Sunday, December 12, 2021

Names of God Advent Calendar

 Hello Friends!
I have always enjoyed doing advent calendars with my daughters since they were little. My favorite advent calendars focus on Christ. Last year, I made my first advent calendar using faithdex cards and the names of Jesus. This year, I used the names of Jesus again, but made 2 hanging advent calendars for my daughters. They are 18 & 21 now, and this was a fun craft to make for them. I was shopping and found some clothespins with small wood slices and numbers on them. That's what got me started! I got some burlap bags, found 2 sticks in my yard, and already had the twine. I tied the twine to the sticks so that it hangs down and the bags can be clipped haphazardly to the twine. It was really easy to make! I stamped each bag with a name of Jesus. Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps has some sets of names and that made the stamping go really quickly. See the end of the post for the stamp sets used. I was under a time crunch, so I didn't have time to stamp the verse that goes with each name on the bag. But I plan to add the verses. I filled the bag with little goodies and hope the girls will read the verses each day and soak in who Jesus is. 

Jesus is known by many names. Some of these are characteristics. Some explain who He is. As we study these names of Jesus, we should contemplate how Jesus manifests Himself as each of these in our lives. By studying and understanding these names, we know our Savior better.

Here is the list of names I used:
  1. Light of the World, John 8:12
  2. Messiah, Daniel 9:25
  3. Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6
  4. Alpha and Omega, Revelation 22:13
  5. Bread of Life, John 6:35
  6. Creator, Nehemiah 9:6
  7. Wonderful Counselor, Isaiah 9:6
  8. Deliverer, 2 Samuel 22:2
  9. Narrow Gate, Matthew 7:13
  10. Everlasting Father, Isaiah 9:6
  11. Emmanuel, Isaiah 7:14
  12. Faithful & True, Revelation 19:11
  13. Good Shepherd, John 10:11&14
  14. Redeemer, Job 19:25
  15. Yahweh, Isaiah 45:24
  16. Lamb of God, John 1:29
  17. True Vine, John 15:5
  18. King of kings, 1 Timothy 6:15
  19. God Almighty, Isaiah 9:6
  20. High Tower, Psalm 18:2
  21. Savior, Acts 13:23
  22. Jehovah, Joel 2:27-28
  23. Christ, Matthew 16:16
  24. Word of God, John 1:1&14
I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: His Name, I Am, He Is.

Have a blessed Christmas focused on our sweet Savior. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Rescue me!

Hi friends,

We've recently been watching a tv series which is centred around a father and daughter, where the daughter doesn't know that this man is her father, but the father keeps coming to rescue her when she is in danger. Although her father is actually a dangerous criminal, he will stop at nothing to protect his daughter. There are other movies and tv shows which feature a storyline of a father going to rescue his daughter and crossing seemingly impossible barriers to do so. When I came across this line from Psalm 119:94 recently, it made me think of these kinds of stories: "I am yours; rescue me!" 

The reason the psalmist could cry out to God in their distress is because they knew they belonged to the one who heard their prayer. Much like many earthly fathers will do anything to keep their children safe and rescue them when they are in danger or distress, our Heavenly Father watches over us and we can call to him when we need to be rescued. When Peter tried to walk on water and in a moment of doubt began to sink, he called on Jesus and Jesus took hold of him and rescued him. Jesus shows us what God is like - God is ready to rescue his children in their times of trouble.

I stamped the image from My Friend on this page and watercoloured it. When it was dry I then added some acrylic paint in shades of blue with some grey and white using a palette knife to create the waves and sky. The text was stamped with My Friend and Love Ya Like a Sister Alpha

Let's be people to cry out to our Heavenly Father to rescue us when we are in distress, trouble, or danger. He hears our call and comes running.

Be blessed...


