Friday, December 8, 2017

Prince of Peace

And he [Jesus] will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 

In kingdom rule, the Prince is granted authority as designated by the king.  This passage reflects the granting of authority to Christ, the awaited Messiah.  The initial part of the passage gives greater insight on the authority Jesus is given, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders."  Christ carries all governments.  No plan forged by earthly leaders will foil the plan that God has for this world.  God is sovereign above all earthly authority.  Knowing that God is in charge and all will happen as He wills gives me great comfort.  

One of the most amazing areas of Christ's authority is over the realm of PEACE.  It is Christ who grants peace.  Think of when he calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee. He evoked his power and authority over chaos; He had the power to declare peace over the raging waves (Mark 4:39).  He had that authority as the Prince of Peace.  

As we look at our world in turmoil, we see the tempest of the enemy raging. We need not fear.  God is sovereign and the Prince of Peace is still in control.  Our responsibility is to trust and serve Him until he brings an end to the storms we see in our world.  With the same authority, Christ can declare peace over the storms in your own life.  If you are tossed about by a sea of doubt, fear and trouble, the Prince of Peace is near to you.  You have only to call upon Him and he will either quiet the storms that assail you or He will quiet your spirit and reassure you that He is with you through the storm. 

I used two stamp sets to design this simple page, Christmas Botanicals and Peace on Earth, both Krista Hamrick sets, available at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.   Everything is colored with Prismacolor Pencils.

 Peace on Earth                      Christmas Botanicals

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Give Thanks to Him!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; 
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations (Psalm 100)

May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day! Before your celebrations and family fellowship...feast on these words from God's heart!

I used stamp sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps for the margin wording, PrismaColor pencils and Stampin' Up! inks to color the page and added Washi tape to accent.
Stamps Used:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

God's Amazing Grace

"For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." 
(John 1:16)

Grace upon grace...that's pretty much how I would describe my life! Grace is undeserved favor from God and as I look back over my life, I see that grace lavished upon me. Because His grace cannot be earned, it is through no merit of my own that I have received His grace. It is a pure, holy and unimaginably generous gift from the Father.

His grace is available to all and it is inconceivable to me that there are those who willfully refuse His grace. So many will accept the lies and schemes of the enemy and refuse the loving grace of a heavenly Father. I just am so thankful that I am under the loving providence of a God who chose to lavish me with His grace while I was still a sinner, who pulled my into His protective embrace and who continues to pour over me grace upon grace. 

I did a watercolor splash background of two colors, wetting the page first, then dropping the colors on top of the wet page. I stamped the words using Stampin' Up! water-based inks when the background was completely dry. I used Sweet 'n Sassy stamps--Choose Faith and Words of Life: Collection 2, Washi tape and a little hand lettering.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bearing Fruit for a Lifetime

As I near my 7th decade of living (have 3 years left before that milestone), I'm reflecting more on where I'm going than on where I've been. I remarked to my husband this weekend, "Do you realize I only have 13 more years until I'm 80." I do strange calculations like that! But the reason I do that is to remind myself that every day is precious, and each day has a ton of value. Something tangible and good has to make the rest of my days matter. What will make them matter the most?

They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green... (Psalm 92:14)

Bearing fruit for Christ...that will make each day matter. I can spend my days on a myriad of worthwhile tasks, but do those tasks bear fruit for Christ? I take seriously the task of passing on a legacy to my sons and grandchildren. I often think about shaping my days so when they remember me they will remember loving and serving them, and loving and serving Christ. Those two jobs are the most important to me. While I'm engaging in those tasks I want my life, my heart to reflect the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.

If I concentrate on bearing spiritual fruit, I believe my heart and my mind will stay "fresh and green" all the days of my life. 

For my page I used the stamped image from the set Christmas Topiaries, Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, hand lettering and PrismaColor Pencils.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Good Fruit, Bad Fruit

For decades, my husband's family operated a pick-your-own strawberry business covering acres of their family farm.  After we married, I had occasion to go out and pick my own strawberries too.  I'd never done that before and as silly as it may seem, it was a spiritual experience.  As I combed through the fruit bearing plants I looked for the choicest of berries.  I was looking for lusciously ripe, beautifully red berries and the bigger the better.  I was seized by the miraculous nature of this fruit and contemplated how God created strawberries just for our delight and pleasure.  I remember also being totally put off when my fingers would happen upon an already decaying berry.  It was simply repulsive to me.

