Monday, February 01, 2010

Isaiah 41:10 Card

Here is a card I made on Sunday. I actually started it on Saturday, but I was so frustrated with it I had to walk away. I considered chucking it all together, but I hated to waste the paper. I came back to it on Sunday and reworked it. Now I am glad that I didn't chuck it, because I like it. The designer paper is called Bella Blue, and it is from Stampin Up. Unfortunately, it is retired paper. The verse stamp is from the Scripture Collection 1 by Our Daily Bread Designs. The decorative squiggles in the corner are from the new Vintage corner dies by Cuttlebug.

Recipe: Stamps: Scripture Collection 1 by Daily Bread Designs. Paper: PTI White, Bella Blue DP by Stampin Up, Close to Cocoa. Ink: Memento Black. Accessories: 7/8" white satin ribbon, cuttlebug vintage corners, dimensionals, fiskars borde punch.

The Discipline of God: Hebrews 12:4-13

Today, I wanted to talk about the discipline of God in a believer's life. Often, when people hear the words "discipline of God", they only think in terms of punishment. It is true, that when a believer is involved in unrepented sin, he will undergo the discipline of God. We see this in 1 Corinthians 11:23-30, where the believers in Corinth were practicing communion in an ungodly manner. Because of this, God allowed some of those believers to become sick, and some of them He took home to be with Him. We also see it in the case of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5, where they lied to the Holy Spirit and as a consequence they were struck dead by God. And we mustn't forget the familiar Biblical principal from Galations 6:7, which states, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." There is however, another kind of discipline that has nothing to do with any sin in the believer's life. This is the discipline that comes in the form of the various trials and tribulations we encounter in life.

In Hebrews 12:4-13, we see this kind of discipline from the Lord. In this epistle, the Christians were suffering hardships and persecution because of their faith. As a result, some were discouraged, disheartened and confused. The author of Hebrews takes this opportunity to remind them of the purpose of these trials and of the Father's love for them.

In verses 4-13, the author calls the trials "discipline", which is the Greek word paideia referring to the training of a child. It is a broad word that signifies what parents and teachers do in the life of a child to mold them into responsible, mature adults. Sometimes that discipline is rebuke, sometimes it is instruction, and other times it involves allowing the child to suffer hardship. The parent does this out of love for the child and with an eye to his future benefit. In the same way, the Father lovingly brings discipline into our lives through rebuke, instruction and hardship. This discipline often comes in the form of trials, such as financial hardship, sickness & death, social stress, persecutions and etc., all of which are the things that God uses to mold us into His image.

The author further encourages his audience by reminding us, that the "discipline" is proof of God's love and ownership of us For just as a father disciplines his "own" child, so also does the heavenly Father discipline His own. If we never experience the discipline of the Father, we do not belong to Him; instead, we are illegitimate. (Heb. 12:7-8) Knowing this should bring encouragement to our lives.

Lastly, the author encourages us in our trials by reminding us of the fruit that comes from them. He states in verse 11, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." In this verse, he acknowleges the pain that comes from the trials, but then he encourages us with the revelation that it is those things that work righteousness in our lives. It is the hardships and sufferings that we go through, that mold us more into the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
While the knowledge of this does not remove the sufferings of the trial, it does bring to our souls and minds a steadied peace and joy in the midst of the trials. It is so much easier going through hardships, when you know that it is a loving God that holds you in the midst of them and that there is a wonderful, God glorifying purpose in those sufferings. This is the encouragement that is found in Hebrews 12:4-13.

I hope this passage of Scripture is a blessing and encouragement to you just as it has been to me, as I have walked through the trials/disciplines of life.

God Bless!


Thursday, January 28, 2010


This is a card I made this weekend. I usually make my cards on Friday afternoons or on Saturdays and Sundays, after I have finished preparing for Tuesday's Bible Study. This one took me awhile to make, because I kept getting stumped. It was only after I had added the splash of blue cardstock, that I started to like it. There is still something about it that bugs me, but I don't know what it is. Anyways, the picture doesn't do the colors usual. I just can't seem to get my photography right. I guess it's just another thing that God uses to try and teach me humility....I sure wish I would learn it! lol

The stamp set is called "A Cup of Life", by Verve Stamps. I love their stamps. They are clear polymer/acrylic, and they stamp wonderfully.