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Cord of Hope

Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household. Joshua 2:18
Hi Friends!
I hope y'all had a blessed Thanksgiving, telling the Lord how grateful you are to Him. Believers share something we can all thank God for- HOPE. This world is not a place that instills hope. In fact, it's often the opposite of hope. But because believers know Jesus as our Savior, our hope is in Him- not anything or anyone in the world. So, our hope is sure. The definition of hope is "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen" or "a feeling of trust." In Hebrew, the word for hope is "tikvah." It means expectation, but it also means cord or rope, with the root word meaning to bind or wait for/upon. 

In Joshua 2:18, tikvah is used and translated "cord." Joshua had sent 2 spies to Jericho to check things out. They went to Rahab's house, and she protected them when the king of Jericho came after the 2 spies. Rahab told them that she, and all the people in Jericho, had heard all that God had done for the Israelites and it scared them. They were probably feeling a bit hopeless. Rahab asked the spies to promise that when Jericho was conquered, that she and her family would be spared. They told her to tie a scarlet cord (tikvah) in the window, and she and her family would indeed be spared. In this story, the scarlet cord was a literal cord. But it also illustrates what hope looks like. The cord was Rahab's only guarantee that she and her family would be saved. But, she had to wait for the realization of the spies' promise. Rahab didn't have a personal relationship with God at that time, but she hoped in Him and knew her physical salvation was tied to trusting in Him. 

How do we stay hopeful when things seem so dismal? How do we wait and wait and wait? God is the answer, of course! We must focus on Him and be in an active relationship with Him. When we are connected to God, it's like we are clinging to a very strong rope. Keep your hope in Him, my friends. And cling to Him as you would a scarlet cord hanging out a window.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps: Peace Be Still, Texture Tiles 2, Skinny Caps, Teeny Alpha, and Mini Grunge Alpha. I stamped the cord, masked it, and stamped the bricks. I lightly watercolored the bricks, and then stamped the words.

I based this post on information I found in an article by Dori Halbert,

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Word Like Fire...

Hi friends,

The Word of God is described with many pictures in the Bible - it is a mirror, a hammer, a lamp, and bread among others. Another picture is used in Jeremiah 23:29, and that is fire. The thing with fire is that it can be incredibly useful and life-giving, or dangerous and destructive. Fire can warm us when we are cold, we can use it to cook our food on, and it provides light in the darkness. But is can also consume everything in its path when it is out of control. Things that were formerly worth much and turned into worthless ashes in the wake of fire's destruction.

When we encounter metaphor used to describe something in Scripture, we need to think carefully about which properties of that metaphor are being carried over in the description. Not every property of fire applies to Scripture, so which ones do? Well, I certainly have been warmed by the Word of God as it has set my heart aflame with love for God and a passion for his truth. I have also been guided by the light of God's Word through very dark times. I also know that the Word of God can burn up those things that need to be destroyed, such as false beliefs, wrong affections, and sinful thoughts. But the Word of God can also be misused in dangerous ways, outside safe boundaries, to hurt and abuse people (I have experienced this in my own life). When we take the fire of God's Word and use it carelessly as a way to win arguments or keep others under control, we can burn others by our mishandling of Scripture. Much like fire should be used with respect for what it can do and the effect it can have, so we should have the same approach to God's Word. 

I created the background on this page using gelatos and a baby wipe to blend the colours. The fire from Soul on Fire and Bible from Good Morning were stamped on lightweight card, cut out and coloured with coloured pencils. I used Women of Praise, Mini Grunge Type Alpha, Outline Alpha, and Script Outline Alpha for the verse. I added some details with Nuvo markers, a white gel pen, and some gold paint splatters.

Let's warm ourselves by the light of the fire of God's Word, and allow it to burn away in us anything that God wants to rid us of. Let's remember to handle the Word of God with care, knowing the great power and truth it reveals.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Filled with the Spirit

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 
Acts 2:2-4

Hi Friends!
Today I will be discussing Acts 2:2-4. We are all probably familiar with the passage. As Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit indwelt and empowered His disciples so that they could share God's message. This was an amazing show of God's power! I mean, these Jesus followers could now speak languages they didn't know so that people who did speak those languages could hear the gospel. WOW! There were Jews from many nations in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost. And God wanted them to hear the gospel. 

