November 11, 2017

Firestorm Relief - Rain!

1. Found some die-cut heart tags out craft shopping yesterday and brought a package home with me. Thank you, Lord, for reminders of your love and care!

2. Heard from a California pen-pal that it's been raining! I prayed for rain as a relief from the firestorms that's been occurring out there and I'm glad that God listened and responded.  Read so many stories of people who have lost loved ones and their homes. Homes can be replaced but the loved ones can't. I pray now that God will bring comfort to those who've lost loved ones and healing for others who survived. 

3. Thankful for finding enough elements (mostly from food packaging) for two more glue-book pages. I posted them here in my google plus collection. I'm still working on circles (eternally round), crowns, fruit of the spirit, friendship tea bags, names God calls me and one more that I haven't decided yet as to what I want to collect. Something from this list here. Playing with the idea of Veggie-Tales. Or stripes (Joseph's coat of many colors), that would be easy to do. Or continue on with the helping hands idea. What do you think? 

4. A friend sent me an email and reminded me of the Little Free Library. Wouldn't it be cool to set up a box full of children's gratitude books in your neighborhood? Can you imagine what attitude changes could occur if kid's began reading about being thankful? I have a few books listed here. Thank you, Mark! 

5. GOOD NEWS! My husband's cousin doesn't have cancer in his liver after all! The biopsy showed it was just scar tissue! Yippee! Praise the Lord! Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers! 😇


October 25, 2017

Praise from My Pastor

Blessings to you!  I hope you are doing well.  This last week we have had partial power in the main church building.  We didn't have use of the furnaces, soundbooth / projector, hallway and office lighting and some lights in the sanctuary and downstairs. We had an electrician come out Monday.  He said we have 3 phase power and that one of the phases was completely out. The good news is this is our electric company's responsibility and someone from the utility company will be out this week to fix it at the pole outside at no cost to the church.     

The better news is the electrician did find a bad breaker downstairs.  It was buzzing and could have caused an electrical fire.  It cost $300 to replace.  How is this "better news"?  If the power outside had not gone out we wouldn't have checked the breakers or had an electrician out.  Instead of a burned down building we had a breaker replaced.  I'll take it! 

Someone might just call this a coincidence, but I'm giving praise to God for His watchful care and providential hand.  

grace and peace,

Pastor Eric Forgrave
Church: 816 763-6891

October 23, 2017

Thanks to Trees

1.  Thanks to Trees -- Found this book thrift shopping this last weekend. Didn't know so many products came from trees-a renewable resource. As we set out to do our weekly errands, I noticed that the trees in our neighborhood were beginning to turn to their glorious fall colors of red and gold.  I have a photo of one such tree on this blog -- click on the label "Tree" below this post.  Did you know that God created trees in the beginning of the world and set two in the center of the Garden of Eden? 

"Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." ~ Genesis 2:8-9. 

2. I'm thankful that God lovingly created the family with one man (Adam), one woman (Eve) and their children (Cain, Abel, Seth & others)! And from a descending family came our Lord and Savior who died on a cross made from wood. The Tree of Life had a part in the story of Salvation from the very beginning. 

"The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree." ~ Acts 5: 30.

3. Thanks be to God for his gift of life -- did you know that we will be able to eat from the Tree of Life in the paradise of God someday? I pray that I shall be one of the overcomers! 

"On each side of the river [of life] stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. . . No longer will there be any curse." (Rev. 22:2b, 3a); "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." (Gal. 3:13); "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness." (1 Peter 2:24); "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7)

4. Thanks to God for shepherds (ancient tool -- wooden staffs) -- When was the last time you told your pastor how much you appreciate his faithful service to you and your family? Send him a card before the end of this month as October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching." ~ 1 Timothy 5:17.

5. Thanks for the comforting lap of Jesus -- ADD people sometimes have non-stop creative brainstorms. I think all day long and sometimes pass along what I think are good ideas to others, however, I must guard against becoming conceited. Thanks be to God that he understands my heart when others get the credit for those ideas, comforts me, and then reminds me that I'm only a vessel of the ideas that really come from him. Lord, help me let my prideful hurt go. 

