Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fullness of time. . .

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman,
born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons,
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying, "Abba! Father!" Galatians 4:4:-6

All My Heart This Night My Rejoices
Hymn by Paul Gerhardt 1656
translated from German by Catherine Winkworth 

All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near, sweetest angel voices;
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing,
Till the air, everywhere, now their joy is ringing.

Forth today the Conqueror goeth,
Who the foe, sin and woe, death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son now is one with our blood forever.

Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
Who, to save, freely gave His most cherished Treasure?
To redeem us, He hath given

His own Son from the throne of His might in Heaven.

Should He who Himself imparted
Aught withhold from the fold, leave us broken hearted?
Should the Son of God not love us,
Who, to cheer sufferers here, left His throne above us?

If our blessed Lord and Maker
Hated men, would He then be of flesh partaker?
If He in our woe delighted,
Would He bear all the care of our race benighted?

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
Sin away and for aye full atonement maketh.
For our life His own He tenders
And our race, by His grace, meet for glory renders.

For it dawns, the promised morrow
Of His birth, Who the earth rescues from her sorrow.
God to wear our form descendeth;
Of His grace to our race here His Son He sendeth.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet, doth entreat, "Flee from woe and danger;
Brethren, come; from all that grieves you

You are freed; all you need I will surely give you."
Inside Close-up

Come, then, let us hasten yonder;
Here let all, great and small, kneel in awe and wonder,
Love Him Who with love is yearning;
Hail the star that from far bright with hope is burning.

Blessed Savior, let me find Thee!
Keep Thou me close to Thee, cast me not behind Thee!
Life of life, my heart Thou stillest,
Calm I rest on Thy breast, all this void Thou fillest.

Thee, dear Lord, with heed I'll cherish;
Live to Thee and with Thee, dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,

Far on high, in the joy that can alter never.
  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
   and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Project Details

Stamps: Layers of Color Christmas Blessings and Christmas Verses
Cardstock: SU Crumb Cake, Cranberry Crisp, Very Vanilla
Ink: Ranger Distress Antique Linen and Vintage Photo, SU Soft Suede, Always Artichoke, Cranberry Crisp
Accessories: Spellbinders Labels 18, SU Pearls and crochet trim lace, Simplicity Lace, Sizzix Tim Holz Embossing Folder, doily, Stampendous Embossing Powders Garnet and Vintage White, Bic markers, pearl brad.

Merry Christmas! jme ~ SDG

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The fatness of the earth. . .

May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Genesis 27:27-29
Tis' the season for sharing with your neighbors from the abundance of the Lord's provision. We affectionately call our little plot of land "Club Fred" (long story involving a fat, city dog coming to live in the country, where he became fit and trim but not quite a country dog!).

This year, part of the abundance of our land, thanks to the Lord, included blackberries, manzanillo olives, almonds and persimmons. My parents, bless their sweet hearts, made the most delectable jam from the blackberries I'd picked and stashed in the freezer. Dad also picked the olives and cured them and generously left us a gallon of the green lovelies. The almonds are from this year's crop and the persimmons (Fuyu variety) were picked fresh from our tree.

Project Details

The labels were created using digital images from Layers of Color (the lovely deer offered free) and Stampin' Up's Notably Ornate set. They were cut with Spellbinders Scallop Circle and Rectangle Dies, sponged with Ranger Distress Inks in Antique Linen and Vintage Photo before being adhered to the jars or tags. The paper is white printer paper and SU Cranberry Crisp. Eyelets were added for the tags, and tied on with a bit of twine and embellished with SU Cranberry Crisp ribbon. A bow of twisted paper ribbon adorns the wrapped box. SU Gems were added on the labels for a bit of added bling. The card is a sneak peek of tomorrow's post!

