Thursday, January 30, 2020

Showing Grace

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Phil. 1:2)

Hello, sweet friends.

Have you seen the news?  Have you been hearing?  Can you see and believe all the damage that happens when a life has ended abruptly, suddenly, without warning, without understanding?
We hear of tragedy and displacement of people who may or may not have known the Lord.  We encounter people one day, sometimes to find out such an encounter was the last.  And...

Suddenly, we feel it.  

"Famous" and "non-famous" alike, lives around us fall; we lose the presence of someone who impacted us, or possibly had no bearing on our lives at all until the moment we found out they passed…
Not a big fan of basketball myself, I was still struck with sorrow upon hearing about Kobi Bryant.  That's how much a death can impact someone.  
When life seems to take us on an unexpected and unwanted journey of loss and sorrow, an element of time comes to play.  Questions of how we're using our time - what our time goes to; how we allocate and divvy it up between tasks and checklists, vacations and sabbaths, investments and relationships - launch themselves forward from what used to be a less conscientious platform.  
We may even realize that though we make plans and stake plans, something bigger and more powerful than our strongest efforts is truly in control; a Higher Up is moving; Someone else's plans are unfolding.  To this, the Bible helps us:
"A person's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
 Things that happen around us shape us, change us, cause our trajectory to shift - and so it should!  The reality of our finite-ness should turn our trivial pursuits into deep searches for something more; something bigger; something permanent and less fleeting!

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 5:14-16)

To be clear, being light in a dark place is not to the exclusion of the event of death or disaster.  Being the unhidden lampstand is something that is commanded of us because we have received the Light, who is Jesus.  Our mission is to become like the Light, that others may see the Light and turn from their darkened paths. 
Certainly, however, the power of these forces typically lend themselves as potential catalysts for the proclamation of God, His love, and His truths, namely:
God is holy.
God is kind.
God is good.
God is not partial - He does not respect one person over another (Acts 10:34-38), and as such desires that all would turn and receive His grace (2 Pet. 3:9).   All.  Which is why there are still outreaches and ministries aimed at the "lost."  Groups of people all over the world sacrifice much to bring the Holiness of God to unreached and unsaved.  By God's grace, He tarries that more would find Him.
This is also why I continue to make and share cards of this nature, that by some chance - in some way far beyond my scope of understanding - they may be used to bring others to know and/or love the Lord our God more and better.
It's why this project is called, "Showing grace."
God's grace.
God's favor to mankind. 

So, what is God's grace about? 
Well, I've heard it explained many different ways.  One way being "grace" defined as the ideal of co-existing with all people, the condoning of all lifestyles and beliefs, the extinguishing of moral absolutes, and the relenting of personal standards that all may live in "harmony."  As though all of us may have our own "way" and none of us must submit to any certain grouping of precepts and statutes.
Sadly, this is the direction our culture has traveled.  The true grace of God has been diminished by our desire to "keep the peace."  Our disinterest in confrontation, in defense of God's holiness and love, has faded under a non-eternal view of relationships, for the here and now.
Oh, my friends.  Let's not tarnish the power of the cross in the name of tolerance.  Let's not continue in thinking that your way and my way is "ok," lest Jesus conquering death and hell mean nothing to you or to me! Here's a number of verses talking about that very thing:

We are SAVED by the grace of God, to live victoriously by the grace of God, out from under the power of sin and death, not to live enslaved to the flesh. 
The Bible (in the letter of Paul to the Romans) says, "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means!" (Rom. 6:1-2b)  
Grace - God's UNDESERVED, UNEARNED favor - is given us in abundance that we may better live the life He's given to us in Jesus.  The time we have is to live in prophecy and testimony of the One who has come and made all things new; the One who became the first among many to raise from the dead; the One who conquered death and sin on our behalf that our lives may reflect His life and glory!
"The word 'grace' in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God's activity toward man, or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward man…
While all of this is in the context of the grace of God as a gift versus the Law of God as a work, nevertheless grace is viewed as reigning even as we live the life we are supposed to live in Christ." (
Grace is not God's favor moving among man at the expense of His holiness; grace is God's favor toward man that man may become holy.  Set apart.  Like Jesus.  
The grace (both broad and narrow) that the Lord shows us, and subsequently the grace that we ought to show each other, is founded and administered in truth - His Word.  

