Thursday, January 17, 2019

Be Humble, Gentle and Patient

Ephesians 4:2-3
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 
Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace."

I don't know if it's because Valentine's Day is approaching or what, but I woke up super grateful for my husband the day I created this page. My husband and I don't pay too much attention to Valentine's Day in particular, mainly because our anniversary is the next month and we rather focus on and celebrate that occasion instead. But it's also important that we celebrate our significant other all the time, not just on special occasions. 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day activities and to-do lists that its really easy to take each other for granted! I know I'm guilty of it myself sometimes! We all are at one point or another. When you're a part of a couple, you each have you're own role, or duties you typically take care of while you partner has others. And sometimes, you get so use to your husband or wife taking care of those things, you take it for granted that they always get done. 

There are some days my husband comes home and all I can seem to do is focus on negative things, or the things he isn't doing. And in turn, sometimes he comes home and instead of seeing how much I took care of all day long, he only sees the laundry that is still sitting on the sofa, or the kids toys on the floor, dinner not cooked, etc. It's all too easy to see and point out things someone isn't doing. But it is so important that we seek out and celebrate the best thing is our husbands and wives. We all have our own set of pressures that others can't always see. Pressures we sometimes hide from others because we don't want to burden them with that stress.

Ephesians 4:2-3 tells us we should be humble, gentle, and patient. Bearing with one another in love! God brought me to my husband, paired us together and blessed us with the life we are living and I could not be more grateful. He is my rock when things get rough, my biggest supporter, the father to my children, my friend and my love. He works so hard to support his family and he loves us unconditionally. What more can you ask for? So I need to continue to remind myself to be humble, gentle, and patient when things may seem less than perfect. I can't always see all the stress swirling around in his head, and he can't always see mine. So we need to bear with each other, through it all, and grow together in love. 

Life isn't perfect, it's just not possible. So hold on to the people God has blessed you with, and treat them with love and respect. 

Prayer: Thank you Lord for my husband! I am beyond grateful for him and all the blessings we have in our life. Please help me to not lose sight of the little or big things. I pray that I always see the best in him and that I can always be a loving and supportive wife. May we always make you the center of our marriage. 

Stephanie Gammon

His Love 

Skinny Caps Alpha 

Grunge Elements 2

Mini Grunge Type Alpha 

Texture Tiles 3

Bitty Minnie Alpha

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I Know the World Needs Jesus

Hey friends and family!

I'm so in love with Jesus.  Can I just say, without the Lord I would be absolutely sunk!  There's so much that comes by being in the family of Christ; so much worked into being linked to Jesus, and there's not enough paper to write it on, according to John the disciple.  :)

Jesus is the hope of the world.
The Word of God in human flesh and form.
The reason for joy; the meaning of love.

Last Sunday, I was able to attend the church service.  Does this sound odd?  Well, in the phase in which I find myself presently (baby, sick kids and fatigue), I find that getting to the church house for fellowship and feeding, ministry and service comes as quite the challenge.  When I get to go, I'm thrilled, refreshed and reconnected with friends I have - SERIOUSLY - not seen in months. 

There's something sweet about the encountering of Jesus in all of the ways mentioned above.  When we fellowship with people of the family of God, we share Christ, unity, bonding, and much more.  When we are fed from the pulpit or classes, we hear Jesus, and our faith is strengthened.  When we minister, we are sharing Jesus' love and hope with others, whether it's a hug of understanding, a warm smile of encouragement, or tears shed for the sake of weeping with those who weep.  Service, of course, shows Jesus' life and light in ways that we don't understand because outside our physical realms lies the heavenly one, wherein angels are entertained, and God omni-present! 

The reflections of Jesus to others (inside or outside the body of Christ) can have such an eternal affect on those around us.  Wherever we are; whatever we are.
As a mom, in particular and especially, I forget what ways I'm impacting my children.  They are my "world."  They are the viewers of my life; the spectators of my day-in-day-out activities and reactions. 
God reminded me of this again last Sunday...

The worship music started.
There was unity in song.
There was blessedness in community.
At one point, I simply stood in silence and listened as those around me as they lifted the name of Jesus.  Sometimes there was 3-part harmony, but I wasn't noting that as much as the squeeze I felt at my side.

My daughter. 
My only daughter.
My child.

She'd stayed with me and stood by me for songs and announcements.  It was just the two of us there at the time as hubster elected to stay with the sicklies of the house, giving me a worship service.  
Very different, yet strangely wonderful. 
As we sang, the phrase, "I know the world needs Jesus," entered the worship hall.  Have you heard this song?
The chorus goes like this: 

"I know the world needs Jesus.
I know the world needs freedom.
So give us eyes to see the hurting and the broken.
Let our lives align with every word You say."