"What, after all is Apollo? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe -- as the Lord assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7); "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, do that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 5:2-4); "because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:14-16). 

ADD/Depressives have a hard time letting go of the inconsequential, because our thinking caps are stuck on "go." That's why we need a good prayer team gathered around us, ready and willing to pray for us and I do, thanks be to God. 

October 11, 2017

Thankful I'm Alive Day!

I've been enjoying Hangar's patients' videos of the creative ways they have found to adapt to their challenges. Along with those stories, in YouTube's video roll, came a story of a triple amputee.  He, just a rash teenager then, experimented with drugs and as a result of a train accident lost three of his limbs. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Cameron turned his accident/limb amputation anniversary into a I'm Thankful to Be Alive Day! which he has celebrated every year since his accident! Every day is a new day! 

So today. . 

1. I'm thankful to Be Alive too! 

2. I'm thankful for normal eye pressures! 

3. I'm thankful for fabric passed forward by a friend! Thank you, Karen! 

4. I'm thankful for being able to attend a historical marker dedication and meeting my husband's "new" cousin and his wife. 

5. I'm thankful that my father-in-law came through surgery successfully. 

October 02, 2017

Grateful for a New Day!

I'm Thankful For:

1. Monument stones and Heart stones. The heart stone above is our Pastor's oldest daughter's most recent addition to her collection of heart shaped rocks. Thank you, sweetie, for sharing and allowing me to photograph your heart stone! 

2. Childhood stories = "[Good] Stories should be told over and over, so they aren't forgotten." ~ Rev. Eric Forgrave

3. Kind words!

4.   21, 487 NEW mornings that I've received God's mercy, grace, and love since I was born!  "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." ~ Lamentations 3:22-23. 

5. Smiles! 

September 25, 2017

FREE Gratitude Quote Printable

Found this today!

Crafty Secrets has this Gratitude Quote and one other as a FREE printable on their blog 

You could print them out and use one of them on a bookmark to give to a friend or use on a tag to insert into a pocket or tuck into a junk journal or faith-book. Would also make a great little favor for each person at your Thanksgiving dinner table. Whatever. . .

September 21, 2017

3rd Week September

A friend said she writes 5 Things she's Thankful for every day before bedtime.
Here's mine for the week!

1. More Sunflowers by Gudrun Sjoden!!!

2. for handy pockets and cross-body purses

3. for Aunt Jeanette's advice on raising boys.
The Lord blessed her with four
and each had house chores as well as typical male chores.

4. clean water to drink, food to eat and shelter over my head

5. night-lights!

September 09, 2017

Another 5 Things!

Happy Mail Envelope Inspired by Stephanie Ackerman.

1. Sunflowers are blooming right now and they are so pretty.
I consider them my happy flower not to mention they are the state flower of Kansas!
Thank you, God, for giving them to us to enjoy!

2. I am so thankful for the arms of Jesus when betrayers and bullies are being ugly

3. Wise people and praying hands.

4. My sister kept telling her husband this last week she was so glad that they no longer live in Houston, TX. They experienced two floods while living there and
that was enough for them!

5. And my husband said he was thankful it was Friday! 

Another Happy Mail Envelope Inspired by Stephanie. 

August 28, 2017

Thanks for Encouragement to Doodle and Not Apologize for It

Thank you, God, for encouraging me through Stephanie to "Live Life to Express, Not to Impress." I've enjoyed doodling the scriptures that Stephanie has sent out weekly so far this year.  Click on photo to enlarge details. 

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
I MAY fill in MAY's "Trust" page with doodles and color later. It MAY depend on what the facing glue book page MAY look like. 😁  I just couldn't resist. . .🙄

August 26, 2017

5 Things


1. Son! His birthday is Sunday! 👦

2. That wrinkles don't hurt! 👵

3. Happy Mail! 📭

4. The calming effect of water-coloring. 🖌

5. The fender-bender didn't damage the front end of 
our borrowed pickup last Saturday! 🚚

August 15, 2017

Thank you, God, for the Strong Rope of Promise!

