Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Pillar of the Truth

"Although I hope to come to you soon, 
I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, 
you will know how people ought to conduct themselves
 in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, 
the pillar and foundation of the truth."
 (1 Timothy 3:14-15)

David preached from this passage on Sunday and I was so struck by the description of the Church (body of believers) as the pillar of truth. I believe our culture is suffering because the Church has compromised the truth of God and is looking more like the world in the name of love and tolerance. Straying from the Truth of God's Word is never loving and since when is tolerance of all things a virtue? A society is held up when the pillars of the Church are strong. When those begin to crumble so will a society. 

I was so encouraged by the work of Franklin Graham as he held prayer meetings all over our country. And I'm excited by the plans for revival meetings this year. I'm praying that our country finds favor with God, but that will only happen when members of our churches become pillars of the truth. Rev. Graham is a pillar of truth, always ready to share the Gospel message, always ready to stand up for what God's Word has said on any matter. I want to be this kind of pillar for the truth.

When we studied this passage in church on Sunday, I immediately pictured what I wanted to art-journal in my Bible. The pillar is hand-drawn and the word TRUTH is from a Sweet 'n Sassy alphabet favorite one so far--Rebecca Script Alpha. I love the way the letters hook together so well. I used PrismaColor Pencils for all the color on the pages and Washi tape for accents.

A New Challenge Blog Opportunity for YOU!

I am thrilled to be serving on a new challenge blog called Mustard Seed Faith Challenges!  I hope you will join in on the fun and our challenges.  We are just getting formed and are still looking for some design team members.  I've copied the information from our blog below.  I know some of my crafty friends would make fabulous team members.  Once again, I get to design and exalt the name of Christ while I do it!  I hope you'll join in as we go live next month. More info to follow so stay tuned!

Design Team Call

Welcome to our new blog! We are very excited to announce the launch of a new bible-based challenge blog, using our creative talents to help spread the love of Jesus Christ and to tell of our relationship with Him. We are going to start out with a challenge every other Sunday based on a hymn, a passage of scripture, an encouraging song and similar themes. We intend to launch mid- to late March. We have a great start with some wonderful stampers on the design team but would like to add just a few more. 

 If you would like to be considered, please look at the following and then send a note.
  • We are looking for stampers who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. 
  • Creative crafters from any continent welcome.
  • You must have an active blog.
  • Make (on average) two projects every month (some months might have five Sundays).
  • Alternate with the other design team members to host a challenge, i.e. decide on a bible verse, song, etc. and link a challenge to that verse (use the color blue, use a square, etc.) 
  • Be able to comment on a share of our participants using a rota system.
  • Help pick the top three designs from among submitted entries.  
  • We would like a commitment of at least six months.
If this is something that you would like to do and would like to be considered for the design team then please email me at Please include:
  • A little bit about yourself and your faith commitment.
  • The link to your blog. 
  • Any design teams in your past or current teams. 
  • If you haven't been on a design team before, we still would love to hear from you. 
  • A link to your blog or other social media site that you post your projects on.
Design Team Call ends March 10th. We will only be selecting two more designers, however, we are looking at a guest designer program.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

His Word Is Alive

For the word of God is alive and active. 
Sharper than any double-edged sword, 
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, 
joints and marrow; 
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 

More times than I can count, God's words have leaped off the page of my Bible and seared my heart.  His Word is like a flame that purifies my heart in a refiner's fire.  Sometimes my need for refinement is a daily event!  I cringe when I hear that God's Word is no longer relevant.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It is the most relevant, lasting, certain, absolute truth we have.  In fact, there is no truth apart from God's truth.   What's more amazing is that His Truth, His Word is rooted in His love for us.  We can depend on His Word, we can rest in it and know that is will be true for us throughout our entire lives. It not only judges our thoughts, attitudes and actions, it brings hope, comfort, strength and answers for every need we have.

