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.


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.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fun Tag Birthday Invitations---Join Us for our Monthly Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello everybody!  I'm here to feature the project I highlighted for our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.  Anyway, I've been away for some much needed vacation for the entire month of September.  We had a great time celebrating my boy and mine's Birthdays.  Today. I am still catching up with all the things I needed done in those days.  That is why this post is coming out so late and I truly apologize.  So grateful to the Lord Jesus for another year of blessings in all aspects of my life. 

God had been so good and gracious to us, Americans!  Despite the disrespect for God and country that we've seen more evidently the past few years, He still hears the cry of those who call and trust in His Name.  We are not exempted from natural disasters and devastation but those who rely upon Him could attest to the faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of trials.  Those who have Jesus Christ in their hearts (Born-again, John 3:3) find light even in the blackest of night.  We call this HOPE!  To know that there is a God who love and care for us; that has a plan for every moment of our lives (even through impossibilities); gives us peace and joy even in the midst of pain and suffering.  But those who trust in themselves or other men would soon learn the hard lesson that they are limited and powerless to produce peace and joy in very bad situations.  Because they don't want to admit they are wrong in trusting in their own abilities, they resort to blaming others and make up this web of lies to not only exempt themselves from accountability but to also poison those who are weak in spirit to participate in their rebellious agenda.

Everyday here in our country, we see a systematic attack on our government and our leader.  They (Media, Entertainment, Politicians) cannot do anything to rid of him so quickly so they device a plan to create scenarios, lie about facts and get the wealthy and famous to represent their demonic agenda to influence uninformed masses.  They use causes that caters to people's emotions and add their toxic poison (twisted Truth) to make it appear like it's the real deal.  Current examples of this is Racism (claiming Police Brutality to Blacks)  vs. The Flag, the Anthem (Patriotism/Love for God and country) and the POTUS.  Underneath the surface of all the terrible acting of the participants, what the true demonic agenda is to use Race (something many are sensitive about citing the Civil rights movement) to rid us of Reverence for our Country which gives birth to disrespect of our Laws and the men and women who carry out the law.  If we don't have respect for our country, we will not care who comes in and out of it---hence, open borders for their One World Agenda.  Another example is the use of catastrophic events (hurricanes, floodings, etc) capitalizing on  people's suffering vs. The POTUS.  They make people think/believe they have Superman or a God for President.  But the Truth is, the perpetrators hates our President so much that they discredit all of his efforts by purposely sabotaging, not telling everyone about it or deliberately lying about it. You see, I lived my life for 31 years in the Philippines and catastrophic events are not foreign to me.  I lived in a home that floods with hard (during typhoons) to very little rain (when they released water from the Dam).  This happens all year long with as many as once or twice a month.  We don't have the luxury of having hot or canned meals/food rationed by local/national government. No relocation sites nor financial help to rebuild our homes.  Most of the time, it's people helping other people there.  We don't really know how blessed we are in this country that we keep complaining about things we suffer from momentarily instead of being thankful for all the blessings we received all of our lives.  Instead of calling unto the Lord, we call on men to answer our every needs.  It's hard to ignore the examples of the Israelites while in the wilderness when they were freed by God from captivity in Egypt.  With all the injustice they endured and seeing the hand of God preserved them (cloud by day and fire by night), they complained about the littlest thing they can find to mock the Almighty who brought them out of slavery.  End result, they all died in the wilderness without seeing the Promised Land.  Read HERE for more.

Thirdly and the most recent is the use of the heinous Mass Murders  vs.  the 2nd Amendment Right (The Right to Bear Arms).  I unite with many in this nation in condemning the senseless killings that  happened in Las Vegas.  I'm praying for the Holy Spirit of God to comfort all that lost their love ones in this despicable display of  evil.  On the other hand, is it ironic that every time somebody goes crazy and kills innocent people, the guns are always under attack?  According to them, it's the guns that is responsible for the killings with very little emphasis on the lunacy of them that fired them.  The last time I checked, I haven't heard of a gun that took the elevator, positioned itself on a window and fired itself without anyone pulling the trigger.  On its own,  it didn't have eyes to target people nor the feet and hand to move itself.  A man who lived a pretty normal life suddenly snapped (for reason he only knew) and used the guns to commit a heinous crime.  What's so curious to me is that these people opposing the 2nd Amendment never cite the great things that those who carry guns responsibly has done to stop many crimes that would have easily turned into a massacre. Read HERE for many examples.  Weighing all the facts and the lies, I conclude that it is a demonic agenda.  How easy would it be to take over a country when the citizens don't have a way of defending themselves?  Remember their goal?---ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT which the Bible warned us to be governed by no other than the ANTI-CHRIST.  My point in all of these is that the guns or any weapon does not load themselves and kill people. It is the people that somehow snaps and take weapons with the intent of using them to destroy others. If we disarm everyone and leave the weapons to the authorities, how sure are we that they will not snap and go crazy at one point? My friends, as long as there are human beings in this world without reverence for God and view themselves as their own gods, problems will persist. Even Cain killed Abel with a stone. Take away every weapon that can be used by man, the evil intent in a man's heart can still find a way to harm others. So, for me, instead of taking weapons which can also do good in the hands of God-fearing, responsible individuals, I pray that people would find God and have a change of heart and mind by taking in Godly thoughts (renewing of the mind). Accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and upholding God's Truth. That is the core solution to all of man's madness.

