THE BLESSINGS OF CREATIVITY...

I thank the LORD JESUS for each day that is given me to create wonderful projects...As always, I give Him all the glory.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Scripture Series: This Shall Be a Sign Christmas Card---It's Word Art Wednesday Challenge Time!

Hi there, Crafty peeps! It's time for another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW)Today's Scripture Word Art comes from Luke 2:12 which says, "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  I am featuring my card with this verse along with all the DT members at WAW.  Download this free Scripture Word Art and use it for your projects (not mandatory) and link  them to our Challenge.

Anyway, our highlighted verse was spoken by an angel of the Lord to the shepherds in the field living near Bethlehem where Jesus was born.  Though terrified at first, the shepherds rejoiced upon hearing that a Savior of all has been born.  They were joined by a crowd of heavenly host giving glory and praise unto God.  I would like to share the exhortation surrounding this verse from my Life Application Bible and it says: "The greatest event in history just happened!  The Messiah had been born! For ages the Jews had waited for this, and when it finally occurred, the announcement came to humble shepherds.  The good news about Jesus is that he comes to all, including the plain and the ordinary.  He comes to everyone with a heart humble enough to accept Him.  Whoever you are, whatever you do, you can have Jesus in your life. Don't think you need extraordinary  qualifications---he accepts you as you are.  Some of the Jews were waiting for a Savior to deliver them from Roman rule; others hoped the Christ (Messiah) would deliver them from their physical ailments.  But Jesus, while healing their illnesses and establishing a spiritual kingdom, delivered them from sin.  His work is far-reaching than anyone could imagine.  Christ paid the price for sin and opened the way to peace with God.  He offers us more than temporary political or physical changes---He offers us new hearts that will last for eternity."

Aren't you glad that we serve a God whose willing to leave the comforts of heaven and live among us?  Not only that, He would die on our behalf to free us from the bondage of Sin and Death and restore us to our condition before the Fall of Man.  The shepherds didn't have the fullness of this revelation which many of us in this generation now know.  I am extremely grateful that the Spirit of God led me to the knowledge of Jesus Christ---deeply understanding the significance and meaning of His birth and the Gospel (His death, burial and resurrection) to my life today and the eternal future.  However, I can't help but ask why God chose the shepherds to be bearers of this awesome news of Christ' birth?  Why not kings, leaders or the rich and powerful men of that time? You see, simple individuals live simple lives and less worldly baggage.  Most people, rich, powerful and driven with ambition, have to devote all their effort, time and resources to further their influence to enlarge their wealth.  Their minds are preoccupied with advancing their influence that they don't find time for anything else.  As a result, they become deaf and blind to the things of God. They become idolaters---lovers of themselves more than God.  They thought they achieved everything on their own efforts and are in control of their destinies. But here's the Truth, unless you know Christ and place Him first in everything you say and do, everything this world offers can devour you.  Satan tried to tempt Jesus with riches and power in exchange for His worship.  Luke 4:5-8 tells us, "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Now, I am not saying you need to be poor (materially) in order to hear from God, not at all!  In fact, there are many people out there blaming and cursing God for being poor and refuse to thank God for daily provision provided for them.  The point is, it's not your material richness or poorness that matters to God.  It is your receptiveness and humility to acknowledge Him as the Source of everything you have and everything you are."  The shepherds, upon hearing of the great news of Messiah's birth, ran to see the baby Jesus and they immediately spread the word, "Jesus is your Messiah, your Savior."  They discovered something so wonderful that they made it their priority to share them with their friends.  And all who heard their story were amazed. (Luke 2:15-18). I pray that we follow the great example the shepherds showed us pertaining to the life changing Truth brought about by the birth of Jesus Christ.  Lets make it our priority always.

For this Card, I used a clear stamp image from Art Impressions that I bought from Michael's and colored it with my Touch Five markers.  The base is a white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from DCWV, the brad from Recollections, the flowers that I layered are from Prima and the glitters are from Stickles.  I used a border punch from MS punch to create the shape om both sides of the card, a Corner Chomper from We R Memory Keepers and Fiskars punch for the leaves.   Finally, I ran the panels through my sewing machine to create some fancy stitched border all over this creation.


 THIS SHALL BE A SIGN CHRISTMAS CARD


THIS SHALL BE A SIGN CHRISTMAS CARD LAYERS


 THIS SHALL BE A SIGN CHRISTMAS CARD INSIDE


THIS SHALL BE A SIGN CHRISTMAS CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered  into the following Challenges:


Time to go, everyone!  Please make sure to visit us at WAW and link up the projects you make out of our free Word Art although not mandatory.  You can link up any inspiring, uplifting, family-friendly projects, up to 5.  Our wonderful sponsor this week is Simon Says Stamps ($25 GC). So, head over to WAW and show us your wonderful projects.  Enjoy your week.  Always remember that God loves you and wants you to share the meaning of His birth to everyone who chooses to listen.