Here's a story I once read or heard somewhere. I've probably got it mangled, 'cause I can't tell a joke for the life of me, but this is what came to mind: A man, lost in thought, was walking along a cliff above a rocky shore one day. He was so lost in his thoughts that he wasn't watching where he was going and stepped into a deep and wide crack that split the cliff into two. Sliding down towards the huge boulders that lay scattered underneath the cliff face, he managed to grab a thick vine growing over the edge, but he couldn't find a place to dig in with his heels and his toes so that he could climb out of the crack as the dirt crumbled under them. Desperate and clinging to that vine with both hands,  he began to cry out for help. Then a voice answered and said to hang on, that he'd be right back after he ran for a rope. 
When the person got back, he began to lower a rope over the cliff telling the man who had fallen into the crack to let go of the vine, grab the rope and he would pull him to safety, but the man hanging there, desperate with fear, couldn't let go of the vine. After a few minutes, the man above rolled up the rope and the man below, cried out, "What are you doing, where are you going, and why are you taking away my rope?" And the man above shouted down to man in the crack, "I can't help you, because you won't let go of the vine." 

I understand that man's fear of letting go of the vine. I have a real fear of heights. There is one particular high curving bridge with low sides that we need to drive over to get to the highway home from a town east of us that gives me the willies every time we go over it. I try not to think about the possibility of sailing over those low sides off into the wild blue yonder and squish that fear as the driver carefully makes his/her way around that curve as quick as they can. Thankfully, last weekend, we didn't have to come home that way, but knowing about the financial cliff we are experiencing at the moment -- no car and medical bills -- God showed me his love last Saturday as I was returning a too small shirt to a store in a borrowed car. Boy, was I excited when I saw that and I had to take a photo to share. Do you see it too? 

Life is really hard at times and it's wonderful when you've got promises to cling to. I was reminded of that yesterday when I was going through my Documented Faith-book of a quote of Stephanie's I had written down a while back. 

"No Matter What: Everything Will Be Okay!" ~ Stephanie Ackerman

I have to take my eyes off my troubles and look up at him as I get down on my knees in my prayer closet with this verse in mind --  

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen [Jesus and his rope]. For what is seen is temporary [financial cliff], but what is unseen is eternal." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18. 

God, thank you for a visual reminder of your loving presence in my life!  Thank you for a strong rope I can grab hold of every time I need it! 

It's been a long dark night
And I've been a waiting for the morning
It's been a long hard fight
But I see a brand new day a dawning
I've been looking for the sunshine
Cause I ain't seen it in so long
But everything's gonna work out just fine
Everything's gonna be alright
That's been all wrong.
Cause I can see the light of a clear blue morning
I can see the light of a brand new day
I can see the light of a clear blue morning
And everything's gonna be all right
It's gonna be okay.
It's been a long, long time
Since I've known the taste of freedom
And those clinging vines
That had me bound, well I don't need 'em
Cause I am strong and I can prove it
And I got my dreams to see me through
It's just a mountain, I can move it
And with FAITH enough there's nothing I can't do
And I can see the light of a clear blue morning
And I can see the light of a brand new day
I can see the light of a clear blue morning
And everything's gonna be all right,
It's gonna be okay.
I can see the light of a clear blue morning
I can see the light of a brand new day
Yes, I can see the light of a clear blue morning
Everything's gonna be all right
It's gonna be okay
Cause I can see the light of a clear blue morning
I can see the light of a brand new day
And I can see the light of a clear blue morning
Everything's gonna be all right
It's gonna be okay.
I can see the light
It's gonna be all right
I can see the light
It's gonna be all right.

August 04, 2017

It's a Process!

