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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Scripture Series: Giving Thanks to God Card---Join Us for Another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Before anything else, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!  Hope you are spending a wonderful time with your family as we reflect on the goodness of the Father---every good and perfect gift that He graciously gave us through the finished work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.  And when I think about His faithfulness in my life, I can't help but reflect also on the trials for when I wrestled with all of them, God showed His supernatural power working inside of me that gave me victory to overcome.  All glory to His Name!

Today, we have a brand new Scripture Word Art (you can download for free) at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) site.  Me and my fellow DT's have used it in our projects like in the one I've  featured here.  It comes from Colossians 3:17 which says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."  

You see, how we physically (outside appearance) come across other people matter in how we are representing Christ to our fellow believers and the world.  I agree that personal appearance play a role in our initial contact with people but a true and lasting personality/impression is really a reflection of who we are (character) and the change we encounter from within.  What we allow ourselves to ponder on shapes our thinking and molds us to the kind of person we show on the outside.  Many have spent their lifetime perfecting the glamorous life but failed to develop what is truly important---making their spiritual life healthy and fabulous by constantly cultivating an intimate connection with God through His Word.  We must always remember that our bodies are earthly suits (temporal) that we will one day trade (like it or not) for an eternal body (permanent).  We must never ever allow the physical to take priority over the spiritual.  Our bodies on the other hand are to be used for God's purpose.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."  In the original context of this Scripture, believers are instructed to have no part in sexual immorality as our bodies are for the Lord.  When we take part in it (in any capacity), we degrade and disrespect the temple of God and cause ourselves and others harm.  God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves and others, so he offers to fill us (our loneliness and desires) with Himself.  When we pay attention to other things and disregard our relationship with God, we turn ourselves away from the Lord and position ourselves to be devoured by the world.  Be careful that we don't deem anything more important than the presence of God in our lives.  Romans 12:1-2 says, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

The point I'm making in all of these is that we should fill ourselves with the knowledge of God and allow Him to use  or bodies for His purpose.  Remembering that when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we gave Him permission to mold, direct and use us whatever and whenever He may see fit.  We must submit to Him everything---that includes our dreams, ambitions and intentions.  Whatever we say and do, we must intentionally ask ourselves the question---"Why am I doing what I'm doing?" and in all honesty to our Father, allow Him to make necessary changes if need be. Our outside image should be nothing more than a reflection of what's going on inside us.  If Jesus is the Lord of our lives, we are to reflect Him in everything we say and do.  This is a lifelong process we commit to daily and made possible by our yielding to the Holy Spirit of God in us.  Doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus" means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living.  As a Christian (Born-again, John 3:3), we represent Christ at all times---wherever you go, in whatever you say and do.  

For this Card, I used an image from Stamping Bella called "Uptown Girl Tiffany Loves to Text" that I watercolored with my Stabilo 68 markers.  The base is Kraft, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from DCWV, the border sentiment from Will n Way and the corner stamp from Stampendous.  I also added some glitters to the image using Stickles (Crystal) and finalized the card with some stitching.   





This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Star Stampz---Add Some Sparkle (On the clothes and flowers on the image)
Crafty Creations---ATG
House that Stamps Built---ATG
Simon Says---ATG
Sisterhood of Crafters---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girls---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Create and Inspire---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Eclectic Ellapu---ATG
Let's Craft and Create---ATG/Fall Colors/Thankful
Love to Scrap---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Rubber Buggy---Thanksgiving
Worldwide Open DT---ATG