Monday, December 4, 2017

All About Jesus Christmas Card---Join our December Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hi everyone,  It's that time of the year again.  December is my fave month in our calendar but it always seem to pass by quickly.  So before this month is gone, I wanted to make a Christmas card.  It's funny that I have several Christmas images  in my collection but haven't made anything with them for years.  My hubby said, I'm really good at collecting stuff but don't have the time to use them...LOL.  I know many of you can identify with me.

Anyway, I must confess how I struggle often in creating Christmas cards because I don't want to create something solely based on people's traditions.  More than anything, I like to highlight the true essence of the Christmas season---that is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  Throughout the years, commercialization is trying to systematically take Jesus out of what is supposed to be a celebration of His birth,  replacing Him with anything and everything money can buy.  Political correctness have tried to silence people from even greeting each other "Merry Christmas."  I don't know about you but I still feel weird when someone greets me, "Happy Holidays" or  Season's Greetings" among others as they really makes no sense.  Honestly, if I'm not familiar with Christmas holiday, it would make me wonder, "What season, what holiday are you talking about?"  Many of our celebrated holidays in this country (if not all), mentions the holiday being celebrated.  Common examples are Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, New Year's Day among others.  But why is it different  when it comes to the birth of Jesus Christ?   What in the word "Christmas" is so offensive to the political radicals in our time?  Well, obviously it's CHRIST!  There's something about Jesus and the hope His birth brought to this world that threatens this rebellious generation.  Curiously, they don't react the same way to every celebrations that promotes gods of other religions.  In fact, they don't really care if you make the sun, the moon and the stars, a tree your god as long as it's not Jesus Christ.  What's behind all these hostility against Jesus?  Here is Truth...The Scripture tells us in Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  Jesus took the sins of all mankind when He wrapped Himself in flesh (Incarnation) and nailed it all down at the Cross so that everyone who believed in Him is set free from the curse of sin and have eternal life.  Philippians 2:9-11 tells us, "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." My friends, there is Power in the name of Jesus!  This is the kind of Truth Satan and his minions would not want you to ever discover.  The  power of God that lives inside every believer, the Holy Spirit, gives us everything we need to overcome this world in Christ Jesus and guarantees us of our eternal life with our Savior.  So, next time we think about Christmas, think about what the birth of Jesus Christ means to mankind and to you as a person.  Everyone that takes Christ out of Christmas has one goal---to rob you of the Truth on what Jesus did for you.  Christmas decorations, family gatherings and gift giving along with other traditions maybe nice and heartfelt, but none of them compare to the eternal gift the birth of Christ brings. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  Tell your children, and your children's children about this Truth as you gather together this blessed season. 

For this Card, I used a clear stamp image from Art Impressions.  It's a set (no name given) that I bought at Michael's recently and could be exclusive there as I didn't see it in the AI website yet.  I did some watercoloring and tried to keep it simple in order to give emphasis on the sentiment that I composed/created to go with this image.  I wanted to emphasize the true meaning of this season more than what commercialization made them to be.  I also used an A7 Kraft card for the base, added some Stickles (Crystal) glitters and went crazy adding some Liquid Pearls (White Opal).  Finally, I incorporated some fancy stitching that completed this simple design. 


 ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRISTMAS CARD


 ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRISTMAS CARD LAYERS


 ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRISTMAS CARD INSIDE


ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRISTMAS CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:


There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the opportunity to join our Anything Goes Challenge with an optional Twist (Christmas or Winter) at 613 Avenue Create.  Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to highlight.  I hope you have a wonderful week filled with the divine inspiration of God's Word and be able to share the Hope you have in you to bring light to the dark places in your sphere of influence.  Would love to hear your comments too.   Hugs, always!  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Scripture Series: Giving Thanks to God Card---Join Us for Another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Before anything else, HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!  Hope you are spending a wonderful time with your family as we reflect on the goodness of the Father---every good and perfect gift that He graciously gave us through the finished work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.  And when I think about His faithfulness in my life, I can't help but reflect also on the trials for when I wrestled with all of them, God showed His supernatural power working inside of me that gave me victory to overcome.  All glory to His Name!

Today, we have a brand new Scripture Word Art (you can download for free) at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) site.  Me and my fellow DT's have used it in our projects like in the one I've  featured here.  It comes from Colossians 3:17 which says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."  

