March 11, 2013

Preferences

Devotion for the Week...

I'm not very good at needle-turn applique. True, I only tried it for one project, and abandoned it before I even finished one motif, but I found the whole process tedious and I just didn't like how my work looked. Normally I enjoy hand work, but not needle-turn applique. I much prefer using fusible web and stitching either by hand or,  more recently, by machine.
Detail from Noah's Ark quilt, designed by Margaret Rolfe
Detail from A Midnight Garden, designed by Sharon Sebrow
 I like the results I get with foundation paper piecing, especially when I'm working with small pieces.
Detail from Noah's Ark quilt, designed by Margaret Rolfe
Also from the Noah's Ark quilt

Another from the Noah's Ark quilt - there are 26 of these animal blocks in the quilt
 But I don't like removing all those teeny-tiny bits of paper when the block is finished. Sometimes I'll even avoid a foundation pieced block to get out of that chore.

Obviously, there are many quilters who do enjoy both of these methods and it is wonderful that there are patterns to suit their interests.

I know a quilter who finds rotary cutting her pieces to be extremely tedious. She likes quilt kits where the pieces are all pre-cut and ready to go. Another quilter likes simple quilts that can be put together quickly. Me? I love quilts with lots of pieces and detail. The great thing about quilting is there's nothing wrong with any of these preferences. However you like to put your quilts together, there's a place for you in the quilting world.

Actually, the quilting community would lose a lot of its vibrancy if we all had to use the same methods all the time. I may not enjoy doing needle-turn applique, but that doesn't stop me from marveling at quilts made by others who do enjoy it.

Writing to the Romans, Paul said, " We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully" (Romans 12:6-8).

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men."

There are so many ways to serve God. We can give money or time to help causes we feel strongly about. We can teach children's church or classes for new believers. We can bake treats for those who are sick or hurt or just need to know someone cares. Some people sing or play music. Some spend hours in prayer for others, while some look after all the nitty-gritty details of organizing church events.

That doesn't even scratch the surface of all the options available to us. For every single person seeking to serve God, there is a way to do it. After all, if God gave us our gifts and talents, there must be a way to use them for His glory. Colossians 3:17 says "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Applique, foundation paper piecing, log cabin block - all of these fall under the umbrella of quilting. Likewise, one person's roast beef dinner delivered to a new mom, another's efforts in the pro-life movement and another's song writing all come under the umbrella of service to God.

Whatever your talents and preferences, there is a way to use them to serve God. Our task is to identify what we can do and then do it. As Paul said, "If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach." In other words, whatever you can do - do it.

God made you and knows you. He knows what you like to do and what you are good at doing. In fact, He gave you those preferences and abilities. Use them for His glory and honour.

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