The world has a mistaken notion about us followers of Christ. They think when we say we are Christians, that it's like a cup of dry soup mix -- pour the waters of salvation over us and we become instantly perfect and then when we don't measure up, we're called hypocrites.  I hate to tell the world, that we struggle just like everyone else, however, we have what they don't, a relationship with Christ. Some are better at listening to Him and obeying and others, for whatever reason, find it harder to yield to his sweet whispers.  Thankfully, God isn't finished with me yet, cause I'm an adopted daughter of THE King! 👸

Our testimony leader was speaking to us a couple of weeks ago about the sacrifice of praise. As he was speaking about the Hebrew sacrifice, I began thinking about what I could sacrifice in order to praise and thank God and it clicked into place. I've struggled all this last year with writing my blog posts every week like I set out to, sometimes wanting to quit and deleting this whole blog, but Jesus kept whispering "Persevere," which has become my strong rope to hang onto when I wanted to give up. I realized that I could sacrifice those "I don't want to" feelings and CHOOSE to be thankful instead. 

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise -- the fruit of lips that confess his name." ~ Hebrews 13:15. 

I look up words in the dictionary I don't fully have a grasp on -- like mercy, for instance, one of the words in the beatitudes, that we were reading in church a couple of weeks ago. Positive words sometimes seem foreign to me, so when I ran across a possible meaning of mercy, I had to "chew the cud" and think about it. The sentence "It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened." grabbed my attention, because having just recently been in a car accident, I thought WOW! A heavenly reward for obeying the law! 

As far as Documented Faith goes, I've been working on my twelve dividers for my faith-book all this month. I've recorded my work here on my "Craftin' Bliss" blog and also assembled a couple of glue book pages that I decided I had enough pieces for. I uploaded those here on my "Taking Stock" post as well telling where I found some of the components for them here.  Stephanie showed us what she's been doing in her faith-book and it appears that she has a commentary going. 

I asked my husband what a commentary was and he showed me a book out of his personal library by C. H. Spurgeon called "Spurgeon's Devotional Bible." It looks similar to a study Bible, except that it has Spurgeon's own comments after various Bible verses in italic script instead of down at the bottom or in the middle of the two columns of scripture.  He told me that a commentary explains or illustrates key points; after Stephanie paraphrases what she is reading,  whether it be her Bible or an inspirational book, she uses her own quotes as a prompt to help her remember what she's learned. 

So, in closing, I said a few posts ago that I wanted to show you what Lynn Shokoples inspired me to make with the face of one of my pocket pages, so look below. Click on the image if you need to enlarge it to see details. I used one of Stephanie's images she sent us in a devotional (Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your lovely talent with us!) and used Lynn's layout (Thank you, Lynn, for yours also!) to apply it to my gelli-printed background. That red heart and flower just pops off the page and draws your eye in, don't you think? 

July 23, 2017

Thank you, Charles M. Schulz!

Thank You, Charles M. Schulz, for giving me a cartoon character I could identify with! 😊

Peanuts character: Charlie Brown

July 12, 2017

Another Jewel in the Crown of Beauty ~ Good News Peace!

I have decided, after reading an article online yesterday about new therapies for depression, which as many of you know, I struggled with for many years, to select only good news to read from my news feed. Everyday there is an onslaught of sad and horrifying articles in my news feed and for my mental health, I've decided to break from that as much as possible. For example, here's a story about a chain of people who formed to rescue people caught in a rip tide that I picked to read about today. Now they are all heroes in my book! Somebody at church Sunday said we don't hear enough GOOD NEWS, so when we hear some, we ought to share! 
~~ <> @ <> ~~

"A Cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and GOOD NEWS gives health to the bones." ~ Proverbs 15:30.

"Like cold water to a weary soul is GOOD NEWS from a distant land." ~ Proverbs 25:25. 

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring GOOD NEWS, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God Reigns!'" Isaiah 52:7

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me; to preach GOOD NEWS to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ Isaiah 61:1-3b.  

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything; but in everything, 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into PRACTICE. And the God of peace will be with you." ~ Philippians 4:5-9. 

Update: Someone sent me this photo today through email and it fit here so well, that I felt I just had to add it to the bottom of this post! Thank God, for the helpers!

July 07, 2017

Remember the Good Stuff, Maynard!

