Book of Thanks, Page 4

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Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things! (P.S. click on any images to make them pop up larger and easier to see)

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Here is the page 4 pattern to print out.

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Paint or color it. I used a hole punch to make holes in the scallops.

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And here are the four finished pages stacked together.

These words were originally written as a hymn. They are simple and to the point. I did not have to do any word studies or read any commentaries to know that Isaiah is thankful to the Holy One of Israel for being his salvation, his strength and his song, His great deeds, His exalted name, the excellent things He has done. Someday, we will sing Isaiah’s song with him, but for today, let’s you and I pray this song back to our God with one heart and one mind. Let us delight in Him!

Shout for Joy! Isaiah 12: 6

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Book of Thanks, Page 3

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You know when you get into a bible study and something just zings out at you like it was written exactly for you today? Today was one of those days for me. This week, I have been trying not to struggle with a problem, and the fact that I have no idea what to do about it. And then God (via Paul) spoke…..

…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all…we do not lose heart….

Even though my issue does not feel like a light and momentary trouble right now, of course it is. It will not last forever. But, the eternal glory I am gaining while walking through it and trusting that God will solve it soon? That lasts forever.

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Here is the pattern for Day 3.

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Note that I cut it the same size as Day 2, except I added a tab at the bottom right size.

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And, here are the first 3 pages lined up together with the edges peeking out on the right side.

Grateful these short bits of scripture from this project are speaking to me.

Fix your eyes on what is unseen, II Corinthians 4: 18

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Book of Thanks, Page 2

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Day 2!  I Corinthians 1: 4-9, and today, I am indeed thanking God for His faithfulness and His Grace.

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Here is the pattern. Print it out and color it in. Print it to be the same height as you printed Day 1. It will be a little wider. Check Day 1 for technique instructions.

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Again, I used watercolor pencils, and trimmed the right edge, following the design.

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This view is the back side of Day 1, where I have written Day 2’s verse from I Corinthians, and the front of Day 2. When you open the book, you see this.

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This view is Day 1 stacked on to of Day 2. See the edge of Day 2 peeking out behind Day 1?

Thank God always, I Corinthians 1: 4-9

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Book of Thanks, Page 1

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On Facebook yesterday, up popped a page called the Reading Plan (Thanksgiving) that offers a free Thanksgiving 30 Day Scripture Reading Plan. The idea is that you write out the scripture of the day, giving you time to think about it, cement it into your memory, and maybe fill a journal.

Loving the idea, of course…. I am going to try to make my pages into a book of scripture on thanksgiving. I cannot predict the future, so I might not get all 30 days completed, but even a couple pages will make a book, so I am working on it. I am already a day late. But, who cares?.

So, what you see here is day 1 of my book. I will give you the techniques I am using for the pages in case you would like to do something similar. It will be pretty easy. If you want, use the pages and do your own thing with them.

Book of Thanks Instructions:

  1. Print out the pattern. I printed mine onto watercolor paper so I could color mine with watercolor pencils. Mine is 140 pound paper and it went through the printer like a champ.

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2. Then I cut my page to about 7 1/4″ tall by 6″ wide. I also cut out around the leaves.

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3. Using watercolor pencils, color in the page as you wish. This tutorial will tell you all you need to know to use watercolor pencils. Use a damp paintbrush or a water brush to wet down the pencil. and that is it! I made a background on the back side of my page as well. I probably will not use the surface, but I don’t want it solid white.

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What a great scripture to pray back to God when you are delighting in Him!

Notice, I forgot to put the scripture address on the page. You will have to write it in, it is Psalm 95:1-7.

Sing for Joy to the Lord! Psalm 95: 1

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Delight Yourself in the Lord

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For many years, I have been telling the Lord the desires of my heart. Yeah, I know He knows, but James 4:3 says I have to ask if I am going to get what I want.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3

Then this week, God directed me to this verse in Psalm 37:

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It is a comforting, hopeful, even exciting verse, isn’t it? And I realized, I have been waiting for God to grant me my desires, but I forgot about the first part of the verse. Have I been delighting myself in the Lord? And what in the world does that even mean?

So, yesterday, I spent 3 1/2 miles walking and talking to God about just that. How can I delight myself in the Lord?