Hope you join the fun at our WAW Challenge There's wonderful prize awaiting our winner from our sponsor this week, Really Reasonable Ribbon  ($10 GC) and also a special prize package from our Challenge Coordinator, Karen.  You can choose to incorporate the free Word Art (sentiment) you see in my card for projects you wish to make and link with us though it's not mandatory.  You can submit up to 5 projects (Anything Goes) as long as it's family friendly, inspirational or uplifting.  Can't wait to see what you come up with. Have a blessed week and always remember to share unto others the hope you have in you.  Hugs!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Scripture Series: O Give Thanks Center Step Card---It's Anything Goes (Inspirational) Challenge Happening at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, everyone!  Here to share the card I made for our Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) featuring the Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) found in 1 Chronicles 16:34 that tells us, "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. " It is part of the psalm that King David delivered to God's people after they brought back the Ark of God (Ark of the Covenant) to Jerusalem (the center of worship David established) from Kiriath Jearim where it was neglected for many years. My Life Application Bible shared a very important explanation about this.  It says:  "The neglect of the Ark symbolized Israel's neglect of God.  Bringing the Ark back to the center of Israel's life reflected David's desire to remind the nation of its true foundation---God! Neglecting those things that remind us of God---the Bible, the Church, and contact with Christians---will cause us also  to neglect God. How would an observer know that God is at the center of your life?"  

King David gathered all of God's people to rejoice the return of the Ark with burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.  They lifted up their petitions, give thanks and praise God for His goodness and faithfulness.  Israel fought many battles and King David recognized that their victory does not come from their own strength.  With God on their side, victory was certain.  Notice that God didn't prevent battle from taking place in the history of His people.  With God's revelations and instructions to His prophets and appointed leaders, they engaged in battle with both physical (armory) and spiritual (faith) weapons.  We do the same thing in our physical and spiritual battles today.  What makes our fight as believers (Born-again, John 3:3) different from the world's? The answer---it is the very presence of God inside of us---the Holy Spirit!  The Ark of the Covenant was a foreshadowing of what the finished work of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection) would do to redeem all of humanity from our bondage to Satan and the Sin Nature.  We no longer have to carry a physical Ark just to be assured of His presence in our lives.  By accepting what Jesus did on the Cross on our behalf, He has given us the seal of the Holy Spirit which is the very proof we are His forever and we have eternal victory.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."  

By now, we all heard of the senseless killings of our brothers and sisters in the faith at First Baptist Church at Sutherland Springs, Texas.  I was surprised how close we are (about 30 miles away) from that community.  The coming together of families to worship and hear God's Word was cut short by a madman who purposely fired at everyone resulting in 26 fatalities including an unborn and several very young kids.  Though the Body of Christ could not put into words how heartbroken we are from the injustice done to our fellow Kingdom citizens, I haven't seen anyone acting so lost like those of the world.  Are believers exempted from pain and suffering?  Not at all.  Do we always win the battle we engage with?  Certainly not.  Then, why are we not showing the same rage (which usually is a disguise for utter frustration and hopelessness) that the people of the world readily default to?  One celebrity (Wil Wheaton) even went to the extent of mocking prayers that Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) asked for the community in Sutherland Springs which he tweeted shortly after the incident.  A direct quote of Wheaton's response to Ryan's tweet (minus the profanity) said, “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless ------!" Wheaton later explained that his comment was driven by anger due to the speaker's refusal to address gun violence. If you want to find out more about this, go HERE.  Upon reading the article, only one thing came to my mind?  How blind and deceived---totally oblivious, he and all others who agrees with him about God, faith and prayer!  Though I could share something about gun ownership, I would concentrate on the value of human life, the purpose of our physical existence and what the eternal future hold for those who trust is in Jesus.  The truth is, everyone born in this world are spiritually dead (due to the Fall of Man) which makes them blind to the things of God.  That condition stands forever unless we become Born-again by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior and everything He has won for us through the Cross while we are still alive in this world.  However,  all of us are going to die physically (except for those alive when the Rapture of the Church happens).  For this physical body is only good for this world--not suitable for the eternal life waiting for us.  If you lived your life in Christ while in the world, you will live in His presence forever after physical death.  If you lived without Him in this world, you are going to spend eternity with Satan and every unbeliever in the lake of fire.  As followers of Christ, we know that God determined the number of our days on earth. Psalm 139:16 tells us, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."  Though we mourn the cruelty and tragic outcome of this incident against our fellow believers, we know that this was no surprise to God!  We are bombarded daily by the brutal killings of our brethren all over the world in the hands of godless men.  So in our grief, we carry each other's burden.  We never fail to encourage and see hope in the midst of tragedies knowing that the God of justice will carry out His judgment in His appointed time.  We look forward to His eternal promises---strengthened by the faith of Christ and the assurance of the Holy Spirit as we combat fear head on---bravely standing  against the wiles of the enemy.  We are not alone in our sorrows, beloved!  We always have a reason to give glory and thanks to God!  I would like to share the encouragement of the Scripture regarding believers who are dead in Christ and the promised Rapture of the Church.  We should always look at His Word (not on anything else) to navigate this life so that in all circumstances, we remain in faith relying on the Truth.  Doing so would help us steer clear of the deception that is sweeping the world.  

