Who Are You In Christ? Art Journal 1:15

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I think there are far to many Christians living without knowing who they are in Christ Jesus. Understanding who we are in Christ makes a huge difference in how we view ourselves and others.

To get a proper perspective on who we are in Christ Jesus I believe it’s helpful to clearly understand who we are without Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2 is the best resource for this. It’s not pretty or pleasant to read, study, and ponder, but it will give you a greater perspective of the finished work Jesus accomplished for each of us on the cross.

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Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
The Father has poured out the spiritual blessings of Heaven upon all who have put their trust in Jesus. Every spiritual need has been met, every spiritual blessing has been fulfilled, and every grace given.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption deliverance and salvation through His blood, the (remission) forgiveness of our (offenses shortcomings) and trespasses, in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,

God the Father out of his great love predestined those who would believe to be adopted as his children through faith in his son, Jesus. It’s only through faith in Christ we have a new relationship as the children of God and in that relationship we have a new position. Our relationship gives us right and ownership to the riches of our Heavenly Father. Our position give us privileges related to being part of His family.

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Our Heavenly Father did spare Jesus (His only begotten Son) from death through His resurrection. This same power of God is available to us to keep us from suffering the same and all the other situations that Satan tries to defeat our spirit with in this life. Even in death we know that we will be raised with Christ into our eternal home. This is the power Paul wrote about in Romans 8:31-39. If God be for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any (defeating) charge against those whom God has chosen. No one, Christ who died for our sins and is risen from the grave and who sits at the right hand of God The Father intercedes for you and I! Hallelujah (praise The Lord)! Nothing in this world or in the spirit realm can separate us from the love of Christ! We will face trials and suffer troubles in this world because sin is in the world, but we are more than over-comers through Christ. It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to plug into our Savior (our Redeemer and strength) and by His power we will have wisdom, strength, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to overcome all that the ruler (Satan) of this age throws at us.

Ephesians 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

We all to often allow others in the world to mark us for something. We do it to ourselves as well. Jesus came, died, and rose from the grave so that you and I could live on this earth and in our eternal home Heaven marked solely by Him and for Him. When we surrendered to Him by faith in Jesus as the only begotten son of God we were marked with the seal of God, the Holy Spirit. It’s the only mark we need. In Christ we are set free from others labels that have been put on us.

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I Am The Resurrection & The Life – Art Journal 1:14

This Art Journal entry was inspired by Tracy Weinzapel from last weeks Mixed Media Monday webcast. You can watch a replay of the video and join the fun this coming Monday!

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Journal Notes:
God may be leading us into a different life by closing a door or ending a relationship. It may seem like the end of your world, but it’s not. John 10:10 tells us the thief (devil) comes in order to steal, kill and destroy life. Jesus comes that we who believe may have and enjoy life and do so in abundance (blessings).

As Christians we are a new creation in Christ. Matthew 9:16-17 talks about new wine skins and the old wine skins. New wine skin ~ a new life/creation in Christ. The old wine skin is the former self. We need to learn to view ourselves the way that God does.

Life is precious. Do not waste your time dwelling on the past hurt, regret, and failures. Jesus said ‘ I remember your sins no more’. If He who bore the price for your sin doesn’t remember them why are you or anyone’s else dwelling there? If others can’t move forward with you, you do not need them in your life.

A new life means a fresh start and new attitude. If anyone or any church is dragging up the past you need to run from them and find a body of Christ who believes and practices the Word of God. Know who God is and who you are In Christ Jesus. When Satan or anyone else throws something in your face about the former you, tell them whose you are and who you are In Christ. God is not going to give up on you.

Emotions and some memories can bring up old feelings of hurt, sorrow, and anger. Know that just because you feel a certain way, you do not have to give into the emotions and mind set. We have to be determined to run and finish the race before us IN Christ!

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Adopt the attitude that something good is going to happen to you each day. This is the day The Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it. Say it out loud, write on your mirrors, put on a post it note in your car. Sing to The Lord a new song. Say Jesus over and over. Tell him what you are thankful for. Remember His blessings in your past! This is what it means to encourage yourself in The Lord. Do it daily!

John 11:40-44 take off the grave clothes (your old self and ways). You are a new creation In Christ. Cloak yourself in His Word. Get to know Him and allow the Word to transform and renew your mind. Ask Jesus to help you in this journey of studying the Word.

