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, March 28, 2018

Scripture Series: My Yoke Upon You Center Step Card---Join Our Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, Crafty Peeps!  Back with another card to highlight another Scripture Word Art for our bi-weekly Challenge happening at Word Art Wednesday (WAW)This Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) comes from Matthew 11:29 which says, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

Wow, what a powerful verse that assures us that we are never alone in this life.  Everything and anything we encounter does not come to us by chance.  There is always a purpose.  We rejoice in the blessings while we learn from the trials.  Often times, we tend to carry the burdens on our own.  We try as hard as we can to deal with problems that we think are within our capacity to solve and that only in hopeless situations (after we exhausted everything in our power) do we come to the Lord and ask for His help.  There's an overwhelming sense of joy and thankfulness when God miraculously come to our rescue in those "bigger than life" trying moments.  But I submit to you that as I grow in the knowledge of God and experience a deeper level of fellowship with Him through prayer, reading His Word, listening to His voice and recognizing His wisdom in every situation, I began inquiring of Him not just in desperate times but also in the simplest of trials where a decision has to be made.  Whether it be financial, relational, emotional, mental or spiritual,  I come to Him first before formulating and deciding on any solution on my own.  We must understand that there is nothing too simple nor complicated for God.  He wants us to come and inquire of Him all the days of our lives.  There will never be a time when we can outsmart God.  He guided me in my younger years as a Christian and helped me mature in the faith.  One day, I'll be totally Christ-like---ruling and reigning with Him.  

The heart of God is for us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  He lives inside of us and is with us all the time.  Gone were the days when God's presence only dwelt in the Ark of the Covenant in the  Tent of David or Solomon's Temple.  Jesus died on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day to complete God's plan of redemption.  Anyone who places their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ died with Him, buried with Him and resurrected with Him into the New Covenant.  This extraordinary encounter with God is known as the Born-again experience (John 3:3-6).  By the individual's confession of faith (that comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God) in Jesus Christ, the seed of God's Word (water) is implanted into a man's receptive heart and the Holy Spirit causes the spiritual regeneration of that seed inside that individual.  The degree in which we yield ourselves in obedience to God's Word determines the level of growth (fruitfulness) that manifest in our lives.  The process of yielding and obeying is easier said than done.  That's because our human nature (selfishness)  steps in the way of our walk with God and is often affected/complicated by the trials and storms we encounter daily.  But that is why we shouldn't rely on our own strength.  Jesus wants to partner with us so we can carry the load with Him.  The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, "But he (Lord) said to me (Paul), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."  When we partner with God, the load is definitely lighter for He carries most of the weight.  I would like to share with you what my Life Application Bible shared about our highlighted verse for it has truly blessed me.  It says, "A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen.  It is attached to a piece of equipment the oxen are to pull.  A person may be carrying heavy burdens of (1) sin,  (2) excessive demands of religious leaders (Matthew 23:4; Acts 15:10), (3) oppression and persecution, or (4) weariness in the search of God.  Jesus frees people from all these burdens.  The "rest" that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor.  A relationship with God changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.  In what sense was Jesus' yoke easy?  The yoke emphasizes the challenges, work and difficulties of partnering with Christ in life.  Responsibilities weight us down, even the effort of staying true to God.  But Jesus' yoke remains easy compared to the crushing alternative.  Jesus doesn't offer a life of luxurious ease---the yoke is still an oxen's tool for working hard.  But it's a shared yoke, with weight falling on bigger shoulders than yours.  Someone with more pulling power is up front helping.  Suddenly you are participating in life's responsibilities with a great Partner---and now that frown can turn into a smile, and that gripe into a song."

For this Card, I used an image from our sponsor, Bugaboo Stamps called "Two Girls" and colored it using my Prismacolor/Touch Five markers.  The base is a white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches center step card design.  The DP's are from Paper Studio, the flowers I layered are from Prima, the brad from Recollections and the circle and lacy circle panels were die-cut from Nestabilities.  Lastly, I stitched all over this Card.  I really love the results.






This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Calling all Sistahs---Encouragement
Create and Inspire---ATG/All About Mums
Hanna and Friends---Easter/Spring
Morgan's Artworld---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Sparkles---Spring is in the Air
Sweet Stampers---Spring/Easter
Creative Crafters---ATG
Worldwide Open DT---ATG
Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---ATG
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Sisterhood of Crafters---Spring Flowers

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.  Our awesome sponsors awarding our winners wonderful prizes are The Project Bin ($15 GC) and Bugaboo Stamps (Digis).  So excited to see what you come up with.  Are you struggling on anything today?  Call unto Jesus for He's always there for you. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Scripture Series: The Lord on High One Layer Card---Join the Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, friends! Back with my inspiration project for our brand new Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  As always, it's Anything Goes but also inspirational.  Our Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) comes from Psalm 93:4 and it says, "The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."