You see, how we physically (outside appearance) come across other people matter in how we are representing Christ to our fellow believers and the world.  I agree that personal appearance play a role in our initial contact with people but a true and lasting personality/impression is really a reflection of who we are (character) and the change we encounter from within.  What we allow ourselves to ponder on shapes our thinking and molds us to the kind of person we show on the outside.  Many have spent their lifetime perfecting the glamorous life but failed to develop what is truly important---making their spiritual life healthy and fabulous by constantly cultivating an intimate connection with God through His Word.  We must always remember that our bodies are earthly suits (temporal) that we will one day trade (like it or not) for an eternal body (permanent).  We must never ever allow the physical to take priority over the spiritual.  Our bodies on the other hand are to be used for God's purpose.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."  In the original context of this Scripture, believers are instructed to have no part in sexual immorality as our bodies are for the Lord.  When we take part in it (in any capacity), we degrade and disrespect the temple of God and cause ourselves and others harm.  God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves and others, so he offers to fill us (our loneliness and desires) with Himself.  When we pay attention to other things and disregard our relationship with God, we turn ourselves away from the Lord and position ourselves to be devoured by the world.  Be careful that we don't deem anything more important than the presence of God in our lives.  Romans 12:1-2 says, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

The point I'm making in all of these is that we should fill ourselves with the knowledge of God and allow Him to use  or bodies for His purpose.  Remembering that when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we gave Him permission to mold, direct and use us whatever and whenever He may see fit.  We must submit to Him everything---that includes our dreams, ambitions and intentions.  Whatever we say and do, we must intentionally ask ourselves the question---"Why am I doing what I'm doing?" and in all honesty to our Father, allow Him to make necessary changes if need be. Our outside image should be nothing more than a reflection of what's going on inside us.  If Jesus is the Lord of our lives, we are to reflect Him in everything we say and do.  This is a lifelong process we commit to daily and made possible by our yielding to the Holy Spirit of God in us.  Doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus" means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living.  As a Christian (Born-again, John 3:3), we represent Christ at all times---wherever you go, in whatever you say and do.  

For this Card, I used an image from Stamping Bella called "Uptown Girl Tiffany Loves to Text" that I watercolored with my Stabilo 68 markers.  The base is Kraft, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from DCWV, the border sentiment from Will n Way and the corner stamp from Stampendous.  I also added some glitters to the image using Stickles (Crystal) and finalized the card with some stitching.   


GIVING THANKS TO GOD CARD


 GIVING THANKS TO GOD CARD LAYERS


 GIVING THANKS TO GOD CARD INSIDE


GIVING THANKS TO GOD CARD WITH ENVELOPE-CARD


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Star Stampz---Add Some Sparkle (On the clothes and flowers on the image)
Crafty Creations---ATG
House that Stamps Built---ATG
Simon Says---ATG
Sisterhood of Crafters---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girls---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Creatalicious---ATG/Thanks
Create and Inspire---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Guys
Eclectic Ellapu---ATG
Let's Craft and Create---ATG/Fall Colors/Thankful
Love to Scrap---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Sunsational---Thanksgiving
Rubber Buggy---Thanksgiving
Worldwide Open DT---ATG
YSP---ATG

Hope you join the fun at our WAW Challenge There's wonderful prize awaiting our winner from our sponsor this week, Really Reasonable Ribbon  ($10 GC) and also a special prize package from our Challenge Coordinator, Karen.  You can choose to incorporate the free Word Art (sentiment) you see in my card for projects you wish to make and link with us though it's not mandatory.  You can submit up to 5 projects (Anything Goes) as long as it's family friendly, inspirational or uplifting.  Can't wait to see what you come up with. Have a blessed week and always remember to share unto others the hope you have in you.  Hugs!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Scripture Series: O Give Thanks Center Step Card---It's Anything Goes (Inspirational) Challenge Happening at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, everyone!  Here to share the card I made for our Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) featuring the Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) found in 1 Chronicles 16:34 that tells us, "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. " It is part of the psalm that King David delivered to God's people after they brought back the Ark of God (Ark of the Covenant) to Jerusalem (the center of worship David established) from Kiriath Jearim where it was neglected for many years. My Life Application Bible shared a very important explanation about this.  It says:  "The neglect of the Ark symbolized Israel's neglect of God.  Bringing the Ark back to the center of Israel's life reflected David's desire to remind the nation of its true foundation---God! Neglecting those things that remind us of God---the Bible, the Church, and contact with Christians---will cause us also  to neglect God. How would an observer know that God is at the center of your life?"  