Isaiah 43:18-19 … Do not remember the former things of old…behold I am doing a new thing! Think on what Jesus has done and is doing in your new life. Get a picture of it and dwell on Him and the new life you have. Can you see it through faith? Will give heed to Him? Remember God is not dependent on your circumstances or your past. He is doing a new thing in you!

I am who God says I am. I will rejoice and be glad in knowing who I am in Christ Jesus. Whatever our short comings are, God can help us overcome them as we trust in Him. Make room for Jesus in your life and take steps of faith. Refuse to give up on yourself. God has great plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11.

Remember Zacchaeus? He was so short he could not see Jesus due to the crowd. He did not let that circumstance stand between him and Jesus. He became a tree climber and Jesus recognized his determination and invited himself to his house!

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Craft Notes: Mixed Media paper, acrylic paint, gesso, heavy weight watercolor paper, stencils, Scrapbook paper, alphabet stsmps, Stazon ink, bling, charcoal pencil, permanent marker, Pitt pen, glitter pen,

This was so fast and a lot of fun to create! The longest part was my title and lining up the stamps. To save time I think I should create my title on the computer, print it out, and apply with a gel medium. Thanks Tracy for the inspiration!

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Blessings!
Donna Lee

Love With Passion -Art Journal 1:13

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Proverbs 24:10-11 If you do nothing in a difficult time,your strength is limited. Rescue those being taken off to death,and save those stumbling toward slaughter.

Love is an action. It cost us something. To love another person is to give up a part of yourself. It can mean heart break at times. The greatest love is one lays down his/her life to save another’s one life or freedom. Here in the USA many have sacrificed their lives to keep freedom in our homeland but also across the globe.

Approximately 60 days ago 230 Nigerian girls were kidnapped by an Islamic group. I have heard that some of the girls escaped, but have yet to see that story confirmed on a major news channel. These girls are being sold in slavery. Human trafficking is a huge issue all over the world. We must make our voices heard by our leaders, support rescue organizations and above all pray for those being trafficked and for justice to be done to their captors.

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To love with passion takes true love. The greatest example of true love for me is Jesus Christ. He loved each of us with the greatest passion of all.

John 15:9-17 “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. “I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you: Love one another.

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Please pray for the safety and rescue of all these young girls. Write to your leaders or call them to get their support for the rescue of these girls and of many others who are being trafficked. Push for and support maximum sentences for human traffickers. This is a form of slavery and it needs to be stopped.

The scripture below speaks loudly to me about this situation.
Proverbs 24:10-11 If you do nothing in a difficult time,your strength is limited. Rescue those being taken off to death,and save those stumbling toward slaughter.

We need to be active in speaking out against these horrible crimes against humanity. We need to educate our children and grands about who they are in Christ and make sure that they are aware of the traps often set by human traffickers. We need to support rescue operations and never back down when someone’s life is at risk. We need to help Bring Back Our Girls!

#BringBackOurGirls

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Bring Back Our Girls – Art Journal 1:9

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Today’s post breaks my heart, but once I heard about this horrific event and the monsters who claim to have kidnapped nearly 300 girls and intend to sell them I had to do something. I’ve been praying for them ever since I heard about it and wanted to take part in something that would benefit these precious daughters of God.

I learned about this from a mixed media artist, Jessica Sporn that I follow. You can see her post here. I would have loved to donate a piece of art to help raise $ for these girls, however I have limited craft time and knew I could not get it done in time to participate in this auction. I decided to do what I knew I could that would most benefit these sweet girls. PRAY (pray until something happens).

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I believe that prayer with faith in God changes lives, so I am consciously praying for each of these girls for His hedge of protection for them physically and emotionally, his provision for their rescue, and for their captors to be apprehended and brought to justice.

We don’t have a large amount of financial resources to donate to help fund the rescue efforts, but I do have a few blogs that I can write on and bring awareness to their plight and ask people to pray and do what they can to help these precious girls.

I am always inspired by Jessica Sporn and her original post in the link above is what inspired both of the pieces that I have combined into my Art Journal entry for this week.

Crafting Notes: The smaller piece above I started by painting an abstract drawing using my Grumbacher water colors (I love these!). I did this part of the painting on a piece of watercolor paper on my lunch hour in my car. I could not get these sweet girls off my mind and while I painted I prayed. It started off with a bang, but then I hit a creative brick wall. So it sat until this past Saturday…

I started my 8X5.5 Art Journal entry with some gesso and again I was inspired to paint something abstract. I gave into it and painted it. I let it dry for a few days and then made a stencil using a Tim Holtz clock die. It worked okay, but I was not terribly happy with it. Later I added another stencil layer just stippling some white gesso over it, but again I was not excited with how it was looking. You can see the white framing my smaller piece.