These are just some of the things we are facing in our country today.  Daily, I pray for our President, our government, our country and the people of God (Church/The Body of Christ) to rise up and fight for what is right and true.  I pray that we search/study the Scripture and refuse to act solely based on our emotions.  I have one person unfriend me at FB recently just because I (politely) said something contradicting what she believes in the Puerto Rico hurricane response. Her insulting response caught me by surprise for I thought this individual has a deep understanding of God's Word, meek and slow to anger based on past observation/conversation.  I had so much respect for her and she may still have all of that in her but she allowed her emotion to take over and decided she don't want to hear more after just a couple of comments/response from me.  It truly saddened me but I also understand that in the last days, things like this are bound to happen as many would not care to hear anything that would offend them.  You have to be perfectly on their side of the argument/rhetoric otherwise, you are not their friend.  I follow a simple rule in friendship---"We may disagree  on many things but as long as both of us can engage in a respectful conversation and not resorting to name calling or cursing each other, we can continue to be friends."  I don't think it's too much to ask.  Anyway, in these days where wisdom (knowing the right thing to do at a given time/situation) and discernment (the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong) is uncommon, we have to rely on the Scripture to guide us in pursuing wisdom before we act on situations.  I would like to share some of these verses to you...

"Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin."  (Proverbs 13:3) 

"Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions." (Proverbs 18:2)

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."  (James 1:5)

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (James 3:17)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."  (Matthew 7:24-25)

For this Birthday invites, I used an image from Mo Manning Digi Stamps called "Summer Boy."  I attached the details to the panel adhered to the envelope and used my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Notcher to seal the envelopes.   I used several colored 12 x 12 CS, each divided into four squares to produce the envelopes that measures 3.25 x 4.25 inches when closed.   The envelopes were created using my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board on a 3 x 4 card size setting.  I absolutely love it as it made it fun to make each of the envelopes.  I also incorporated some washi tape and stapler to decorate the tag.  The tag sentiment is from Inkadinkado and the envelope sentiment is from Recollections.


FUN TAG INSERT


FUN TAG BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS


FUN TAG BIRTHDAY INVITATION ENVELOPES


This Project is entered into the following Challenges:

Inky Mess---ATG
Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Girls Creations---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Cute as a Button---ATG
DL Art---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG
YSP---ATG


There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the opportunity to join our Anything Goes Challenge with an optional Twist at 613 Avenue Create.  There's wonderful prizes awaiting the winners from all our  lovely sponsors.  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!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fun and Humor Series: Young at Heart Birthday Card---Join Us for September Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello there, folks!  How was your Labor Day weekend?  Mine was crazy busy, the reason why this post is so delayed.  Anyway, we started another monthly challenge for y'all last Sunday and we truly hope you will join in the fun at 613 Avenue Create.  As always, it's Anything Goes but if you want to challenge yourself, try our optional twist---to use Distress Inks.

Anyway, you must have heard in the news about "gas shortage" and how the people panicked and are still panicking which creates higher gas prices in the local and national level.  I am convinced that there's oil companies that are feeding to this panic and are aided by the fake news media to instill fear on the easily manipulated general public.  Hurricane Harvey left a trail of devastation in several Texas cities and those in other states.  No doubt that some oil refineries had to shut down for several days due to equipment/infrastructure repair and road closures.  According to an article in USA today, "Although the U.S. had some 230 million barrels of gasoline in storage as of Friday (September 1, 2017) —ample supply in a crisis — transporting fuel from storage terminals to stations has been extremely challenging."  If people who really needed gas are the only ones fueling the past few days, we will not see the rise in gasoline prices and prevented big oil companies from taking advantage by increasing their profits with our heard-earned money.  I survived several days of the gas madness with a little under three quarters of a tank before it began.  It was only two days ago when I refueled after passing by a gas station on my way home with no line and no waiting.  While many are still looking for gas everywhere and have to go through miles to find one just to wait for hours, I got through with under 5 minutes without stress and time wasted.  That's how I know God provides! 