King David gathered all of God's people to rejoice the return of the Ark with burnt offerings and fellowship offerings.  They lifted up their petitions, give thanks and praise God for His goodness and faithfulness.  Israel fought many battles and King David recognized that their victory does not come from their own strength.  With God on their side, victory was certain.  Notice that God didn't prevent battle from taking place in the history of His people.  With God's revelations and instructions to His prophets and appointed leaders, they engaged in battle with both physical (armory) and spiritual (faith) weapons.  We do the same thing in our physical and spiritual battles today.  What makes our fight as believers (Born-again, John 3:3) different from the world's? The answer---it is the very presence of God inside of us---the Holy Spirit!  The Ark of the Covenant was a foreshadowing of what the finished work of Jesus Christ (His death, burial and resurrection) would do to redeem all of humanity from our bondage to Satan and the Sin Nature.  We no longer have to carry a physical Ark just to be assured of His presence in our lives.  By accepting what Jesus did on the Cross on our behalf, He has given us the seal of the Holy Spirit which is the very proof we are His forever and we have eternal victory.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."  

By now, we all heard of the senseless killings of our brothers and sisters in the faith at First Baptist Church at Sutherland Springs, Texas.  I was surprised how close we are (about 30 miles away) from that community.  The coming together of families to worship and hear God's Word was cut short by a madman who purposely fired at everyone resulting in 26 fatalities including an unborn and several very young kids.  Though the Body of Christ could not put into words how heartbroken we are from the injustice done to our fellow Kingdom citizens, I haven't seen anyone acting so lost like those of the world.  Are believers exempted from pain and suffering?  Not at all.  Do we always win the battle we engage with?  Certainly not.  Then, why are we not showing the same rage (which usually is a disguise for utter frustration and hopelessness) that the people of the world readily default to?  One celebrity (Wil Wheaton) even went to the extent of mocking prayers that Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) asked for the community in Sutherland Springs which he tweeted shortly after the incident.  A direct quote of Wheaton's response to Ryan's tweet (minus the profanity) said, “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless ------!" Wheaton later explained that his comment was driven by anger due to the speaker's refusal to address gun violence. If you want to find out more about this, go HERE.  Upon reading the article, only one thing came to my mind?  How blind and deceived---totally oblivious, he and all others who agrees with him about God, faith and prayer!  Though I could share something about gun ownership, I would concentrate on the value of human life, the purpose of our physical existence and what the eternal future hold for those who trust is in Jesus.  The truth is, everyone born in this world are spiritually dead (due to the Fall of Man) which makes them blind to the things of God.  That condition stands forever unless we become Born-again by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior and everything He has won for us through the Cross while we are still alive in this world.  However,  all of us are going to die physically (except for those alive when the Rapture of the Church happens).  For this physical body is only good for this world--not suitable for the eternal life waiting for us.  If you lived your life in Christ while in the world, you will live in His presence forever after physical death.  If you lived without Him in this world, you are going to spend eternity with Satan and every unbeliever in the lake of fire.  As followers of Christ, we know that God determined the number of our days on earth. Psalm 139:16 tells us, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."  Though we mourn the cruelty and tragic outcome of this incident against our fellow believers, we know that this was no surprise to God!  We are bombarded daily by the brutal killings of our brethren all over the world in the hands of godless men.  So in our grief, we carry each other's burden.  We never fail to encourage and see hope in the midst of tragedies knowing that the God of justice will carry out His judgment in His appointed time.  We look forward to His eternal promises---strengthened by the faith of Christ and the assurance of the Holy Spirit as we combat fear head on---bravely standing  against the wiles of the enemy.  We are not alone in our sorrows, beloved!  We always have a reason to give glory and thanks to God!  I would like to share the encouragement of the Scripture regarding believers who are dead in Christ and the promised Rapture of the Church.  We should always look at His Word (not on anything else) to navigate this life so that in all circumstances, we remain in faith relying on the Truth.  Doing so would help us steer clear of the deception that is sweeping the world.  

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

For this Card, I used an image from "From the Heart Dig Stamps" called "Bouquet Chick" that I colored using my Promarker/Prismacolor markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches center step design.  THe DP's are from K & Company, the flowers I layered are from Prima, the brads from Recollections, the white nail head gems from Imaginisce and the fence border I created using an MS Punch.  I also added some glitters (Stickles-Crystal) to the flower and the image.  And finally, I ran several panels to my sewing machine to create the regular and fancy stitching.  I am loving this card.


