November 11, 2013

Another Journal Page

Trying something new...less busy. I like it okay, but I kind of like the messy, busy look better...with layers upon layers to make it more interesting. It's good to try different things though, so I'm having fun.





November 07, 2013

New Journal Page

I worked on a new journal spread last week. With work and wedding and car stuff looming over me, this has been a good outlet to de-stress.




What do you do to de-stress?

November 01, 2013

Fun With The Camera

I came home from lunch last week and found a woodpecker on the bird feeder. I was able to catch some cool pictures of him, even though it was through the glass door and rather cloudy.











I always have to take pictures of my daughter whenever I get to see her. She gets really tired of it, but I like to have pictures of her since I don't get to see her very often. :)




Have a great weekend!

October 16, 2013

My Attempt At An Art Journal

I finally tried it. I have put it off for so long, spending time looking at art journal pages on Pinterest, wishing I could do something like the ones I have been pinning. But after my post yesterday at The Writer's Alley on fearing failure, I decided to bite the bullet and at least try to do a page or two.

First I took a book with a hard cover and tore out every other page. I must say this was difficult for me, a book lover and reader extraordinaire. But creating something beautiful out of something I already love seemed like an okay thing to me. So I took a ruler, put it along the binding and tore the page against it. I DID keep the pages I tore out. I figured I could use them in the journal later....tearing them or cutting them into shapes.

Then I painted some gesso on two pages. This primes the page to accept paint better. I've seen YouTube videos where you don't have to do this step, but I did to ensure the paint would work. (I'm sure I'll experiment without the gesso later!)

Then I put a dab of blue and a dab of green on each page and spread the paint around the page with a really wet paint brush. Then I let it dry.


Then I sprayed some red Dylusions Spray Ink on each page and let it dry. Then I stamped a cross all over in black ink and used a stencil for the fleur de lis.  After it dried, I found some cool magazine images and pasted them on with mod podge. The cool thing about the mod podge was when it touched the red ink, it would smear the red. I played that up, spreading it further out. It was a nice surprise.


After the glue dried, I took a black pen and journaled a bit. Then I got a white paint pen and had some fun with swirls and outlining.






It's kinda messy, but I am happy with how it turned out. For a first time, it was a success in my eyes. And I had so much fun!


October 15, 2013

What If We Try And Fail?

I'm posting over at The Writer's Alley today. My post is entitled, "What If We Try And Fail"...inspired by John Ketchersid's sermon from Sunday.

Check it out:   The Writer's Alley


September 30, 2013

What Our Actions Say

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Have you thought about the power of your actions and the things you do? Do you ever think about what your actions say? Our actions reflect on who we are and the values that we hold. They speak to the world around us either a story of hope or a tale of woe.

As followers of Christ, we have been called to a higher standard of living. The standard is not a burden, but it can be confusing. Many of us would like a list of rules to follow, but the Bible, our guide to the Christian life, is not a rule book. Scripture is God's way of telling us who we are, whose we are, and therefore how to live.

While the Old Testament listed out rules to follow, the gospel does not. The gospel is too big to be contained in a set of rules. The gospel that Jesus brought...his life lived...is the insight into the life we are to live.

Philipians 1:27-2:4 gives us a glimpse into this calling for a Kingdom life.

Unity: A life worthy of this calling is tied to Jesus's church. We are told to "come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love." Be as one. The collective body of believers is a power force in God's kingdom. It can withstand the attacks of the evil one. It can move mountains. It can change the world. But it can only do it if it is united; united in love.

Opposition: Followers of Christ stand firm in the face of opposition. "Don't be paralyzed in any way by what your opponents are doing. Your steadfast faith in the the face of opposition is a sign that they are doomed and that you have been graced with God's salvation."  We will face opposition as believers and we are to stand firm, holding to our faith in the One who is worth any and all kinds of suffering. There can be joy in the face of suffering and we must find it to show the world where our heart lies.

Being a follower of Christ is not a solitary effort. It is about being a part of a community, living life together, sharing the hope we have and the joy Christ offers. Am I looking to the needs of others or am I selfishly looking after myself? In this busy world, it is easy to huddle up in our own bubble, but we must make an effort to branch out and truly live the Kingdom life. A life where our actions speaks loud and clear who we are and Whose we are.

What are your actions saying?

**This message was given by Candace Nicolds are our church yesterday. Thank you Candance!


August 16, 2013

Outdoor Table Painted

I finally got my outdoor table painted. This is the table that my husband built out of pallet wood to go with the two chairs he had built for me earlier this summer.

My husband painting it white and I got busy with a stencil I had purchased earlier this year from Cutting Edge Stencils. They have the most awesome stencils for DIYing your furniture and home.

