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Monday, April 29, 2013

Sacrifice of Praise

My beautiful mother celebrated her 86th birthday on Sunday surrounded by all 5 children and their spouses as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, her "baby" sister and brother-in-law.  Her life has not always been easy and definitely not perfect but she will be the first to tell you that God has always been faithful to her and she has much to be thankful for. 

This scripture tells us to offer thanks and praise to God, but it does not mean to just give a perfunctory "thanks" or a silent praise in our minds.  No, it specifies the praise should be sacrificial and uttered with our mouth.  My mother has lived out this scripture through the heartbreak of losing a baby daughter. She still served Him after the loss of my father's business.  She thanked Him for life in the midst of breast cancer. 

Mom's life has included times of depression, sadness and questioning but I have never seen her waiver in giving God the praise for joy, provision and healing.  Her example of steadfast faith in a sovereign God is part of what has allowed me to live with hope despite my circumstance. 

Sacrificial praise is saying to God, "you have allowed the good and the bad into my life to mold me and shape me into the instrument you want me to be and whether I am rich or poor, healthy or sick, joyful or mournful, I will praise your Name and give you thanks."   My mom has showed her family this type of praise throughout our lives and even now as age ravages the body and strokes ravage the mind, she still praises her Creator and gives Him praise with her lips.  No greater legacy could she offer her family!




Sunday, April 28, 2013

Inspired Stamps 52 Weeks of Gratitude Week 17


Happy end of April and welcome to week 17 of Gratitude with Inspired Stamps!  Today is my dear mother's 86th birthday!  She has faced some considerable challenges this year due to a stroke she had in October and the subsequent mini strokes she continues to have but she continues to live out this scripture and gives praise to God for the life she has.  Come back tomorrow and I will share my thoughts on this scripture and my mom.

Today, I used 2 different stamps to create this pretty card.  For the base of the scripture, I used a stamp from the Tags Stamp Set and for the scripture I used a $3.99 single Scripture Stamp, Hebrews 13:15. 



other supplies: Close to My Heart ink, paper and card stock.  Embellishments and ribbon from stash

Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't Fret

The events of  last week have left some of us frightened, many of us angry and most of us emotionally drained.  We have seen humanity at its worst AND at its very best. We have lamented the fact that we have been down this road before and questioned why we must travel it again. Many have turned to God and others have shaken their fist at him.

I heard a woman on TV say she was afraid to leave her home because she did not know what was going to happen next.  Of course, there are some in the devastated town of West, TX who wish they had not been in their homes when the blast occurredThey would have been safer far away from those walls. 

My heavenly Father answers those who live in fear because of heinous acts of terrorism, "...do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)  Regardless of what man can do in their hate, God walks with us and promises to strengthen and help us.  All we need to do is call on him and he will answer with His embrace.  An embrace of peace that can not be understood. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 (KJV)  I like the way The Message puts it " Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

There are some who question where God is when tragedy and devastation occurs.  They want to know why an all powerful God allows harm to come to His creation.   My answer is He was where He always has been, standing beside us, living among us and leading us through the turmoil.  He also has told us "...in this world you will have trouble" but the whole scripture also offers hope "“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  (NIV)

 My friend , we face trial and tribulation because we live in a fallen world.  A world God created for us and gave us FREE WILL to live in.  We are not God's puppets or playthings.  If a man turns his back on God and chooses to do evil, God will not always stay that man's hand.  However, know this, that man will receive his just due in the fires of hell and God's children will be given their eternal reward in heaven.  We may not understand why tragedy occurs but God is not the one to blame.  He stands with open arms ready to offer you peace, comfort and joy despite the circumstances.  You have free will to accept what he offers or turn your back.  I know accepting him allows me to live a life of peace in the storm, free from fear and worry.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Inspired Stamps 52 Weeks of Gratitude Week 16


This scripture is one I repeated many times to my oldest son when he would get the "I can'ts".  It must have made an impression because it is now permanently tattooed on his back!  I really had fun making this card!  I used 2 different stamps from Inspired Stamps:first I used one of the tag stamps from the TAGS  stamp set.  You can use the set with our 2x2 scripture stamps.  I stamped the single Scripture Stamp,  Philippians 4:13 onto the tag and then put it in the "jeans pocket" I created.  

