Monday, October 31

Free Art Friday This Friday!

I have been working on some Fall giveaways. YAY! I have had so much fun! So that means Free Art Friday this Friday!

Here's how to enter Free Art Friday.
First, you must be a member of Joy Treasure to enter. You can join by clicking on "Follow this Blog" box under the Facebook box on the left hand column. You can also click on the blue box that says, "Join this site" and connect thru Google.

Second, Open the comment box under this post. Leave your entire name. Your name will be taken and placed in a bowl and

Third, Free Art Friday begins Monday October 31st at 8am and will run until Thursday evening November 4th at 10pm. I will have my son draw names from a bowl this Friday morning and will post the name by 9:30am.

The giveaway is a mixed media painting on a 6X6 canvas. It can be placed on a small easel and placed in a guest bathroom, on the kitchen counter, on a side table in your living room. It's fun and funky but a true reminder of who we are to give thanks to- God!  Can't wait to give this one away!
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onetimeblind - The Stool

Love this from onetimeblind. How often do we move Jesus out of the way when it comes to the choices we make in our daily lives. The struggle is real. The Apostle Paul wrote about his sin struggle (Romans 8). BUT each day we have been given a new day to draw nearer to Jesus and give him complete control of our lives. ENJOY! (video 2 minutes).
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Manna Monday-The Gift of 86,400 seconds

Quote taken from (
86, 400 seconds. That's the amount of time we have been given in each day to say "thank you" to God, to our family and friends. It's saying "thank you" to people who do little things for us like carrying out our groceries or changing the oil in our car. It's looking for the moment, the tiniest moment, to give thankfulness as a gift to someone else. Each day is a gift from our creator and life is short. And we often take the life we have been given for granted. We don't mean to. But we do. The Bible says, "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath." Psalm 39:5. With that being said, we should be embracing life, embracing every second as if it were a gift.
 a life change. What if you woke up every morning embracing the time the day to be thankful instead of being discouraged, angry, jealous, envious, bitter, or doubting God? Imagine what could happen in your life if you embraced thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. 86,400 seconds....that's what we've been given.  Yet, we are apt to think the opposite way and say, "I don't have time" or "I will say thank you later."
When we say "thank you" we are saying to another person, "I appreciate you. You are of value to me. What you have done for me has not gone unnoticed."

The Bible leads us in the way of thankfulness. It instructs us what to thank God for. Psalm 118:1 says, "Give thanks to the LORD for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." The Psalmist in Psalm 118 continues to thank God for the following:
  • "The LORD answered me and set me in a large place" (v.5).
  • "The LORD is for me..." (v.6).
  • "the LORD helped me" (v.13).
  • "The LORD is my strength and song (v. 14).
  • "He has become my salvation" (v. 14)
  • "This is the day which the LORD has made" (v. 18)
  • The LORD is God and He has given us light" (v. 27)
An attitude of thankfulness is fostered by reading the Bible. The longer we live our lives away from the Bible, the easier it will be to become ungrateful. No doubt we will find many things in the Bible to thank God for which will in turn spill over into our living. When we thank God, we are acknowledging Him and not ourselves. When we thank God we are living in obedience. Obedience to God brings blessings. I believe we miss many blessings in our lives because we are selfish and disobedient. These are the two things that lie at the root of ungratefulness. Our greatest example, Jesus, thanked His Heavenly Father: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me" (John 11:41-42). If He took time to thank God so can we. Embrace each day with thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. And remember:

(Picture taken by me!)
What will you do with your 86, 400 seconds today? Will your seconds be filled with thankfulness or ungratefulness?

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Friday, October 28

Favorite Things Friday

I always love when friends share with me things they "like."
I often find if they "like" something, I will like it too.
So when I don't have a Free Art Friday on Joy Treasure, I will post "Favorite Things Friday."
I will share some of my favorite things with you, my friends.
But I want to hear from you too!
I want to know your favorite things and share them with Joy Treasure friends.

Here are a few of mine:

It took almost 20 years for me to like coffee, but I caved in. Now, this is my favorite! After a friend shared this with my family, we now only buy Community Coffee. I like the coffee and chicory but I also like the breakfast blend. I have tried to go back to other coffee's but once you try it, you will agree it truly tastes better.

I am giving up my secret- Aveda Control force hairspray! I have never been a gal who likes fancy hairspray or makeup, but once I tried this, I lost the "clumps of hairspray hair" from drugstore hair sprays. I cannot live without it. The best thing- it doesn't feel like I have hairspray on my hair. It is so light!!! Great control too!