I used orange and red paint for the stenciled paisleys, but wasn't real happy with the placement. It just seems a bit off balance to me. But I guess overall it looks okay and goes well with the chairs.

Here is a before pic.



And here is the table with the chairs.


August 15, 2013

Review: The Trial of Vanessa Anderson

The Trial of Vanessa Anderson is one of those books that makes you think and makes you question. It is a book that takes the climate of the times and speculates as to what could happen in the future. As a nation that has valued freedom of religion and speech, political correctness is poised to muzzle the freedoms that we love. And this is the basis for this speculative/near-future book by Thomas Williams.

Back Cover Copy: Under a newly passed civil rights law, single young schoolteacher Vanessa Anderson is charged with a hate crime for counseling a troubled student who wants to abandon her lesbianism. At first Vanessa, a committed Christian, is strongly supported by her church, friends, and others close to her. But as media sensationalism heats up and brands her as a bigoted fundamentalist homophobe, her supporters abandon her to protect themselves. With the full weight of the state against her, Vanessa’s case seems hopeless until highly successful attorney Brandon Locke, an ex-boyfriend from college days, offers to defend her. The only problem: he’s agnostic.

In spite of his agnosticism, Locke, who still loves Vanessa, mounts a brilliant defense in a trial reminiscent of the infamous Scopes “Monkey Trial.” With the help of the underground Christians, Locke uncovers suppressed evidence that leads to the surprising conclusion of the trial.


My Thoughts:  I'll admit that I was nervous about the subject matter, because so often Christians are portrayed as bigoted people who don't love as Christ does, but deeper into the book Williams shows that kind of love. Sin is sin, whether is it homosexuality or gossip or stealing or lying. We love the sinner no matter what the sin, and I'm so glad that Williams let this kind of love come through. 

This book is about the government having the power to take away the freedom of religion and speech.  A new law had just been passed making it illegal to try to change or counsel homosexuals...it was deemed a hate crime to do so. Vanessa was counseling a student who came to her for help. She was teaching her biblical truths about homosexuality and was turned in for it.

Throughout the book, Vanessa is hit time and time again with hardship and obstacles from the very people she thought would have supported her 100 percent. At first I questioned the author in making the people close to her abandon her so thoroughly, but then I remembered that Jesus' disciples abandoned him and denied him when he was arrested and put on trial.

Vanessa's agnostic lawyer did a brilliant job in the courtroom and the surprising facts that he uncovers near the end of the trial made the book a page turner toward the end. I won't share all the twists and turns of the ending, because those surprising tidbits make for a great read.

In closing, I want to reiterate that this book is not a slam against homosexuality. Yes, it is a Christian book and is firm in following biblical truth and declaring sin as sin. But this book is really a warning of what could happen if Christian speech and actions are repressed by government. In the author's words..."I do not at all claim that the specific issues or events depicted in this novel predict the exact shape of the future. The issues may not be the stifling of speech against homosexuality. It could be gay marriage, abortion, taxation of churches, banning Christians from serving in elected office, or any number of issues being currently pushed by political statists."

Times are changing and persecution of Christians could be in our future...our near future. Have you thought about how you would hold up during times of persecution? Would you be like Jesus' disciples and deny Him? Or will you stand firm for Jesus?


You can purchase The Trial of Vanessa Anderson HERE for $3.99. It is sold as an ebook through Amazon.


August 12, 2013

Weakness and Faith

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I'm weak. I fully admit it. I don't measure up as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I've been selfish. I've participated in gossip. I've neglected people I love. My mouth needs a muzzle at times. Sometimes I am just a mess and I'm sure my witness for Christ has suffered for it. And this makes my heart hurt.

John's sermon Sunday was on Hebrews 11, the great chapter on faith, and it was a message I so needed to hear. This chapter lists great heroes of the Bible who were heroes because of their faith...their belief in God. Faith was the foundation of their lives -  no matter how often they failed. You see, these great heroes of faith were not perfect.

Abraham doubted God's ability to give him a son. He lied about his relationship with his wife. 
Jacob deceived his father and also played favorites with his children. 
Moses killed a man.
David committed adultery and murder.

All of these were commended for their faith...and they were sinners. And this gives me such hope, because I am a sinner whose sins are covered by faith in God and belief in His Son, Jesus. Though I fail at every turn, I still have faith in God and that is my foundation for life. Yes, I need to learn to live in the presence of Jesus and muzzle my mouth and learn to serve in love, but I am covered with God's love because of my faith in Him.

"Know that I love you. Accept my love," he whispers.

There is a peace that passes understanding in knowing His love and accepting His love.

