Saturday, September 23, 2017

He is Faithful...

Hi friends,

This month I started on an exciting and daunting journey of going back to College (many years after I finished my first degree!) to study Theology, a dream I have had in my heart for a number of years. At our welcome service, the Principal preached on 1 Thessalonians 5:24 - "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."


This is encouraging in so many ways! One of the things I learnt about this verse is that the word 'calls' is in the present continuous tense in the Greek, which means that God doesn't just call us once, he continues to call us throughout our lives - wow! And it is the one who calls us who will do the work in and through us. We don't need to fret and worry and strive to sort out our lives or families or calling - that's God's job! And he is FAITHFUL. Is anyone else encouraged by this awesome truth? So as I embark on this new chapter of my life that involves learning a bunch of new skills and knowledge while trying to discern my next steps, I can know that it is God who will work all these things out in my life for my good and for his glory. And whatever you are going through, remember that God is the one who is doing the working - and he is faithful to complete it!


I thought the topiary tree from the new Christmas Topiaries set would be perfect for this verse as I thought about how God crafting our lives carefully to produce fruit and beauty is much like the process of cultivating a topiary tree (and remember - it's not the tree that does the work of cultivation!). I created the verse using alphabet stamps and smaller word stamps from a variety of sets: Lynzee Script Alpha, Mini Grunge Type Alpha, Good Shepherd and God is Good

Here are some of the main supplies I used on this page:

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/christmas-topiaries-clear-stamp-set/

Have a blessed day and week ahead!

x Amy x

Monday, September 18, 2017

Come Let Us Adore Him

Hey friends! How sweet is this baby Jesus stamp? It's part of a new set called Peace on Earth. I thought the stamp would be perfect in my hymnal. I love to sing Christmas songs! Like loooove! Church at Christmas time is one of my favorite things about the holiday.
For this page I stamped baby Jesus and then stamped the star above. I also stamped the Lord is come stamp at the top. I then just used some water colors to color in Jesus and a simple background. I used a white gel pen to color in the star and add some dots to the blue sky. Then I added some black dots with a pen and some around the hymnal page. I used a small piece of washi tape at the bottom of the page and I finished the page with a lace bow my friend gave me.
If you are thinking about Christmas already then you can pre-order this set for some journaling or even some Christmas tags! I know some people don't like to think about Christmas so early, but for me, it's one of the most important events that happen in the bible-Jesus' birth, so I'm ok with talking about it all year long! Have an amazing day! Love, Bridgett

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sing of His glory

Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel. - Isaiah 44:23

When I read this part I had to think of the talking trees in the Lord of the Rings and how they would be singing hymns with their deep voices. How powerful would it be if the mountains and trees would start singing, rejoicing God. That's how this page started...

I used two stamp sets (Sing Loud and As the Deer) to create this page. I have a lot of journaling space in my bible and there's a lot to journal about in this chapter so I kept this part of my drawing in one column and I highlighted the message I was working on. I prepared my page with clear gesso and made the background with Distress inks. I stamped the images with black ink after the background dried. I used watercolors for the images and the word 'glory'. Because of the stamping you can build this page really quick. I had to wait for the gesso and the ink to dry, but if you'd just stamp the images and color everything with colored pencils it's a really easy page to make. 

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-as-the-deer-clear-stamp-set/

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-sing-loud-clear-stamp-set/
- Lucinde
 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Our King

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout, daughter Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9

Dear Friends,

Many in our country are suffering- hurricanes, fires... personal trials.... I am praying for all who have been affected by the fires and hurricanes. I'm also praying for our country and for the world. Our world is groaning. Think how hopeless it would all seem if not for Jesus.

Many are searching and searching but they don't realize Jesus is what they need. Those of us who know Jesus have hope no matter what situation or circumstance we may find ourselves in. Zechariah 9:9 prophesied Jesus' entry into Jerusalem before He was crucified. He was our King then, already righteous and victorious; and He is our King now STILL righteous and victorious. Rest in Him and His victory.

