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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Worthy to be Praised!

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, 
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, 
my stronghold and my refuge, my savior, 
you save me from violence. 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised... 
(2 Samuel 22:2-4)

We praise God because He is worthy to be praised! When the earth seems to crumble beneath our feet, He is our Rock. When we need a place of safety and peace, He is our fortress, our defender, a shield around us. When we need to be rescued, He is our Savior. When we consider His works and His character, we are left amazed and our lips can do nothing less than praise Him. 



God never fails to respond to our call. His presence and power in our lives are constants in which we can completely trust. He is never too busy, never disinterested, never too distant to hear our call to Him. He is worthy of our praise. What are some of the ways you praise Him?


Page: Background color is blended chalks, sprayed with fixative. Most of the margin words and the flowers are stamped (Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps: Rebecca Script Alpha, He is Worthy, His Wings, Words of Life: Collections 1 and 2, and Long-Stemmed Silhouettes).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What Anchors You?

Because God wanted to make the 
unchanging nature of his purpose very clear 
 to the heirs of what was promised, 
he confirmed it with an oath.   
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things 
in which it is impossible for God to lie
we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us
 may be greatly encouraged.  
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.



We can see on every turn that life seems to be getting more chaotic, out of control.  People are looking for security, for hope, for something to anchor them.  Thankfully the believer has a reliable source for these needs.  Right in the center of Hebrews 6 you can see the heading, The Certainty of God's Promise.  Not much in life is certain.  I've heard the joke that nothing is certain but death and taxes. Now I'm hearing people saying things more like "taxes will be the death of me"...so maybe those two realities are all wrapped up together!

Joking aside, there is a serious side to be considered regarding the certainties of life.  When people are searching for an anchor it usually means they are experiencing rough waters.  Some times our life-tempests surely seem like they will overwhelm and drown us.  That's when we turn to God's Word, to His promises for hope and security.  Only God can anchor our soul. Only the Master of the Sea can still our troubled waters.


I believe this passage in Hebrews is very powerful.  We can depend on, be anchored to, God's unchanging nature.  God is not fickle, He is bent by nothing other than His own will.  Nothing will foil the plans that God has.  God's Word and the principles He sets for our eternity security are rooted in His promises. 

God is an anchor because His nature is unchanging.  And He is an anchor because He cannot lie.  Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..." (John 14:6).  This bold declaration from Christ's own lips says far more than "I will tell the truth."  He is saying that He IS the Truth.  All truth is anchored in Christ.  And we are blessed that He chooses to reveal His truth, His nature to us so that we will always be anchored and secure in the certainty of His promised to us.


The next time your are buffeted by tumultuous waters, remember that the Master of the Sea is an anchor for your soul.  Every single one one of His purposes for you will stand. You can depend on His Word for your life because He cannot lie.  And He cannot, will not lie because His nature, His character is unchanging.

I used Kuretake watercolor paints for the background, and the set Master of the Sea for this page.  I stamped the anchor on white cardstock, colored it with Copic markers then adhered it to the side bar.  The sets used: Master of the Sea (left) and Choose Faith (right).

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/choose-faith-clear-stamp-set/http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-master-of-the-sea-clear-stamp-set/

Monday, April 24, 2017

Do You Ever Want to Fly Away?


 "And I say, 'Oh, that I had wings like a dove! 
I would fly away and be at rest; 
yes, I would wander far away...
I would hurry to find a shelter 
from the raging wind and tempest'." 
(Psalm 55:6-8)

 

Who of us hasn't wanted to run away from it all...just leave the worries, responsibilities, troubles behind and find a place of rest and shelter. Of course, all of us have wanted that. Even King David wanted to fly away. There are times when life is just so hard that we wonder if the struggle, pain, heartache, or thought is worth it.


In our flesh, we would probably answer, "No, this isn't worth it." But most of the time it is...because of what God can do with our challenges. The problem always is, God's timing usually takes longer than our patience or endurance lasts. God knows that. I believe He often waits to intervene until we fully relinquish our struggle to Him, until we lay it all at His feet in full surrender. When we've spent ourselves in sleepless nights and anguished worry, we come to the Savior and hand our emptiness to Him. That's the only way He can fill us completely...to be emptied of ourselves, our resources, our thoughts, our ways, our plans.


The book of Psalms, chapters 55-57 shown here are full of encouragement for those who, like King David, would just love to fly away to escape our problems. I invite you to go to your Bible, spend some time in these chapters. I promise they will strengthen and encourage you. They are wonderful passages to guide your prayer time.




For my pages, I've used Sweet 'n Sassy stamps (Skinny Lowercase Alpha, Rebecca Script Alpha, and How Tweet), Copic markers to color and Washi Tape accents

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Traveling...

I'm starting to hear friends and family talking of traveling plans for upcoming summer months.  Vacations in my extended family alone include Florida, Colorado and Hawaii.  We will be staying close to home this summer, making only a few short forays.  Of those I know who will be venturing farther from home, I'm amused by the differences in approaches to travel particularly in the area of planning...or lack of it.  Which type are you...the exploring engineer designing details of your travels or are you the spontaneous sightseer, going where your heart leads you?  Perhaps both have their own advantages, as long as you arrive safely at your desired destination. 


Life is a bit like traveling.  It is certainly a journey.  Sometimes the road of life is straight and the panorama is wonderfully breath-taking.  At other times, we encounter bumps, potholes, detours and the scenery is so scary you can't breathe.   As believers, we have to remember God's aim for the journey we take.  We have no destination in this life.  Our journey takes us through the veil from this world into the next, seamlessly.  There is no end-point really...merely transition.


