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What Are You Making?

Craft fairs are ever popular because of the creative abilities of artsy people that fascinate us. Not all handiwork is loved by every person, but every person has some interest in a skill or craft that enthralls them.  Personally, I am like a child around a glass blower, sculptor, blacksmith, or potter with a wheel. The ability of the craftsman to see the “creation” before it is ever shaped and then to bring that into being is phenomenal.

There are those times that I find myself mystified by the artist that works in a medium that is totally temporary and will only last a short time once it is completed.  For example, I hurt for the person that creates an ice-sculpted piece that in a few hours will just be a pool of water. Or the folks that work hours to make a sand sculpture on the beach that will be gone with high tide.  And, what about the person that has the ability to make sculpted “works of art” out of butter that will be put on the table for a dinner event only to have that masterpiece destroyed a “slice at a time” as the guests butter their bread?  Ugh!

All of us are shaping lives, attitudes, opinions, and patterns in the lives of people in our sphere of influence daily. Some of those impressions are very positive. Sadly, sometimes, we have made lasting impressions on the lives of folks that were indelible and were just not good.  We love to remember the successes.  In our times of fatigue and disappointment, we are bombarded with memories of the ugly scars we left on other people.  What was left on the life of a person that was a wound can be permanent if it was a deep mark on their soul in a critical time.

The Apostle Paul realized that he was “shaping” the faith for those that were new Christians by his actions.  His encouragement to them should be what we also could say to anyone wanting to be a Christ follower….Can we state what Paul asked others to do in these verses?   Philippians 3:17 – Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in usPhilippians 4:9 – What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Titus 2:6-8 – Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

And, likewise, Simon Peter wrote, Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12 .  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  1 Peter 2:16.

What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying, “If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.  (Copied).