But If Not

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Last week, I read a short except written by Margaret Feinberg from her new book Fight Back With Joy. She told a brief story referencing a couple verses in Daniel, and it made an impression on me.

In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with a decision: would they obey the Babylonian king and the law to bow down to his golden idol, or would they be thrown into the furnace as punishment for breaking the law? Their beliefs were strong.
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The important words there are “But if not”. The three boys were telling the king that their God could pluck them right out of the fiery furnace, but if He chose not to do that, they would still not worship another god.
Their belief in God was absolute. They had no doubt that their God could save them from the furnace, and if that did not happen, they did not care, they still believed that God was Almighty.
Sometimes I need a reminder of God’s absolute might. I know it, of course, but there are times when I put myself in charge. Yeah. I’m not really in charge, and life is a lot easier if I remember that God can pluck me right out of the fiery furnace. I sure can’t do that myself.
So, here is my visual reminder. It started as a scrap of wood and now tells the story of the unwavering faith of Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego.
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To make one, you need:

  • a piece of wood: mine is 4″ x 7″ and thick enough to stand on its own. You can use any scrap of wood, unfinished or already painted. You could easily do it on any surface: paper, terra cotta, tin, etc. The pattern is easy to adapt.

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  • acrylic paints, 5 colors of your choice, these are mine:

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  • a medium flat paintbrush, a liner brush
  • a black permanent marker (optional)
  • pencil with an unused eraser
  • hair dryer (optional)
  • palette or paper plate, water container
  • ruler

Here is what you do:

1. Paint the front and sides of the block white. Let it dry, or use your hair dryer to hurry the drying. Hold it no closer to the surface than about 10″ for best results.

2. Paint the sides of the block one of your colors. Let dry. Paint the back of the block another color. Let everything dry.

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3. Measure and draw an outside border of about 1″. Make your pencil marks light. Measure and mark a 1/4″ border inside the 1″ border.

4. Paint the inside rectangle and the outside border in colors of your choice. Let dry.

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5. Squeeze a little paint out onto the palette. Dip the pencil eraser into the paint and print on the outer border. Continue until it is polka dotted.

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6. Make black and white checks on the 1/4″ border. If it is easier to use a marker for this, use your permanent marker instead of your liner brush.

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7. Using either the liner brush or the black marker, print or write in the center: but if not. You can freehand this or print it on your computer/printer, transfer it and paint it.

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8. On the back side, using your marker, write Daniel 3: 17-18.

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Every time you look at your piece of art, you will be reminded that if God does not save you from the scary furnace, you know that it is not because He can’t. It is because He has a better plan. You believe that.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)

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THRIVE Swag

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I have chosen THRIVE as my word for 2015. I am feeling like I have been just barely surviving, and I know God has more planned for me than this. I also desire more for myself. I will be studying this word and praying about this word and how I can live it, throughout the year.

The first verse God has provided, has given me kind of a logo for the year. Trees will be my visual reminder of thriving.

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After doing word searches, I have written these 2 verses from a personal view:

“Blessed is Kim who is secure in the Lord and whose security is in the Lord. For she will be like a fruit bearing tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not experience the heat when it comes, but its leaves will be flourishing, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.”

To have a visual reminder of this, I made a decoupage swag and hung it over the door that leads out of the house. I will see it every day on my way out.

To make one you need:

fabric

140 lb watercolor paper

Decoupage medium like Mod Podge (matte or gloss or sparkle or whatever finish you like)

wide flat brush

scissors

hole punch

Sharpie marker (color to match or coordinate with fabric)

6 jump rings and pliers (you can also skip these and tie the pieces together with ribbon or embroidery floss)

ribbon

copy machine or printer

Try this:

1. Choose a fabric with a repeating design like a medallion. Decoupage 6 medallions to 140 lb. watercolor paper.

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Go here for a tutorial on basic decoupage techniques.

2. Cut out the dry medallions. Use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top and bottom of each medallion.

3. Print out the word THRIVE. Use a copy machine/printer to make the following letters to the size needed to go under the medallions.

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Transfer the letters to watercolor paper. Go here for a tutorial on transferring patterns. Draw desired patterns on each letter with Sharpie marker. Cut out each letter. Punch a hole at the top of each letter.

4. Use a jump ring to attach a letter to hang under each medallion. (or ribbon or floss)

5. Cut one ribbon long enough to hold all of the medallions. Cut 6 shorter ribbons to tie the medallions/letters to the swag ribbon.

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6. Once assembled, tie to a curtain rod, or use push pins to attach to to the wall, or paperclips to attach to the top of a lampshade.  Hang your swag wherever you will see it a lot.

Of course, you should change the color scheme, design, and word to be what you need, if THRIVE is not your choice.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5-6),

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Decoupage Book Cover

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This is my 2015 Planner that I am working in for Documented Faith. It is a plain black moleskine planner. As you can see, I covered it with fabric, decoupaged it on.  If you have never decoupaged, or have never had a successful decoupage experience, see this decoupage tutorial for tips.

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First thing I did, was cut off the elastic band on the planner.

Because my planner is black and my fabric has a lot of white, I painted the planner white before I decoupaged. If I had not done that, the color of my fabric would have been dull when it dried.

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Put waxed paper pieces inside the front and back covers to keep the pages from getting wet. Brush Mod Podge over the cover, press the fabric over it and smooth it out. Brush at least 3 coats of Mod Podge on top of the fabric. When it is all dry, trim off the extra fabric around the edges.

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I am planning for my planner (haha) to grow fat and full of everything I do and see in 2015, Without the elastic that I cut off, I am not sure I can hold it together. So, I glued a ribbon inside each cover. When I tie a bow, it becomes a nice, neat package.

This is a simple and colorful book covering technique that you can do on any book, hard or soft cover.

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This is a soft cover Bible with two fabrics on it. The polk dot is layered over the floral.

Colors and styles of fabric are infinite, find one you like and give it a try!

Let your light shine before others (Matthew 5:16),
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