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Saturday morning I woke up before my sweet Grandson did and had a few minutes to myself. I prayed while making my coffee and started mulling over these two pieces of abstract art I had on my crafting island. G and I went up to my studio after breakfast and I was able to finish a card, figure out how the sketch feature on my Silhouette works (so excited about the possibilities that exist), and I got inspired to finish both of my projects in one Art Journal entry!

I went to work online looking for some images to trace. I found the image of this sweet girl and knew she was just what I needed for this project. I traced her with charcoal paper and applied a layer of white gesso on her as a base coat over the water color painting on my smaller canvas. I used a black permanent marker to outline her. I then designed her dress using permanent markers and doodling with a few different bright colors. Once I had her dress done I painted her legs and arms neck and face. I went darker with her hair and finished her by coloring the feather in her hair with a matching permanent marker. I love the way she turned out (below) and went back and cut myself a stencil of her for future projects. It was time to take G and a puppy to the park so I added a layer of gel medium to my smaller canvas and let it dry while we were gone for some much needed exercise and fun.

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Time is of the essence for these girls and the clock is ticking. I had this clock stamp in my supply bag so I stamped it twice on the mini canvas. I wanted to add some texture so I used my star stencil and a Heidi Swapp stencil with some paint and some texture paste. I pray that they can see the stars at night and know that their families and other all over the world have not forgotten them and that they are calling out to God as all of us are. The texture paste adds good dimension and a lot of texture. I like to use the old cream rub ons on this paste.

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Call To Action: Life has its share of ups and downs and unfortunately for these beautiful girls this is life threatening and altering. We know the One who can save them and deliver them from harm. I pray that you will join me in praying for them and trusting our Jehovah to keep his hedge of protection around them, deliver them from evil, and provide for their safe return home and physical and spiritual well being. God can take the worst of circumstances and turn them into good.

Thank you for stopping by today and for joining me in praying specifically for these daughters of the most high God. He alone is worthy to be praised.

Blessings and His Peace,
Donna Lee

The auction is complete and it exceeded its goal by 334%! That is just awesome! You can click on the link near the top to see all the wonderful pieces that were donated and auctioned for these sweet daughters. Thanks be to God!

David A Man After Gods Own Heart – Art Journal 1:8

The story of King David is one of my all time favorites. From his calling by God to be King of Israel (1 SAM 16) the power and strength of God in his life, his success as a result of Gods power and might, his deliverance from Saul’s many attempts on his life (1 SAM 17-23) and David’s heart as he spares Saul’s life and Gods provision for him and his family (1 SAM 24-30).

2 Samuel reminds us of Gods everlasting covenant and redemption. We can read about times of great celebration and the Lords promise of an EVERLASTING dynasty; 2 SAM 7:16 “your house and kingdom will endure before Me forever.” – speaking of Jesus Christ. We also read about David’s failures and heart break (adultery and the treason of Absalom) and most importantly we see a formerly very blessed and successful David repent and our Abba is faithful to restore him! 2 SAM 2:13 “I have sinned against The Lord.’ Then Nathan replied to David ‘the Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die'”

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Psalm 51 is a great place to read and listen to David’s heart.
1 Be gracious to me, God,
according to Your faithful love;
according to Your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.
2 Wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against You—You alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in Your sight.
So You are right when You pass sentence;
You are blameless when You judge.
5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
6 Surely You desire integrity in the inner self,
and You teach me wisdom deep within.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones You have crushed rejoice.
9 Turn Your face away[a] from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.
10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast[b] spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me,
and give me a willing spirit.[c]
13 Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways,
and sinners will return to You.
14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God,
the God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness.
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare Your praise.
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is[d] a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.
18 In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build[e] the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

Verses 10-13 are so sweet to my heart and ears. I am no Queen over anything except maybe in my StampinNScrapin studio, but I often have to go before our Father to have some heart surgery done. Life on this side of Heaven can make us cold and uncaring. We get callous and speak or think unkindly towards others. We commit acts that we know are against the will of our God. The Good News is that we have a High Priest in Jesus Christ that we can go directly to repent of our sins and be restored.

