Saturday, November 17, 2018

Joy in Your Presence

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11


I absolutely loved the movie, The Greatest Showman.  Everything about it was pure entertainment, especially the upbeat, positive message of the movie and the endearing music and lyrics.  Every musical piece stood alone as a stellar performance and each had its intrinsic meaning.  The song, Never Enough, was so powerful, though secular in its message.  It did make me think about how empty all the pursuits of this world really are and how our only joy and fulfillment come through our relationship to our heavenly Father.  Our trust and obedience to Christ is what gives our lives meaning.  Earthly relationships and aspirations don't even compare.  Though fictitious, the relationship between Barnum and Jenny Lind was electrifying.  Jenny is portrayed, especially through the song, as being so enraptured by the man in the wings that nothing in all the world would satisfy if she couldn't have Barnum.



When I encountered this verse in Psalm 16, I for some reason thought of the lyrics to the song.  It should be true of the believer's heart that nothing would satisfy like being in the presence of God.  I have often told my husband that I find enjoyment and satisfaction in just being with him.  We don't have to be doing anything special.  I just like to be in his presence.  I feel the same about my God, multiplied!  


When you glance at the verses above the passage, there is even more joy apparent in the psalmist's heart.  I could say exactly the same.  My Wonderful Counselor instructs my heart day and night and leads me in the path of real life.  I need never be shaken because I'm securely held in His might hand.  Look at verse 9 above.  "Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices..."  That is my heart's song when I dwell in the presence of the Lord.  


Truly...all things, all relationships in life will never fill me with the complete joy I find in God.  I LOVE my family, my husband, my children, my grandchildren.  I cannot imagine life without them.  But the joy I know in the presence of God surpasses it all...for I know that in Him and through Him, my family and I have life everlasting.  If I give over my heart completely to God, I will have the capacity for a deeper joy in all earthly relationship too!

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Design Details:   I'm doing something a little different for my post today and I hope you enjoy it.  I'm embedding the process video for this page.  I created the background using gelatos.  I'll show you in the video how I did everything on this page.  And below that are the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps products I used for the page.  The video explains other supplies used.  (I hope it works...I've never done this on a blog post before!)

Click on the arrow to begin.







3 pages of colored print and cut images, scripture prompts and my devotional study
Most of the color images and some images as outlines are included in the digital files of the bundle.


Friday, November 16, 2018

No Prob-Llama


Hey hey! I hope you all are enjoying all the birthday sales and festivities! This week we have 11% off all creative worship stamps and digital printables with code HAPPY11CWDP click HERE to go shop the sales. I am bringing you all a fun festive page in honor of our 11th birthday...


I used the Llama love set and sunshine girl alpha to stamp the imagery. I had lots of fun adding little details to the llamas, like hats, and blankets. These stamps are so fun and really allow you to run wild with your creativity. After stamping I simply used my watercolors to fill in and add color but colored pencils could work as well to give your llamas that festive touch.

Proverbs 12:25 "Anxiety in a mans heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad."


Don't worry about anything! Nothing is too big or insignificant for our Father. Pour out your heart and thank Him in advance for answering and fulfilling  your needs. Lift the burden of worry off your back and place it in our Father's hands. There is no prob-llama too big for Him!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you in the near future, I will be doing some Facebook lives on the Sweet n Sassy stamps facebook page today at 3pm central and on November 26th. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and on my personal page to stay up to date!

Love and prayers
Jenn @creativegurl85



Thursday, November 15, 2018

Justice, Mercy & Faithfulness...

Hi friends,

Have you ever focused so much on little details that you've missed the big picture? Whether it's focusing on the imperfections of our homes and missing the fact that we have one to be grateful for, or nitpicking at the faults of others instead of cherishing the gift of relationship, this is something that I can be frequently guilty of!


Jesus faced people who also focused on the small things instead of the more important matters - those people were called the Pharisees. In Matthew 23, Jesus does not hold back in his criticism of their attitudes, behaviour and heart condition. In this list of rebukes, Jesus points out that the Pharisees were really great at tithing (giving 10%) of every... little... thing (including herbs and spices!!) but they were neglecting the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness.


The Pharisees were so consumed with box ticking in the small matters and making sure they looked good and had done their duty, that they missed the heart of God's instructions: they way they treated people. This verse is very similar to one found in Micah 6:8, and I suspect that Jesus was reminding them of this verse of Scripture (which they would have been familiar with), which says "what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" These three actions/attitudes correspond to Jesus' words in Matthew 23: justice is mentioned first in both, mercy and kindness come from the same Hebrew word, and faithfulness could be described as walking humbly before God. You see, God hasn't changed. The heart of the Old Testament law is the same as the heart of the Kingdom of God that Jesus came to teach and demonstrate. God places the highest value on how we treat one another and how we follow Jesus. It's that simple.