 O GIVE THANKS CENTER STEP CARD

 
O GIVE THANKS CENTER STEP CARD LAYERS


O GIVE THANKS CENTER STEP CARD SIDE VIEW


O GIVE THANKS CENTER STEP CARD INSIDE


O GIVE THANKS CENTER STEP CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

4 Crafty Chicks---Give Thanks
Aud Sentiment---Bingo + Sentiment (Pattern Paper/Image/Stitching)
Cards 4 Galz---Thanks/Thanksgiving
Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
DL Art---Patriotic/Thanks
Hanna and Friends---Animals
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Crafty Creations---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG
I Love ProMarkers---Show Some Sparkle
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Moo-Mania---Feminine
Pause Dream Enjoy---Thank you
Sisterhood of Crafters---Sparkles
Wonderful Wednesday---ATG
Snowflakes Promise---ATG
Crafty Sentiment---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Digi Choosday---ATG
Fairy Tale---Thank you
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
Retarte---ATG
Stinkin Inkers---Thankful
TTCRD---ATG
Unicorn---ATG

Time to go, everyone!  Please make sure to visit us at WAW and link up the projects you make out of our free Word Art although not mandatory.  You can link up any inspiring, uplifting, family-friendly projects, up to 5.  Our wonderful sponsor this week is Simon Says Stamp. So, head over to WAW and show us your wonderful projects.  Enjoy your week.  Always remember that God loves you and has a great plan for your life!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Encouragement Series: Be Strong Double Slider Card---Join the Fun in our Anything Goes Monthly Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello everyone!  Time for another Anything Goes Monthly Challenge happening in our neighborhood, 613 Avenue Create.  I can't believe we're almost done with this year and heading to next year by the grace and faithfulness of God.  Although we see the spread of stupidity, craziness, ignorance and evil agenda around us, all of this brings us closer to the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies revealed in the Word of God.  Those of us whose trust is placed upon  Jesus Christ rely on the truth, direction and prophetic warnings of the Scripture.  God's Word is the bright light that separates us from the darkness that covers (deceives)  this world.  It is extremely important that our faith be anchored on Him who is eternal and unchanging.

If I may ask, where is your heart resting?  Or should I ask, who is your God?  Many of us would be quick to answer,  JESUS!... But do you really mean that from the core of your heart?  Is your response based on personal experience/encounter with Jesus or just a shallow response that had been passed down from one religion to another?  If our hearts rests in the One True God, why are there many of us who do nothing but complain daily? Some work day and night and do everything it takes (ex. Hollywood hopefuls) just to make sure they're big (glittery) dreams are fulfilled. How about those that mock God because they didn't get what they asked for (material or supernatural)?  They resort to selling their souls to the devil  thinking that by doing so, they will have no use for God.  And how about some who thinks they are better than their brothers/neighbors?  Sadly, this is true even in the Church.   The truth is, not even believers (Born-again, John 3:3) are excused from carnal mindedness.  But unlike the people of the world, we are not in bondage to it.  We always have a choice to walk away from the dictates of the flesh.  The question is, are we going to make the right choice?  For if we truly know the God we serve, we would recognize/discern the works/footprints of the enemy. Unlike unbelievers,  we could ask the help of the Holy Spirit to keep our focus solely on what Jesus did at the Cross and rid us of our focus on ourselves (including every self-seeking ambition/dreams) and looking at other people's success/failures.  Jesus warned us in Matthew 6:19-25, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

You see, when we turn our focus on something else other than the Cross of Jesus Christ, we build ourselves a pagan altar that worships another god.  The first and greatest commandment foundational to other divine laws  spoken by Jesus in Mark 12:29-30 tells us, "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." If we love Him, we will consider loving our neighbors as ourselves for that is what He requires of us.  We would treat them fairly the way we want to be treated.  To truly love God is to experience Him through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (our Savior).  It is only possible through faith in His finished work (death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross and is perfected by our obedience to His Word.  Any other thing we place out trust and life into above God  (examples: family, friends, boyfriend, fame, talent, strength, riches, beauty, careers, personality, power, influence and every kind of material things) is an "IDOL" that will lead us into destruction both now and forever.

As I draw closer to God daily, the less attracted I am of the world.  He's teaching me to see everyone as my co-worker in the ministry and strips me of pride, envy or comparison.  He helps me to see that each believer has been given a talent and purpose (unique from others) that He wants us to use at each appointed time, based on His leading.  In big or small task, He looks at the motives of our hearts and our willingness to obey His direction.  If God calls us to humility and servant hood, why do we see a pecking order or hierarchy in many Churches today?  Aren't we all equal members of the Body of Christ? All  of us are valuable, none is less than the other. Yes, there should be reverence for the office appointed to us in leadership but these leaders must not think highly of themselves by encouraging their congregation to treat them like "rock stars."  Unlike the world, "leadership" in the Kingdom of God means "servant-hood."  We need not look any further than the pure example of Jesus, Himself!  In all my readings of the Scripture, I have never seen Jesus clamor for attention, demand the nicest seat in the house, nor desired to hang  out with the wealthy and influential.  On the other hand, The Bible showed us how Jesus, Son of God served people---from washing the feet of His disciples to ultimately giving His life for all of humanity.  I am not saying that it's wrong to hang out with influential people but when we do, we should ask ourselves this: "Why are we doing what we are doing?  Is it truly for God or for our own personal benefit?"  We need to be honest with ourselves as nothing is hidden from God.  I believe that if we keep ourselves in constant check, we will be a true "Service-Oriented Leader" than a "Self-advancing kind of leader."  In closing, let me leave you with The Word of God in Romans 12:3 which says, "For by the grace given me (Paul) I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." My Life Application Bible supported this verse with this wonderful explanation I needed to share.  It says:  "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves.  The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth---our identity in Christ.  Apart from Him, we aren't capable of very much by eternal standards; in Him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service.  Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think  too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value  in God's eyes.