David knew how to recover from his sin. He understood there was a price to be paid. He choose not to wade in his pig pen and cry woe is me. Instead he reconciled the truth of Gods Word for himself and approached the throne admitting his sin and seeking to be restored. David exercised his faith (confident in Gods love) and asked to have his spirit renewed. We can do the same by praying this scripture back to Our Lord and Savior.

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My prayer is that you will refuse to live under the condemnation of your sins. Instead choose to repent of your sin to Him who paid the highest ransom for your life and ask him to restore you. We can overcome evil with good through Jesus. He is the Way the Truth and the Life everlasting. All who call on him, repent of their sins will not die an eternal death but will have an everlasting life.

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Crafting Notes: This weeks art journal entry started with some white gesso to cover the mixed media paper. I added a layer of turquoise paint that I applied using my old AARP membership card. This left some of the white gesso showing . I used a circle stencil and some blue paint but did not like the way it turned out, so I covered it with a layer of white gesso and let it dry then I added more turquoise paint. This left some texture on the bottom of the page which I liked. I found this sketch of Michael Angelo’s statue of David online and printed it onto some gray cardstock. I tore around him to leaving the core of the gray paper to show around the edges. He is adhered with a gel medium.

I struggled with his private parts and how to deal with it. My friend and I talked about it and I had almost come to the point of cutting some heart printed boxer shorts for him, but overnight I decided it was best to leave it alone and use my title to cover him.

In our world today there is a massive destruction of the family caused by sins of sexual nature. I am thankful for the power of God and the grace bought and paid for on the cross by Jesus for all of our sins. Gods grace covers ALL sin. One sin is no greater offense to Him who bore the cost of it than any other. I want all to know that His grace is available and it covers all of our sins and so I put the name of God over this part of anatomy. I do not intend it as disrespectful. It is Jesus death on the cross that covers all of us and He looks at our sin no more when we repent of it and ask to be restored. Jesus death was not pretty. Our sin is not pretty, but it is covered by the sacrifice of The Lamb of God.

The heart stencil is one of my favorites to use and this time I can use them for part of my title. I used some ultramarine blue paint to add a few hearts. My title is stamped using some clear stamps from my stash. I believe that both sets are from Technique Tuesday. I stamped the title on some scraps from some Gelli prints I made a few weeks ago and cut the ends to look like banners. I used more of the Gelli print scraps for my journaling on the back and I really like how they look and the interest it adds interest to a project.

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May you have a blessed week and some happy craft time in the midst of it!

Blessing and His Peace,
Donna Lee

FAITH 101 – Art Journal 1:7

Wow, it’s been a busy 2 weeks! Not to mention a very emotional couple of weeks as well, but I will share about that later as I am sure it will make it’s way into my art journal. I am letting go and allowing the Holy Spirit to be my guide in this art journal journey. The study of The Word has been amazing in itself and such a great comfort and very energizing at times. If you been on this type of journey, there is almost always some spiritual warfare going on when we dig deeper into The Word. Dealing with that has been hard, but I am turning it all over to God to handle moment by moment. I am behind, but we will see what tomorrow brings!

Last weeks page was finished last Sunday, but I had to journal it and that did not happen until early this morning as I waited for my Grandson to get up.

From an art perspective, this entry was about using some resist embossing and some new stencils with paints, charcoal pencil, and a sharpie. I worked on some shadows and was pleased with what I accomplished, however I realize I have some work to do in this area.

The Word study was FAITH.

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We all are given a measure of faith. Faith can and should manifest itself in our everyday lives. Below are ways that were revealed to me.

Faith in the power of prayer. Paul prayed with faith and had a faith filled expectation (power of expectation) that God would do what He promised.

Isaiah 29:14 ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Because Gods foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and Gods weakness is stronger than human strength” 1 Cor 1:25 We cannot rely on the worlds wisdom or power, but only on our Abba with our measure of faith and exercising our belief in Him. Expect God to do what He has promised.

Pray Gods promises back to him (remind him) with faith and expectation that He is going to fulfill His promises. Refuse to have a wait and see attitude! Voice your expectation to Him who is waiting to show you mercy and is rising up to show you compassion. IS 30:18

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The backside of this page was sprayed with some paint spray that has a little shimmer to it. I started with a great stencil that has large dots on it and the gray/silver metallic spray paint. I over sprayed it and let sit on the page and stencil for a few minutes as I wanted the paint to puddle. I like how it worked! Sorry I did not take a photo before adding more layers to show you the full effect.

