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,