This wonderful verse of promise was given to Jacob by Almighty God in his dream. If we don't know the story of Jacob---how he deceived his brother (Esau) for his birthright, likewise his own father (Isaac) was tricked into blessing him (took advantage of his weak eyesight due to old age) after he thought he was Esau. Jacob did some terrible things, for sure. But God had a plan for him (like God has a plan for each and everyone of His children) from before the foundations of the earth. Ephesians 1:4-5 says, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Let's admit it, many of us are so quick to judge people. We set up a checklist when it comes to whom we allow to influence and lead us. I don't see anything wrong with being wise and cautious as many are truly out there to deceive and harm us if we are not careful. My point is that while being observant, we need to also be sensitive to the voice and the move of the Holy Spirit. I remember just several months ago, I struggled to make a choice between two undesirable Presidential candidates. Not one of them came close to my spiritual checklist and I prayed and asked the Lord for direction. Though one may not be as worst as the other, I didn't have the confidence to allow this candidate to lead me, my family, my country and the world. As I waited upon the Lord, God showed me little things here and there that finally convinced me to support our now current President, Donald Trump. Sure, he didn't fit my (spiritual) checklist as a person but many of his plans, decisions and actions turned out to be closest to upholding life, safety for Americans, stopping lawlessness and globalization (One World Government) and he demonstrated respect for God and country. I remember a good friend at the Church told me that if God can use a donkey to talk sense to the prophet Balaam, He can definitely use anyone (including an unbeliever) to carry out His purpose here on earth (Numbers 22:27-29). I would like to share with you a summary of the life of Jacob that I got from my Life Application Bible as it will open us up to God's greater plan for us and His faithfulness to keep His promises despite our imperfections and setbacks. Hope you'd be blessed...
"Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are among the significant people in the Old Testament. It is important to realize that this significance is not based upon their personal characters, but upon the character of God. They were all men who earned the grudging respect and even fear of their peers, they were wealthy and powerful, and yet each was capable of lying, deceit and selfishness. They were not the perfect heroes we might have expected; instead they were just like us, trying to please God, but often falling short.
Jacob was the third link in God's plan to start a nation from Abraham. The success of that plan was more often in spite of than because of Jacob's life. Before Jacob was born, God promised that His plan would be worked out through Jacob and not his twin brother, Esau. Although Jacob's methods were not always respectable, his skill, determination, and patience have to be admired. As we follow him from birth to death, we are able to see God's work.
Jacob's life had four stages, each marked by a personal encounter with God. In the first stage, Jacob lived up to his name, which means "he grasps the heel" (figuratively, "he deceives"). He grabbed Esau's heel at birth, and by the time he fled from home, he had also grabbed his brother's birthright and blessing. During his flight, God first appeared to him. Not only did God confirm to Jacob his blessing, but he awakened in Jacob a personal knowledge of himself. In the second stage, Jacob experienced life from the other side, being manipulated and deceived by Laban. But there is a curious change: the Jacob of stage one would simply have left Laban, whereas the Jacob of stage two, after deciding to leave, waited six years for God's permission. In the third stage, Jacob was in a new role as grabber. This time, by the Jordan River, he grabbed on to God and wouldn't let go. He realized his dependence on the God who had continued to bless him. His relationship to God became essential to his life, and his name was changed to Israel, "he struggles with God." Jacob's last stage of life was to be grabbed---God achieved a firm hold on him. In responding to Joseph's invitation to come to Egypt, Jacob was clearly unwilling to make a move without God's approval.
Can you think of times when God has made Himself known to you? Do you allow yourself to meet Him as you study His Word? What difference have these experiences made in your life? Are you more like the young Jacob, forcing God to track you down in the desert of your own plans and mistakes? Or are you more like the Jacob who placed his desires and plans before God for His approval before taking an action?"---God has wonderful plans for us and though in our stubbornness we get distracted along the way, He is faithful to lead us to the right path when we yield. Sharing the following verses to you:
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)
"Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:20-21)
For this Card, I used an image from our sponsor, Bugaboo Digital Stamps, called "Attitude Car" and colored it with my Touch Five markers. The base is an A7 size pre-cut card, The DP's from Paper Studio, the clouds are cut out from a DP from Heidi Grace. I used a couple of border stamps, one from Fiskars and the other from Cloud 9. The white gems are from Imaginisce and the glitters from Stickles (Crystal). I also added some Liquid Pearls (Key Lime) at the center of the flowers in the car. And finally, some fancy and regular stitching courtesy of my sewing machine.
I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE CARD
I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE CARD SIDE VIEW
I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE CARD LAYERS
I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE CARD INSIDE
I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Color Sisters---Color Palette
Crafts and Me---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Create and Inspire---ATG/Stencil
Let's Craft and Create---Make Your Own Background
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG/Embossing
Your Scrapbook Place---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. You can win wonderful goodies from our awesome sponsors this week---The Kraft Outlet ($15 GC), Stix 2 Anything (Goodie Bag) and Bugaboo Digi Stamps (Digi Images). So excited to see what you come up with. Anyway, cheer up and let the joy of the Lord overtake you as you find true beauty in yourself and others through the eyes of our Maker.