Sunday, June 27, 2021

Come Messy

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect was tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

Hi Friends!
We live in an edited world, don't we? Practically every aspect of our lives is edited in some way- our thoughts, our actions, our words. Now sometimes, editing ourselves can be a good thing. But so often, what we're doing when we edit is just putting on an appearance to others, an appearance that is better than what we truly are. For instance, all these photos we share on social media, most of them are edited or filtered. We take out the imperfections. We fix the lighting. We adjust it to how we think the world wants to see us. Even in our relationships, we edit. How often, as my family scrambled to get ready for church, harsh words were spoken, hurtful actions committed. But man, when we got out of the car and went into church, you would have thought we were the perfect family, loving and glorifying God. Can you relate? The bad news is that we are a mess! We are broken and sinful.

But, I have good news, friends! We don't have to edit ourselves for Jesus. Jesus loves us anyway. He knows who we are- the good and the bad. And He loves us. Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to become man and to live as a man. Because of His earthly life, He knows what we go through. Hebrews 4:15 tells us He sympathizes with our weaknesses; and that He was tempted just as we are. He knows, friends. He died for us knowing all our problems, issues, and sins. And knowing all this, He still invites us to come to Him. Hebrews 4:16 tells us, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need." 

Thank You, Lord, for loving us just as we are. Thank You for becoming Man to relate to us in a new way. Thank You for Your invitation to come to you in our brokenness, in our mess- unedited & unfiltered.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Joyful Alpha, Marker Alpha, Playful Alpha, Walk Humbly, All Your Heart, and Just Be. I started by applying acrylic paint to the page with a baby wipe. I then glued a hymnal page onto the page. I stamped the words. I stamped the girls on sticker paper and drew the photo frames with a Micron pen. I colored the girls with watercolor crayons.

Come, humble sinner, in whose breast,
A thousand thoughts revolve,
Come, with your guilt and fear oppressed,
And make this last resolve.

Come to Him, friends. He's waiting.
Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Who are You Calling?

 Hi friends,

I've heard and read Isaiah 9:6 many times before, often in the context of Christmas because of the beginning part of this verse, 'For unto us a child is born...' I usually listen to a version of Handel's Messiah several times in a year, so this refrain is one that is familiar. But recently I read it again and the phrase that struck me was 'he shall be called.' This led to me wondering whether we indeed call upon Jesus in the ways that he is described in this verse.

Do we call upon Jesus as our Wonderful Counsellor when we need wisdom and understanding? Or do we call upon someone else? Do we call upon Jesus as our Mighty God when we need rescue and deliverance? Or do we attempt to rescue ourselves from our messes? Do we call upon Jesus as our everlasting Father when we need comfort, guidance, even discipline? Do we rely on him as our everlasting Father, or do we think he will be there one minute and gone the next, perhaps like earthly fathers? Do we call upon Jesus as our Prince of Peace when the troubles of this world get on top of us and we feel anxious and uneasy? Or do we self-medicate with numbing strategies and coping mechanisms? 

It struck me that this is not simply a nice verse that we read at Christmas about the baby Jesus, but a declaration of who Jesus was, is and always will be. But we need to call upon him as such. We need to appropriate these titles personally, knowing that he is OUR Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. What are you calling Jesus right now? 

I created this page in my Interleaved Bible using some stamp sets and Inktense pencils with an aquabrush to colour. The sets I used are He Is, Trust in the Lord, Whimsy BouquetVintage Love, School Days Alpha, and Classy Script Alpha.

Let's call on Jesus as our Wonderful Counsellor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Monday, June 21, 2021

Jesus Is Mine

🎡Walking in sunlight, all of my journey;
Over the mountains, thro' the deep vale;
Jesus has said "I'll never forsake thee,"
Promise divine that never can fail.
Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.🎡

I have a quick, fun, bright hymnal journaling page for you today! I've had this hymn stuck in my head and I thought it would go so perfectly along with the new Joyful Alpha stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps! I used two Distress Oxide colors (Wild Honey and Ripe Persimmon) and stencils to create the background, the Joyful Alpha and County Fair Alpha for the text, and the Faith Wordfetti stamp set for the tab. 😊

Friends, we have so much to be thankful for today because as a follower of Christ, we can truly say "Jesus is Mine!!" What a wonderful promise to sing about! 

