Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Wise Woman

The wise woman builds her house, 
but the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Happy Resurrection Day (a day early), my friends! Our Savior is alive; and we are saved!

Today I bring a page from Proverbs that compares a wise woman with a foolish woman. We all want to be the wise woman, right? I know I do. So how can we build our houses? A wise woman builds her house by the leading of the Holy Spirit: with faith, love, self-control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness. Hmmm, sound familiar? When we live by the Spirit, His fruit is evident in our lives and our homes! On the other hand, how can a foolish woman tear down her home? She can do it with anger, strife, resentment, control, complaints, anxiety. It can be so easy to fall into those negative behaviors. But, we, as believers, have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Rely on His power and build your home. We have a lot of influence as women... on our husbands, our children, the world. Let's use that influence for God.

For the page, I used a stamp that's available for preorder called Holy Spirit. It's a great stamp that is perfect for Bible journaling! I also used Love Your Neighbor and watercolor crayons. I used the watercolor crayons a couple of different ways on this page. For the images, I colored them in with the crayons and then went over the color with a wet brush. That activates the color. For the sky background, I took a wet brush and took the color onto the brush from the tip of the crayon and then pounced the brush onto the page. I repeated that process until I liked the depth of color.

Rejoice in Our Resurrected Savior! Andrea 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Christ is Risen!

Happy Easter!

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, 
for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. 
Come, see the place where he lay.  
Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, 
and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him. See, I have told you."
Matthew 28:5-7 

Most who read this post know the Easter story well.  Today we observe Good Friday when Jesus was crucified and buried.  And we know the story didn't end there.  A lot can happen in 3 days, right?  The resurrection changed human history forever.  The verse I've illustrated certainly references all the essential elements of the Christian faith regarding Easter, but I want to focus on two tiny little nuggets in the passage.

"as he said."
"I have told you."

Every minute detail of the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled prophecy.  It happened exactly as God planned.  Jesus knew the plan.  He knew the plan when He shaped the earth, when He flung stars and galaxies into the universe.  He knew you before you were born.  And He already loved you enough to die for you.  He inspired the book of Isaiah and knew when He entered Jerusalem He would fulfill the prophecies of its pages.  He knew every torment He would experience.  He loved you enough--before you were even born, before generations before you were born--to go through the agonies of the cross.  He was willing because He knew the end..  He knew the end would just be the beginning.  
Everything happened exactly
as he said... 
And He's written it all down so you would know
he has told you.

When we celebrate Easter, we not only rejoice in what our Savior did to effect our salvation, we affirm that Jesus was the One prophesied; that what happened to Him happened with intention so the prophecies would be fulfilled to the tiniest detail.  When we understand that all happened exactly as He said it would, we can rest assured that the entire Bible is true and it will happen just as he has told you.  

Art Details:
This was a really simple page to complete.  I splashed on two tones of green to create a partial background.  The flowers were stamped on cardstock, watercolored then fussy cut and adhered to the page.  The words are stamped.

 Thank you for joining we as we celebrate our risen Savior!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Chosen and Loved...

Hi friends,

I have been reading through the Bible using a chronological reading plan this year, and some parts can be really challenging! One book that can sometimes be a bit tough to read is Deuteronomy, partially because it includes a lot of repetition from Exodus and Numbers, and also because there are a lot of laws given that we struggle to relate to everyday life in the 21st century. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to persevere and pray as you read, asking for God to bring revelation to you as you study His Word. Sometimes there is just one verse that jumps out from the page and into your heart, as God reveals something of Himself to you. This happened to me as I was reading through Deuteronomy 7 and noticed verses 7-8...
“The Lord had his heart set on you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your fathers, he brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt."

What a beautiful picture of God's saving grace! God didn't choose us because we were well behaved or intelligent or gifted... He chose us because He set His heart on us and loves us. And guess what? That will never change! Romans 8:38-39 assures us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

I really enjoyed creating this page and meditating on the awesome truth of these words. I used a few different stamp sets for this, and wanted to show you how to stretch your stamps further by selectively inking some of the words. I used Hello My Name Is for the words chose and loves but these words do not appear exactly like this in the stamp set:

I took a few photos of the process so you can see how it's done:

The beauty of the high quality clear stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy is that you can choose to ink only portions of the stamp. In this case I left off the 'n' from chosen, and the 'd' from loved. I then inked just the 's' from saved and stamped this at the end of love, joining up the letters with a Micron pen. I encourage you to look at your stamps and see how you can stretch them to create different or new words - there are so many possibilities!

