Sunday, July 25, 2021

Built by God

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Hebrews 3:4

Hi Friends!
As I mentioned in my last blog post, we made a move to Texas. As of today, we've been here 2 weeks. For my husband and I, it was a move back to the town in which we were both raised. For my daughter, it's a place she's visited to see grandparents, but never lived in. We moved to the home my husband grew up in. And to be honest, I have mixed feeling about that. I loved the home we had in KS. From the moment we walked into it with the realtor, it felt like home to me. This house that we're in now, has always been my in-law's house. And it's going to take some time for that feeling to change. But what won't ever change, no matter where I may find myself geographically, is God. And, as this verse states, He is the Builder of ALL things. It doesn't really matter what earthly home I live in. What matters is my faith and trust in Him.

This chapter in Hebrews compares Jesus to Moses and proves that Jesus is the better of the two. It mentions that Moses was faithful in building the tabernacle, but that Jesus is worthy of the glory because He is Builder. That's the context of this verse. Wherever we find ourselves, even if it's not where we thought we'd end up, we should make the best of it and glorify Jesus in all we do. He is the builder of all things. My foundation is Him.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: Playful Alpha & Welcome Home. I stamped the grass and house. But then I applied watercolor over the pigment ink. I used watercolor for the sky and then stamped the words and the fence, trees, and clouds. A simple page- but I tend toward the simple. :)

Be blessed, my friends! Andrea

Saturday, July 24, 2021

He Does Not Break the Bruised...

Hi friends,

Have you ever been through a time in your life when you felt bruised and battered? I'm sure many if not all of us have. During those times, we really need people to be gentle with us, don't we? We don't need harsh words and forceful opinions or a lack of sensitivity. We don't need to be trampled on or broken further than we are already feeling. Unfortunately, some people don't sense the bruises, pains and trauma of others, and as a result can cause further harm through their insensitive words or actions. 

But not Jesus.

In Matthew 12:18-21, the author of this Gospel recalls the words of the prophet Isaiah (42:3) and applies them to Jesus. This is one of the many times Matthew does this as he recognises that Jesus is Israel's promised Messiah. The passage that is quoted here speaks about Jesus being God's servant who is filled with God's Spirit, who will proclaim justice beyond Israel to the Gentiles. It also paints a portrait of the Messiah of one who is quiet and gentle in the way he brings justice about. Verse 20 says 'a bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.' 

I find this incredibly encouraging, because I know that no matter how bruised or broken I may be, I can always come to Jesus knowing that he is safe and gentle. He will not break those who are bruised, but will rather tenderly care for and restore them to life. He does not ride roughshod over our wounds, nor does he ignore how we are feeling. Instead he invites us to come to him in whatever state we find ourselves. When I see the way some Christians behave towards others, the way I see people tear one another down in a desperate defence of a particular doctrine or strongly held opinion (particularly online!), I am saddened because this is not a reflection of the Jesus whom we serve and follow. I pray that we would learn from Jesus how to treat people with kindness and gentleness, even and especially those we disagree with. We don't know what bruises people are carrying. We don't know how close people are to breaking point. Let's follow the example of Jesus and seek to never break the bruised or quench the weakly flickering flame of others.

I created a background with Distress paints on this page, then stamped the images from Botanical Branches over the top, colouring with coloured pencils. The text was stamped with a combination of alpha sets: the new Curly Girl Alpha, along with Messy Stamped Alpha and Sunshine Girl Alpha. I used the Rise and Shine stencil to add some sunrays with Nuvo mousse, and added a few butterfly stickers to finish. 

Let's come to Jesus with confidence, even when we are feeling bruised, knowing that he is gentle with us. And let's seek to imitate Jesus in this way of treating people, knowing that we represent his kingdom here on earth.

Be blessed...


Monday, July 19, 2021

And he read it...

I find the stories of the Old Testament positively fascinating! Intrigue, political espionage, affairs, murder - the history of the early Israelites is not for the faint of heart. Rather than following God's ways, the people often did their own thing and paid a high price. 

The books of the Kings tells the stories of the kings of Israel (northern kingdom headquartered in Samaria) and Judah (southern kingdom headquartered in Judah). Nineteen kings led the nation of Israel, but not one of them followed after the Lord God. Twenty kings led the nation of Judah, and only eight followed the Lord. Eight kings out of 39!

