We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy Tutorial – Bible Art Journaling Challenge Week 23
Hello Everyone! Welcome to week 23 of my Bible Art Journaling Challenge! Every week I try to listen in to what God is wanting to say to those participating in this challenge. The art tutorials and supplies are then chosen to best depict what I believe He most wants communicated on our journey together.
This week I am SO excited to be sharing a super easy and fun tutorial to SEW in your Bible! YES, you can sew in your Bible! You can even leave your sewing machines to one side today. Well, you could pull out the sewing machine if you want, but today I’m showing you how to sew, with no experience and no sewing machine! What’s not to love about this!?! Could NOT be easier or more fun as you dig in to God’s Word with me today. Let’s start with my video and do stay for all the juicy fun below afterwards! 🙂 I want to talk with you about creativity among God’s people through history and this is an AMAZING topic!
We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy
Every product by We R Memory Keepers that I own, has always been great quality and fun to use. The Sew Easy line is no exception in my opinion. I just love it. Remember, I’m not associated with them in any way. I’m just LOVE their stuff!
Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE to pull out my sewing machine and go to town on some paper. Would you like me to show you how to do that also?
But seriously… the convenience and fun of rolling a Sew Easy piercer across my paper surface and subsequently hand-stitching the space, is so relaxing and the perfect way to sit and meditate on scripture while threading through the paper. Paper crafting bliss quite possibly. Don’t take my word for it. Try for yourself and let me know how you find it. 🙂
Maybe you could call this embroidery. Maybe hand-sewing. I don’t really care. There is something freeing about putting thread through a Bible page. And what about the stitches on the back side of the page? What amazing texture that will give to another mixed media piece down the road! 🙂
This weeks scripture
This week for the Bible Art Journaling Challenge, I wanted to focus in on a couple sections of scripture together which of talks about creativity. At this point, the Israelites built a tabernacle to house God’s presence and be the place of worship etc. It would be that place for 300 more years until King David’s son Solomon finished the temple. The tabernacle was a place which got packed up and moved around as they traveled. Each time it was set up exactly as it always was.
Anyway, at that time, of its first building, there was a call for those skilled in creative ways to work and create pieces for the tabernacle. Can you imagine? A minor glimpse into how my brain works… I think to myself these sorts of things when pondering scripture…
What would it be like to be the great-granddaughter of one of those people who fashioned one of the pieces for the tabernacle? Perhaps one of the candle sticks. Or even the beautiful ark of the covenant which housed God’s presence.
Imagine the stories passed down through the family. “My grandfather in those days was part of the team who fashioned the ephod!” Perhaps I think like this because I grew up in a home filled with stories about the exploits my own great-grandparents did for God in the 50’s and 60’s. Perhaps because I spent much of my teen years stuck in the Old Testament, as if it were a novel I couldn’t break away from late at night. I was enraptured by the stories.
It’s been said that God doesn’t hide things FROM us, but FOR us. In my teens, I read the Old Testament with a feverish passion to somehow connect the stories of the characters. They are incredible to learn from. Ever unpacked the story of King Josiah told across the Old Testament? I cry nearly every time I revisit it. Don’t bother looking at one verse and capturing the story. It is woven through books and generations. I’ll share some other day. Perhaps you’d like to be brought to tears with me. 😉
There is nothing quite as compelling as the stories in the Bible. They are better written than any other book. If it bores you or confuses you, try getting a different translation for your daily reading time. The New Living Translation is a great example of a translation which uses a modern way of speaking that helps you understand in a fresh way. While not perfectly useful for study, it helps make sense of understanding scripture in plain modern day English.
Every time I read through the Bible, I try to reach for a different translation in hopes to grasp the familiar stories in a new way. It always proves useful. I can share more about how I study and read the Bible if you want.
Back from that happy rabbit trail though… as a teen I got lost in the story of this week’s section of scripture.
The first section in Exodus 35:25-29 says…
25 All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. 26 All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought the onyx stones and the stones for setting for the ephod and for the breastpiece; 28 and the spice and the oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord.
Two things I want to point out here. Firstly, God wanted the tabernacle to be covered in creative work. He wanted His Presence, His resting place to be surrounded by the artwork of His people. Secondly, peoples hearts were moved and stirred to use their creative skills to bring freewill offerings to the Lord.