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Joy

The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:18-20


"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. . ." Luke 2:10:11


Card Details

Crafted to accompany a gift pack of goodies for the neighbors. . (to be posted later this week!)
Stamps: Layers of Color Christmas Verses; SU Northern Hearts
Cardstock: SU Very Vanilla, Cranberry Crisp, Oriental Trading Kraft
Ink: Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Tea Stain and Frayed Burlap; SU Whisper White Craft, Cranberry Crisp
Accessories: SU Northern Hearts Embossing Folder, metal snowflake charm, frayed gingham ribbon, corner punch, glimmer brad, linen thread.

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You are a blessing. . .

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Welcome to the first Our Daily Bread Designs Forum Featured Artist Challenge, or what we’ve nicknamed the CASE challenge!

What is the CASE Challenge? The first Tuesday of every month, we pick a different member to honor by crafting cards, scrapbook items, altered art and such, influenced by items in her gallery. We share a bit about our featured artist, provide a sample. . .and then open it up to you to join in by "Copying And Sharing Everything" CASE! Because we're motivated and influenced by what we see in the gallery and not just copying something, there's always something for everyone!

Our featured artist for December is someone everyone knows and loves. She is a gifted designer and paper crafter, with an incredible eye for detail and precision. Everything that comes from her hands is a work of art, and a blessing to behold. And if that weren’t enough, she writes the most instructive and thorough tutorials and has now embarked into the world of video tutorials (well, at least her hands and her sweet voice have as she is as camera shy as glimmer mist!) She also is a member of the Our Daily Bread Designs Design Team and hovers over the gallery to spot the next “Customer Card of the Day.”

What you may not know is that our dear Angella Crockett has also been a part of this forum almost since its inception and has provided tremendous support and guidance through the transition.  She has been an encourager, a mentor, a friend and a sweet, gracious sister in Christ to all who enter.  We are thankful to the Lord for His gift of Angella and her sweet, gentle, humble and encouraging heart!

Please join with us in honoring Angella with a card or project of your choice inspired by her lovely gallery: Angella’s ODBD Gallery. Be sure not to copy exactly: make it your own!

If you’re using Our Daily Bread Designs Stamps, please upload to the ODBD Gallery. If you aren't yet registered, sign up only takes a couple of minutes. If you do not use ODBD stamps, then just leave a link in your comment to your blog or another publicly viewable online gallery. Better yet, take a few minutes to sign-up and become a member of the ODBD Forum. When uploading your card or project to the ODBD gallery, or posting anywhere else online (your blog or another public gallery) please use the keyword ODBDFA01 (no spaces or commas).

And don't forget there are challenges every Saturday, every other Thursday plus a monthly scrapbook challenge on the ODBD blog!

My CASE is based on a “clean and simple” card of Angella’s entitled “Clean and Simple Butterfly Birthday. “ I chose this card because even Angella’s CAS cards are exquisite and I also wanted something that conveyed her sweet and gentle nature.  I also thought the sentiment was perfect!

Supply List

Stamps:  Our Daily Bread Designs Mini Tags 1, Serve the Lord
Card Stock:   Early Espresso
Designer Paper:  Prima Madeline
Ink:  SU Craft Chocolate Chip, MS Ocean Breeze
Accessories:  Simplicity Ribbon, EK Punch, Zva Creative Pearls, scrap ribbon, Beautiful Wings Embosslit, Spellbinders Scallop Rectangles Die, Tattered Angels Pearls Glimmer Mist
Size: 6x6
  • Our Daily Bread Designs FORUM Featured Artist Challenge ODBDFA01

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Worry not. . .

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

 Reading through the Gospels recently, I was struck my how many times our Lord exhorted his disciples not to worry or to fear. For Jesus to devote lesson after lesson to this subject, it is apparent that this is a condition common to man. I know most certainly it is a condition common to woman! This woman, in particular! However, to be precise, it is not a "condition," it is sin and it is something we CAN overcome, our Lord would not have commanded us to "not be anxious about tomorrow," and to "fear not." And. . .for those trusting in Christ, we have His Holy Spirit, and He gives us the strength and desire to do what is honoring to the Lord. . and that leads to the next point about fear:

We are, of course, to fear the Lord, and as sweet Laura pointed out, "Fearing and respecting the Lord's greatness and all His attributes brings security and peace. and yet with the Lord there is nothing else to fear as any other fear is not of the Lord." 