  • Find the good parts of everything. Even in a day or a project that is frustrating or failing, I can find good parts, and be thankful for what I am learning, and the time I spent with God asking for His help.
  • Be in the word. I know it sounds like the Sunday School answer for all questions for believers. But, haven’t you been in study and read scripture that makes your heart flutter? Even if you have read it a hundred times before, TODAY, it brings you unexplainable joy? And it is so good that you have to call your friend to talk about it, and put it on your Facebook page? DELIGHT!
  • And sometimes when you are singing a song of praise to God, doesn’t it choke you up and bring tears to your eyes that God Almighty chose you to be His very own child?
  • The easiest way for me to find delight in the Lord is to go outside. I am a visual person (as you know from this blog), and I can walk for miles marveling about how many colors of green God has given us… how each season has it’s own beauty…. how the leaves on the wind make patterns in the sky? If I pay attention, I can do that all day. It is pretty awesome when I pay attention.

And then I did a word study on the word “Delight”, from the original Hebrew. I had to look it up twice because it did not make sense. But as I thought more about it, the better it got. In this verse, it means to be soft and pliable. Is it possible for me to delight in anything when I let the frustration crank me up? Or when I am not ready and open to hear the hope in God’s word or heartfelt praise in a song? This verse is saying be soft and pliable in the Lord, and He will give me the delights of my heart.

Think about that.

Meanwhile, to help keep it fresh in your mind, I am giving you a coloring page. Click on it. Print it out, any size you want.

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Here is what I did with mine. I printed on regular white copy paper and colored it with colored pencils. Add any patterns to the flowers and leaves that you want. Color it any way you wish. Click on my pic to make it large enough to see the details….just for ideas.

Then I tore the edges on a piece of watercolor paper, and did this watercolor background technique with watercolor pencils. I attached  the white paper (using double sided tape) to the background, and….

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…hung it on my bathroom wall. I will see it many times a day and it will remind me to be pliable in the Lord.

I would love to know how you delight yourself in the Lord, or how you are planning to delight yourself in the Lord. Please share your great ideas in the comments. And thank you!

…”burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

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Being Pruned

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This geranium is on my daily walking path. In the early summer, it was blooming like crazy, lush and in gorgeous color. It is sitting by the fence and it has not been taken care of. At all. It never gets watered unless it rains, and it has never been pruned. Gardeners know that pruning off the dead blossoms allows the plant to make new blossoms. When I walk by each day, it makes me sad. And I wonder if the owner would care if I deadheaded the blossoms when I walk by.

Even though it is sad that it can’t bloom well, it reminds me every day that My Father, the Vinedresser, prunes things from my life in order for new and beautiful things to blossom. I cannot be sad about that. Why would I want to hang on to things that are done?

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As a reminder of why it is good to have things in our lives pruned, I offer you a drawing of a geranium in bloom. I have been reading lately about how adult coloring books are the thing. Publishers cannot keep them in stock. Doesn’t it sound relaxing to sit and color while watching TV, or while waiting for your Dr. appointment? They say that coloring can take care of your stress and anxiety. Check them out on Amazon. They have a pretty decent collection.

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Print out the geraniums. Grab your crayons or colored pencils, or print it on watercolor paper, and use your watercolor pencils to color it in. No stress, just chillin’. I painted mine with watercolor cakes. It was fun.

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Burst out in songs of thanksgiving, Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

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Blooming Pencil: Something New

IMG_0734   Here in Michigan, we are right in the middle of spring. Some things have bloomed, but we still have lots of plants and trees in the bud stage.

Weirdly, it reminds me how much I like fall. Fall sometimes feels like a metaphor for the changes God is planning in my life. The leaves are beautiful, I have enjoyed them for many months, but they are falling off the trees. I always remind myself that there will not be room for anything new until the old is gone. The landscape eventually turns to winter bleakness, and I wait it out….till the time when the bright, shiny new buds start popping out.

You can count on new leaves and flowers every spring, just like you can count on God bringing you new relationships, jobs, kids, homes, lessons, passions, and even challenges. It is easier to allow the old to fade away if I remember that the exciting and long awaited new will be here soon.

So, it is spring, and the new is here. Pay attention to what is brings to you….

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Here, God promises to bring His children out of Babylon. Not only did He bring them out, but He made a way for them through the wilderness, and gave them what they needed to survive the journey.

To remind myself that He will do something new in my life when I feel Him taking things away from me, I made a pencil with a spring bud that turns into a full bloom. Each time I use it, I remember that God not only brings new things into my life, He makes the way for me, and gives me what I need to get where He is asking me to go.