It's beautiful.  Following the chorus, it weighed heavily on me - almost to sorrow - what God was saying by the seemingly random side hug from my baby girl.  "Your children need Jesus, Deirdre.  All five of them.  They all need Me, and you need to show Me to them." 

I cried. 
For the first time in my life as a mom, I realized that the person of Jesus - the Healer, Restorer, Savior, Redeemer, and King - was not the subject of conversation on a regular basis.  My children - my "world" - did not know Jesus, and further still, did not know their need for Him. 
Oh, the shame and pain. 
Oh, the guilt of having hidden the Light under a basket.

That day changed me.  The Spirit opened me up to humbling and recovery.  I need to do things differently at my home.  I even changed the lyrics of the song above in order to better relate to my calling.

"I know my kids need Jesus.
I know my kids need freedom.
So give me eyes to see their hurting and their breaking.
Let my life align with every word You say."

So...I slipped this entry into Proverbs 22:6 which says, "Train up a child in the way he should go.  And when he is old he will not depart from it."  I believe with my whole heart that being the Light in my "world" is a good portion of what it means to train my children in the understanding of God.  My reflecting Jesus, sharing His Word, and being His hands and feet to them can impact them for life in the way they should go!

I encourage you, friends, wherever you are and whatever you are: seek to be Jesus to your "world."  If God has not called you to a full-time ministry as pastor's wife, missionary, bible translator, bible professor, don't worry.  He's called you to full-time ministry as mom, wife, Wendy's employee, amusement park vendor, garbage man, you name it!  In your "world," there are people who need Jesus.  In your "world," there are those who need to taste and see that He is good; they NEED freedom from the chains of sin, death and hell that can only be granted by faith in Jesus the Christ.

I love God the Holy Spirit.  I love His biddings.  Yes, sometimes they are difficult to swallow and digest, but they are timely mercies.  They are gracious urges to do that which is of utmost importance!
In God's mercies and much love,

Happy Alpha, Girl Power, Brotherly Love, Sunshine Girl Alpha

Monday, January 14, 2019

Sweet on You

Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful." Song of Solomon 1:15-16

Hi Friends!

Today I'm in Song of Solomon, a book of love. This book tells the love story between a king and his bride. It's an allegory of God's love for us. Throughout the Bible, there are many verses that speak to how much God loves us. And, Christ is portrayed as the Bridegroom with the church as His bride. In Revelation 19:6-9, the marriage supper between Christ and the church is described. So, you could say, He is sweet on us! Not because of anything we've done, or because of who we are, or because we deserve it. He loves us because that's who He is- Love.

It's His character. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, love is described. And the love described is God's love for us. His love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It's not dishonoring, self-seeking, or easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. It delights in truth, protects, hopes, never ends...never fails. Wow. God's love for us is truly amazing. Look what He did for us because of that love: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) I'm sure most of us are familiar with that verse. We know what Christ did for us. But please don't take it for granted. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." He chose the cross. He knew every one of our sins, and all the times we would betray Him, and even then, He chose the cross so that we could be redeemed. He loves us that much. There really are no words that adequately describe that kind of love.

So know, friends, that you are truly loved. On those days that the world beats you down, when you feel unlovable, remember He's sweet on you. He loves you. He is with you every step of the way.

Page details: I used 2 brand new sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps called Heart Candy and Happy Alpha. They are both so much fun! I used scrapbook paper to piece together the candy box. And I highlighted the letters with a white pen.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Guard your Heart...

Hi friends,

Have you ever heard a verse quoted so often that it begins to lose meaning for you? Or maybe its been quoted out of context in an unhelpful way? I've heard the verse 'Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life' (Prov 4:23) many, many times. Unfortunately, it was often in a context of covering or excusing other people's words and behaviour and laying  responsibility at the feet of the person who had potentially been hurt. For this reason I got to the point of almost 'eye-rolling' when I heard this verse - which I admit is a very poor response to the word of God! It really is the opposite of 'guarding your heart' ironically!

So as we approach Valentine's Day (and I have heart-themed stamps to play with!) I looked up 'heart' in the Bible and this verse came up. Instead of rolling my eyes, I decided to illustrate this in my Bible and meditate on this scripture in order to hear God's truth. The thing that I realised is that guarding our heart is not about not letting hurt or disappointment touch or affect us. It's not about being robots that don't feel pain or about ignoring the hurtful behaviour of others (which many times needs to be addressed). This scripture is encouraging us to guard our heart with the word of God (read the surrounding verses that talk about paying attention to the writer's words).