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

For this Card, I used an image from "From the Heart Dig Stamps" called "Bouquet Chick" that I colored using my Promarker/Prismacolor markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches center step design.  THe DP's are from K & Company, the flowers I layered are from Prima, the brads from Recollections, the white nail head gems from Imaginisce and the fence border I created using an MS Punch.  I also added some glitters (Stickles-Crystal) to the flower and the image.  And finally, I ran several panels to my sewing machine to create the regular and fancy stitching.  I am loving this card.






This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

4 Crafty Chicks---Give Thanks
Aud Sentiment---Bingo + Sentiment (Pattern Paper/Image/Stitching)
Cards 4 Galz---Thanks/Thanksgiving
Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
DL Art---Patriotic/Thanks
Hanna and Friends---Animals
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Crafty Creations---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG
I Love ProMarkers---Show Some Sparkle
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Pause Dream Enjoy---Thank you
Sisterhood of Crafters---Sparkles
Wonderful Wednesday---ATG
Snowflakes Promise---ATG
Crafty Sentiment---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Digi Choosday---ATG
Fairy Tale---Thank you
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
Stinkin Inkers---Thankful

Time to go, everyone!  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.  Our wonderful sponsor this week is Simon Says Stamp. So, head over to WAW and show us your wonderful projects.  Enjoy your week.  Always remember that God loves you and has a great plan for your life!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Encouragement Series: Be Strong Double Slider Card---Join the Fun in our Anything Goes Monthly Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello everyone!  Time for another Anything Goes Monthly Challenge happening in our neighborhood, 613 Avenue Create.  I can't believe we're almost done with this year and heading to next year by the grace and faithfulness of God.  Although we see the spread of stupidity, craziness, ignorance and evil agenda around us, all of this brings us closer to the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies revealed in the Word of God.  Those of us whose trust is placed upon  Jesus Christ rely on the truth, direction and prophetic warnings of the Scripture.  God's Word is the bright light that separates us from the darkness that covers (deceives)  this world.  It is extremely important that our faith be anchored on Him who is eternal and unchanging.

If I may ask, where is your heart resting?  Or should I ask, who is your God?  Many of us would be quick to answer,  JESUS!... But do you really mean that from the core of your heart?  Is your response based on personal experience/encounter with Jesus or just a shallow response that had been passed down from one religion to another?  If our hearts rests in the One True God, why are there many of us who do nothing but complain daily? Some work day and night and do everything it takes (ex. Hollywood hopefuls) just to make sure they're big (glittery) dreams are fulfilled. How about those that mock God because they didn't get what they asked for (material or supernatural)?  They resort to selling their souls to the devil  thinking that by doing so, they will have no use for God.  And how about some who thinks they are better than their brothers/neighbors?  Sadly, this is true even in the Church.   The truth is, not even believers (Born-again, John 3:3) are excused from carnal mindedness.  But unlike the people of the world, we are not in bondage to it.  We always have a choice to walk away from the dictates of the flesh.  The question is, are we going to make the right choice?  For if we truly know the God we serve, we would recognize/discern the works/footprints of the enemy. Unlike unbelievers,  we could ask the help of the Holy Spirit to keep our focus solely on what Jesus did at the Cross and rid us of our focus on ourselves (including every self-seeking ambition/dreams) and looking at other people's success/failures.  Jesus warned us in Matthew 6:19-25, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