I bought this at Target a two months ago. It has changed my life for the better! It has a magnet on the back of it which I hang on the side of my refrigerator. I pull it off and start checking. I cannot live without it!!!

I bought this little makeup organizer for my purse simply because it had pink on it! Got it at Target. Every time I open my purse, I can't help but smile because of the pink color under the zipper. Sometimes it only takes a small pop of color to make you feel good.

Ok. That's it for today!

Now it's your turn. Leave me a comment about something you like and want to share with Joy Treasure readers! I will post it in next Friday's "Favorite Things."

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Tuesday, October 25

Manna Monday: Seeing the Beauty of God through Fall

Over the past few months, I have watched the seasons change right before my very eyes. Only a God of order could arrange it to take place so effortlessly, so beautifully.The older I become, the more I love the season of fall. As I consider the beauty of God as seen through the season of fall I am reminded that He is: Creator, Sustainer, Provider, All Powerful and a God of order.

What I love about Fall
I love the colors, smells and tastes of fall.
I love the way the weather feels cool and crisp.
I love how the wind rustles through the leaves making its song of praise to our King.
I love how God reminds me He provides food for the animals (and that He will provide for me, too) when I see acorns and nuts fall to the ground.
I love how the season brings families together outside to pick pumpkins on a farm.

Pictures of Fall
As I returned from the mountains last night, I wanted to share some pics I took for you all. Take time to enjoy the beauty God has created for us to enjoy and learn to look for His fingerprint over every detail.

This is when we were coming into our destination. I couldn't resist the creativity of these bales of hay.

                                 What we got to wake up to see every morning. Beautiful, isn't it!
I couldn't resist to take a pic of this! I love fried pies (a guilty pleasure I indulge in once a year!) This was a fresh batch of homemade apple pies just made being taken to the store. I forgot to show you mine (because I ate it!). But this is what it looked like. The same God who brings fall about also created the taste of apples, spices and bread. Thank God for giving you the sense of taste!

 The picture of trees above our car as we drove through the mountains. Couldn't be any more beautiful!!!

God made these beautiful mountains. Breathtaking as I stand in awe of how powerful He is.
I couldn't resist richness of this red. God is the master artist.
A great place to have a quiet time, don't you think!!!!
Took this picture early in the am in Cades Cove. Was thinking about how God provides for every animal He has created. If He provides every basic need for them, won't He do the same for us? YES!

I leave you with this verse from Psalm 68:35: "God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God." The same God whose power brings about the changes of fall can powerfully work through His people. He is powerful. He is awesome. No one is like Him.

Slow down and look around you.
Take time this fall to consider God's incomparable beauty.
It will fill your heart with joy!
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Monday, October 10

Manna Monday- Making Memories

Manna Monday's Main Theme Verse is Psalm 118:24 which says, "This is the Day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and  be glad in it." Manna Monday exists to encourage you to think about the LORD at the beginning of your week and what is important in life rather than all the stress and things you have to "do."

Today I wanted to talk about:
Manna Monday's verse for October 10th is Philippians 2:4: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

We have been meeting with a group of other couples in our marriage mentoring group for a couple of years now. We just finished up the book, The Disciplines of a Godly Family by Kent and Barbara Hughes. I highly recommend this book! It is so practical for daily living.
Last night we discussed the next to the last chapter. It was on table manners which led a discussion about the memories that are made at the table.

We live in a society that is so fast. Families today eat on the run, keep their phone on the table and are having less time for sharing a meal together because they put their children in too many activities or they themselves in too many activities. What are we doing to ourselves? To our families?

Our mentors, an older couple in our church, reminisced over memories made at the table in their younger years. Mr. Bill told us about how his parents had big shade trees in their yard. His parents would open up their farm to welcome guests to come over after church and eat under those trees. They would set up tables and eat there. What a vivid picture he described. As I listened to him, I could picture myself there alongside him because of his passionate description. It was a memory that he cherished. It made an impact on my heart. I thought, "what kind of memories am I making for my son? For our family?" What would stand out to him as he grows up?

Going out to eat on Sunday's is something we do as a family. But does that really make memories? I would say "no." But having people over to our home on a consistent basis and having a home cooked meal....that makes memories. Cooking a Sunday meal makes memories. It takes work. But it does make memories.

I know life is busy. Crazy. But as I grow older, I come to see that I want to leave something behind for my son to cherish; like Mr. Bill cherished the memory of Sunday dinner at his farm.

