Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 116 . . . Praise

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ, where all of our challenges are based on scripture. This week's hostess is our beloved sister Rebekka who has selected this verse from Job 13:15 "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Her challenge is to make a card that praises our God and Savior.

My creation this week is actually a junior legal notepad cover; the notepad can be used to keep track of prayer requests or as a thankfulness journal thanking God for the daily blessings he bestows.

I heard something this week on the radio that put Rebekka's challenge and verse in mind.

When I was a child one of the hymns we sang often at church was called "Now Thank We All Our God." The first two verses are as follows:

Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.

2. O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us still in grace,
and guide us when perplexed;
and free us from all ills,
in this world and the next.

Notice especially the first verse, how it is filled with praise to our Lord! Until this past week though, I never had heard the story of the man who penned those lyrics.

His name was Martin Rinkart and he was a provincial clergyman in Ellenburg, Saxony, during the thirty years war. In addition to the calamities associated with any conflict, in 1637 the plague hit his village and in that one year 8,000 people died, including Rinkart's wife. He alone conducted more than 4,000 funerals for the people of that area, in one year. Then the plague was followed by famine, followed by foreign troops demanding 'tribute.' The list or troubles never seems to end.

Like Job, if anyone had cause to whine or bury their head in their hands and sob aloud, it was Rinkart. Yet the hymn you see printed above was his response. As much trouble as we face in our lives, it would be hard to come up with a list as impressive as Rinkart's or Job's. And what is our response? Job's story and Rinkart's story that I heard on the radio, give me some food for thought as to my response when I am facing my own short list of troubles.

Our sponsor this week is Pizzazz Aplenty and you need to visit that shop, some very cool items are in stock. And please do visit our home page where you can read Rebekka's thoughts on her chosen verse and see some great creations from the rest of the design team.

Thanks for looking, hope you can play along!

Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs (border strip), Clear Dollar Stamps (sentiment), Rubber Stamp Tapestry (pine cones, branches, etc.)
Paper: Olive green, Echo Park DP, PTI vintage cream, Fine Linen, gold
Ink: black, Kiwi Kiss, True Thyme, tan, Ranger distress ink (sponged), chocolate (PTI)
Other: cuttlebug embossing folder, vintage corner die, ODBD die to match stamp

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Divas by Design . . . monochrome

Does anyone else get that Simon and Garfunkel song stuck in their heads when they see that word? "kodachrome gives us those nice bright colors . . ."

If you didn't before, you do now! Our challenge for Divas by Design this fortnight is to make a monochromatic card! Any color you please, I chose bluish-purple all based on the DP I had in my stash. Reminds me of a wintery night, but the cozy house and friendship help warm up even the coldest winter.

Hope you can hop in and play! We look forward to seeing your creations!

Stamps: Waltzingmouse
Ink: black, silver
Paper: random scraps, purple and blue CS
Other: ribbon, MS chunky glitter, oval punch, silver EP, snowflake punch, Fiskars corner punch/embosser

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 115 . . . Give Thanks

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. Our lovely and friendly hostess this week is Traci, who selected this verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Our sponsor is SImon Says Stamp. And Traci's challenge is to Create a card or project that depicts can be an image of something you are grateful for, a scripture that evokes your gratitude, or it can be a card made especially for a person you would like to thank this time of year!!

Be sure to check out the home page to see the rest of the creations by the SSIC design team and to read Traci's devotional on her chosen scripture.

I am so glad that November rolls around. Every year I make the commitment to keep a thankfulness journal and every year I start with fresh zeal only to have that idea fall by the wayside as life's problems start to mount and my vision of all my blessings grows dim. November, because of Thanksgiving, is always a jolt to the negative mindset and provides fresh perspectives. Each week it seems that the scripture verse one of my Stampin' Sisters selects is just what I needed to hear.

This week I am reminded again of all that I have in my life and I chose this cute house image from Waltzingmouse Stamps because in this blustery and cold time of year I am very thankful that God has provided us with a home. It has well sealed windows too, but that's just a bonus. We have a roof over our heads and that is not to be taken for granted. What are you thankful for today?

Stamps: Waltzingmouse (house), MFP (sentiment)
Ink: Memento black
Paper: Echo Park, PTI
Other: copics, glitter, ribbon

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stampin' Sisters in Christ challenge 114 . . .What's Old is New Again

Happy Sunday stampers! It is time for another challenge from Stampin' Sisters in Christ. I am the hostess this week and our wonderful sponsor is Clear Dollar Stamps, offering a $15 gift certificate to one randomly selected participant in this week's challenge. My chosen verse is from Genesis 3:6 "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it."

My challenge is for you to dig into your stash and use one of your first, or oldest stamp sets to create your project.

Here are my thoughts for this week:

Eve took the apple. That is one of many important messages in this entire story from Genesis. Why is it significant?

My daughter recently visited a friend’s after school group at a local church. Among the other activities they gave the kids a mini-message. All the kids in the room, they were told, were good apples. But sometimes in life, bad apples come along who tempt us to do bad things. It isn’t our fault, it just happens. (I found out later that same week that the pastor of that church in a talk with his congregation had thrown the bible down on the floor by the pulpit and told them they wouldn’t be using it anymore.)

No, we’re not all born as good apples. We all are born with sin. Our greatest strivings, the best behavior we can possibly conjure up on our own cannot hope to reach the perfection that exists in God. And we alone fall to temptation; it is not the responsibility of other people. This line of thought leads to salvation by works, not by grace. “If I can just remain a good, unblemished apple . . . “ But we cannot earn our way to heaven. Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Notice how quickly the blame game started, all the way back in Genesis. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God himself, by implication, for placing Eve there. But as it says in James 1:13 “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.’”

Eve and Adam blamed others for their choice to disobey, to sin. And my daughter’s visit to that local church illustrates that the blame game, while as old as Adam and Eve, is still alive and well today. We still blame others or our circumstances for our own sins.

Insert your own name into that first sentence. “I” took the apple. I held temptation in my hand and then bit into it. I am a sinner.

There are so many problems with the blame game, but one primary issue is that as long as a person plays the blame game, “Its not my fault!” and can shove it onto another source, there is no acknowledgment that yes, I am a sinner. A sinner needs a savior. A sinner turns to Christ. Someone who blames other people or circumstances for their own actions not only gets stuck in a rut (a bad pattern for life) but never has a reason to turn to Christ for their salvation, they turn to excuses. Where have you turned?

This week’s challenge focuses on the fact that what is old is new again. Satan often recycles the same old messages and we don’t want to get caught up in the blame game that started way back in the garden of Eden! To remind us of this, pull out one of your oldest stamp sets, one of the first ones you ever bought and use it in a card.

I used the sketch from this past week's Mojo Monday challenge, I love their sketches, for me, a sketch gets the mojo going better than almost any other type of challenge. Mojo 213 right here.

Stamps: Garden Collage (SU)
Ink: Kaleidacolor Berry Blaze, Stazon brown, Antique Linen
Paper: PTI Autumn Rose and Fine Linen, Basic Grey Indian Summer
Other: spellbinders, prima roses, pearls, copic R99, PTI scarlet jewel satin ribbon, PTI tintype impression plate