Made Especially For You

I enjoy making homemade cards for my friends.  Whether it is a birthday, graduation, or just because, I love finding creative expression in something I can give away.  I generally don't have a plan, so I start with an idea an go from there.  There's plenty of time to plan on the go. :)  Sorry, My pictures are bad because the lighting in my room is bad...I'll have to work on that...maybe actually get up and find a place to take the final picture.

I thought a puzzle stamp would be nice, so I made my own.  In the end though, I didn't have enough patience for the glue to dry and just used it without my make-shift knob.

I decided that I like how my "stamp" looked, so I brushed the edges with some brown ink, added a bow, and applied.  I also brushed the stamped puzzle shapes and they turned out looking crackled because of the texture of the paint. I added a measure of painted and inked music, and was almost done.

I needed some contrast for the letters I cut out of a book, so I painted another strip of music with craft paint.  Happy Birthday!

 whoops!  I don't like that...How can I save it?  I had already made the flower out of an old book and songbook.  I had some old accounting paper that I was thinking about using, and I thought I wanted some puzzle pieces again.  It might have been okay if I had chosen better colors, but I now I had ruined my card and had to go into problem-solving mode.  Brushing some white paint over it didn't help much, so I decided to cover it with paper.  That worked.



After reading a portion of an article by John Bunyan titled The Desire of the Righteous Granted, I was inspired to consider my desires.  I want to write them all down and list them under two headings: "righteous desires" and "desires of the flesh".  I pray that God will grant the former and take away the latter.  However, he can do more than merely take the desires away: he can replace them.  I intend to pray that way.

I would highly recommend the article.  You might even consider making a list of your own.

Oh, and the sprinkles--I read an article a while back that compared our dreams/desires to sprinkles while what God wants to give us is the ice cream.  We might like sprinkles because they're colorful and fun, but only ice cream would satisfy a craving.


White Robes and Palms

Revelations 7: 9After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
 10And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
 11And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
 12Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
 13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
 14And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
 15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

I closed my eyes and saw that "great multitude".  Amongst them, with a robe of white and a palm in hand, I pictured myself as one of those praising the God on the throne.  That vision opened the whole chapter to me, and though I may not understand all its symbolic meaning, I was blessed with some thoughts about praise, our identity, and God's care.

Verses nine through twelve give examples of righteous praise.  The palms mentioned in verse nine, to me, are symbolic of lives lived in obedience to God's will.  In eternity, our testimony will be like a palm branch in our hand that we wave in praise before the throne of God.  Verse eleven made me realize that I am not humanly capable of comprehending the fullness of His greatness.  I felt that my  human praise is unequal to his glory, but I will praise him anyway.  When we are like him and see him as he is (I John 3:2), when we can truly understand his majesty, then our eternity will be filled with inspired songs of God and the Lamb.

This chapter is also a blessed reminder of who we are as children of God.  What do we look like?  We are clothed in white robes because the blood of the Lamb washed away our sin.  We are now innocent and pure.  Where did we come from?  Jesus saved us from a life of sin and tribulation.  He freed us from the bondage of desires, habits, and our own self.  What do we do? We live our life for God.  What He asks, we do, and we are happy this way.  We desire to always be near the throne of our God and long for the day that we will see him face to face.

We love to serve him because he first loved us, and every day he shows us his tender care.  Oh how wonderful to know that he will come down and dwell among us!  It is such a humbling thought.  Verses sixteen and seventeen seem to complete it all with a detail of God's loving care for us all.  We will never hunger, for the Lamb himself will feed us.  In salvation, he gives us all that our soul needs.  If we thirst, He will lead us to the unending source of living water.  All our desires are satisfied in his plan.  He is so good to us!

I believe this seventh chapter of Revelations is one of the most precious passages in the Bible, but it is even sweeter to know that God can inspire any part of his word to minister to our needs.  I praise him for his goodness to all his children.