I used PrismaColor pencils for the images on the page and then painted a soft watercolor blue for the background.  I decided on a little different interpretation of the image from the newly released stamp set, Living Word.  The image actually shows a living plant coming from the Bible and as God's love waters us we will grow.  But I could also see flames of His Word, and just wanted to create the imagery that God will continually pour my heart into the crucible of testing and refinement.  I think it works!

Stamp Used:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

He Calls Us by Name...We Are His!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze. 
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

The more unstable our world becomes, the more we need the promises of God to anchor us.  If we are redeemed believers, we will not be overcome by the wickedness of this world.  Even those who come against believers to take our lives will not be victors.  We hold the key to heaven and our eternal destiny is secure.  That enables us to live with joy for today.  

God is sufficient for any need we have, any crisis through which we walk, any heartache that threatens to break us. When we are feeling overwhelmed, overlooked or over stressed, God is with us and for us. In this life we will see trouble and tragedy, but we have a God who is greater, more powerful than our difficulties; we will not be destroyed by any power of this world. We are securely held in the hand of a God who loves us, who has called us by name, and who claims us as His very own. Rest in that truth today, precious believer.

I went back to watercolor painting for this Bible journaling page. Margin word art is created with stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I used PrismaColor pencils to color in the words and accented the water with a white Sharpie paint pen.

I love the fluid transparency and blendability of watercolor paints. The blending and color saturation is unpredictable, but that makes every creation a bit of a surprise.  And as always, I usually run to my stash of Sweet 'n Sassy stamps for my Bible Art-Journaling creations. 

 Perfect Faith                                  My Friend

Thursday, February 2, 2017

God Is More Than Enough!

Recently our family celebrated the second anniversary of my grandsons' arrival from the Philippines.  They had been waiting for over a year after my son married their mother to rejoin her here in the United States.  It seemed like it took forever to complete all the complicated steps of their legal immigration paper work.  Finally the day arrived, the plane was on the way and the entire family waited with breathless anticipation for the boys and their mother to walk through the airport gate.  The boys and my son had skyped many times, so they knew each other, but this moment would be a once in a lifetime moment.  They would meet for the first time face to face.  I expected the boys, 7 and 10, to be shy and a bit reticent when the moment to meet actually arrived. Imagine our surprise and delight when they came through the gate, immediately laid eyes on my son and broke out in a full run shouting with complete abandon, "Daddy, Daddy."  They opened their arms wide and both simultaneously jumped up into his strong, waiting embrace.  As you may well imagine, there wasn't a dry eye in the terminal.

Our heavenly Father waits with strong and open arms to receive us whenever we need Him.  He will never turn us away.  Sometimes we are at a distance, communicating with Him, believing Him.  Then there are those times when we need to run to Him with complete abandon, call out His name and jump into those arms to be near His heart and feel His protective embrace around us.  He delights our in our need of Him.

God is always ready to accept our need of Him and work on our behalf.  He is always accessible and always moving in our lives for our good.  He watches over us, stands at our right hand, intimately knows us and our need.  He will neither slumber nor turn from us.  He will always have eyes to see us and arms to hold us.

Since Jesus instructed His disciples, believers have experienced trouble here on this earth.  In fact, He said the world would hate us.  Christian brothers and sisters are being tortured and killed in some parts of the world just because they are believers.  Even here in our country, we see contempt and intolerance for Christians growing.  We need not fear.  God is for us, He moves toward us to keep us in His arms, and we can trust that God is more than enough for anything we face.  He may not remove trouble from us, but we can rest assured He will hold us through it all.

For these pages I used chalks to color the background, SU inks for stamping and Copics for coloring.  I set my work with hairspray so the chalks wouldn't dust off.   I combined the following Sweet 'n Sassy stamps.  More will be released this month and you will absolutely love them for Bible journaling.

My Friend                              Perfect Faith

(newly released)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

God Is Not Finished Yet!

God is constantly working on our behalf.  Whether we are in the midst of a personal storm, struggling with spiritual or physical health, hold on.  God is still for you and He is doing something in your circumstances.  His activity is never in vain and His Word to us will never be rendered useless.  He will accomplish the purposes His has for your life.