 Therefore we are always confident and know that 
as long as we are at home in the body 
we are away from the Lord.   
For we live by faith, not by sight.   
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be 
away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 

Whether we are traveling or staying home,  we are living our days in expectation of a greater destination.  While we are at home in these bodies, we long for that place where we will leave these corruptible bodies behind and enter our real home in the presence of our eternal God.  We are just traveling through this life and we are headed for our permanent home.  


Honestly, I've always been a bit of a home-body...a soul that seeks the solace of the quiet in my home. Long trips just take a toll on me, and I prefer to be right here.  But I truly don't feel that way about my body.  I have no particular discomforts for which I'm very, very thankful.  But I can sense with each passing year that my body is on the downward slide.  I look forward to heaven...I can't wait to see Jesus.  I'm glad I'm not stuck in a time-warp and I'd never wish to relive my life.  I want to keep moving, keep traveling toward my prize. 


I'm submitting both my Bible art-journaling page and this card as designs for the Mustard Seed Faith Challenge #3.  Our theme was traveling mercies, and I really hope you visit our page to read the devotional by Peggysue, our administrator.  It's so thought provoking.  And the designs by the other team members are so special...you will love their inspiration.  We invite you to play along and submit your own card following our theme...any mode of transportation. 


My little birdie here is traveling along in a sweet red wagon (Stampin' Up! image).  Oh the stories I could tell from my childhood playing with my Red Radio Flyer!  I was pulled in one, then I pulled my sister along.  I wish I knew what happened to it.   I often have wondered how we will get from one place to another in heaven...I'm sure God has something beyond thrilling in mind!

Thanks for peeking in today...and do head to our challenge blog.  We'd love to see what you submit. 

Meanwhile, I'll ask for God's traveling mercies upon you!








Thursday, April 6, 2017

To Know Him is to Trust Him

Those who know your name trust in you,    
 for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10
When we have moments of trust-failure it's because we have a temporary lapse in remembering who God is.  When we embrace the character of God, the believer's natural response has to be trust.  Think of the words that describe His character as being completely trustworthy.  What words would you choose?  My word would be faithful.  God has proven Himself faithful to me time and time again.  In fact, He has never been unfaithful to me so why would I not trust Him?  I look back over my life and I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God has been there for me.  And I trust that He will always hold me in His hand, near to His heart.  I know my God and I know I can trust Him. 

  
Usually I design Bible pages by going from scripture to design.  This time I was sorting through my stash of Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps and came across the set, Seek Him.  I've used it several times before but this time as I considered it the words "know" and "trust" stood out and it didn't take much of a leap from there.  To know Him is to trust Him.  That is a powerfully true statement.  So I went on a scripture search to see if I could find something that said the same thing.  Psalm 9:10 is perfect, "Those who know your name trust in you for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."  And, there is the faithful part in there too!  God will not forsake those who trust Him.  That truth is definitely worth some worship time and some art in my Bible!


I started with the words in the margin and added some hand-drawn birds for decoration.  The flowers here reflect those on the facing page, all from the Scribble Flowers stamp set. The flowers are stamped directly to the page and colored with watercolor paints (Kuretake-36 color set).  The words and birds were colored with Copic markers.


For the right side of the page I added some washi tape to anchor more flowers.  These were stamped on regular computer paper, and painted with the watercolor paints.  Then I cut out the flowers and adhered the centers of the flowers to the page.  The edges lift slightly to add some dimension to the page.  

The sets I used: 
http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-seek-him-clear-stamp-set/ 
 Seek Him by Rebecca Rios
http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/scribble-flowers-clear-stamp-set/
Scribble Flowers by Korin Sutherland

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Good News!

Everyone loves good news!  When we receive it we experience a number of varied responses.  Perhaps we are just so grateful, or maybe it's relief we feel.  It might be unexpected good news and we can't even believe the news at first.  No doubt, we've all received good news and there would be no one who would think bad news is better than good news.  But what about the BEST news?  Have you received the best news there is?


The good news of the gospel of Jesus is the best news you will ever receive.  Nothing is better than the news that Jesus died for sinners and you can be included in His plan of redemption.  He died so those who believe in Him will have eternal life in the presence of God.

Our second Mustard Seed Faith Challenge is all about this Good News and Easter.  Any card or art project that depicts an Easter theme fits our challenge for the next two weeks.  I encourage you to head over to our challenge blog and be inspired by the devotion, the design team projects and all the participant projects.   We had a great response to our first challenge and we'd love for you to help us spread the word...and the Good News!!!


 I also want to share a Bible art-journaling page I did for this challenge as well.  I was on a roll making cards with this color combination so I carried it over to my Bible as well.  Matthew 27 contains verses that powerful portray the crucifixion of Jesus showing us the indescribable love that Jesus had for mankind. 


He died that I might live!  What love, what sacrifice, what a miracle!  He paid the debt of my sin, and paid it in full, so that I am fully redeemed.  I never have to pay for it.  My salvation is sealed for eternity because I have accepted His amazing gift of life.

The word stamp above is a digital stamp from Sweet 'n Sassy stamps, so I printed it at the size needed for the margin, laid it behind the page and used a brush marker in yellow to trace the digital stamp.  The rest of the images (card and Bible page) are stamped from the set, Good News, also from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/he-died-i-live-digital-stamp/


http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-the-good-news-clear-stamp-set/

Please visit our challenge blog, Mustard Seed Faith Challenges for more inspiration! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

FREE Spring Digital Stamps!

Just a quick post with some freebies in celebration of the first day of spring.  Help yourself to any and all of these digital stamps from a set I designed for my store when I was in the business.  Here's a couple of project I made from the images.  AND while you are here, check out the post below this for a really fun, newly launched challenge blog, Mustard Seed Faith Challenges.









Happy spring!  Enjoy.