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.

By his words and his example…

“By His words and His example, Jesus taught us to reach out to people in need. If we preach only the spiritual side of the gospel and fail to live out the compassionate side of the gospel, then we become like the Levite and the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:33), passing by human suffering with a shrug of indifference.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

Contemplari by Lawrence OP
Contemplari, a photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr.

We are called upon not just to think on God, but to act in His kingdom, for His children.  I thought for a long time that my chronic illness made this impossible for me.  Those of you who have been sharing my journey know that I found that that is not true.

I invite you to think about how you can act for God, and to put those ideas into place!

 

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!

The need of the artist …

“The need of the artist and the needs of the community are crucial to the creative process.”

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

Bournbrook Recreation Ground, Selly Oak - new graffiti street art by ell brown
Bournbrook Recreation Ground, Selly Oak – new graffiti street art, a photo by ell brown on Flickr.

Art  can’t be something created in a vacuum.  It is best when it relates to needs we see around us and within us.

 

Reaching for Faith – Tubing – Finishing the Filled Fiber

Now the tubing must be expanded to cover the filling.  The most important thing is to keep track of both ends of the filling.  Don’t let them get swallowed by the tubing!

Reaching - Tubing - Pulling the Tube On by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Pulling the Tube On, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Start by holding on to the short end of the filling.  Then grab the other end of the tube and pull it down toward the other end of the filling.  Its bunches will pull out as you do this.

Reaching - Tubing - Expanding the Tube by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Expanding the Tube, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Once you’ve got the far end moving, pause and pull the near end of the tubing up to just reach the end of the filling.  Grab hold of this end firmly and don’t let the filling end pull down.  Then just keep pulling the other end of the tubing until it just reaches the other end of the filling.

Reaching - Tubing - Filled by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Filled, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Voila!  Custom-filled tubing fiber!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that my life is more beautiful with You surrounding me!

Tracks in the Snow…

“Tracks in the snow.
    Footprints in time.
        A clear cut trail across life.
Where do they go – what do they show?
                 Each of us leaves an imprint behind.
Has it been to help and cheer, or… or…
Would we rather it not be known?”

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

The Explorer Wore Pink by Lyle58
The Explorer Wore Pink, a photo by Lyle58 on Flickr.

I’ve had my share of imprints I’d rather were not known.  Sorry, everyone I’ve hurt or torn down.

I’ve had some imprints I’m pleased with.  They may not be perfect, but I’m still happy with them.

I hope to have more of them as time goes by.  Father, please help me make it so!

Reaching for Faith – Tubing – Feeding the Filling Through

To feed the filling into the tube, thread it onto a large dull needle.   Leave only a very short tail.

Reaching - Tubing - Starting the Fill by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Starting the Fill, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Then insert it into one end of the tube.

Reaching - Tubing - Feeding onto the Needle by Carmen CS

Stroke the tube from the end of the needle until it bunches up near the head.  Make sure the needle doesn’t pierce the tube.  If it does, just back it off.  My right hand is grabbing the bunch so it doesn’t let go, while my left strokes the tube.

Reaching - Tubing - Tube Fed On by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Tube Fed On, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Here the tube is completely bunched up on the needle.

Reaching - Tubing - Pulling the Filling Through by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Pulling the Filling Through, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Finally, pull the bunched tube down off the needle onto the filling.  Pull the filling through until the loose end comes free, and unthread it from the needle.

Prayer: Father, help me to find You in all the details and little chores of life and craft and ministry.