To create the pocket, i cut it out on my Cricut with the Artiste cartridge and then distressed it to look worn.





other supplies: Close to My Heart: Artiste Cricut cart, cardstock, color ready ribbon and Claire paper.  Heidi Swapp Color Shine on ribbon, rhinestone flowers and charm from stash

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Inspired Stamps 52 Weeks of Gratitude Week 15

Today's card features the Psalm 50:23 single scripture stamp from Inspired Stamps.  I also used the word "thankful" from the Journal Shapes stamp set.

How is your 52 Weeks of Gratitude journey going?  Share with us on the Inspired Stamps Blog!

other supplies: CTMH Chantilly paper (yellow and card stock) and ink, paper strips freehand cut from paper in stash,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Musing-Died, Buried and Raised!

This scripture is for every believer who has tried to share the gospel with an unbeliever.  You don't need to memorize the ABC method of scripture to share the gospel with the unsaved. This is the entire gospel in one scripture!  These words are the total reason for our faith.  Without each of these 3 events in the life of Christ, our Christianity is useless.

My friends all we need to know is Christ DIED-for our sins (every.single.one), then He was buried-in a tomb sealed with a huge boulder, and three days later He was RAISED from the DEAD!  This should not have been a surprise to anyone who knew the scriptures because, "according to the scriptures", it was told hundreds of years before by the prophet Isaiah.

Why do we question?  Why do we forget to thank Him for His sacrifice?  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 contains our HOPE!  Christ died, He was buried and He was raised to give us eternal life!  Thank you Jesus for loving me that much.  Thank you Lord for the hope I have in You that one day I will shake off the shackles of this frail body and I will rise to glory to be with You forever!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Inspired Stamps 52 Weeks of Gratitude Week 14

I can not believe we have been on this Gratitude journey with Inspired Stamps for 14 weeks now!  We would really love for you to post your projects each week at the Inspired Stamps Blog!

To create the card, I used the Inspired Stamps Single Stamp 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

I apologize that I did not get a full photo of the card without a shadow but it was just one of those days!  The words of this scripture are ones we can all be thankful for every day, not just during Easter season.  Without these events we would have no hope of glory!  Return here tomorrow for my thoughts on this scripture. 
other supplies: Close To My Heart: Artiste Cricut cartridge,  For Always paper and cardstock.  gems from my stash

Monday, April 1, 2013

Strength

Strength is something I never thought much about before multiple sclerosis.  In fact, I was pretty proud of the fact that most people saw me as a strong woman. I was seldom ill and rarely at the doctor outside of routine check ups.   I didn't usually have to wait around for hubby to arrive home to move furniture.  I worked full time and took care of 3 young sons.  Rest was not something I found time for in my daily routine.

And no one would have called me quiet.  Quiet?  Are  you kidding me?  In a house of 3 rambunctious boys?  Never!  In fact, there was a day when I yelled to my boys, "I just want a little peace and quiet!", and without missing a beat my 3 year old yelled back, "No!  I want a piece of loud!".  Oh my!  I had to be strong to deal with that! 

But then came the days when my foot began to drag, my legs became weak and my body wanted to rest all the time.  My physical strength was gone, my spirit was weary and I had to admit that I was weak.  There was no hiding the cane, the walker and then the wheelchair.  My strong image was gone. 

But, thank God, I knew that God promised in His Word that if I waited on Him, I would soar with eagle's wings.  He promised that in my weakness, He would be made strong.  Then there is Isaiah 30:15 that says when I repent and sit in quietness and trust in Him, I will find strength.  Maybe not physical strength but I will find the strength that really matters.  The strength to persevere.  The strength to live each day.  The strength to place an uncertain future into the hands of a God who is certain..  The strength to say I am at peace and all is well in my soul.