Accident Survivor Joshua Rister Creates Hand Made Wood Crosses!

Writer Josh Belcher At Rockin' God's HouseThere lies a certain honor in the name Joshua. There was Joshua in the Bible, who faced Jericho. He trusted in God, and the wall came tumbling down. My newfound friend Joshua Rister has also had his wall of Jericho to overcome. In 2001, Joshua had a Jeep accident that broke his back in five places and his left leg in four places. He suffered a concussion, lost his gallbladder, and his lungs collapsed. He was in and out of a coma for three weeks, and he was given a fifteen percent chance of survival.

But he lived.

Not only did he survive, but he used his second chance at life to nurture a very special talent: he makes stunning handcrafted crosses with reclaimed wood that he finds everywhere, even in different states during his road trip adventures. They truly are a perfect gift for a loved one! You can get them at “Our Thrift Store” in Franklin, TN. You can also send Joshua Rister a friend request on Facebook and inquire about purchasing one of his handcrafted crosses. Search on Facebook for the “Joshua N Rister” profile that mentions “Our Thrift Store” in its description. On his page you can view a photo gallery of his artwork, called Jericho Crossings.

Joshua and I talked about his ministry and his artwork:

Rockin’ God’s House: Tell us about yourself, Joshua.

Joshua: I’m a Christian, and I was blessed to be born into a great Christian family. I spent my early years in church, but when I reached adolescence I strayed, and I spent the majority of my time chasing girls, alcohol, and drugs. If someone had asked me if I were a Christian, I would have said yes. But they were just words. There was nothing in my life that would have shown you I was a believer. I was on that path until 2001 when I had my Jeep accident. I broke my back in five places, broke my left leg in four places, suffered a concussion, lost my gallbladder, my lungs collapsed, and the paramedics gave me a fifteen percent chance of survival. I was in a coma off and on for the first two to three weeks before I finally started to come around. When I did wake up, I knew that God had saved me. There’s no other way to put it. I just knew. So many people were praying for me, and God decided that he didn’t want Satan to have me. That’s something I still can’t wrap my head around. It’s as if God reached down his hand and said, ” You can’t have this one. This one is mine.” I wasn’t doing anything at the time to deserve “saving.” Quite the opposite, in fact. It was by pure grace that I was saved, and it’s by grace that I write these words today.

Rockin’ God’s House: How did the Cross-making come about?

Joshua: I was actually at an estate sale in Nashville when I found an old stack of pinewood lying out in the backyard. I remember looking at the wood, and thinking it would make a cool Cross. So that’s how it all started really. I had never done any woodwork or carpentry before that, but I just knew that I wanted to make a Cross.

Rockin’ God’s House: How did you come up with the name Jericho Crossings?

Joshua: You know, the name Jericho Crossings just came to me one day. I hadn’t been trying to come up with a name, nor was I even thinking at that time that I needed a name. I liked the sound of it though, and my name is Joshua, so it did seem fitting.

Rockin’ God’s House: From where do you draw your inspiration, and where do you get your materials?

Joshua: I get materials from everywhere. Everything I’ve made so far has come from old barns, pieces lying on the side of the road, estate sales, friends properties, and basically anywhere I see wood that inspires me. So far, all my materials have come from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. As far as my inspiration, it comes straight from the Lord. Knowing that Jesus and His father Joseph were both carpenters and worked with wood really motivates me to follow in their footsteps. Granted, I’m no skilled carpenter building houses or anything like that yet, but I figured the Cross would be a good place to start.


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