My Bible journaling for this post took me to James 5:7-11.  We are encouraged to HOLD ON because God is not finished with His work in our lives until He carries us home. 

My daughter-in-law is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer and she has certainly exemplified this passage.  She is a testimony to God's faithful work in her life.  She has been patient, has remained steadfast in joy and faithfulness.  Her heart is fully established in the Lord.  She is blessing others as she goes through this trial. 

I used the newly released stamp, God Is For You for the margin and added hand-lettering.  I've also used Seek Him (other stamped words in margin) and Scribble Flowers for the page design. 

You can find all these stamps on the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps store:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Love . Love . Love

This is how God showed his love among us: 
He sent his one and only Son into the world 
that we might live through him.
 1 John 4:9

If you'd ask people to offer a definition of love, you'd get as many different answers as the number of people you asked.  Most would connect love with a feeling or a commitment one makes to another person.  Any definition of love that does not emanate from the person of God is not a real, lasting love. God IS love (1 John 4:8).  Without the presence of His love, there would be no love among us at all. Man has distorted all that is good about love, and those of us who know God grieve over the deception about love in our culture today.  I believe that's why it's so important to gain an accurate perception of what true love-- God's love for us and the believer's love for others--really is. We have to read the whole counsel of God's Word to glimpse His enormous love for His own.  Even taking snippets from scripture gives us an incomplete picture of His love.  I would challenge each of you to find a reading plan that works for you and commit to reading the Bible through this year.  It will be one of the most meaningful and most productive uses of your time!

For my SNSS design projects this week, I decided to focus on God's love and how that love is to be reflected by His children.  I also wanted to have some fun with the digital stamps offered at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.  I wanted to remind you of how versatile digital stamps can be when doing Bible journaling.  So I have a few different pages to show you today.

One of the best features of a digital stamp is its versatility.  You can easily resize, rotate and flip a digital image.  For Bible journaling this is invaluable.  Had I needed to, I could have flipped the puppy image here to have it facing inward on the opposite page in my Bible.  And I can always insure that digital images will fit my margin perfectly because they are so easy to resize.

It's sobering to consider the command Jesus gives us that we are to love one another as He loved us.  His love is incomprehensibly big!  My husband and I often laugh about our dog's love, how she loves so unconditionally, so completely and how she never tires of welcoming us when we come home, even if we are only gone for 15 minutes!  People know so much about us by the way we love others. When we see others through the eyes of God, we too can love without reservation.

For my puppy love page, I simply printed the digital stamp image, laid the paper behind my Bible page and traced it in pencil first, then outlined it and colored in with Copic markers.  I could have printed it, colored it, cut it out and affixed it to the margin as well.  I also did my hand-lettering in pencil first, then wrote over it with marker, and erased the pencil afterwards. 

I fell in love with this little birdie the minute I saw him.  One of my favorite verses of Scripture comes from 1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us." Without God's love in our hearts it's impossible to love others in the purest sense.  We are only capable of that kind of love it we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

I also printed out this digi stamp and traced it onto the margin in my Bible.  I sponged the hearts using a heart stencil, and did hand lettering (still practicing...ugh...that's the hardest part of journaling for me).  The leaves are from Words of Life: Collection 2 (stamped on) and everything in the margin is colored with Copic markers. The LOVE comes from the clear stamp set, Give Praise.

For my final December entry, I used the digital stamp, Cocoa Sends Love, and here, I reversed the image and traced.  I used PrismaColor pencil for color and sponged the clouds with ink/stencil.  The hearts are stamped (How Tweet, SNSS).

Really, isn't little Cocoa one of the sweetest images ever?  I hope you'll try out some of the digital stamps at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps because they are so perfect for Bible journaling.  Rebecca Rios has created several for that specific purpose and I'll be showcasing one of those in January, but you can check those out HERE.

Here are the digital stamps used for today's projects, but if you go to the SNSS digital page with all the digi Valentine's sets, you will definitely drool...and probably start filling your cart!! May I add here too, that another helpful feature of digital images is their affordable price.  They are very inexpensive!