You see, when we turn our focus on something else other than the Cross of Jesus Christ, we build ourselves a pagan altar that worships another god.  The first and greatest commandment foundational to other divine laws  spoken by Jesus in Mark 12:29-30 tells us, "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." If we love Him, we will consider loving our neighbors as ourselves for that is what He requires of us.  We would treat them fairly the way we want to be treated.  To truly love God is to experience Him through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (our Savior).  It is only possible through faith in His finished work (death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross and is perfected by our obedience to His Word.  Any other thing we place out trust and life into above God  (examples: family, friends, boyfriend, fame, talent, strength, riches, beauty, careers, personality, power, influence and every kind of material things) is an "IDOL" that will lead us into destruction both now and forever.

As I draw closer to God daily, the less attracted I am of the world.  He's teaching me to see everyone as my co-worker in the ministry and strips me of pride, envy or comparison.  He helps me to see that each believer has been given a talent and purpose (unique from others) that He wants us to use at each appointed time, based on His leading.  In big or small task, He looks at the motives of our hearts and our willingness to obey His direction.  If God calls us to humility and servant hood, why do we see a pecking order or hierarchy in many Churches today?  Aren't we all equal members of the Body of Christ? All  of us are valuable, none is less than the other. Yes, there should be reverence for the office appointed to us in leadership but these leaders must not think highly of themselves by encouraging their congregation to treat them like "rock stars."  Unlike the world, "leadership" in the Kingdom of God means "servant-hood."  We need not look any further than the pure example of Jesus, Himself!  In all my readings of the Scripture, I have never seen Jesus clamor for attention, demand the nicest seat in the house, nor desired to hang  out with the wealthy and influential.  On the other hand, The Bible showed us how Jesus, Son of God served people---from washing the feet of His disciples to ultimately giving His life for all of humanity.  I am not saying that it's wrong to hang out with influential people but when we do, we should ask ourselves this: "Why are we doing what we are doing?  Is it truly for God or for our own personal benefit?"  We need to be honest with ourselves as nothing is hidden from God.  I believe that if we keep ourselves in constant check, we will be a true "Service-Oriented Leader" than a "Self-advancing kind of leader."  In closing, let me leave you with The Word of God in Romans 12:3 which says, "For by the grace given me (Paul) I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." My Life Application Bible supported this verse with this wonderful explanation I needed to share.  It says:  "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves.  The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth---our identity in Christ.  Apart from Him, we aren't capable of very much by eternal standards; in Him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service.  Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think  too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value  in God's eyes.

For this Card, I used images from Mama Elephant that I colored using Touch Five markers, sentiments from Studio G and the main sentiment from Stampabilities.  I did quite a bit of inking for my background using Distress Inks.  The cloud template was something I created and used before and I also added some Liquid Pearls (White Opal) for added dimension.  Attached a small piece of ribbon from my stash and this project is done.  I was inspired to create this interactive card after watching a VIDEO from Darlene DeVries. Go ahead and try it yourself.  It's kinda fun!





This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
DL Art---ATG
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Snowflakes Promise---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Digi Choosday---ATG
Heartful Stamping---ATG
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends---ATG
Mari Ko---ATG
Crafting with Dragonflies---Use your Stash + Bling
Crazy 4 Challenges---Layer It Up
ITD's Creative Playground---ATG
Scrapper's Delights---ATG

There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the fun by joining our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.   Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to highlight this week. Realize that when your heart is right with God, He will use you mightily to lead others in Godly humility.


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