I used a newly released set for this page called Christmas Botanicals. It's a Christmas set, but this shows how versatile it is. It doesn't have to just be used for Christmas! It's available for pre-order now at Sweet n Sassy Stamps. I also used Mini Grunge Type Alpha and Worthy King.





For the color, I used watercolors and blew the color around the page with a straw. Then I stamped the images on top of the paint.

In Him, Andrea











Thursday, September 7, 2017

JOY to the World!


Recently I listened to a series of presentations (CDs) by a pastor in Lawrence, Kansas on the Power of Joy.  They were absolutely fascinating because he explores some brain research relating to our feelings and relationships.   Pastor Brazell had a poignant perspective on the source of joy.  To isolate snippets of his sermon cannot do the whole or the part justice, so I hesitate.  Yet it changes one's perspective forever on joy.  I will give a link to his main presentation at the end of this post and invite you to experience it for yourself. In short, joy is all about relationship.  Lots of things in life can make you happy producing dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter that affects the pleasure center of the brain.  (I'm not a neuro-anything...so my explanations are faulty no doubt...still you will get the gist if you stay with me.)  Different stimuli create an increase in dopamine and a feeling of pleasure or happiness is released.  But something substantially different happens with JOY.  Pleasure or happiness can be artificially produced...joy cannot, because joy is an authentic state.  You can fake pleasure or happiness, but not joy because at the heart of joy is relationship.  (There is so much more to this explanation.)  He goes on to explain how a baby seeks connection and joy and how joy is communicated. Truly, absolutely an amazing study.

 

As you might anticipate, he brings the topic full circle to the source of joy...and it centers squarely on our relationship to Christ.  Immanuel...God with us.  God's purpose in Christ was to reconcile, restore relationship with Him.  Without Christ, relationship with God is impossible, and without relationship joy is also impossible.  The power of JOY is in the power of Immanuel...God with us.


So think of the amazing words of the hymn, Joy to the Word...and look at what follows, the Lord is come...Immanuel...a new relationship is possible.  God came to be WITH US, and that changes everything.  As God related to man throughout scripture, joy is always associated with the presence of God.  "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11)  In the presence of God as we experience relationship with Him, we find the fullness of a lasting joy.


If we are to be a light in this dark world, our influence rests in the joy we experience through Christ and share with others.  It is our joy in the Lord that fuels love to touch others and relate to them through Christ.  Christ came surely for our salvation, but with that salvation--restoration of relationship--that we also find JOY.  And we cannot keep that kind of joy to ourselves...it drives us to relate to others, to share it with others.  If you struggle with joy, I heartily recommend that you listen to pastor Brazell's sermon on the Power of Joy and I guarantee you will have a different perspective on joy.

How exciting to be sharing September's stamp release with the new Christmas sets at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.  This one is from Peace on Earth by Krista Hamrick and I love it!

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/peace-on-earth-clear-stamp-set/
(Available for Pre-Order)

The presentation by Pastor Brazell on the Power of Joy
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Great are His Signs...

How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. Daniel 4:3 ESV


Our Lord is full of many great signs and many amazing and mighty wonders. It may take a lot for us to see them or realize how amazing he is...I mean it took King Nebuchadnezzar seeing three men walk out of a fiery furnace for him to be in Awe of our Lord. In reading this and meditating it made me think...we shouldn't always ask the Lord to "show us a sign" in order to believe in him. Having faith means believing in something we may not be able to see. He IS full of great signs and wonders but He will show himself in his own time. Remember this is his world...we're just living in it doing his work and creating disciples! I want to be clear that I am not saying not to ask him to show a sign to prove it is his will to be done, or to take something away or show us the way because we all do that...I'm saying that it's not necessary to have him prove that he is an awesome God every other day- you should have faith that he is and always will be. The Lord has nothing to prove ya'll...we do. 

<3 Brittany

I used my new favorite set Scribble Flowers to create this GORGEOUS bouquet on my page. Korin created this stamp set and made sure to give EVERYTHING you needed to create a stunning floral bible page! I'm restraining from using this on every.single.page! 
I used the Skinny Caps Alpha for the how's on this page as well. 





Sunday, September 3, 2017

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
Hi Friends!