Here are the other sets I used on this page:

May your heart be encouraged today as you meditate on the fact that God set His heart on you and chose you because He loves you.

x Amy x

Monday, March 26, 2018

Teach Me

It's always a struggle to wake up in the morning.  Always - well, since I started having babies.  I used to be able to literally JUMP out of bed to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  What time?  5:30AM!!!  Yes, I was an early bird, ready for coffee and bible time, and it was as clockwork as the rest of my day.  No pain.  No struggle.  The beckoning of the coffee pot as it "puttered" the last of the drops into the carafe was much stronger than my desire to hit the snooze button one...more...time...
Not anymore.  
Recently, a 4th baby boy was born to us.  Victor.  He is a sweetheart!  However, no amount of sweetness, cuteness, or mild-temperedness makes being a new mom any easier; and when it comes to quiet time at 5:30 in the morning, no amount of coffee can bring the "dead to life."  Not for this mom.
So what do we do when mornings aren't working out for intense bible study like we'd originally hoped?  How do we get to that place where we can say, "Bring it on, Monday," and know we've equipped ourselves with the Armor of God?
Listen up: God knows we are weak, and He shows us grace in the mornings and throughout the day. He knows the rough and tough nighttime routines that drain the flesh, and the heart's desire to still seek him in the Spirit.  He shows grace just by allowing us to catch up on rest, without which, if you're a mom like me, would manifest itself as the "ugly." 
He shows grace when we can't get to that bible study first thing, and grace by giving us little snippets of Himself in other ways, like an end-table devotional, or the verse of the day or a quick mini sermon  on your phone.  These may not be in-depth, per se, but they are beneficial and can sometimes be exactly what you needed to make it through today. 
The verse above was such a grace.  I woke up late, one eye unwilling to open, the other unable to focus; and after a few minutes and some cold water, I glanced at the phone and saw it: EXACTLY what I needed!  It's exactly what I carried with me through the day, and it's something that I think all moms should have tacked somewhere.  
So I "tacked' it in my bible with the stamp of the month for March, "Texture Tiles 1," and this adorable alpha stamp called, "Outline Alpha." With a couple different colors, I brought a nice and soft background in behind this graphic of penguins.  Pretty easy peasy, and so fun. :D
I love this digi-stamp from the Sweet 'n' Sassy Stamps collection.  The longing look of baby penguin to mama penguin rang something tender when I saw it.  Now it's something to remind me of how I feel when I'm so incredibly weak and I look longingly - desperately - at my God for help and instruction.  'Cuz being a mom is hard!  I constantly need the Father's guidance and without Him, I'm the Momster that I try to avoid!
Oh... grace.  God's gracious Spirit.  Wonderful grace of Jesus...
x  x  x  x
Dear Lord, will you TEACH ME!  Lord, I want to do Your will, and Your will alone.  My will doesn't hack it, and it certainly has no place in this tired mind.  Lord, I need Your gracious Spirit again today, even now, and pray that You will plant my feet on level ground.  You are my God.  YOU are my God, and YOUR will is always best!
Y'all, Psalm 143:10 is precious and could potentially stir up the soul to do wonderful things you weren't aware you were capable of, because it's God-breathed.
God breathes life; God gives life; God IS life, and we can trust Him to do amazing things through His word, even if it's on your phone app. 
Much love,
IG: @mrcfuldeeds2010

These are amazing!  Hope you're able to get your hands on them!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Your Identity

I want to propose an idea for you to ponder today and it is this…  “The battles you are facing now are more about who you are becoming and less about who you've been!!!”
Your past is covered under the blood of Jesus but the enemy of your soul seeks to destroy your future.

Growing up I was a pretty confident gal. It wasn't until my adulthood when I began to purpose in my heart to do kingdom business that I began to struggle with confidence issues, self worth, and my true identity. Seems a bit backwards right? One would think that the closer you grow to the Lord the freer you would be in who He created you to be. Yes, this is true but you have to get there 1st and there is a learning curve. The reason it seems a little backwards is because only when I was about my Father’s business was I a threat to the enemy. I was saved, living for Jesus, being the best mom & wife if could, but I wasn't impacting people around me for His kingdom. Satan is not threatened by these things. He doesn't mind if you are saved, he just wants you POWERLESS and INEFFECTIVE for God. When I began to minister to others, walk in my purpose & calling, allowing God to use me in various ways, that's when Satan took notice and boy did he ever take notice. He knows we are girls full of emotions and he knows how to push our hot topic buttons - the ones where our identity is in question. The attacks came and they would shake me to my core. Key word “would”. 

