Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Morning Sacrifice...

Hi friends,

Sometimes when we read the Bible, and in particular the Old Testament, it can be difficult to translate the text's meaning into our modern life. That's why we need both the Holy Spirit (who illuminates the Scripture for us and shines light into our hearts) and the Church (who teaches us through the gifts God has given). When I was looking at passages that included the word 'morning' (prompted by the new Good Morning stamp set) I came across Psalm 5:3 which says 'O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.' 

The first part of this verse is fairly simple to understand: David prayed (or sung) to God in the morning, and sets a good example for us to follow. But what does it mean to prepare a sacrifice today? We certainly don't want to be slaughtering animals on the front lawn at dawn! As I was thinking about this, I thought of the time and the discipline it takes to have a regular Bible reading/study habit. Perhaps this is an example of what it means to prepare a sacrifice to the Lord in the morning? As well as lifting our voice in prayer, we can sacrifice our comfort, our sleep, and our desire to do easier things, in order to prepare our hearts in God's Word. Then after we have prepared our sacrifice in the morning, we can watch throughout the rest of the day to see how God works in our lives, how he illuminates his Word in our hearts, how he uses us to bless others with what we have received and learnt through his Word. What sacrifices can you prepare for the Lord in the morning?

I stamped the images from Good Morning on watercolour card, coloured and cut out, then stuck them over the acrylic paint background I created in my Journaling Psalter. I used Nuvo mousse with the Delightfully Delicate stencil to create the dotty background over the acrylic paint. The text was stamped using a mixture of Good Morning, Sweet & Simple Alpha and With Love Alpha. Here are the sets I used:

Let's choose to prepare a sacrifice for the Lord in the morning, whatever that might look like in this season of our lives.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Delight in the Lord


Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Is this verse promising that God will give me what ever I really want?  What if I really want a brand new car, or more clothes, or more craft items (I always do!)?  Will God give them to me because I REALLY want them?  If it really is a desire of my heart?  

I do not believe that's what Psalm 34:7 verse means. We have to remember the first part of the verse:  "Delight yourself in the Lord..." I did some verse mapping of this passage to try to understand it more fully.

Here is what I found:

  • Psalm 34 was written by David, a "man after God's own heart"
  • Delight yourself - to be soft or pliable; to be luxurious or lavish
  • give - bestow, add, or commit
  • desires - requests, petitions
  • heart - innermost feelings, will, and intellect
Basically, if I lavish myself in His luxurious love, and bend my will to His will, character, and Word, then my desires--what my heart and mind and will truly desire--will become more in tune and more aligned with God's desires and will. He will gladly commit to these desires.  God does not refuse us things in accordance with His will.

This also means that, as long as I have been seeking God's will and character, then the things upon my heart are worthy to be brought to God.  I can boldly come before Him and trust Him to answer my prayers and petitions.  

I made a faithdex card to illustrate and document this verse and my study.  I used the some Distress Oxide Inks in Spun Sugar, Ripe Persimmon, and Wild Honey to blend a background.  Then I stamped in those same colors the Floral Background stamp.  I also stamped this image on cardstock in Versafine Onxy Black ink and fussy cut a few out.  I colored these with those same inks using my aquabrush.  Then I stamped "Delight in the Lord" from the Faith Phrases stamp set.   I added some ribbon and a tab punch, and the typed verse and title.  

On the back, I wrote out the verse and its mapping.  

Then I decided that I wanted to journal this in the pages of my Bible, so made a quick entry using the same inks and stamps. 

I wrote my reflection of the verse mapping in the margins of the page.  

What a powerful study and reminder to stay in tune with God.  Spend time with Him.  Enjoy His Presence.  Delight yourself in Him.  THEN He will give you the desires or your heart, because they will also be the desires of HIS heart!

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Everlasting Light

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19

Hi Friends!
I don't know if you were affected by the bitter cold of the past 2 weeks, but I was. We live in KS and a couple of mornings the wind-chill was -30! I also have family in TX that experienced cold that TX hasn't seen in many years. The cold went all the way down to Mexico. And with that cold, some experienced power outages and other difficulties. Prayers to all who have been affected.

