Thursday, February 16, 2017

His Word Is Alive

For the word of God is alive and active. 
Sharper than any double-edged sword, 
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, 
joints and marrow; 
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 

More times than I can count, God's words have leaped off the page of my Bible and seared my heart.  His Word is like a flame that purifies my heart in a refiner's fire.  Sometimes my need for refinement is a daily event!  I cringe when I hear that God's Word is no longer relevant.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  It is the most relevant, lasting, certain, absolute truth we have.  In fact, there is no truth apart from God's truth.   What's more amazing is that His Truth, His Word is rooted in His love for us.  We can depend on His Word, we can rest in it and know that is will be true for us throughout our entire lives. It not only judges our thoughts, attitudes and actions, it brings hope, comfort, strength and answers for every need we have.

I used PrismaColor pencils for the images on the page and then painted a soft watercolor blue for the background.  I decided on a little different interpretation of the image from the newly released stamp set, Living Word.  The image actually shows a living plant coming from the Bible and as God's love waters us we will grow.  But I could also see flames of His Word, and just wanted to create the imagery that God will continually pour my heart into the crucible of testing and refinement.  I think it works!

Stamp Used:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

He Calls Us by Name...We Are His!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze. 
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

The more unstable our world becomes, the more we need the promises of God to anchor us.  If we are redeemed believers, we will not be overcome by the wickedness of this world.  Even those who come against believers to take our lives will not be victors.  We hold the key to heaven and our eternal destiny is secure.  That enables us to live with joy for today.  

God is sufficient for any need we have, any crisis through which we walk, any heartache that threatens to break us. When we are feeling overwhelmed, overlooked or over stressed, God is with us and for us. In this life we will see trouble and tragedy, but we have a God who is greater, more powerful than our difficulties; we will not be destroyed by any power of this world. We are securely held in the hand of a God who loves us, who has called us by name, and who claims us as His very own. Rest in that truth today, precious believer.

I went back to watercolor painting for this Bible journaling page. Margin word art is created with stamps from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I used PrismaColor pencils to color in the words and accented the water with a white Sharpie paint pen.

I love the fluid transparency and blendability of watercolor paints. The blending and color saturation is unpredictable, but that makes every creation a bit of a surprise.  And as always, I usually run to my stash of Sweet 'n Sassy stamps for my Bible Art-Journaling creations. 

 Perfect Faith                                  My Friend

Thursday, February 2, 2017

God Is More Than Enough!

Recently our family celebrated the second anniversary of my grandsons' arrival from the Philippines.  They had been waiting for over a year after my son married their mother to rejoin her here in the United States.  It seemed like it took forever to complete all the complicated steps of their legal immigration paper work.  Finally the day arrived, the plane was on the way and the entire family waited with breathless anticipation for the boys and their mother to walk through the airport gate.  The boys and my son had skyped many times, so they knew each other, but this moment would be a once in a lifetime moment.  They would meet for the first time face to face.  I expected the boys, 7 and 10, to be shy and a bit reticent when the moment to meet actually arrived. Imagine our surprise and delight when they came through the gate, immediately laid eyes on my son and broke out in a full run shouting with complete abandon, "Daddy, Daddy."  They opened their arms wide and both simultaneously jumped up into his strong, waiting embrace.  As you may well imagine, there wasn't a dry eye in the terminal.

Our heavenly Father waits with strong and open arms to receive us whenever we need Him.  He will never turn us away.  Sometimes we are at a distance, communicating with Him, believing Him.  Then there are those times when we need to run to Him with complete abandon, call out His name and jump into those arms to be near His heart and feel His protective embrace around us.  He delights our in our need of Him.

God is always ready to accept our need of Him and work on our behalf.  He is always accessible and always moving in our lives for our good.  He watches over us, stands at our right hand, intimately knows us and our need.  He will neither slumber nor turn from us.  He will always have eyes to see us and arms to hold us.

