Saturday, May 5, 2018

Be Thou My Vision

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art -
thou my best thought, by day or by night;
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only first in my heart,
high King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
This ancient Irish poem dates back to the 8th century and was translated in the early 1900's.  I grew up singing it in church and now I sit in thankful worship when I listen to some of the newer renditions of the hymn.  There is so much to love about the hymn. I love the Irish melody, but the words are powerful too.  Sung as a prayer, it simply petitions God to be my give me eyes to see all that He is and all that He has done.  The lyrics speak of practicing the presence of God, that our best thoughts, words and actions would indicate the devotion we have in our hearts for the High King of heaven.  It describes the intimate relationship between the Father and His child and the promised inheritance we receive as children of heaven's ruler.  
When designing in my Praise Book recently I chose to extract the meaning from the hymn and journal its practical application.  This two-page spread is the result.  I copied the hymn from an old hymn book and adhere to the page then hand drew a frame to finish the edges and added a paper pieced girl from the Girl Power clear stamp set just released this month. The stamped words at the top of the page are from Bitty Minnie Alpha; the glasses are from the Girl Power set.
I created hinged tags to express my interpretive prayers. 
My prayer...
     When I look to my highest GOAL, may that be YOU.
     When I look to my greatest HOPE, may that be YOU.
     When I look to my deepest NEED, may that be YOU.
     When I look to my strongest LOVE, may that be YOU.
     When I look to my surest WAY, may that be YOU.
     When I look to my brightest LIGHT, may that be YOU.
Underneath each tag, I wrote prayers, journaled thoughts and wrote quotes regarding each of the prayer topics.
When God is the Lord of our heart, He will be our vision, our best or night; He will be our wisdom and the foundation of our truth, He will dwell with us and we will become one with Him just as Christ was one with the Father.  When God is the Lord of our heart, He will be sufficient for any need we have and will give us our promised inheritance when we see Him face to face.  I want God to be my vision, to fill my thoughts, to be the heart of my heart!
Sets Used (all new May releases)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Wisdom...A Graceful Garland

“Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. 
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, 
and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; 
love her, and she will guard you. 
The beginning of wisdom is this: 
Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. 
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; 
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland; 
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” 
Proverbs 4: 4-9

Such a beautiful description of godly wisdom! The Bible has much to say about the wisdom that comes from God and how it is different from the world's wisdom (See James 3:13-18) The world's wisdom is foolishness to God. But godly wisdom, the wisdom that comes from above is a treasure. God's Word and His Spirit in us will give us all the wisdom we need to discern spiritual things. Anything God wants us to know, He reveals to us plainly. What isn't known is taken on faith, and faith is as valuable in God's sight as is wisdom! If you desire more wisdom, ask God for it, like Solomon did! Seek it through His Word and soak it up from the Holy Spirit. We can never have enough of it!
Design Details: I am so excited about the new printable just released by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps called Girl Power Printable Bundle. The CUTEST ever girls who will fit perfectly in your Bible. Korin Sutherland, owner of Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps designed the set and I think it is beyond fabulous. Here I used a girl from the sheet I printed on clear sticker paper. So easy!!! I used watercolor paints, Classy Script Alphabet and Scribble Flowers (stamps are also from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps). I love the personification of Wisdom described in the passage and this little girl matched the idea perfectly.

Designed by Korin Sutherland, Owner

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Praise God Through It All!

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, 
O Most High, 
proclaiming Your love in the morning 
and your faithfulness at night... 
Psalm 92:1-2

God's Word is replete with the praises of His people even when going through tribulations. All of us can recount times when we were broken with bleeding hearts and yet found we could still feel the loving arms of our God wrapped around us.  One of the reasons we can praise God in the middle of any storm is His faithfulness to us.  Our praises don't emanate from the purity of our hearts, but by the Spirit in us who lifts our eyes away from circumstances to focus on the God who will see us through it all.

I recently heard a song that totally resonated with me and I want to include a link at the end of the post to the song if I can.  The lyrics speak of God's faithfulness and how he is with us through it all when we get it right and when we don't. I hope you'll take a minute to listen if you need to feel God a little closer to your heart today.