I am not one who likes to cook Sunday lunch, but I am convicted that Sunday is to be a day of rest. Coming home after church continues the focus on God and family, and not on other things. I can see that now. I want our family to feel like Sunday is a day that is different from the rest- a day to rest from going out. A day to be solely focused on God and family. This is what I believe is going to stand out to my son as he matures. That is a memory that I know he will remember forever. 

So I am not saying, I have arrived! By no means! I am sharing with you what God has been laying on my heart. I admit, I can't go cold turkey and just start cooking on Sundays. There is much to do. Much to prepare. This is not something I am used to doing. But I am going to begin making an effort to prepare meals beforehand on Saturdays to eat on Sundays for lunch. My feeling is to not make lunch but to be waited upon at a restaurant. I admit it. I want to think bigger and more about others (my family and others) than just about me (that I don't want to cook Sunday dinner!). I want to think about making memories for my son on Sundays. I want to promote fellowship among the body of believers by inviting them over for Sunday lunch. These are memories.

I would love to hear what you think about Sunday lunch. What are memories you remember from your childhood? What memories are you making on Sundays? Do you make meals on Sunday or go out to eat? 

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Friday, October 7

Albert Mohler talks about Joel Osteen

This article written by Albert Mohler is quite interesting.Mohler holds nothing back.

Click above to read the entire article.

He cites Joel Osteen's responses to piercing questions asked on television. If we are to be a believer, that means we have beliefs based on Scripture. Because we believe God's word is God-breathed, that means we do make judgements about life based on scripture not based on our own opinions or wanting to not stir up contreversy. Jesus stirred up controversy and made judgments based on truth. That's why the gospel was so controversial that people would crucify Him on a cross.

 Everyday we make judgments. We make judgements on whether we like the chicken sandwich from Wendy's or the chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a. We make judgements as to whether our children should spend time with this friend or that one. We make judgements based on whether watching this movie will hurt our Christian walk or not. We make judgements as to whether we should spend time with people who do not encourage us in the LORD or to choose to make friendships with those who do encourage our walk with the LORD. We do make judgments. I don't want to attend a church that makes me feel good and where everything is always a good message. Sin is real. Sin is to be dealt with. Sin separates us from knowing God. It is a barrier. To make little of it hinders my relationship with God. I am so thankful my pastor holds nothing back but points me back to my sin and to the sin of the world. He doesn't just encourage me to have a positive attitude or think happy thoughts. He leads me to see truth, believe truth, live by truth and make judgements based on the truth.

What are your thoughts about this article written by Albert Mohler. Would love to hear from you.
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Thursday, October 6

Random Thoughts from Ashley

Sometimes there just isn't a big "Oh Yeah!' blog post on my mind. I've learned to be ok with that!!!
It doesn't mean I am not searching or seeking new ideas or trying to flesh out a thought, it's just some days I just don't have a deep thought!!! Since I have been working on my writing project, the blog posts have had to take the backseat. Sometimes I have a bunch of rambling thoughts inside my mind about life. So that is what I will be sharing from time to time on:

                                                          Random Thoughts from Ashley.

                                                         Thoughts about House Cleaning
A dear friend of mine was talking about how she was taking advice from her sister-in-law on keeping the dishes clean. In the past I would load my dishwasher and if there wasn't enough room in the washer, I would leave them in my sink and clean them the next morning. But leaving them in my sink makes me feel like there is more to do when I wake up. So then, I would stay up late and load my dishwasher for a second time. So, she told me that her sister-in- law handwashed the dishes left in her sink instead of waiting to put them in the washer. WHY didn't I think of that? Well, I did think of that. But who wants to wash dishes when you have a dishwasher? I have come to see that even with this smallest household dilemma, Proverbs 31 speaks to the issue-laziness.
Proverbs 31:27 says,
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." 

As I live a life that honors God, I want to be a woman who watches over her household and not eat the bread of idleness. So I am keeping my sink clean! And it makes all the difference when I keep the sink clean for the next day. Thank goodness for good friends who can share their simple no brainer ideas about keeping a cleaner house! What is it that you are watching over in your household? Would love to hear from you!

                                                        Thoughts about the World
There are some things in life I can't change. The political issues going on around me. The economy. The culture. People.  If you look at the world and get fixated on the issues at hand, it will make you discouraged. That's not where I want to place my thoughts. I want to place them back on the Lord. I can do my part in voting, in being a good steward of the resources God has given me and in praying for my country. I can encourage others going through a difficult time, but there are things that are out of my hands. So, I look to the one who is in charge of ALL the changes and I place my hope in Him.

