THE BLESSINGS OF CREATIVITY...

I thank the LORD JESUS for each day that is given me to create wonderful projects...As always, I give Him all the glory.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Scripture Series: God is Love Card---Take Part in our Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

A wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  Today, we started another Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) as we feature another great Scripture Word Art (free for you to download at the WAW site).  It comes from 1 John 4:16 which tells us, "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Jesus Christ is the perfect embodiment of God's love for mankind.  God's holy, righteous and glorious ways  could not tolerate Sin in any shape or form.  The justice of God demanded punishment when Adam disobeyed the Father and committed high-treason in the Garden of Eden.  Every man born in this world came from the seed of Adam.  We are all tainted with his Sin---not one person is qualified to work on his own salvation.  Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  I  read an article about this at gotquestions.org and it says,"We are all sinners because Adam passed on his sinful condition that leads inevitably to our personal sin and death. All share Adam’s death sentence as an inherited condition (the “sin nature”) that is passed down to and through the human race and that every child brings into the world. Even before a child can be held accountable for personal sin, he or she is naturally prone to disobey, to tell lies, etc. Every child is born with a sin nature. “The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God” (Psalm 14:2). And what does the all-seeing God find? “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (verse 3). In other words, all have sinned.

Jesus was the Only One who can take away the sin of all mankind.  Let this sink in---God's own Son had to come down from heaven, took on flesh and showed God and His ways, revealed His heart to us and saved us from sure death (spiritual, physical and eternal).  He demonstrated to us the impossible---the power of His kingdom.  Yet He also showed us what true love was willing to give to save the ones He loved.  Because God's righteousness and glory cannot be trampled on and the wrath of God demands justice be served---God's Only Son (holy and sinless) born as a Man (conceived not of Adam but by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin) had to willingly give His life so we can be free---that is, dead in Adam and alive in Christ.  Just as one Man (Adam) plunged us all to eternal damnation, it is also by the obedience and sacrifice of one Man (Jesus Christ) that brought us back  to the presence of God, our Father.  This gift of salvation is FREE for anyone who would place their FAITH (trust, believe, rely, depend, adhere, surrender) in  what Jesus Christ accomplished  at the Cross---His death, burial and resurrection. I am a believer and through Him, I am holy, righteous and loved by my Father in heaven. 

Oh yes!  Jesus embodies the perfect love of God.  He showed us how to live each day---to love our brothers and sisters in  the Lord and how to also love our neighbors.  But genuine love is only possible  if we love Jesus first.  Jesus showed us His love for the Father by making Him His priority---that is to commune with the Father and to carry out God's perfect will and purpose.  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and received the free gift of salvation He won for us, His Holy Spirit lives inside of us.  The same Holy Spirit that enabled Jesus to carry out the plan of God in His earthly ministry,  His source of wisdom and strength, the same power that raised Him from the dead---is living inside every Born-again believer (John 3:3) today!  Remember this:  God is love!  God showed His perfect love through His Son---Jesus Christ.  All of us remaining in love wholeheartedly loves Jesus Christ and He lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit. It is He who enables us to love people---yes, even our enemies.   Do not be fooled by those who claim to love God but mocks the name of Jesus and deny Him publicly.  The true love of God does not rejoice in lies nor water down God's Word just to avoid offending others.  God's love tells the Truth in love (right motive) to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  

For this Card, I used an image from Art Impressions Stamps called "Quilt Set" that I watercolored using Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  The base is Kraft CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from Paper Studio, the stamped flower from Ditto Stamps, the washi tape from Paper Studio and the gems from my stash.  I want a more natural look for my card so, I colored the image with mostly shades of brown and gray.  I'm pretty happy with the result.


GOD IS LOVE CARD


 GOD IS LOVE CARD LAYERS


 GOD IS LOVE CARD INSIDE


GOD IS LOVE CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Art Impressions---Stripes and/or Circles
Crafting by Designs---Love is in the Air
Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---Love is in the Air (Add a Heart)
Creative Moments---ATG/Romance
House Stamps Built---Tic Tac Toe (Love/Embossing/Patterned Paper)
Moo-Mania---Love is in the Air
Paper Shelter---Letters and/or Numbers
Crafty Addicts---ATG/Valentine Colors
a2z---Mood Board (The Love Theme is what inspired me)
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Artistic Stamper---ATG (use rubber stamp)
CCK---Valentine/Love/Heart/For Someone Special
Classic DT---ATG
Craft Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Hazelnut's---ATG with Patterned Paper
CCC---Valentine/Love
Daisy Chain---Have a Heart
Digi Doodle---All About Love
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG/Love
Happy Craft---ATG
LeAnn's World---ATG
Let's Craft and Create---ATG/From the Heart
LTCCB---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG/Monochrome
Papercraft---ATG/Valentine/Love
Tales from the Craft Room---Love
YSP---ATG


Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge.  You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement.  As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter up to 5 times each week.  A wonderful prize awaits our winner from our lovely sponsor for this Challenge---Waffle Flower Store  ($15 GC).  So excited to see what you come up with.  Anyway, meditate on the goodness of the Lord and rely on His promises.  Expect only wonderful things from Him each day.  Be thankful for His love always!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sit Shake Rollover Card---Come and Join our Fun Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hi there, Crafty Peeps!  A couple of days ago, we started our monthly Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create with the optional theme of "Use a Critter."  I would like to show you the Birthday card that I  made for our Challenge but first, to the most important issue of our day.

By now, I know that most of you are already aware and have heard the news about the despicable move of several other states following New York that declared an all out war against the unborn.  They've replaced every Pro-life laws by laws that would allow just about anyone the right to murder babies up to the time of birth.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, I'm appalled and enraged!  My spirit cries foul, seeking justice for these innocent lives.  I cannot just sit and watch while the ungodly uses their governmental power to murder our children.  I may not have worldly influence/position but I know my God-given position in the Kingdom of God.  I an aware of the unlimited power that Christ entrusted me.  I can engage in this spiritual warfare against abortion through faith, prayer and declaration while taking the necessary action as a citizen to destroy this abomination of Abortion in this country.  I may be one person but with God's power working in me, I can certainly make a difference.  If you feel the same way,  let us use every window of opportunity to unite and use anything at our disposal to make a noise---a very LOUD and POWERFUL NOISE to condemn this barbaric and horrendous act of murder in our time.  If  mainstream media wouldn't air our cause, let us CREATE OUR OWN MEDIA and get the real and life giving news out there while we still can.  DO NOT BE SILENT.  SEEK JUSTICE.  BE THE VOICE FOR THE UNBORN!

Whether you believe it or not, this war against the unborn are connected with modern day demonic worship.  Yes---your educated, decent, modern and progressive politicians along with the rich and powerful of our time are all working together under the hands of a demonic international group that is vowed to take control of all the world to pave the way for the demonic leadership of the anti-Christ.  If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and you reject the wisdom that comes from reading God's Word (the Bible), you will laugh at this and think I'm totally crazy.  But I wouldn't be surprised!  For the spirit of blindness/deception engulfs the ungodly and the perishing.  However, hear my plea.  If something is stirred inside of you and you see Truth in this message, ask JESUS to reveal Himself to you! I believe He will allow His Spirit of understanding to come upon  you---opening both your physical and spiritual eyes (and ears) to the Truth that in Christ.  However,  if you choose to reject Him, you will never ever see the light!  I want to share with you this article from gotquestions.org on "What does the Bible say about child sacrifice?"  If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, let them see/hear what the Spirit of God is saying:

"The horrific practice of child sacrifice has been committed throughout the world for thousands of years. Generally, the sacrifice of a child was intertwined with the worship of a pagan deity, often a fertility god. Worshipers sought to obtain a blessing from their god(s) or to confirm or complete a vow taken in the name of the god. Ancient Aztecs, Incas, and a few other peoples in South and Central America practiced child sacrifice. The same for the Druids of Europe. The city of Carthage in North Africa contains evidence of child sacrifice related to the worship of Ba’al Hammon, a god imported from Phoenicia. Many Roman writers refer to this barbaric act in Carthage. The Bible contains the heart-breaking tale of child sacrifice practiced in the name of Molech (also spelled Moloch or Molek), a god of the Ammonites. Molech worship was practiced by the Ammonites and Canaanites, who revered Molech as a protecting father figure. Images of Molech were made of bronze, and their outstretched arms were heated red-hot. Living children were then placed into the idol’s hands and died there or were rolled into a fire pit below. Some sources indicate a child might also be “passed through the fire” prior to the actual sacrifice in order to purify or baptize the child. Molech worship occurred in the Hinnom Valley near Jerusalem. Because of this, the valley became associated with the idea of Tophet, or hell (Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 19:12; Mark 9:45).