We find the story of Judah's King Josiah in 2 Kings 22-23. Josiah was only eight years old when he ascended to the throne, but even from that young age he knew he wanted to do things differently than his father and grandfather (Amon and Manasseh). He had a godly scribe and high priest who helped him follow the ways of Jehovah, and he immediately began to purge the land of idols and idol worship. When he was 18 years old, he sent Shaphan, his faithful scribe, and some other leaders to the temple to instruct Hilkiah, the high priest, to begin repairing the temple. The monies collected at the temple were to be used to pay the workers and sustain the priests. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 34:12 that "the men did the work faithfully."

While in the midst of repairing the temple, Hilkiah the priest (who just so happened to be the father of the great prophet Jeremiah) had an amazing find - the Book of the Law. 

"Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, 'I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.' And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. So Shaphan the scribe went to the king, bringing the king word, says, Your servants have gatehered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of those who do the work, who oversee the house of the Lord.' Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saysing, 'Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.' And Shaphan read it before the king."

Some scholars believe this could have been the original book of of the law written by Moses! Can you imagine?! Until this point, the King only had the word that had been passed down through generations - a set of guidelines to follow, if you will. Now he had the actual written Word of God in his hands!

The Bible says in 2 Kings 22:11 when King Josiah "heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes." The hearing of God's word did a spiritual work in King Josiah. In the strongest way possible (tearing of clothes) he showed his grief and conviction of sin. After hearing the Word, King Josiah immediately sought counsel from a prophetess, read the Book of the Law to the people, and enacted sweeping reform throughout the whole land of Judah.

"Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem - the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord."

Shaphan read the book before the king and the Word of God spread. it has been forgotten and regarded as nothing more than a dusty old book. Now it was found, read, and spread. Throughout the history of Gods' people, when the Word of God is recovered and spread, spiritual revival follows. (Guzik)

God's Word has the power to convict me of my sin, just as it did for Josiah and the people of Judah.

It's amazing to me that the Word of God was so neglected in those days that it was even worth mentioning that the scribe read it, but how often do we neglect our own Word of God? How often do we go days or weeks without opening the Word? Are we like the Israelites? Maybe it's time for a heart check: Do you regularly read the Word and, if so, does it speak to your heart the way it did Josiah's?

Page Details

I used acrylic paint and stamps to create this page. I watered down the acrylic paint a bit, and then blended it as a background. I used distress oxides to stamp the flower background and added white accents and white paint splatter. I then stamped, fussy cut, and colored the typewriter with my (cheap) alcohol markers 😉


Friends, may you enjoy your time in the Word of God this week! 🙌

Much love in Christ, 



Sunday, July 11, 2021

Live in the Bible

Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. Psalm 119:97

Hi Friends!
My husband, 2 daughters, and I are all avid readers. We love reading all sorts of books. And so, when I saw this quote by Charles Spurgeon, I knew I had to put it in my Bible! How wise this quote is. We can "visit" good books, enjoying and being entertained by them. But there is one book that stands above all others, and in that one, we must LIVE- reading and meditating on it each and every day, basing how we live on it. 

Psalm 119 is one of my favorite psalms because of how it speaks of God's Word and what our relationship to it should be. It's a long Psalm, and says much, but a few of the verses I marked for my page are:
  • Verse 81: My soul faints with longing for Your salvation, but I have put my hope in Your word.
  • Verse 86a: All Your commands are trustworthy.
  • Verse 89: Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
  • Verses 92-93: If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have preserved my life.
  • Verse 97: Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long.
  • Verse 103: How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
  • Verse 105: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
  • Verse 112: My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end.
Oh friends, this world is topsy-turvy. The world preaches that truth is relative, and what may be true for me isn't necessarily true for you; and that "truth" can change from day to day. But that is a lie. God is truth; and truth is absolute. God doesn't change. Truth doesn't change. And God's truth, real truth, is true whether we believe it or not. We can find God's truth in the Bible. I treasure His Word. I have many Bibles in my home, some study Bibles, some journaling Bibles, some digital Bibles on my devices. And I'm thankful to live in America where I have easy access to the Bible. But if there ever comes a time in this country where we don't have easy access to Bibles, I will share mine with anyone who needs one because His Word is LIFE.

