Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grander Still: God's Love

If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me. Psalm 139:9-10

What a rich, comforting reminder we have from the psalmist, that no matter where we go, if we are the Lord's, He is with us. . . So then, what's up with a dreary, somewhat dark, neutrals card when all about us is vibrant, red, white, pink and lacy; and when the theme for the Our Daily Bread Designs Shining the Light Challenge #96 is HEART?

This verse prompted me to think of how the Lord is with His children, guiding not only from a geographical perspective (the far side of the sea), but more importantly, spiritually when we are immersed in the dark times with the sea of life raging about.

God's love isn't just a sunny day love, it is an eternal love and as the psalmist reminds us, there is nowhere that we can go that we are out of sight, out of the tender guiding care of the Lord. Psalm 23 reminds us that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us. But these promises are only for His children, those who are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are, however, available to all who will call upon the His name. . Jesus says, " Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

In researching the hymn used for the background of this card (a photo copy of a page from a vintage hymnal), I came across another hymn, entitled, "The Love of God," and thought it worth sharing a little about the hymn and the third verse, in particular:

 Could we with ink the ocean fill,
  And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
  And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
  Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
  Though stretched from sky to sky.

Frederick M. Lehman wrote this song in 1917 in Pasadena, California, and it was published in Songs That Are Different, Volume 2, 1919. The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages.

Lehman in his book,  “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948, said: "One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song…Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity." 

The love of God is far grander than the ocean's story and far grander than anything which this world, our flesh and the devil could fabricate to divert our affections! It breaks through the very darkness of our souls with the marvelous light and love of the Lord Jesus Christ!

ODBD Shining the Light Challenge #96

This week the Our Daily Bread Designs' Challenge Team would like to see your creations using three items, materials, or techniques beginning with three different letters in the word “HEART”. For my sample, I've used:

ODBD Stamps Used: The Mighty Sea  
H = Hymn * E=Embossing (Heat and Dry) *  A = Antique Artifact (button) * R= Ripping *  T=Twine 
Don't forget to write out the three letters you've used and the items or techniques used for each letter.

To make the challenge even more fun, we will be giving out a prize, a $15 gift certificate to be used toward stamps at the Our Daily BreadDesigns store!! Entries for the prize must be submitted by Friday, February 3rd at 8 a.m. EST. One random winner will be chosen and announced next Saturday. If you are not using ODBD stamps, please do not enter more than once. Additional entries without using ODBD stamps will not be commented on or will they qualify for prizes.

While it is not required to use Our Daily Bread Designs images and sentiments on your creations, we would love to see them if you have them. As a way of recognizing those who do use Our Daily Bread Designs stamps, we will again be choosing one to two creations to spotlight for our Shining the Light Award. In order to qualify for this award, however, you must use Our Daily Bread stamps and have your submission added to Mr. Linky by Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 a.m. EST.  If you upload your creations to ODBD, Splitcoast Stampers or any other online gallery, please use the keyword ODBDSLC96. When creating your posts on blogs please include a link to the challenge.

For some really beautiful work, please take a bit of time to visit  my fellow challenge team members blogs. . .I know you’ll ♥ {HEART} what you see!

Project Details

ODBD Stamps: Mighty Sea

Ink: VersaFine Onxy; Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Tea Stain, Frayed Burlap
Cardstock: SU Basic Black, Crumb Cake, Whisper White
Designer Paper: Homemade: photo copy of hymn from an old hymn book (I don't yet have then new "It is Well" ODBD Stamp!
Accessories: Twine, button (antique artifact :D ); Spellbinders Nestabilities, Zva Creative Gems, Canvas Arts Burlap ATC, Stampin Up Lattice Embossing Folder, Sizzix Tim Holz Distressed Embossing Folder.

Blessings! jme ~ SDG


  1. Oh how beautiful Jan Marie!! I just love your use of neutral colors, all the distressing and textures and the gorgeous design!! Perfect take on the H-E-A-R-T word play challenge. You are so creative and a real inspiration. Have a great weekend!!
    blessings and hugs,

  2. This is so beautiful! I love the layers and elements you used!

  3. JanMarie, you always have such amazing trivia to share and it is a joy to come to visit you, especially if there is such a fabulous card like this one involved. I might have to case this one as I am always at a loss when I have to create more masculine cards. Have a blessed weekend! Hugs, Sabrina

  4. Gorgeous masculine card, Jan Marie! Those are always a challenge for me and this one is perfect! I love all the information you give with it interesting! Have a good weekend! Blessings! Kathy

  5. Jan this card is ruggedly beautiful. The love is God is indeed so much more than cute and reaches into the darkest and most depraved of places to bring forth His light! You have quite the way with words--have you ever thought of writing a women's study or devotion book? We are blessed by your words of wisdom here and I appreciate you my sweet sister!