Recipe: Stamps: A Cup of Life, by Verve Stamps. Paper: Border Blue, Chocolate Chip, PTI White, American Crafts "Letterbox" DP. Ink: Memento Black, Copics. Accessories: 1", white satin ribbon, Fiskars border punch, nestabilities, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Spellbinders Labels 5.

Answered Prayers

In the past week, among many prayers that God has answered, there are three in particular I would like to share. The first two are on going helps from the Lord, which I would be lost without. These in particular relate to the Bible study I teach to women on Tuesday morning. Consistently, when I am studying I come across Scripture I don't fully understand; I struggle with how and what I am going to teach from the Scripture; or I struggle with learning something new. It used to be that I would keep at it a short time, and if I still had no success I would rely on the words of another teacher or I would just teach what I knew and forget the rest, which really isn't wrong; yet, I wasn't persistant in pursiing understanding...I gave up too easily. However, recently that has changed as a result of reading the life of George Muller. In his life he was persistent in his studies, and he would bring them before the Lord in prayer until the Lord brought him understanding. I have been trying to practice this in my own life, and God has consistently blessed. Last week was one instance in particular. I was studying for our lesson covering Jesus' call of Matthew the tax gatherer, and I had hit a brick wall. I knew there was something more there than the basic facts of the story, but it wasn't coming together for me. For three days I looked at it and studied it, and I prayed to the Lord for help. On the third day, after praying about it, I started studying, and in an instant the Lord brought some relevant Scripture to mind and brought understanding to me on how I was going to teach the Lesson. It was truly a blessing, and it confirmed the need to be persistent in prayer..

The second answered prayer, and also one which occurs every week, occurs on the day I teach the lesson. Every Tuesday morning, right before class, I am lost as to what I am going to teach. It does not matter how much I have studied for the lesson or how good my notes and outline are. The morning of the lesson, it is as if my mind has drawn a blank and I haven't a clue what I am going to do. In fear and anxiety, I go before the Lord in prayer, asking Him to help me teach the class, acknowledging my helplessness before Him. When the class begins, I still feel lost, but then as I speak the Lord brings it all back to me an enables me to teach what I have studied. I really believe that He allows me to go through this each week to keep me humble and dependent on Him for the class and the teaching.

Lastly, over Christmas, my son's dentist told us that one of his wisdom teeth was coming in and pushing into his lower molar. It was going to have to be removed; otherwise, it would come in and ruin 2-years worth of braces. I was not thrilled, because we do not have dental insurance, and it cost $3,600 to have my daughter's 4 wisdom teeth removed. So, I began praying for a miracle. My husband had all four wisdom teeth removed, and so did my daughter. I however, only had one wisdom tooth, and my sister did not have any. So, I hoped and prayed that John would take after me. Well, Monday, right before we went to the oral surgeon, I prayed for God to intervene, acknowledging that He had the power to remove existing teeth (which I was skeptical that He would do), or He could have John take after me. Well, guess what.....they took John's x-rays and found that he only has one wisdom tooth! I was so excited! Instead of paying $3600, which I did not have, for 4 teeth, we only have to pay $890 for 1. Let me tell you, I was praising God...He answered my prayers.

I share all of that with you, to encourage you to pursue God in prayer. First, when you pray for the things that you know are God's will, such as understanding of His Word, greater spiritual growth, etc, you can be confident He will answer them. It may not be in the time that you want, but He will answer them. You just need to be persistent. Second, God wants us to bring all of our needs to Him in prayer. He listens. He may not always answer them the way that we would like. When He doesn't, we need to rest in the assurance that He always does what is best for us, and when He does, we should thank and praise Him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lamentations 3:21-23