Since Jesus instructed His disciples, believers have experienced trouble here on this earth.  In fact, He said the world would hate us.  Christian brothers and sisters are being tortured and killed in some parts of the world just because they are believers.  Even here in our country, we see contempt and intolerance for Christians growing.  We need not fear.  God is for us, He moves toward us to keep us in His arms, and we can trust that God is more than enough for anything we face.  He may not remove trouble from us, but we can rest assured He will hold us through it all.

For these pages I used chalks to color the background, SU inks for stamping and Copics for coloring.  I set my work with hairspray so the chalks wouldn't dust off.   I combined the following Sweet 'n Sassy stamps.  More will be released this month and you will absolutely love them for Bible journaling.

My Friend                              Perfect Faith

(newly released)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

God Is Not Finished Yet!

God is constantly working on our behalf.  Whether we are in the midst of a personal storm, struggling with spiritual or physical health, hold on.  God is still for you and He is doing something in your circumstances.  His activity is never in vain and His Word to us will never be rendered useless.  He will accomplish the purposes His has for your life.

My Bible journaling for this post took me to James 5:7-11.  We are encouraged to HOLD ON because God is not finished with His work in our lives until He carries us home. 

My daughter-in-law is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer and she has certainly exemplified this passage.  She is a testimony to God's faithful work in her life.  She has been patient, has remained steadfast in joy and faithfulness.  Her heart is fully established in the Lord.  She is blessing others as she goes through this trial. 

I used the newly released stamp, God Is For You for the margin and added hand-lettering.  I've also used Seek Him (other stamped words in margin) and Scribble Flowers for the page design. 

You can find all these stamps on the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps store:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Love . Love . Love

This is how God showed his love among us: 
He sent his one and only Son into the world 
that we might live through him.
 1 John 4:9

If you'd ask people to offer a definition of love, you'd get as many different answers as the number of people you asked.  Most would connect love with a feeling or a commitment one makes to another person.  Any definition of love that does not emanate from the person of God is not a real, lasting love. God IS love (1 John 4:8).  Without the presence of His love, there would be no love among us at all. Man has distorted all that is good about love, and those of us who know God grieve over the deception about love in our culture today.  I believe that's why it's so important to gain an accurate perception of what true love-- God's love for us and the believer's love for others--really is. We have to read the whole counsel of God's Word to glimpse His enormous love for His own.  Even taking snippets from scripture gives us an incomplete picture of His love.  I would challenge each of you to find a reading plan that works for you and commit to reading the Bible through this year.  It will be one of the most meaningful and most productive uses of your time!

For my SNSS design projects this week, I decided to focus on God's love and how that love is to be reflected by His children.  I also wanted to have some fun with the digital stamps offered at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.  I wanted to remind you of how versatile digital stamps can be when doing Bible journaling.  So I have a few different pages to show you today.

One of the best features of a digital stamp is its versatility.  You can easily resize, rotate and flip a digital image.  For Bible journaling this is invaluable.  Had I needed to, I could have flipped the puppy image here to have it facing inward on the opposite page in my Bible.  And I can always insure that digital images will fit my margin perfectly because they are so easy to resize.

It's sobering to consider the command Jesus gives us that we are to love one another as He loved us.  His love is incomprehensibly big!  My husband and I often laugh about our dog's love, how she loves so unconditionally, so completely and how she never tires of welcoming us when we come home, even if we are only gone for 15 minutes!  People know so much about us by the way we love others. When we see others through the eyes of God, we too can love without reservation.

For my puppy love page, I simply printed the digital stamp image, laid the paper behind my Bible page and traced it in pencil first, then outlined it and colored in with Copic markers.  I could have printed it, colored it, cut it out and affixed it to the margin as well.  I also did my hand-lettering in pencil first, then wrote over it with marker, and erased the pencil afterwards. 