For a full discussion of this topic, visit the Stampin' Sisters in Christ blog. This week's challenge focuses on this passage, which I've included below.
In Matthew 6:25-34, we are instructed:
 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:24-35
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  

 Card Details

Stamps: SU! Holiday Best & Northern Hearts; Layers of Color Christmas Verses 
Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Soft Suede 
Cardstock:Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Early Espresso 
Accessories: SU Northern Hearts Embossing Folder, Snowflake punch, SU pearls, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, VVanilla Seam Binding. 
Tools: Spellbinders Labels 18 

 Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For a friend. . .

A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised! Proverbs 31:30

The Lord tells us that the "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Do you fear the Lord? Are you in awe as you consider His majesty, His holiness, His purity, His omnipotence, His omnipresence, His goodness, His mercy, His wrath against unrepentant sinners. . . and the list goes on. He tells us not to fear the one who can harm the body, but only to fear the one that can condemn the soul eternally. The fear of the Lord is a godly attribute. . .and one that receives accolades from the Lord as evidenced in the scripture above.

Our Daily Bread Designs Forum Challenge

The challenge schedule is starting to solidify over at the Our Daily Bread Designs forum and this is the fifth Tuesday, so that means it's time for a Surprise Challenge. It's a surprise because we don't have it all planned out way in advance, but kind of wing it the week before. The first Surprise Challenge theme is "Anything But a Card." If you want to participate, just leave me a comment with a link to your project. If  it uses ODBD Stamps, be sure to upload it to the ODBD gallery and use the keywords ODBDFTS01 ~ that's it, no commas. We're having a few technical difficulties at the forum. . .as part of the transition from Christian Paper Crafts, the registration feature isn't working. However, if you've previously registered, you still have access, just log in, and then click the Forum button. It should take you right to the discussion board. If you click on "new posts," you'll see all that's been happening since your last visit. (We are seeking to honor the Lord and learn the lesson in patience that He has for us during this time!)

Project Details

This darling gift burlap gift bag was dug out of  a closeout bin. A flower here, a ribbon there. . .and it's ready to pack up and give to a special friend. The scripture is stamped on a scrap from an old salt sack, adhered to a re-purposed piece from a cardboard cracker box

Stamps: ODBD Fancy Labels and Scripture Collection 7
Ink: SU Riding Hood Red and Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Satin roses and paper roses from Floral Supply, pearl strand from the thrift store, ribbon and lace trim, salt sack scrap fabric, buttons from my heritage stash.
Mechanical Things: Spellbinders Labels 17, Glue gun
Challenges: Our Daily Bread Designs Forum 

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

All this, and Jesus, too!

Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
1 Corinthians 15:57  

Thanks to the Lord, Jehovah Jireh, for His abundant provision. He shall supply ALL of our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19)

There is a story of a pastor walking down the street and as he passed a rickety, little shack, he heard a voice saying in wonderment, over and over. "All this, and Jesus, too!" Not being able to pass by without satisfying his curiosity, he peeked in the window. At a meager table knelt a withered, old man,his body ravaged by years in the mines. In his coal-stained hands, he held a piece of bread and before him was a small bowl of very thin porridge. The dear saint lifted his eyes and hands toward heaven and once again exclaimed, with deep adoration and thankfulness, "All this, and Jesus, too!"

May the Lord give us the grace to see just how richly we have been blessed and to lift our hearts to Him in thanksgiving and adoration. If we are the Lord's, if we are trusting in Jesus, is there really anything else that is necessary?
Inside Close-up

Card Details

Stamps: Layers of Color Sent with Love; Verve
Card Stock:
Stampin' Up! Basic Black, metallic bronze
Ink: VersaFine Onyx, Tsukineko Brilliance Pearlescent Beige
Accessories:  Leaf punch, corner punch

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New Song of Praise. .

