Tuesday, June 29
Hey ya'll! I am working on growing my blog. My next goal is 30 followers.
As soon as I get to 30, on my blog, I will be giving away another painting!
You can sign up through Yahoo, Google account and Twitter.
FREE ART FRIDAY when I get to 30 followers. Be looking back at the blog to see where we are so you don't miss the Free Art Friday Question Mark! And the painting that I will unveil I am giving away!
Monday, June 28
Hey friends! It's a great day to praise the LORD and it's Manna Monday again! No better thing to do than to set our hearts toward memorizing God's word. It's always makes for a great start to our week! Our focus is to memorize Psalm 139 in its entirety. We can do it! Let's not grow weary but press on toward hiding God's word!
1 O LORD You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3 You discern my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Let's take a look at a few cross references to Psalm 139:5.
- Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them."
- Psalm 125:2, "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people."
- Cross reference to Psalm 125:2 is Psalm 121:8 which says, "The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever."
Friday, June 25
Congrats to Leslie Harper this week!
She won the painting!
Her answers were:
City of God- Psalm 46:4
Zion- Zec. 8:3 (NIV)
Faithful City- Isaiah 1:26(NIV)
Thanks to everyone who answered the question this week! It was lots of fun! All of you were correct in your answers. It was a time issue for those of you who didn't win. Just keep watching and checking in to see when the question will come up for Free Art Friday.
Okay, let's get on to sharing the names of Jerusalem. Did you know there were 70 names for Jerusalem? Some sources say 72.
Here are just a few names:
Jebus- (Josh. 18:28)
City of David- (2 Sam.5:7)
Salem- (Gen. 14:18)
City of God-(Psalm 46:4)
Holy Mountain-(Daniel 9:16,20)
City of Truth- (Zech. 8:3)
The LORD our Righteousness-(Jer. 33:16)
Jehovah- Shammah (Ezekiel 48:35)
City of the Great King (Psalm 48:2)
The Joy of the whole earth (Lam. 2:15)
The Throne of the LORD (Jer. 3:17)
City of David ( 2 Sam. 5:7)
Also, it was known by the name of all it's gates.....and many many more names.
When you read the names given to Jerusalem in the Bible, you can see it's a very special city to the LORD. One of the names I treasure is "the joy of the whole earth." Imagine gathering in the New Jerusalem and rejoicing together with the LORD one day! How wonderful that will be! Reading these names can give you a different perspective than what you see portrayed on tv about Jerusalem.
Thanks to all who have responded this week! Be looking for more trivia and don't forget to tell your friends to sign up and become a follower so they can win free art too!
Tuesday, June 22
Jerusalem is a special city in Israel. The bible mentions it a lot.
State three NAMES(there actually are more than three....) the bible gives to Jerusalem.
When you give a name, also give the reference to where it is found in scripture.
Have fun digging for scripture treasure!
This is the artwork I am giving away for the answer to this question. Enjoy!
There's a group from my church leaving for Europe tommorrow. The team will be doing a kids camp and there will be limited opportunities to share the gospel. They need lots of prayer. Even though we can't go with them, we can still pray and get in on God's kingdom work. Say a prayer for the team. They will be gone for an entire week.
- safe travels
- clarity in sharing love of Jesus
- new connections to be made for missionaries presently living in the area with families whose children attend the camp.
We've got GOOD news to share! Let's not keep it to ourselves. Ask God for boldness to share His great message with those around us. There's lots of work to be done. People NEED the LORD!
Monday, June 21
We're starting our week out on the right foot, by making scripture memory a priority. What's better for our hearts and minds than to be filled with the word of God? Nothing! The more we begin our week(s) like this, the better our attitude and focus will be throughout the week.
Okay, we're memorzing Psalm 139. So, to to help our memorization, buy a spiral notecard holder(one that flips) and write down each verse in order. Take it with you wherever you go. This is a great way to help you look at each verse and memorize each one in order. Keep it close to you and every now and then take it out and focus on trying to say verse by verse aloud.
The more verses we add, the harder it will become. But don't give up. That's why the spiral notecard holder will come in handy. Stick to it and ask the LORD to help you.
Here's what we've memorized so far:
1 LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
3 You discern my going out and and my lying down,
And are familiar with all my ways.
4 "Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. "
Psalm 139 is a Psalm of David. The focus of this Psalm is God's Omnipresence and Omniscience. (His presence and His ability to know everything) Today's verse speaks about how God knows what we are going to say before we even say it aloud. Think about it. Who knows you like God? Who knows what you are going to say before you even say a word?
A cross reference to Psalm 139:4 is Hebrew 4:13 which says, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, ....." This verse also speaks about God's ability to know everything and see everything. Every part of your life, HE knows it. He sees it. There is nothing HE is not aware of. Just when we have our pity parties and think no one cares or no one knows us, no one understands.....we can't say that because scripture tells us GOD knows it all. Everything. We are never out of His sight and never out of His care.