God prohibited Israel from child sacrifice in general and Molech worship in particular. Leviticus 20:2-5 states, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek.’” Many other Old Testament passages affirm God’s zero-tolerance for child sacrifice. Sadly, King Solomon became involved in this horrendous practice, as recorded in 1 Kings 11:4-11, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD. . . . On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. . . . The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command.” Later, the evil king Manassah offered his own son as a sacrifice (2 Kings 21:6), as did King Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:1-4). The people of Judah participated in this crime against their own sons—a sin so “detestable” that God said it had never even crossed His mind (Jeremiah 32:35). Child sacrifice was one reason for the Babylonian captivity (verse 36). Some critics of the Bible point to the story of Abraham, who laid his son Isaac on an altar and prepared to sacrifice him as directed by God (Genesis 22:1-14). However, in this case, God was testing the obedience and faith of Abraham. God stopped him from actually following through and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.

Today, child sacrifice is practiced throughout the world. There has been a resurgence of child sacrifice in Uganda. Witch doctors have been implicated in the mutilation and death of children who were killed in an effort to bring good fortune and wealth to those willing to pay for it. There is also a correlation between child sacrifice and modern-day abortion. Unprecedented numbers of children have been “sacrificed” at the hands of abortionists for the sake of convenience, immorality, or pride. Hundreds of thousands of babies have been killed so that their parents can maintain a certain lifestyle. God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17), and we can be sure that God will judge this horrendous sin.
"


For this Card, I used an image from Paper Studio which I had for many years now but haven't used.  I colored it using my Prismacolor markers.  The base is an A2, pre-cut card from Paper Studio and the banner is from Basic Grey.  The inside sentiment is from Studio 112.  I love this fun card.


 SIT SHAKE ROLLOVER CARD


 SIT SHAKE ROLLOVER CARD INSIDE


SIT SHAKE ROLLOVER CARD WITH ENVELOPE


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

CAS in Friday---ATG (CAS)
Crafting with Friends---ATG
Crafty Catz---ATG
Jo's Scrap Shack---ATG
QKR---ATG
Simply Create Too---ATG/Hearts
2 Crafty Critter---ATG (with Critters)
Classic DT---ATG
Crafty Animal---ATG (with animals)
Let's Craft and Create---ATG/From the Heart
LTCCB---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG/Monochrome



There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the opportunity to join our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.  Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to link with us.  I hope you have a great week and know that through faith in what Jesus accomplished at the Cross, we have complete victory over the works and schemes of the enemy!  Let us share this hope to countless others in the world.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Scripture Series: He First Loved Us Card---Don't Miss Our Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge Ongoing at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello Crafty pals!  I'm back to post the second card I featured in our bi-weekly Challenge going on at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  Like always, you can enter as much as five entries per week as long as it's inspirational and family friendly.  If you want to see the first card I posted which highlights our Scripture Word Art at WAW, click HERE.  In this post, I am going to use the Scripture (digi stamp) from our sponsor, Stamp Simply Clear Stamps, which is included in the set called "Farmhouse Scriptural Quotes." It's in 1 John 4:19 which tells us, "We love because he first loved us."

Have you ever heard the statement, "You cannot give what you do not have"? Many have tried to use this statement pertaining to health, wealth, religion and many other things.  But I like to use it in relation to God's love.  For everything that we are and everything that we have comes from Almighty GodGenesis 1:26-27 reveals, "Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." In these verses, God spoke about creating mankind patterned after Him,  in male and female gender and would rule over God's creation.  Genesis 2:7 says, "Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."  Here, we can see that He gave them a body and breathed unto them "life."  This breath of life is the "life and power of God" (Zoe in Greek which means God kind of life).  Humans are more than physical bodies because in us flows the life and spirit of the living God.  We are an animated, breathing, conscious, and living beings/souls.  Until God breathed His life unto us, we are nothing but dust.  Now, built upon that "Zoe life" is the immeasurable love of God! 

I want to share this article from gotquestions.org that says, "So, what does it mean that God is love? Love is an attribute of God. Love is a core aspect of God’s character, His Person. God’s love is in no sense in conflict with His holiness, righteousness, justice, or even His wrath. All of God’s attributes are in perfect harmony. Everything God does is loving, just as everything He does is just and right. God is the perfect example of true love. Amazingly, God has given those who receive His Son Jesus as their personal Savior the ability to love as He does, through the power of the Holy Spirit." Therefore, the very reason why we can love God and share that love to others is because God first imparted and demonstrated His love to us.  When Man fell into Sin, our understanding of love had been marred and reduced to merely physical and selfish love.  We become lovers of ourselves---our spirits darkened with no way of reuniting with God  till Jesus came to redeem us by way of the Cross.  God's agape (self-sacrificing/unselfish) love is best described to us in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  Until we come under the Lordship and saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Born-again, John 3:3), we are incapable of reuniting with God---our Source of both life and love.  I am so grateful that my Father in heaven loved me so much that He rescued and gave me the faith to believe in Jesus, His Son. The Holy Spirit lives inside me that I will never run out of life and love to share with others.  Glory be to God!
 
