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, June 21, 2017

Scripture Series: Have I Drawn Thee Flower Pot Card---Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge Happening at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello everyone!  Today starts another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW)As always, we feature a Scripture Word Art (free to download at the WAW site) that comes from Jeremiah 31:3 which says, "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

Do you know that everything God does is motivated by His love?  Before we can even fathom the depths of what "True Love" is, God had already shown us love by allowing us to exist even though He knew what mankind was going to do. Before time ever existed and everything came into place, there's God---His will, plan and purpose!  Nothing is hidden from Him and His plan goes before any of us ever was.   And even before that, He also created the angels even though He knew Lucifer (Satan) would turn against Him and a third of these beings would wreak havoc all over His creation.  The Bible declared in 1 John 4:7-21 that "God is Love."  We will not know what "true love" looks like until we gaze at the best representative God sent to mankind---His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ!  John 1:18 says, "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."  Every word Jesus had spoken, every action He took and His intent for both shows us the unselfish (Agape) kind of love  that is uniquely God's.  Not one of us is capable of demonstrating the true essence of  "Agape" unless God Himself draws us to the the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our choosing to surrender our lives to Him and us allowing the Holy Spirit to take over.  We cannot fully understand the vastness of what "everlasting love" means other than it's love without end.  Yet even with our limited understanding and while depending solely on what Christ has shown us through His death, burial and resurrection,  we get a taste of what God's everlasting love is like.  As one who experienced the incredible love of God (once a sinner, saved by His grace and living each day through the guidance of the Holy Spirit),  God's love empowers me to see myself not on my daily struggles and battles nor how others perceive or accept me but according to the eternal love God has for me.  The finished work of Jesus Christ at the Cross is not only victory I hold onto each day but my assurance to the eternal vastness of God's great love for me and everyone that love Him.  I am chosen from before time and He alone knows why, but I am so grateful He did.  I would like to share what I read from Life Application Bible about God's love as an exhortation to the verses from 1 John 4:7-10.  It truly blessed me so, here it is:

"Everyone believes that love is important, but love is usually thought of as a feeling.  In reality, love is a choice and an action, as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows.  God is the source of our love: He loved us enough to sacrifice His Son for us.  Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything He did in life and death was supremely loving.  The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love; He lives in our hearts and makes us more and more like Christ.  God's love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like His.  How well do you display your love for God in the choices you make and the actions you take?

John says, "God is love," not "Love is God."  Our world with its shallow and selfish view of love, has turned these words around and contaminated our understanding of love.  The world thinks that love is what makes a person feel good and that it is all right to sacrifice moral principles and other's rights in order to obtain  such "love."  But that isn't real love; it is the exact opposite---selfishness.  And God is not that kind of "love."  Real love is like God, Who is holy, just and perfect.  If we truly know God, we will love as He does.

Love explains (1) why God creates---because He loves, He creates people to love; (2) why God cares---because He loves them, He cares for sinful people; (3) why we are free to choose---God wants a loving response from us; (4) why Christ died---His love for us caused Him to seek a solution to the problem of Sin and (5) why we receive eternal life---God's love expresses itself to us forever.

Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God's presence.  He is absolute goodness.  He cannot overlook, condone of excuse sin as though it never happened.  He loves us, but His love does not make Him morally lax.  If we trust Christ, however, we will not have to bear the penalty for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).  We will be acquitted (Romans 5:18) by His atoning sacrifice."

For this Card, I used an image from WPlus9 called "Doodle Buds." I loved this stamp set the very first time I saw the cards people made with them.  Though it took some time, I am so glad I now have it in my collection.  So,  I stamped my favorite flower image on different colored CS and fussy-cut them, including the leaves.  The finished card measures 5 x 7 inches using Kraft CS as base.  The pot measures 4.5 x 4.25 x 3 inches.  The DP is from Recollections, the ribbon from my stash, the glitters from Stickles (Crystal) and the white nail head gems from Imaginisce.  I also inked part of the pot with Distress Ink (Vintage Photo), the sentiment in the message panel from Ms. Sparkle and Co.  and lastly, I added some stitching all over this creation.  I used this VIDEO from Splitcoasters as an inspiration for this creation. This was really fun to make.


