Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musings-Rewind "Prisoner's Chains"

Belinda Kersey 8/27/07

God’s Word

Acts 16:25-26 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.”

My Thoughts

Have you ever sung in your pain? I have. Sometimes singing in my pain is all that gets me through the pain. The first time I was in rehab was painful mentally and physically. It affected me mentally because they were teaching me how to live in a wheelchair and physically because MS had so imprisoned my body that it was painful to try to regain any amount of movement that I had lost. I had Jeff bring me a CD player and some of my favorite music; between naps and the therapy sessions I would sit in my room and sing to the Lord.

Paul and Silas sang in their pain and Selah sings about them in, “I Bless Your Name”. It says “In prisoners' chains with bleeding stripes Paul and Silas prayed that night and in their pain began to sing.” Now if Paul and Silas acted like a lot of us today, they could have been sitting in that cell griping. All they had done was cast a demon out of a slave girl but now she was no longer going to earn fat wads of cash for her owners as a fortune-teller. Verse 19 of the chapter says “When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.” Then, without so much as a trial, “they were severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.” So, they had every right to be whining about their injuries, their unjust treatment and the painful position they were in. I know you’ve never done this, but I can even imagine other people complaining to God. “Lord, this is how you repay us for setting a girl free from demonic power? This is how you treat your loyal servants? What happened to the “beautiful feet of those who bring good news”? Our feet don’t look so beautiful in these stocks!”

That’s why I believe God has a special place in his heart for those of us who sing through our pain. He knows what we could sound like instead! Even if our song of praise is tentative or slightly off-key, it still sounds beautiful to Him. And just the act of singing His praise moves our mind from the situation and on to Him. There are times our songs can bring the miraculous. As the song says “Their chains were loosed and they were free”. Can you imagine their shock and awe? Or just maybe they were not shocked. When your faith is in a God who is all-powerful, how can you be shocked when he answers your cry? When you trust in the one true God, you can sing “I bless Your Name, I bless Your Name, I give You honor, give You praise. You are the Life, the Truth, the Way. I bless Your Name I bless Your Name .”

One scripture I find compelling says “and the other prisoners were listening to them”. I found that to be true in my own situation. I did not care who heard me as I sang to God in that hospital room. Some heard and were blessed and moved to ask about my peace. Our songs to God will serve as praise to Him, peace to our souls and a path to Him for others. So “some midnight hour if you should find you're in a prison in your mind. Reach out and praise, defy those chains, and they will fall in Jesus' name!”

Your Response

The scripture doesn’t tell us what words Paul and Silas sang. It simply says they were singing hymns to God. I am sure they sang the ones that were most precious to them and most ingrained in their hearts. Begin now to sing your favorite hymn or worship song to the God who frees us. Even if “Jesus Loves Me” is all you can think of, then sing it for all you’re worth.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inspired Stamps Butterfly Necklace

We were given free rein this week at Inspired Stamps and my choice was to make a necklace for my Mom's 85th birthday.  Her fave color is purple and I knew this fancy butterfly from the Butterflies and Blooms stamp set would be perfect!

To make the necklace, I used a clear acrylic flat backed faceted drop.  I stamped the butterfly, colored with Copics, cut to fit and then used Liquid Glass to adhere to the back.  I used a needle to poke through the hole on the facet through the paper back.  I then put a jump ring through the hole and strung it on a piece of black leather cording.  

I know my mom will love it!  We are soooo thankful to have her (and Dad) still in our lives and doing relatively well. Go check out what the rest of the team did this week and come back for a new release Sneak Peek next week!

other supplies: CTMH cardstock, Liquid Glass and  ink.  Leather cording and jump ring from Joanns.  Teresa Collins Blingage Facet.  Asst. Copics

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Monday Musing-Rewind- When He Calls

By Belinda Kersey 11/22/09

 God’s Word
2 Corinthians 4:17-18F
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

The Song
I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin

My Thoughts
“There’s a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul and I can say it is well”. I did not pen those words but Chris Tomlin was anointed to write what my heart has felt throughout the last several years. “Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed. Victory is won, He has risen from the dead. What is every human’s ultimate conqueror? Death. No man can defeat him. But Jesus was no man!

Our flesh begins its descent to death from the very moment it is conceived. Even as it begins to form and grow, the very seeds of its mortality are planted. Life begins but death will be the end. How hopeless and helpless our lives would be if life and death were the only equations for our futures. But Jesus overcame death, hell and the grave! The One who snatched the very keys to our eternal prison, still holds those keys today and offers our everlasting freedom!

This paltry life we cling to so desperately on this imperfect globe is a vapor! Our vain attempts to postpone aging and our pitiful cry for one more day of youth is really a denial of the inevitable. No matter what potions and lotions we use and no matter what wonder pill or surgery is discovered, we are heading ultimately to the end of this life. It’s the end of our earthly, mortal, feeble, physical home. But my dear friend when our body breathes its last breath, it will release our soul into eternity. You can choose to say “I will rise, when He calls my name. No more sorrow, no more pain. I will rise on eagle’s wings. Before my God, fall on my knees and rise. I will rise.”