As you go about your week, remember, even before you open your mouth, God knows what you are going to say. Because He knows you, He also loves you. You are His prized creation. Stand in awe of His perfect knowledge.
Embrace Him and treasure the truth that He really really knows you!
Sunday, June 20
Saturday, June 19
As I was watching an old Billy Graham sermon on television tonight, my mind got stuck on something he said. Billy was talking about knowing Jesus and said, "we love Him, though we've never seen him." He didn't quote the verse, but the Holy Spirit helped me recall the scripture to mind.
1 Peter 7:8-9 says, "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.(ESV)
Sometimes I forget I've never seen Jesus with my very own eyes. I am not crazy... I know I have never seen Him with my physical eyes. But, tonight when Billy Graham said, "we love Him, though we've never seen him," it hit me how real Jesus is to me everyday. I know He's real, but sometimes I become comfortable with knowing Him and forget how AWESOME it is that I know Him.... and I have never seen Him. Day in and day out, He is REAL. REAL. REAL to me everyday. How amazing is that? How wonderful is that? That is the power of the gospel, the power of Christ..living in me.Living in you.
Did you catch the last part of 1 Peter 7:9?
We rejoice with joy. It's inexpressible and filled with glory. Inexpressible joy --it's that sense you have when you think about Jesus and your heart rejoices at the thought of Him, at the reading of His word. Joy isn't a feeling, because feelings are fleeting. Joy is what we are given by God through knowing Jesus. It's the outcome of our faith.
Think about how amazing it is that we can love Jesus even though we've never seen Him. It will make you stand in awe of how wonderful and powerful the gospel is. Maybe it's me, but I was just amazed tonight and thanked God for reminding me of how awesome it is to know Him as Father and have a REAL relationship with Him. Thank you God!
I know this is not what the real Jesus looks like, but it's the best I can do to draw Him. How wonderful that day will be when I will see Him face to face!
Wednesday, June 16
Psalm 4:8 says,"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." When I can't sleep at night this verse is a great comfort. When I can't sleep, God knows what's keeping me up. What a comfort it is to consider that He knows all the things that are on my mind.
As we've been learning Psalm 139:3 this week which says, "you discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways" let us consider this: God not only knows what is going on in our mind, He is able to discern every thought. His knowledge of our frame of mind is absolutely perfect.
Who else has perfect knowledge of us? No one.
Don't give up memorizing scripture. Let's commit this to mind and hide God's perfect word in our heart. We can become more confident that God knows us by learning Psalm 139 which tells us that He knows us.
Tuesday, June 15
For a first grader to know the word eternal and desire to write it on a bandana in arts and crafts completely blew my mind last week at VBS.
What a word.
What a simple reminder of who God is...eternal. What a reminder of what He give us- salvation, eternal life.
What a reminder of the eternal hope we have in Christ. We live with an eternal hope everyday. Take a look at some verses that biblically remind us about how the bible defines the word eternal:
The Gift of Salvation is Eternal
[ For God So Loved the World ] "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
God's Power and Divine Nature are Eternal
"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
Things Unseen are Eternal
2 Corinthians 4:18
"as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
Our Heavenly Home is Eternal
2 Corinthians 5:1
[ Our Heavenly Dwelling ] "For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Take Hold of the Eternal Calling
1 Timothy 6:12
"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
What a powerful reminder of what the word eternal means to our lives today, tomorrow and for eternity! Although we've been encouraged by searching the scriptures about the word eternal, the bible also talks about it in another light:
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matthew 25:41
As we walk about our day, let us not forget our calling to share the message of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Monday, June 14
Sunday, June 13
FAILURE...screamed loudly accusing me of being a horrible homemaker. (Whoa, Whoa....wait.. that's not what I need to be thinking.) My sweet husband reminded me that I was not a failure. I had been busy doing kingdom work. He reminded me of the JOY I experienced teaching God's word. Yes....the joy of teaching God's word was gettting covered by the unrealistic expectations of having a perfect home.
So three washes later, I had a clean sink!
This post is not an excuse to have a dirty home, but it did remind me to keep a real perspective about times when life gets a little busy. So, I was able to laugh at my kitchen (it didn't look like my favorite magazines... Southern Living, Traditional Home, Country French..... )because I understood life was real and real life needed to have real expectations. I am not super woman or Martha Stewart. I'm just Ashley and I can't do everything all the time. My home doesn't look like a magazine and that is ok! All I could do was start one wash at a time. Looking at the entire covered sink kept me from remembering the JOY I experienced teaching little ones about Jesus.That was way more important than keeping the sink clean one day.
Thank you God for still using me even when my sink is an absolute mess.
