Saturday, February 24, 2018

My house, Your home


24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. 25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil. 28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:24-32 NLT
Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus here but the Lord was speaking to me as if it were fresh rhema directly to me. I'm not sure if when you read that passage it spoke to you like it did me but man, God began to speak to me about holiness right off the bat and continued to speak various things to me throughout. 
I kept reading...
Verse 26 tells of something we practice in our marriage. Like any good marriage we have our disagreements and "heated discussions". The principle here is to not go to bed on unresolved anger as it allows the enemy to accuse your spouse before you. Needless to say there have been many a late night in our house. :)-
I kept reading...
In verse 29 it talks of using foul language and I've never been one to talk trashy or cuss however the rest of that verse is more convicting. See, it was here that I felt the biggest conviction from the Holy Spirit. "Your words should be an encouragement to all those who hear them". Boom! Right there I knew God was trying to prune me in the area of talking to my kids & my husband in my own home. Anyone else have a problem with their mouth getting them into trouble?? We are comfortable at our own house & most comfortable with the people in our house. This leads us to say things that we would never imagine saying to other people. Words are powerful and they need to be an encouragement to EVERYONE - not just those we minister to or see at church, work, or school. Lord have mercy on us! 
As a homeschooling mom the amount of words spoken to my kids far out weigh all the others I speak to on a daily basis. But it's my words that are shaping my kids.
As if I wasn't already convicted enough the crescendo in verse 30 stopped me dead in my tracks. "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit or bring sorry to God by how I live". Sure, I know what you are thinking... I would never do that. Truth be told, we are guilty of this more than we realize. We as Christians walk upright before the Lord as best we can but so many times, without even knowing it, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 
What the Lord was speaking so clearly to me through this passage was that my house was often not a very good place for Him to dwell. At times I have dishonored my husband with my words, I have spoke condescendingly to my kids, and allowed my emotions to control me and act in ways I shouldn't. These things grieve the Lord and many a day God has not been comfortable in my house because of these things. He simply can't be "at home" in my house unless I create an atmosphere for Him to dwell and abide there. This brings me to a place of repentance and tears knowing that my actions could be hurting the heart of my Father. 
You may ask yourself what types of things would grieve God's spirit or cause Him to not feel at home in your house? I'm glad you asked. Verse 31-32 sums it up for us. Getting rid of our harsh words, our anger, bitterness and evil behavior. Trade those out for kindness, tenderness & forgiveness and you will make God "at home in your house".  

Art:
1. Stamp and fussy cut all your paper pieces out then assemble with glue pen. I used the Illustrated Faith Seeds of Faith, She Blooms, & Delight in His Day paper collections. 


2. Using Derwent Inktense pencils lay a watercolor wash to the background. Mist the whole page with water then using a water brush pick up the color directly from the pencil and apply to page.
My verse was at the bottom of the page so I needed to modify where I put the 'grass'. I felt a lil scrappy so I just went with it. :) Hope you learn something new!

Grab your Love Your Neighbor set here.
Follow me on IG at icolorinmybible
In Him,
Elizabeth

Friday, February 23, 2018

Lord, HELP! Bring Peace.



This moment, right here is complete chaos. My computer just took almost an hour to open. My daughter has been crying and refusing to clean her room for about 4 hours. NO JOKE. This has been a battle the past week. She just refuses to do it. Says it too hard. But it's not. She has done it a million times. Its a rotten stage she is in... and it makes me FRUSTRATED. And then I yell. And it makes me impatient and annoyed with my son, the dog, and anything else that gets in my way. And here I am writing a post about PEACE IN MY HOUSE. Yall my house is anything but peaceful right now. 

Here is the verse: "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

This is real time, So I re-read the verse that I just posted, it said PRAY. My daughter was about to make herself puke she was so upset. She has never been this upset. She's almost 5. I pick her up, hold her in my lap and try to calm her. And then I prayed. Seriously. I told her i was going to pray. She said, "why will that help anything?" So I prayed, for her, for me, for God's forgiveness and light. For the choice to choose what is right and honor God. And. She. Is. Right. Now. In there cleaning her room. She's not crying. PRAISE God.