My sweet friends, I love you.  I love you so much, and this is one of the hardest things for me to talk about.  Mainly, I have close friends and relatives who refuse the grace of God to live in sin; to live in lies; to live in unrepentance and hardness of heart.  It hurts me, and I know it hurts the Lord...

God is love, and God is truth. 
Who do you know that needs to hear of God,
who needs to know they have a Savior,
who needs to understand better the power of the Holy Spirit unto salvation and holiness, that, if you only had this time to tell them, would be able to understand and receive the grace that draws them to the Father?
Do you know how much time you have to tell them?
Is next week guaranteed?
What about tomorrow?
We are not saved, save it be for God's grace toward us.
For the sake of God's glory and holiness, share Christ, though it may be through confrontation.
For the sake of their eternity, show grace, though it may cause "disharmony."
For the sake of the Gospel, "speak the truth in love," that perhaps by God's grace, one may hear and turn from death to Life.

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil.1:2)

IG: @mercies_journaled
Please DM me with any questions!

Stamp sets used: Grace So Amazing, Scribble Flowers, What a Savior
Find them all in the Sweet n Sassy Stamps store!

PS - the full process video for this project is here, on my Youtube Channel!  Thank you again for using my Sweet n Sassy Stamps affiliate link to do your shopping!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Crafted by the Creator

For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise you

because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.

               Psalm 139:13-14

How amazing is procreation?  That a couple of cells come together, multiply, and form a completely unique life?!?  How can that be anything but a miracle from God!

Each of us were hand-crafted by God for a special purpose.  We have a role that no one else will ever have.  He created us with special gifts and talents, to use in the fulfilment of His plan. 

How can you find your purpose?  Look to the Bible and talk to the Father.  He will help you find your way.  

Thank you Lord, for the unique purpose we are created for. I pray we glorify you! -Amen 

Page Details:

I already had an entry for this verse in my Illustrating Bible:

I decided a tip-in was the perfect way to journal it again, from a different prospective, and I was able to do some journaling on the back of the page.  I created my tip-in using Canson Watercolor paper.  I blended Distress Oxide Inks on the page to make this vibrant background and then traced a silhouette of a baby in the womb. I painted the image with black acrylic paint.  I used the new With Love Alpha and Mini Grunge Type Alpha to stamp out my verse. This is my new favorite alphabet combination!  I punched the edge with the We R Memory Keepers punch board, using the gold spiral punch and it fits perfectly in the spiral binding of the Illustrating Bible.

Here's what it looks like all tucked in its place!

he stamp sets I used:

I would love to connect with you on Instagram.  You can find me @simplyjilljourney

ntil next time, I wish you many blessings,


Monday, January 27, 2020


The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. 
He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7

Hi Friends,
Today I'm in Nahum 1. And verse 7 sounds pretty good, right? The Lord is good. Yep, so true. He is a refuge in troubled times. Yep, yep! He cares for those who trust in Him. That sounds right. I will trust in God. That's such a simple sentence, 5 little words. And, it may be easy to trust God in good times. But, what about those troubled times verse 7 speaks of? It might not be so easy to trust God then...

Let's read verse 8, "But with an overwhelming flood He will make an end of Nineveh; He will pursue His foes into the realm of darkness." Uh-oh, that's not sounding so good. See, Nahum was a prophet declaring God's judgment on Nineveh. Nineveh had not trusted in God. Instead, they oppressed God's people. So, verse 8 didn't sound good to the people of Nineveh, but the people of Judah would have taken hope in the fact that Nineveh, who had treated them so poorly, would soon come under God's judgment. The faithful remnant in Judah, who were going through oppression and difficult times, who trusted God even in that difficulty, would have been refreshed by Nahum's words that the Lord is good, that He is a refuge, that He cares.