In Exodus 36:4-7 the story continues…
4 And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, 5 and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.” 6 So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. 7 For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
There were so many whose hearts were stirred that they actually had to put a stop to the offerings coming in! It is interesting to me that ALL of the skillful men who were working on the sanctuary went to Moses. All of them stopped what they were doing and went to Moses to point out they had more than enough creative work. Basically, “We’re overrun by creativity!”
Moses had to actually tell everyone to stop contributing creative work because there was too much! It goes on and says the people were actually restrained from bringing any more! This was of course because there was more than enough.
Imagine being in a community where there is so much creative activity among Believers, that the church is overrun by it!
Creativity as unto God
There is something about doing the very act these scriptures talk about, on this Bible page, that somehow calls you in to the story in a deeper way. Like it compels you to understand and grasp the significance of what these crafters were achieving for God. Not many things are more blissful than to use your giftings to worship the King. To create for Him, using the skills and giftings you have… a believing creators dream.
But you see, we can in our own day here and now too. It may be that there is no need for a tabernacle any longer because Jesus came and Holy Spirit rests among and in us now. But we can create for God. Ephesians 6:7 says we should work as though we are serving the Lord, and not people.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” The Bible is filled with commands to God’s people that they do work with excellence, they do it heartily and do it with joy. This is hardly a chore if you just LOVE that creative expression you’re being called upon to use for Him. So why is creativity often stifled in many church communities these days?
As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE a bit of research and history digging. I truly believe that one of the ways we best see where we are today and where we are going, is to better understand where we have come from. What our roots and history are. I could fill a book with the story of Martin Luther. There is a section of what became from his story that I feel must be told along with this blog post today. It gives us a fuller picture of where we are in current church history with creativity in the church community life. I’ll share this in the briefest of terms I can and pray you feel inspired to dig into this for yourself.
500 years ago, there was a man by the name of Martin Luther. Not Martin Luther King Jr. We’re talking 500 years ago. Martin Luther was a Saxony (now Germany) man who changed the world. Literally. Many of us know of him as the father of the Protestant Reformation and a study of his life is worth its weight in gold. History.com has a succinct and rather unbiased web page that outlines the story in more detail than I can share here today.
Perhaps my very favorite way to take in this story, is to watch the movie Luther. It was filmed with a rather large budget and is fairly unbiased in telling the story of Martin Luther and his part in changing the world. It is a rather intense video in parts which I’d say is for adult viewing only but is all honest history about church life at a time when “the pot was stirred.” The education the film provides about a crucial time in our church history is incredible. Perhaps I speak from that part of me that loves history and understanding how it is responsible for the spiritual culture and life we all express today.
Anyway, I will leave the bulk of this story for your own discovery with the links I’ve provided above. I am in no way interested in this blog post becoming a topic for disunity about denominations or beliefs. I’ll delete comments which sway that direction. I LOVE unity and focusing in on what we can agree with. At all points of history we can find places where people, denominations and groups have made poor or great choices. Today, I feel I should point at a section of history in which the catholic church had lost its doctrinal way in a key spot for a time. They had come to a confused concept that people could sell documents which when paid for with cash to the church, would allow their sins to be forgiven. That is a simplified way of explaining what was referred to as the “selling of indulgences”. History.com shares some insight here…
In the Middle Ages the catholic church taught that salvation was possible through “good works,” or works of righteousness, that pleased God… Committed to the idea that salvation could be reached through faith and by divine grace only, Luther vigorously objected to the corrupt practice of selling indulgences.
The catholic church came to their senses in time and moved away from that particular teaching but Martin Luther was one who came as a, “man before his time” to shake the people awake from the slumber they’d come to. Several professors and key catholic influencers became aware of this false doctrine that had slipped in to the church life. Martin Luther was one of those professors who became discontent with some things going on in church history at the time.
He wrote what is referred to as the 95 theses and nailed it to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. It was essentially a peaceable invitation to have an academic discussion about things he believed the church had gone astray in. He was a professor after all. And happened to have a strength of boldness others were scared to position themselves with. What followed was the furthest thing from his peaceable effort to have an open discussion. What followed was a great divide of personal vision between those loyal to the catholic churches then current doctrine and teachings, and those who believed what those like Martin Luther did. They became known as the protestants.
The simple effort for open discussion turned from a spiritual disunity to a political war over the next year. I would hardly call Luther a man of impeccable doctrine or one who led the way in solid teaching. Instead, he was simply a man who pointed to an error, dared to question it publicly which subsequently instigated a war which grew well beyond his own influence and went on to birth a movement of believers with a new shared doctrine. What does any of Martin Luther’s story have to do with today’s Bible Art Journaling Challenge and creativity for God?