Power outages bring darkness. And in our day and age, we see that as an inconvenience. The sun and moon can bring us light, or a candle or flashlight. But our world is also full of spiritual darkness. And there's only one Light that can fight that. The good news is that one day our Lord will literally be our light.

Isaiah 60 speaks of Israel at the time of the millennial kingdom. When Jesus reigns here on earth, Jerusalem will be the capital of His kingdom. Israel will be redeemed. And verse 19 tells us that during that time, the sun and moon will not provide light because instead Jesus will and His light will last forever.

I've always loved the illustration of Jesus, of the Word, being the Light because it's something we can experience, and have experienced. Each of us has been in darkness before. We know what happens when a light is turned on. Darkness cannot fight the light. When the light is turned on, darkness goes away. It's that simple. Spiritually, Jesus is our light. When He is in our lives, the darkness flees. It has to. It doesn't have a choice! And not only is He spiritually Light, He is literally Light as this verse describes. In His glory, He shines brighter than the sun. Wow! I can only imagine!

Page Details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Marquee Alpha, Lollipop Alpha, Love Your Neighbor, Texture Tiles 8, and Trust in the Lord. I LOVE alpha stamps. I'm pretty sure I own all of the SNSS alphas. For Bible journaling, I think they are great to have, especially if you don't like to hand letter or you're still developing that skill. Love Your Neighbor is another versatile set as it has a bunch of common words. It's a cute set with the houses that's great. But I also often use just the common words from it. I used acrylic paints for the back ground. I sprayed my page with water to help the acrylics blend and move on the page. I also used acrylics to stamp the dots. I applied the paint to the stamp with a foam brush. The important thing to remember if you use acrylics with stamps is to wash the stamp as soon as you're done. You don't want the paint to dry on the stamp. Lastly, I used a white pen to highlight the letters.

Have a great week, my friends! Andrea

Monday, February 15, 2021

Start Today and Every Day with Jesus

"O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch." -Psalm 5:3

A couple years ago I read an article about successful people making their bed every morning and decided I was going to give it a try. It's important to note that I never made my bed. Not when I was younger and definitely not as an adult. My bed was just as messy when I went to bed as it was when I woke up that morning. But, this article said that the most successful people in the world had a habit of making the bed and I thought, "Why not give it a try?"

The first couple weeks were tough. I usually forgot and had to go make my bed right before I ran out the door for work. But after that, it got easier and easier and I began to fall into a routine. Now, I make my bed every single morning. It's the first thing I do when I wake up and I don't feel like I can get on with my day until my bed is made. It sounds a little weird, I know, but it makes me feel like I've accomplished one task first thing in the morning and I can't do anything else until that one thing is done. I don't know that it's made me more successful in life in general 😅 but it has made me more productive in the morning. 

Thinking about how consistent I am with this morning habit has convicted me in my morning prayer life. Am I this diligent in spending time with Jesus every morning? Am I this committed to speaking to Him in prayer, and hearing from Him through His Word every morning? Oftentimes the answer is simply, 'no, I'm not.' 

Spending time with Jesus to start my day is far more important than making my bed and has eternal significance; yet, I sometimes feel like it's a chore that can be pushed down on my list of things to do for the day. I took the time and effort to create a habit to make my bed - should I not also take the time and effort to create a habit spend time with my Lord in the morning?

How about you? Do you have a habit of starting each and every day with Jesus? We are only halfway through the second month of the year. It's not too late to start creating a habit of spending time in prayer and in the Word every morning before you head out the door. Will you join me in creating a habit to start each day with Jesus? 🌞

Page Details

I used acrylic paint, stamps, printer paper, colored pencils, and a stencil to create this page. I painted the background with acrylic paint. Once dry, I used a star stencil and sponged over the background with Distress Oxide in Wild Honey. I stamped the page title and sun rays on the page, then stamped the Bible and clock images on plain printer paper, colored with colored pencils, fussy cut and taped them to the page. 😊

Here is the link to the brand, new Good Morning stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I'm loving it!! 💛

May we all start each and every day with Jesus this week. 🌄


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Devoted to Prayer

Hi friends,

Our church is currently in a middle of a study on prayer, and a couple of weeks ago the vicar preached from this verse in Colossians 4, where Paul instructs the church to be devoted to prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. This really resonated with me and was very convicting, because if I'm honest, I wouldn't say I am devoted to prayer. I am very much aware of my need to grow in this vital area of my walk with God, and frequently feel like I'm not praying enough.