No doubt greed has penetrated our society.  Greed  is simply defined as "intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food."  To find out what the Bible says about greed,  read HERE.  Although we see a lot of kindness, heroism and brotherly love from those who are giving their money, time and resources for people affected by the hurricane destruction, there's but many others whose sole focus is just their own welfare.  I remember telling my son typical examples of greediness.  Many of those examples happened during group parties we attended.  One was during a Potluck Get-Together where we all brought something to share.  Some prepared a lot, some a little and some just enough for the expected number of participants.  I  told my boy to be mindful of others as he filled up his plate so that everyone could have a taste of everything and also to get only what he could finish.  But what saddened me was seeing other kids, along with their parents lined up before us allowing their kids to fill up their plates with no obvious care for others.  To make matters worst, they left so much on their plates that if only they were not greedy, others could have enjoyed. This should not be the case!  A responsible parent who believes God need to train their children against greediness/selfishness.  You see, the people of the world (unbelievers) are expected to act this way---as they are selfish with no regard for God!  But those who professed to trust in the Lord should not act greedily no matter what life brings. Calamities and natural disasters bring fear and uncertainties to this earthy life. But those whose trust is in the Lord are also aware whose really in control. A lethal combination of fear and greed can influence our minds to act foolishly but if we submit everything to the Lord before acting upon it, the Holy Spirit inside of us will filter this toxic behavior and bring it under submission to Jesus Christ and His Word.  Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." My Life Application Bible explains these verses to us and I want to share with you.  It says, "Imagine never being anxious about anything!"  It seems like an impossibility---we all have worries in the job, in our homes, at school.  But Paul's advice is to turn our worries into prayers.  Do you want to worry less?  Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.  God's peace is different from the world's peace (see John 14:27).  True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings.  It comes from knowing that GOD IS IN CONTROL! Our citizenship in Christ's kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin.  Let God's peace guard your heart against anxiety."

For this Card, I used an image from Art Impressions Stamps called "His and Hers Campers" that I colored using my Touch Five/Prismacolor markers.  The base is a white, A2, pre-cut CS that comes with an envelope.  I die cut the image with the circle Nestabilities die and cut the sides to match the corner of my card panel.  The banner stamp is from Ms. Sparkle and Company (Happy Birthday Set) that I inked with Ranger Distress Inks.  The funny sentiment came with the image featured here.  I made this for one of my friends in my Church.  Simply funny!


 YOUNG AT HEART CARD


 YOUNG AT HEART CARD INSIDE


YOUNG AT HEART CARD WITH ENVELOPE


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
Artistic Stamper---Take a Little Color
Classic DT---ATG
Connie Can Crop---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girls Creations---ATG
Creatalicious---ATG
Create and Inspire---ATG
Createful Heart---ATG
Creative Ladybirds---ATG
Die-Cut Divas---Men/Boys
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Warm Colors
DL Art---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Love to Scrap---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Paradise of Stamps---Your Favorite Things
Sweet Stampers---CAS
YSBP---ATG
Art Impressions---Off Kilter
Crafting from the Heart---ATG
Penny's Paper Crafty---ATG
Artistic Inspirations---ATG
Jo's Scrap Shack---ATG
Crafting with Friends---ATG
Brown Sugar---ATG
Sparkles---Birthday