    1. Love the details on this card Jan Marie! And what a wonderful idea to photocopy a hymn and incorporate it into your design! I may have to try that sometime! Love the masculine feel to this card! I struggle making the not so "girly" stuff... Thanks for the wonderful devotion you included as well! Beautifully done!


  6. Wonderful post and very handsome card. So true about the love of God it is indeed so much more than cute and sunny. It was downright bloody.
    The first verse of At the Cross by Isaac Watts says:
    "Alas and did my Savior bleed?
    And did my Sovereign die?
    Would He devote that sacred head
    For such a worm as I?"

    Thank you Jesus for the blood you shed for us. And thank you Jan for sharing words of comfort. To know that the Lord is always always with us even in the dark times is such a blessing.

    1. Was it for crimes that I have done,
      He groaned upon the tree?
      Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
      And love beyond degree!

      Thank you, Natalie for the reminder of this great hymn!!

  7. This is just so AWESOME, and peaceful, I love your tones, and especially the hymn BG, shows off the scene to perfection!! Love it!! hugs

  8. Okay Jan, you have to know I'm luvin' this card. I haven't heard of either of those hymns and so appreciate the history and lyrics you've given here.

    I liked the lyrics - - Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made......

    It's really amazing to take time and peruse the old hymnals as there are so many uncommon songs that we haven't heard, but the lyrics are so poetic about our Savior.

    Your sample is absolutely stunning, thank you so much for linking this project to Scripture Thursday. I'm printing your post and adding it to my binder of things I like to reflect back on. Thank you!


  9. what an amazing card, jan marie!! there are just so many beautiful details... i love the way you incorporated the hymn into your design!! blessings!!

  10. Hello Jan Marie - what a blessing your posts are - you are a shining light my friend - thank you! I love your card - it is beautifully nostalgic and divine on many levels! Love it - thank you for joining us for the Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge - it is always lovely to see you! {{{hugs}}}
    Linda SSIC Design Team

  11. Wonderful post, love the added information. God is good and always there for me, unfortunately when I am is because I do not seek him. Your card is gorgeous. I love the neutrals and always love seeing hymns used as a backdrop. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Sugar Creek Hollow.

    Patti SCH/DT

  12. This is very beautiful. I love the color scheme and layout. I love the embossing, distressing and your use of fabric. Thanks for playing this week at Sugar Creek Hollow.
    SCH DT

  13. Wow, what an amazing post and beautiful card! I learn so much from you....thanks so much for your faithfulness to sharing the Good News!!! Love and hugs, Angie

  14. I am in awe today at the beauty of the words and the artwork in this post. So beautiful. I am always encouraged when I come to your blog.

  15. Jan, I just love all the re-creations here at your place! How I long for the end of the school year so I can have the time to devote to some of the tutorials and challenges here - I have recently picked up this mixed media collage art - love especially using vintage images - and am growing slowly in the craft. I'm was invited to be part of a circle journal this year even though I'm so inexperienced at it all - but will love the monthly discipline of creating something and being able to study everyone else's work!

    So glad you had a chance to see what mu husband is not up to on his blog - though I'll be administrating it for a bit til he learns the ropes. What a joy to see the Lord birth such things in his heart! Thanks so much for visiting and encouraging him!


  16. Thank you Jan Marie for sharing your art and your faith and this wonderful hymn.

  17. Wonderful design. Such great colors and details as is the love behind your creation. Thanks for joining the Sugar Creek Hollow Challenge.

  18. Jan what a beautiful card and once you read your write up it becomes even more beautiful. I am so glad I dropped by this morning. This post has blessed me along with this beautiful card! Blessings dear sister!

  19. This is stunning! Wow - love your elements and the peaceful feel of this creation.


Thanks for your encouraging words! Have a blessed day!