For this Card, I used several images from WPlus9 in the gorgeous set called "Doodlebuds."  Like the first card I made for this Challenge  I want to make something simple, with minimal coloring yet totally captivating.  So, I used a big background stamp (with scribbles on it) from Heidi Grace to make a decorative paper where I stamped the flower and fussy-cut them.  Then I added a very cute  Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps image from the "Squishy Hugs" Stamp Set and colored it with gray hues for a more vintage look (although it appears greenish in these pics).  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  I also attached several white nail head gems from Imaginisce.  Lastly, I stitched all over this card.  I totally love it!


HE FIRST LOVED US CARD


 HE FIRST LOVED US CARD LAYERS


 HE FIRST LOVED US CARD INSIDE


HE FIRST LOVED US CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Brown Sugar---Love/Valentine
Colour Crazy---ATG (With Colored image)
Crafting with Friends---ATG
Crafty Catz---ATG
Jo's Scrap Shack---ATG
Pattie's Creations---ATG
QKR---ATG
Simply Create Too---ATG/Hearts
2 Crafty Critter---ATG (with Critters)
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Artistic Stamper---ATG (use rubber stamp)
CCK---Valentine/Love/Heart/For Someone Special
Classic DT---ATG
Craft Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Animal---ATG (with animals)
Digi Doodle---All About Love
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG/Love
Happy Craft---ATG
LTCCB---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG/Monochrome
Papercraft---ATG/Valentine/Love
YSP---ATG


I hope you'd take the time to join us at our WAW Challenge.  It's Anything Goes as long as it's family friendly with uplifting and inspirational messages, you can link up to 5 projects per week.  I can't wait to see your projects  and leave some encouragement on your Blogs.  Though the world is surrounded by darkness, let your faith in Jesus Christ shine like a beacon on a hill. Demonstrate the love of God to everyone you meet.  Pray without ceasing and believe that God can do the impossible!

Scripture Series: Cast Thy Burden Card---Join Us for our Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello everyone!  We have another bi-weekly Challenge that just started at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  Like always, you can enter as much as five entries per week as long as it's inspirational and family friendly.  I am posting a couple of cards for our Challenge and this is the first of the two and it highlights our featured Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) which comes from Psalm 55:22 which says, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
  
As a child of the Most High God, we encounter many oppositions to our calling as we continue to be living witnesses to the Good News (death, burial and resurrection) of Jesus Christ.  We follow the footsteps of our Lord and Savior and carry out the mission He entrusted us.  Luke 4:18-19 says, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  We are able to do what Jesus did because His Holy Spirit dwells in us and gives us the power to trample over the works of the enemy and free people from the power of Sin and Death (spiritual, physical and eternal deaths). But just as Jesus was also persecuted, rejected and sentenced to death in His time, the same is true in our day.  When we side with the Truth that is Jesus Christ, we are also ridiculed, persecuted, condemned and even tortured to death for following Christ.  You see, Truth is despised by many who wants to stay in the dark for they fear that their lies and wickedness will be exposed.  When they continue to live in darkness, they no longer seek for the light, their hearts calloused and everything they do results in death and destruction.  They are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.  Take for example what we see happening in our country today.  You would think, "How on earth could people sanction murder of the unborn/innocent just before birth with celebration and applause like we've seen in the state of New York?   How can one party allow enemies of our nation and murderers of our people to freely enter our country when their job is to protect the citizens of this nation and our way of life?  In essence, we are paying the murderers to kill both us and our children when the government uses our tax dollars to support such evil endeavors. Friends, when the government laws, rules and regulations deviate from the very Word of God, we are to stand against them through prayer and action.  My heart aches daily for the barbarism and utter rebellion that sits in the heart of man of our time. What comforts me is knowing our Heavenly Father is in control. And so I pray and cast this heavy burden upon Him so I can live and fight another day for His glory.  He did tell us to cast our burdens upon Him for He truly cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  When we meditate on the Word of God (His promises) we are standing on a strong foundation that no force in heaven, on earth and beneath the earth can destroy.  No matter what happens around us, we know there is peace and safety in the presence of our Savior.  Whether it be a personal burden (family, finances, relationships) or a spiritual burden (fighting for justice, life and truth) for our country and the world in particular, God is the Only Solution and we can run to Him for comfort.  He is also our peace even in the time of war.  The God we serve is sovereign and His plan cannot be thwarted.  His is the victory forever!  I would like to leave you with the following verses to encourage you to rest your cares upon the Lord...

