to walk with Jesus. Paul answers serious questions about Israel, in chapters 9-11. In chapters 12-16, he teaches how to live as a believer.
This is a 90,000+ word, verse-by-verse, and idea-by-idea treatment of the whole book of Romans.
This is a 81,400 word, verse-by-verse, and idea-by-idea commentary on the whole book of Hebrews.
The Book of Hebrews is one of the most difficult and most delightful books in the New Testament, especially for Gentile readers, as it is primarily addressed to the Hebrew professing believers.
It dips deeply into Old Testament history, and it makes seven comparisons between important Old Testament Persons, Practices, or Things, and in every case, proves Jesus to be superior in every way.
Jesus is Better
The theme of this epistle is “Jesus is better.” The writer lists seven supremacies of Christ, showing His superiority over:
- The Sabbath
- The Priesthood
- The Old Covenant
- The Old Testament Sacrifices
Because it deals with Old Testament truth, it is easy for us to misunderstand. We need to pay careful attention, to see what it actually says, and not misunderstand. As we learn what the book actually teaches, it becomes a source of deep delight, satisfaction, security, and peace.
The Writer also offers seven warnings to those who are just “dabbling:” in these warnings, he speaks to professing believers who have not settled their faith: they are on the verge, but, they are not committed. They have not anchored their faith in Christ. To those persons, the Writer offers the seven warnings that grow stronger and stronger, letting them know that they are still in danger, whereas those who have truly placed their dependence on Jesus Christ are eternally secure.
Finally, to the believers, the Writer offers about forty exhortations, encouraging them to live out their faith in Full Obedience to Christ. The book of Hebrews is a total blessing to study. I trust that this book will help others to more deeply appreciate God’s Word. It is a powerful book, and well worth studying.