Have you experienced being in the middle of the ocean aboard a yacht or perhaps a Cruise ship?  I did.  I worked for more than 6 years as an Entertainment Staff to two of the well known companies in the Cruising industry.  I've sailed in the vastness of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans and visited many coastal cities all over the world.  I remember how my mother felt when I told her of the new job I was going to embark on. After all, we heard of the dangers many ships encountered in the middle of the ocean.  Come to think of it, what advantage does a luxury vessel (no matter how big it is) have in case of fire or a great storm at sea?  Though I understood her fears (concerns), I told her not to worry for the Lord's with me and in Him, I was safe.  I just knew that every opportunity that comes from the Lord carried His protection.  

However, I was not prepared for the terrible storm that I encountered in the Pacific that followed us for three days on my first few months of cruising.  When you see and hear the big waves pounding on the walls outside causing the ship to tilt dangerously from side to side and having to withstand the horrible feeling of motion sickness for three full days, it felt like hell at sea for me.  I was  thankful we didn't have any passengers to serve, entertain or care for otherwise, it would have been a disaster.  The Chef served us wonderful meals each time, but most of us were feeling sick to our stomachs and couldn't eat.  On the first night of the storm, I thought that staying in my cabin and getting some sleep would help.  But no, a good sleep was impossible as I felt my body being rocked back and forth by the crazy movement of the ship.  Most of the crew's cabins were on the lower deck so, the noise of the waves slamming on the walls outside the ship were so loud, they're like  explosions!  Things that coudn't be secured fell all over the floor which made our space really messy which somehow reflected the chaotic mess of the storm outside. Even for a moment, there was no place to escape the terrible physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenge of those days.  All I knew was  that I had to endure that nasty storm through the faith and strength God has given me and things would be better.  

The point I want to make here is this:  In our lives, we will always encounter terrible storms (different kinds of problems, persecutions by family and friends among others) that causes the waves to push, pull or drown us of the hope we have in Christ.  The noise/chaos it creates can be deafening and honestly, frightening too.  Not knowing when it's going to stop could make us weary to the point of giving up.  But Jesus showed us that He is mightier than the many noise of water and mightier than the waves of the sea.  Let's go back to the experience of the disciples with Jesus in Mark 4:35-41..."That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.  There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,“Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” 

When we repented of our sin and received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior (Born-again, John 3:3), we invited the One who is mightier than the noise and waves of the sea to dwell inside of us.  It is therefore not us but Christ in us that enables us to triumph over  every storm we encounter in this life.  I went through countless  actual storms and endured motion sickness in all the years I worked in the Cruise Ship industry. I definitely credit God for the strong body as well as His protection from all kinds of dangers.   But more importantly, I also survived the spiritual wave of trials aimed to weaken my faith from the moment I received Christ in my life to this day.  I've got one mighty solution to all kinds of trials/storms---His name is JESUS!  Do yourself a favor...Don't sail this ocean of life without Him!

For this Card, I used an image from Make It Crafty called "Tropical Beach" that I colored using my Prismacolor/Touch Five markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  I created the clouds using my own cloud template along with Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Tumbled Glass and Broken China).  Lastly, I stitched all over the card.  I seldom create an honest to goodness one layer card.  But this image is so pretty after the coloring and including the verse, I didn't think I needed to add more.  I love the peace and quiet this card exudes.  I felt like I'm there sitting on a beach chair under those coconut trees looking over the horizon, praying and appreciating what God created.  I love it!





This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---Make It Green
Inspiration Destination---ATG/Spring/Pastel
Moo Mania---Color Effect
Paper Shelter---Hot or Cold Colors (I used Hot Colors)
Pause Dream Enjoy---ATG
Crafty Addicts---ATG
Cardz for Galz---Beach/Nautical
Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
A Bit More Time---ATG
A Perfect Time---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Cards Galore---ATG
Crafty Animals---ATG/Animals (Flying Birds)
Crafty Girls---ATG
Create and Inspire---ATG/For Mums
Createful Heart---ATG/Add Something Green
Creative Craft---Make it Feminine
Let's Craft and Create---ATG/Easter
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Mix It Up---Make Your Own Background
Not Just Cards---ATG
Creative Crafters---ATG
Worldwide DT---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.  Our sponsor this week is Freckled Fawn giving away a $15 GC to their shop.  I can't wait to see your projects  and leave you some encouragement on your Blogs.  Pray without ceasing and believe that God can do the impossible! My trust is only in Him... 

Monday, March 5, 2018

From Clothing Tags to Gift Tags---Join the Upcycling/Recycling Optional Theme in our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello there, Crafty friends! Today, I'm featuring another project for our Monthly Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.  As always, it's Anything Goes with an optional theme of Reuse/Recycle/Upcycle.  You see, I usually throw clothing tags after I made sure that I wasn't going to return the merchandise back to the store for imperfect fit or damage.   But for some reason, I found four tags hiding in the drawer which would be perfect for our optional theme.  What better way  than to transform them into something not only beautiful but useful.  Honestly, I'm not a big recycle/upcycle crafter so, I have to fully trust the Lord for some inspiration here. 

