Friday, May 21, 2010

Painting Backgrounds

When I was very young, I can remember my Sunday school teacher placing pictures on a plain, blue flannel board, as she taught the Bible lesson. I was always curious as to how the picture stayed on the board.

A few years later, I became a teacher and discovered the secret! A small piece of flannel had been applied to the paper characters used in the story to create adhesion. It was like magic to the children!

Many years after that, my mother’s neighbor, Mrs. Fisher visited our weekly Women’s Ministry meeting. She was an artist, and in charge of the visual aids Department of a local church. She also used her talent to paint backgrounds on flannel. These gorgeous backdrops for the story characters were used in presenting the Bible lessons. Some boasted mountains behind a valley of luscious green grass. In others, street scenes jarred the imagination with cobble stone lanes or depicted rooms inside of a home.

Mrs. Fisher offered to demonstrate to our group how to paint these lovely backgrounds. Our ladies were thrilled to think that she would volunteer to teach us! She assigned a paint list and directed us in purchasing our own oil paints. We all came prepared to work.

Some of the backgrounds were utilized in the local Sunday school, while others we painted would be sent to Missionaries for their use. Soon the group increased as other ladies joined the project.

Because it was summer vacation for my teen age girls, I brought them along to learn how to do these paintings. Sister Fisher (as we called her) wrapped a small piece of flannel around their fingers and then dipped into the color they had selected to begin their painting. My daughters were energized as their instructor guided their fingers over the backgrounds!

Amazingly, all my daughters agreed that they never believed they could create something so beautiful on their own. But, with the guidance of the “master’s hand”, the flannel storyboards fairly sprang to life!

I often stagger in astonishment when I view the transformation in the life of a new believer in Jesus Christ. The dull drab blue background begins to change before our very eyes as the Master’s Hand forms a new creation.

Often the change is slow, but other times it is immediately displayed on a radiant face. The conversion experience begins inside the spirit and flows outward as it is revealed, not just on the countenance, but also in the life style of the new person in Christ.

Master teachers, leaders, and other Godly examples of influence are of tremendous importance to disciple and encourage newly born- again believers. Perhaps you can be that person who will give confidence and support to others. Step right up, the line forms here!

Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

Titus 2:15 Speak these things, and exhort, and encourage with all authority. In gentleness, make sure you earn everyone's respect.

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