As long as the farm was maintained it produced healthy plants that bore gorgeous fruit.  As believers we have everything we need from Christ to consistently bear good fruit.  We have been remade, renewed, reborn and we have the capacity to bear the fruit of the Spirit consistently.  It's good to take stock from time to time and check the fruit we are bearing.  Does it please God, or would he be repulsed by its rottenness?  We can't claim to be Christ's and consistently bear bad fruit.  That is incongruous with being reborn.  Likewise, those without the saving power of the Holy Spirit cannot bear the true fruit of the Spirit.  Their hearts don't contain the right soil.  My prayer is that others will see the fruit of God's Spirit in me so much that there is no shadow of doubt that I am fully Christ's own.

Sometimes I make it a personal creative challenge to use stamps in ways that offer a new perspective. I was looking through my stash for a small tree. When I saw this branch, I immediately thought I'd just turn it up on end and voila! a tree!  Necessity can be the mother of invention AND creativity!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Catching Up!

I'm not sure why, but I find it hard to remember to come to my blog and post.  I'm posting my Bible journaling pages on Instagram, Facebook and several Bible journaling forums, so remembering to come here is often neglected.  So I want to do a catch up page, and just post quick photos of the pages I've done since I last posted.  They won't necessarily be in chronological order...and if I have repetitions, forgive!  These are all my design team submissions for Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, so you can visit that website to find a full array of stamps specifically for Bible journaling. Look for clear stamps and stamps under the Creative Worship tab at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why I Sing for Joy!

" mouth will praise you with joyful lips
when I remember you upon my bed, 
and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.  
My soul clings to you; 
your right hand upholds me."
Psalm 63:5-8

Think back to something God has done...something that would not have happened had it not been for his intervention, guidance, presence or power.  We can name many instances, can we not?  Psalm 63 is one of my favorite, and there are actually several portions of it that could be highlighted.  It is so rich! But I've chosen these verses for the joy they bring as I meditate upon them remembering God's goodness and many, many mercies toward me.  

What a wonderful place to the shadow of God's wings...under his protective and watchful eye, close to his heart.  That alone is great reason to be joyful.  As believers we are blessed with this close position to God through his grace alone.  He has invited us to be in relationship and the benefits of that relationship are like no other.  No doubt we can recount story after story of when he was our help.  Once we trust in God's son, Jesus, we desire a close, abiding relationship...we literally CLING to Jesus.  

During many nights I could feel his right hand holding me close, holding me tightly, reassuring...steady...strong.  Who wouldn't cling to that, right?  God often wakes me in the "watches of the night" to pray for someone, to commune with him, to search his Word for wisdom and help.  I feel especially close to him at night.  I know he watches over me, protects me, and prepares the day in front of me so I will see him working on my behalf. 

One of the many reasons I sing for joy, is that I know my God defends me, fights for me.  I know there have been numerous times the enemy would creep into my night seeking to frighten, discourage, and bring despair.  But God fought for me.  There have been times in my life when people...people whose hearts were bent toward evil and destruction came against me.  I LOVE the passage in Psalm 64 on the facing page.  Here David describes enemies coming against him, setting traps of ambush, shooting arrows with bitter lies and destructive words.  I've known people like this.  Being in full-time ministry places you in enemy territory many times.  People will gnash their teeth against those proclaiming the gospel and reaching the lost for Christ.  My husband, a pastor, and I have experienced warfare many times.  But God has come to our defense in every single instance.  We see him dealing with those who come against us.  We don't have to do a thing but trust in him.  What a cause for joy!  

I pray that you find shelter under the wing of the Most High God, that you find many reasons to remember and celebrate with joy the times he has come to your aid, upheld you with his right hand.  Knowing he has been there for us, faithfully providing and protecting, gives us full assurance he will ALWAYS be there for us.  And that indeed is a reason to sing for joy!

Sets Used: 

                                          His Name                                     Note This