April 19, 2015

Do You Have an Encouragement Ministry?

"and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." ~ Acts 6:4
This is the book I was actually looking for at the library. I have read this one and it inspired me to write some of my own devotions, which I have shared on my craft blog.  Anyway, this book is called "Pages of Faith: The Art of Spiritual Scrapbooking." By Sharon Sheridan. Morehouse Publishing, New York, 2007. It would be good to read it again!

Here are some "Pass It On Message cards" from a couple of Christian bookstores. Remember the ones we visited in Belton and Olathe, Donna? These are from a company called Universal Designs.

These little cards were made by J-Mar, which merged with Universal Designs. They are bigger than the cards above, more like regular trading card size.

This cross poem comes with a little metal cross. It's published by Swanson.  My hubby found this one in the Christian bookstore also. The cross is made to be carried in your pocket to remind you who you belong to. 

But I found this box of quotes and scriptures at the thrift store, which could be sent to friends also in need of a little encouragement. They are by Honor Gift out of Tulsa, OK. I could not find this company online. And speaking of teachers. Teacher Appreciation week is coming up as school begins to wind down for the school year. Have you thought of sending an appreciation gift to your child's teacher?
I have another gratitude today! Okay, so it might be a little bit of a brag! *smile* We received the Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal in the mail today and they published an extract article that I typed up called "Missouri Sunday School News" that was originally published in 1922. They also published a Query for me. I want information on my 3rd great-grandparents, Elder Martin & Kiturah Ann Fletcher White from local newspaper articles from that time period that mention one or the other of my 3rd great-grandparents.  I found that Martin had coast to coast coverage in the news -- from New York to California, but I haven't found too many articles from papers near where he lived. I know there were some as I tracked down their names and when they were being published by reading the county history books, but I don't know though if copies of the local papers are still available as several places, like the courthouse, burned during the Civil War. Hopefully, my query will answer that question.
God has answered so many of my prayers for information. Led me to the right people and new-to-me cousins. My grandmother researched her White family for 28 years and I took up where she left off, after she asked me to continue researching him. I have found much new information and have rediscovered the information she found, in order to cite the sources.  
You all have a good SONDAY, you hear?!

April 18, 2015

A Pocket Letter

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. ~ Proverbs 25:25

Two posts ago, I told you I had found a totebag to hold all my supplies. I stashed it in between my chair and side table here in the living room, but it would fall over at the most inconvenient times and stuff would roll out, under the side table and chair, so I looked for a better solution. I found this teacher's file folder plastic box at a thrift store and it fits just perfect between the chair and table. Three gallon sized zippy bags hold most of the small stuff. So far, so good.
I realized very quickly that I was going to have to have something to hold all my scripture index cards in. I thought about an index card filebox, but wanted to put them into my planner. You know, like a one-stop shopping place, after all, it's a "Documented Faith" notebook,  so I found a solution at Pinterest for flip-up pockets. Well, I went shopping at several stores looking for those clear sleeves that go into scrapbooks and guess what? Murphy's law was at work again! So while I was at the thrift store, I found these little pocket albums for 99 cents a piece. They were a little beat-up, but I decided to buy enough so that if a few pockets were torn up, I'd have enough to store my cards in them. So I ripped the pockets out of the albums and trimmed the signatures folds, attached them with washi tape on both sides to the monthly dividers on the inside and wha-lah! Storage for my memory verses.  

See how the pocket sleeves flip up? Good time to review the scriptures too, when I open my planner to write something down.

At the same thrift store, I scanned a book about scrapbooking, written by Rebecca Sower called "Scrapbooking Life's Little Moments." She made a little scrapbook using the paraphernalia she collected for 30 days. How I could do that with my Documented Faith planner? What paraphernalia did I or could I collect that reflected my faith? Oh, I know, I stuff my church bulletins into my Bible every Sunday. So I dug those out and added them to my notebook.

