December 21, 2018

Be Kind to Thyself

"Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it." ~ Proverbs 4:23
"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." 
~ Philippians 4:6-7
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I'm thankful that NOBODY can take away my memories of the good things that have happened in my life and the good people that I've known. 
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I'm thankful that I don't have to go to jail because I did the right thing years ago.  Paul, the evangelist, preached Jesus and he was sent to jail. 
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I'm thankful that my home hasn't burned down or been knocked down by a mini-burst, although it came close once. A tree behind our house about ten feet away was toppled by one and took out our son's play-house several years ago by smashing right down through the center of it. Thankfully he wasn't in it at the time. My husband was in our back bedroom and I'm thankful that God's finger pushed the tree the other way and his hand protected my husband and home from harm. 
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I'm thankful for finding a cookie recipe online at "All Recipes" that is made without refined sugar. It's called "Healthy Banana Cookie." It has 5 ingredients to mix together and bake. The original recipe called for bananas and dates, but I've also made it with bananas and a chopped apple, bananas and prunes, bananas and dried apricots, bananas and dried pineapple. I'd like to try bananas and raisins next. We liked them all except for the banana and prune version.  Oh, and, I would suggest you store your extra cookies, that is if you have any leftover after your family discovers your baking, in the refrigerator. I'm personally not into eating little hairy, green aliens from a deep, dark cookie jar. smile! 

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They say that "miracles" are myths, but I'm thanking God for this Christmas miracle! I know her parents are praising God for it too!
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This weekend I found this large appreciation plate at the thrift store and just had to purchase it for my growing collection of gratitude items! 😉

It was made by Hallmark in 2005 and around the edges it says "a grateful plateful" and "a thankful heart"(repeat)! And on the back is a poem about a grateful heart.

Please accept this simple treat
for being extra kind,
for when it comes to thoughtfulness,
of course, you come to mind.

And even when the smallest crumbs
of food are finally gone,
the plate is yours to keep,
or else feel free to pass it on.

For as you honor someone else's
caring attitude,
You'll be a link within a lasting 
chain of gratitude!

December 08, 2018

I Choose

I CHOOSE what I put into my mouth and what comes out of it. Today I give praise to the Lord for his creative "painting" I was able to get a snapshot of  last Saturday. Thank you, God, for sharing your wonderful art with us! It was absolutely beautiful! 

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I CHOOSE  not to listen to the lies that the devil tells me. I'm thankful for God's Light in my pathway! 

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I CHOOSE to praise God for keeping a sister of my heart in the land of the living. This is the special spiritual sister who gave me the keys to gratitude and she is the reason for this blog so we could keep in touch after she moved away!

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I CHOSE to marry my sweet husband several years ago.  He CHOSE to surprise me, along with his family, with a birthday party this last weekend. My sister-in-love, his youngest sister, CHOSE to take me to supper on my birthday. Thank God for both! 

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I CHOSE sometime ago to be grateful for containers in one of my past posts. Now I'M CHOOSING to be grateful for transparent clear containers. I'm in the process of rearranging my storage containers in the kitchen. I went to the store and purchased one-half gallon size clear glass Ball Jars for healthy food storage with additional lids and the opaque plastic containers get the junk food out of sight and out of mind.  Again, thank you Lord, for all the good ideas. Keep them coming! 😎

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"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." 
~ Daniel 6:10. 

November 21, 2018

Remember "1" One

In addition to going low-sodium, pork-free, and sugar-free, a portion diet has been added to my life. I can have anything I want "in moderation." It's helpful to think in sizes -- take smaller dishes, for example -- if I want a snack, I can eat one serving of one thing (1 cup - 8 ounces) custard bowl size serving and that's it, no more.  

In the bottom of my refrigerator, I bought a basket to fill with portion sized fruit cups, Jell-O gelatin, pudding cups and yogurt. I also bought some 1 cup plastic dishes with lids to pour baby carrots into to toss into the basket (I also have some 8 oz. jelly jars with lids around too). I also purchased some microwave muffin dishes, some oven-ware cupcake baking tins and a cupcake caddy with a lid. The cupcake caddy has a removeable tray, so if you want to transport a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish, you can do so easily. 