Today, I am posting card featuring one of my favorite passages of Scriptures. It is Lamentations 3:21-23. Lamentations was penned by the prophet Jeremiah during the time when God's wrath was being poured out on Judah. Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. He was the prophet that witnessed the gross sin of Judah and the subsequent discipline by the Lord. During this time, Jeremiah preached repentance and judgment to the people, but they did not want to hear it. They persecuted him, imprisoned him, and threw him down a well. He witnessed the carrying away of many of the people into exile and the terrible effects of famine, due to the seige they were under. In Lamentations, Jeremiah spends the first two chapters and half of the third chapter, lamenting Judah's downfall & crying out to God. In it, we see that he is depressed, discouraged, and disheartened, but starting in verse 19 of Chapter 3, we see his attitude change as he remembers His God. As he reminds himself of the faithfulness & goodness of God, his attitude changes from one of complaining and despairing to one of hope and encouragement. This is a great lesson to us, in that whenever we are discouraged, disheartened, discontent or despairing, if we will go back to Scripture (and to our own experiences in the Lord) and began remembering the goodness of the Lord and the might works He has wrought, our souls will be lifted up and encouraged....It is a beautiful example of the great things that God will do when we lift our eyes unto Him.

As to the card, the stamp comes from the Scriptures 1, set by Our Daily Bread Designs. The DP is by Heidi Grace. The front side has the flower pattern, and the backside has the gold, with white polka dots pattern. I used my nestabilites labels to cut out a frame from Always Artichoke cardstock, and I sponged the edges with black to make it pop.

Recipe: Stamps: Scriptures 1, by Our Daily Bread Designs. Paper: Heidi Grace DP, Whisper White, Basic Black and Always Artichoke. Ink: Memento Black. Accessories: Nestabilities Labels, Dimensionals, Sheer, black 1/2 inch ribbon, Antique Brads, faux white pearls.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recent Cards

This is my most recent card. In fact, I put on the finishing touches this morning. I made this card using my new stamp set "Loads of Fun", by There She Goes Stamps. My base is PTI White cardstock, and I layered it with Lavender Lace Cardstock and Heidi Grace DP. The next layer is Mellow Moss cardstok that I embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder. I sponged the grass for the picture with Mellow Moss ink, and I colored the image with my Copic Markers.

Recipe: Stamps: Loads of Fun by There She Goes Stamps . Paper: PTI white, Mellow Moss, Lavender Lace, Heidi & Grace DP. Ink: memento Black, Copic Markers, sponged mellow moss. Accessories: Dimensionals, Circle nestabilites, pink brads, 5/8" and 1" moss green ribbon.

On this next card, I used another new stamp set (to me), called "Up, Up, and Away", by Verve Stamps. I used a Navy cardstock for the base and layered it with Stampin Up's "Maine Blueberry" DP. The corner embellisments were made with Cuttlebug's "Vintage Corners" Die, and I colored the image with my Copic Sketch Markers

Recipe: Stamps: Up Up & Away by Verve Stamps. Paper: PTI White, Certainly Celery, Navy, SU DP. Ink: Memento Black, Copic Markers. Accessories: 3/8" Navy ribbon, Circle Nestabilities, Navy Brads, Cuttlebug corner dies, dimensionals.

Hello Again!

Well, I'm not so good at this blog thing after all. I should have known, because I'm not much of a talker (chit chat) or letter writer either. So what's been going on here? Let me see, I am still teaching our women's Bible study. I am in my 5th year and loving it. We are going through Dwight Pentecost's book called "The Words and Works of Jesus Christ". The title pretty much says it all. The book covers key themes and events in the life of Jesus Christ, taking us through all four gospels. The challenge is to see more of the person of Jesus Christ through the study. We don't want to just learn more facts about our Savior, but we want to see Him as more in His person and deity. As we see our Savior more fully and begin to more fully understand the salvation He purchased for us, we will grow in our love and passion for Him and the Father. It has been a challenging study. We are going through it a lot more slowly than I expected, and I don't think we will make it through the book by the end of May. But, the Lord is in control, and He will allow us to get through what we need to at this time.

I also host the Women's Christian Biography group at my house every other week. We are finishing up the biography of George Mueller, and will start a new one (to be announce) in a couple of weeks. This has also been a spiritual challenge. George Mueller was a tremendous man of faith. He was known as the man responsible for building and running orphan houses, but he was best know for his tremendous prayer life and implicit trust in God to provide for all of his needs.

On the homefront, our daughter Meghan just finished her first semester of college at the University of Wyoming. We miss her a lot, but we know she is where God wants her. I will elaborate more at a later post. Our son John, is entering his last semester in High School, and Matt is tremendously busy at the litigation firm where he works.

In the meantime, I try to get in a card here and there, and hopefully, I can be more dilligent about posting here.