As much as this story might seem like it's about her... it's not. It's about me. It's about my heart not being at peace. It's about me setting the tone for my house and it being chaotic. It's about my yelling. It's about me NOT praying first. And so this page is about me following God's word and listening to his steps. 
1. Tell Him what I need
2. Thank Him
3. experience peace

This words need to be in my heart and mind. They need to be reminders to me to Stop and pray. Even when you wonder what will it help. Do it! 

ART BABBLE

So I realize this page doesn't even represent peaceful. But in the midst of it is where we find God and our rest. I wanted to try something new and use paints instead of watercolor.

 I started with paint and just randomly painted on the page trying to included a few shapes, pictured below.





Next I used a pallet knife and added in white and black. I just kept layering paint until it looked okay to me. I then splattered a bit. I decided to stamp the words on white sticker paper so they didn't get lost on the page. I cut them out and stuck them on there. I stamped the house and colored that in, then added a tag.



You can pick up the Love Your Neighbor set here. 

Follow me on IG at Stir the SOUL

PS, by the time I finished this post.... her whole room was clean. God sure taught me a whole lot through this. Thank you God. You are so good. So faithful.

Blessings,
Colleen





Thursday, February 22, 2018

He Steadied Me

Have you ever found yourself in a place you didn’t want to be? Or in a scenario that you thought you’d never be? One of those situations where you thought “this won’t ever happen to us. That won’t be me. That just isn’t what I’d ever choose.”

If you’re like me, you can answer “yes”, if you’re really being honest. Several years ago, I was in a situation that I never thought would happen to me. It was the farthest thing from my mind, but it happened. There I was. In a pit.  


So what’s a person to do when you get in one of “those” places? Get mad? Pull yourself up by your own boot straps? Pout?  I had never been in "this" place before and I needed wisdom to know what to do.

I chose to wait on the Lord. Even though life was spinning around me, I knew God was still God and He was still in control. I didn’t know how it would all work out, or even when. But I knew God would be with me and carry me through.

His Word became my life.  Like never before, I poured myself in to it and it into me. I clung to the truths and promises it contained. I listened for His soft whispers of what to say and what to do. He directed me when to sit and just be still.  I waited on Him.  


One morning, several months later, I remember waking up feeling so refreshed and so full of life. I was leaving for work and was headed out the front door, when they caught my eye.

There right in front of me, I noticed the daffodils were blooming. Bright, cheery, sunshine colored daffodils. They were gently swaying in the breeze as if they were waving good morning to me.

It was then that I knew, He not only lifted me out of the pit of mud and mire, but He set my feet on solid ground. And the best part? He didn’t just leave me and send me on my way. “He steadied me as I walked along!”

You see, at that point I couldn’t even remember if the daffodils had bloomed the year before. It had been a long season of winter. But, oh, on that day...I knew they were blooming!




When He lifted me from that pit, and steadied me as we walked along, He also gave me a new song to sing. Today, when you see me and wonder why the smile on my face...know it’s because I’m singing His song of praise in my heart!!

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing,  a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what He has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.  


The art behind the story:

As soon as I saw these new daffodils from the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Spring Blossom set, I knew I had to do this page to document this time in my life.
I prepped the page with Liquitex matte gel medium, then I stamped the daffodils with Stazon black ink.  I stamped the words with the beautiful Rebecca Script alphas.  I used prismacolor pencils to color and shade the daffodils and to add highlights to the lettering.


Thanks for joining me today.  Praying He puts a new song in your heart!


Hugs,

Gayle (Patio Ponderings)






Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In the morning I will praise Him

Hello Friends! Today I am sharing a very fun rainbow page. This page was inspired by a beautiful piece of scripture from 
Lamentations 3:22-23.

 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." 

Reading this just makes me wanna shout for joy! Our heavenly Father's love for us never ends....no matter what, and His mercy is new every morning you open your eyes! 



