God is an artist …

God is an artist and he is beautiful. He has woven his image into the fabric of our lives, which explains our drive to create things which are beyond us and which we don’t always understand. Perhaps more important, he has issued a call to us that carries with it the possibility of obedience or disobedience: the call to respond to his beauty with creative worship. … God calls us to create a space in time for ourselves and others to meet with God, to gaze upon his beauty and to worship him.

– From my morning readings in “Scribbling in the Sand – Christ and Creativity” by Michael Card.

Stained Glass Window Full of Light and Color

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stockphotosforfree/7190209497/in/photostream Photo by Stock Photos for Free with Some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution License

We can answer that call with art, with craft, with music.  We can answer it with hospitality, with service, with fellowship.  It doesn’t matter how we answer it.  What’s important is that we answer it.

Pray for wisdom…

“Pray for wisdom when you’re not sure which way to go.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

bible with stained glass reflection by melanerpist
bible with stained glass reflection, a photo by melanerpist on Flickr.

I’d go further.  I say pray for wisdom even when I think I know which way to go.  Pray for wisdom.

Reaching for Faith – Stained Glass 2

There are many books that can give you fancy stitches for a variety of looks.  My favourite is

The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide: Jo Ippolito Christensen: 9780684832302: Amazon.com: Books.

Sometimes it’s just fun to mix it up!

Reaching - lower right by Carmen CS
Reaching – lower right, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help me to find creative ways to enjoy my life and service.

Words of praise…

“Pray words of praise when things go well.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Praise by EL@Seattle
Praise, a photo by EL@Seattle on Flickr.

Words of praise are so important.  Just praying them can change our hearts.  If I always go to God asking for things, I don’t recognize, I don’t notice what I have.  And I have so much!

If I don’t pray words of praise when things go well, it’s so easy for me to get discouraged.  To fail to notice progress.  To give up on my dream…

Reaching for Faith – Stained Glass

To make the stained glass, I used a variety of variegated threads to give the colors.  I also used fancy stitching to suggest different kinds of textured glass.

Reaching - upper right by Carmen CS
Reaching – upper right, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I praise You for the complexity and beauty of Your creation.

No matter what we are like…

“…no matter what we are like, the door is open to the presence of God.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

Entering Bond Chapel by Out Of Chicago
Entering Bond Chapel, a photo by Out Of Chicago on Flickr.

Sometimes I feel so unworthy.  It’s important to me to remember that it is not just me doing service.  The presence of God is what benefits others!  The door is open for me to visit Him, and for Him to shine through me

The most important thing…

“The most important thing you can do for your dream? Pray, pray, and pray some more.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

DSC_8457 by caddy_corner
DSC_8457, a photo by caddy_corner on Flickr.

I have a tendency to think about my dream, plan for my dream, work on my dream, but to forget to pray.  Father, help us to remember to pray!

Reaching for Faith – Fur Highlights

The initial inspiration for this piece was seeing Romanji, my little black cat, silhouetted against a window with stained glass privacy film.  Romanji is black with the occasional white hair peeking through.

I liked the idea that he cat should not be totally black, and added a variegated black-to-grey fiber into the flat DMC black thread to get this effect.

Reaching - fur highlights by Carmen CS
Reaching – fur highlights, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of free will.  Help me to make choices that bring me further into the light, and turn away from the dark.

How much better…

“How much better to leave tracks in time that tell of lending a helping hand, lifting someone’s load a little, bringing a bit of love and laughter into someone’s dark day.”

From my morning readings in “Outdoor Moments with God”, by W. Phillip Keller.

snow swirls by paul+photos=moody
snow swirls, a photo by paul+photos=moody on Flickr.

And what joy to bring beauty into the world!  Thank you, Father, for giving us creativity and aesthetics!

Keep pursuing the God…

“Keep going.
  Keep believing.
Keep pursuing the God who never stops pursuing you.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Rushing to Sing by Andrew Stawarz
Rushing to Sing, a photo by Andrew Stawarz on Flickr.

Keep following that dream, that voice, that gives us joy and purpose!