For this Card, I used images from Mama Elephant that I colored using Touch Five markers, sentiments from Studio G and the main sentiment from Stampabilities.  I did quite a bit of inking for my background using Distress Inks.  The cloud template was something I created and used before and I also added some Liquid Pearls (White Opal) for added dimension.  Attached a small piece of ribbon from my stash and this project is done.  I was inspired to create this interactive card after watching a VIDEO from Darlene DeVries. Go ahead and try it yourself.  It's kinda fun!


 BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD


BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WHEN PULLED


 BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD INSIDE


BE STRONG DOUBLE SLIDER CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafting with an Attitude---ATG
DL Art---ATG
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Moo-Mania---Feminine
Snowflakes Promise---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Digi Choosday---ATG
Retarte---ATG
Angie's---ATG/Holidays
Heartful Stamping---ATG
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends---ATG
Mari Ko---ATG
Corrosive---ATG
Crafting with Dragonflies---Use your Stash + Bling
Crazy 4 Challenges---Layer It Up
ITD's Creative Playground---ATG
Scrapper's Delights---ATG

There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the fun by joining our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.   Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to highlight this week. Realize that when your heart is right with God, He will use you mightily to lead others in Godly humility.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Scripture Series: He Counted Me Faithful Card---Get Creative and Link Your Inspirational/ Anything Goes Projects at our Word Art Wednesday Challenge!

Hello everyone. Back again to highlight another card I made for our bi-weekly Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  As always, it is Anything Goes as long as it's inspirational.  We are also incorporating a Scripture Word Art (all the DT's used) you can download for free at the WAW site.  It comes from 1 Timothy 1:12 which says, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

We are living in the times where deception is rampant in our society.  How do we spot deception?  When people use their knowledge, experiences and way of thinking to rationalize and support an issue that goes against God's Word.  I can site many examples but will focus on one for the sake of time.  One prominent example in our day is the case of Sodomy (Homosexuality) in our nation denying it as a "SIN."  We have many prominent so-called "preachers" making money and filling their stadiums perverting the Word of God (false teachings).  Well known politicians and powerful personalities have polluted the minds of the weak by ranking homosexuality among the protected clause along with race, color or nationality.   As a babies in our mother's womb, we don't have an input which country to be born from---much less the color of our skin. Furthermore, God's Word tells us in Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."  We are one or the other based on the biological make-up our Creator assigned for us.  Homosexuality on the other hand is something a man/woman could struggle with after he/she is born and growing up.  Like any other sin, it is a product of the Sin Nature (originated and implanted in us by Lucifer after the Fall of Man that causes us to hate and rebel against God).  No doubt each one of us are affected by the quality of the upbringing we encounter in life and the worldly influences we expose ourselves into.  Abuse (verbal, physical or sexual) as well as the lack of strong and Godly parenting/leadership accounts to most of the struggles we see and hear.  Many homosexuals responded and surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus.  They turned away from homosexuality and are now fulfilling God's purpose in their lives.  However, we don't see/hear their testimonies on a worldwide platform because they are persecuted, threatened and suppressed by a demonic (leftist) agenda.  This evil group of deceived individuals don't want people to hear the truth---that homosexuality is a sin and the One and Only cure is JESUS!  Their strategy?  They use God's love (out of context/perverted) to silence God's people.   The truth of the matter is, God's love (Agape) doesn't rejoice in anyone dwelling in Sin for Sin eternally separates us from God's very presence.  This is why Jesus died on the Cross.  That in His sacrifice, we can be free to be with Him forever.  