So what does that mean for us? Can you relate to the faithful of Judah? They were surrounded by people who had fallen into idolatry. They were oppressed by other nations. Their world was dark. Have you ever been discouraged by the world around you? Yeah, me too. Take hope. God is good. He is our refuge. He cares for those of us who trust in Him. No matter your circumstance, trust Him. Trust that He is actively working in your life, and that His plan is ultimately good even if you can't see that good right now. Trust Him, friends. He's the only One who truly deserves our trust.

Page Details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps: Trust in the Lord, Typewriter Text Background, and Texture Tiles 1. The background color was done with distress oxides. I used sponge daubers to pick up the ink from the pad and apply to the page. With the daubers, I blended the colors until I liked the way it looks. When blending, I'll pick up the lighter color and apply it over the darker color to help blend the 2 colors.

Have a blessed week, friends! And trust Him. :) Andrea

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Strength in Weakness...

Hi friends,

We live in a world that values power and strength, and looks down on weakness as a negative thing. I personally don't like the notion of being weak. I don't know about you, but I look for ways to become stronger or to hide my weaknesses. But in the kingdom of God, things are upside down from the way the world operates.

Paul, who could boast in his pedigree and many accomplishments (see Philippians 3), chose instead to boast in his weakness, because he knew that when he was weak, the power of Christ was strong in him. You see, when we have nothing to offer in ourselves, we can only rely on and point to Christ in us, and that is a reason to rejoice.

This is how Paul could be content in hardship, weakness, even calamities, because he knew that when he was weak in these situations, he was actually strong because Christ's power was at work in him. So too with us. Instead of running from weakness or pain, perhaps we need to learn to rest in the strength of Christ in us, knowing that in the 'upside down' kingdom of God, weakness is actually strength in submission and reliance on Jesus.

I used one of the verses from the new Grace so Amazing set released this month, along with the adorable deer image from Fur-ever Friends and the flowers from Birds & Blooms. The images were stamped with Versamagic and watercoloured using Art Philosophy watercolours. Here are the sets I used:

I pray that we would learn to rely on the strength of Christ in us when we feel weak, for when we are weak he is strong.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Friday, January 24, 2020

You Are Better

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11


All the money that the world could hold
Mountains made of solid gold
Riches that could buy my dreams
You are better than all these things

The prettiest face to turn their eyes
Beauty that could hypnotize
The open doors that looks may bring
You are better than all these things

Your love is better than life
You are the well that won't run dry 
I have tasted and I have seen
Oh, You are better than all these things

Power that could shake the moon
Most important one in every room
Status matched by only kings
You are better than all these things

Your love is better than life
You are the well that won't run dry
I have tasted and I have seen
You are better than all these things

Being liked and loved by everyone
Approval that outshines the sun
Cheered by all who think of me
You are better than all these things
You are better than all these things

You are better
Oh, you’re better
I have tasted and I have seen
You are better than all these things

Your love is better than life
You are the well that never runs dry
I have tasted and I have seen
You are better than all these things

You are better than all these things

When I first heard this song by Pat Barrett I was completely captivated by the lyrics of the chorus. Your love is better than life (Psalm 63:3), You are the well that won’t run dry (John 4:14); I have tasted and I have seen (Psalm 34:8); You are better than all these things (Philippians 3:7-8). It was a beautiful declaration of love for the Lord.

But as I dug deeper into the verses I began to see so much of myself and how I have pursued so many other things before being in full pursuit of Christ. Matthew 6:33 reminds us that we are to seek first His Kingdom, but for many of us, that is often not our first pursuit. We have jobs that we ambitiously work at for more money thinking that it will help us buy our dreams. We spend endless hours at the gym working toward a certain look that we believe will help us turn heads. We try harder and harder to climb the proverbial ladder to gain an importance that will help us reach our goals. We do whatever it takes to gain others’ approval, even if it means sacrificing relationships. We live day in and day out to make our name great or to get as many “likes” as we can on social media. We pursue and pursue and pursue but it is all worthless compared to knowing and tasting and imitating Christ every day. We can be the richest, most powerful person in our workplace but if we are not humble servant-leaders, we are nothing. We can have the leanest and strongest body or the prettiest face but if we are not kind hearted and compassionate, we are nothing. We can be the most popular person in our social circle and have the most followers on Instagram but if we are not genuine and Christ-like in our words and actions, we are nothing. 

