[First Person] Generational encouragement: Light grows in communal crafting 

A needle and thread. A package of paper. An old wallpaper catalog. A pair of scissors. And a sack lunch. That is pretty much all my church needed to host our first “Scripture and Art” event a couple of weeks ago. 

During my lunch hour, I gathered in Life Line Baptist’s fellowship hall with a dozen or so self-proclaimed “Golden Girls.” Being the only man in the room and the youngster amidst the “youth of yesteryear” did not bother me a bit. I am an old soul and a crafty one at that. 

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Nancy Howard, Linda Childers, Margaret Ward, Mary Lewis, Adeline Luzader and Martha Douglas (left to right) sit in a Sunday school room at Life Line Baptist Church and craft their notebooks.

As I sat next to some of my greatest encouragers, I was reminded of the significance of a generational church. Life Line has been on the corner of Baseline and Chicot in Little Rock for over 100 years. Today, her congregation is diverse in age, with older Christians pouring out wisdom on the next generation. 

Not only are today’s youth learning from yesterday’s youth, but even more importantly, they are being encouraged by them. Last Sunday, I was complimented on my sweater, told I had a great singing voice, and exchanged “love yous” with those I consider to be family. 

This is what church is all about. This is community. 

That same spirit of Christ-centered comradery was injected into every moment of “Scripture and Art.” Held on a Tuesday during lunch, attendees gathered to craft a homemade notebook after enjoying a sack lunch. Those of us who didn’t pick up Sonic or Wendy’s exchanged store-bought cupcakes and peanut butter sandwiches. We prayed and talked before a quick devotional and then started crafting. 

After that, the notebook making began. We tore off sheets from a wallpaper catalog that our church’s craft aficionado brought from home. This would be the cover for our notebook. Next, we sat down at a table prepared with filling paper, thread, glue, scissors and pencils. Here the fun began! We cut our wallpaper pieces to just over 8.5 by 11 inches, leaving enough room to border the paper that would fill our notebook. We did this twice before gluing the two wallpaper pieces together to make a more sturdy cover. Subsequently, we carefully folded our desired amount of white printer paper to stick in our notebook. Finally, we stuck the paper in between the front and back cover, poked three holes at the top, middle, and bottom and bound the notebook together with a needle and thread. You can see my finished product below. 

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Life Liners who attended the “Scripture and Arts” event bound homemade notebooks using pieces of wallpaper catalog, a needle and thread and filling paper.

This project, while simple, brought us together for a purpose. Though we were creating a book of our own, the book of all books – the Bible – is what we were prodded to hold close to our hearts.  

As I’m sure you are familiar, Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” 

This verse (in the King James Version specifically) was written on my heart and memorized during my earliest years of Bible school. Of course, I didn’t understand the significance of it back then. I didn’t know that Jesus Himself would be referenced as “The Word” in the New Testament and I didn’t know how much I would need His light. 

This world seems to dim more and more every day. Darkness is all around. As Christians, we need The Light. We need Christ. We need to be tethered to Him with His Word written on our hearts. We need to be daily memorizing scripture and spending time implementing His instructions.  

We need community. We need to gather with fellow believers just to have fun, eat a peanut butter sandwich and do a craft or have a book club or go fishing or play games or do whatever activity it is that helps us spend time together. 

This is how our light will grow. This is how we will grow closer to others and Jesus. 

In this season of life, I am thankful for my “Golden Girls.” I am thankful for the little reminders I need to spend more time with Jesus and in His Word. I am thankful for His love and how it is on display even when making a homemade notebook at lunch on a Tuesday. 

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Deane Ball, Jerry Kemp and Patsy Hartness prepare to craft at Life Line’s first “Scripture and Arts” event.

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