Sunday, January 8, 2023

Come, Lord Jesus

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 
Revelation 22:20
Hello friends!
I hope 2023 is getting off to a good start for you. Today our verse is from one of my very favorite books of the Bible, Revelation. Yep, you heard that right. I LOVE Revelation. Yes, it has some pretty scary, crazy stuff that happens in it. But it also has letters to us from Jesus and it shows us Jesus in all His glory. And Jesus, my friends, is outright amazing.

After John gives us Jesus’ letters to the churches, describes God’s throne room, what will happen in end times, and Jesus’ return after the great tribulation, he ends the book with a plea. Come, Lord Jesus. It’s not an unwarranted plea as Jesus has just said He would come soon. So it’s a hopeful plea. Come, Lord Jesus.

God’s timing is perfect. But for me, Jesus won’t come too soon. I’m tired of this world. I’m tired of struggling with my own sin and flesh. I’m tired of watching the world celebrate its sin and flesh. Do you feel tired too? Sometimes it feels hopeless. That’s why truth isn’t tied to our feelings. That’s why joy isn’t tied to our feelings. Because it’s NOT hopeless. And when we’re tired, Who can give us rest? Who invites us to that rest? Jesus is our Savior, our rest, our All in All. He will help us in this world until He comes again. Oh how I look forward to His coming! Come, Lord Jesus! Please come soon.

Page details: I used the following Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps supplies: My Savior’s Love, Funky Textures, Print Blocks Alpha, Armor of God, and Jumbled Hexies Stencil. I applied distress oxide ink to the page with blending brushes for the background and then used the stencil and stamped.

Have a blessed New Year!
Andrea


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Give to Get

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Hi friends!
Last week my pastor preached on this passage. Verse 6 tells us that if we give generously, we will receive generously. The prosperity gospel pastors often use this verse to further their cause. But Paul isn’t saying give more to get more to store and keep it. In verses 8-11, Paul tells us why we should give generously to receive generously- so that we can turn around and give more! God wants us to use what He gives us for the kingdom. Giving generously isn’t a certain amount, it’s in proportion to what you have to give. And giving generously doesn’t always have to be money, it can be time and skills or talents as well. Verse 7 tells us that when we give, we should give cheerfully. We shouldn’t give just because we’re “supposed” to. God doesn’t NEED our help. He wants us to want to help. When my pastor came to our church, he stopped having the plate passed around during the services. This caused giving to go down. The church lost a significant amount of money. But he didn’t want people giving out of compulsion. He wanted them to give out of their love for God. And since he’s been pastoring the church, God has worked in amazing ways. So remember: Give cheerfully generously and receive bountifully so that you can give even more. I have to be honest, I’m not always a cheerful giver. And I could definitely be a more generous giver. So this message hit home for me.

Page details: I used the following Sweet ’n Sassy Stamps products: Get to the Point Alpha, Living Water, To Do List, Script Stencil, Grunge Gears Stencil, and Chicken Wire Stencil. I created the background with distress oxides and stencils. I colored the letters with a colored pencil. 

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Bold

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing them, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

Hi Friends!
Today I'm in Proverbs 28. Verse 1 is perfectly illustrated using the new Lion of Judah set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. And as I was journaling the page, I was thinking about the meaning of this verse. Who are the wicked? Who are the righteous? Do I flee or am I bold? Hmmmm....

Well, we know that the wicked are people who haven't put their faith in Jesus. And the righteous are people who have put their faith in Jesus. Because the righteous aren't righteous by their own doing. Jesus gave them HIS righteousness. So, we, those of us who have put our faith in Jesus, can now claim righteousness through Him. We once were wicked, but now we are not because of Him. 

Now the question is do we flee (& thereby act like the wicked) or are we bold? I think unfortunately, we often flee. We don't rely on Jesus, on His Spirit that is ever-present within us, on His power. Instead we try to rely on ourselves and that doesn't work out so well. Instead, we should be dependent on Him and through that dependence we find our boldness. Because if we are in Him, we have nothing to fear. As Paul said, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) The woes of this world are great. But our Savior is greater. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Let's be bold in Him.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps supplies: Lion of Judah, Knit Stencil, Mixed Up Stencil, Bubbles Stencil, & gel plate. I inked up my gel plate with distress oxide. I wanted to try that instead of paint, and I like the result! I just tapped the ink pad directly onto the gel plate and pressed the inked gel plate onto the Bible page. I then used stencils to add to the background. I finished the page with the images stamped in black. If you haven't tried gel plates, I'd encourage you to give them a try. You can do all sorts of cool things with them and Korin has some in the SnSS store!

Have a great week! Andrea

Saturday, October 8, 2022

He causes it to happen...

Hi friends,


In Job 37, Elihu describes the majesty of God in creation, including His command over snow, ice, wind, clouds and lightning. In the middle of this chapter, he speaks about the reasons for God's control over the weather:

"Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen."


