"As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." -I Peter 4:10This week it was my turn to come up with a challenge for the SALT design team and I chose "Serving for God's Glory", using the above verse for inspiration and meditation. You can read my entire write up on the SALT blog, I'll just make a few brief comments here. In verses 7-11, Peter turns to exhortation on how we are to treat others and reminds his readers to be "serious and watchful in their prayers" and to have "fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins." In verse 10 he pens our challenge verse, noted above. As I considered this verse and how I can apply it to my life, I realized that I too frequently have failed to minister to the needs of others around me. I tend to be far too self-absorbed with my own life and struggles and don't stop to look for others in need. It's too easy for my focus to be only on my circumstances and not enough on Christ, the church, and my neighbor. That simple saying, "it is better to give than to receive" is so true. In general, many of us have been abundantly blessed with material things, adequate finances, and generally good health. On top of that, we have Christ, do we need more? Yet there are so many who are in desperate need, either of practical help, a word of encouragement, a listening ear, or genuine love and friendship and we (at least I) have a tendency to pass them by. May God be pleased, and may we be willing, to use us to minister to those around us... not so we can pat ourselves on the back or enjoy the good feelings that come from helping someone but so that God can be glorified as we faithfully use the special gifts He has given to us. Onto the project! When I went to create something for this week's challenge, I wanted to make an altered notebook to jot down notes about those who I think could use a phone call, a note of encouragement, or some practical help. (I plan to start with the folks in my own church!) And me without a list is like a dog without a bone...I need a list to stay organized! I remembered this handmade note card holder that I picked up at a craft show a few years ago. It's been sitting in my desk, collecting dust ever since, even though I think it's an adorable project. It consists of a chipboard front and back and has a boatload of 3x5 index cards in between. The entire piece is held together with a metal ring. The picture of the original piece is below. It was cute "as is" but not really my color scheme or style so I decided to change things up a bit! I recovered the front and back covers with these beautiful Bo Bunny papers, from Wholly Scrap, and then proceeded to embellish the front. I started with a chipboard frame that I covered with more Bo Bunny paper. To that I added another piece of swirl chipboard that I colored brown with a dye ink pad, the swirl is meant to represent a tree branch. Next came my wee little bird, from an Impression Obsession stamp set, also purchased from Wholly Scrap. A few teeny felt flowers, from Papertreyink and colored with Copics, were a fun addition to the branch, as well as tiny rhinestones from Taylored Expressions for the bird's eye and middle of each flower. I created the "serve" piece by stamping an alphabet stamp, cutting out the individual letters, and then piecing the word together. I really like the way the paper overlaps with each letter. Another chipboard heart, colored red, finished off the front. All I needed were a few ribbons to attach to the ring!I'm happy with the final piece and am looking forward to making some notes this week. The notebook is even small enough to fit in my purse so it's a perfect take along and it would be a piece of cake to recreate so why not give it a try!! And while you're at it, the SALT team would love to see your artwork, created based on this week's theme. Just leave us a comment with a link back to your blog or gallery and we'll come visit! I also wanted to mention that the SALT team blog and my blog will be participating in the A Faith Perspective blog hop on November 14, 2009. The theme of the hop is "Thankful for Friends of Faith." Please stop by on the 14th for a list of participants and challenges!