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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Custom Framing

Ah, spring cleaning! From the various blogs I frequent, I gather that some of us are in various stages of beginning that annual endeavor which, for many, seems to usher in spring breezes and chase the last of the winter "blahs" away. Even those still buried under snow piles outside may be working through the clutter piles inside, clearing the way for the spring sunbeams.

This year my spring cleaning is serving a dual purpose, as we have decided to put our house on the market. This is not just a time of cleaning and straightening, but also of purging and staging. I am seeing my home with new eyes! One of the selling tips I read recently was to clear as many horizontal spaces as possible. This has been a huge challenge for me, as my home has many, many horizontal spaces, and they are quite, um, cluttered. Not just with knicknacks, but also with pictures. As I have been packing away some of what makes our house personal, I have been lovingly wrapping and boxing up my many framed photos.

I have loved looking at each picture and being transported momentarily back to the time and place where it was taken, my thoughts reflecting on the faces of those who mean so much to me. I have also enjoyed looking at each of the frames. You see, I love collecting fun, unique frames. The first place I head in a discount store is usually to the frame section. Often the frames I buy reflect the type of photo I’m going to put in them; whimsical ones for pictures of the kids or classy, gold ones for wedding photos. For some of our travel photos or pictures of missionary friends I have found frames that have an international flair from a certain country. Our beach pictures are framed with seashells. Some frames reflect the theme or decor of the room in which they are placed. My frames are as different as the photos they contain.

Wouldn't it be strange if I had all those frames displayed around my home, but without pictures inside them? If I simply bought the frame for the frame's sake, and didn’t use it for the purpose it was intended- to frame something? Or wouldn't it be odd if the people who came over to my home looked at all of my frames and commented on them, but took no notice of the pictures?

Each of us, if we are in Christ, is a frame. We are here as a platform for which to draw attention to God, to glorify Him. We are all as different as the frames in my home- some of us are whimsical, some are classy, some are "talking frames" (have you seen those?) some of us have an international flair. (Some days I feel like one of my discount store frames-- "half off!") Each of us has been sovereignly chosen and placed in our given locations to showcase God, to glorify Him. To try to draw attention to ourselves would be like a frame trying to detract from the photo. To be devoid of drawing attention to God's glory in our lives would be like a frame sitting on a shelf with no photo, not fulfilling its purpose.

Picture frames have it easy, though. They just have to sit there. How do we, as "living frames" show off, or glorify, God? I once heard someone quote a simple definition that Charles Ryrie gave on what it means to glorify God: "Glorifying God is anything that makes God seen." This really helped me to understand what it means to bring glory to Him. What are some things we can do to make God seen?

Praise and worship. "Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness." (Psalm 29:2)
"He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." (Psalm 50:23)
There are many ways to incorporate praise into our days, and a life of praise always keeps the focus where it should be.

Doing good works and serving others. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) God is good, kind, and holy. Our good, kind, and holy actions show others what God is like.

Any activity, done in a God-honoring way. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31) Even the most simple, ordinary things can be done in a way that glorifies God, or makes Him seen. (In fact, a good indicator that I might not need to engage in a certain activity is if it cannot be done to the glory of God.)

There is freedom in being the frame. We are free from being the focus. If it's not about me, it’s not up to me. (Whew!) What an honor it is to be a lovingly crafted vessel for showing off God to a world so desperately in need of Him. There is rest in knowing that wherever we are, we've been sovereignly placed where we are for that very purpose. (We're never "just sitting on a shelf!")
Whatever our designs, we’ve been given a wonderful calling and a holy purpose. Let's "make God seen" today!


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14 Comments:

Blogger Christine said...

"If it's not about me, it's not up to me". That is a wonderfully freeing statement! I remember the start of my journey with Christ- a perfectionist finally following the Perfect One. I loved giving up the control, hard as it was. I love how you compared us to frames. I'll be meditating on how I can make God seen this week.

March 14, 2007 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I really loved this post, well done.

March 14, 2007 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Cyndi,
I love the quote you shared, "Glorifying God is anything that makes God seen." and also "we've been sovereignly placed where we are for that very purpose. (We're never "just sitting on a shelf!")" Today I hope that others will see not the frame, although very unique, but God!

March 15, 2007 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I love it when you said, "a good indicator that I might not need to engage in a certain activity is if it cannot be done to the glory of God."

So true!!!

And I too am getting my house ready so I am right there in the spring cleaning, I was painting all day yesterday ;)

Blessings.

March 15, 2007 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...

Cydni,

I can relate to half-off. Made me smile.

(In fact, a good indicator that I might not need to engage in a certain activity is if it cannot be done to the glory of God.)--Love this. :)

March 15, 2007 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Wonderful thoughts Cyndi...When I see my picture frames I am only reminded of how I really need to dust and look at what you came up with! :)
I also heard "I might not need to engage in a certain activity is if it cannot be done to the glory of God.)" I do a lot of things because I do not know how to say N-O! God really has been speaking to me about simplifying...Thanks for the added plug! :))

March 15, 2007 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Cyndi, God really uses your refelctions to challenge my perspective many times. Such wisdom from illustrations in everyday life! I pray that I will make Him known-without drawing attention to myself!

March 15, 2007 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Love the quote about glorifying God.

March 15, 2007 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

That is such a unique focus for a post. I can envision a family praying in a restaurant, and how wonderfully that image would be framing the glory of God in their lives.

Now you have a unique hobby! Why not try framing your frames? ;)

March 15, 2007 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

That is such a unique focus for a post. I can envision a family praying in a restaurant, and how wonderfully that image would be framing the glory of God in their lives.

Now you have a unique hobby! Why not try framing your frames? ;)

March 15, 2007 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous eph2810 said...

Thank you for the reminder, Cyndi that we are made of His purpose and to let His light shine in the world. I try not to stand in the way, but some days I am...

March 16, 2007 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger janiswrites said...

You are so right. We are the frame for other people to see God. What a wonderful and thought-provoking post! Blessings!

March 16, 2007 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

You know, I have actually seen a home where they used frames as the focus - no pictures inside! It was strange, and as I read your post, I was nodding vehemently to your phrases...We are here as a platform for which to draw attention to God, to glorify Him. and To be devoid of drawing attention to God's glory in our lives would be like a frame sitting on a shelf with no photo, not fulfilling its purpose.
Such a wonderful post, Cyndi. I want to be more aware of how I am *framing* God. Thank you!

March 18, 2007 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I left you a comment on this post, but it either didn't past "muster" or I did something wrong. I just wanted you to know how wonderful I thought it was. It is such a unique way to think of our lives. What could be more wonderful than a life that frames the Lord?

March 18, 2007 at 7:11 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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