The Holy Spirit that indwelt those believers is the same Holy Spirit that indwells believers today. His power may not manifest in us the same way. We may not be able to speak Spanish, Italian, French, etc, when we don't know those languages already. But, He is the same. And He has the same power. Believers can be filled with the Spirit; or they can quench the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit never leaves a believer. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are surrendered to God's control of our lives. We quench the Spirit when we rebel against God. When we are filled with His Spirit and submitted to Him, we can accomplish the work He has set out for us to do. He will give us the skills we need to do His will just like He enabled the disciples to speak to foreigners in their own languages. We cannot accomplish His will in our own power, but we can certainly accomplish it in His power. Use His power, my friends.

Page Details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Soul on Fire, Brotherly Love, and Peace Be Still. I stamped the images and used watercolor crayons for color.

May your week be filled with thanksgiving and joy. Andrea

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Fire in the Night...

 Hi friends,

The story of the Exodus is very familiar to us as Christians. We know that God led the people of Israel out of Egypt and through the desert with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. But I wonder how often we think about the application of this story to us today? There are several verses in the Old Testament which recount these events (in Exodus where the story is told for the first time, and in Nehemiah and the Psalms, when the story is remembered by later generations). When I read through these recently the thing that struck me was the presence of fire in the night.

I was reminded that the Holy Spirit is likened to fire in the New Testament, and that we as believers in Jesus have been given the Holy Spirit to guide us in all seasons of life. This includes the darkness of the night seasons, where it is difficult to see the way ahead or to know what's coming next, where things seem more frightening or bleak. Just like God guided the people of Israel through the desert nights with a pillar of fire, he gives us his Holy Spirit to guide us as we tread darkened paths.

Fire brings two welcome ingredients to the darkness of night: warmth and light. The Holy Spirit also brings these elements into the dark seasons of our lives through his comfort (warmth) and guidance (light). When we find ourselves in dark seasons, we need to recognise the fire of the Holy Spirit which has been given to us and dwells within us, and rely on him for comfort and guidance. 

I created a background on this page using distress oxide inks (after applying three layers of gesso to protect the page). I used the new Soul on Fire set for the flame, bird and some words, along with Happy Alpha, Joyful Alpha, and All Your Heart to complete the text. I created this page in my Interleaved Bible, which I'm using as a prayer Bible, turning verses of Scripture into prayers I am praying for myself and others.

Let's be grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us with fire in the night.

Be blessed...


Sunday, November 7, 2021

Praying for Our Kids

And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands, statutes, and decrees, and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided. 1 Chronicles 29:19 

Hi Friends!
As we all know, prayer is SO important. Today, I want to focus on praying for our kids. Now when I say "our kids," I'm not just referring to any children that may be in our families. I'm talking about the kids in our families, but also in our churches, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our communities. It is imperative that we pray for the next generation.

In 1 Chronicles 29, David knew he was close to death. He prayed to God, praising Him, and asking Him to work in the lives of the Jews and in the life of his son Solomon. The first part of verse 19 stood out to me: And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands, statutes, and decrees. Oh, how I pray this for my own 2 daughters. And that's what I journaled in my Bible. But I also pray this for the youth of this nation. Oh, how our nation would be changed if only we and our youth would be wholeheartedly devoted to God.

Prayer is powerful. Prayer is our communication with God. Let's pray, Church! Let's pray for our kids, every single one, that they would be wholly devoted to the Lord.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Consider the Wildflowers and Prayer Time. I painted the page with acrylic paint, and used a stencil with the paint to make the dots. I printed a photo of my girls out and adhered it to the page. I stamped the flowers on a hymnal page, cut them out, and added them to the page. And that's it!