Design Details:
I've started designing pages in a small three-ring binder that is my praise book.  I've had it for more than a year and decided I wanted a place where I could journal more and have more design work than I can do in my Bible.  And I thought a praise binder was a perfect place to create using the printables from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.  Our printables are a relatively new line and while certainly not limited to Bible journaling they are perfect for that, sized with a Bible page in mind.

We are beginning to branch out and think of lots of ways to support Bible journaling, but my line of printables are unique for several reasons.  You get a ton of ready to print-cut-use images that coordinate with a theme.  But you also get an interactive devotional that takes you to the Word of God and enables you to spend real study time there, meditating on how God is speaking to you to apply the truths of His Word to your life.  The interactive portion takes you into a worshipful, quiet time with God.  In addition to the designs and devotion you also get Bible passage prompts...samples of scriptures where the printables can be used...all following the theme of the printable.  This month's printable, Rain or Shine, includes verses of scripture that encourage our praises through all events in our lives.  But one of the most unique and helpful components of our printables is that the download gives you not only the printable, but the digital files in color AND outline.  You receive all the colored images as JPEGs and PNGs which allows you to resize, flip, layer...create to your hearts content and in a sense create your own printable.  With the outline images you can expand your creativity and personalize the images by coloring or using paper-piecing techniques. Our design team members are showing tons of ways to use our printables and all have done amazing worship-filled projects that will totally inspire you.

All of the elements on these pages are from the printable.  If you have a cutting machine, you can make fast work of creating these die-cut like designs or you can run the printable through with sticker paper.  So the versatility of these is a hugh selling point.  Here I've combined the printables with some of my favorite stamps, all released this month--Just Say Jesus, Teeny Alpha and from last month, Skinny Minnie Alpha, which is quickly becoming a go-to alpha set.

One of the things I like about using my binder (purchased through Illustrated Faith), is the SPACE I have for creating. I've included personal thoughts, scripture, and song lyrics...all things that take me to the heart of worship.  So whether you are creating in  a binder like this, traveler's notebook, junk journals, or your Bible these printable will offer you tons of possibilities.  But scrapbookers and cardmakers are certainly not forgotten.  These are perfect for you too, AND with the digital images provided you can size them for your specific needs. 

Sets Used:

by Diane Noble
3 sheets of print and cut designs, interactive devotional, scripture prompts AND
PNG/JPEG files for personal creations. 
Just Say Jesus by Rebecca Rios
Teeny Alpha Clear Stamp by Korin Sutherland
Skinny Minnie Alpha by Rebecca Rios
Don't forget to listen to this encouraging song by Colton Dixon, Through It All

Friday, April 6, 2018

Just Say Sunshine!

"Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!" Psalm 113:2

All day, everyday, morning-noon-and-night, sunshine or rain, we are to praise the name of the Lord. God's trustworthy nature and our faith can carry us through the stormy days because we know the sun is coming. God will redeem the days when clouds cover our spirits. When we experience those days, we do well to JUST SAY SUNSHINE in our heart and let the light of Christ flood our cares and circumstances with His glory. I know that's easier said than done on the really hard days, but in faith we can choose to see God's hand in our circumstances, grab hold of His hope and cling to the God who holds all of our days in His good hand.

Design Details: Oh, I'm so excited my new printable available exclusively at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. The bundle has proven to be even more versatile than I'd hoped. Our team members have created some amazing pages with the printables. And I can't wait to share more of mine. They were so fun to do. For this page I blended two ways to use the printables...print and cut from cardstock, and using them on clear, matte finish sticker paper. Here the sun, cloud and word sunshine are clear stickers so you can easily read the text through the sticker. I chose to highlight the verse with the cloud. The tab and bottom pieces were printed on cardstock and cut out. You could make the bottom grouping as a tip-in so the scripture underneath is accessible. I didn't this time. The background is a watercolor splash blending 2 yellows and a touch of orange. I'll be sharing more about the printables and doing a video with them for one of my upcoming pages.

 April's Printables
3 pages of artwork, an interactive devotional page, 
and 12 outline digi images included.

(used on tab)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Holy Spirit is Welcome Here!