I also purchased an extra 1 cup measuring cup, for when one is dirty, I'll have a clean one to use.  I also scouted around for a 1 cup biscuit-cookie-meat cutter, but not finding one, I realized that a food can or glass jar might work and indeed, a 22 ounce (1 pound, 6 ounce) tin can was the right diameter (3 1/4" x 2 3/4") to my 1 cup measuring cup.  Dieticians say to measure your meat to the size of one's fist, but that's not very accurate if you have a man size fist. 

Also in order to get more exercise, I'm using a little reverse psychology on myself and am using a smaller beverage glass next to my chair -- I have to get up to refill it. I realize how much I've been conditioned to think bigger is better and more convenient to the detriment to my health. 

Thank you, Lord, for all the good ideas you've been giving to me. Please help me with self-control in the upcoming holiday season. Amen!

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Thank you, Lord, for the nice fellowship we had with our dear friends at the Strawberry Hill  cultural museum and Tea room and for the lovely doodle ideas I was able to glean there. Here's an example of a design I found inside a Polish ceramic bowl that was on display in their gift shop. 

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I'm thankful for my ancestors who emigrated to America so long ago. My grandmother said her parents told her that a White family came over on the Mayflower. 

My third great-grandfather was not only a Primitive Baptist minister, but also served on the Illinois State Legislature and the Kansas Territorial Legislature. He knew that the way to govern the United States was to make wise laws and to do away with poor laws. 

I know that other countries do not have the same laws that we do, however, I do appreciate the laws we have here in the United States that protects me from impersonators and identity thieves. Although the Puritans did not have the same laws in place yet, they followed a higher law and were thankful that God spared their lives during their first winter here in the future United States of America and who gave them a good harvest. That was surely a cause for rejoicing! 

Stephanie Ackerman's Documented Faith quote is very pertinent to the verse in the coloring sheet above (amazing how that works isn't it? God knew what verse I was going to doodle for this week and apparently he sent the same message to Stephanie!)  

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”~ Henri Nouwen 

Just like joy, we have to choose gratitude also and keep choosing it every day as well! And not just at Thanksgiving time! It has to be embedded into your heart! 

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Pulmonary hypertension can hit any age group. Please watch this video about a young man with PH.

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Sometimes two heads are better than one! Thanks, Cindy! smile! 

😇 😇

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!" ~ 1 Chronicles 16:8-10

Amen? Amen! 

November 07, 2018

A New Language

Learning to speak with kindness and love and gratefulness is a little like learning to speak a foreign language. I was unsuccessful at learning to speak German and Spanish in high school and college, but I mean to break out of the mold of the Grumble family and learn a new "grace language."  Lord, keep me sweet. 

First things first > "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." ~ Romans 12:2

I think this is the first key to that. 
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{{{{ Anne's Angels }}}} 
Went to my first PH support group meeting and my hubbin was very impressed at their friendliness. They said that they were very surprised at my cheerfulness and I told them, I could have come all grouchy to the meeting and they smiled and said, 'No, thank you. We'll take the good mood." And then someone teased my husband by saying that he's probably seen some of my grouchiness a time or two and he nodded his head. I wanted to playfully punch his leg, but I controlled myself, not knowing how people would take that, but he did get a grin from me.  

You know that old saying - "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." smile! We do set the mood and attitude in our home and family. 
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We're breaking now for a commercial = Hope for a Cure! 

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The emblem of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association is a blue heart (see the blue heart over on my side menu - the image is a linking device - click on it) -- I'm in the process of making my medical binder and I need about 5 tabbed dividers for my 3 ring binder, so decided to make my own. Here's the image for one of them that I've doodled so far - I thought a scripture verse about a heart and medicine is pertinent, don't you think? 

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Thank you, Karen, for the Gratitude tea! It is yummy! 