Tell me of a time when GOD still used you despite your unrealistic expectation.
Friday, June 11
Needless to say, I let God stretch my servant's heart by getting out of my comfort zone. I like working with women and adults. I sing in the choir. That is where I'm supposed to be .....so my mind would think. Serving in those areas makes sense to me. But when I listen to God, I know exactly what I am to do. So, when I was asked to teach VBS, I said "yes" with a little hesitation. The hesitation came from my lack of experience in working with children. I love them, but I didn't know what to expect. I could have let that feeling lead me to refuse the invitation. Friends, I would have missed what all God would teach me with those littles ones! I am so glad I didn't let my FEELINGS rule over my choices.
Is God trying to stretch your servant's heart? Is he calling you into a new area of service where you FEEL a lack of experience and expertise? Don't let feelings lead you away from serving in a new area in the body of Christ. HE will equip you for service. You will miss what God want's to teach you if you give in to what's comfortable and predictable. You will miss the opportunity for God to stretch your heart to allow more room to love others as He would love them.
As always, I am looking to share new art with you. This is the last day of craft time at VBS. The children were writing on their bandana's the weekly verse John 5:24a "Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has eternal life."
There's nothing more precious than a child's hands writing scripture and hearing their little mouths say it aloud.
Wednesday, June 9
Enter with a smile....If you were to enter our Vacation Bible School room one of the first things you would see is this precious sign posted on the doorframe. I didn't put it there, but it remains. One of the youth that helped us decorate last week was determined to make this sign and place it on our door. I am so glad he made it!
God is always teaching me lessons through the people around me- especially children and youth. So, as I envisioned my door to look a certain way, this sign was added upon it's completion. When I stood back and looked at it... I just smiled. Why? Because the youth had added a uniqueness to our door that I hadn't thought about. The message was exactly what everyone needed to be reminded of as they entered into our room every morning. The sign was not my vision for the door. It was the idea of a teen. Thank you God for reminding me of what's really important( it's not the decorations!)
Tuesday, June 8
The Art of a Child
The theme is Coyote Canyon(western theme.. yeee-hawww!) I took a few pics of some of the children's art. Because I LOVE art, there is nothing more precious to see than the art of a child. Hope you enjoy!
Not quite sure what this was, but I liked the blue outlining of the bandana.
Monday, June 7
Sunday, June 6
The theme this year is a western theme. Here is my fireplace. The inside of our room looks like a ranch house. Use black paper and cut out gray shapes of construction paper and tape onto the paper.
Friday, June 4
Working on something new in my studio. Can't wait to see how it will turn out! Stay tuned for more!
Don't forget the scripture verse we are learning this week:
"O Lord, you have searched me and
known me." Psalm 139:1
Was driving in my car today pondering this verse and saying it aloud. This came to mind,"God, you know everything about me. My hopes, my dreams, my fears, my joys. My sin. My motives. You know my thoughts when I rise and when I go to sleep. You know all things. You know my present, past and future. You know everything."
Thank you God for being a personal God who not only knows us but is ABLE to be known.
Keep thinking about the scripture and placing it before your eyes everyday. Think about it, say it, treasure it.
Thursday, June 3
In John 6, we find Jesus performing miracles on those who were sick. Then, he went up the mountain with his disciples and sat down (I can only imagine after a long day of work, the last thing you would want to see is a large crowd coming towards you!). Then the text abruptly goes into Jesus asking Phillip a question,"Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?" Phillip replied, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to recieve a little." He was focusing on the circumstance (which was a large hungry crowd) and not on the one who had the power to provide for the large hungry crowd.
He was with JESUS. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Living Water, the Door, the Bread of Life. He can do anything! Yet, he didn't ask Jesus what He could do with the small fish and loaves. He logically thought about how he could fix the problem.
Friends, let's not fall into the same trap. We don't have all the answers. Let's bring it to Jesus and give it to Him. He can do anything!
Wednesday, June 2
"for we walk by faith, not by sight-" 2 Corinthians 5:7
Have you ever remembered something so far back you can't believe you remember it at all? That's what happened to me the other day.
I remember playing pin the tail on the donkey at a birthday party when I was four years old. The blindfold.. trying to pin the tail on the donkey... all of it frustrated me. I wanted to pin it exactly on the tail and if it wasn't going to turn out that way I didn't want to keep playing. But that should not have made me stop trying.
We're all tempted at some point to look towards what we see. It's then, we need to stop, look up and place our focus back on God.
If you find yourself struggling at what your life looks life right now, look up. Be encouraged. God is working. He has not forgotten you. He is with you. His word says in1 Corinthians 13:12 says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."
Phillippians 3:12 sayssays,"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus."
Press on. One day we will see a greater reality. When you're close to giving up or becoming frustrated because of what you see, press on. Lay hold of what Jesus has given through salvation.