This is 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 the fun.  Can't wait to see what you create. Have a blessed week!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Scripture Series: Come Forth as Gold Card---It's Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello everyone!  So sorry that my post is a day late...I was not feeling well yesterday and chose to give myself a rest.  I'm glad I did as I actually recovered after just several hours of chills and fever.  Anyway, we started another Anything Goes/Inspirational Challenge at Word Art Wednesday (WAW) and I used our featured Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) in my project today.  It comes from Job 23:10 which tells us, "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Many of us are familiar with the life of Job.  He was blessed by the Lord and He considered him blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.  Yet, little did he know that Satan (the accuser) questioned his integrity before God.  The enemy stated that Job's faithfulness was merely due to the blessings that God poured upon his life. So God allowed Satan to test him (yet with specific limit).  So many times, we attribute trials and suffering as a direct result of hidden sins we intentionally/unintentionally committed in order to rationalize what's going on in our lives.  Though the universal principle of sowing and reaping was established by God, there are also times (such as this) when we have to go through trials in life not as a consequence of sin but to demonstrate integrity and faithfulness to God in the midst of pain and uncertainties.  It's easy to say we love God when all things are working great in our lives but it takes a deeper relationship with the Lord to continue trusting and obeying Him when our lives are literally falling apart.  It's in those circumstances when we are rocked to our core and doubts on God's care for us goes into question.  The truth is we must never allow our experience/s to dictate our relationship with God.  People who are driven by emotions (feelings) are bound to be devoured by Satan.  Our feelings are deceptive but the Word of God speaks of Truth on who we are in Christ.  We are so blessed to be living in this period of time where we have access to the Written Word of God (the Bible) along with the historical accounts of what Jesus Christ did to redeem us from our bondage to Sin.  Through faith in His finished work (death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross, all of our sins were forgiven and He gave us authority to be witnesses for Him so that others will find the same hope we now possessed.  As we spend time in His Word, we become sensitive to His voice and obedient to His ways.  The Lord is sovereign and He is in control.  We should always keep that in mind and hold onto Him regardless of our circumstances.  When we go through intense fire, we should rely totally upon the Lord in order to overcome with unwavering faith.  Job was tested and he passed.   On our own effort, it's an impossibility.  But with Christ in us, all things are possible through the power of the Holy Spirit!

I would like to share the intro to the Book  of Job written in my Life Application Bible.  With all the devastation we experienced from hurricane Harvey and my city (San Antonio) narrowly escaping the devastation (all glory to God!), it is a message so timely that I really need to share.  Though many were overtaken by fear and had to do what they felt they needed to do in preparation to what Harvey was about to unleash in the State of Texas several days ago,  God gave me "peace of mind" (one I cannot explain) that kept me unmoved by the fear and chaos surrounding me.  Understand that I am not being critical to those that made preparations if they were led by God to do so.  I'm just simply stating that as God revealed something on the inside of me, I have to trust in what He said and dare not go against it.  God wanted me "to be still" in the midst of uncertainty and I was comforted by His Spirit through obedience.  However, my heart goes to those who were directly affected.  We are to continue praying and help meet their needs as the Lord enables us to. Anyway, back to what I wanted to share with you,  it says, "Trees snap like toothpicks or fly upward, wrenched from the earth.  Whole rooftops sail, cars tumble like toys, houses collapse and a wall of water obliterates the shore and inundates the land.  A hurricane cuts and tears, and only solid foundations survive its unbridled fury.  But those foundations can be used for rebuilding after the storm.  For any building, the foundation is critical.  it must be deep enough and solid enough to withstand the weight of the building and other stresses.  Lives are like buildings, and the quality of each one's foundation will determine the quality of the whole.  Too often inferior materials are used, and when tests come, lives crumble.  Job was tested.  With a life filled with prestige, possessions, and people, he was suddenly assaulted on every side, devastated, stripped down to his foundation.  But his life had been built  on God, and he endured.  Job, the book, tells the story of Job, the man of God.  It is a gripping drama of riches-to rags-to riches, a theological treatise about suffering and divine sovereignty, and a picture of faith that endures.  As you read Job, analyze your life and check your foundation.  May you be able to say that when all is gone but God, He is enough.  It is easy to think that we have all the answers. In reality, only God knows exactly why events unfold as they do, and we must submit to Him as our Sovereign.  As you examine the life of Job, emulate Job and decide to trust God no matter what happens.

For this Card, I used an image from Stamping Bella called "Uptown Girl Sunny is Stylish" that I colored using my ProMarker/Prismacolor markers.  The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The DP's are from American Crafts, the layered flowers from Prima, the brad from Recollections and the leaves were die-cut with a Fiskars Punch.  I added some glitters (Stickles-Crystal) and finalized it with some stitching.  I'm very happy with the result.


 COME FORTH AS GOLD CARD


 COME FORTH AS GOLD CARD LAYERS


 COME FORTH AS GOLD CARD INSIDE


COME FORTH AS GOLD CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

Color Sisters---Photo Inspiration
Creatalicious---ATG
Create and Inspire---ATG
Createful Heart---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Scrap N Challenge---ATG
Tinker Dream---ATG
Worldwide Open DT---ATG
Creative Fingers---ATG
Simply Papercraft---ATG
Crafty Creations---ATG
Lemon Shortbread---ATG
Sisterhood of Crafters---ATG

Have a gorgeous day everyone and looking forward to see your wonderful projects linked at our WAW Blog.  It will be nice to see the featured Word Art in your Challenge project but not mandatory.  As long as it's family friendly, inspirational and uplifting, you are free to link up to 5 projects.  Our sponsors for this week are Craftin' Desert Divas and All Dressed Up Stamps.  We should serve God for who He is, not what we feel.  He is never insensitive to our suffering.  Because God is sufficient, we must hold onto Him.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Scripture Series: He Delighteth in Mercy Card---Join our Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge at Word Art Wednesday!