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I put down a positive stencil of a woman and one of a bird in a cage with some flower vines on it, and sprayed with a lilac shimmer paint. It worked perfectly around the woman but not so great on the bird cage.

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An art journal is the best place to learn what works and what does NOT work so it’s all good and fun! Things don’t always happen the way we planned or prayed for in life and sometimes it works out and sometimes not so much. My faith in God is what keeps me grounded and steady. When life goes horribly against all that I want or have prayed for, I want to scream. Instead I choose to get quiet and get on my knees. What I cannot handle, I know that my Heavenly Father can.

While I am waiting on The Lord I am staying spiritually fit. I do this with several daily doses of His Word. I pray constantly. All day long when things are happening or thoughts are in my head or I feel something in my heart or spirit, I ask Him about it and give it over to Him. And last but not least I wait with a positive expectation for His provision and blessings and make time to be still and listen for Him to speak. IS 40:31 says that we who wait upon The Lord will renew our strength, soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. This is where the energy comes from. Faith pleases God! Hebrews 11:6 says He is the rewarder of those who seek him. When we are seeking and serving The Lord his provision is coming.

Romans 14:23 reminds us that everything we do that is not in faith we do in sin! Ouch!!! Pray before you act or commit. If you do not have His peace about what you prayed about, do not do it! He is faithful to guide you and will give you His peace if you seek him and ask Him. PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens.

Our faith must be firmly and deeply rooted in Gods Word. Know His promises. A tree that will see many generations has strong and deep roots. Our roots need to be firmly planted in The Word. Expect (wait patiently, preparing) for Him to give what you have asked for or to show you what you did not ask for that is better than your request. We don’t always know what or how to pray in circumstances, but we have the Holy Spirit who intercedes and prays on our behalf.

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I like owls! When I see or think about owls, wisdom comes to mind. The Word says to ask God for His wisdom and he will give it to you! Luke 21:15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
1 Cor 1:30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
Ephesians 1:17
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Wisdom is a fantastic word study to do. To get started follow this link.

After I sprayed a little blue shimmer paint and dried it with my heat gun I used my new stencil with some brown paint. One owl each for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Owls are watching. They stay focused and are aware of what is going on around them. If you are listening, you will hear them. We have the presence of the Holy Spirit to watch for us on this earth. He is our guide until God will send the Son to resurrect his church. If we are disciplined, staying focused, and listening we will hear Him and our lives will be blessed for it.

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Let us hold fast to the confession of our faith! Heb 4:14 Trust only in The Lord. 2 Cor 5:7 Live by faith. I added these children to this page to represent our childlike faith. Dispute or rebuke your doubts or negative thoughts by confessing Gods promises for your life and others. Faith in Him allows us to wait patiently. Heb 16 Faith works through love – Gal 5:6 Faith produces results. Luke 7:50 We are healed by faith. Luke 17:19.

I have been fascinated with gears. As I added these to this page and embossed them with clear embossing powder, I was pondering how God has used all the twist and turns in my life to mold me into who I am today. Everything works together for the good of those who trust in Him. As we believe, so we become! Faith is a deal changer and worth your time to study it. I use a few different bibles and concordances and Strongs Concordance. Looking at the Hebrew and Greek words for faith is eye opening and I encourage you to do this. I try to not spend time focused on the past, except to see where I was and praise God for where he has moved me to. The past is good for knowing what choices not to make again, but it’s easy to dwell there in the familiar territory and get in murky mud of past grief and mistakes. Instead see them as gears for moving you into the person He has destined you to be.

I pray that you have a blessed week and a week filled with opportunities to seek Him and do what you love.

Blessings,
Donna Lee

You Have Turned My Mourning Into Dancing – Art Journal 1:6

Today’s Art Journal entry was inspired by Tracy Weinzaple Mixed Monday event. The April challenge over on the Facebook Page is to create using a song as inspiration.  My song is This Is How We Overcome.  We have had a very tragic event touch our lives this year and we are grieving the loss of one we loved and opened our home to for a time a couple of years ago. It’s been a difficult time to say the least, but with the Holy Spirits help and the comfort of God I am able to move forward and dance!

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I love the Sermon On The Mount (The Beatitudes) and was listening to them on Bible Gateway one morning on my ride to the office and decided to do some searching for teachings on this sermon by Jesus.  I came across some Podcast by Joyce Meyer and have been able to listen to two of them (I think there 4 or 5 total). I love the way God uses people to speak to our hearts and give us exactly what we need as we need it.