Yesterday, I got my stitches out! I had an extra hole in my knee 'cause Doc said he found an unexpected thing in there about the size of a marble which he had to fish out. (Yeah, I lost my marble! 🙄 ). After he left, a nurse said I was making my own pearl!

Anyway, while I was at my follow-up, I had to get doc to sign for a renewal on my disabled placard. I wish our state had wallet-sized receipts for those as we have to have them on our person when we are using the placards, so I fiddled around with a piece of 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper until I figured out how to fold it so it would fit into my wallet along with my photo state ID card.  Here's how I did it! 

 1. Fold paper in half. Place on the table with the fold at the top. Crease the folds with the side of a ballpoint pen to make the paper lie flatter. 

2. Fold the bottom open ends of the long (8 1/2") sides together up towards the fold,  leaving a 1" wide margin at the top fold of the paper. Crease.
 3. Fold the long sides together in half (margin inside), crease, and then open back up to 2nd position (see example above).
 4. Fold each end to the new center mark and crease sides.
5. Fold in half for the final time. Crease all the edges. I wrote what the receipt was for on the side, along with the dates it was good for, so I will remember to not it throw away during a purse tidy. 

I'm thankful for this placard and the mercy of close parking. I don't need close parking so much when I go in as when I come back out as my ability to be on my legs is limited time-wise and when I exit, I am sooooo grateful to be able to sit down and ease the pain and stiffness in my hips, legs, and knees.  Thank you, legislators, for kindly thinking of me! 

Stephanie reminded me this morning with her Documented Faith devotional and scripture that we (all of us) need to practice thanksgiving. And it was my Godly nudge to get on the ball and write a gratitude post since it has been awhile! Thank you, Stephanie, for listening to God and giving us the kick in the right direction. 👉 Our verse this week is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 

Which, of course, reminded me of something I had ordered from Stephanie's Etsy shop that I thought was lost. It was sorta, just not in the shipping, but in our house. A MALE (I've got two of them in this house) brought  in the MAIL and absent-mindedly laid it down in a paper pile by a chair which didn't get found until a MALE HAD to find another "lost" piece of paper.  Now if I had picked up that pile, it would have gone straight into the trash bin and I would never have had the delight of opening Stephanie's package.  Look at my goodies -- a coloring book from Adorn-It, a postcard and two atc's (artist trading cards)! If you want a closer look, click on image to enlarge! Sweet!

I want to leave you with a look at my Documented Faith June 2017 scripture sheet. I had fun embellishing it with my scribbles, watercolor paint and a quote by Stephanie! 

~~ <> @ <> ~~
Oh, almost forgot, I found a penny out in the hospital parking lot right before my knee surgery to go into my FISH fund! Thank you, Jesus! 

P.P.S. God reminded me of all those lovely, cheery cards and the prayers I received for my healing. Thank you friends! 👍 And my blessed pastor came to pray for me before my surgery.  I was the first in the queue for surgery at 6:15 am. He didn't have to do that, but he did and I'm sure his prayers sustained me during my surgery. God was gracious! Thank you! 

And last but not least, I found a layout design idea for the front of my faith-book pocket pages using some of Stephanie's doodles that she occasionally sends us through our Documented Faith-book email by YouTuber Lynn Shokoples. I'll show you one of my inspired pages next time! 

June 10, 2017

I'm Thankful for Online Workshop Classes!

I am thankful for Stephanie Ackerman's online workshops as I don't drive and they are convenient for me to take! Here are some of the things I've made during the latest class I've taken. 

A card, a bookmark, and an artist trading card. The "thanks" and "love" sentiments are my own doodles and the chit-chat stickers came from Hobby Lobby. I refuse to cut or tear up book pages, so I used an old appliance paper as part of the first layer of the background and I also used decorative gift tissue paper. Whatever the printed decoration is stays on top, but the white tissue paper sorta "melts" into the glue which I really liked.  Another thing I like about Stephanie's online Documented Faith classes is being able to go back to another theme, other than the current month's and take a workshop. It is always good to review the lessons you've learned previously.  That's one of the things we PRACTICED in our Beginner's Sunday School class was reviewing last week's lessons. I was often amazed at how well my  3, 4 and 5 year old children remembered what we had studied the week before. 