I wanted to create a really bright, joyful page that screamed praise Him. I started by cutting apart my 'In the morning' stamp....it gave me a little anxiety not gonna lie but, it made my one small stamp so much more versatile. I cut apart the phrases "In the morning", "when I" and "rise". I stamped them in succession down the side of my page. Next I hand lettered the word Praise and Him. I loosely drew some musical notes and a large treble clef in pencil. Now the fun part I used rainbow colored watercolor and puddled it onto the pencil lines, grabbed my straw and blew the watercolor around to create this super fun loose texture. I used a black fine liner pen and white gel pen to make the notes pop off the page a little more. To finish off the page I used a few stickers and added a little journaling to give it a little personal touch. Now every time I open my Bible and look at this page I am reminded how good my Father is and my deep desire to praise Him.



Thank you so much for taking time to read my post. Below I have linked the stamp set I used to create my title on the side of my page. I pray this post and page reminds you of the goodness of our Father causing joy and praise to bubble up inside of your heart. 





Monday, February 19, 2018

His Grace is sufficient.... and ALL that we need!


Hello everyone! I am so excited to share this page with you today! When I started it I really had no clue where I was going with it, but it's crazy what this page has turned into for me. A good friend of mine has been going through a particularly difficult season in her life and it's had it's ups and downs. She has handled everything so well, but recently has really struggled with the topic of grace! She felt like she wasn't giving herself enough grace and maybe others as well.

So one day I sat down to do something journaling and came across my "Choose Faith" stamp set and the word Grace jumped out at me. So I choose to journal one of my recent favorite bible verses.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. —2 Corinthians 12:9


So how awesome is that?! I mean just think about it! God basically told the apostle Paul,  I am the grace. All the grace you will ever need! So often we exhaust ourselves and try to fix everything on our own. Sometimes it's not until we have reached the end of our rope and we're weak and exhausted, that we seek His help, and His grace. 

The craziest thing about this page is I did all the flowers and the text and I thought it was finished. I thought yep I am loving it, this page is perfect, I'm done! Well, the very next day, I went to a women's conference with a couple friends titled "I am God's Masterpiece" and Nicole Unice was the speaker. And guys..... she talked sooooo much about grace. Like, smack you in the face, you can't possibly miss the points she made! And there was a particular phrase she said that jumped out at me. Nicole said, "Grace is the key to Courage". And I thought, ok God... I got it... my page isn't done yet. When I came home I immediately went upstairs to my craft room and made a sparkly gold key to attach to my page!



Honestly, I have struggled a little bit about what to write to go along with this page because after leaving that conference I felt like I had so much information to share I was a little overwhelmed about where exactly to start. While at the conference I also picked up one of Nicole's new books titled "Brave Enough", which is where she pulled a lot of her material for the conference. So I wanted to share a few excerpts from her book that really spoke to me on the topic of grace, since she can word it so much better than I can, lets me honest! 😄

"Acknowledging that we need grace is admitting that we have weaknesses that we can't fix. It's admitting that there are broken parts in us that are beyond our repair."

"Brave-enough women acknowledge that they've tried to fix themselves and yet that hasn't led to the change they seek. They understand that they need something outside of themselves to tell them who they really are, to actually set them free...... Grace was the key, and grace still is the key."

"God draws us to our failures and then seems to serve the ball into our court, giving us the opportunity to get brave enough to change. And sometimes when all we feel is broken, small, and powerless, God arrives right on time with the strength we need to believe in his powerful love and kindness. Sometimes we need courage to accept grace."

Ok... last quote.. promise 😉

"The difference between people who live free and those who just survive is their understanding of their daily need for God's grace."      - excerpts from "Brave Enough" by Nicole Unice



God said "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." That moment when we feel so overwhelmed and hopeless is the moment you are ready to hear God say, I'm all the grace you need! We need to stop being so hard on ourselves. Trying to be perfect, or trying to create the perfect picture of what we think our life should be. We can't do it all on our own. And it's ok that we aren't perfect! God didn't create us to be perfect or without flaws. His power is made perfect, and complete in our weaknesses!