I guess my question is:  How many times did somebody (really deceived) intimidate you from sharing the Truth of God's Word using (in their defense) Matthew 7:1 which says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."?  Did they succeed?  I hope not!  But if so, you have to go back to your study table, wipe the dust off your Bible, and seek the Truth of God's Word.  Why?  Because you need to know the basics of your faith in order to effectively share with others their need for salvation.  Our response to their false argument?  Because when we came to know the Lord, we acknowledged all of our sins.  We asked for forgiveness and confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  His finished work at the Cross (death, burial and resurrection) washed us clean, justified (made us right in His Sight) and sanctified us (set us apart for His purpose) and gave us the power to proclaim the Gospel to people who are without hope.  Remembering that we were once slaves to the Sin Nature but are now in Christ.  Sure none of us is perfect (yet) but we are no longer slaves to the will of the enemy.  We now have a choice to say "No" to Sin and "Yes" to God.  Jesus told us in Matthew 7:3, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."  By acknowledging our sins and surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ,  we essentially removed the plank in our own eyes first which enabled us to see the speck of sawdust in our brother's eye.  We obeyed God's Word by virtue of our relationship with Jesus Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit inside of us.  Hence, we are qualified Ambassadors of God to this dying world.  

You see, God brought us out from our slavery to Sin to be a part of the Church (Ekklesia---The Called Out Ones).  Many of us came from horrible backgrounds and have committed heinous crimes.  Whatever God saved us from the past along with our daily battles and victories, we are to use our individual testimony to proclaim the hope we have in Christ.  No believer is exempted from this.  Someone out there will benefit from our redemptive story.  I am truly grateful to the Lord for using me in His ministry (service) in big and small ways.  I would like to share something I read in my Life Application Bible that would encourage us to be grateful and faithful to the ministry God entrusted to us.  It says, "Paul was not nearly as interested in creating an image as he was in being an example.  He did not hesitate to share his past, because he knew his failures would allow others to have hope.  At times we hesitate to share our past struggles with others because we are afraid it will tarnish our image.  Paul demonstrated that lowering our guard can be an important step in communicating the gospel.  People will not believe the gospel is important if they can't see that it is crucial in their life.  How has Christ shown patience with you?  Did He stayed with you when you doubted and rebelled?  Did He remain faithful when you ignored His prior claim on your life?  Did He love you when you disregarded His Word and His Church?  Remember that His patience is unlimited for those who love Him.  Don't be afraid to let others know what God has done for you."

For this Card, I used an image from Tiddly Inks called "Lily Bean - Cup of Love" which I colored using my Touch Five/Prismacolor markers and paper -pieced with DP's from my scraps.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5  inches square card.  I created the border using an MS Punch, added some glitters (Stickles-Crystal) as well as white nail head gems from Imaginisce.  And finally, I stitched all over this card.  Simply beautiful.


HE COUNTED ME FAITHFUL CARD


 HE COUNTED ME FAITHFUL CARD LAYERS


HE COUNTED ME FAITHFUL CARD INSIDE


HE COUNTED ME FAITHFUL CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafty Creations---ATG
Crafty Gals---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG
House that Stamps Built---ATG
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Pause Dream Enjoy---ATG
Simon Says---ATG
Sisterhood of Crafters---Spots
Wonderful Wednesday---ATG
4 Crafty Chicks---Polka Dots
As You Like It---People or Animal (I prefer people as they give more life to my Scripture Cards)
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Artistic Inspirations---ATG
Color Inspiration Monthly---ATG
Crafting from the Heart---ATG
Pammie's Inky---ATG
Scrapbook Stamp Society---ATG
Paper Nest Dolls---ATG
Snowflakes Promise---ATG
Crafty Sentiments---ATG
Creates and Makes---ATG
Digi Choosday---ATG
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
Retarte---ATG
TTCRD---ATG

Hope you enjoyed my featured project today at WAW...I am looking forward to see your projects linked to our Challenge.  You can include the free Word Art in your projects to link,  but not a requirement.  You can submit any inspirational, uplifting, family friendly creations (up to 5 each week) for more chances to win our prize from our sponsors this week---Craftin' Desert Divas (Sequins) and All Dressed Up Stamps (Digi Stamps). Everything we hear and see should always be brought to the approval and/or correction of the infallible Word of God.  This is the only way we can be sane in this insane world. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scripture Series: Remembering Without Ceasing Card---Join Us for Another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hi there, friends!  Just want to invite you to join us at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) for another Inspirational Challenge.  As always, we are featuring a Scripture Word Art that you can download for free at the WAW site and while there, view all the wonderful cards/projects the DT's made using the featured Scripture.  Our highlighted Word today comes from  1 Thessalonians 1:3 which tells us, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father."  