He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God;
         Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD
Psalm 40:3
ATC Front

Psalm 40:1-5

I waited patiently for the LORD;
         And He inclined to me,
         And heard my cry.
 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
         Out of the miry clay,
         And set my feet upon a rock,
         And established my steps.

 He has put a new song in my mouth—
         Praise to our God;
         Many will see it and fear,
         And will trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes
   the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
   none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
   yet they are more than can be told..
Psalm 40: 1-5 (Psalm 40)
ATCs Packaged

Packaged ATC, Note card and Envelope
Artist Trading Card Supplies
Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Rich Razzleberry, Naturals Ivory, Whisper White
Digital Images: WORDart by Karen (digital); Graphics Fairy (digital)
Stamps: Lizzie Anne Designs: A Harvest of Memories; Stamp Cabana: Music 12-70; Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps: Sing Unto the Lord
Ink: SU Rich Razzleberry, Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Vintage Photo.
Dies: Spellbinders Labels 20, SU Beautiful Wings
Accessories: Gold twine, Stampendous Crushed Glass, Stickles, SU Rhinestones


  • Stampin Sisters in Christ Challenge #116
    Make a card of praise using music, stamp, or design paper, or just the word "praise."

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Righteousness Looks Down. . .

"Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, so righteousness looks down from heaven.
Psalm 85:11

What a beautiful reminder of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: fully God and fully man, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, ruling and reigning as all of His enemies are subdued. . .until the designated time for His triumphal return! Come Lord Jesus!!

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-13

Stamps: SU Bliss, ODBD Scripture Collection 6 & Fancy Frames
Card Stock: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White
Designer Paper: Homemade
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White Craft
Accessories: Pearls, Ribbon, Chipboard, SU Shimmer Paint, Stampendous Clear Embossing Powder, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, SU Vanilla Smooch Spray, Ribbon, Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 17, Sizzix Lattice Texturz Embossing plate, Scorboard
Technique: Stamping, Sponging, Embossing

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Friday, November 18, 2011

In Everything, Give Thanks. . .

Pray without ceasing, in everything, give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

 The Lord instructs us to pray without ceasing and in everything. . .EVERYTHING. . to give thanks. That isn't always our first response, is it? I know it's certainly not mine when things don't go as I've expected. 
Yet, by the grace of God, after a time I realize that I've been grumbling, complaining and otherwise kicking against the goads. I've not been doing what the Lord has instructed. . .in everything, give thanks. So I start with the simple things. . and soon my attitude has changed, as has my focus. This is part of God's plan: He intends it for my ultimate good. It is part of my preparation and fitting for Heaven. God is still sovereign, He is still in control, He is still working all things together for the good of His children and the glory of His name, and this too is part of His most wonderful, wise, holy and perfect plan. He has promised to never leave or forsake His children. .There is so much for which to be thankful and nothing at all about which to complain! What do I think I deserve anyway? What I deserve is eternal condemnation for my rebellion against an infinitely holy God. Yet, what am I receiving? Blessing after blessing poured out in abundance all because of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Stamps: Stampin Up Give Thanks, Verve
Card Stock: SU Crumb Cake, Early Espresso
Designer Paper: Bo Bunny Forever Foliage
Ink: Early Espresso
Accessories: Bakers Twine, Spellbinders Classic Circles, Scallop Circles Dies, Scallop Rectangles and Mini-Tags, Bic Markers
Technique: Stamping and coloring

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Monday, November 14, 2011

Whom Shall I Fear?

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
Card Front
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear. Psalm 27:1 (Inside Scripture)

If we are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have nothing to fear. Our Savior, through His life, death and resurrection has overcome sin, hell and death and provided a way for His people to be with Him for all eternity.

