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!


Cat’s Project for Bella – Come on! – 1st Layout

Here’s a concept layout.  I think this is the photo you liked, and the font for Faith is Harrington.  The rest of the quote would be in plain block letters.

Hebrews-11-1-Come-v1 by Carmen CS
Hebrews-11-1-Come-v1, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

In 20 point, this would be 9″x6″, and is just at the limit of what I think will provide good detail on her face.

If you were willing to go finer, it could get smaller or more detailed.  Going to a larger size would also allow more detail.  Maybe standard letter size, in landscape?  Or would you want to keep the book smaller?

Cat’s Project for Bella – Hebrews 11:1

Here’s a layout of the verse for Bella.  It takes up about 175 pixels in width.   So on 20 point canvas, it would be about 9 inches wide.  I don’t know how this compares on cross-stitch fabric…

Hebrews-11-1 by Carmen CS
Hebrews-11-1, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, we lift Bella up to you.  Please be with her, and help her to walk with you.

Crafting Hands, Praying Hearts Mission Statement draft

I’ve been working on material to help me present my craft group to potential members.  Here’s a first whack at a mission statement:

[033/365] 14th September by charliebarker

[033/365] 14th September, a photo by charliebarker on Flickr.

The mission of Crafting Hands, Praying Hearts is to use our creativity and our prayer to help those in need.  We will reach out to those struggling, those hurting, those who are heavy laden, identifying people with specific needs rather than generic problems.  We will do this by making tangible pieces infused with prayer, and then give the works to those people as a token of the prayer.

Wah!  Can you tell I’ve worked in the corporate world?  I’ll try to take another whack soon…

Is NeedlePrayer the Right Name…

… for my handcraft prayer group?  It’s the name I chose for my needlepoint ministry, but it seems like it might be too restrictive now I’m looking to do a group with mixed hand crafters.

NeedlePrayer logo by Carmen CS
NeedlePrayer logo, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

I don’t want the name to scare away people working in other modalities.  Especially young people who may be interested in other crafts.

Please let me know what you think, especially any different ideas – mine seem not quite it…

Prayer: Father, if it be your will, please help me to connect with a variety of hand crafters in prayer and service of your Kingdom.

I hope to be starting a NeedlePrayer group…


… this fall.  I’m seeking people who do handcrafts and would like to try combining them with prayer and service.  I will host the meetings in my house in Plumsteadville, PA, and they are open to anyone, although I have limited space and will need to know how many are coming ;-}

Needlepoint Demonstration by Carmen CS
Needlepoint Demonstration, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Would you like to join in?  Or do you know someone who would?  It will not be limited to needle crafts; I would welcome any kind of handcraft that you can do at least partly in my living room.  Please pass this invitation on!  Men, women, well-behaved children who do crafts all welcome!

Do you have experience with this kind of group and can you give me help in making sure it works well?

Prayer: Father, if it be your will, please help me to share the joy and fulfillment I have found in NeedlePrayer.


Cat’s Project for Bella – Whither Thou Goest…

Aresha Photoshoot, Lake GardensMight make a nice image for Bella to feel her mom still with her?
IMG_1271Maybe superimposed on a sunrise image?
Hold my hand1

Whither thou goest…, a gallery on Flickr.

Cat’s Project for Bella – O Taste and See…

Once I have a verse or two chosen, I start looking for images that work with them.  For this, Flicker is a great resource.  But remember only to use images according to their licensing.  Creative Commons licensed  images can be used for personal projects, and many Flicker photographers use it.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”
Psalm 34:8
Meadow tasting John's fingersI like the idea of this image, especially if you have cats.  Pick one with a distinctive face, or one that Bella particularly likes, and put something yummy on your fingers so the cat licks them.  Get a friend to take a bunch of pictures and I’ll pick the best.
I tried tasting the rainbow... 365:day 1This is another neat idea.  God is light – taste his beauty!
004 | TongueWhile I’m not sure the guy is right, the idea of not just tasting, but licking up every last bit of God seems yummy!
Tasting SnowTasting the snow might be nice…
Glorious FoodIMG_1528the peach
Aug-10-(12)bPeaches anyone?

Tastes great. Less filling.
Or even windows…

Cat’s Project for Bella – How Much Time?

One of the first questions that must be answered when starting any design is “How much time do I want to devote to this project?”  Time limits many design options.  If you want something to give tomorrow, there’s no way a large elaborate design will work.  If you want beautiful lettering, an intricate image, subtle shading, you’re not going to get it in a bookmark you can complete in an afternoon.

I want to stress here that bigger, time-consuming designs aren’t always better.  It can be hard to sustain the effort needed to make it to completion.  It is dispiriting to start with high hopes for a project and end up with it sitting half-finished in the closet.  It’s best to pick something you can encompass.

Also, you need to consider how the person you are making it for will use it.  A big framed piece may not work for everybody.  Cat wrote:

I would like something small she can keep in her room, or in a memory box as she matures.

Small size means we need to look at trade-offs between length of verse, simplicity of lettering, and size of stitches.  If you’re willing to work very small stitches intricate words are possible, but will take time.

Cat, I had an idea which I’m not sure if you would like.  How about stitching a book?  Maybe a book cover that would hold photo pages.  Or maybe a book that you could add to over time, and maybe even other people would stitch pages for her?  She might even add to it herself in time.  It could be bound with ribbons, and the edges whip stitched.

So, what we need to figure out is how elaborate a project do you want?  I can do embroidery bookmarks that will take a couple of hours:

Insp Unfailing BM by Carmen CS
Insp Unfailing BM, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

I can do 5″x7″ 10 point designs which might take a weekend:Rheba Flamingoes by Carmen CS

Rheba Flamingoes, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

And it goes up from there…

Praying for Family

While watching out for people to do NeedlePrayer for, I found I can’t ignore the situations among my family and friends which are suitable for prayer and service.  I hope this doesn’t seem selfish or like it’s not an appropriate ministry activity.

I find that praying for family is different in a number of ways from praying for strangers.  For example, it’s harder to pray “Thy will be done.”  I have clear ideas about what I want to happen, and that colors the prayer.  So I need to pray more “show me how to minister to them.”

I’m currently working on a piece for a caregiver in my family.  She looks after her husband who has dementia, and does a lot of care for her grand-daughter.  Until quite recently she was also caring for her elderly parents, who are now passed.  And she does it all with love, care, invincible cheerfulness.  She must make complex and important decisions.  This is the design I made for her:

Tulips Design by Carmen CS
Tulips Design, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

She picked the quote.  I picked the tulips, which are her favourite flower.  The butterfly is for rebirth and freedom.

I find after I finish a NeedlePrayer session devoted to her, that night I often need to pray for myself and my relationship with them.   I need to pray for my acceptance of the situation.  I think if I didn’t do this afterwards I wouldn’t be able to continue praying mostly for her during my NeedlePrayer time.