Peasants’ War and boldness
For years people had trusted the catholic church to show them the way Biblically and the 95 Theses of Martin Luther hit a nerve. It stirred the pot. Several things which had been an uncontested concern in that current church life history, got stirred up. One being art in the church. Yes. It’s true. Art in the catholic church had become something which many felt was a form of idolatry rather than to glorify God. Whether it was or was not idolatry, is not the focus of this discussion. The focus is that it happened. Martin Luther stirred a pot and as the passionate frustration boiled over among those without a voice, a war broke out.
During this Peasants’ War, people did the unthinkable. They were a people who had no Bible to read and learn the way to handle themselves. They’d been taught they had to go to the church to find God and they feared trusting her suddenly. They were a people who didn’t properly know how to “say no” to what felt wrong. People died, art in churches was destroyed and so much more.
Should Martin Luther have kept his 95 Theses to himself and quietly gone about his life? Well, really… no. I believe he was born to be a man before his time, that was willing to boldly step out and speak out about something that got him excommunicated as a heretic. That same catholic church would now not do the same today. But they did 500 years ago. What felt like a threat to the beloved catholic church doctrine, was in fact a stirring that birthed a movement and eventually helped bring some much needed doctrinal balance to the catholic church of the time.
What if Luther had not stepped out? We each are meant to step into something that will change the world around us in some way. Martin Luther dared to do what made him hated in his time, so others could be more free long after his time. Oh that we would think with that sort of generational perspective. It doesn’t matter your spiritual background, (or lack thereof). Living with the sort of passion and undying conviction in the face of such opposition like Luther did – to stand against what you believe is unrighteous and thus give a voice to an entire generation… It is what legends are made of. History has proven it to be so.
Cathedrals in the UK often took 200-300 years to build in their day. Imagine being one of the builders or architects who started one of those projects. Today we still love to stand in the buildings. They were built with intent on invoking feelings of heaven on earth. I think they often do! But what if nobody dared to create knowing they would never get to personally benefit from their own life’s work? Some of us are called to give our lives for a cause we don’t get to see the completion of. Not all of us, but some are.
Creativity in the church
The time of the Peasants’ War is a time of history that is most responsible for the state we find churches in with regard to their views on creativity. It is just a fact of history. Those who would become known as the protestants, went like wild men through the churches destroying art work. They did what they felt was right. The catholic churches had a HUGE loss of creative work in that time which you can still see today if wandering through them. They took time to build up and replace some work in time. Protestants lived in fear of art in the church being idolatry.
That topic of creativity somehow reached far into time without great change to it’s place in church life again. It had been literally thrown out of church in a violent act and nobody wanted to stir the pot. But it has been stirred again in recent years. This time it is stirred by a whole body of people God seems to be rising up from all around the world. Those in their quiet place with God. Those publicly speaking out. All in one voice that cannot be drowned out. I’ve been involved in seeing how this works in church life for a number of years now.
I founded the Prophetic Arts for Jesus group on facebook in 2008. It currently has over 7,000 members and hundreds regularly waiting on my ability to manually process their requests to join. The beauty of this representation of creatives in over 40 nations is seeing what God is doing globally in creative ways. I cannot express in small spaces the incredible ways God is reviving creativity in church life in this time of history we live in. I just LOVE that we get to be part of a bigger expression. We can create something small in our time with God and it can impact others. It can impact whole communities and breath life on what had lost hope. Physical art is like music, it is a universal language.
Creativity in us
We get to be part of something bigger than ourselves when we create to honor and bless God. Creating the best we can in our Bibles, is something Jann Gray beautifully referred to in my recent Artists Roundup Interview post, as an, “honorable gift of worship to God”. I too believe that when we create in our Bibles, we are lifting up an offering of worship to God on the pages of His Word. We’re showing Him how much we love His Word by meditating on it.
When we create anything to make His name famous, to worship Him or help others find a point of contact to encounter our living God, something of a personal breakthrough is made for ourselves and those who are invited into that creative piece – that captured moment. Our artwork should point people to the Creator. Point them to the One who they can worship. The One who adores us. I’ve never looked at a piece of artwork and thought, “Wow! That person is so good at art that I want to worship them!” What I have thought is, “Wow! That person has created beautiful artwork! God has given them so much skill! I want to learn how to do what they’ve done so I can also worship God with that skill!”