 HAVE I DRAWN THEE FLOWER POT CARD


 HAVE I DRAWN THEE FLOWER POT CARD LAYERS


 HAVE I DRAWN THEE FLOWER POT CARD MESSAGE SPACE


HAVE I DRAWN THEE FLOWER POT CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafty Creations---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG/Flag Day
Inspiration Destination---ATG
Mod Squad---Colorful
Simon Says---Use Patterned Paper
Wonderful Wednesday---ATG
Create and Inspire---ATG/Tag
Not Just Cards---ATG
Paradise of Stamps---Summer
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
Retarte---ATG
PINspirational---Photo Inspiration
OLLCB---Summertime
Path of Positivity---ATG/Faith Hope Love
Scrapbook Stamp Society---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 enter up to 5 times this week.  An awesome GC of  $25 worth will be awarded to our Challenge winner by our awesome sponsor---Simon Says Stamp.  So excited to see what you come up with.  Anyway, cheer up as we meditate on the love of God today. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Scripture Series: They Shall Be Filled Card---Join Us for an Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

A wonderful Wednesday, everyone!  Today, we started another Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) as we feature another great Scripture Word Art (free for you to download at the WAW site).  It comes from Matthew 5:6 which tells us, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

This verse is part of  the "Beatitudes" verses found in Matthew 5:3-12 and is a blessing if we take the time to ponder on these very important words of Jesus to all of us who have placed our trust in His finished work at the Cross.  I would like to share the exhortation to these verses from my Life Application Bible.  It says, "Jesus began His sermon with words that seem to contradict each other.  But God's way of living usually contradicts the world's (earthly, fleshly lifestyle).  If you want to live for God you must be ready to say and do what seems strange to the world.  You must be willing to give when others take, to love when others hate, to help when others abuse.  By giving up your own rights in order to serve others, you will one day receive everything God has in store for you.  

The Beatitudes can be understood in at least four ways.  (1) They are code of ethics for disciples and a standard of conduct for all believers.  (2) They contrast kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary).  (3) They contrast the superficial "faith" of the Pharisees with the real faith Christ wants.  (4) They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new kingdom.  These Beatitudes are not multiple choice---pick what you like and leave the rest.  They must be taken as a whole.  They describe what we should be like as Christ's followers.

Each Beatitude tells us how to be blessed.  "Blessed" means more than happiness.  It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God's kingdom. The Beatitudes don't promise laughter, pleasure or earthly prosperity.  To Jesus, "blessed" means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances.  To find hope and joy, the deepest form of happiness, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.  

With Jesus' announcement that the kingdom was near, people were naturally asking, "How do I qualify to be n God's kingdom?"  Jesus said that God's kingdom is organized differently from worldly kingdoms.  In the kingdom of heaven, wealth and power and authority are unimportant.  Kingdom people seek different blessings and benefits, and they have different attitudes.  Are your attitudes a carbon copy of the world's selfishness, pride and lust for power, or do they reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, your King?  

I remember singing the song with our Praise Team at Church entitled "Servant of All."  It features  lyrics that sums up a believers life as citizens of the kingdom of God.  The part of the song that stayed with me described that Kingdom as, "Cause it's the inside outside upside down kingdom where you lose to gain and you die to live."  This is so true!  Since I surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ decades ago, I've experienced first hand the fierce battle that every child of God go through to faithfully accomplish God's will in and through my life.  On my own, I couldn't do it but because the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who won every battle in this world lives inside of me, I can live the higher calling of God in my life.  I wage war daily against the temptations of this world and my personal war against my own self (human nature).  I've always wondered why many could not perceive the plain and simple Truth of the Gospel where you need to put your faith in what Jesus already accomplished at the Cross instead of trying to reach God through religion and good works which the Scripture attest will never gain anyone a ticket to God's kingdom (God called it "filthy rags" in His sight, Isaiah 54:6).  The God of heaven and earth has provided humanity with the Only Way (Only Solution) out of our misery (being in bondage with the enemy from the time we were physically born) in order for us to live righteously in His presence and escape the Lake of Fire reserved for Satan and his followers (the proud, rebellious and ungodly).  It is all in His Word, written in every pages of the Scripture, so that we don't have to guess or device our own way to gain His favor.  Through Jesus Christ, we are all accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:4-14).  But the Bible also tells us, "For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).  