I used one of the stamp sets that you can get for free as a Stamp of the Month during November, called Poppies and Greetings, on this page, watercolouring the flowers. I also used Life in Jesus, Skinny Caps Alpha and Rebecca Script Alpha for the three main words, with little words from Armor of God along with some small alpha stickers to complete the text.




Let's remember to keep focused on the things that matter most to God: justice, mercy and faithfulness. When these things are our priority, the little things tend to take care of themselves, or they get put into their proper perspective!

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Monday, November 12, 2018

Gifts From Above


James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, 
who does not change like shifting shadows."



to see the PROCESS VIDEO for this page, and how I created a full page tip-in! 


For this entry I used Dots and Dust watercolors, Prismacolor pencils, 
Versifine Ink, and the following Sweet n' Sassy Stamps!


How Tweet

Sunshine Girl Alpha

Script Outline Alpha 




Sunday, November 11, 2018

Forgive


Forgive. 

Merriam Webster’s dictionary has this to say about “forgive”:

"Transitive verb. To cease to feel resentment against an offender. To give up resentment of or claim to requital."

Because it’s a verb, it is an action, or a choice. In this case, it is a transition from unforgiven to forgiven. It’s going from holding on to that resentment to giving it up. It’s choosing to say, “I no longer will hold this against you.” It is not saying I agree with what you did, or said, or caused. It’s just an heart attitude shift towards healing.


Many years ago, I was in a very painful situation. One where I wasn’t sure even how to forgive the other person. A very wise person shared with me that the same blood that covered all of my offenses covered the other person’s as well. We both were on equal ground...at the foot of the cross.

Wow! What an eye opener for me. There was no offense worse than any other. Christ’s blood covered them all...equally.

As I’m writing this, the song Reckless Love by Cory Asbury is playing. Those lyrics...Oh the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God!!

That’s what His forgiveness is...it’s love. And He gave it freely. For me. For you. For the one who hurt me. For the one who hurt you. For those who are on equal ground with us at the foot of the cross.

Choose to forgive. Christ did.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love...Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:2, 31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬





Art behind the story:

We are celebrating our 11th Birthday here at Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps, so we all chose done of our past favorites to feature. Hello My Name Is is what I used for the name tag on this page. The background is done with Typewriter Text and Give Thanks. To achieve the subtle background, I inked the words and leaves, and stamped them once on another piece of paper. Then, without inking again, I stamped them directly on the page. 





We are having LIVE demos on our Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps retail page on Facebook, as well as specials each week through out the month of November.  Be sure to be signed up for the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps email newsletter to stay up to date on all the happenings!

Grab a cup of warm cocoa, browse the store, and celebrate with us.

See you soon,


Gayle
Patio Ponderings








Friday, November 9, 2018

Tickled Pink!

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4

Good morning, friends!
Do you delight in Jesus? Does He tickle you pink? He should! When you really think about our amazing God and all He has done for us, how He pursues us, how He loves us, He deserves our trust, our delight. Sometimes, I think we begin to take Jesus and what He did for granted because we've heard and read the stories so many times. But, when I think about it- really think about it- what He's done for me, for us, is indescribable. Jesus left His heavenly throne to come to earth as a man. He became what He had created. Can you imagine? I can't. He's God. Human words can't even describe Him, and He was willing to become a man. And not only was He willing to leave His rightful glory and throne to become a man, He did it KNOWING that He would be dying on a cross for us. And that brings us to the cross. Jesus knowingly and willingly went to the cross. It wasn't a surprise. It didn't just happen. He chose to allow it to happen. At any point of time, He could have stopped it. He's God. He has control over everything. But, He didn't stop it. Instead, He came to this earth as a helpless baby. He lived without much means. He didn't have a permanent home as an adult. He didn't have a lot of material goods. He wasn't like the other kings and "important" people with their palaces and rich living. Then He allowed Himself to be mistreated, physically and emotionally abused, and killed by the people He had created. So, if anyone or anything deserves our delight, IT IS HIM. And yet, so often, we delight not in him, but in things of this world. We allow the world to entice us and give up the true riches of pursuing God completely. So, I'm challenging myself to truly delight in Jesus. To make Him my priority. To pursue and seek Him in all things. And I invite you to that challenge too!

I had fun with this page using Sweet n Sassy Stamps sets: Be a Flamingo, Texture Tiles 1, 2, and 4, and Bitty Minnie Alpha. I also used watercolor crayons for the background.

Today is Sweet n Sassy Stamps' 11th birthday!
We're celebrating all month with promotions. From now through 11/14/18, you can get free shipping on all orders! Don't miss out! 