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Monday, November 1, 2021

Pray Without Ceasing

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have a little bit of a different blog post for you today! Today I am sharing an entry in my art journal. 😊 I use my art journal as my prayer journal. If you've followed me on Instagram, you know I like to write my prayers in my art journal and cover them up. It's a way of me expressing my prayers to the Lord in a way that is personal and private. He knows my prayers, but no one else can read them. (Take a look back through some of my IG posts and you'll see what I mean 😉)

I've had a lot on my mind these past weeks, so this particular prayer entry covered the entire two pages, and I ended up painting over both pages with a mixture of grey and black acrylic ink. It wasn't the look I was going for originally, but it turned out ok. I then added some mixed media elements to the page. 

Design Details

I used a few different stamps sets, acrylic paint, ripped up paper bag, Nuvo crystal drops, and metallic gold flakes to complete this prayer journal entry. I was definitely going for a more mixed media/messy look and think it turned out well! I've been in a huge creative funk lately, so getting a few new art supplies (metallic gold flakes and Nuvo crystal drops) and just getting messy with paint and stamps was very therapeutic for my soul.

Now for the good news! Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps is celebrating their 14th birthday the entire month of November with sales the whole month! This week's salebration is 20% off all birthday and sentiments stamps sets! The Prayer Time set shown below falls in this category and is perfect for prayer journal entries such as this. 😉

How about you? Do you like to write out your prayers? If so, do you cover them up or leave them to read later? 

I'd love to connect with you to hear about your creative style! You can find me on Instagram through the link below. 

Much love in Christ, 


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Praise God!

Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song. Judges 5:3

Hi Friends!
In this portion of Judges, we find Deborah and Barak singing a song of praise to God. It was a song of victory after God brought defeat to Canaanite adversaries. 

The Bible uses different words for praise. One Hebrew word is "yadah" which means "praise, give thanks, confess." Another Hebrew word is "zamar" meaning "sing praise." This is the word used in Judges 5:3. A third word is "halal" meaning "to praise, honor, commend." It is the root of hallelujah.

The bible commands all living creatures to praise God (Ps 150:6.) God deserves all honor and praise because of who He is. Praising God is what we should do. And when we praise Him, joy follows. How can we praise Him without being joyful? We really can't. So in those hard, difficult times, think about and focus on God, on who He is, His attributes. Praise Him for who He is and joy will follow.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Wonder of Wonders, Faith Wordfetti Too, All in All, and Let's Do This. Don't you love the image of the people with their arms raised? I do! I stamped the images and colored them in with Prismacolor pencils. My pages tend to be simple. It's not about the art. It's about God. It's about His Word.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, October 23, 2021

What is truth?

 Hi friends,

It seems that in the world right now, there are many different competing claims to truth. One expert confidently says one thing, while another contradicts them. One politician claims to be speaking the truth, but those on the opposing side disagree. Even in the church there are competing claims to truth. Some interpret the Bible one way, while others vehemently disagree with that interpretation. It can feel overwhelming sometimes, and one response is just to make truth relative: everyone has their own version of truth and as long as we all remember that, then we'll be fine. But is that the right response?

If we think this problem is just a modern-day one, then we are mistaken. All throughout history there have been competing claims to truth, and alongside those claims there has also been scepticism and cynicism that truth can actually be found. In John 18, we find the trial of Jesus before Pilate, and when Jesus claims to testify to the truth, Pilate asks "What is truth?" Pilate was a seasoned political operative and had seen his share of claims to truth in order to win power. This question that he asks Jesus sounds like one of cynicism rather than genuine seeking, almost as if he had given up trying to find the truth. But the irony was that Truth was standing in front of him, on trial for a crime he didn't commit. 