I also art journaled this page. . . to insert into one of those page sleeves I saved for art journaling . .  . and I reread the DF scriptures I saved and doodled on and . . .

then PRACTICED hand-lettering the Documented Faith's theme word by doing it in the bullet-journal style . . .

And hand- stitched up Stephanie's heart that she designed! Ain't it cute? 💖

Just for your info: Stephanie said that the Etsy store will be closed from June 19 to August 1, 2017, so if you want to get in a workshop before she shuts it down for the summer holidays, you better hurry. I signed up today for the next one! 👍

June 06, 2017

I'm Thankful for my Faith Family!

Families who pray and play together, stay together.

Today, I realized, after emailing a friend, how thankful I am for childhood memories of the church I grew up in. We always celebrated Easter,Veteran's Day, 4th of July,  Thanksgiving, Christmas,  and tied each of those holidays into our faith because We Are One Nation Under God. Here's the Pledge of Allegiance that we said every morning before school began.

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
Of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for Which It Stands
One Nation Under God, Indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

Did you know that there is also a Bible pledge: 

I Pledge Allegiance to the Bible, God's Holy Word,
I Will Make it a Lamp Unto My Feet
And a Light Unto My Path
And Will Hide Its Words in My Heart
That I May Not Sin Against God.

and a Christian pledge?:

I Pledge Allegiance to the Christian Flag
And to the Savior for Whose Kingdom It Stands.
One Brotherhood, Uniting All Mankind
In Service and in Love.  

We also celebrated school milestones like graduation with Promotion Sunday when children and young people were given a certificate because they were moving up to different Sunday School classes based on their age and grade in school. There were also awards given for best attendance and recognition given to Sunday School classes that had grown the most during the year. I always looked forward to those kind of things because they were my own personal milestones during the year. I guess what has brought them to mind is after last month's posting, I received the news that one of my first Sunday School teachers has graduated to heaven. Her name was Mrs. Ardella Hale.

I wrote this poem when a church friend asked me to help her to compile our church history for a seminary school project.

Our Church Family Quilt: A Warm Treasure From Heaven By Dolores J. Rush. 2008.

Our church family is like a patchwork quilt,
Begun some fifty years ago and designed with love.
It is a godly pattern, rich in memories,
Sewn by the Creator above.

Patiently weaving the fabric of our lives,
He stitches us together with golden threads that endure,
While challenges have added strength
To make our inheritance secure.

God pieced hearts together into blocks
Surrounded by His grace and care
And tied it through the batting of his comfort
Into a cozy coverlet we share.

He embroidered glimmering threads across the top
And sewed on elegant lace; binding us into one.
One family, composed of created people,
Made beautiful by his Son.

Yes, a patchwork of people, related by faith
Women, children, and men.
Warm treasure from heaven, this family quilt --
A legacy from Him.

May 06, 2017

Fear Will NOT Overcome Me! I have VICTORY in God - AMEN?

I received my first online death threat. No, not here, but on another social media site that I frequent. One of my spiritual gifts is "service" and I try to leave helpful or encouraging notes, however, this comment was made so long ago, that I had forgotten all about it. In the note, I mentioned I was a former Sunday School teacher and homeschooler and I guess that's what sparked this person's rage. Since I have moderating experience under my belt (a defunct website's homeschool forum), I knew immediately what to do and they were reported. I also sent a prayer request to my Documented Faith BFF's and my pastor to pray for my protection, because you hear about freaky things happening to people all the time.