And then I remembered a previous project in which I used old bulletins, thoughtfully saved by a previous pastor of our church into a little archives of sorts. A seminary professor who attended our church for many years had retired from his teaching job, was in the process of selling his home so that he and his wife could move to Michigan to be a co-pastor with his son. It had always been a dream of his to do that someday, so when he announced they were leaving, our women's group quickly got to work. They wanted  to give them something nice to remind them of their life at our church  before they left. Each family in the church, as they felt led to, was to write a letter about how they came to know this family and what they meant to them personally. Then I was asked to compile a timeline of their life at this church, so I dug into the church archives and came up with a document several pages long to be added to the scrapbook. If it hadn't been for the church bulletins, old phone directories, our Women's group photo scrapbook and church board meeting minutes, I would have not had the information I found. At their going away party, they said they had forgotten many of the things they had done and was grateful we cherished them as much as this to compile a scrapbook in their honor.   

Another thing I thought I could add to my notebook was a prayer request list with a space opposite to date when the prayers were answered, so I made up a document on Word for it. Last month I received my first pocket letter from a girlfriend I haven't heard from in awhile.

She said her scrapbooking club have been swapping these and wanted to know if I had seen them?  She said that they reminded her of the ATC's I had been making. I did my homework  and found they had been started by  Janette Lane. This is her channel at Youtube and she has several videos that explain what they are all about. So I thought if anyone wanted to swap with me, I would change it up a bit.

1. Janette has the "About Me" section. Mostly you tell about yourself on the back of a small card. I thought perhaps you could add a photo of yourself , or an artsy representation of yourself, if you wanted to, and then add in the information on the back.
2. I'm exploring my celtic heritage, so with this planner, I'm trying to keep it to theme. If you didn't notice a couple of posts ago, I found shamrock scrapbook paper for the cover of my notebook. Hobby Lobby has three or four different designs of celtic themed paper in their stacks for sale. Anything to theme would be much appreciated.
3.  Since this is a "Documented Faith" art planner, I thought about a pocket with a symbol of your faith would be nice. Since I'm a Christian, a celtic cross, or a photograph of my church or pastor would be appropriate, or a dove, praying hands, etc. A prayer card with a picture of St. Patrick or one of his prayers would be good or even a bit of scripture would be nice.
4.  Janette has a sharing of a packaged teabags.  I love tea too, so a cup of friendship would be nice. Reminds me of that scripture verse: "I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. ~ Mark 9:41.
5. A Pocket Game -- I thought a little pocket game would be nice. I have one on my craft blog that I created. Actually it's made of  little ATC sized puzzle pieces. Click here to get directions on how to make one just like it!
6. Creation -- it is spring here and the perennial flowers are blooming. I thought Janette's idea of a packet of seeds was nice. As to the card, you could create one or use a photo of flowers or even add flower stickers to the card.  You can get as creative with this one as you wish, after all, you ARE made in the image of the Creator. *wink*
7. Gratitude -- add a gratitude of your own or a gratitude quote or some scripture that speaks of thankfulness. It's up to you.
8. In place of Janette's letter, I thought it might be appropriate to write your testimony about your faith and what it means to you.
9. And the last thing is a pocket for a piece of artwork. You are welcome to create some of your own  artwork (keep it clean), or add in a trading card of your favorite artist's artwork.  For instance, many Christian bookstores carry a wallet sized bust of Jesus painted by Warner Sallman.  
~~ <> @ <> ~~
I have one thing I'm most grateful for this week -- my sweetie went into an Office Store to get something and at the cash register, noticed a display case of washi tape on clearance. He brought me four rolls of green patterned tape, paying 50 cents a roll for it. It was so nice of him to think of me! I'm loving the tape!