You see, when the word of God guards out heart, it will act as a filter for what goes in and what goes out. When hurt or disappointment comes to our heart, the word of God gives us God's perspective, grace and healing. When praise and success come our way, the word of God guards against pride and self-sufficiency. When lies are spoken into our ears and want to filter their way into our hearts, the word of God guards against their impact, holding up the shield of truth to deflect the darts of the enemy. So how do we guard our heart? Fill it up with the word of God! Saturate your heart in the Scriptures. Meditate and memorise God's truth.

I had fun creating a background with gelatos on this page, stamping and using alphabet stickers over the top to create the verse. I drew the red heart first, adding layers of colour around it in rainbow order, then blended the colours with clear gesso and my finger (messy but fun!). When this was dry I went back over the top with some more colour, blending it with my finger again over the background to intensify the colours.  I used the new Stamp of the Month, Filigree Hearts, as well as Happy Alpha and All Your Heart on this page.

Let's guard our hearts with the word of God and allow his truth to shield every part of our lives!

x Amy x

Friday, January 11, 2019

Love is...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

1 Corinthians 13 is a definition of love--God's perfect, pure love.  I'm a teacher.  When I assign my students vocabulary words, I often have them do it in a Frayer Model-style.  This is a model to help students fully understand a concept by identifying a word's definition, its characteristics, its examples, and its non-examples.  Basically, it helps to understand what something is by also understanding what it isn't. Here is what the model looks like for the word "turtle":
1 Corinthians 13, although not technically a Frayer Model in design, uses the same characteristics to help us understand the concept of love.  It describes love, giving examples, as well as non-examples.
Love is...
Love does not...
Love always...
Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, knew that describing what love wasn't would help them understand what love was.  And what it wasn't was more like the love this world has to offer.  Paul contrasts God's perfect love to the imperfect love that we usually see and experience in this world.  The only time we can experience this perfect love is when God is in the picture. This love is God's character; and only when we allow His character to reign in our hearts can we love with this God-character love described in these verses.  
Art Talk:
For this page, I used some patterned papers that a dear, sweet friend sent to me.  I stamped the letters L-O-V-E with the In Stitches Alpha stamp set and cut them out.  Then I stamped and fussy cut a series of hearts onto the papers using this month's Stamp-of-the-Month Filigree Hearts. I printed out the verses 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 onto card stock, cut out each phrase, and then pasted a phrase onto each of the little cut-out hearts.  I made a tag that says LOVE, and then used a vellum envelope to store the little hearts. I created a background on the Bible page with some Shimmerz Inklingz (A Rose by Any Other Name), some stamping and splattering.  I then embossed a heart and the cursive "love" (using the His Love set) onto the front of the vellum envelope.  I placed a scrap of hymn paper inside it, as well as all the little hearts.  I added a tag to the top of the page with some washi, and then adhered the large LOVE tag to the page.  

These little hearts can be removed from or viewed through the vellum envelope.

Thanks for joining me today.  I pray that you'll be able to experience God's true, perfect love today.  




Thursday, January 10, 2019

God Is With Us

I’ve been reading in Job this past week. In the first few chapters the tragedies that enter Jobs life are hard. Some of the hardest things I think most of go through... maybe even harder. He loses so much: family, livestock, servants. He was covered in sickness. 

It had to seem like to much. And yet Job didn’t blame God. He didn’t get angry at God. He must have had great faith. He must have been confident in who He believed God. He knew God was with Him. He didn’t leave him. 

How many of us need to look at Jobs life and how He cling to God even in the hard. How He didn’t fill his heart with bitterness... he just kept following God. 

““You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭CSB‬‬


I used paint and watercolor to create the background. The heart is from the Filigree Hearts Stamp Set. Alpha letters are from: Mini Grunge and Chunky Alpha Caps. 


Monday, January 7, 2019

His Banner Over Me

Hey friends! Brittany here for the first time in SUCH A LONG TIME! I’ve missed sharing and writing and hope you guys enjoy what I share! This week I did a fun page using new stamps from this months release.

Rebecca designed Heart Candy and Korin designed His Love and I think they go great together! So I wanted to use them both on my page! I used heart candy all over to make it look like they were falling down and jumping off the page. I also used the new Happy Alpha for the word “love”. Some hot pink watercolor and an ombré ink pad did some awesome color work here! 

He is our TRUE LOVE and he is asking us to BE MINE everyday! He has a banner over us 24/7 that is complete love, not hate, not kinda like but pure love. Enjoy tht love and realize it’s a free pure love, no strings attached! 

<3 Brittany