Let us stop fearing that art may be idolatry or some disrespect to our Creator who created us. Instead let us use our gift of imagination to bring God glory and love those who need His love.
Sew your page
For today’s Bible Art Journaling Challenge, I wanted to sew in my Bible. I wanted to play in the presence of God and enjoy His presence. I wanted to remember the sewing which skilled creative people did in that time to adorn the tabernacle. I wanted to remember the gold used to fashion things which is mentioned earlier in Exodus 35. I wanted to create and invite you to create with me. When we create out of our time with God, we are part of a bigger picture of others worshiping God in this way.
God is stirring His people to create a new sound in this time of history. He is inviting people to create from time in His presence. To make His name famous through creativity. To bring an offering of creativity to overflow the earth with beauty. Imagine as we answer His global call, the overrunning of creativity we’ll make in this time of history! And the cultural transformation which will take place as a result of the art we release!
What offering of creativity do you have to bring God? How can you use it for Him? What creative gift do you want or have that needs honing so that skill is excellent for God’s use? Talk to me in the comments below! I want to discuss this with you.
We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy supplies
So, I promised that I’d share the whole collection of the We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy supplies here on my blog today. I seriously love these fun tools. You could use them in card making, art journaling, paper crafting, scrapbooking… the possibilities seem endless. Let’s not forget Bible art journaling!
If you’re getting started and want some We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy supplies, I’d get yourself the Sew Easy Piercing Mat, Sew Easy Stitch Piercer Head and Handle, Sew Easy Blunt Needles, and any additional Sew Easy Piercer Heads you like the look of.
You could alternatively just get the sweet Sew Easy Starter Kit which looks like a decent way to start out too. I hope to get all 20 Sew Easy Piercer Heads in time. Along with the storage case, templates and the cool circles tool to hook any of the Piercer Heads to, for circular piercing!
Click images to view supplies or to purchase.
Are these not inspiring!?! I’ve got lots of ways I intend to continue using these in time. We R Memory Keepers, do you hear me asking you to consider sending me some extra supplies, so I can share the fun with my readers? 😉
Your turn to create!
I would love you to try any of the techniques I’ve shared in my process with you today if you’re interested in them. I also want you to feel free to gather inspiration for this scripture in other places and create right on your page if you want. I’m looking forward to seeing what you Bible art journal for this weeks challenge!
You can find answers to most any question you may have about the Bible Art Journaling Challenge over on my Challenge page found in the top navigation. It also has a full archive! Be sure to head over to our Facebook group and/or Google+ Community, to chat about this weeks Bible Art Journaling Challenge and get started on your own page!
Bible art journaling supplies
As promised, here are the supplies I featured in this weeks video which you can click on to view or purchase. I hope it helps you find anything you may want to try out. I receive a small percentage of each purchase when anyone clicks on my art supply links, to go get supplies I use like you see below, or on my YouTube videos. This has no effect on you and makes a real difference for me!
I am excited for you to get great deals on supplies anywhere, so you can join in on your budget. When you find deals which I’ve searched for and recommended below, I get supported. Thank you, I so appreciate your support which helps me provide these free tutorials for you!
Click images to view art supply details or to purchase.
Bibles ideal for Bible art journaling
There are several wide-margin Bibles I’ve seen recommended for art journaling, including large print versions. I’ve created a linked collection here to make your choice easier when looking for a Bible to art journal in. If you click on any of the Bibles, you will often be able to look inside to see the pages for yourself before purchasing!
- I really like my ESV Journaling Bible with faint lines in the 2 inch wide margin and cream paper color.
- I love my imitation leather, NASB Note-Taker’s Bible (top left Bible below), which is free of lines in the wide and bottom margin with white paper.
- All give extra room for creativity.
- You can also join in with a Bible you already have, or even an art journal like the art journals I recommend.
Click images to view Bibles or to purchase.
If you have not done so yet, be sure to join my newsletter on the right-hand side of this page, so you can be notified when I release new Challenges and other exciting creative things.
Don’t forget to share this with any friends you think might want to know about it. I will see you right here next week, for another Bible Art Journaling Challenge!
You are loved. x
PS Remember my questions from above? I want to hear from you below! What offering of creativity do you have to bring God? How can you use it for Him? What creative gift do you want or have that needs honing so that skill is excellent for God’s use?