Here is what you need:

  • pencil with eraser
  • 5″ circle of fabric for the bud/bloom (I traced a soup mug and cut out the circle)
  • 1 yard 1 1/4″ wide green ribbon
  • 1 quilt pin (use wire cutters to cut the pin to about 1/2″)
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • scissors
  • pencil

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What you do:

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1. Glue the fabric circle to the top of the pencil, in 4 spots (think north, south, east, west).

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2. Fold or pleat the rest of the fabric, glueing it around the top of the pencil.  There is your spring flower bud.

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3. Cut a square of ribbon, and glue it into a point. This will be a leaf. Make two.

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4. Glue the end of the ribbon to the pencil, so it covers the bottom edge of your bud.

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5. Wrap the ribbon tightly around the pencil, moving it downward, and glueing every other wrap, to hold it in place. As you work downward, glue a leaf to the pencil, and wrap/glue the ribbon over it. Glue both leaves to the pencil/stem.

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6. Cut the ribbon when you want to stop wrapping. I stopped a couple inches above the point, so I could sharpen it and use it for awhile. Fold the end of the ribbon under and glue it. Then glue the end of the ribbon to the pencil.

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7. When you want your bud to bloom, press the bud flat. Stick your short pin through the fabric into the pencil eraser. This will hold the blossom open and make it look like a flower.

“Be joyful in hope,” Romans 12:12

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The Lord’s Prayer

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Several weeks ago, my job was relocated to New Jersey. Without me. Unemployment does not suit me, for many reasons, but I know that my God is the God who provides.

Today, feeling like my conversations lately with God are mostly about me asking for His help, I asked for some guidance. Immediately, He gave me the Lord’s Prayer. As I started praying through it, I realized, though I had heard it and had spoken it a zillion times, I was finding it the perfect prayer for my current trial.

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Not only did I think about what the prayer means, I made a quick tag book of it, to remind me when I need reminding.

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Here is what you need for a tag book like this:

  • 5 white paper tags, mine are 5 1/4″ x 2 5/8″
  • 3 watercolor pencils, colors of your choice. I used lime green, teal, and blue
  • a couple baby wipes (you don’t need great ones with baby oil, just get them at the dollar store), or a damp sponge
  • 12″ piece of ribbon
  • fine point black permanent marker
  • pencil and white eraser

Here is what you do:

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1. Color in one side of the tag, using the watercolor pencils. Perfection is not needed! Do all 5 tags.

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2. Rub the color with a baby wipe or damp sponge. How cool is that? This technique makes great backgrounds and is so easy. Do all 5 tags.

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3. Using the marker, write or print a verse on each tag, 9-13.  If it helps, write the verse in pencil before tracing with the marker. Do all 5 tags.

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4. String the ribbon through all 5 holes, and knot above the tags.

The backs of the tags are blank. On them, you can write specific prayers or notes that you want to remember.

My thoughts on this prayer and how it relates to me, and how it is perfect for my current situation:

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  • I am praying to my Father, who lovingly and personally, listens to my prayers. Even when I ask for a job every single day.
  • He surpasses everything on earth. Giving me a job is not hard for him.
  • A study of the word “hallowed” (hagiazo), tells us the name of God is the opposite of common. It is made holy. His name is set apart.

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  • May His perfect will be done here on earth and in my life, as it is done in Heaven. That is exactly what I want… His perfect will, not my imperfect will.

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  • I must trust Him every day.
  • I will ask Him to give me what I need for today, just like He gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness each day. I don’t need to have today, what I will need tomorrow. And I will trust Him to provide each day, in His perfect timing. My new job will come on the day of His planning.
  • I will be growing my faith in His provision, and not worrying. He is my sustainer and provider.

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  • Father, help me not to be selfish, to remember that what You forgive of mine is greater than anything You ask me to forgive of others.

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  • A word study of the word “temptation” (peirasmos) shows us Jesus was talking about a trial with a beneficial purpose or effect, a trial from God. That is exactly where I am right now.
  • I need to depend on God for deliverance from the evil one and his lies. It is not true that nobody wants to hire me, that I will never find a job that is right for me, that I am worthless.

Out of frustration, I found comfort in the Lord’s Prayer today. I hope you do too. Does the Lord’s Prayer fit your current situation?

 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12,

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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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