"A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;  I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:7-16)

For this Card, I used several images from WPlus9 from the gorgeous set called "Doodlebuds" which I can say is my ultimate favorite stamp set.  I want to make something simple, without much coloring yet totally captivating.  So, I used a big background stamp (with scribbles on it) from Heidi Grace to make a decorative paper where I stamped the flower and fussy-cut them.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The stamp I used for the border is from Glitz Design and I also attached several white nail head gems from Imaginisce.  Lastly, I stitched all over this card.  I really love the result.


 CAST THY BURDEN CARD


 CAST THY BURDEN CARD LAYERS


 CAST THY BURDEN CARD INSIDE


CAST THY BURDEN CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting with Friends---ATG
Crafty Catz---ATG
Jo's Scrap Shack---ATG
QKR---ATG
Simply Create Too---ATG/Hearts 
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Craft Galore Encore---ATG
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG/Love
Happy Craft---ATG
LTCCB---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG/Monochrome
Papercraft---ATG/Valentine/Love
YSP---ATG


This is it for this post!  Please make sure to visit us at WAW and link up the projects you make out of our free Word Art although not mandatory.  You can link up any inspiring, uplifting, family-friendly projects, up to 5 each week.  Our wonderful sponsor this week is Stamps Simply Clear Stamps  with dies and/or clear stamps to give away. So, head over to WAW and show us your wonderful projects.  Enjoy your week.  Always remember that God is with those whose trust is in Him!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Scripture Series: He is God in Heaven Center Step Card---Come and Join Us for Another Fun and Inspirational Challenge Happening at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello everyone,  I'm here to share another card that I made featuring our Scripture Word Art for our Word Art Wednesday (WAW) current Challenge.  Like always, you can download it for free at the WAW site if you want to use it for your projects.  It comes from Deuteronomy 4:39 which tells us, "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." This verse  is packed with Truth which simply states---THERE IS BUT ONE GOD!  No one compares to Him and nobody can even come close to being Him.  But in order to fully understand the depth of this verse, we must let Scripture support/interpret Scripture to find context (true meaning) for complete understanding.  

Deuteronomy 4 deals with Moses' address to the Israelites who would enter the Promised Land (under Joshua's leadership).  He reminded them of obedience to God's laws, and to never forget all they had seen (God's great miracles) when God freed them from their bondage in Egypt.  He also warned them of idolatry.  My Life Application Bible explains, "We must remember that idol worship was not just keeping statues around the house---harmless lumps of clay, wood or iron.  It was the commitment to other evil qualities, beliefs and practices the idol represented (such as murder, prostitution, cruelty in war, self-centeredness).  When the strength and attributes of powerful humans or animals are revered or the cycles of nature are honored without reference to God who created them, this is idolatry.  Because God had so clearly revealed himself in Israel's history, the Israelites had no excuse for worshiping any person or power but the one true God."  Deuteronomy 4:23-24 tells  us, "Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." An exhortation from my Bible  explains,"Jealousy is a demand for someone else's exclusive affection or loyalty.  Some jealousy is bad.  It is destructive for a person to get upset when his or her spouse talks to someone of the opposite sex.  But other jealousy is good.  It is right for a man to demand that his wife treat him, and only him, as her husband (and vice versa).  Usually, we use the word "jealousy" only for the bad reaction.  But God's kind of jealousy is appropriate and good.  He is defending His Word and guiding His high honor.  He makes a strong, exclusive demand on us:  We must treat only the Lord---and no one else in all the universe---as God!" I love how God's Word substantiated the importance of acknowledging God for Who He truly is---the One and Only God, in the verses before Deuteronomy 4:39.   Deuteronomy 4:32-38 says," Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today."