Something about the word 'devote' got my attention, so I looked up the meaning of the Greek word used in this text, and it means to 'continue steadfastly' - it is even used to describe the attention paid by a slave to their master in another text. The idea of being so attentive to, so devoted to prayer that we continue in it steadfastly is something I fall way short of, but want to move and grow toward. One of the ways I am committing to growing in prayer is by using Bible journaling to help me pray. To that end, I decided to start a new journaling Bible just for prayer. I had this Interleaved Bible that I had bought over a year ago on sale that I hadn't used yet, so I decided to break it open and begin with this verse. My plan in this Bible is to journal scriptures about prayer, but also to use other Scriptures as prompts for my own prayers, so I pray to the Lord on the basis of his Word. I'm hoping that this will help me to become more devoted to prayer, as this verse in Colossians 4 instructs us to be.

This verse also highlights two important accompanying attitudes to prayer: watchfulness and thankfulness. When we pray, we are to watch for God to move, look for where is moving and leading already, but also to watch out for distractions and temptations that would try to lead us away from a posture of prayer. When we accompany this with thanksgiving for what God has already done for us, then we cultivate a heart that is receptive to the ways in which God chooses to answer our prayers in our everyday life. 

I used my Gel Plate to create a background for this page with acrylic paints, then stamped the roses from Rose Banner over the top, colouring them with Derwent Lightfast pencils. The text was stamped with a combination of Prayer Time, Old Fashioned AlphaAll of Me Alpha, Mini Grunge Type Alpha and Playful Alpha. I created some shading around the edge of the page with gelatos and added some butterflies (also from Rose Banner) stamped and coloured on watercolour paper to finish. 

I pray that we would grow in our devotion to prayer, and that God would help us by his Spirit to be both watchful and thankful as we pray.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Friday, February 12, 2021

"In the Morning" Hymnal Journaling


In the morning when I rise / In the morning when I rise

In the morning when I rise / Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus / Give me Jesus

You can have all this world / But give me Jesus

And when I am alone / Oh, when I am alone

And when I am alone / Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus / Give me Jesus

You can have all this world / But give me Jesus

And when I come to die / Oh, when I come to die

And when I come to die / Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus / Give me Jesus

You can have all this world / But give me Jesus

Isn't that a beautiful hymn?  Give me Jesus! Yes! The first printing of this song dates back to 1845 in a Methodist hymnal. However, the 1867 compilation Slave Songs of the United States includes this spiritual as a favorite among former slaves in South Carolina. I can easily understand the powerful words to this song strengthening and encouraging anyone going through a difficult time. When we seek Jesus first, in the morning, we'll be victorious over anything and everything we encounter throughout the rest of the day.

I knew I wanted to journal this hymnal page, but my first attempt was a FAIL!  Well, nothing created in heartfelt worship is really a fail, but I was definitely not happy with the results. I didn't like how the lightly stamped words didn't stand out enough against the watercolor background. Nor did I like the placement of the words and image. So I set it aside for a day, and came back to it the next evening. Here's a photo of the first attempt.

First Page Attempt

I pulled out some white, yellow, orange, and red acrylic paint, because I knew that medium was heavy enough to cover up what I had previously done, but light enough to allow me to still see the score of the music.  

Second Attempt
I created an ombre effect with the colors, and then, using the Good Morning stamp set, I stamped the words and images over the background.  I added some paint to the sunrise image, and used a white gel pen to highlight the words and the sun's rays.  I added white, orange, and red splatters, which made me think of droplets of sunlight. I added a tab made from washi tape and the phrase "Not today Satan" from the Faith Wordfetti stamp set.  I finished it off with the some black and white washi (to help balance out all the color) and an orange puffy clip, which reminds me of the sun. 