April 12, 2015

The Little Things

The Lord said, "Go out and stand
on the mountain in the presence of the Lord,
for the Lord is about to pass by.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
~ 1 Kings 19:11-12

During praise in small groups tonight, I reminded my hubbin he could give praise for something that happened to him today. He was embarrassed to give thanksgiving for a coupon that someone had left on a product he picked up at the grocery for our dinner today. But he recognized the goodness of it enough to tell me about it at home. I told him it was the little things that are often overlooked that we should give praise for, for if we don't recognize the small random acts of kindnesses (RAK),  we're missing a whole world of additional blessings.
And speaking of blessings, it just blows my mind that I have faithful blog readers from all over the world like Australia, Belarus, China, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Poland,  Russia, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and  the USA! *smile* I don't usually look at my blog stats, but recognizing that the second anniversary of this gratitude blog has come to pass, I peeked into them and wrote down the posts you readers have visited the most. I've had my ups and downs this year and have struggled to write weekly. Not all of my posts have been  Pullitzer Prize worthy, but I can tell that this exercise is changing my family and I for the better.
1.) A Sign
7.) Shorty
Thank you, Jesus, for helping me recognize both the big and  little blessings in life!

April 04, 2015

A Grateful Heart is Mine - He LIVES!

And for your listening pleasure -- while you read my post -- click here.
Went shopping again for a few more supplies.
I noticed I needed some place for extra supplies. Found this totebag that a friend (M.W.) gave me some time ago. It has pockets inside and plenty of room to hold paper, extra plastic sleeves, glue, stickers, scissors, and so forth. A special bag for a special project.
I decorated the outside of my notebook with some pre-printed scrapbook paper I found at a craft store. The notebook cover is also a sleeve and if and when it gets tired-looking, it's very easy to change. I've been watching some planner videos on Youtube and several suggested using an elastic hairband to hold the planner book shut. Found a nice orange one at Walmart in a package of four.
I added the spine label and wrote in the year date to represent Documented  Faith 2015.
On the left is my new pencil pouch and on the right is my title page. My hubby printed out a black and white version of Stephanie Ackerman's quote for me which I cut out and colored in with my new twistable colored pencils by Crayola. They don't glide as well on paper as those twistable crayons that my friend (J.M.) brought us back from South Korea, but they are a close second. I know the quote is hard to see, but it says: "it really is simple: RELY ON FAITH. Love others and STAY TRUE TO YOU and everything will BE okay. whew!" ~ Stephanie Ackerman. Stephanie said she likes to staple the top of plastic sleeves to keep whatever's in there from falling out. I have used scotch and washi tape the same way, but it leaves a gunky mess when you want to remove something, so I'm trying Stephanie's method this time around.
For ADD'ers like myself, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. I saw a cute tag in a Project Life scrapbook and thought it would be a good way to add Stephanie's focus word front and center to my monthly section, so I grabbed an index card, cut out her word, and taped it to the card with decorated scotch tape. I left a space on the back for a note, if needed. You know, you don't have to do that, but you know I'm into the crafty scene! *wink*