I fell in love with this little birdie the minute I saw him.  One of my favorite verses of Scripture comes from 1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us." Without God's love in our hearts it's impossible to love others in the purest sense.  We are only capable of that kind of love it we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

I also printed out this digi stamp and traced it onto the margin in my Bible.  I sponged the hearts using a heart stencil, and did hand lettering (still practicing...ugh...that's the hardest part of journaling for me).  The leaves are from Words of Life: Collection 2 (stamped on) and everything in the margin is colored with Copic markers. The LOVE comes from the clear stamp set, Give Praise.

For my final December entry, I used the digital stamp, Cocoa Sends Love, and here, I reversed the image and traced.  I used PrismaColor pencil for color and sponged the clouds with ink/stencil.  The hearts are stamped (How Tweet, SNSS).

Really, isn't little Cocoa one of the sweetest images ever?  I hope you'll try out some of the digital stamps at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps because they are so perfect for Bible journaling.  Rebecca Rios has created several for that specific purpose and I'll be showcasing one of those in January, but you can check those out HERE.

Here are the digital stamps used for today's projects, but if you go to the SNSS digital page with all the digi Valentine's sets, you will definitely drool...and probably start filling your cart!! May I add here too, that another helpful feature of digital images is their affordable price.  They are very inexpensive!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

God's Steadfast Love

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, 
“therefore I will hope in him.” 
(Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV)

As we look to the start of a new year, I'm so grateful for the truth of this passage. Because God's love for me does not waver, I can trust completely in His steadfast character, provision and concern. I know He is with me, that He will not disappoint, He will never fail me. 

I recently spent some time having a sweet conversation with my precious grandson, Daniel, while my husband listened in. Daniel's topic sprung spontaneously as we chatted and suddenly he dove headlong into an amazingly deep theological discussion with me. He said, "Grammie, I'm not really afraid of anything, not even dying. I'm not afraid because I know God is with me. He is with me all the time, so I don't need to worry about anything. I know He will protect me and even if I die, I will just go straight to heaven, so it's good, Grammie. It's all just good."

The hope we have as believers elicits this kind of bold assurance, while still pretty amazing for a 10 year old. We can truly trust in a God whose love is steadfast, who breathes new life into each morning. And when we understand and accept His love we know we have enough. He is our portion...He is all we need.

My Bible journaling came in stages on the project. I did the background quite some time ago, and finally decided I needed to finish it. I used acrylic paint to demonstrate a technique I rarely use, simply because I like my color to be transparent so the words of Scripture are never covered. It was a fun page to complete and provided a great way to bookmark one of my all-time favorite passages of scripture.

I used the Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps set, Give Praise for all the images, Cosmo Cricket designer paper, and a lace flower (unknown source). I stamped the birds and banner on designer paper then fussy cut them out for this project.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Give Praise!

Believers who love the Lord cannot help but praise Him! Keeping Christ in Christmas is certainly one of the ways we can give the honor and praise due Him. Seeing Christ as the center of every blessing we experience and acknowledging God as the source of those blessings is another way of giving Him praise. Our private and corporate worship and the praise of our hearts and lips delights our God and Savior. And even those of us who love to do Bible art-journaling have found a way to offer praises to our God through creative art. 

Perhaps of all the ways we express our praise to the Savior we love, music comes from the deepest place in our spirit. We love to sing His praises!

I still struggle with pretty hand-lettering, so I dig into my stash of stamps and combine words to create my message. Here I've combined several sets from Sweet 'n Sassy stamps to reflect the heart of several verses in Isaiah 12, an entire passage on singing praises to the Lord. As long as I have breath I will give praise to God, and though I'm not great at the singing part, God hears the perfect pitch of my love for Him.

The fun stamp set, Give Praise, is being released today at Sweet 'n Sassy stamps as well as an adorable one perfect for Valentines.
  Give Praise

 Words of Life-Collection 1

 Words of Life Collection 2

Words of Life Collection 3

Check out their facebook page for details on these two new sets today.