Jesus said, "I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Luke 12:4-7

This card was made a while ago (before I started a blog) in honor of a dear friend, Abby, who is a source of great encouragement and blessing. Abby has a blog entitled, Little Birdie Blessings and if you haven't visited, please do. You will be so blessed! Every Thursday, Abby sponsors a weekly "linky" party. The only rule is that the linked project must contain a passage of scripture. . .not an inspirational quote, not a cute saying, but God's Word. And, Abby is always offering lovely free digital vintage images and often accompanied by scripture.

Abby loves vintage art and elements and at one time, she and her husband sold antiques and vintage postcards, and conducted auctions to benefit charities. From the time she was young, she loved playing the piano and organ, a gift shaped with private lesson. She now plays the piano for weekly services and events at the church her husband pastors.

To make this card,  I pulled together some of Abby's favorite things and crafted the way Abby likes to craft using vintage items, such as fabric, old postcards or paper, and a computer. So since she’d rather be playing hymns than any other type of music, I copied the page from an old hymnal, included a musically themed Prima flower, a bit of lace, some old buttons, and a vintage image printed from my computer, which includes a bird and scripture (two more of Abby’s faves!)

Supply List
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs Light of the World
Card Stock: SU Crumb Cake, SU Basic Black, white printer paper, white cardstock
Ink: VersaFine Onyx, Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Aged Photo
Accessories: Buttons from Grandma’s tin, old lace, Prima flower, SU Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, seam binding, SU Vintage Trinkets; image panel photocopied from a 1923 hymnal cover;, vintage clip art.
Challenges/Link Ups: 

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fight the good fight of the faith. . .

Fight the good fight of the faith. . .1 Timothy 6:12

  Three times in his letters to Timothy, the apostle Paul uses a variation of this phrase. . .twice as exhortations to Timothy and the last as an old soldier who knows his end is near, encouraging a young recruit in the most worthy and holy of wars. Paul's mortal life was coming to a close: he had fought the good fight of faith; he had defended the gospel and carried it throughout the known world~despite the opposition, the persecution, the physical toll~because of his love for the Lord and for those who were perishing. He now was looking forward to his heavenly home. . to being with his Lord and master, Jesus Christ.
Or, as Bible Commentator Matthew Henry writes, "'Come,' says Paul, 'I have found our Master kind and the cause good; I can look back upon my warfare with a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction; and therefore be not afraid of the difficulties thou must meet with. The crown of life is as sure to thee as if it were already upon thy head; and therefore endure afflictions, and make full proof of thy ministry.' 
  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 
2 Timothy 4:7

"As a Christian, as a minister, he had fought a good fight. He had done the service, gone through the difficulties of his warfare, and had been instrumental in carrying on the glorious victories of the exalted Redeemer over the powers of darkness. His life was a course, and he had now finished it; as his warfare was accomplished, so his race was run. “I have kept the faith. I have kept the doctrines of the gospel, and never betrayed any of them.”

Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.1 Timothy 16:12

What an encouragement these verses are. . .fight the good fight, persevere and press on! Your Savior has gone before and prepared a place for you with Him in glory. One day, you will be home. Wars will no longer rage, the battles will have ceased . .

A card in honor of Veteran's Day this Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 (11-11-11) 

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In the United States, in 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans" and and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, wherever and whenever they had served. It is still celebrated in the Allied nations as Armistice or Remembrance Day.

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. We also recognize and honor those throughout the world who have fought for freedom and justice consistent with biblical principles.

Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs Not Forgotten
Card Stock: SU Black, Naturals Ivory, Always Artichoke, Soft Suede
Designer: Homemade
Ink: Ranger Distress Frayed Burlap, SU Soft Suede, Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Canvas Home Basics burlap, mini brads, Spellbinders Scallop Rectangles, scrap bit of twine.

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Friday, November 4, 2011

Of Marriage and Weddings. . .

May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance. 
 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Weddings are always such a special time and a sweet remembrance and symbol of the Lord's love for His bride, the church. As John Piper wrote in This Momentary Marriage, "The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people."