I am much happier with the second attempt. I love its brightness and image placement, and the splashes of sunlight! Which is your preference?  

Faith Wordfetti Stamp Set

Good Morning Stamp Set

Thanks for stopping by.  You can follow me on Instagram @julesk.jewels

Sunday, February 7, 2021

 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? 
And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here I am. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Hi Friends!
If only I were as willing as Isaiah. If I am completely honest, I don't immediately jump up and say, "YES!" to the Lord when it's not something in my plans. Can you relate? I heard a song the other day on the radio, and it was SO good- but it was also a gut punch. It's called "Start Right Here" by Casting Crowns. Here are the lyrics:
We want our coffee in the lobby
We watch our worship on a screen
We got a Rockstar preacher
Who won't wake us from our dreams
We want out blessings in our pocket
We keep our missions overseas
But for the hurting in our cities
Would we even cross the street?
Huh but we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel
The walls fall down and our land be healed
But church, if we want to see a change in the world out there
It's got to start right here
It's got to start right now
Lord, I'm starting right here
Lord, I'm starting right now
I'm like the brother of the prodigal
Who turned his nose and puffed his chest
He didn't run off like his brother
But his soul was just as dead
What if the church on Sunday
Was still the church on Monday too?
What if we came down from our towers
And walked a mile in someone's shoes?
Hmm 'cause we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel
The walls fall down and our land be healed
But church if we want to see a change in the world out there
It's got to start right here
It's got to start right now
Lord, I'm starting right here
Lord, I'm starting right now
We're the people who are called by His name
If we'll surrender all our pride and turn from our ways
He will hear from Heaven and forgive our sin
He will heal our land but it starts right here
We're the people who are called by His name
If we'll surrender all our pride and turn from our ways
He will hear from Heaven and forgive our sin
He will heal our land
It's got to start right here
It's got to start right now
Lord, I'm starting right here
Lord, I'm starting right now
It's got to start right here
It's got to start right now
Lord, I'm starting right here
Lord, I'm starting right now

And click here for the video.

I needed to hear those words; and I needed to see Isaiah's quick and enthusiastic commitment to be God's messenger. Church, if we want to see change in the world out there, it's got to start right here. It's got to start right now. In our homes. In our neighborhoods. In our schools. In our churches. In our workplaces. We have to stand firm in God's truth and to share that truth in a loving way. Let's be the light that Christ calls us to be to this dark world. Let's live worthy of our calling.

Page details:
I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Marker Alpha, Playful Alpha, and Welcome Home. I used acrylic paints for the background. I sprayed my page first with water so that it would thin out the paint and help them blend. I stamped the houses and church on sticker paper, cut them out, and adhered them to the page. I outlined the images with a Micron pen.

Have a blessed week! Andrea

Monday, February 1, 2021

Encouragement Cards


Today's project is a little different than my usual journaling projects, but every bit as fun and encouraging (see what I did there 😉). Today's project is encouragement cards using watercolor paper, watercolors, and stamps. 

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." - Philippians 4:4

Encouragement cards are easy to make and nice to have on hand to brighten someone's day. I simply write a short note or Bible verse on the back and add to a card, or hand out directly to someone who has been on my mind.

I used 9"x12" watercolor paper, which cuts up nicely into six 4.5"x3 cards. First, I created a watercolor background using a couple layers of watercolor paint and some paint splatters. Once the paint was dry, I cut the paper down into six identical size cards, and got out my stamps. I knew I wanted to use the new Faith Phrases stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps for these cards along with the new Texture Tiles 10 stamp set, but wasn't sure how I was going to use them until I made the cards. I then decided to use lighter colors to stamp the Texture Tiles in the background to add just a bit more dimension to the cards. Plus, rainbows, stars, and clouds are perfect for a fun, uplifting background 😉 I used black Versafine ink to stamp the Faith Phrases and extra design elements, then rounded the corners of the cards to give them a more finished look. 

I plan to give these cards out to some of the teenage girls in my son's school. Who do you know who could use a little extra encouragement this week? Take 20 minutes, enjoy a bit of creative time, and whip up a few encouragement cards to bless someone this week. 😊

Stamp Sets Used



Have a blessed week!