What more can I say about this startling contrast between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world?  I had to search inward and realized that no matter how far I walked in accordance to this world (temporary existence) in my old life, something inside me felt void.  We heard many people said, "There's something missing in my life!" despite all the power, fame and opportunities money can buy. After reaching the pinnacle of riches and glory, they find that true happiness doesn't dwell there.  That's why we hear of people resorting to addiction of all types, non-stop parties and sexual perversion or drowning themselves with work so that they will not have to hear the voice of their conscience speaking to them.  Many of them would not admit how spiritually empty their life became till it was too late.  And we say, "What a waste!"  I don't mean to be insensitive, but all of us were given one life to live. These people rejected Christ and as a result,  they wasted the opportunity that their Maker gave them to fulfill their full potential.  They unplugged themselves from their power source and chose the bogus power of the enemy which was meant to destroy them.  Had they chose to surrender to God, His indwelling presence in them would have completed their existence---nothing missing, nothing broken!  But the horror of their denial of Christ doesn't end there as they must now continue that life in the everlasting torment apart from everything good, away from the presence of God.  Very, very sad!  My friends, I got persecuted, threatened and called many names a lot (especially in Social Media) and even lost a few family/friends along the way just because I share "The Gospel of Truth."  It  deeply hurts to be falsely accused when all you have in your heart is love for the souls that would otherwise perish eternally if they miss Christ in their lives.  Yet, I don't stop!  As the Spirit leads, I set aside my emotions and allow the Spirit of God to use me to whomever He places in my path.  It is not my place to convince anyone---it is the Holy Spirit's job.  I'm just His spokesperson. Yes, come to think of it, you'll never know who is hungry and thirsty enough---ready to be filled by God.  And so, be faithful no matter what, for our work in the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

For this Card, I used an image from A Day for Daisies called "Fairy Queen Primrose" that I colored using my Touch Five and Prismacolor markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to create a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from Paper Studio, the flowers I layered are from Prima and inked around the edges with Distress Ink (Ground Expresso), the brad from Recollections and the gems are from Tulips.  I also added glitters (Stickles-Crystal) to the image as well as the leaves (punch used from Fiskars).  On the upper right corner, I stamped the vines from Penny Black and also stitched all over this card.   I am delighted with the result.
 

THEY SHALL BE FILLED CARD


 THEY SHALL BE FILLED CARD LAYERS


 THEY SHALL BE FILLED CARD INSIDE


THEY SHALL BE FILLED CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Crafty Creations---ATG
Creative Moments---ATG/Birthday
Inspiration Destination---ATG/Shaker Card
Mod Squad---Spark it Up
Paper Shelter---Flower Power
Crafty Addicts---ATG/Die-Cuts
City Crafter---Photo Inspiration
Create and Makes---ATG/Yellow
Digi Choosday---ATG
Everybody Art---ATG
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
PINspirational---Photo Inspiration
Retarte---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girlz---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Creatalicious---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Butterflies
Let's Craft and Create---Girls, Girls, Girls
Love to Craft---ATG


Hope you join the fun at our WAW Challenge.  Wonderful prizes awaits our winners from Lawn Fawn (Paper Pad and Stamp Set), All Dressed Up Stamps (Digi Images) and His Grace Works ($15 GC).  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) each week 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 find opportunities to share the hope you have in Christ by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. Hugs! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Especially Made: Happiness is Coming Your Way Card---Join Us for Another Monthly Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hi, friends!  Sorry for the delay posting my Card as I  was super busy yesterday  (talking about not having time to sleep kind of busy).  We began another monthly Anything Goes (with optional Theme) Challenge at 613 Avenue Create yesterday and I am featuring a Baby Shower Card. 

For this Card, I used an image from Stamping Bella called "Baby Carriage Abella" that I watercolored using Stabilo 68 markers.  The base is a pre-cut, A7, white CS from Paper Studio that comes with an envelope.  The DP's are from my scraps and I used a couple of washi tapes from Recollections.  The inside sentiment was stamped with a Cloud 9 clear stamps.  Finally, I stitched all over this card for added dimension.  I made this card for a friend who after many years of waiting for a child, she finally have her prayers answered.  It's always nice to see the supernatural working of the Lord for those who continue to trust and believe.