I had some extra notebook dividers left over since I purchased three packages, so I took one, cut it into half, and scalloped the edge. I know you have a list "daily disciplines" as you call it, that you would like to accomplish on a daily basis. That's the first list here. On the back side is a list for long-term goals or a "bucket list." I saw resolution lists like a book-reading list, financial goals or home remodeling projects, gratitude lists, and so forth. The beauty of this notebook system is that at the end of the month, you can lift the list(s) out and place it into the next section, so you will always have them in front of you. Check them off as you complete them and use this to encourage yourself. Can really motivate you to complete another project.
Here's a "motivator or encouragement dashboard" using one of the dividers. This is for meaningful quotes or scriptures that you like or that a friend sends you. Stephanie really likes quotes! Look under "doodles" at the top of her blog to see all the ones she has scribbled. Most of the cards were added with washi tape in the planners that I saw, but since I taught Sunday School and made file folder games, I love the idea of using sticky back Velcro dots for staying power, which I added here. I have some cards that I'm going to be sending out to my friends that I know joined me in this here project.
I've begun a section in a baseball card sleeve titled "FRIENDS." So far, I've only gotten a recent photo of me there. Remember how we used to swap school photos with our friends? Well, that's what I'd like to do here. Wallet-sized (2.5" x 3.5") snapshots come two to a sheet and I got 6 photos of myself made for $1.87 to exchange with my buddies. It has a text overlay on the front of the photo, meaning my name is there and the back has a sticky postal envelope address label on the back.
The most creative, fun thing I did while I was sick, was creating all these memory verse cards. I found some neon bright index cards to make them on. Some, I hand cut out the scriptures from Stephanie's sheets, but the ones that accompanied her devotions, I wrote the memory verses onto the cards instead. Good practice for kinetic/visual learners such as myself. I jazzed them up a bit with stickers and washi tape. Some of the washi tape stick-um needed help staying stuck, so I used a fine-line glue pen to give it the extra staying power it needed. Since I loved my friends too much to exposed them to the chest crud, I had to take a rain check for a crafty friend get-to-gether, so hopefully the next one will be in the horizon soon.  I found several little easels, recipe stands and clips to show you how you might display a memory card as you do dishes.  I found several of the little easels at craft stores. The really cute ant one using a spoon to hold up the "LOVE" verse was a special one found at a thrift store, so you know it's one of a kind. *wink*
I've finished up the last of my steroids and antibiotics and I'm thankful I'm well enough to attend church services this EASTER. Been missing seeing my smiling church buddies' faces and those sweet loving hugs I get from a special princess, DAUGHTER of the KING (C.R.) girlfriend. I want to thank you for your prayers and loving thoughts while I've been under the weather and wish you all a very Happy Easter!  Remember, HE IS RISEN!



April 01, 2015

Romans 8:28

Therefore we do not lose HEART.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being RENEWED
day by day.
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
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
And we KNOW
that in ALL things
God works for the GOOD
of those who love him,
who have been called according
to his PURPOSE.
~ Romans 8:28
Only yesterday, I went to the doctors to obtain medicine to help me get over the chest crud (I have asthma, too). As expensive as medicine can be, I'm thankful that it's available. One of us in our family has been sick since Christmas. Last week, it was both myself and my husband.
I've been sleeping in an upright position since last week and sporadically at that as the very over-the-counter medicines that I've been taking to help me, as a side-effect, cause insomnia. I tried to go back to bed tonight, only to have to get back up when I began coughing. I went back into the living room where I have been living for a week and tried to raise the foot rest on my rise chair in order to put my feet up and the back into a semi-incline position. I wanted a comfortable position to sleep in -- the back just high enough so that I didn't cough and the footstool up so my feet wouldn't swell from being down.
My well-loved rise chair was a blessing given to me by some friends after I herniated the disc in my back. I could only sit in one position then, semi-forward upright. Tonight I won't be sleeping in this chair as it's stuck in the semi-forward upright position. Hubby messed with it and said the engine was sparking when I pushed the buttons to move it. sigh! That was the last straw! sigh! A dead chair. It died in service.
As I was ranting on to my husband about the whole mess, God reminded me of the verse our pastor preached on a few weeks ago when the both of us were well enough to attend (son was at home sick in bed). It was on Romans 8: 28. As I reached for my Bible that I keep on the end table right next to my chair to look it up, the Bible fell open at 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Okay, God, what are you trying to tell me? I guess it's my opportunity to "give THANKS in all (VERY TRYING) circumstances," (1 Thessalonians 5: 18a). So here I am, typing away at the computer in the wee hours of the morning! *smile*

Hubby often quotes, "If we didn't have any bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all." Not that we believe in luck or fate or whatever you want to call it. He uses that proverb in  a light-hearted manner when frustration threatens to take over. I'm TRYING to see being sick and unable to sleep in a comfortable manner as a temporary problem and that perhaps this is an opportunity for God to bless me in addition to what he's already blessed me with for my GOOD.
I think I see what Stephanie was trying to say in one of her posts I've been reading lately. She quoted various scriptures from this chapter of Philippians, but here's some other meaningful words from the same chapter. *smile* Oh, for a good night sleep, good health, and  a resting place. . .
REJOICE greatly in the Lord. . .
Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had NO OPPORTUNITY to show it. . .
it was GOOD of you to share in my troubles.
~ Philippians 4:10, 14.