When you release all that you are on this earth to a loving, heavenly God then you entrust your very soul, your true being into His hands and on the day your body has had enough, your soul will “hear the voice of many angels sing, worthy is the Lamb. And you will “hear the cry of every longing heart, worthy is the Lamb.” Jesus is worthy of our love and adoration, for He first loved us. He is worthy of our devotion for He is devoted to our ultimate victory. Loved one, Jesus is worthy because He has overcome our ultimate adversary.

I don’t believe we should long for death or hasten its appearing. Death itself should never be our goal. Heaven is our destination and it should be the longing of every heart. It is the home that was created for our souls and our souls were created to dwell there. Our task here on earth is to endure and even thrive through our journey. We are to occupy this earthly shell for as long as God ordains and no man has the right to shorten one moment that God has planned for us. Our earthly life from beginning to end will bring us joy and pain. Living on earth will provide us with an abundance of wonder and an abundance of grief. I believe the moments that are our most fulfilling are the glimpses of heaven and the times of turmoil are glances into hell.

Our only saving grace and our only ability to withstand our light and momentary afflictions is the very presence of a loving and faithful God. But if one chooses the path that turns from Him then the eternal hell they will endure is complete and utter separation from God for all eternity. Those who choose His love and light on this earth will rise on the wings of eagles and will live in the warmth of His light forever and ever and ever AMEN!

Your Response
My dear friend, if you have never taken the time to tell your heavenly Father that you want Him to be in control of your coming and your going, your every breath, then take a few moments to say this prayer: Father, I know that I have sinned in this life. I know that I am powerless on my own. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has overcome death, hell and the grave. I ask that He would enter my heart and life and that Jesus would become my Savior. I thank you for your love and your mercy. Thank you for the strength you are giving me even now to endure this life. In your precious name, Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bloom! Inspired Stamps

We were asked to use flowers this week at Inspired Stamps.  It was easy to be inspired by the thousands of butterflies and the lovely blooms in our yard this year.  So, of course, I reached for the beautiful new Butterflies and Blooms stamp set!  Isn't it gorgeous?  There's so much goodness on this set of clear polymer stamps.  Flowers, butterfly beauties and a great quote-you gotta get it girl!

For the flowers and butterflies, I used Copics  and then gave the butterfly extra sparkle with iridescent glitter on top of Liquid Glass.  I used pop dots to lift the top set of flowers w/butterfly.  For the title, I simply scribbled a couple of Copics over the word and then cut out around the letters.

Here's the inside with the $3.99 single scripture Lamentations 34:1. I also included a scattering of a bloom from the versatile 1" Blooms set.
I have to tell you about the bargain that helped me create this gem-I was checking out at Joann's and noticed a basket sitting on the counter beside a closed register.  I got nosy and started rummaging through it and there were border and corner punches marked down to $1.99!!  Yes ma'am, I grabbed one of each design-wouldn't you?  Now, with a smile on your face, head over to the rest of the teams's blogs and check out their yummy creations. 

There are thousands of these beauties in our yard this year!  Thank you Lord for your creation!
other supplies not mentioned are all from Close To My Heart

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Musings

Hello to anyone who reads my Monday Musings Devotionals!  The next few weeks are going to be hectic as we count down to our middle sons graduation from high school! The calendar is full of end of school events and my head is full of all I need to do.  Therefore, until June, I will be posting "reruns" of some of my favorite devotionals.  I hope you will revisit these writings with me and they will bless you.

Future History by Belinda Kersey 1/2009

God’s Word
“And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

My Thoughts
Do you wonder why you are where you are right now? Do you question what God is doing? Does it seem there can’t possibly be a plan or a purpose? I know Esther must have felt that way when she was sent to the inner courts of the palace. On the surface it may look like she was living every little girl’s dream. The chance to be queen doesn’t come along every day. What woman wouldn’t revel in free beauty treatments for a year? It might sound like a dream come true for those of us who can’t even squeeze a spa day into our lives.

What we aren’t figuring into those fairy-tale visions is what lay at the end of those days of pampering. Those young, innocent girls were being pampered and plumped in preparation to spend the night with the King. A King who banished the previous queen for having a mind of her own. Don’t you know Esther was frightened out of her mind? And what if he didn’t like her? She would be cast aside and left unfit for marriage to another, relegated to the harem.

“We are who and where and what we are for now” is a profound line in Steven Curtis Chapman’s song that could have been spoken by Esther’s Uncle Mordecai. God created us “for now”, He placed us for this moment, this situation, this plan. But this moment isn’t the entire book of our lives. Whatever you are going through, you can be assured it won’t last, it will change. Our “for now” is not our complete destiny. Our real life is waiting on the other side of eternity. Esther’s “for now” wasn’t made for her pampering and pleasure but for the preservation and salvation of her people.