I promise to try to live a life worthy of the calling God has place on my life, but I know this...I will continue to mess up. So please forgive me if you are at the receiving end of my mistakes. Know that I love you and never want to cause you hurt or harm.

And then just slap me upside the head and tell me to get over myself!


August 05, 2013

Hearing God

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I miss God. I mean, I know He is with me all the time, but I miss feeling His presence. I miss hearing from Him. What happened to shut that off? What have I done to hinder that feeling?

There was a time when I reveled in God's presence. I could feel Him close. I could see Him at work around me. Every day was an adventure in what He might do. I felt I was part of His kingdom, doing His work...the most fruitful and fulfilling work there is. And now....nothing.

In Amos 8, the Lord says He will send a famine through the land - a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People would stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. People were running away, turning away, pushing away from God. And so God let them be.

A famine of His presence...His word.

What can we do to fix that? What can we do to stop the famine and hear Him again?

PRAY. In one of Beth Moore's studies, she said that God would grant every prayer that was in line with His will. And would could be more in line with His will than loving Him more? Pray that you would desire Him above all else. Pray that you would want to read His word daily. Pray that God would give you a passionate desire for Him. Pray that you would hear Him daily. How could he not grant such a request?

READ. Be in the word. The Bible is God's words to us and it reveals His nature, His power, and His love. We must know God in order to love like Him and be like Him. So read it daily. Spend time with Him.

SIMPLIFY. We are bombarded daily with materialism. Commercials trying to get you to buy more stuff. New gadgets and technology. Entertainment abounds. Just so much STUFF that woos us away from what is really important....God and His kingdom. We get so busy and the world gets so loud that we cannot hear God anymore. Tune out the world and listen. He is whispering to you.

What are you doing to hear God more? 

*This post was inspired by John Ketchersid's sermon on July 21, 2013.


July 12, 2013

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Stealing the Preacher has been one of my favorite reads this year. It has it all...adventure, romance, struggle, coming to faith, humor, and did I mention romance?? Oh yes, Karen Witemeyer can write great romance.

Here's the back cover copy:
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he's forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man's daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he's haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind--a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna's outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Now how can you not love a premise like that?

Usually it is the heroine of a story that gets kidnapped, but Karen's twist here works marvelously. The spark between Crockett and Joanna was tangible and their budding relationship fun to watch. Not only did I love the main characters, I loved all the minor characters as well. Joanna's ex-outlaw Silas was a crotchety man, whose love for his daughter made him likable. Of course, you have the young man who has a crush on Joanna. You have Silas's gang-now-turned-cow-hands, who are now like "uncles" to Joanna. And let's not forget Holly...the determined young woman who is out to capture the preacher's eye. Whew! She is a rascal!

I loved Karen's first story, Short-Straw Bride, which featured another Archer brother, so when this one came out, I jumped at the chance to read it. It is another winner!

I received this book from Netgalley and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.


July 08, 2013

The Lord Is Raising Up A New Generation

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The prophet Elijah despaired of seeing God's people turn back to Him. He believed he was the last prophet and all hope ended with him.

But God is bigger than Elijah's doomsday view.

God brought forth Elisha to receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Now the language here is inheritance language, as a double portion signified what was given to the heir of the family. Elisha is proclaimed heir to Elijah's legacy of prophesying... a different kind of prophet.

Where Elijah was a loner, Elisha was a people person. Where Elijah was depressive, Elisha was more upbeat.

God was raising up a new prophet for a new day. 

And He will again and again, for each generation.

We may think Christianity is coming to an end. We may think things cannot get worse for the church. But though things grow dim, God's Spirit is still working in His creation. He will continue to raise up souls to further His kingdom here on this earth.

Look around you at those younger than you. Who do you see with God's fingerprints all over them?

Who will become His voice for this new generation? 

Let's bless this new generation. Let's encourage and love the ones coming of age, giving them room to grow and serve in His church and His kingdom. Nurturing the future is being Christ in this world, giving hope for the growth of God's kingdom now and generations to come.

Who can you bless today? 

**Adapted from John Ketchersid's sermon July 7, 2013.**

July 05, 2013

Back From Seclusion

I'm back from seclusion. It wasn't a planned vacation from blogging, but I found I was dry. I had nothing to say. Nothing to share. So I just didn't.

But I am feeling refreshed and ready to give a little.

I have been on vacation this week since the school district I work for shuts down during the week of the 4th. I have used the week to rest, watch movies, read, and spend with family. When we went to Granbury yesterday for the 4th, I pulled out my camera and shot a few pictures. Some turned out pretty cool and I thought I'd share.






So what have you been up to?

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