Aren't you glad to hear many testimonies of God's miraculous work in our time?  Yes, the Bible is full of many accounts of Almighty God's miraculous work in the lives of His creation and history proves them all.  We saw what Jesus did in His time and we marvel at the power and authority He demonstrated to bless and heal people and to free all of us from the bondage of the enemy through His finished work at the Cross.  Some people say that there's no more miracles in our time.  Why not?  I supposed many of them are expecting miracles of epic proportion similar to the parting of the Red Sea during the time of Moses. Yet a heart that is yielded to God (Born-again, John 3:3) always finds miracles upon miracles weaved underneath our daily circumstances in life.  I see miracles in God's love and goodness given and demonstrated by others everyday.  Yes, God sends and still uses people.  We've heard of God using even the unbelievers to bless His children.

I know I've shared this before but when I think about God's miraculous goodness, I always go back to this wonderful time in my life.  I remember when I was 20 years old and a new believer in Christ back in the Philippines...It was one of our difficult times when my Mom and I had only enough to buy one meal for the day.  We can use it either for lunch or dinner and would have to trust God for the next.  We agreed to spend it for lunch and as I was preparing myself to head out and buy food at a nearby restaurant,  we heard a familiar knock at our gate.  I was glad to see it was my godmother visiting us.  Now, guess what she brought with her?  It was bread, fried noodles and a soda for lunch.  As I was setting our table, my Mom and I looked at each other and we just knew---God's work, God's perfect timing, God's goodness!  My godmother didn't know anything about our situation, she didn't have a personal relationship with God yet God used her to bless us that day and for many more days eventually.  It turned out, even without asking, she gave my Mom a couple hundred pesos (Philippine currency) to bless us before she left and so, the very money we intended for one meal that day was not even spent when my Mom got her next pay-check.  I was also blessed with a job in a cotton factory shortly after that despite being a College undergraduate.  With the little I saved working there for three years, I was able to enroll myself back to school, landed a job as a Restaurant Manager after graduation and a year after, a job in International Cruising for 6 years.  Never in my life did I imagine I would visit many countries, be married to an American and become a US citizen.  I know many people dream of the life I now have but I was simply obeying the Lord each step of the way and He opened many doors for me and He still is.  My entire life is a series of miracles upon miracles.  When God is giving you blessings, you better believe that the enemy is also there to stop it so, there's many struggles along the way but as I called and trusted in the Lord---His purpose, goodness and love prevailed.  And I believe, there's MORE BLESSINGS to come.  So, yes, I don't have to look for spectacular things everywhere to realize that my God still works miracles.  I just have to go through my own life and see His hand working in everything.  And the miracles happening with others? Those I consider  delicious icing on top of God's wonderful and awesome goodness.  I would like to share this wonderful Bible account from 1 Kings 17:7-16 to encourage us to always trust God in all our circumstances because when He promised to supply all our needs, He meant to keep it.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath

"Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah."


 HAPPINESS IS COMING YOUR WAY CARD


 HAPPINESS IS COMING YOUR WAY CARD LAYERS


 HAPPINESS IS COMING YOUR WAY CARD INSIDE


HAPPINESS IS COMING YOUR WAY  CARD WITH ENVELOPE


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Creative Moments---ATG/Birthday
Inspiration Destination---ATG/Shaker Card
Create and Makes---ATG/Yellow
Everybody Art---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
CAS Watercolour---Summer
Classic DT---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girlz---ATG
Creatalicious---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Butterflies
Let's Craft and Create---Girls, Girls, Girls
Love to Craft---ATG
One Crazy Stamper---ATG


This it for now, guys.  Make sure to join us at our neighborhood---613 Avenue Create---for an Anything Goes Challenge.  If you want to be challenged (like I was), take on the Optional Twist.  But there's really no reason for you to miss it. Can't wait to see what you create. The Lord is with you every step of the way so, be at peace that you have Someone you can trust and have your back always.

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