I tell you this to let you in on a secret... We all have or still do at times struggle with walking out our true identity found in Christ alone. The difference is that now we do not allow it to consume us. The thoughts come in our head and we can't help that. It's what we do with them at that point that really matters. To walk in freedom is to be knowledgable of God's Word and put it into practice. I encourage you to be a student of His Word & be a good student at that. When the enemy comes to attack, you just come right back at him with the Word of God. Either what’s already inside you because you have studied to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15) or that which you have looked up to correspond with the attack. Taking thoughts captive looks a whole lots like a pep talk to yourself using the Word as the megaphone. A feeling of unworthiness jumps up in your heart, you say to yourself "no, I am a daughter of the most high God purchased with a great price. I am valuable, loved, and worthy because of Jesus." A thought enters your head about you not being good enough; you speak to the lie in Jesus name and say “no way devil. You are a liar! I am enough because Christ is enough and He lives in me”. You don't need to sound overly spiritual you just need to be matter of fact. You need to speak God's Word over yourself and directly to the lie the enemy had placed in your head. 

When we know He has called us by name (Is 43:1) and He dances over us with singing (Zeph 3:17). When we understand that nothing we can do can change God's mind about loving us (Romans 8:38-39) and that He renews His love for us every morning (Lam 3:22-23). When we allow the truth to transform our minds (Rom 12:2) we are set free and can live out that purpose for which we are called to - and in CONFIDENCE. 

Wield the Sword of the Spirit (Gods Word) over yourself. Tuck these verses (and more) into your pocket. Hold them close to your heart. When you are feeling deflated, unworthy, or unloved... Pull out what you’ve tucked in there and remind yourself that you are a daughter of the most Hight God and that He is crazy about you. The devil will flee and you will walk in freedom. Now, it may take a few minutes for your emotions to catch up with your heart and you might need to speak multiple verses over yourself before you see the change. It will get easier and easier and as time goes on you will become stronger and more confident in the Word. 

The more you are able to take these lies captive and speak truth to yourself the freer you will become and the easier it gets to let it go and walk in confidence. Once Satan realizes he doesn't have power over you anymore then you won't have to deal with it constantly. The enemy wants to cripple you but you now make HIM POWERLESS when you speak the Word of God to him. God will ALWAYS give you the grace and strength to get through the feelings of anything less than a mighty woman of God that YOU are! You are Worthy!

Art: Clear sticker paper and what NOT to do. lol :)
I used some IF printables to complement the awesome SNSS Hello My Name Is 
stamp set.  There were some things I learned along the way. 

1. Ink takes a bit longer to dry on sticker paper & it smudges easier so watch out.
2. When stamping, the ink will bleed and the once crisp image will then become a bit fuzzy around the edges over time as it dries.
3. If you try and take a q-tip to clean up the smudges then it takes off the matte finish of the sticker paper and you see shiny spots.
4. Your pen tends to 'scratch' off the coating as well and can't write as easily.

Even though they have some quirks sticker paper is still a fave technique of mine.

Be blessed! Be encouraged!
IG - @icolorinmybible

Friday, March 23, 2018

God Spoke

In the beginning... GOD SPOKE and everything came to be. That is more than I ever can wrap my head around. Seriously.

My current favorite song is by Hillary Scott,  called Thy Will. Below are a few lyrics from the song...

"It's hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you're God
And I am not"

(Please listen to this song if you haven't. It's so amazing.)

Anyway, this year my word is JOY. I wish this word was that simple. We claim the word for 2018 and then this year is glorious, blissful perfect, right? Except I know that is not what it means. And I know it's not based on my feelings.

Because the noise is telling me so many negative  things right now. The noise is filling my head with  lies. The noise is my own head trying to figure it all out. The noise is distracting me from JOY.

And I need to STOP.
REMEMBER that HE IS GOD and I am not.

He Spoke everything into existence. The universe, the earth, animals, nature,  life. He spoke it, and It came to be. He created me, to live in this timeframe. He is in control of it all. He is the answer to it all. He is God and i am not. I need to cling to this truth.

From later in the song.... "all I got are these 4 words: Thy will be done"

Surrender, let go. All of it. All your worries all your troubles all the sleepless nights. He, the God who spoke, has got you. Trust Him. Believe in Him.

Happy accident. Thats what this page is. I was playing with colors. I wanted a sky or water... honestly I didn't have a plan. And out of no where it's like I created an image that to me represented the voice of God coming out of the heavens... whaaaat? Like only God knew what was happening. I'm not that creative. Lol. It's a beautiful picture to me that shows Gods power. How he spoke the universe into existence.

I used Brea Reese Glitter Inks for background. The words God spoke are from the new Skinny Minnie Alpha Set. The birds are from the Silhouette Woodland Set. And of course the beloved Texture Stamp Set 1. Splatter some paint and call it finished.