Oh, that we would honor Him in our marriages; that we would be faithful, loving, submissive, respecting self-sacrificing and that we strive to live together as the Lord has called us to live until death do us part. So often, it seems that the focus these days is on THE WEDDING, while the marriage is secondary. I'm not so sure that's what we see in the Bible. Rather we see the focus on THE MARRIAGE and the wedding being the door to that blessed covenant of companionship that the Lord established at creation.  May He give us grace to honor Him!

PROJECT DETAILS. . .This gift set was prepared for a sweet sister whose bridal shower was held recently. The little black coaster set is one where you can put a photo behind the glass. At the last minute, I decided the red stock inserts were not very complimentary, so prepared four inserts with various scripture verses, stamped over the beautiful stencil from Layers of Color. The paper, flower and swirls on the card were a result of my first trip to our new Hobby Lobby store. . .what a blessing. I love being able to shop for my supplies at a store that is operated on biblical principles and that sponsors advertising at all of the major holidays sharing the Gospel: the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ! The lace was a gift/giveaway from Abby at Little Birdie Blessings.

Supply List
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs, Layers of Color, Verve
Card Stock: SU Basic Black and Very Vanilla
Designer Paper: The Paper Studio Vintage Black Toile and Damask
Ink: Memento Black, Versamark, SU Sahara Sand
Accessories: Vintage Lace (from Little Birdie Blessings) Prima swirls and crochet trimmed flower, Marcasite embossing powder, SU Tulip Frame embossing folder and crochet trim ribbon, plastic candy bag, Spellbinders Labels 17 dies; Layers of Color Botanical Swirls Stencil; Target gift card.
This has come to be one of my more recent favorite scriptures as it reminds me that God's love is conditional. . .conditioned upon the perfect work of Jesus Christ! It reminds me that for the joy set before Him, He (Jesus) endured the cross and is even now, seated at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:2) interceding for His people. 

May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance. 
 2 Thessalonians 3:5

It is a prayer for spiritual blessings. Two things of the greatest importance the apostle prays for:—1. That their hearts may be brought into the love of God, to be in love with God as the most excellent and amiable Being, the best of all beings; and this is not only most reasonable and necessary in order to our happiness, but is our happiness itself; it is a great part of the happiness of heaven itself, where this love shall be made perfect. We can never attain to this unless God by his grace direct our hearts aright, for our love is apt to go astray after other things. Note, We sustain a great deal of damage by misplacing our affections; it is our sin and our misery that we place our affections upon wrong objects. If God directs our love aright upon himself, the rest of the affections will thereby be rectified. 2. That a patient waiting for Christ may be joined with this love of God. There is no true love of God without faith in Jesus Christ. We must wait for Christ, which supposes our faith in him, that we believe he came once in flesh and will come again in glory: and we must expect this second coming of Christ, and be careful to get ready for it; there must be a patient waiting, enduring with courage and constancy all that we may meet with in the mean time: and we have need of patience, and need of divine grace to exercise Christian patience, the patience of Christ (as some read the word), patience for Christ’s sake and after Christ’s example.                            ~Matthew Henry

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Monday, October 31, 2011

He is Faithful

Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, so righteousness looks down from heaven. Psalm 85:11

This week's Shining the Light challenge at Our Daily Bread Designs is to "Think Pink and Encouragement" in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. (it need not be on the theme of breast cancer but it must be pink and have a verse or sentiment of encouragement). The Stampin' In Time: On Assignment challenge is TAGS: T=Thankfulness; A=Appreciation; G=Gratefulness. The scripture above is from Psalm 85, a song of prayer, petition, praise, thankfulness, adoration and gratefulness for the lovingkindness and tender mercies of the Lord!

Psalm 85

    For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 

O LORD, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored the captivity of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of Your people;
You covered all their sin.

You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned away from Your burning anger.
Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.
Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?
Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD,
And grant us Your salvation.

I will hear what God the LORD will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.
Indeed, the LORD will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.
Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way.

Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs Scripture Collection #6
Card Stock: Early Espresso, Pink Pirouette
Designer Paper: SU Parisian Summer
Repurposed Items: Pages from 1939 copy of Streams in the Desert (dog left it a bit tattered after her reading); corrugated piece from a box liner.
Ink: Early Espresso, Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Vintage Photo
Accessories: Spellbinders Nestabilities, Scallop Rectangles, Scallop Circles, Pages from Streams in the Desert, tissue paper, EK Flourishes border punch, pink button, pearls, shimmer mist, Sizzix SU Beautiful Wings Embosslit

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Friday, October 28, 2011

Taste and See: The Lord is Good!

Psalm 34 is a rich song of thanksgiving and praise, and a call to trust in the Lord and walk in His ways.  “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

This card celebrates the sweet and abundant blessings we have in the Lord through the Lord Jesus Christ in whom all of God’s promises to provide for His children, now and for eternity, are yes and amen!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  But what does it mean to take refuge in the Lord? Refuge in the Lord is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)  Throughout Scripture, the Lord promises to deliver all who will call upon Him, all who will turn from their sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.” 
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (v4)

“The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.” (v22)

And for those who are the redeemed, this Psalm is a great reminder of the rich blessings that are ours in Christ: He delivers us from our fears, from condemnation, from the guilt and power of sin, from the wrath of the Father. Instead He daily loads us with the benefits of salvation, including adoption into the family of God, eternal life, an inheritance in heaven, sweet fellowship with the saints, and so much more!

What a blessing it was to be asked by sweet Laura of Layers of Color Art Stamps to prepare a project and post for this week's Faith Art Friday blog feature. Laura and her entire design team are gifted artists who love the Lord and seek first His glory and the spread of His kingdom. If you haven't visited the Layers of Color blog, or their website, please consider this your invitation, and don't forget that each and every Friday is "Faith Art Friday" at Layers of Color.

You are in my prayers: May you also taste the goodness of the Lord in His provision of a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ! 

Stamps: Layers of Color: Fruitful Harvest, Sent With Love, Encouragement
Basic Black, Neenah White, Wrapping paper (salvaged from my LOC order)
Ink: Versa Mark, Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Old Olive
Layers of Colors Botanical Swirls Stencil, Zva Creative Gems, Spellbinders Labels 18, Spellbinders Labels 20, Ribbon, Sizzix Branch with Leaves die, Art Company Gold Glimmer Mist, Bic Markers, pages from Streams in the Desert (dog-chewed 1936 edition :) ), gold leaves ribbon, SU Scallop Border Punch, Gold Embossing powder.

Blessings! jme ~ SDG

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

When trials come (as they surely do) it serves us well to remember that our strength is not found in the things of this world. . .and it most certainly isn't found within ourselves. It is found only in the Lord. Even in the darkest of times, He can cause our hearts to rejoice through the tears and the sadness that seems to permeate to our core.

Bible commentator Matthew Henry says, "The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies, and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks."  

Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5b

This set was prepared as gift for another dear sister in Christ. It's a bit more "springy" but as gorgeous as they are, my fall color meter has been maxed for the time being. A few doses of pinks, lime green and soft blue will help considerably.

The gift set includes:
~ A card
~ A decorated basket
~ Framed Scripture
~ Mini Rose Garden

Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs SC6 and Fancy Labels; SU Elegant Greetings, Oval All and Vintage Labels Card Stock: Naturals Ivory, Early Espresso, Cool Caribbean, Bazzill Moss Designer Paper: Prima Madeline Ink: Early Espresso, Chocolate Chip, Ranger Distress Antique Linen, Rose Red Accessories: Seam binding, Grandma's buttons, Assorted flowers, SU pearls, doily, Lattice Embossing Folder, Lines and Polka Dot Texturz Embossing Plate, Spellbinders Label 17 Nestabilities, KandCompany Border Tape, Clear embossing powder
Technique: Stamping, Sponging, Die Cutting, Piercing, Embossing