Our human nature is to want to see into the future so we can be prepared for what lies ahead or to have the ability to correct our mistakes before we make them. But Chapman says “We don’t have a time machine and even if we did would we really want to use it? Would we really want to go change everything?”. Amazingly, my heart agrees with him.

Yes, I have lived through difficult circumstances but through those times, God has taught me, He has used me and He has changed me for His glory. As a twenty year old, if I could look into the future and see the pain I would endure, I’m sure I would have done all within my power to create a different future for me and my family. But what would that have cost us? What growing and strengthening of faith would we have missed? What lessons would my children have failed to learn and grow from. Who would have lost out on eternity because we weren’t there to show the way?

The song says “There’s only One who knows what’s really out there waiting” and to Him “the future is history”. While we are here on this earth, living our little stories, the God of the universe has written the chapters of all time from beginning to end. Not only has he written the words, but He has had time to proof-read, re-read and sign his signature to the cover page. “All we need to know is He’s out there waiting”, and at the same time I know He’s right here living beside us, giving us the strength to make it to the last chapter of our earthly story so we can begin the rest of the story-the part that really matters, our heavenly destiny.

Your Response
Let God know you trust Him with your “now” and with your future. Tell Him you need His strength to face whatever He has in store for you. Tell Him you are ready for such a time as this because you know He has written your story from beginning to end.

The Song
"Miracle of the Moment" Steven Curtis Chapman

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I desperately need a new wheelchair van and they are giving away 3! Please click on my name above and fill out the form to vote for me.  On your first vote use promo code 745 to count for 5 votes!!!  You can vote every 24 hours for the next 28 days!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mother's Day will be here before we know it and Inspired Stamps is ready with the Proverbs 31 Women scripture stamp set.  This set can be used for any virtuous woman in your life.  It can also be used for birthdays or "just because",  as well as the obvious Mother's Day.

Don't forget there are lots of beautiful new sets at Inspired Stamps for all your Spring occasions. 

The scripture I used can be seen from the outside or the inside  of the card because of the cute cutout.

Stop by the rest of the team's blogs to see their amazing projects this week!

other supplies: CTMH

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Inspired Stamps Spring Project

I hope you are making plans to attend an Easter Service near you this weekend.  We will be attending the 1st ever Easter Service at our 6 month old church, Christ Church West.  Our service is at 11 am if you live in West Tarrant County or Eastern Parker County.  

Because of the significance of this season, I chose to highlight an Inspired Stamps scripture from the By  His Wounds stamp set.  I saw the idea for this project on Pinterest.  It's so simple but so cute!  Just take a bulldog clip and glue it to the glass of a frame.  Insert scrapbook paper in frame and then clip a photo of scripture of your choice to the clip.  Now you can have an easily changing display for photos or scriptures.  I chose not to decorate the frame so that I can use it for all seasons but you could embellish the frame if desired.

With all the fabulous scripture stamps from Inspired Stamps, you could make this a "scripture a day" display!  Happy Resurrection Sunday to you all!

Be sure to check out my fellow team members' projects on their blogs.

other supplies:  Close To My Heart paper, CTMH Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, CTMH clip, CTMH Liquid Glass, Ikea Frame

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

CTMH Happy Easter Card

This is a fun card I created using the new Close To My Heart Dotty For You papers.  This ADORABLE paper pack includes fun Spring patterns backed with cute dotted paper.  It will be available for a great price April 17th-May 31st to celebrate National Scrapbook Month. The stamp set I used for the bunny, eggs and sentiment is also from CTMH and is appropriately called My Peeps.  The precious mason jar and flower are from the versatile CTMH Joyful Jar stamp set. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Walk MS 2012 Fun

If you've followed my blog very long, you know that I have been living with multiple sclerosis for over 10 years and am very involved in raising funds for the annual Walk MS.  This year's Walk was held on Saturday morning and we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather or company!
My sisters have joined me every year I have been in the Walk (this was our 10th)!  My younger sis, behind my mom, is always in the Top 20 for funds raised.  This is the first year my 85 year old Mom has joined us for the day.  The walk would be too hard on her so this year I had her use my manual wheelchair so she could be with us.  She had a lot of fun and was glad to be there. 

My team's name is Mighty Spirit because it takes the mighty spirit of God dwelling in me to face each day's challenges.   I am passionate about raising funds for the National MS Society because without their financial support, most of the drugs we have available to help manage this disease would not be in existence.  I also believe they will be instrumental in helping find a cure very soon.  I pray one is found before my youngest great-niece grows up!

My personal goal was to raise $1000 this year and I am a little over half-way there.  There's still time to donate and any amount counts!  If you would like to contribute, please do so HERE