Find me on IG st Stirthesoul.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jesus Paid It All

Reading through Leviticus is just top on everyone’s favorite list, right? I think probably not. It’s a hard book to read and comprehend ALL the rules and the laws and the sacrifices.

“Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him. Then slaughter the young bull in the Lord’s presence, and Aaron’s sons, the priests, will present the animal’s blood by splattering it against all sides of the altar that stands at the entrance to the Tabernacle. Then skin the animal and cut it into pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest will build a wood fire on the altar. They will arrange the pieces of the offering, including the head and fat, on the wood burning on the altar. But the internal organs and the legs must first be washed with water. Then the priest will burn the entire sacrifice on the altar as a burnt offering. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.”‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭1:4-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The sacrifices...oh my! A bull for a sin offering. A lamb for a peace offering. A goat for a sin offering. Wait. I thought it was a bull for a sin offering? Or was that a goat for a purification offering? Or was that a burnt offering?

Keeping it all straight was bad enough.  Then can you just imagine the messiness of it? Their were animals everywhere.  Are you smelling a barn yard about now?  If that doesn't curdle your stomach, then there was the blood...blood that was poured out and splattered as an offering. These sacrifices and offerings were made to renew right standing with the Lord.

It was just so much. So messy. I began to think just how thankful I was that I didn’t have to go through all of those sacrifices. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Exactly what did I think Jesus did for me? Wasn’t His death messy and bloody? Oh my. It was far more than messy. I shudder when I think of His personal sacrifice..for me. And for You.

“With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

May I never take His death on the cross for me lightly. Jesus paid it all...all to Him I owe.

The art behind the story:

This page was very simple artistically to create, but very difficult as I pondered the sacrifice of my Lord.

The background consists of oxide ink applied with a sponge and then spritzed with water.  The words are from the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps collection entitled Timeless Hymns.  The blood spatters are from Grunge Elements 2.  

Looking forward to seeing what you all create next.  Have a wonderful Easter!!


Gayle (Patio Ponderings)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

At Your Word

Hey all!  Deeds here with a small blog devo. 😁  I channeled all my Sweet n' Sassy goodies for the month of March; all the new releases are shown in this entry including the "Texture Tile" stamps, the "Garden of Grace" printables, and "Go With" stamp set.  I have enjoyed how well all of them harmonize so beautifully on a page!  

It must have been a bit ridiculous sounding when Jesus (a carpenter) told Peter (an actual fisherman) to try a select "technique" of fishing.  I like to think that Peter would have acted the same way I would have if someone had told me how to do MY job; raise MY kids; hone MY style; enjoy MY hobbies.
Jesus: "Peter, try throwing your net into the water on THAT side."
Peter:  "Lord, ummm, no offense.  I admire you and your skills as a carpenter.  I enjoy hanging out with you, because let's face it, you're fantastically different! But, I'm pretty sure that fishing - as close of a skill as it could be to carpentry - is not something you know anything about.  Maybe leave it to the ones to whom fishing is second nature?"
Jesus: "You'll get fish, I promise."
Peter:  (Chuckles) "Oh, Lord, I appreciate your contribution to my cause.  I'm tired and distraught enough to actually try it your way.  Because you say so, I will throw my nets to THAT side."

I read a great sermon by C.H. Spurgeon regarding this passage.  He went into great detail about a few things that the simple statement, "At your word, Lord, I will..." carries with it.  
It's not a mere saying; it's not trite, or even stale when Peter says it.  It's huge!  It's actually the attitude of one who even IF he has doubts, he's willing to learn.  Even if he's mildly amused by Jesus' call to trust, he's also curiously drawn into Jesus Himself.  I think that's wonderful.  If we think in any way that we have MORE or even LESS faith than Peter, we don't know Peter very well.  He's prime example of the average person in his or her journey to get to know and love Jesus Christ.

