Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WOYWW: Spring Cleaning

 On my desk is my planner.
There's such a hooha (not a real word) about planners these days.
I see it on Instagram and Facebook and realize that a lot of
people (more women than men, a LOT more women than men)
spend so much on their planners! 
And buy expensive planners (sometimes more than one!!!)
I don't want to do that, so I mostly just cut up stuff from magazines.
But I do have some washi tapes and stamps that I use as well.

 "Create in me a clean heart, O God." Psalm 51:10

Today is Ash Wednesday. For years my goal was to get through Lent, 
to endure it, to just bear it. 
I did not see Lent for what it was. A gift. 
The word Lent is from the old English word "lencten" which meant spring. 
The ancient Jews used to thoroughly clean their homes in anticipation 
of the spring-time memorial Feast of Passover. 
There was an instruction in Exodus 12:15 that the Jews were to look for 
and remove every trace of yeast from their homes during 
this Feast and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 
Even the New Testament Christians observed this Feast. 
As Saint Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:8, "Let us celebrate the Festival, 
not by eating the old bread of wickedness and evil, 
but by eating the new bread of purity and truth."

 Whenever yeast was mentioned in the Bible, it almost always represented sin. 
So during this festival of remembrance of when the Jews fled Egypt following their slavery, they were supposed to only eat unleavened bread. 
The unleavened bread of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, 
the "Bread of Life" in the New Testament. 
To receive Jesus into our hearts, into our homes, into our lives, 
we have to do our own spring-cleaning. 
Just like the Jews had to search for every bit of leaven hidden in their home, 
we too have to hunt for whatever sin is lurking in our hearts. 
God knows how freeing it is to find sin, and to remove it from our midst. 
But it is not easy. And so we pray to Him for help and grace and mercy. 
We have to go into our own "war room" and pray, and fast, and give alms. 
We have to go into our own "desert" just as Jesus did when he was here on the earth. 
That is how we shall "spring-clean" our heart this Lent. 
But what a great blessing of freedom it will be to welcome with all the faithful 
the celebration of Easter, and our own rising from the ashes of sin. 

 Lord, what will I work on this Lent? 
What will be the focus of my own "spring-cleaning'?

 "Can it indeed be that God dwells among men on earth?" 1 Kings 8:27

This was King Solomon's question. 
"If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, 
how much less this temple which I have built!" he continued in awe.  
Are we in awe when we pray to God?  
Are we amazed that God came down to our level to be with us, the Emmanuel? 
Do we marvel that the creator of Super novas, the majestic mountains, 
mighty dinosaurs, allows us to visit Him in churches built by man?  
And not only that, He wants, desires, longs, that we invite Him into 
the temple of our own feeble hearts.  
He actually prefers to dwell in our hearts rather than the grand Cologne Cathedral, 
the historic Notre Dame in Paris, the awesome Sagrada Familia, 
no matter how beautiful they are. 
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, 
and we can moan and groan about this 
Lenten journey of fasting and abstinence. 
Or we can welcome it as a pilgrimage to walk more closely with 
the God who loves us so inconceivably. 

One of my favorite songs is "More than Wonderful"
best sang by Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris. 
It goes, "I stand amazed when I think the King of Glory would come to live within me; 
I marvel just to know He really loves me, when I think of who He is and who I am. 
For He's more wonderful than my mind can conceive, 
He's more wonderful than my heart can believe; 
He goes beyond my highest hopes and fondest dreams; 
He's everything that my soul ever longed for, 
Everything He promised and so much more; 
More than amazing, More than marvelous, 
More than miraculous could ever be; 
He's more than wonderful; That's what Jesus is to me!"

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WOYWW: The Most Powerful Force in the World!

I found some forgotten canvases in the corner of my craft room.
So I decided to work on it. I outlined some flowers with my white Uniball pen.

Then I painted the background white.

Far from finished, but I like where it's going!

"..mine eyes have seen your salvation.." Luke 2:30
The story of Simeon is just a side story in the Bible, a mere 11 lines, but it can be very reassuring for us, and especially for those who are growing older (which is every one of us!!!) The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not see death before he had seen the Messiah, the Anointed One. And the first time Jesus was brought into the Temple in Jerusalem, there was Simeon, no doubt prodded by the Spirit. What fullness Simeon felt, we can only imagine as he held the baby Jesus in his arms. "You can let me depart in peace," Simeon sang, "for my eyes have seen Your salvation!"

What a privilege Simeon was given by God! But we too can have that same gift of seeing the salvation God has promised. Jesus said in the 11th chapter of John, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who believes in Me will never die." We just need to wait patiently like Simeon, and hope, pray and believe!

"Is not this the carpenter?" Mark 6:3
If you grow up in a town or 500 or so, you know everybody and everybody knows you. When Jesus visits Nazareth, you would think Jesus would be welcomed like the hometown hero! They were curious enough to listen to him in the synagogue, and many of them were astonished. The word used here is equivalent to "many of them were blown away by what He said". Instead of opening their hearts to His life giving Words, they closed their minds because they knew who He was! "Is this not the carpenter? Did we not see him grow up? Don't we know His family? Is He not Joseph and Mary's Son?"