All of the verses I shared with you here tells us that we need to be serious in living our lives for the glory of the One and Only God who created all of humanity.  For He alone knew each and everyone of us at our innermost and He is the very life that keeps us going.  He is the One who gives us purpose and meaning and without Him, we don't/cannot exist.  I had a meaningful talk with a friend in my Bible class last week and she told me how she was praying for a friend battling with cancer.  Our topic was "how do we encourage a fellow believer to fight the good fight of faith while he/she experiences the pain and anxiety from a sickness that claimed so many lives."  We both agreed that genuine FAITH (trust)  involves the complete and total surrender of one's life to the Lord (even to the point of physical death).  That He who gave us this life in the first place can heal all aspect of our being and that includes our  physically bodies.  But on the flip side of that truth, He can also choose to call us home to embark on the everlasting life in His presence.  It's easy to say we trust God when everything is going well in our lives.  But when we are confronted by our mortality, how many out there can truthfully say, "God I trust in your will to heal me but if you have another plan, I willingly submit my life to you."? Wow, it takes us knowing the very heart of God and what He has in store not only here but for eternity to confidently pursue God the way Apostle Paul did in Philippians 1:20-21which says, "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I pray that we come to the Truth of who God is as we look at the life lived by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  He became God in the flesh in order to redeem us from Sin (Sin nature) and Death (a separation---spiritual, physical and eternal).  He also showed us the perfect will and heart of the Father for everyone who chooses to place their faith in Him (Born-again, John 3:3).  Through our new birth in Christ, we are spiritually reconnected with God, though we would die in the physical body (unless Rapture comes first), He will resurrect us (First Resurrection) and give us glorified bodies in order to live and reign with Him forever.  Apart from the Lord Jesus, there is no salvation and hope for mankind from anyone or anywhere else. Physical death may be the end of our earthly existence but it's the beginning of our eternal existence (without pain and suffering) as promised to all who had given their earthly lives to Christ.  Romans 14:7-8 states, "For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."  What an amazing promise we have in Jesus Christ! 

For this Card, I used a digi image from Make it Crafty called "Fern Log" that I colored using my ProMarker and Prismacolor markers.  The base is a white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches center step design.  The DP's are from K and Company, the washi tape and brad are from Recollections and the layered flowers are from Prima.  I incorporated some Liquid Pearls (White Opal) from Ranger, glittered the flower using Stickles (Crystal) and stitched all over this card.  So happy with the result. 


 HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN CENTER STEP CARD


 HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN CENTER STEP CARD LAYERS


 HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN CENTER STEP CARD SIDE VIEW


 HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN CENTER STEP CARD INSIDE


HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN CENTER STEP CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting with Friends---ATG
Crafty Catz---ATG
QKR---ATG
Simply Create Too---ATG
Cardz 4 Galz---Dimensional Elements
Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
ITD Creative---ATG
Back to Basics---Shaped Card
Crafting by Designs---Corners, Borders, Frames
Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---Make it Sparkle (glitters on flowers)
I Love ProMarkers---ATG/Something New
Paper Shelter---Digi Image
Sisterhood of Crafters---Sparkle
Crafty Addicts---ATG
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
TTCRD---ATG
Artistic Inspirations---ATG/Tag
Crafting from the Heart---ATG
Get Creative---ATG
Path of Positivity---Inspiration
Scrapbook Stamp Society---ATG
Paper Nest Dolls---ATG

Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge.  You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement.  As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter several times in two weeks.  A great prize awaits our winner from our wonderful sponsor---The Greeting Farm ($40 GC).  So excited to see what you come up with.  Anyway, meditate on the goodness of the Lord and rely on His promises.  As we see the world becoming more deceived each day, let us hold on to the hope and strength that only the Word of God can give.  We serve a good and faithful God whose never going to leave us nor forsake us!   

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Encouragement Series: Take a Deep Breath Card---It's Our First Challenge of the Year at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello there, Crafty friends!  I would like to invite all of you to join our very first Challenge this year at 613 Avenue Create.  We had lots of wonderful entries last year and we're always grateful for participating and making our Challenge such a wonderful place to get some crafting inspiration.  Like our previous Challenges, you have a whole month to link your projects with us and meet some wonderful friends along the way.  It's always Anything Goes but if you're up for some challenge, take on our optional theme, "Use Watercolor."