This week when I bought groceries, a young gentlemen walked me out to put them in my car. He was telling me about all  the deaths that had been going on around him. I asked him if I could pray for him and he said, "I'm ok. I don't need it." He proceeded to tell me his friend now was, "enlightened." He said, "he now knows all the secrets of the earth." My heart sunk. He was not a believer and his heart was so cold about death and about accepting prayer. I wish I could say I did everything right at that moment. I didn't. I was busy thinking about my daily agenda and then in the middle of my day, came an opporunity to share Christ. Isn't that just how it is! What I am going to do is continue the conversation with him each time I visit the grocery store. I know this is a heart God wants me to sow seeds of truth over. Who is it that God wants you to sow seeds of truth over?

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Wednesday, October 5

Quotes to Think On: Sin

I am always trying to stretch my brain my reading books written by the great minds of theologians and authors of long ago. Sometimes I feel like I know them, even though they are in heaven, because their godly wisdom has long since outlived them. Their wisdom has helped to guide my life. How awesome is that!!!

Recently, I was reading The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith (Barbour Publishing, 2010), 13. Originally published its first time in 1870, Hannah still speaks to me today from her book. In the first chapter, she is talking about how believers have the power to live in this world and overcome sin. She said:

You may be dealing with a sin that just keeps coming back and you don't think you will ever be able to overcome it. Trust Jesus. Bring it back to His feet. If believers were not supposed to have victory over sin and live victoriously on this earth, Jesus would have saved us and sent us right on to heaven. But we DO have power to live on this earth. We DO have the power to change. Isn't that encouraging!!!
The Bible says we are more than conquerors.

Romans 8:37 says, "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

You are not defeated if you know Jesus Christ inside your heart. You are a victor!
Search the scriptures and seek God's word about the sin that is weighing you down. Pray. Don't keep doing the same thing. Yield to the Holy Spirit and quit giving in to the same old sin. To continue on in the sin is believing that you are not a victor and that Jesus has no power to help you live in this life victoriously.

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Just for Women Wednesdays- Seeing

Sorry I missed Manna Monday...I am doing the best I can with updating Joy Treasure at this point. I know God is working in ways I cannot see and yet my heart still longs to be here more faithfully like I have been in the past. Please continue to be patient, I will be posting as much as time allows.

Today's Just for Women Wednesday's is about
It is so vitally important to spend time with other women who are believers.

There is something that happens when you spend time with other women who believe. I have made a list of a few things that have been important to me as I have spent time with fellow sisters in Christ.

1. I think the biggest lie women struggle with no matter their age is the lie, "I am all alone. No one cares about me. No one thinks about me." This is a flat out lie. It's not true! Dear one, don't believe this lie. It IS a lie.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

The evil one would love for us to become mired in the mud of this lie and stay stuck in deception rather than embrace God's truth. Not only are we not alone, God goes before us and makes a way for our path. 
One of the ways I have experienced freedom from this lie is by making it a point to fellowship with other women who are believers. When I spend time in conversation over dinner or coffee, I find I am not alone in the things I experience in my life. I find that other women too are walking through good things and bad things in life, too.

2. I am refreshed.
Every time I meet with other women through fellowship I become refreshed. It is the Holy Spirit that binds us as believers. That's why we feel connected when we talk about Jesus. I always feel better just by being in the presence of other women who believe. It is like water in a desert.

3. I laugh!
There is no better medicine than laughter. I love hearing other stories from women about their lives, their families, their workplace etc. I embrace their funny stories and they become a part of me. If you haven't spent time with a woman who can laugh, call her and make a date on the calendar to catch up. You will be blessed.

4. I learn.
When I spend time with other women who are walking though life as a believer, I grow. Their life testimonies, things they read, and how they apply scripture to every day life helps me learn how to live faithfully as a believer. When you spend time getting to know someones life story, you will be blessed. You too, will rejoice with them and be able to see God's hand at work in their life.

5. I grow.
There are those friends who just grow you to become more like Christ. Their walk with Christ is so strong that whenever you spend time with them, you leave with something to ponder in your heart. They may share something they have been reading or studying. Whatever it is, it is something they are not just saying, but are living or trying to live out.

Good Stuff! This is why I love to fellowship with my fellow sisters in Christ. They grow me to be more like Christ. They don't take things away from me. They enrich my life.

If you find yourself isolated and in need of some "girl time" make a call and set a time to meet with some fellow sisters in Christ. You need it. They need it too. Both of you will experience these benefits as you meet together. Work is always there. The schedule is always full. Time is always passing. But friendships are to be treasured and to be nourished and taken care of. Don't delay. Fellowship!!!!!

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