Hopes and Seams

Crafts, refashions, and sewings to DIY my way through life

Clothesline Merits

Materials Needed: belt infatuation, cotton clothesline on clearance ($1.50), hot glue, 2 buttons, hair tie, a couple hours

“Several years ago I was scheduled to speak at a large church on the West Coast. Arriving at the church about fifteen minutes before the Sunday morning service, I learned that one of the pastoral staff had died suddenly the day before. The staff and congregation were in a state of shock and grief.

Grab a vase and wind clothesline around base for a perfect circle. Hot glue the tip.

“Sizing up the situation, I realized the ‘challenge to discipleship’ message I had prepared was totally inappropriate. The congregation needed comfort and encouragement, not challenge, that day. I knew I needed a totally new message, so I silently began to pray, asking God to bring to my mind a message suitable for the occasion.

Wind around a few more times until you have 4 concentric circles. Cut and glue outside tip. Repeat, and you will have...

...two loops like these!

Then I began to add up my merits and demerits for the day: Had I had a quiet time that morning? Had I entertained any lustful thoughts or told any half-truths? I had fallen into the performance trap.

Take the two loops and slip knot them to one another.

“I quickly recognized what I was doing, so I said, ‘Lord, I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but none of them matters. I come to You today in the name of Jesus and, by His merit alone, ask for Your help.’

Flatten out the middle knot and fold the top loop to the middle...

And repeat with the bottom loop until it looks like this! Glue everything in place.

This is how the back looks πŸ™‚

“A single verse of Scripture came to my mind and with it a brief outline for a message I knew would be appropriate. I went to the pulpit and literally prepared the message as I spoke. God did answer prayer.

With remaining clothesline, measure out three strands that are double the length of your waist and braid them. The finished braid should be long enough to go around your waist twice (almost)

“Why did God answer my prayer? Was it because I had a quiet time that morning or fulfilled other spiritual disciplines? Was it because I hadn’t entertained any sinful thoughts that day?

Fold the braid in half. Thread the top half through the top two holes of the center knot, and thread the bottom half through the bottom two holes.

“No, God answered my prayer for only one reason: Jesus Christ had already purchased that answer to prayer two thousand years ago on a Roman cross. God answered on the basis of His grace alone, not because of my merits or demerits.

Take the ends of the braid and glue them together.

“One of the best kept secrets among Christians today is this: Jesus paid it all. I mean all. He not only purchased your forgiveness of sins and your ticket to heaven, He purchased every blessing and every answer to prayer you will ever receive. Every one of them – no exceptions.

Find a couple buttons. They are uncertain about their fate. Don't be uncertain, buttons!

Sew the buttons on both sides of the braid. I chose to sew it over the glued ends to cover that part up so no one will see! πŸ˜› Sew on either side so that the belt will be reversible!

“Why is this such a well-kept secret? For one thing, we are afraid of this truth. We are afraid to tell even ourselves that we don’t have to work anymore, the work is done. We are afraid that if we really believe this, we will slack off in our Christian duties.

Find a hair tie and slip knot it on to the opposite side of the braid (the side that is on the other side of the knot. sigh. Ok, you'll see it in the next picture)

“But the deeper core issue is that we don’t really believe we are still bankrupt. Having come into God’s kingdom by grace alone solely on the merit of Another, we’re now trying to pay our own way by our performance. We declared only temporary bankruptcy; we are now trying to live by good works rather than by grace.

SooOOoo....the belt will close in the back like this πŸ™‚

et voila!

“God is not keeping score, granting or withholding blessings on the basis of our performance. The score has already been permanently settled by Christ. We so often miss this dimension of the gospel.

Wait until morning to try it on with a plain dress. (Jersey black dress, clearance at Target for $12! What a steal!)

Back closure. Kind of ghetto but meh.

tres summer cool, non?

– Excerpts from pages 12-14, and 16 of Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges.

have fun!

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13 thoughts on “Clothesline Merits

  1. Estera on said:

    WOW sara, i’m impressed. seriously, when/how did you get so creative? i’m gonna try to make one. haha πŸ™‚

  2. This is gorgeous!

  3. This is so cute. Please consider linking up at http://www.thestuffofsuccess.com on Wednesday to the Success U Linkup Party. This belt is a great idea.

  4. Hannah W. on said:

    this. is. freaking. cool. i seriously thought you bought that belt!!

  5. wow i’m totally going to become a blog stalker. what fun, sara!! wowwww i’m having so much fun looking at all your projects. mayyybe i’ll venture to even try one ahahaha…

  6. colored3x5s on said:

    wow ive JUST come across your blog… really enjoying your posts, saraaa!!

    -alice

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