I love what Paul says in Philippians 3, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Here he was, a murderer, and no doubt very highly esteemed in his day. He was brave, he was powerful, he was prestigious and he says that all of what he had gained in his life was rubbish compared to knowing Christ. Everything that he had worked toward building in order to make his own name great was worthless compared to the faith that he now has in Christ. 

Oh, dear friends, let us set aside our own agendas, our own desires and our own ladders in order to really KNOW Christ and be found in Him. Let us feast every day at His table and taste His goodness. Let us declare with boldness, “You, Lord, are better than ALL these things!”

Page Details

I started my page by blending together some distress oxides in Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber. I then used one of my favorite sets, Scribble Flowers, to add a fun flower border to the page along with my Illustrated Faith pen to draw the remaining border. The words are stamped with a mix of Teeny Alpha and With Love Alpha. I wrote the lyrics to “Better” in the bottom corner to remind me that Jesus, truly is, better than ALL these things. 

Have a great weekend, friends!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Amazing Grace

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." 
Romans 5:20-21

𝆕"Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

The Lord hath promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun."𝆕
-John Newton

Today's blog post is simple, but full of truth. God's grace is so amazing. Instead of abounding in anger or judgement, God abounds in grace and love. You can't out-sin the grace of God, for where sin is, God's grace abounds even more. 

I used the stamps, watercolors, vellum paper, and embossing powder to create this little entry in my Illustrating Bible. I first stamped flowers from the Itty Bitty Blossoms stamp set in the general area I knew I wanted my phrase to go, then messy colored them with watercolors and splattered a few of the colors over the page. I was originally planning on embossing the Grace so Amazing stamp directly on the page, but then remembered I had vellum paper and thought it would be a great overlay with the flowers in the background so went with it. 🎕 I love how it turned out! This page only took me about 20 minutes to do (the longest part being the embossing because I'm still learning that technique), but gave me time to think on the amazingness of God's grace in my life. ♡

Have a blessed week in the Lord!


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Set Apart

I'm so excited to be back on the blog sharing my heart behind this page! 

We find ourselves in Deuteronomy chapter 14

A little background on the book of Deuteronomy! 
Deuteronomy is the final book in the Pentateuch.
When Jesus was tempted in the desert, he quoted scripture from Deuteronomy for all three of his temptations.
Paul also drew on Deuteronomy to give him wisdom when speaking to the Romans.

Now let's dive on in to chapter 14! Moses is preaching about clean and unclean food which directly correlates to being clean or unclean morally. To be ceremonially clean during this time period also symbolized being morally clean. That's what we strive for right? To be clean in all aspects of our lives? Now I'm not here to tell you what you should and shouldn't eat, because I love all food! But I want to point out a few things from the first couple verses that show us how we are set apart!

"You are children of the Lord your God.." verse one
 Oh sweet brothers and sisters we are children of the Lord! Praise God!! We have a father who will never leave us or forsake us and that my dear friends is a beautiful thing!

"for you are a people holy to the Lord your God.." verse two
God has called us to be holy! This dark and dreary world make it so hard for us to be holy but y'all, we have to strive for holiness through our Father. Only with his help and guidance can we be anymore than plain old human beings. 

"Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession..." verse two
Read that again. Maybe read it two more times just to be sure it has soaked in. God has CHOSEN YOU to be his treasured possession! Can I get an AMEN! I mean, y'all! Praise the Lord! God, knowing all the wrong things we would do in our lives, he CHOSE US to be his treasured possession! He could have just skipped over us. He could have said we were too broken, too beat up, too rough around the edges, the list could go on and on but God looks past all of that and still chose you to be his treasured possession!! I think it's time we start living like it!

Love you all so so much and I pray that you have a wonderful weekend! 
<3 Amanda

For this page I used Skinny Caps Alpha from Sweet N Sassy stamps and then flicked different colors of watercolor over the background! Easy peasy!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Protected By God's Grace

Hey guys! Stephanie here, sharing one of our new stamp sets called Grace So Amazing. 
"The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot protect you." I'm sure you've probably heard that statement a time or two. Is it a verse in the bible? No. I think some people think it is, but it's actually not. 