My page is covered with some tissue paper from 7 Gypsies that has destinations all over the world printed on it in different fonts. It adds a great base for my background and some texture.  As I was looking for the media I would use on this weeks art journal entry, I was reminded that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all the world to hear.  It’s part of the Great Commission we believers are given. The Gospel is to be shared all over the earth by those of us who love, know, and worship Him. I went searching in my studio closet and found some old tools that are great for adding texture.  Our study time sometimes needs a dusting off and perhaps we need to look in our closets or resources that are available to us that we may not have used before.  That said, I use the Word to measure everything that comes from the Preachers and speakers I hear or listen to. It’s a great measuring rod.

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I heated up the little heart shaped stamp pad that easily attaches to the stylus and then stamped it on this flat stamp and held it firmly for a minute or two. Using some black Stazon ink I was able to add another layer and some visual texture.  I love that when I am working in my Art Journal I don’t have to stress over each element being ‘perfect’. It’s a place I can work and try different techniques (old and new) and not stress over it.  My prayer time with Jesus is that way. I can just pour my heart out about anything and everything.  He knows me better than I know myself, and I am greatly comforted by that.

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I used some purchased stencils and a few home made stencils.  I love the way my home made dancer turned out.  I laid my hand made stencil down and taped the edges and then used a MS Dauber and some gesso to fill the space. After some drying time and adding my title I was ready to use more of the stencils on my dancer and the page. The stars that are blue are made with some modeling paste that has a glossy finish and I added some turquoise paint to it for color. I also used some bubble wrap with acrylic paints.

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As I was making this dancer stencil, I thought of King David who danced before the Lord.  Talk about a man who had many ups and downs in life.  Tragic events and consequences galore! God says that he was a man after His own heart.  God knew what choices David would make (good and awful) and loves him anyway. That is the God we love and serve. He loves us despite our sinful nature. How blessed (happy) are we who love Him! King David was a man that learned to ‘begin again’ after a tragic event.  He was not going to give up because he made up his mind that it was not ever an option.

When bad things happen we get a choice of attitude. We can begin again or we can allow our circumstances to make us bitter. We have to choose to be an ‘overcomer’ of our current circumstances.  When we are in the process of mourning (death, loss of job, dissolved marriage, family struggle, strife at work, betrayal) we cannot see what God is doing. I think this is because we are focused on mourning.  We can rest assured that God is working in the midst of our grieving and is right there with us.  Calling out to God was all that I could do in this last loss of a loved one.  I was going through the motions of living daily life, but inside I felt empty and numb.  I was in disbelief, the WHY mode, the anger, and then sheer grief of the loss and his suffering.

For me and I think others, this mourning process can be a time of spiritual growth.  The only ONE who could possibly help me was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  King David understood this. All you have to do is spend time reading or listening to Psalms. The only comfort that helped me was the comfort of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  When we are willing to go through the grieving process with Him, there is a testimony in the making. Anytime there is a testimony, it means there was a test. We learn obedience to God in the midst of our mourning. Hebrews 5

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I used a small clear butterfly stamp from a Fancy Pants to remind me of the cycle of life and the hope of Heaven.  We have to hold firm to the truth of God’s Word. Joseph had a dream about his life and unfortunately for him shared it with his family. As a result of that he was sold into slavery and suffered much.  In the midst of his tragedies (yes more than just one!) he remained faithful to God he believed in a knew intimately. It would have seemed easier at times to give up, but he knew God was faithful and even if it cost him his life his mind was made up that he was going to be obedient to God. God understood that Joseph had what it took to survive the tragedies that would come upon him and all of that part of the world.  He needed one who would be steadfast, faithful, and obedient even unto death.  God promoted him and eventually reunited him with his family.  God not only restored Joseph, but promoted and blessed him many times over.

As I think about David and Joseph and the obstacles that they had to overcome I know the ONLY way that they could be an overcomer was by the power of God himself.  It takes a person who humbles himself before the Lord. On the back of my art journal entry this week I added the 2nd verse of the chorus to my inspiration song as well as some characteristics of one who is meek (gentle) minded.  While none of us are perfect, we know that God’s help and our faithful obedience we to can be an overcomer and do great things for the Kingdom of God here on earth as it will be in Heaven.

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What I’ve learned in this journey is that I do not know the answers to all of my WHY questions, but I do know the ONE who can turn my mourning into dancing.