The New Year started with some health challenges for me (which I talked about in my previous post). But like all the other years since I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I knew that I was never alone and that no matter what happens, I am assured of God's best interest for me.  It's not easy but a big part of our walk with God is choosing to believe (faith) in God's Word (His promises) even when your body and senses tell you otherwise.   Since our ONLY connection to God is FAITH (in what Christ accomplished at the Cross), it is imperative that we live each day relying upon God's Word and not the dictates  of our bodies.  Until the time we are given new bodies (not subject to time and space), we are fighting against the fleshly cravings/dictates of our present bodies that causes us to go against God's Word.  Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."  Not only does our flesh enticed us to sin but it also discourages us from believing God's Word by convincing us to rely on how/what we feel.  I get it!  Physical and emotional pain are not easy to deal with.  Many times I called unto the Lord and asked Him to take away the pain for they were too hard to bear.  But it's also in these times that I'm reminded of what Jesus had to go through at the Cross to redeem mankind from our bondage to Sin and Death.  Everyone who places their trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work at the Cross will one day live in a place where there's no more pain and suffering.  Jesus endured all kinds of pain so that He can reconcile us back to Himself.  For in Him we shall experience love, joy and peace for all eternity.   In the midst of physical and emotional pain, I meditate on these things.  I take a deep breath, surrender and rest in the arms of Jesus Christ!  When we are tired and weary,  Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28-30,  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In His Word, I find hope and peace that surpasses all understanding daily.  His Holy Spirit assures me of His presence and empowers me to hold on to His promises no matter what life may bring. I would like to share with you the promises of God to them whose faith rested in Jesus Christ.  We have an eternal dwelling place especially prepared for us.  Be encouraged!

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. So while we are in this tent, we groan under our burdens, because we do not wish to be unclothed but clothed, so that our mortality may be swallowed up by life. And God has prepared us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a pledge of what is to come. Therefore we are always confident, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:1-10)

For this Card, I used an image from Illustrated Faith that I watercolored using my Stabilo 68 markers.  The base is an A7, pre-cut card from Paper Studio.  The DP is from K and Company and Paper Studio, the washi tapes are from Recollections and the glitters from Stickles (Crystal).  And finally,  I stitched all over this card using my sewing machine.  Simply fabulous.  


 TAKE A DEEP BREATH CARD


 TAKE A DEEP BREATH CARD LAYERS


 TAKE A DEEP BREATH CARD INSIDE


TAKE A DEEP BREATH CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting by Designs---ATG
Crafty Addicts---ATG/Christmas
A2Z---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Designer Paper
Creatalicious---ATG/Something New
Colour Create Show---ATG
Daisy Chain---Add some Sparkle
Digistamps4Joy---ATG
Happy Craft---ATG
LeAnn's World---ATG
Lost Coast---ATG (Images from Illustrated Faith Clear stamps)
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG
Morgan's Artworld---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Scribbles Designs---ATG (Anything Goes selected)
Sweet Stampers---ATG
World Wide Open DT---ATG


This is it for now, guys.  Make sure to join us at our neighborhood---613 Avenue Create---for an Anything Goes Challenge.  If you want to be challenged (like I was), take on the Optional Twist (Use Watercolor).  But there's really no reason for you to miss it. Can't wait to see what you create. The Lord is with you every step of the way so, be at peace that you have Someone you can trust and have your back always. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Scripture Series: Armor of God Card---Join Us for our First Challenge for the New Year at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, Crafty pals!  Here to highlight my inspiration project for our newest Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  As always, we feature a Scripture Word Art  that you can download for free at the WAW site.  It comes from Ephesians 6:11 which says, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."  What a wonderful passage to begin the New Year, 2019.

Before anything else, I would like to greet you all a late Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Joyous New Year!   I've been away from the Blogging world for most of December due to some family vacations and the regular hustle and bustle of the Holiday season.  The past few days leading to the New Year, I felt very sick from severe allergies (mainly due to pollen and the drastic weather changes here in Texas) that made breathing very difficult---well, EXTREMELY difficult.  It was hard to sleep and rest when I had to gasp for air each time I breathe.  I had to sleep sitting down for better air flow.  To make matters worst on New Year's Eve, I had terrible stomach ache the whole day that I thought of spending New Year in my pajamas, laying in the sofa. That would be the first time I would welcome the New Year in that situation.  But a couple of hours before we rang the New Year, I made a decision to get up and gathered the energy to clean up and get dressed and prepared myself to head outside with my family to watch some fireworks downtown.  I was determined not to allow anything negative to dampen my spirit and reminded myself that my joy, my strength and my wholeness is in the Lord.  Because I held on to this Truth, I was able to do what I wanted to do and no hindrances of the enemy would ever stop me.  The New Year came hastily and we kept memories of a wonderful and happy night celebrating the goodness and faithfulness of God as a family.  The pain and discomfort didn't magically disappear but the "feeling sorry for myself" attitude was replaced with "I am so grateful for the Spirit of the Lord that lives in me."