Hello there, Crafty Peeps!   It's time for another Word Art Wednesday (WAW) Challenge and a free Scripture Word Art that you can download for free from the WAW site.  You may use it in your projects you link to our Challenge (not mandatory) or as a wonderful inspirational message for your projects.  I have featured it in my card today and it comes from Micah 7:18 which says,"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy."

We heard of countless people saying that our God is a God of love.  I wouldn't argue with that---it's completely true!  1 John 4:8 tells us, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."  He embodies the purest kind of love (unselfish, sacrificial).  If people like us are able to give or demonstrate some kind of love, it's because He taught us how to love first.  We were created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), His love imparted to us.  Yet it does not stop there.  We must also know that our God is a Holy God.  In Him there is no imperfection.  His holiness knows no mistakes, His love so pure and everything He does is perfect and they give Him pleasure.  Everyone who place their trust in Him brings Him pleasure.  Psalm 147:11 says, "The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy." But the disobedience/rebellion of Man separated us from the very presence of our holy and loving God.  The enemy taught us to rebel and to act like we are our own gods, deceiving us that we can survive without our Maker.  Man bought the biggest lie of the enemy!  Satan placed all of humanity under bondage to him and his Sin Nature and there was literally no possible way of escape.

So. why is a holy and loving God hate Sin so much?  Here's what I got from gotquestions.org pertaining to this subject matter.  It says, "God hates sin because it is the very antithesis of His nature. The psalmist describes God’s hatred of sin this way: “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You” (Psalm 5:4). God hates sin because He is holy; holiness is the most exalted of all His attributes (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 6:8). His holiness totally saturates His being. His holiness epitomizes His moral perfection and His absolute freedom from blemish of any kind (Psalm 89:35; 92:15; Romans 9:14). The Bible presents God’s attitude toward sin with strong feelings of hostility, disgust, and utter dislike. For example, sin is described as putrefying sores (Isaiah 1:6, NKJV), a heavy burden (Psalm 38:4), defiling filth (Titus 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:1), a binding debt (Matthew 6:12-15), darkness (1 John 1:6) and a scarlet stain (Isaiah 1:18). God hates sin for the simple reason that sin separates us from Him: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2; see also Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 5:25). It was sin that caused Adam and Eve to run away from God and hide “among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Sin always brings separation, and the fact that God hates sin means that He hates being separated from us. His love demands restoration, which in turn demands holiness." This was just a portion of what was written on why God hate Sin?  I strongly recommend that you read the rest of the article to see the complete picture.  You can find it HERE.

Our Sin (Sin Nature and all of its by-products), left unwashed by the blood of Jesus Christ at the Cross (Born-again, John 3:3), will certainly meet the wrath of God.  Through His finished work at the Cross, He showed us tremendous love and mercy while at the same time making a strong statement pertaining to the harsh punishment that Sin deserved.  1 Peter 2:24 says, "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."  Simply put, God is a Holy and Just (Righteous) God Who hates Sin for it separated us (His Masterpiece) from Him.  The only way to restore us is for His One and Only Son (pure and holy) to come as a Man and take our place.  In essence, He suffered His own wrath (penalty) to free us from the bondage of Death, Satan and the Sin Nature.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to work in your heart so you may capture the depth of God's love for all of us in what I just told you.  I reflect upon the Cross all the time and still  can't find the exact word/s to express how grateful I am to my God and Savior having shown me His Grace and Truth.  This is the perfect picture of TRUE and PURE LOVE.  John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."  No other expression of love could even come close to what our Father in Heaven has shown us through Jesus Christ.  