Page details: I used the following Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps sets: God of Comfort, Curly Girl Alpha, Texture Tiles 6, Joyful Alpha, and Typewriter Blocks Alpha. God of Comfort, Curly Girl, and Texture Tiles 6 are all part of the July release. When I saw God of Comfort, I knew I had to use this image with the Spurgeon quote. I colored the image and letters with Prismacolor pencils. I colored the background with watercolor crayons, and stamped the grunge dots on top.

Visit many good books, friends, but live in the Bible. Have a blessed week! Andrea

Saturday, July 10, 2021

There is a Hope...

 Hi friends,

I was looking through my oldest journaling Bible the other day at pages that I haven't illustrated yet, and as I scanned this page in Jeremiah 31, this phrase in verse 17 really hit me: 'There is a hope for your future, declares the Lord.' This verse was exactly what I needed to hear at that point, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

While this verse is not addressed to us personally in the context of Jeremiah, it is addressed to a people who are in a dire situation. They were being exiled from their homes and their land, and it didn't seem at all like they could look to the future with hope. Jeremiah is a pretty bleak book, with a lot of prophecies of judgment and cries of anguish and despair. Yet in this middle of all this (very deserved) trouble that the people of Israel found themselves in, God speaks hope over them. In the midst of judgment there is mercy. In the midst of sorrow there is hope. When we reflect on this today, it is clear that we can take encouragement from this too, because we have an even greater hope. We have Jesus. No matter what goes on around us, what sorrow we face, even what consequences we reap for our sin, there is a hope for our future in Jesus. Let's cling to this hope and look to Jesus for encouragement in times where there only seems to be despair. There IS a hope for your future.

I used the gorgeous new Blooming Anemones stamp set on this page. I stamped the images onto watercolour card, coloured, then cut out. You can see what they looked like completed here:

Once I had created a background using acrylic paints, I stamped the chicken wire image from Texture Tiles 6 on the bottom half of the page, then glued pieces of the large flower image to the top and bottom, trimming around the edges of the page. I then added the single flower and one of the leaves left over from the larger image. The text was stamped with a combination of the new Curly Girl Alpha, Marker Alpha, Choose Faith, and Women of Praise. I added a couple of butterflies from Made New which I stamped on vellum and die-cut using the coordinating dies

Whatever you may be facing, no matter how difficult it may be, remember that God has declared that there is hope for your future in Jesus Christ.

Be blessed...

x Amy x

Monday, July 5, 2021

Set Free

Yesterday, we celebrated our Independence Day here in America. I am so grateful and thankful to live in a country in which I am freely able to practice my faith and worship as I see fit, but I couldn't help but ponder on freedom and what freedom truly means. My political freedom has been won by the hard fought sacrifice of patriots who hold to the ideal of a nation where all men and women are created equal and have rights given to them by God, not government. As a Christian, my freedom comes first and foremost from my Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us, 
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, I am no longer a slave to sin, to fear, to desire that will destroy me. I am truly FREE. 

"So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed." - John 8:36
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - John 8:32
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." - Romans 8:1-2

Whether you live in this country or not, I implore you to tightly hold on to the freedom that has been given to you in Christ. "Live as a people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil." (1 Peter 2:16). Don't trade your freedom for the allure of sin. 

Second Peter 2 is direct and to the point, and honestly not an easy chapter to read. It warns of the dangers of false teachers. Those who look "free" but really are slaves to sin. Who speak flattering, but empty words. They promise liberty, but they themselves are slaves to corruption. They look free, and claim to be free, but they are really slaves to their own desires. Even worse, they lead other believers down the same path of destruction. 

"The promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them."
- 2 Peter 2:19-21

The exhortation from Peter is to be wary of false teachers, but I believe is also a reminder to believers not to fall back into sinful patterns lest you yourself become enslaved in sinful bondage and lead others astray. David Guzik has this to say: "It is better for a person to have never known a thing about Jesus than to hear some truth, hold to it for a season, and then later reject it. Greater revelation has a greater accountability."

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
- Galatians 5:1

I'm preaching to myself when I say: Stand firm in your freedom. Don't fall back into the bondage that Christ has freed you from. You know what Christ has saved you from, you have experience the feeling of freedom - don't reject it and return to your sin. Claim your freedom in Christ and walk in it. 

Page Details

I used Distress Oxides and stamps to create this page. Since it was a relatively long title, I used words and alphas from a few different stamp sets to pull it all together. 


Wishing you all a blessed week celebrating your FREEDOM IN THE LORD!