I used 3 difference stamp sets to complete this page and I have linked them below.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I really hope it has touched your heart and helped remind you that His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. We just have to remember to rest in Him!

xoxo,

Stephanie Gammon


  
Whimsy Bouquet
Choose Faith
Mini Grunge Type Alpha






Saturday, February 17, 2018

Welcome to the Neighborhood

"Jesus answered, 'The most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.''' Mark 12:29-31
Dear Friends,

I'm so happy to be on the blog with you today! My page today is based on a passage in Mark 12. Jesus was replying to a question- and what was that question? "Which commandment is the most important of all?" (Mark 12:28) Jesus' response was simple. Love God. Love your neighbor. But living that out can be not so simple- at least for me! As I journaled this, I was thinking about what loving God with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength looks like. That's an all encompassing love. That's making God my priority and being in constant fellowship with Him. Wow. Then there's the whole "love your neighbor" thing. Loving people can be hard. Sometimes we're not so lovable. But that's not an excuse, is it? I am constantly praying that God will help me love others. That He will help me see them through His eyes. That's how I am going to draw others to Him- through love. That's how others are going to see Him- through love. Wow. And who is my "neighbor"? My family and friends? Yes. People who live close to me? Yes. The cashier at the grocery store? Yes. Someone from a different background or one who doesn't think/believe what I do? Yes. The person reading my Facebook or Instagram post? Yes. Wherever they might be in the world? Yes. Again, wow. Our neighborhood is a little larger than we may initially think. What we post online can reach people we don't even know. Do those posts show His love? When we're rushed at the store, are we showing His love? I pray that I am. And I pray that you are too. I think if we, the church, really loved as He calls us to, so many would be drawn to Him. 
For the page, I used the following Sweet n Sassy Stamps sets: Love Your Neighbor, Send Me, and Worthy King. I used watercolor crayons to color the page. The banners are made with address labels that I cut into banners.


 Have a blessed week! Andrea








Friday, February 16, 2018

Abide in Him

 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, 
and you have no need that anyone should teach you. 
But as his anointing teaches you about everything, 
and is true, and is no lie—
just as it has taught you, abide in him.
And now, little children, abide in him, 
so that when he appears we may have confidence 
and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
1 John 2:27-28

The entire chapter of 1 John 2 is worthy of our study.  There are so many beautiful and vital treasures here.  The concept of abiding with Christ is truly the heart of what it means to have a personal relationship with him.  Many....MANY...people give intellectual assent of varying decrees to the existence and worth of Christ.  Some say he was a great teacher and his life of kindness and gentleness is worthy of emulating.  Some will verbalize belief that he is the son of God and recount the historical accuracy of his virgin birth, ministry, death and even his resurrection.  They know in their heads who he is.  But until Christ settles into the heart, making his home there, a person does not have an abiding relationship.  This is crucial.  The Spirit of Christ must dwell in the heart of a believer for salvation, transformation and relationship to occur.  When the Spirit sets up residency in our spirit, he sanctifies, but he also teaches.  Abiding with Christ is more than relationship...we allow Christ to live in us and through us.  We relinquish our right to control our lives and we turn that over to Christ.  We give him the keys to our heart. In this way, we are empowered to live the Christian life, surrendering our desires and taking up his.  When we abide with him, we know and do his will.  While we will never be perfect this side of heaven, we will be pleasing to him and we will not have to have any shame in our hearts when we see him face to face. 


I went a little shabby chic with this page and had a ton of fun.  I just kept layering.  I worked with the flowers first, then sponged the entire page (even over the flowers) using Vintage Photo Distress ink from Tim Holtz.   I used stencils and more of that same ink to create some texture.  I had this wonderful film ephemera and taped it to the page.  I accented with a postage stamp sticker and a butterfly rub-on. 

Sets Used:

http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/what-a-savior-clear-stamp-set/


http://www.sweetnsassystamps.com/creative-worship-rebecca-script-alpha-clear-stamp-set/
(so easy to string together for cohesive wording)