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You know the story about the Moses and the burning bush? At Horeb, the mountain of God, Moses saw a strange sight - a bush appeared to be burning, but it did not burn up, so he decided to go check it out. When he got near it, God called to him from within the bush and told him to take off his sandals cause he was standing on holy ground. (Exodus 3).

We have shrubs here that turn really red in the fall and we call them burning bushes in memory of this story. Pretty cool, huh? I found the following pair planted on church grounds that I wanted to share a picture of them with you because they are so pretty. I like the idea of planting flowers and shrubs and trees that "tell" or remind us of Biblical stories. I've heard them called "SCRIPTURE GARDENS."

Later in chapter 4 of Exodus, the Lord God tells Moses that his brother, Aaron, is on his way to meet him, and that his heart will be glad when he sees him. 

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Here's my PRAYER for this week. It is found in Isaiah 51:3 = 

"For the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found there in, thanksgiving and the voice of melody." 

Since I've gotten the diagnoses of a second rare disease, I've been encouraged to  go for a 2nd opinion to some PH specialists and getting all my medical records together has been a little stressful. According to the leader of Anne's Angels, PH was considered a death sentence 50 or 60 years ago, but they now have at least 14 medicines that can treat it including a double heart/lung transplant and many are living longer, but like an incurable cancer diagnoses, nobody wants to have it.  I want to sing HAPPY again! 

October 21, 2018

Chivalry is NOT Dead!

Since I got this brace a year ago, I've been observing the way people treat me and I delight in the way guys (and some gals) go out of their way to open doors for me. That proves to me that chivalry is NOT dead! Although I have learned how to open doors for myself with two canes or my rollator, it makes them feel good to help someone, so I say thank you with a smile! And thank you, Lord, also, for the good people that you send my way! 
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"Paddi gave me a quote that was a real eye opener, "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." by Peggy O'Mara. Did someone's ugly words become your inner voice? We can change all of this with a simple statement of love." ~ Flylady. 

I'd add gratitude, as well as love statements. 

Someone at a website I frequent said I didn't have to thank them and I said, "Yes, I do. It's a good habit to be in, don't you agree?" If I don't do it every time, if I let it go,  it might become easier and easier to forget good manners. 

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I'm so thankful for the examples of the kind women of the Bible! Did you know that you not only need to be kind to others, but also to yourself? I'm also thankful for the examples of the evil women of the Bible like Jezebel, cause I sure don't want to be like her. 

God has created natural boundaries -- like oil and water,  good and evil -- don't mix. Along that line, there are two opposites - gratitude and ingratitude. 

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The Hippocratic Oath or Doctor's Oath:

I found some interesting lines in different versions of Doctor's oaths this week = 

Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, Louis Lasagna's 1964 version = "Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks

Declaration of Geneva = "I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;" 

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You wanna see the world's longest thank you note? Click here

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We went out to eat with my husband's parents and look what came out to the table with my order -- hubbin said I needed to take a photo of it, so I did! smile!

Thank You Jesus, for a sweet reminder of your love!

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I picked up a piece of paper off the floor the other day and was about to throw it away, when I stopped and looked at it. I have no idea where it came from or who dropped it there, but there was a recipe on it that I can use on my diet! 🎃


1 graham cracker pie crust (I think since this has sugar in it, I will use a baked pie crust made without sugar)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon stevia
1 package (4 serving size) vanilla, sugar-free instant pudding
1 cup milk
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sweetener in a large bowl with a wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread in bottom of crust. Pour 1 cup milk into a bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat for one minute. Mixture will be thick. Stir in pumpkin and spices until well mixed. Spread over cream cheese layer in crust. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Garnish with additional whipping topping before serving. Refrigerate any left overs. 


September 25, 2018

Grudge or Grace? I'll take GRACE!

Apparently the Apostle Paul needed and was thankful for supportive people too. 