Have a blessed week in the Lord, 


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Keeping It Simple

Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed is the Lord, who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel." Ruth 4:14

Hi Friends,
Sometimes, simple is best. Can you relate? Often we get so caught up in whatever we're doing, that we make it harder than it needs to be. We don't mean to, we just want it to be nice- whether it's a journaling page, a wedding, a small get together, something at church...

God sometimes goes the simple route. Our great Lord and Savior was born in a simple, definitely not extravagant, manger. And, He lived a simple life, not interested in material goods and focused on relationships. But He could certainly do extravagant things when He wanted to!

In this season of my life, things are changing. We are about to move to another state. My husband and I will be living in the same town as our parents for the first time of our adult lives. One daughter is going into her senior year of college and the other daughter is going into her senior year of high school. And, right now, "simple" is really attractive to me. And, simply, I'm focusing on the fact that Jesus is my Redeemer. No matter what changes in my life, that will not change. 

The women talking to Naomi were talking about Boaz who was her and Ruth's kinsman redeemer. According to Jewish law, a kinsman redeemer was usually the nearest male relative, and had 2 main responsibilities- to redeem family property and to marry a childless widow and raise children in her dead husband's name. Ruth is a beautiful story that gives us a picture of Jesus as our Kinsman Redeemer. Ruth was in need of rescue. And so are we. Jesus redeems us; and the church is His bride. All we have to do is repent and call out to Him, and we will be saved. No strings attached. It's that simple.

May Jesus' name become famous in not only Israel, but around the world!

Page details: Black and white is about as simple as you can get. And these days filled with activities preparing for a move, I am thankful that I can still find time to do some black and white pages while focusing on Jesus. I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: His Name, Way Maker, & Prayer Time

Have a blessed week! And keep it simple.πŸ˜† Andrea

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Come and See...

Hi friends,

At the beginning of John's Gospel, we see Jesus meeting and calling his first disciples. In John 1:38, Jesus sees some of John the Baptist's disciples have begun to follow him and he asks them, "What are you looking for?" Their answer seems pretty mundane to be honest - they reply "Rabbi, where are you staying?" What an odd question to ask the man who John the Baptist had just declared to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! But Jesus doesn't ignore their question or tell them to come up with something more profound, instead he simply replies "Come and see." This invitation was the beginning of a life of following Jesus, whether in day-to-day regular life with its concerns of where to stay or what to eat, or in the most profound and life-changing moments, such as having their feet washed by their Teacher, or seeing him die and rise again. 

Shortly after this, another disciple that had just been called by Jesus, Philip, goes to Nathanael and tells him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." When Nathanael expresses some doubt that this promised one could come from a bit of a backwater town like Nazareth, Philip replies, "Come and see." The same words of invitation that Jesus used in calling his disciples to follow him were used by his disciples to invite others to follow Jesus too. This is such a simple and profound example for us. Jesus has issued an invitation to us to come to him and see what he has done and continues to do. When we do this, and we recognise who Jesus is, we are to then find others and invite them to come and see Jesus. This simple invitation is not a sales pitch, but an extension of the invitation we have been given. It is not up to us to make people follow, but we can introduce them to the only one who is worth following.

On this page I used the new Joyful Alpha set, along with Trust in the Lord and Made New. The roses are from the digi set called Roses in Bloom. I printed them on clear sticker paper, then coloured with Derwent Lightfast pencils, cut out and stuck onto the background I had created with acrylic paints. The letters were also coloured with coloured pencils. 

Let's be people who respond to Jesus' invitation to "Come and see" and then extend that same invitation to others.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Monday, June 7, 2021

In Whom do you Trust?

Good morning and happy Monday, friends!

I have slowly been making my way through the Old Testament. I started the year with a plan to read through the Bible in three months, then six months, now I'll be lucky to make it through in the year. And here's why - I get so wrapped up in a story, it takes me days to finish one chapter! For example, I spent three days in 2 Kings 18 and 19, reading, re-reading, checking commentaries, taking notes - just really trying to understand this story of Hezekiah and his conflict with the king of Assyria. 

