As a child of God, our priorities should be different from those whose going through life on a daily basis. Usually, people wake up to prepare for work, go to work , go home and rest and do it over and over again. As a result, many have gotten tired of the routine and could not find anymore meaning to each day. I thank God that although I went through similar experience/feeling in the past, it was when I gave that meaningless life to Christ that gave me true purpose and joy. Surrendering to His Lordship didn't just free me from the bondage of sin and won me an eternal life in His presence but it presently gives me reason to wake up each day and desire excellence in everything that I do. I hold Galatians 2:20 close to my heart and it says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Because I'm no longer in charged of my life, I've allowed the Lord Jesus to take every facet of my being and to use me to do great and wonderful things. My once limited capacity and abilities are now supercharged by God's boundless capabilities and excellence that utilizes my utmost potential. It is my primary desire to display the power and glory of the One that lives inside of me. The circumstances around me may change constantly but planted in the Solid Rock of the Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ), I stand secure.
A few weeks ago, God impressed upon my heart that I simply don't have time for mediocre things. Some of you will agree that there are relationships in our lives that just constantly wears you down. Some of them may come from family members you live and deal with daily. Then there are some friends whose negative and passive outlook felt like they're draining the life out of you. And yes, some of them professed to be believers! We must realize that attending a Christian Church does not make you a Christian. You can sit in one for many years and not understand why you believe what you believe. What makes a person grow in Christ is his/her willingness to take on God's Word and surrender everything (our thoughts, our ways and things we hold on to) to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I have encountered some that withhold from God certain facets of their lives. When they should have given it all 100%, they decided they can keep a certain portion of themselves locked up inside. That is why even as believers, we have striking divisions with race, color, political, moral and spiritual issues that the enemy likes to use to further divide us. Many could not get over the history of slavery, discrimination and they have to attach that to everything that happens to them. They try to blame anybody and everybody for their situation other than themselves. Oh my, don't even get me started on the political divide among believers in this nation...But you see, one who truly comes to Christ lets go of all that baggage and instead ask the question, "What does God say in His Word about all of these?" If we have nothing of ourselves, and let it be all about God, we'd eliminate a load of the problems we're facing in our society today. The ungodly are seeking to destroy the Church (Ekklesia, the Called-Out ones) by using emotional, political, racial tension among people groups and utilizes the ignorance of many on the Word of God. My sincerest prayer goes TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE---that we all rise up and unselfishly carry out the true purpose that God has placed upon our lives based on His Word (His Will). Our collective mission is found in Matthew 28:18-20, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
It is due to this that I decided I am not anymore going to waste my precious time mobilizing these people. I will say and do what God wants me to do and move on. I will not allow my purpose to be hindered by people who refuses to leave their comfort zones to face today's spiritual battle. Like it or not, war is upon us (both spiritually and physically)! We cannot teach anyone to be passionate about the things of God unless they be willing to completely invest in their relationship with Him. For the meantime, I must break away from my association with such people (yet continue to pray for awakening in their lives) in order to move forward to what God wants me to accomplish in this lifetime. Sometimes, we need to rid ourselves of things that weigh us down so that we can run our full capacity...I want to share the following scriptures to remind us of the costly price for following our Savior. Yet those who endure till the end shall see a reward valid for all eternity.
"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
"No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him,
we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself." (2 Timothy 2:4-13)
For this Card, I used a fun image that I got exclusive from Michael's which is one of the new releases from Art Impressions. I water colored the image using Le Plume markers from Marvy Uchida which I had for a very long time and seldom used. I was inspired by the series of Water coloring videos featured at Art Impressions Blog. I am no expert but I'm satisfied with how this turned out. I definitely found a new love for this coloring technique that is fun and relaxing. What a way to give my alcohol markers a break while using the ones I got before they completely dry...LOL. Anyway, the base for this card is Kraft which was cut with my Cricut using one of the shapes in the Wild Card cartridge. Oh my, I haven't used my Cricut for ages, I tell ya! The DP's are from DCWV and Recollections. The circles were cut using my MS Circle Cutter, the layered flowers from Prima and the sparkly brad from Paper Studio. I also added some die cut leaves using Fiskars punch and a die from Sizzix for the swirl. The funny sentiment came with the image and finally, some wonderful stitching all over this creation. I am extremely happy with the over-all result.
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Pile It On---Christmas or Winter
Craft Your Passion---ATG
Crafting from the Heart---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG/Christmas
Crafting by Designs---ATG
Crafting with Dragonflies---Christmas
Creative Corner---Sparkle and Shine (Glittered/Sparkly Brad)
Jo's Scrap Shack---Christmas Joy
Sisters of Craft---ATG
Scrap and Craft---ATG Christmas
Creative Inspirations---ATG with Sketch
Gem of a Challenge---ATG Christmas
Penny's Paper Crafty---ATG
Your Scrapbook Place---ATG
This 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. But there's really no reason for you to miss it. Our sponsors---My Whimsical Little World, Inky Impressions and Crafty Secrets are giving away some fabulous prizes. Can't wait to see what you create. The Lord is with you every step of the way so, don't be afraid of the what the future holds---we are safe in the arms of Christ always.