So,  don't be caught up in worldly/false teachers telling you that because of God's love, you can do whatever you want and that He's not going to punish your rebellion  (Sin) and that Hell is not a real place.  No matter who and how popular they are, how many books they sold or the size of their congregation, they are minions of Satan who have turned away from the Truth of God's Word.  They deliver a watered down Gospel and have deceived themselves to gain the world---leading them and their followers to their doom.  Surely, God delights in mercy and I believe that with all my heart for if not, why are we still on earth?  We have done every abominable thing in the sight of God!  But in love, mercy and long-suffering, He waits for those who will humble themselves, repent of their sins and come into the Lordship of Jesus Christ while they are still on earth.  For the Day of His judgment will surely arrive when everyone least expect it.  If you're smart, you will live each day, ready for the coming of the King!  Everyday is an opportunity.  Don't delay!  You have two destination to choose from:  To be eternally separated from God and suffer Satan's fate in the Lake of Fire or to be in the presence of Almighty God enjoying everything that His eternal Kingdom would offer?  I pray with all my heart that you CHOOSE GOD. 

For this Card, I used an image from Art Impressions Set called "Love Birds" that I paper-pieced and then colored with my Prismacolor markers.  The base is a white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card.  The sides were shaped using MS Punch.  I layered some flowers from Prima, adhered the white nail head gems from Imaginisce and added a brad and washi tapes from Recollections.  Lastly, I stitched all over this Card.    Love, love, love the result.


 HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY CARD


 HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY CARD LAYERS


 HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY CARD SIDE VIEW


 HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY CARD INSIDE


HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:


A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Artistic Stamper---ATG
Classic DT---ATG
Country View---Blues and Greens
Crafts Galore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Creatalicious---ATG/Glitter or Bling
Create and Inspire---ATG/Summer Days
Createful Heart---ATG
Daisy Chain---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Summer
DL Art---ATG
Eclectic Ellapu---ATG
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG
MHK---Inspiration Photo
Mix it Up---ATG/Paper Piecing
Noor---ATG
One Crazy Stamper---My Favorite Things
Petal Lu---ATG/Orange Flower
Scrap N Challenge---ATG
Scribbles Designs----The Power of Words
Worldwide DT---ATG
YSBP---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.  A wonderful prize awaits our winner from our lovely sponsor for this Challenge---Simon Says Stamp ($25 GC).  So excited to see what you come up with.  Anyway, meditate on the goodness of the Lord and rely on His promises.  Expect only wonderful things from Him each day.  Be thankful always!

Monday, August 7, 2017

CAS Series: Hugs and Kisses Wedding Card---Join the Fun for Another Monthly/Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create!

Hello there...I know, It's already Monday and I am a day late posting this.  What can I say, just super duper busy.  Anyway, I invite y'all to link up your projects in our neighborhood at 613 Avenue Create just for the fun of crafting.  The back-porch gang left so many wonderful projects for y'all to see.  As always, it's Anything Goes and you can submit numerous projects the entire month.

Anyway, what I like to share today is so important that I needed to warn everyone/anyone who wishes to listen  and who still cares about Truth and how it relates to their eternal well-being.  A week ago, I came across news from all media sources about the first company here in the United States based in Wisconsin called Three Square Market that would implant microchip (RFID) to their employees.  They officially celebrated this event on August 1st and micro chipped  41 of their 85 personnel.  If you have not come across this news, you can google it and find many news and videos about it.  Here's a VIDEO I would like for everyone to see if you care about understanding how today's technology that many deem harmless relates to the Biblical timeline of God particularly in the Last Days which comprises events taking place prior and towards the Tribulation Period. The Tribulation is a future seven-year period of time when God will finish His discipline of Israel and finalize His judgment of the unbelieving (didn't place their faith in Jesus Christ) world.  Read more about this HERE.

So where are we in God's timeline?  Friends, we are living in His period of grace (Church age).   From the time Jesus died on the Cross (2000 years ago) to this day, anyone who place their faith (trust) in His finished work (death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross, shall be saved.  Jesus paid the price that Adam and all of mankind's Sin deserved---DEATH!  Jesus declared this Truth when He said in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.Acts 4:12 attested to this when it declared, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."   Though Man messed up big time in the Garden of Eden through disobedience and treason,  God's plan and purpose for mankind could never be thwarted.  His love for us could not be held back.  John 3:16-18  declares, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."  No matter how deceived this world become, it would not change the fact that there is a coming judgment (wrath) that will punish mankind that mocked Jesus and His sacrifice.  For in the absence of God's love and grace, only wrath remains.  The God of love is also God of Justice.  In the court of heaven and earth, you are either pardoned or condemned from all wrongdoing.  Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Man's way to pardon is Jesus Christ.  If a person dies (physically) without Christ due to his rejection of Him, eternal wrath follows immediately.  

