Don’t Scrap This (Part Two)

scrapbooking

Today’s post contains the notes from the second part of a talk I gave recently at the Ladies’ Scrapbook Retreat at Lamoine Christian Camp. I hope you can enjoy it in its unpolished form. Part one can be found under the Mama Mia Monday section of my blog.

 

Adding to the concepts of templates and adhesives, tonight we are going to quickly talk a little about cropping. Cropping is great when it’s a picture. Snip, slice, or chop, whatever method you prefer, we remove unwanted or unnecessary images from our pictures, leaving us with a close up what we really wanted to focus on—the thing which leaves the greatest impact on those who will look back through the pages of our lives.

Well, you guessed it. Not only is God in the template business, and the adhesive business—God is in the cropping business.

God desires to trim us, shape us and crop us in ways that leave a focused image of Him—one that will also leave the greatest impact on those who come into contact with us.

And like we eagerly go at the cropping of our pictures, we CAN eagerly embrace the cropping that God wants to do in us.

We call it cropping.  Some call it chiseling, molding. I like what God calls it—sanctification—a setting apart, being freed . . .  from sin.

John 17:17   Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. –God crops us through His word.

 

I Thessalonians 5:23  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  –God crops us in order to keep us pure and ready for His coming.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13   But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.   God crops us because we are His.

When we allow God to trim, shape, crop, or prune us, we are allowing Him to reveal to the world more of His character, more His grace, more of Him. As the unnecessary and undesirable parts of our life are cropped away we have a greater impact on those who see us.

Sometimes I think we confuse cropping with corner rounding. Corner rounding is just, well; it’s just making the picture look a little more inviting, a little softer maybe. But corner rounding, well, it’s really just cutting corners. And cutting corners is not cropping. You just can’t cut corners on the sanctification process. It takes commitment!

In I Corinthians 4, The apostle Paul asked the Corinthian people how they would like to be cropped suggesting two methods:  a whip or in love with a gentle spirit.

Ladies, I would ask you the same question, “How would you prefer the Lord to crop you????” Yeah, me too, gentle trumps whipping every time. . . In my mind, but in my actions, sometimes not so much. . . .

Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord to crop away the parts of your life that may need to go. It may be an attitude, a habit, a grudge or fear. Ladies, let him crop so that He can shine through you for the world to see.

Now as we work our way through our weekend, we have talked about our templates, our adhesive, the cropping process and to finish it all off, we embellish.

embellish%20logo4

Just the word itself is pretty awesome. Embellish. . . .It just sounds fancy y’know? It doesn’t really sound like a sit in your pajamas in a big gym in the middle of the night kind of word.

Embellishing is like a work of art. Embellishing is to beautify by or as if in ornamentation to adorn.  And adorn comes from the word adore.

So again, The Lord had this down way before we did. He has adored us, and adorned us since the beginning of time.

Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

I Peter 3:3-4 remind us that the beauty and adornment that God desires doesn’t come from our clothes or hair, but the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

 

I John 3:1 tell us that God makes us beautiful—he adorns us by lavishing us with His love

I think that God’s embellishing work is really a lot like ours. Most of our books look quite a bit the same on the outside. But when you look inside you see what makes them special. You see the love, the care, and the personal touches that make the stories on the pages captivate our hearts.

That’s how God loves us. He is a God who works from the inside and on the inside. You know our outside is just a shell that will someday pass away, but as we set our hearts to follow His template for our lives, adhering His truths to our hearts, willingly letting him gently trim away that which isn’t needed, His lavish and abundant love transforms the pages of our lives into His-story– A story that reminds us who we are, where we come from and can ultimately point us to where we are going when the One who loves us returns.

 

 

 

Don’t Scrap This (Lessons Learned at a Scrapbook Retreat)

scrapbook lane

Below are the notes/ideas I used this past weekend at the LaMoine Christian Camp Scrapbook Retreat I had the pleasure of speaking at. Ladies, you asked for them. . .now you’ve got them. Well, at least Friday nights. (Ok, minus the naked child making brownies on the counter story!) I wil post Saturday nights notes on next week’s Mama Mia Monday. Sorry they aren’t a bit more “developed”,  (Ha! That’s a little pun, there!) but it is Light the Night week at church, and I’m working on some photo opportunities for our HiSKidZ moms!!

 

As Scrapbookers, we use our photos to preserve memories, tell our stories, and ultimately pass on a legacy… Stories of families, events, trials and triumphs which when assembled reveal much about who we are, where we have been and even where we are going.

 

I think God was the original scrapbooker. He has preserved for us memories and snapshots of himself and His children who throughout History tell a story of who He is, who we are as His people, where we have been and where we are going.

 

This weekend, I hope to take four scrapbook terms and connect them to God’s story in order for us to have a little greater insight into the awesomeness of the God we serve.

For example:  The Template!

templates

The template—God’s Word is the perfect template for our lives. Micah 6:8 says, “I have shown you oh, man, what is right. You should act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” A simple template for living.

 

Or I Thessalonians 4:11 which says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands as we taught you too. Then your life will win the respect of outsiders.”

 

And of course, Luke 10:27 which says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

All templates for what it looks like to follow Christ, and live as His.

 

And then there’s adhesives. . .

adhesivessquares

We all know what adhesives are for. They are for sticking, attaching, adhering and keeping things in place so that what we put down on the page sticks.

 

Well, I believe God is in the adhering business as well. He would like for us to adhere to His instruction.

 

Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go and make disciples, everyone of you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.”

 

He didn’t just say teach them everything I have commanded, he said teach them to obey everything I have commanded.

 

James 1:22 says, “Don’t just listen to the Word, do what it says.”

 

Make it stick.

 

Deuteronomy 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

See what  I mean?  It sounds to me like God is in the adhering business.  Because he wants us to remember. Did you know that the word, remember, is in the Bible almost 150 times. God is all about having us remember. Remembering for our good and so we can pass on what has been given to us.

 

Even cooler than us remembering Him is that He is all about remembering us.

 

We scrapbook to preserve, and we scrapbook to pass on. We scrapbook because it helps to know who we are which helps us to live out who we are.

 

God does the same thing. He has preserved for us His words and the events and experiences of our spiritual ancestors so that we will know who He is, and He is faithful, just, caring, compassionate, a shield, defender, father and judge. . . .

 

When we make it a priority to stick these truths, His truths, into the stories of our lives, we are able to remember, and know and share who we are because we are reminded and we know in our hearts who He is and that we are His.

 

His templates show us again and again what it looks like to belong to Him, and as we choose to stick them firmly into our hearts, we live them out in our daily lives.

paper cutter

Tomorrow evening I’d like to share a bit about cropping. Now don’tcha know cropping is such a great thing!! When it’s a picture.

 

It’s also a great thing when it’s our lives, and because we can trust God’s perfect design, we can trust Him to crop just the right things out of the picture so that the very best shine through.

 

As we look forward to more of the truths of God found in scrapbooking, let’s pray about what God wants to stick onto our hearts this weekend, and ask Him to show us more clearly His template for the story of our lives.