Hezekiah became king of Judah when he was 25 years old. He was the son of Ahaz, one of the most wicked kings of Judah. Yet, Hezekiah "trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was non like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses." (2 Kings 18:5,6)

There was much unrest in both the northern kingdom of Israel and southern kingdom of Judah at that time. When Hezekiah had been king for three years, the king of Assyria attacked Israel and after a three-year siege, took over Israel and dispersed its people. Several years later, the new king of Assyria, likely emboldened by the successful conquest of the previous king, attacked the kingdom of Judah and took control of its outlying towns, outposts, and garrisons. Hezekiah, fearing for his kingdom (rather than courageously trusting in God), offered to pay King Sennacherib a ransom to withdraw his troops from Judah and to ensure peace. King Sennacherib agreed and King Hezekiah paid him a vast sum of money. To raise the money, Hezekiah had to empty his treasury and strip the gold plates from the doors of the temple to give to King Sennacherib. Unfortunately for the kingdom of Judah, King Sennacherib soon went back on his word and instead sent three of his top generals to the city of Jerusalem to call for King Hezekiah's surrender of the city. 

"Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which was on the highway to the Fuller's Field. And when they had called to the king. Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. Then the Rabshakeh said to them, 'Say now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What confidence is this in which you trust? You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh kinng of Egypt to all who trust in him."

The Rabshakeh addressed Hezekiah's generals, and then all of the Jewish people with a speech meant to discourage them. He magnifies the might of the Assyrian king and army, he tries to make them believe that it would be in their advantage to surrender rather than face war and famine, and that they cannot trust in Egypt to save them. Hezekiah had put his trust in an alliance with Egypt, hoping that Egypt would come to their aid in a battle against Assyria. The Rabshakeh tried to completely demoralize Judah and drive them to despair. 

Can't you just picture this tense situation?! The Jewish people watching and listening, preparing for war, despairing due to the words of the Rabshakeh - certain they will be wiped out. The Rabshekah's end goal, and certainly his orders from King Sennacherib, was to discourage and demoralize the Jewish people so they would surrender the city without a fight. 

Satan often attacks us in this same way. Often, even when he tells the truth ("You are such a rotten sinner!"), he never does it to lead us to a firm trust in the Lord our God ("Jesus died for sinners, so if I am a rotten sinner, Jesus died to forgive and free me!"). Instead, Satan's strategy - even if he tells us the truth - is always to demoralize us and drive us to despair. (Guzik)

The Rabshakeh's plan was to destroy their trust in God, and talk them into giving up before one spear was thrown. 

"The enemy of our souls uses the exact same approach. Many of us picture Satan as always 'itching for a fight,' but really, Satan doesn't want to do battle with you. First of all, there is a strong change you will win. Second of all, win or lose the battle can draw you closer to the Lord. Thirdly, what the Lord does in your life through the battle can be a great blessing to other people. No, Satan would much rather talk you into giving up!" (Henry)

 His plan seemed to be working until he directly attacked the sovereignty of the Lord God. 

"But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, 'The Lord will deliver us. Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?'" (2 Kings 18:35)

For anyone who had the spiritual understanding to see it, Judah could have started planning the victory party right then. It is one thing to speak against Judah, its people and leaders. It was another thing all together to mock the Lord God of Israel this way, and count Him as "just another god." (Guzik)

In response to the Rabshakeh's speech, Hezekiah immediately went to the house of the Lord and sought the word of the Lord through His prophet. He didn't allow his mourning and grief spin him into a rejection of the Lord's power and help. He knew this was more necessary time than ever to seek the Lord.

"Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: 'O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands - wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone." (2 Kings 19:15-19)

I hate to spoil the ending, but I can tell you that God hears the prayer of Hezekiah and rescues Judah from certain defeat. Go read 2 Kings 18 and 19 for yourself and see!!

Page Details

I was inspired to create this page after watching some process videos from my friend, Deeds @mercies_journaled. She has a fantastic YouTube channel where she shares truth from God's Word as well as creative techniques. 

I first tried this page with gelatos, but really didn't like the looks, so went back over it with Distress Oxides. I am not good with gelatos, it's definitely something I need to practice! I did put two layers of Art Basics gesso down first. Once I had the gelatos/distress oxides down, I sprayed the page with water, then splattered with watered down white acrylic paint. I then stamped using a few different stamps sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, colored with Tombow dual brush markers, and finally added my white highlights using a uni-ball Signo white gel pen. I like how the page turned out in the end, but it was not one of my easiest pages! I had to just keep working through it (while I was listening to a Mike Winger podcast on the theology of the Holy Spirit πŸ˜‰). 


In Whom do you trust? Do you trust in your job, your retirement, your health, your determination, your friends, your spouse? Or do you trust in the Lord God? Is the enemy trying to discourage you into giving up without a fight? Is he whispering in your ear lies to make you doubt the authority of God?

Take a page from Hezekiah's book and go to the Lord in prayer. You can trust Him. πŸ’œ

Much love in Christ,