But what about the mark of the Beast?  How is this connected to man's condemnation?  You see, each day we are still living and breathing in this world is an opportunity to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  But those who received Satan's mark, although they are still alive, they have destroyed any possibility of salvation and have therefore sentenced themselves to receive God's wrath.  It's literally their Highway to Hell.  For the Word of God is very clear on this.  There is no way of coming back once people make this unholy alliance with Satan.  Revelation 13:15-18 warns us, "The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666."  Though the media downplays this technology as harmless and convenient, there is an eternal consequence that's irreversible for them that choose to accept it.  It's an utter mockery of God and will incur eternal wrath.  The Scripture made this clear in Revelation 14:9-12 when it said, "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus."

My friends, the Truth is there is no stopping God's plan!  Everything written in the Scripture shall come to pass in fulfillment of God's written Word.  And I am a recipient of God's love and grace the moment I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and surrendered my life to His Lordship.  I did nothing on my own to deserve His grace but He gave it to me when I stretched out my hand, humbled myself and called for His help.  He bestowed upon me His righteousness and each day, I live my life in and for Him. God changes me daily till I am completely conformed to the image of His Son.  And when it comes time, I will eternally be with Him in a place where peace, joy and love forever abides.  So, if there's anything I can do for this dying world to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus, I will use the remaining time given by God to tell them about God's Only Son and warn them about the schemes of the enemy that aims to deceive them.  I believe that this is God's mandate not just for me but for all that received God's grace.  My solemn warning to this day and age, "DO NOT RECEIVE THE MARK NO MATTER WHAT!"

Anyway, back to my featured project today,  I created this Wedding Card for a friend's wedding several weeks ago.  I used an image from American Art Stamp which I had for many years now.  It's one of the first stamps I bought after I decided  to get serious in Cardmaking.  I used a couple of Nestabilities to frame the image, embossed the background with a Darice embossing folder, added some lace from my stash and a few white nail head gems from Imaginisce.  For an elegant finish, I stitched all over this creation.  A simple and yet fun card.


 HUGS AND KISSES WEDDING CARD


HUGS AND KISSES WEDDING CARD LAYERS


HUGS AND KISSES WEDDING CARD INSIDE


HUGS AND KISSES WEDDING CARD WITH ENVELOPE


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

2 Sisters---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Artistic Stamper---ATG with Rubber Stamping
Classic DT---ATG
Craft Galore Encore---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girlz---ATG
Creatalicious---ATG
Daisy Chain---ATG
Die-Cut Divas---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Summer
Eclectic Ellapu---ATG
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG/Paper-piecing
Not Just Cards---ATG
One Crazy Stamper---My Favorite Things (Wedding)
Petal Lu---ATG/Orange Flowers
Worldwide DT---ATG
Your Scrapbook Place---ATG
Craftin From the Heart---ATG
OLLCB---ATG
Pammie's Inky Pinky---ATG
Paper Nest Dolls---ATG


There you have it, folks!  Don't miss the opportunity to join our Anything Goes Challenge at 613 Avenue Create.  Can't wait to see what fabulous projects you're going to link with us.  I hope you have a great week and know that through faith in what Jesus accomplished at the Cross, we have complete victory over the works and schemes of the enemy!  Let us share this hope to countless others in the world. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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

Hello there Crafty pals!  Here I am to highlight another creation featuring our Scripture Word Art for our brand new Challenge happening at Word Art Wednesday (WAW).  You can download it for free by going to the WAW site.  It comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which tells us, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