Part of the PH treatment is MOVING (Isn't that one of Stephanie's 5 Daily's?) So I bought me an armchair bike and set up a virtual walking playlist on YouTube, which by the way, I'll have you know, that I am so thankful for the people who thought of making virtual treadmill videos. Makes it a lot more interesting to armchair biking than to peer around at my living room. smile! Now to find some paired with sing-a-long gospel music so I can exercise my lungs too as I'm pedaling away!  

My favorite flower is the bright Kansas Sunflower that is blooming at the moment all along the roadways. Thank God for beautiful vistas!  
The creator is the best colorist. Amen?

Gratitude is leaking out beyond the borders of this blog! 😁 I'm compiling a Church of the Nazarene virtual cemetery on another website called Find-a-grave. 

I am! I went back to the sleep doctor for my follow-up. 
I had lost 6 pounds between visits and
the doctor said at my sleep study, I quit breathing 10 times during light sleep,
and 57 times per hour of REM dream-time. 
According to my C-PAP machine, on average I had only 2 episodes of non-breathing 
per 8 hours of sleep, so I am much improved! 

I have to try things on to see if they will fit and we finally found a 
Medic Alert ID bracelet at CVS pharmacy! I computer-generated a Medical ID card for my wallet as I had too many health issues to engrave on the front plate and laminated it for strength. Here's the Medic Alert Symbol I used on the Card in the upper far right corner. I typed in these BOLD headings on both front and back of four pieces of cardstock a little larger than the size of a business card  - 
My full NAME in 12 pt. font caps, my date of birth (DOB), 
my complete address, phone number, and BLOOD TYPE. 

And finally I want to give thanks to my sisters-of-my-heart! 
They practice GRACE! 

Prayer: Lord, We Thank You

This came in my email:

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat. 

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty sink; they are so convenient. 

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years. 

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy in the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play. 

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says "You have richly blessed my family." I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully. 

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you , Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf. 

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, the toast is burned,  tempers are short, and my children are so loud, I thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely. 

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, there are many who are hungry. 

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life. 

In Christ Jesus, And all God's people say. . . Amen!

And thank you, Uncle Bob, for forwarding this reminder of the things I should be grateful for! 

Some more: I Am So Thankful 

August 22, 2018

Monsters in the Dark

From very small, up until I was a teenager,  I was afraid of the dark and the monsters that lurked therein. I don't know if it was a natural fear that I wrestled with or some event was linked to it, but I do have some vivid memories of the times I was afraid. Once, I was about nine or so and after watching a television movie, "The Hound of the Baskerville" I couldn't sleep in my own bed that night and tried to crawl in bed with my parents. They wouldn't let me - I was too big at that point and so I slept on the rug on the floor next to my parent's bed. I had many nightmares that were doozies and I later found out that my hormonal balance was out-of-whack. I remember lying in bed on my back (couldn't sleep on my ears for years - afraid I'd hear my pulse stop), grabbing a cross necklace I wore around my neck and praying for God to protect me through the night, then being able to lie down in peace to sleep. Mom wasn't a very good comforter, bless her heart -- she'd laugh at my childish fears and tell me not to worry about it, when all I wanted was a hug from somebody with skin on. 

Well, the last two weeks I've been wrestling with a huge monster. I've been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension (Group 3), a very rare, incurable disease.  There is treatment for the symptoms, but it is a terminal condition, although the doctor assures me that I will live to a ripe, old age. Considering that I'm in my 50's now, I wonder what he (a spry young thing) considers old? And while I know that everyone dies, and as a Christian, intellectually, I know who I belong to and have the promise of heaven in God's word, emotionally, I need comfort. I don't need anybody to tell me not to worry about it, because it feels like they are brushing me off and not really empathetic or supportive. I guess what I'm mostly afraid of is the point of crossing over, the fear of the unknown. I once read a description of that crossing over time -- it's like walking through a door into the next room. I'm just gonna have to hang onto that and tell fear to get lost. 

Here's my newest doodle: 

My homework for the month is - to continue finding the good and to find my support network. 

So as to finding the good -- I'm going to start off with a quote attributed to John Wesley.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

It's good that I have a mild case of pulmonary hypertension (groups 2 & 3). 