I read missionary stories of God's protection and provision at my grandma's as I grew up. (She had such a HEART and passion for missions. She made wedding cakes for people in the community and donated that money to the missionaries her church supported.)  Some of the mission stories involved threats made by natives jealous of the missionaries' status and position in the community and  when confronted later and asked why they didn't attack, PRAISE GOD! the natives claimed they saw strong-armed men surrounding them during the missionaries prayer-time as they crept around their houses causing them to either run away or leave them alone because they were afraid of tangling with the men only they saw! At home, I remember listening to missionaries stateside on furlough, who shared stories that occurred during scary times, such as this lady friend who was a missionary in Kenya for 20 years (click here). I remember reading about Apostle Paul in the Bible who had to make his escape after a whole town threatened his life.  To be on the safe side,  I wanted some of that protection too.

"After many days had gone the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall." ~Acts 9:23-25.

Just before the praise and testimony time during our morning worship a couple of weeks ago, our leader stood up and began telling about something he had read during the week. He and his wife had been missionaries in Alaska for several years and he said that this verse had always helped him in difficult times.

"God, we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU. All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, STOOD before the Lord. . . "Listen, this is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is NOT yours, but God's." ~ 2 Chronicles 20: 12-15.

Later on in the chapter, I read and discovered something!

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Oh Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. GO OUT to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. . . Listen to me! Have FAITH in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have FAITH in his prophets and you will be successful. After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness . . . Give THANKS to the Lord, for his love endures forever! As they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah and they were DEFEATED!!!!" ~ 2 Chronicles 20: 17-22.

Did you see what I saw? The men of Judah praised God and gave thanks BEFORE the battle! Not after, but BEFORE it had occurred!

When our pastor stood up to preach, he said that God had prepared our testimony leader's verses in advance as his sermon meshed so well with that verse. 

[I've continued taking notes during the worship service, so I bring my Bible, a lapboard writing surface, a pen and my DF-book with blank paper. Here's how I divide my paper.

The top left is for the Worship Team and the Date. Below that are my sermon notes. At the top right, I pen-write in things I think of that I'm thankful for during the service. The next section is for the Bible text references such the one I wrote down above (2 Chronicles). And the last spot is my art spot where I write down words or phrases that come to mind or illustrations for cards or art journal pages or my DF divider pages such as I've shared a couple previously. You don't know how many times a pastor has used an illustration to make a point during his sermon and a card design popped into my head and I then had no paper to write it down on and I continued to think about that instead of listening to the rest of the sermon. This frees up my mind to continue listening to the sermon without the fear that I will forget that nifty idea! ]

My notes say: FEAR can become a PRISON. And when you have a David and Goliath experience facing you in life, TRUSTING in God combats that fear because TRUST (our DF theme word this month) is based on HOPE which is WAITING with EXPECTANCY on God. We should be STANDING on the Promises of God and his CROSS, not looking around at the things that causes us to be afraid, or listening to the evil one whispering in our ear, but LOOKING UP AT HIM, since we KNOW with CERTAINTY that God is FOR US, so who can be against us?

"When I am afraid, I will TRUST in you. In God, whose word I praise, IN GOD I TRUST; I WILL NOT be afraid, What can mortal man do to me? All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life. . . Then my enemies will turn back when I CALL for help. By this I will know that God is for me. . . IN GOD I TRUST; I WILL NOT be afraid. What can man do to me?" ~ Psalm 56:3-6, 9, 11.

and "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our HOPE for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our HEARTS we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might NOT rely on ourselves, but ON GOD who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and HE WILL DELIVER US, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give THANKS on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." ~ 2 Corinthians 1: 3-11.

Stephanie will be traveling in the next few weeks. Join me in praying for traveling mercies, won't you?

If you are undergoing an anxious time, call together your faithful friends, ones you trust will pray for you (no lip service here) and then begin to THANK GOD for a battle WON. Keep hanging on, friend, just as I am doing. I KNOW who is in CONTROL and I'm going about my life in peace. PEACE to you too!

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April was my anniversary month for this particular blog. I want to thank those who have been faithful readers. You know who you are and please don't go away, just because I don't mention your country, however this time I'm going to CELEBRATE the countries with readers who have stopped in at least once during the year. Ten of them are: China, Finland,  India, Poland, Portugal,  South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.  

May God provide you with what you need today. In Jesus' name, Amen!