The eclipse on August 21 definitely showed us the glory of God and the work of His hands. My pastor gave a message on the first few verses of Psalm 19, and I really liked the illustration he used. Where I live, we weren't in totality. I think it was about 94%. It didn't get that dark. My pastor pointed out that the 6% of light we had overcame the darkness. He went on to say that even if we shine only a little light of Jesus to this dark world, it will still make a difference. It opened my eyes that the small day to day gestures we make to love others are just as important as the big gestures. So shine Christ, my friends! 
  I also learned from the NASA website that the sun's diameter is 400 times wider than the moon's, but it is also 400 times farther away. The result is that the sun and the moon appear to be the same size from our perspective. So, God made the sun and the moon precisely the right sizes and set them at the right distance away from each other so that we, on earth, could be amazed. Wow, God! A show just for us, because it wouldn't be seen from anywhere else.

I used the following Sweet n Sassy stamps for this page: Chunky AlphaMini Grunge Type AlphaSing LoudRebecca Script Alpha, and The Good News.

I painted the page with watercolor crayons, made the eclipse "shine" with a white Sharpie pen, and embossed the words. (I did this in my interleaved Bible which has blank pages in between each page of Scripture. So no Scripture was covered up.)

On another note, my heart has been heavy for Texas. I was born and raised in Texas, and while I don't live there currently, it is my home and I have many family and friends there. In events like this, it can be hard to see God in the midst of it. But He is there. I'm praying for Texas and everyone affected. Thank you to those volunteers who have helped anyway they can, and to the first responders and rescue workers.


In Christ, Andrea









Saturday, September 2, 2017

Whom have I..?

Hi friends,
 
I love how the Psalms explore the full range of human emotions and experiences - from joy to despair, love, hate, anger, friendship, loss, loneliness, triumph and failure. And no matter what the writers of the Psalms go through, they always return to the security of the character and nature of God.
 
Psalm 73:25-26 follows verses filled with confessions of envy, confusion, bitterness and ignorance. Yet the psalmist finishes with these beautiful words...

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.


No matter what may be going on around us or in us, we need to come back to this place of realising that God is our all in all - nothing else can compare with Him or compete with Him. When we fix our eyes and our heart on Him, then we find perspective and strength in the difficulties of life.


I created this page using watercolours on a page prepped with gesso (this makes the colour & water move around more than an un-prepped page). The heaven and earth stamps were stamped first, then I applied the watercolour and once dry added the rest of the verse using alphabet stamps and stickers.

Here are the stamp sets I used:

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-god-is-good-clear-stamp-set/http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-mini-grunge-type-alpha-clear-stamp-set/

I want to finish by encourage you with the final verse of this Psalm:

But as for me, it is good to be near God
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

Yes and amen!

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Integrity and Success

{jane bosi}

Our pastor preached on Nehemiah last Sunday--about how given his success, much was expected of him.  Same for us.  It's easy to forget as we go through our day to day the ways in which God blesses and ordains our work.  I know this to be true.  I work in a tough enviroment.  It's hard for me sometimes not to be overly focused on the behaviors--some days, it's physical, other's it's attitudes.  Nevertheless, I've been blessed with opportunities to show the love of Christ for the Glory of God.  Just like Nehemiah.

To complete my page, I used a whole mess of goodies from Sweet N Sassy stamps--you will find them all in the store :)  They are:  Words of Life-Action, Note This, Worship the Lord, He is Worthy, What's Up, Skinny Caps Alphabet, Mini Grunge Alphabet, Words of Life-Common Words.

May your day be blessed,

Jane

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

King of Glory

For today's Bible Journaling, I revisited Sweet N Sassy Stamp Set - Creative Worship: Child of the King. This set is so wonderful. It is simple yet powerful; just like my page today.. I am in Psalms - the 24th. It talks about the awesomeness of God - He is the King of Glory! - The statement itself is powerful - right?

I stamped the image directly onto the page and used color pencils it color it. To keep it simple, I didn't use any background inks... The "King" stamp actually says "Child of the King" so I masked off all but "King" for my page.



I hope your day is a blessed one! Thanks for stopping by!