As I looked on the before and after photos of the tags I made, God revealed something in my spirit that filled me with gratitude towards Him.  He showed me how we were once like useless (meant for trash) clothing tags!    He had to save us and then transform us to a fabulous, one of a kind creation that is set aside for His purpose.  We were born into this world in Adam and because of his disobedience, everyone born from his lineage are doomed to destruction. Romans 3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  There was nothing mankind could do to change that reality.  The payment for our redemption required a Man without Sin.  Yet, there was none.  Only God was without Sin.

I would like to share what wrote that would explain further why Jesus was the Only One qualified to save us.  It says, "The Bible is clear about the divine nature of the Lord Jesus Christ (see John 1:1-14). Philippians 2:6-7 says that, although Jesus was "in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." Colossians 2:9 says, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” Jesus is fully God and fully man, and the fact of His incarnation is of utmost importance. He lived a human life but did not possess a sin nature as we do. He was tempted but never sinned (Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15). Sin entered the world through Adam, and Adam’s sinful nature has been transferred to every baby born into the world (Romans 5:12)—except for Jesus. Because Jesus did not have a human father, He did not inherit a sin nature. He possessed the divine nature from His Heavenly Father.  Jesus had to meet all the requirements of a holy God before He could be an acceptable sacrifice for our sin (John 8:29; Hebrews 9:14). He had to fulfill over three hundred prophecies about the Messiah that God, through the prophets, had foretold (Matthew 4:13-14; Luke 22:37; Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2).

Since the Fall of Man (Genesis 3:21-23), the only way to be made right with God has been the blood of an innocent sacrifice (Leviticus 9:2; Numbers 28:19; Deuteronomy 15:21; Hebrews 9:22). Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice that satisfied forever God's wrath against sin (Hebrews 10:14). His divine nature made Him fit for the work of Redeemer; His human body allowed Him to shed the blood necessary to redeem. No human being with a sin nature could pay such a debt. No one else could meet the requirements to become the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Matthew 26:28; 1 John 2:2). If Jesus were merely a good man as some claim, then He had a sin nature and was not perfect. In that case, His death and resurrection would have no power to save anyone.  Because Jesus was God in the flesh, He alone could pay the debt we owed to God. His victory over death and the grave won the victory for everyone who puts their trust in Him (John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 17).
Now, can you see how my simple upcycled project parallels to the working of God in a believer's life?  We take the trash, transform it and give it a new purpose.  We create because God is a Creator.  Through the Cross of Christ, He gave everyone who trusted in Him a total makeover inside and out resulting in a radiant finish (Justification by Faith)  fit for the King's use (Sanctification by Faith). God is a Great Teacher  and I love it when He communicates  with me the deeper things of life by using the everyday mundanes.  And  to think that many souls out there are convinced that God doesn't speak to His people?   How sad and foolish they are!  The truth is they couldn't hear from God because they don't belong to Him in the first place!  They boast about their religions, their charitable affiliations and contributions which would have no real/eternal value for them.  They are spiritually deaf to His voice, blind to the Truth, and outsiders to God's Kingdom because they rejected Christ--the Only Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).  Everyone who belongs to Christ is led by voice of the Holy Spirit whom God placed inside our hearts.  We know that  God speaks to His people in many ways---a gentle voice, dreams and visions, reading of His Word, toggle/prodding in the heart, lessons seen/learned from nature or even people, word/advice from other believers and so much more.  And yes---even in creating paper craft projects!  God is not limited by anything.  As we conform ourselves to His Word, we become more and more sensitive to His move and His voice.  All glory to His Name!

For this upcycled tags. I used a variety of embellishments from different companies.  I love to stamp and color images to embellish my cards so these store bought embellishments had been in my stash for quite sometime.  But since I rushed to submit this project for this Challenge, I had to utilize these ready made embellishments.  It saved me a lot of time.  I'm so happy it turned out great.  So from now on, I would surely save all the sturdy and beautiful tags from future clothing  purchases...LOL 







This Project is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---ATG
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Simon Says Stamp---ATG
Crafty Addicts---ATG/All Loved Up
2 Crafty Critters---ATG with Critters
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Animal Friends---ATG with Animals
Create with TLC---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Crafter's Cafe---Recycling
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Animals---ATG/Animals
Crafty Girls Creations---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Papers
Create and Inspire---ATG
Eclectic Ellapu---Spring is Coming
Fabrika Fantasy---Spring
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Not Just Cards---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.  Can't wait to see what you create. While the Ark of Grace is still accessible for everyone today, God is still in the business of transforming the worthless trash of this world to something shiny, beautiful and purposeful.  If  you want a real meaning to your life, know who you really are in Christ and your true purpose in this world.  If you're being led in your spirit, ask Jesus to come into your life, repent of your Sin,  confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior and begin reading His Word.  You will surely hear His voice in no time!


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