Have a blessed week, my friends! Andrea

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Practice Hospitality


"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
Hebrews 13:2


Hey guys!
It's Deeds, just SUPER excited to share a couple of MAJOR things going on right now! 
First, just this month, Sweet n Sassy Stamps released some beautiful #tb stamp sets.  Additionally, Korin Sutherland is putting together dream-like deals for the every-day-crafter and bible journaler.  Discounts, deals, and more!  But why?
Well, we're celebrating Sweet n Sassy's Stamps 11th birthday!  11 years old! 
You'll find all the information through videos and posts on the facebook page, the youtube channel and the website regarding the different ways we're celebrating - you don't want to miss out!



Something I've always struggled with is hospitality. Not, not, NOT my strong suit, and I have to work really hard at it.  Being an extrovert doesn't automatically make you a wonderful host and I've become all too aware of how little I practice the heart of God behind "hospitality." 

We read verse after verse in the inspired Word of God about this concept.  It's something that we see throughout scripture in various forms and styles.  We find accounts given to us as examples of God's intentions when it comes to hosting - which is more than just opening the doors of our house.

It's more than interesting to me when God places a "bug in my ear."  That "bug" tends to multiply, crowd, and take over the "free space" in my brain.  But gracious God always lends the helping hand of the Holy Spirit to truly impact and move.  This in turn places the conviction deep down, and I'm caused to visit this area time and again.
Hospitality is often a burden.  God never said it wouldn't be.  In fact, in ALL places of scripture, it's an inconvenient labor of love.  True, authentic, holy love.  It's administered via the belief in God's Word, and taking action on those beliefs.  It starts with the heart. 
So what does hospitality look like, according to scripture?

Hillary @creativefaithco provided a 26-day devotional to help us gear up for such a time as this - the Advent season - called, "The ABC's of Christmas."  Within the pages of this book, we have a letter attributed to something that relates to Christmas, along with scriptural prompts and simple challenges.
"H" is for Hospitality.  Obviously, during this time of year, the crazy of hosting and preparing our homes and lives is inevitable.  However, there's more to hospitality than simply opening the doors of our homes, and it's more than providing a fun place to sip, eat, and party with friends and relatives; it's being aware of the strangers and unknowns of our world and seeking to show them the openness and warmth of the Lord Jesus.  Hospitality in the Bible happens toward those who are otherwise outsiders, outcasts, those without, and those with need.

The process videoand devotion on my channel goes a little further into this, as well as my hopes for myself and my family this year in the matter of being hospitable.  What are your thoughts about hospitality?  Does opening your house seem bothersome when it comes to people you don't know?  If we think about God's idea and mode of hospitality, does that change our thinking at all? 

Much love,
Deeds




Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Protect Me God




“The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say concerning the Lord, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust: He himself will rescue you from the bird trap, from the destructive plague. He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-4‬ ‭CSB‬‬




Blessings,
Colleen

Monday, November 5, 2018

Come into His Presence

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:1-2

God is omnipresent--present in reality at all times.  Every believer also has the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit...God present in us.  So why would scripture allude to a "coming into his presence" as though we could be away from it?  

We've had an absolutely stunning fall around our home place this year.  One breathtaking scene after another appears all along the roads in the short distances we travel nearly every day.




I don't know why, but fall brings me into the presence of God in fresh ways every season.  He created me to love color, so when He displays the splendor of His artistry as these photos barely capture, I am so awed by Him.  I know God is always near me, but there are times when I "come into His presence."  These are times I feel closer, I move closer to Him in prayer or through something His Word speaks to me.   

There have been times when I've been brokenhearted and I come into His presence for an extra measure of closeness and comfort.  When I hold my grandson while he sleeps and I ponder the potential of his life, I come into God's presence.  In worship at my church, I feel God tugging at my heart to forget all those around me and just come into His presence.  His presence is sweet, secure and surges with power. 


I fall so short of being able to adequately describe the wonder and awe of coming into God's presence.  But I know when I do, He is always there, always ready to take my spirit to new heights, to deepen my faith and broaden my vision of His plan for me.  And every time, without fail, when I come into His presence I have to bow in thanksgiving.  That incredible, breath-taking moment of feeling the rush of His presence pulls gratitude from the innermost reaches of my soul.  All that He is, all He has done, all He has planned for me, all He will accomplish...all of Him makes me want to run into His presence and always....always with thanksgiving!
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Design Detail:  I just had to pull out my fallish and very fun printable, Sunflowers and Pumpkins for this page.  These are so perfect for the season.  Here I used a clear, matte finish sticker version of my images.  And just because I could, I layered them right on top of each other.  A few simple splashes on the page and words from one of my favorite stamp sets, Incredible Blessed and a very simple page took only minutes to do.  


You can check both of these out on the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps store page.