Lyn

Monday, August 28, 2017

Donut Worry

Hey friends!! So I'm sharing a page today that I used the 'Skinny lowercase alpha' on. I'm not sure about you , but I love a good font stamp! This one is so great because it's small enough to fit in the margins!
This page I used the napkin technique-if you are not familiar-just google it! You add gesso to your page, cut the napkin and separate the layers and place it on the gesso. Then use a paint brush-I like the sponge kind, and add some more gesso over the top. Smooth it out and let it dry. I'm not perfect at this technique but it still turns out good and super fun! I then stamped the Donut Worry and added a tab at the top and some donut washi that my friend had. I also added the little bit of washi that says Let it go and let God. It's such an important part of our walk with Jesus! I journaled in Matthew 5-Therefore I tell you , do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Later in the passage it says....Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day as enough trouble of it's own. Friends, let it go and donut worry!!! God's got this!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Serve God

Proverbs has a lot of wisdom, last week I was reading in Proverbs 23 and I wanted to journal about this message. 

‘Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.’ (Proverbs 23:4-5)

We’re worrying about a lot of things that are happening in our lives. And money is often one our worries. When I read this I had to think of the stamp set ‘His Wings’. Because while we’re worrying, God will spread His wings around us and take care of us (of course this idea was inspired by the saying about the eagle ;)). So we have to remember who we’re serving. God or the money? We have to serve God and not worry (too much) about all the other things. 


I prepared my page with clear gesso (the Dutch bible has very thin pages) and stamped the images with black ink. I masked the images before I made the background with Distress inks but I didn’t like the hard white edge, so I added a little bit of yellow around the feathers to make the contrast a little les hard. The word ‘serve’ was a little bit too long to fit next to the feathers so I stamped it on vellum and colored it with a watercolor marker. I adhered it with a piece of washi tape and stamped the word Him underneath it. 

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-his-wings-clear-stamp-set/

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-all-your-heart-clear-stamp-set/

I used the stamp sets 'His Wings' and 'All your Heart'.

- Lucinde


Monday, August 21, 2017

Lessons in Job

Job 14 & 15

Hi Friends!

I don't know about you, but sometimes Job can be hard for me to read. Reading about Job's losses, seeing his anguish through the verses, his friends being so harsh when they were trying to be supportive...

But Job is so rich with things we can learn: information about God, His throne room and His sovereignty, how to deal with suffering, how to be (or not to be) a friend to someone suffering...

In chapters 3-31 of Job, we see a back and forth discussion between Job and three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. In chapter 14, Job was responding to Zophar. He spoke of how life is fleeting and how God is in control. Job wanted death. He was at a very low point. But even in his pain, he knew God was in complete control. And in that sadness and pain, Job said:

"You will call, and I will answer You..." Job 14:15

No matter what, Job would answer God. He knew God was with him in his despair. And he was ready to respond to God when He called. Lesson: God is with us in our sufferings and we should trust in and respond to Him through the hard times.

In chapter 15, Eliphaz responded to Job. He is pretty harsh. And this certainly isn't a lesson in how to help and support friends who are suffering. But there are nuggets of truth in what he says. I read the First5 devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Their devotion spoke of lessons we can learn from chapter 15, and I based some of my journaling on that.

  1. Fear God & Maintain Devotion: "Indeed, you do away with reverence and hinder meditation before God." Job 18:4
  2. Be wise: "Do you hear the secret counsel of God, and limit wisdom to yourself?" Job 15:8
  3. Listen to your Elders: "Both the gray-haired and aged are among us, older than your father." Job 15:10
Suffering is hard. And being a good friend to someone who is suffering is hard. But God is with us through it all. We need to lean on Him, ask for His wisdom, and trust in Him.


 

I used the Sing Loud set to make the word "You" on the first page. I inked the "Y" from "glory" and the "OU" from "loud". You can do this to make different words and that makes the set more versatile. To mask the letters you don't want to ink, just place a sticky note over those letters, ink the stamp, then pull off the sticky note. I used Prismacolor pencils to color in the images, and a Micron pen to draw the phone and some lettering.

I hope you have a blessed week! Andrea