But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. 
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 
For who knows a person's thoughts 
except the spirit of that person, which is in him? 
So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, 
but the Spirit who is from God, 
that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom 
but taught by the Spirit, 
interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." 
1 Corinthians 2:9-13

What an incredible gift we have in the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Those who live apart from Him cannot fathom the treasure we hold. We have the gift not because we have attained some higher level of consciousness or knowledge through our own efforts. He abides with us because He loves us, and graciously desires that we know Him, that we commune and fellowship with Him. Through His Spirit, we have the mind of Christ to discern what is spiritual.
I'm grateful for this precious gift within me. He is welcome in my mind, my heart and my life. I desire to surrender completely to His will...because I know He cares for me. I am His beloved and He works in me for my good, to make me more like Jesus. I'm definitely a work in progress, but I know He has captivated my heart, saved my soul, and lives within me. AND He is preparing for me the unimaginable! The Spirit in you draws the same Spirit in me and we have a relationship as brothers and sisters even without truly knowing one another. We can share and teach each other the things of the Spirit, because we share this precious gift He has given to all true believers.

Design Details: The background is sponged with Stampin' Up! inks which do not bleed through with most colors. I added some flower accents and words in the margin...all with Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Holy Spirit, Teeny Alpha, Lynzee Script, Scribble Flowers. I added some texture to the page with grunge stamps.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

More than We Ask!

"Now to him who is able to do 
far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, 
according to the power at work within us, 
to him be glory in the church 
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, 
forever and ever. Amen." 
Ephesians 3:20-21

AMEN!!! One of the most often repeated directives in scripture is about prayer. Prayer is our lifeline in connecting to God. So many believers fail to believe in the need and power of prayer. It can be a last resort when it should be our first response, our first act of the day. We are to live in an attitude of prayer so we are in constant communion with God. 

I think about the times I've prayed and God has answered in a visible, tangible way. His blessing ALWAYS exceeds the size of my prayers! He goes beyond my limited scope of my situation or my need and He gives beyond what I ask. I could write volumes about the huge answers I have received from God when I prayed. He is not only ABLE to give more than we ask or imagine...that is what He does...that is who He is!

Design Details: The background is a watercolor paint wash keeping brush strokes in a vertical pattern and layering three colors. I used Jane Davenport watercolors in brights. All the wording was done with stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, some from their newly released stamps this month...Just Say Jesus and Teeny Alpha. I also used other SNSS stamps-- Skinny Minnie Alpha set, Note This for the arrows and Scribble Flowers for the rosettes. The silhouette image is a modification of the new release, A Mother's Love. Instead of lifting the baby high I just did a little cutting and had her lifting her hand in praise. I stamped on a piece of paper, did the modification then adhered to the page.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Christ Is Risen

"But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid,
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples
that he has risen from the dead,
and behold, he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him. See, I have told you."
Matthew 28:5-7

Most who read this post know the Easter story well. Today we observe Good Friday when Jesus was crucified and buried. We also know the story didn't end there. A lot can happen in 3 days, right? The resurrection changed human history forever. The verse I've illustrated certainly references all the essential elements of the Christian faith regarding Easter, but I want to focus on two tiny little nuggets in the passage.

1) "as he said."
2) "I have told you."

There is so much truth and power behind these two very short statement. Every minute detail of the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled prophecy. It happened exactly as God planned. Jesus knew the plan. He knew the plan when He shaped the earth, when He flung stars and galaxies into the universe. He knew the whole plan you before you were born and you were a part of that plan. He already loved you enough to die for you.

As the eternal Christ, Jesus inspired the book of Isaiah. He knew when He entered Jerusalem He would fulfill the prophecies of within the pages of scripture. He knew every torment He would experience. He knew their plan for Him, but we know He had a bigger that could not be foiled. Jesus loved you enough--before you were even born, before generations before you were born--to go through the agonies of the cross. He was willing because He knew the end. He knew the end would be only the beginning.

Everything happened exactly
as he said.

And He's written it all down so you would know
he has told you.

When we celebrate Easter, we not only rejoice in what our Savior did to effect our salvation, we affirm that Jesus was the One prophesied; that what happened to Him happened with intention so the prophecies would be fulfilled to the tiniest detail. When we understand that everything happened exactly as He said it would, we can rest assured that the entire Bible is true and it will happen just as he has told you.

Art Details:
This was a really simple page to complete. I splashed on two tones of green to create a partial background. The flowers were stamped on cardstock, watercolor painted then fussy cut and adhered to the page. The words are stamped using sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. Watercolor paints are from Jane Davenport and Illustrated Faith. 
 Birds and Blooms
 Lynzee Script
 His Name