Spurgeon writes that there are 3 implications that come when we say, "At Your word Lord, I will..."  
❶  The Word of Christ is supreme rule of the Christian. When we become Christians, Christ's Word has the overall authoritative position in our hearts.  The way of a Christian is to live according to His word; the position we take in Christ is that of "slave" under a perfect "Master" and "Lord."  We submit to this supreme Authority, and in all we do, live under His Word, which is the Bible. 
❷  The Word of Christ is our sufficient warrant.  Warrant?  For what?  Spurgeon says, "If the Lord Jesus Christ has bidden you do this, you certainly may do it; and if any shall ask you why you believe on Him, this shall be your triumphant answer, 'The King gave me the command to do so.'”
That is fantastic!  The King has given us all liberty to do what He has bid us to do!  I love the thought of being able to proceed with something that I'm called to do, and knowing that with that call comes absolute power and strength from the Lord Himself!  Peter has been told to do something, which then he has the absolute right and expectation of Jesus to go forth AND really catch some fish!  
❸  To keep the Master's Word is to ensure a reward!  The Lord promises reward.  He rewards for those who follow, trust, and act in Him.  If there is any question or doubt as to the legitimacy or certainty of something God is bidding us to do, we have only to remember: doing the Lord's work (whatever ministry we are called to) ensures that one day we will be rewarded for it.  Peter saw reward at that moment following his cast into a lake that he was certain was non-profitable.  We may not see the reward quickly, or in our best estimations, timely.  But know that what the Lord promises, He fulfills.  What does the scripture say?  For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. (2 Cor. 1:20)

So, now what?    
As Christians today, we DO have a calling and we CAN DO it in Jesus Christ because He has called us to it.  As tired or as distraught as we may feel, let's not give up, friend!  Don't let the enemy take from you all that Jesus has built up in you to use for His glory!  Believe His Word is supreme authority in your life; remember that we have power because His word is a warrant from a KING; and we WILL be rewarded.  God tells us to continue in faith because our labor (our ministry for the kingdom) is not in vain, and there will be fruit!  

God bless you in YOUR callings!
Deeds (Instagram: @mrcfuldeeds2010, Youtube: mrcfuldeeds)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Grow in Virtue

"So don't loose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus." 
2 Peter 1:5-8 (Message Translation)

The latest printable devotional is so amazing this month! Stop and go pick it up right now HERE. I loved reading and studying all the scriptures Diane used this month! I was so inspired by the oncoming season of spring and the changes and growth that need to take place in my own heart. 

I used the Skinny Minnie alpha to stamp out part of the title and added a personal touch with some hand lettering.  I had a little space at the bottom of the page that perfectly fit the prayer Diane wrote at the end of the devotional. Next and finally I chose to doodle some floral swags and roses around the page to accent the verses and fill the page with color. A splash of watercolor, a few squiggly lines from my black artist pen, and a few accents from my white signo gel pen and the page was complete.
This was a wake up call to me...maybe this is just the reminder you needed today. Take time to grow, spend time in the word, praying, worshiping, and meditating. Your time will always be rewarded. Praying you all have a blessed week!

Hugs and Prayers,

Monday, March 19, 2018

Flourish From The Rain

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you all had an amazing and restful weekend! I myself have been crazy busy this past week and through the weekend, but I did take time to rest on Sunday yesterday, as we all should! Anyway, lets get to it! 😀

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
- James 1:2-4

The page I am sharing with you today comes from a somewhat personal place at the moment. Not about trials I am personally going through, but someone close to me. Watching someone you know and love struggle with decisions in their life, or even things that happen to them that are simply out of their control, it can really take a toll on you. You can try to be there for them in every way you know how, and yet sometimes all you can do is pray for them! But praying for them is such a powerful way to help them! I had recently heard someone say, "I needed to grow, so God watered me." Wow! What a powerful way to think about that! Just like the plants need the rain to grow, so do we!! 

Sometimes we struggle through times in our life, feeling emotionally exhausted and worn out, and we may even think "God where are you? Why are you allowing this to happen to me?!" But the truth of the matter is, He is STILL THERE! He is always there! He never leaves our side. It is through our trials and struggles in our life that we are able to grow closer to God and deeper in our faith. In James 1:2 it says "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." When you look up the word Steadfastness you find the following definition: 

Steadfastness: sure, dependable, reliable, constant, unwavering. Steadfast, staunch, steady imply a sureness and continuousness that may be depended upon.

Though these times are anything buy easy, you should find comfort in the fact that God is simply "watering" you! He is making you stronger in your faith, as a person, and in your life. With Him by your side, you will come out on top and stronger than ever. You will make it through this difficult time! James 1:2-4 is a verse that has comforted me as my loved one goes through their hard time and all I can really do is continue to pray for them. And after reading and meditating on this verse, I now pray that they will grow and flourish from the rain.

Creative Details: For this page I covered my page with clear matte gesso and added a watercolor background. I then started applying some of the March printables from the set Garden of Grace printed on clear sticker paper. I used acrylic paint to paint the water falling from the watering can and then embellished the rest of the page with the following stamps.

Thanks for checking out my post today! I hope you all have an awesome week!

Stephanie Gammon

Texture Tiles 1
Garden of Grace Printable
Skinny Caps Alpha
Mini Grunge Type Alpha