It's good I don't have to drag around an oxygen tank after I did the 6 minute walking test at the pulmonary doctor last week! 

It's good my friend, S. B. came through his knee surgery well. May he continue to heal. 

It's good that a new school year has begun and it's good that our adult descendants have work!

It's good to spend time with Jesus! 

It's good that my husband found another stevia sweetened drink for me called Zevia! I believe he found it at Price Chopper. 

One of the treatments for the pulmonary hypertension involves a portion diet and adding some exercise to my day. Stephanie often talks about her Daily Five - Sleep, Move, Eat, Pray, and Create. I was thinking how good my treatment falls in with her daily pattern that she says keeps her on track. It was suggested that I get an exercise bike (I don't have the space for a big machine in my house) or swim. It's good that the Inmotion Elliptical Pedal Ergometer came today that we ordered and I was able to get in 7 minutes of pedaling before a cramp hit my thigh. My physical therapist suggested I start with 8 minutes and work up to 20 minutes a day. 

I was inspired by May-May's good background on her scripture art journal page. Told my husband it is amazing how, even though I'm late getting my Documented Faith art journal pages completed, how pertinent the verses have been the last few weeks.  

So remember, DJ, as you are holding onto God's hand, God is bigger than the boogie-man!

Benediction: Gratitude, goodness, and peace to you!

July 31, 2018

Not Today, Satan!

1. DOCUMENTED FAITH - Hackers got into Stephanie's Instagram Account and deleted it. She said she arm wrestled with the webmaster to see if he could possibly restore it and when he could or would not, she had to start over! She said the verse under our promise this week (Revelation 21:4) was really pertinent for her situation and she told the evil one "Not today, Satan!" as she read: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (v. 5) "HE who was seated on the THRONE said," I am making everything NEW!" Then he said, "WRITE THIS DOWN, for these words are trustworthy and true." So she did and sent us an email!   I'm thankful she's still alive and well!

My Documented Faith collection here.

2. VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL - I'm grateful that God sent us 30 children one night for our church's VBS!

3.  The evil one is the father of confusion (mental fog) and lies and I'm struggling with knowing what kind of boundaries are Godly ones that he has put into place. My  shirt-tail cousin, Brenda, shared this verse sometime ago to help me to be able to discern some of the kind of boundaries I should have in place - Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  The book I'm reading at the moment also quotes this verse. 

I've written down quotes from books before that were pertinent to my life, but this time, inspired by Stephanie Ackerman, I'm taking it one step further and also writing down in a spiral notebook questions to ask myself concerning the subject as they occur to me, definitions when words or concepts aren't clear to me, Bible verses that the author is using in her book, and at the end quotes from the book. Thank you, Stephanie, for your inspiration. 

4. I'm SO THANKFUL for those prayer warriors, my support team, out there that are praying for me RIGHT NOW! Everybody sometime has to face up to their own mortality. I'm in that spot right now and I'm scared. Remember when you were little and scared from a bad dream and you ran to snuggle up to mom or dad for comfort? I want somebody with skin on to hug me, to fight for me,  to make it all better and make the bad stuff go away. I'm not done living here. I still have stuff  I want to do.  Oh how pertinent are the comfort verses God sends to me each week. 

5. I'm thankful for Karen as I was having a hard day concerning my newest diagnoses after an echocardiogram (more on that later) and she came to visit me. She brought me some tea pretties and a new book to read called Gratitude: Affirming One Another Through Stories. by Len Froyen. I shall report on it later when I get done reading my current books. She told me to go create, so I did and here's what I made for my scripture art journal:

She has been drinking a brand of hot tea called Prince of Peace which intrigued me, so I went to look at the website and learned it was a Christian based company which I had suspected. So cool! The heart, brand, and tea cups came from a couple of their store flyers which I fussy cut out. I glued them to a background of inked masking tape, wrote and cut out the strips of the Bible verse and then "painted" on a coat of Modge-Podge to protect it. The dye ink lifted a little to make the whole page look grungy. I like it!