Like the Thessalonians who encountered persecution because of their new found faith in the Lord, Christians in today's generation find ourselves under intense persecution daily.  Apostle Paul had great concerns for the new believers in Thessalonica.  After all,  the first Christian church was established in that city on Paul's first missionary journey.  Paul could have stayed longer but he didn't get the chance to disciple them because his/their lives were in danger (Acts 17:1-10).  In his mind, these vulnerable new believers were left to face the pressure of having to defend what they now believe without adequate understanding against those who seek to destroy them. So at his earliest opportunity, he sent Timothy to check on the spiritual status of the new believers in Thessalonica.  I can just feel the joy in the heart of Apostle Paul when he heard from Timothy how these new believers remained firm and united in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of their difficult and dangerous situation.  Not having the chance to visit them personally, Paul wrote letters (epistles) to the Thessalonians to commend, encourage, strengthen their faith and to answer many other questions they had.  And we find his first and second letter to them in the Bible under 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.  

So, back to our featured Scripture Word Art where Apostle Paul expressed his gratefulness to God and eagerness to pray for these new believers,  he spoke highly and mentioned three things pertaining to them in his opening statement.  First, he commended their work of faith.  You see, faith is our only connection to God in this worldThe Bible clearly states in Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  Without faith, man depend solely on his five senses which makes him blind to the things of God.  John 4:23-24 says, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."  It could have been hard for these baby Christians to explain their new found faith with such limited understanding of the meaning of the Gospel.  But with the little they had, they saw far more than what their physical eyes could see. They connected with God through faith.  

Secondly,  Paul acknowledged their labor of love.  In times of trial and persecution, it would have been easy to mind our own business---away from trouble by being silent and going with the flow.  The less people know about our faith in Jesus Christ, the less aggression, insult and name calling we'd have to endure.  But the Thessalonian believers found in Christ a treasure that is worth more than gold in this present life.  It's a life changing Truth where they experienced the presence of God like no other.  1 John 4:16 tells us, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."  We also learned God's kind of love in John 15:12-13 which says, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."  I believe many of these 1st century Born-again (John 3:3) believers had to share the Truth, even risking their lives, out of love for those that would otherwise perish without knowing Jesus Christ.  I could see them carrying each other's burden and helping one another not just physically/materially but also spiritually.  

Thirdly,  Paul spoke highly of their patience of hope in Jesus Christ. Here, I would like to share what I read from my Life Application Bible about the hope of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Here's what it says:  "All of us should respond to the Good News (Gospel) as the Thessalonians did: turn to God, serve God, and wait for His Son, Christ to return from heaven.  We should turn from sin to God because Christ is coming to judge the earth.  We should be fervent in our service because we have little time before Christ returns.  We should be prepared for Christ to return because we don't know when he will come.  Paul emphasized Christ's second coming throughout the Book of Thessalonians.  Because the Thessalonian church was being persecuted, Paul encouraged them to look forward to the deliverance that Christ would bring.  A believer's hope is in the return or Jesus, our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13).  Our perspective on life remains incomplete without this hope.  Just as surely as Christ was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, He will return (Acts 1:11).  

What a blessing to know how the early Christians held on to their faith and hope in Jesus Christ and didn't use persecution as an excuse to spread the love of God to others.  I submit to you that we are to live our lives today with the inspiration, passion and encouragement that the early believers demonstrated.  What a glorious day it would be to meet our Lord and our forefathers in the faith as we celebrate the righteous reign of Christ and rule with Him in the very near future.  Are you ready?

For this Card, I used an image from Stamping Bella called "Forever my Always" which I colored with my Touch Five/Prismacolor markers with some paper-piecing.  I stamped the cute heart in the image from Stampin' Up.  The base is a white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from Paper Studio.  I utilized my new Lawn Fawn Dies (Stitched Hillside Borders) to create the background.   I included some butterflies from Recollections that I glittered with Stickles (Gold) and added some Liquid Pearls (Platinum Pearl) from Ranger.  Finally, I did a fancy stitch all over the Card with my sewing machine.


REMEMBERING WITHOUT CEASING CARD


 REMEMBERING WITHOUT CEASING CARD LAYERS


REMEMBERING WITHOUT CEASING CARD SIDE VIEW


 REMEMBERING WITHOUT CEASING CARD INSIDE


REMEMBERING WITHOUT CEASING CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Inky Mess---ATG
Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Connie Can Crop---To Die For
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Girls Creations---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Create and Inspire---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Cute as a Button---ATG
DL Art---ATG
HLS---ATG with Dies
Let's Craft and Create---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
YSP---ATG


Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge.  You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement.  As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can submit up to 5 entries per week.  Our wonderful sponsor for this week Simon Says Stamp ($25 GC). So excited to see what you come up with.  Anyway, cheer up and let the joy of the Lord overtake you today.  He truly loves and cares for you.

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