It is however, very true and a general concept repeated throughout the bible.  

2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

1 Corinthians 10:13
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

And he also reassures us all throughout the bible that no matter where we may be, not matter what we may be facing, he is always with us and will never forsake us! 

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave nor forsake you."

Joshua 1:5
"No one will be able to stand against you, all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will never leave nor forsake you."

1 Chronicles 28:20
"David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished."

When I think about this concept, I envision being sent somewhere away from home and away from anything that makes you comfortable. Like being out in the wilderness at night. A feeling of being scared and alone. But, looking up at the night sky you would see all the wonder that God created and know that you are NOT alone after all. Now, this is obviously a bit dramatic. You don't have to be in the middle of the woods at night to apply this concept. You could simply be wondering: is this new job opportunity for me, even though it seems out of my reach? Traveling to a different country to do missionary work is really scary!  So many different times in life where you can wonder if everything will be ok. But trust in God. He has only good things planned for you when you follow his will. It will be ok if you trust in Him!

Stephanie Gammon

Grace So Amazing 
Scene Silhouettes Trees
Landscape Silhouettes

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"Step Out"

Hello and Happy New Year friends!

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Jill and I'm one of the newest members of the Creative Worship team. I received my first journaling Bible in August 2017 for my birthday. My twin sister had introduced me to this amazing form of art worship just a week or so earlier. I've never known people who wrote much in their Bibles, and I've never known anyone who painted and stamped and created such beautiful pages. I was instantly hooked. Let me clarify that Bible journaling, for me and most of the community, is not about the art. The art is an outward expression of what I have read and studied, and the artwork I create on my pages help me remember the lessons I've learned. It was those beautiful pages on Pinterest and Instagram that intrigued me at first, however. I am grateful that my sister introduced me to it and for the amazing community of ladies that God has brought into my life because of it. Journaling has me in the Bible and studying the Word more than I ever have in my life.  I am so excited that Korin asked me to join this amazing group of super talented, God-fearing ladies on the Creative Worship team. If I'm being honest though, I'm also pretty nervous.  I’ve always been a bit of an introvert and have never really liked stretching the limits of my comfort zone. I tend to over-think anything I put out there for others to see, so the fact that this is my very first blog post...EVER, has me second guessing everything I type! 😂    

That brings me to how I chose my “One Little Word” for 2020. Have you heard of OLW? Much of the Bible Journaling community and other crafters, choose a word at the beginning of the year to focus on. We use it throughout the year to study, write about, craft with and reflect upon. I’ve been praying for weeks, for the word or phrase that God wanted me to focus on for the year.  Last year, I heard “Change” as clearly as if someone spoke it out loud to me.  This year, I’ve received much more subtle nudges.  I made a list of the words that I felt God was laying on my heart.  They include: Move, Grow, Purpose, Action, Intentional, Start, Begin, Do, Equipped and finally, Step Out.

I can definitely see a pattern in the words God has given me.  He’s calling me to step out of my comfort zone.  He’s reminding me that over and over in the Bible, He uses people who feel unworthy of the calling He has bestowed upon them.  He’s asking me to face my fears and trust Him to equip me for what lies down the road. He's giving me a call to action, to do more for His glory. Wow! That's super scary!

As I sat down to journal, I was led to Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Just as Peter had to leave the relative safety of the boat to go to Jesus in the raging sea, when we choose to walk in faith, we may have to leave our comfort zones for something that seems scary. BUT GOD...He's there, right beside us, waiting to catch us if we fall. Stepping out in faith requires us to trust God and His infinite wisdom, to guide us safely on our journey. We may have to let go of what we think we control and trust the one that made it all.

My prayer for 2020, is that I will not be afraid to “Step Out” in faith, trusting that Jesus is there to cover me in grace, even if I stumble.

Page Details:
I did a simple watercolor background for this page and used Chunky AlphaMini Grunge Type Alpha, and Women of Praise stamp sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps to create my title and stamp the silhouette of the girl in the water.  I used some white acrylic paint on a Q-tip to create the foam in the water.

You can catch up with me on Instagram @simplyjillsjourney

Until next time, I wish you many blessings,