The reality is that the only truth we can know with certainty is that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and his death on the cross and resurrection enables us to live and walk in the truth. The messages we hear all around us that claim to be truth end up changing like the leaves on the trees when autumn comes, but the cross of Christ stands firm as a witness to truth. When we are seeking to discern truth, we need to continually return to Jesus Christ - his life, death, and resurrection - and ask how Jesus has revealed the truth to us through his Word. Only in Jesus can we know the truth that will set us free from the cynicism and deception of the world around us. 

I wanted to create a messy background on this page with lots of competing elements, so I stamped some images from Grunge Elements 3 over a painted acrylic background, then stencilled the leaves using the Fall Leaves Stencil and different shades of Nuvo Mousse. The lettering was created using the new Letter Tiles Alpha and Love ya Like a Sister Alpha, and I added the little pointing hand from Keep in Touch. The final addition was the cross image from Endless Love, placing a butterfly sticker over the top.

Let's keep our eyes, our hearts, and our minds fixed on the truth found in Jesus Christ.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Like That City

 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

Hi Friends!
We take light for granted. We take for granted that the sun will come up in the morning. We take for granted that when we flip a switch in our homes, light will come on. Do we also take for granted that Christ's light is shining somewhere by someone in this world? Here's the thing, we can't leave it up to someone else. WE are to be that light. Christ told us so in Matthew 5:14. It's our duty as Christ followers to shine the light He's given us. We can't take it for granted. We have to work to shine in this dark world. The great thing about light is that darkness can't compete with it. Darkness can't overcome light. Whenever, wherever, light is found, darkness disappears. So, church, we have a lot of work to do. And we need to start in our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities and our communities. But the best news, y'all, is we don't have to do it alone- we do it by the power of the Holy Spirit, God Himself. When we shine Christ's light, we glorify Him (Matt 5:16). And that's our purpose here on earth.

I like the song by Third Day, "City on a Hill." Here are some of the lyrics:
A city on a hill cannot be hidden
Standing tall before all men
To show the things that it's been given
And everything that it can give
Just like that city on a hillside
We got a light that's deep within us
No, don't keep it to yourself
Just remember how you felt
When you first gave your life to Jesus

So how do we shine Jesus' light? We study God's Word and share it with others. We love and serve others. We point others to Jesus. Shine, friends, shine!

Page Details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Wonder of Wonders, Shine Your Light, and Trust in the Lord. I also used the Rise & Shine Stencil. Wonder of Wonders has some great images, one of them being the city I used on the page. I stamped the city and drew the hill with a Micron pen. I colored the hill and sky with chalk pastels. I colored the city with Prismacolor pencils. Then I stamped the words in the sky and handlettered part of the lyrics on the hill.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Be at Rest Again...

Hi friends,

I don't know about you, but I find it all too easy for my soul to not be in a place of rest. Whether that be because of busyness or anxieties or troubling circumstances, it is easy for my soul to be on edge, fraught with a million thoughts and cares. But much like physical rest needs to be intentional for it to be good rest (we have to decide to go to sleep at a particular time, to have a Sabbath, or a holiday), the same is true for our souls.

One of the ways we can intentionally return our souls to a state of rest is to meditate on God's goodness. Psalm 116:7 in the New Living Translation says 'Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.' The NRSV captures the psalmist telling his soul: 'Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.' When we meditate on the goodness of God that we have experienced in the past, we are able to tell our souls to rest, because we know that whatever we are facing, God is still good and he will be good to us as his children. 

Whatever we are facing, whether it be external troubles or internal turmoil, we can rest in the goodness of God. Just like when we are physically tired and need to take ourselves to bed, when our souls are worn out we need to take ourselves to the goodness of God and rest there, knowing that God is good and that his love for us endures forever. 

I created the background on this page using gelatos, then stamped the Floral Background image on the top and coloured with coloured pencils and paint pens. The adorable image at the bottom is from the new Wonder of Wonders set, stamped and coloured with coloured pencils. The verse was stamped using a combination of sets: The Lord's Battle, With Love Alpha, and Teeny Alpha

Let's be people to intentionally return to resting in the goodness of God.

Be blessed...

x Amy x