First, I would like to share the exhortation I read in my Life Application Bible regarding our  highlighted verse...It says, "Today's pressures make it easy to ignore or forget the lessons of the past.  But Paul cautions us to remember the lessons the Israelites learned about God so we can avoid repeating their errors.  The key to remembering is to study the Bible regularly so that these lessons remind us of how God wants us to live.  We need not repeat their mistakes.  In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul gave strong encouragement to the Corinthians about temptation.  He said: (1) wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone, so don't feel you've been singled out; (2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God will help you resist it.  God helps you resist temptation by helping you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, (2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what is right, (4) pray for God's help, and (5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted.  Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory.   2 Timothy 2:22 said, "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Now, do you know our Scripture Word Art verse does not apply to all people in this world?  Many out there would like to handpick/use Scripture without really studying its context.  Context is defined as (1) the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning and (2) the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs :  environment, setting.   Simply put, it is the who, what, when, where, why and how  of everything we see or hear.  It is extremely important to examine all these things in order to rightly divide (interpret) God's Word.  Going back to our verse, Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Church in Corinth (and to the Body of Christ and all generations following) consisted of Jews and Gentile believers (Born-again, John 3:3) in order to encourage them to put their faith and trust in the Lord as they go through temptations and challenges of life.  His audience were believers who made a decision to turn away from their Sin and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  They placed their entire trust in what Jesus accomplished (His death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross.  As believers, we aren't exempted from the struggles of life but we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside each and everyone of us that reminds us of the promises of Jesus' victory at the Cross.  That if we completely entrust our everyday/everything to Him, He will surely see us through. In Matthew 14:22-32, we learned of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus.  Amazing, isn't it?  When we focus our attention to the Lord, we are able to do the impossible.  For a moment, Peter didn't care about what he couldn't do but depended solely on the power of the Lord to empower him.  But like what happens to many of us, he lost his focus on Jesus, turned his attention to the wind and storms of life and began to sink. Yet in his doubt and fear, He called unto the Lord to save him and He readily reached out and caught him.  I think to myself, how frustrating could it be for the Creator to see His creation trying to do things on their own (abilities, knowledge, strength, etc.) when everything in our existence is dependent upon the grace and goodness of God?  How arrogant, proud and ungrateful!  Everyday, I have to make a conscious decision to rely and trust in God for everything (big or small decisions).  Remembering that my Source is Jesus Christ and His finished work at the Cross is the Means by which I can ask and do all things through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  And if and when I make mistakes, I humble myself and cry out, "God save/help me!"  I thank my Father in heaven that He's unlike us whose very impatient!  He's always there to love, forgive, lead, strengthen, comfort and even discipline me daily.  When temptations/trials come, He warns me on the inside (inner voice) and tells/shows me a way out.  Yet even when I have to go through them, He is there to assure me of His faithfulness, giving me the strength to bear it.  But what happens to the people who haven't placed their trust upon Jesus Christ and His Cross?  Those who keep living on their own strength and understanding?   They have rejected Christ and pursue their own desires.   They can never lay claim to any of the wonderful promises of God to His people.  Sadly, many of them are too proud to even ask God to help/save them at their lowest point.  Many have chosen to end their lives under their own terms.  If they only knew the unimaginable torment that awaits them in the eternal.  By then, it's too late!  There's nothing else they can do to change that reality,  So, if you are depending on anything but God in this lifetime, it's time to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and be among the people in whom the wonderful promises of the Lord (such as our Scripture Word Art) abide.  In closing, I will leave you with wonderful prayer we can meditate and declare to one another as believers in Christ.  It's found in Ephesians 3:14-21 and it says, "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

For this Card, I used an image from Bugaboo Stamps called "Desiree Girl" that I colored using my ProMarker/Prismacolor markers.  The base is a magenta CS, cut and scored to a 5 x 7 card.  The DP's are the fancy ones I bought in singles at JoAnn's.  I paper-pieced some parts of the image and added some glitters on her eyeglasses using Stickles (Crystal).  For the final touch, I incorporated some nail head gems from Imaginisce and machine stitched all over this creation.  We have a wonderful verse to highlight today and so it's important to me to use a simple lay-out to better show God's Word.  I love it!


 GOD IS FAITHFUL CARD


 GOD IS FAITHFUL CARD LAYERS


 GOD IS FAITHFUL CARD INSIDE


GOD IS FAITHFUL CARD WITH ENVELOPE


This Card is entered into the following Challenges:

2 Sisters---ATG
A Bit More Time to Craft---ATG
A Perfect Time to Craft---ATG
Create with TLC---ATG
Bugaboo Crafty Challenge---ATG with Bugaboo Image
Classic DT---ATG
Crafty Awesomeness---ATG
Crafty Girlz---ATG
Craftyhazelnut's---Patterned Paper
Creatalicious---ATG
Digistamps4Joy---ATG/Summer
DL Art---ATG
Eclectic Ellapu---ATG
Fabrika Fantasy---ATG
Love to Craft---ATG
Mix It Up---ATG/Paper-piecing
Not Just Cards---ATG
Petal Lu---ATG/Orange Flowers
Worldwide DT---ATG
Your Scrapbook Place---ATG
OLLCB---ATG


I hope you'd take the time to join us at our WAW Challenge.  It's Anything Goes as long as it's family friendly with uplifting and inspirational messages, you can link up to 5 projects.  Our sponsors this week are Frantic Stamper (Stained Glass Window Die), Craftin' Desert Divas (2 Digis) and Wild Orchid Crafts (15 pound GC).  I can't wait to see your projects  and leave you some encouragement on your Blogs.  Though the world seem darkened nowadays, let your faith in God shine like a beacon on a hill.  Pray without ceasing and believe that God can do the impossible! My trust in only in Him...

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