And so unbelief and doubt and skepticism prevailed. Jesus could not do any miracles in Nazareth because of the lack of faith that hovered over the town. Faith is a powerful force but so is unbelief. Because Eve did not believe, the whole of humanity was cursed. There is so much anti-Christ sentiment in the world today. Is it any wonder that there are so many problems that are impossible for man to solve? We need miracles. We need God to do the impossible. And that needs the most powerful force in the world- FAITH!

Joining the lovely Julia Dunnit for a 
peek at desks and projects!

I find a lot of inspiration
visiting my friends here:


Friday, January 29, 2016

Paint Party Friday: The Devil's Playground

 "...from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful..." 
2 Samuel 11:2
Who does not know the story of David and Bathsheba? 
This mighty man of God, a "man after God's own heart" falls into sin after sin after sin. 
And not the small sins either, big 10 Commandment sins, and all premeditated. 
It's a lesson in how to get into the dark pit of sin from the first verse of 2 Samuel 11. 
" the spring, when kings go out to battle..."  
Kings and armies go to war in the spring, not during harvest, not during winter, 
but King David takes a break. 
He has been fighting battle after battle. 
He has just come from fighting the Arameans where 
David killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen. 
It is no wonder he wants to take a break. 
He sleeps, and when evening came, he goes up on the roof, and from the roof, 
he sees a woman bathing. A beautiful woman. Does he turn away? 
No, he continues on his break from fighting. 
"Idle hands and idle minds are the devil's workshop!"

All this time, David had been fighting FOR the Lord, 
and fighting FOR the things of the Lord. 
He loved God, praised God all the time, composed songs for Him. 
But when he saw Bathsheba, he stopped fighting. He succumbed. 
"When we don't fight, we lose sight of what's right!" 
Sometimes when we have been so busy, we had such a chaotic week, 
with our schedules back to back, we want to take a break. It's but natural. 
When my son is studying, he stops now and then to watch a video. 
How many times in the middle of working on something at home, I think, 
"I'll just take a minute to peek at Facebook or Instagram," 
and that minute becomes 10, 20,and then an hour? 

That may not be a sin, but the road to destruction, starts with when we stop fighting. 
A little office flirtation. That's not a sin, we think. 
A little lying.  A little stealing. A little peek at pornography. 
We need to continue to fight, in the spring, in the winter, during harvest time. 
We should never allow the devil to make our minds his playground! 

 "A lamp is not brought to be put under a peck-measure, is it, or under a bed?" 
Mark 4;21
In the original Greek, Mark wrote this passage as, 
"Is a lamp come into the house to be put under a bushel or under a bed?" 
Obviously a lamp does not come into a house by itself, 
but perhaps Mark meant something else altogether. 
In John 3:19,we read, "the light is come into the world..." 
In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, "I am the light of the world; 
he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." 
The lamp, the light is a person,and that person is Jesus, who came into the world, 
not to be hidden, but to be exposed. 
Sometimes, we like to keep our faith secret. 
We believe in God, His promises, and try to obey Him. 
But we do not like to tell others, preferring to be an undercover Christian. 
especially in this age of political correctness!

When Jesus instructed the disciples in the 10th chapter of Matthew, 
He told them, "What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light." 
The precious mysteries of God, our faith, should not be kept to ourselves. 
Lord, help me to share the treasure I have found in you, the light of the world!


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WOYWW: We are God's Garden

 Here is my desk. On it you can see my 2016 planner.
I like putting washi tape, stickers, and all sorts of clippings.
On the right side is my "Magic Book" with my collection of 
embellishments. I also use this when I make Artist Trading Cards.
If you like to see my 2015 planner, here it is!

 Here are the pages for January 26 and 27.

 And these are the pages for January 23-25.
I think putting stickers and prettying up your planner,
makes it more fun to organize your day.
It also makes me look at my planner more often
so I don't forget what I need to remember!!!
These pages are still works in progress.
I am still going to doodle in it and try some calligraphy!!!

 "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow..." Mark 4:3

This is how Jesus introduces the Parable of the Sower- LISTEN!  Hear my words! Then he proceeds to share about a farmer who sows seeds on different kinds of soil, and depending on the soil, the seed either gets eaten by birds, or gets scorched by the sun, or gets choked by thorns, or bears abundant fruit. Usually we think of the soil as different types of hearts, and how different kinds of people receive the Word of God. But I think most of us receive God's word differently at different seasons of our life.

In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Saint Paul says we are God's field, God's garden. He is the sower, the farmer planting seed. In God's garden of our hearts, He finds different kinds of soil at different times of our life. Sometimes we are very receptive and eager to listen. And His Word finds a place in our heart, but only for a short time. At other times, we are so busy, or so anxious, and God's Word, perhaps given by an office mate as advice, goes out our other ear. But Jesus says, LISTEN! Hear my words! Don't just pick and choose when you want to hear it! Prepare your soil, prepare your hearts to receive My Word. 

If we want a good harvest, a bountiful harvest, we need to prepare our hearts the same way a farmer prepares his soil. A farmer digs up the soil and breaks up the lumps in it. He takes out the rocks, the roots, the weeds. That means we need to examine our life. Is there someone we need to forgive? Is there some wrong doing that needs to be corrected? Lord, I want to bear abundant fruit! Let me see what I need to do in order to have a heart ready to receive Your word with joy!