This verse shows us that there are a variety of reasons why God, in his providence, causes or allows things to happen. The first is for correction. There are times when God uses circumstances to correct something that has gone very wrong because of humanity's choices. That correction is intended to lead to repentance and change, not destruction, which is important to remember. The second is for his land. Sometimes things that happen in nature have nothing to do with humans, but are because God cares about his creation and needs to restore harmony or bring nourishment or balance. This is important to remember as there is a tendency in humanity to think that they are the centre of everything, but God makes clear that his heart is for the flourishing of all creation. And the third reason is for love. Because of God's love for the world, he causes rain and snow to fall. Next time we are tempted to complain about the weather (let's face it, that is a pastime for many!), perhaps we should call this verse to mind.


I used the new Snowstorm stencil on this page using Nuvo mousse over a background painted with acrylics. I also used the new Fun Times Alpha set for some of the text, along with Playful Alpha and Seek Him. I used the new Foliage dies to die-cut some leaves from silver glitter paper, then glued them onto the page to finish.

Be blessed...

x Amy x



Sunday, September 25, 2022

Trust Him

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a Son. And he gave Him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:24-25

Hi Friends,
We tend to overlook Joseph. He's in the background. He's a supporting character. But think about what it must have been like for him- first thinking Mary had been unfaithful and then being visited by an angel with an even more astonishing message. Even when he thought Mary had been unfaithful, Scripture tells us that he did not want to disgrace her. He didn't act out in anger towards her or try to shame her. And after the angelic message, Joseph was faithful to complete God's plan. He didn't check out and say, "I didn't sign up for this!" He took Mary as his wife and raised the Son of God. Not much is said of Joseph in Scripture; but what is said shows that he was a godly man who trusted God even in difficult and scandalous circumstances. Sometimes God sends us things in our lives that we didn't sign up for. But let's trust Him like Joseph did. His purpose is good.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps supplies: Let Us Rejoice and the Rise & Shine stencil. I stamped the images and colored them with watercolor crayons. The stenciled the rays with distress oxides.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Jump for Joy

 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. Luke 6:23
When you were a kid, did you jump in piles of leaves? If you did, do you remember the simple joy it brought? When we follow Jesus, our reward is joy. Joy to help us through the hardest of days. It's not a joy that comes and goes, the joy from Jesus is one that is ever present. It doesn't mean we never feel sad or hurt or angry or defeated. It means that no matter what we feel, we have hope in Jesus. And that hope brings joy. We can rejoice no matter what because our God is sovereign over all. He works everything for the good of those who love Him. There is purpose in every situation and circumstance we find ourselves in. Let Jesus' joy get you through the good and the bad.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Happy Scarecrow, Falling Leaves, and Playful Alpha. Falling Leaves is FREE with a $65 order in September! And Happy Scarecrow has a die set available. I used watercolor crayons to color the scarecrow.

Have a joy-filled week! Andrea

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Godly sorrow...

Hi friends,


Have you ever experienced someone apologising to you for something they have done, but then they carry on and do that same thing again in the future? Or have you ever said sorry for something that you later repeated? This is one of the things that bothers me most in my relationships, if I'm honest. It has gotten to the point where I have said to someone "please don't say sorry unless you are going to make a change to your behaviour." It is possible to say sorry, to even feel a measure of sorrow for the hurt we've caused (or the shame we feel), but for us to not to change.


In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul contrasts godly sorrow with worldly sorrow. He describes godly sorrow as bringing repentance, which means a change in direction/behaviour, which leads to salvation (wholeness and healing in life). In v.11, Paul describes godly sorrow even further, describing its effects as including earnestness, alarm, longing, concern, and readiness to see justice done. In contrast to this godly sorrow and its effects, worldly sorry is described as bringing death. I think the reason worldly sorry leads to death is because expressions or feelings of sorry without accompanying repentance (change in direction or behaviour) can lull us into complacency which has dangerous consequences. The feeling of sorrow alone, whether being sorry for hurting others or the shame we feel, does not lead to life. Only repentance - turning around and walking in a new direction - leads to life. How connected are our feelings and expressions of sorrow to our changed actions? That is a challenge to us all.


On this page I had already stencilled some leaves using leftover acrylic paint and the Fall Leaves stencil. When I started adding other things to the page though, I realised the leaves were too dark and competed with other elements on the page, so I added a layer of white gesso over the top to tone it down, which worked well. I applied some subtle colour using gelatos around the edges of the page, blending with my fingers. The leaves were stamped and die-cut using the Give Thanks bundle and coloured with Inktense blocks and an aquabrush. The text was stamped with a few alpha sets: Marker Alpha, Classy Script Alpha, Mini Grunge Type Alpha, and Sunshine Girl Alpha

Be blessed...

x Amy x