Decorate using photos or decorations that feature Gingerbread Men and Women.
I chose several options for the ladies and girls to craft.
Greeting Cards: I cut card stock to fit envelopes I had, and the ladies could decorate them with the same materials.
Gift Tags: I cut card into gift tag sizes and punched a hole for a place to tie it to the bag.
We invited our ladies and their guests to display any crafts they have made. This proved to be a strong attraction for non-church ladies because crafters are eager to show what they have made.
We were expecting quite a few ladies who weren’t from our church to attend. Many of these are not saved yet. I wanted to keep the gospel presentation gentle and brief, but give more information to our visitors. So I made an attractive folder hold a gospel tract and some church brochures.
This is how to make one folder:
- Take a piece of A4 or letter sized card and fold it in half.
- Cut a smaller piece to make the pocket. Open the folder and set the smaller piece below the right side of the bottom of the folder so that the sides are touching. Tape the pieces together with wide tape. Then fold the smaller piece up so that the bottom sides of the two pieces of card are even and the tape doesn’t show. Put a small piece of double stick tape inside the pocket at the top of each side of the smaller piece to finish the pocket.
- Decorate the outside as desired. I used an image of a gingerbread man I purchased from Deposit Photos, and backed that with red paper. I printed the gingerbread man recipe on the lower portion before the initial folding.
In case you want the recipe, this one is excellent:
8 tablespoons (100 grams) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup or maple flavored syrup
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and syrup. Mix in the rest. Roll out and cut into shapes. Bake at 350F (175C) for 8-10 minutes.
Devotional and Power Point
(Words in bold or italics indicated PowerPoint images.)
Crafters are here tonight. Others are better at gardening, music, cooking or sports.
God is a crafter. Made the world, tropical fish, butterflies, people, etc.
One way we are made in God’s image is our creativity.
God shapes us in a similar way to how we might make a gingerbread cookie.
Start with the Recipe
When I make cookies, I don’t just start throwing ingredients in a bowl. I use a recipe.
God had a plan for my life before I was born.
Beyond my mother and father’s part in my birth, God crafted me as I was developing in the womb to be who he wanted me to be.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought (woven) … Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:8-16,NKJV)
Notice the crafters’ words in this verse: formed, made, woven, fashioned.
Mix the Dough
“God, who made the world and everything in it, … has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, … so that they should seek the Lord … and find Him.” (Acts 17:24-26, NKJV)
I get my kinky hair from my dad and my thick hair from my mom.
Part of me comes from my ancestors and family, but God still made me to be an individual.
Roll It Out Even
God created a beautiful world, but today we live in an evil world.
What happened? Sin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NKJV)
Everyone on earth has the same problem. No one needs to teach us to do wrong things. We do them naturally. It’s often easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing.
Cut into Unique Shapes
God made each one of us unique. He knows the best plan for our life and he wants us to be the best we can be. But his plan for every person is different.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4, NKJV)
God knows us better than we know ourselves, loves us, cares for us, wants to shape us.
This cookie has problems. It’s squished out of shape. The dirt and rocks don’t belong there.
“I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was making something at the wheel. And the vessel (pot) he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.” (Jeremiah 18:3-4, NKJV)
God’s plan for each of us is good, but we mess it up when we turn away from him and do things our own way. Is there any hope?
Reshaped with a New Design
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)
We need a new beginning.
We need to recognize that the bad things we do are sin that offends God and be sorry for it.
We need to realize that Jesus died in our place to take our punishment for sin.
We need to trust God and accept his gift of salvation.
Bake It Just Right
Baking sets the cookie in a definite shape. God uses the heat of adversity to help form who we are.
“When God puts His own people into the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.” by Warren W. Wiersbe in The Bible Exposition Commentary, section on Job 23:10.
[Image of burnt, raw, and just right cookie.] We don’t have to worry that God is going to forget about us and suddenly, oops, we’re burned.
God’s part: Many circumstances are beyond our control, but we can trust God to only bring things into our lives that he can work for our good.
Our part: God works in our lives, but our choices determine the outcome.
“Some people go into the furnace of affliction, and it burns them; others go in, and the experience purifies them. What makes the difference? Their attitude toward the Word of God and the will of God. If we are nourished by the Word and submit to His will, the furnace experience, painful as it may be, will refine us and makes us better. But if we resist God’s will and fail to feed on His truth, the furnace experience will only burn us and make us bitter.” by W. W. Wiersbe, same place
Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet.
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV)
Every day choices we make from Col. 3 and Eph. 4:
Take off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, lying, stealing, bitterness.
Put on kindness, humility, patience, forgiveness, love, peace, thankfulness, truth.
Finish the Cookie
God wants to keep working on us until we come “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13, NKJV)
Process isn’t finished until eternity.
When I compare myself to other people, I might feel like I’m a fairly good person, but when I compare myself to Christ, I know I still need a lot of work. God’s business is to keep making me more like Christ.
10. Where are you in the process?
Have you had a new beginning in Christ?
We all need to find forgiveness in Christ and become a new creation, crafted by him.
The Bible says you can know for sure that you have this new forgiveness.
Are you making good choices and becoming more like Christ each day?
Read the Bible, pray every day, ask God for guidance.
God wants to shape us into beautifully crafted works of art.
I know God has a good plan for my life, and every day I want to fit into his plan, and let him make me more and more like Jesus.
PowerPoint Slide Presentation
Blank Original Slides
The above slides go with notes I used. You might want to develop your thoughts in a slightly different direction. I’ve also included blank photos in case you want to make your own images or use another Bible version.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]
PowerPoint images are original from www.DebBrammer.com. The felt gingerbread man is adapted from similar ones on Pintrest. The gingerbread man image used on crafts, the bulletin board, and the folder was downloaded from Deposit Photos and must be personally downloaded for use. The shapes for the gingerbread men and women came from cookie cutters. All other ideas came from me.
You are welcome to use the above images as you see fit in your own ministry. However if you use the images on the internet, please link back to my website or give this credit line: Used by permission of www.DebBrammer.com. If you not only download but actually use these images in your ministry, feel you have gotten considerable help, and want to thank me for them, you could consider buying any one of my books.