Friends, before anything happens/manifest in the physical, there is a spiritual source from where they originate.  Others see sickness and diseases when they physically wreak havoc to the body but couldn't understand where they come from and how it's rooted from Sin and Death that affected all of humanity since the world began.   But even before that, how God created everything beautiful and flawless, His original intent for His creation and His purpose for all of it.  Our natural curiosity should have brought us to the Creator but instead, we stopped at what our senses could perceive, therefore depriving ourselves of appreciating the majesty and power of the One who made it all.  Whether we like it or not, there are forces of darkness that seeks to destroy humanity (God's masterpiece) so that we can remain ignorant, not knowing the pathway to salvation and break free from the bondage of Satan which plagued us since the Fall of Man.  But to whom God revealed Himself, those who accepted the finished work of Jesus Christ at the Cross, those He declared righteous in His sight through their faith in His Son, we are given the Holy Spirit!  He is our Power Source to battle against the enemies of God.  Ephesians 6:12-18 reminds us, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Watch the VIDEO below this post to find out more about the "Full Armor of God"

The Truth is, no one without the Holy Spirit of God will ever succeed in defeating these demonic beings.  That means that anyone who thinks they can rattle the enemy by their fleshly weapons are set for a rude awakening.  Unless a person comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit (The Only One who can defeat the power of the enemy), everyone will continue to live as a slaves to these demonic powers.   This is the very reason why we can't just quote Scripture and pass them on to everyone  without knowing (through study) the context of the passage.  So, as a child of the Most High God, I am declared (by my Father in heaven) righteous and holy in His sight simply by being in Christ Jesus.  Everything that Jesus won at the Cross through His death, burial and resurrection are for me and no one can take that away from me.  He clothed me in His armor and I fight with His Word through the supernatural power of His Holy Spirit.  I have direct line with God through prayer and I have a host of heavenly angels to carry out His work.  I know who I am in Christ and nobody (flesh or spirit) can alter that Truth.  I encourage each and everyone of you to be strong in the Lord and in His Word.  Don't ever accept the lies of the enemy.  Not because it's the New Year, the enemy is going to give you a break.  He didn't give me a break!  He wanted me miserable but the Spirit of the Lord acted mightily inside of me and destroyed the enemy's plan.  If you want to rise up above your situations/circumstances, live the higher calling in Christ Jesus!  IN CHRIST, THERE'S ALWAYS VICTORY!

I would also like to share what my Life Application Bible shared regarding the verses  I shared here from Ephesians 6 for it truly blessed me.  It says, "In the Christian life, we battle against rulers and authorities (the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter.  To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God's strength and use every piece of His armor.  Paul is not only giving this counsel to the Church, the body of Christ, but to all individuals within the Church.  The whole Body needs to be armed.  As you do battle against "the powers of this dark world," fight in the strength of the Church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit.  These who are not "flesh and blood" are demons whom Satan has control.  They are not mere fantasies---they are very real.  We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ's Church.  When we believe in Christ, these being become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from Him and back to sin.  Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord's side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us His Holy Spirit within us and His armor surrounding us.  if you feel discouraged, remember Jesus'  words to Peter:  "On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."  (Matthew 16:18)

For this Card, I used an image from Cute as a Button called "Put On the Full Armor" that I colored using my Hobby Colour and Prismacolor markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from Paper Studio, the flowers are layered using Prima flowers, the brad from Recollections and the glitters are from Stickles (Crystal).  I also included some die cuts created from Sizzix die and Fiskars punch.  Lastly, I stitched all over this card.  What a wonderful Scripture to start this year since we know that out battle is not of flesh and blood of of the evil spirits that seek to destroy us.  Therefore, we must arm ourselves with the spiritual weapons that the Lord Jesus empowered us with to withstand and counter the attack of the enemy in our lives.


 ARMOR OF GOD CARD


 ARMOR OF GOD CARD LAYERS


 ARMOR OF GOD CARD SIDE VIEW


 ARMOR OF GOD CARD INSIDE


ARMOR OF GOD CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting by Designs---ATG
Crafty Addicts---ATG/Christmas
A2Z---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Designer Paper
Creatalicious---ATG/Something New
Colour Create Show---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG
DL Art---ATG
Happy Craft---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG
Morgan's Artworld---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Scribbles Designs---Favouring Feminine (selected)
Sweet Stampers---ATG
World Wide Open DT---ATG 


Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge.  You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement.  As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter up to 5 times this week.  An awesome GC worth 15 pounds will be awarded to our Challenge winner by our awesome sponsor---Clearly Besotted.  So excited to see what you come up with. For the meantime, serve the Lord with gladness knowing that our labor in Him is not in vain.


 THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD EXPLAINED

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