Wisdom for 2016 and Beyond!

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God has announced my word for 2016. Wisdom. Last year (2015), God put some people with problems in my life. As the elder of all of these matches, at times, I was expected to come up with, and share some hard earned wisdom. Ugh. How to answer why everything in your life is horrible? What to say to someone who does not seem to make one good decision? And how to explain to a new believer that some Christians are absolutely horrible to other people? All of this is so far out of my comfort zone. I just want to sit at my table and paint or string beads.

Anyway, at this point in my life, I probably should pack on some wisdom. And recently, I found that (hallelujah!) I maybe, possibly have gained some along the way. I guess it is time.

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I am looking forward to where God takes me and what He teaches me.

Last year, I journaled all kinds of trees for my word “thrive.” This year? Owls!

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Print and color if it speaks to you. Print on watercolor paper if you want to use watercolor pencils like I did. Enjoy!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding (very wise!), Proverbs 3:5-6

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Book of Thanks, Page 9

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How can I not be thankful that His lovingkindness, His mercy, lasts forever? He never gets tired of bestowing mercy on me. He never takes a vacation from it. No matter what I have done or what mess I have gotten myself into, He is faithful to be merciful. I pray to continually learn from His example.

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The pattern for printing and coloring….

Bless His name, Psalm 100: 5

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Book of Thanks, Pages 6,7,8

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At the very moment I am posting this, a friend of mine is going through some really bad stuff. I feel sad, mad and kind of sick. It is pretty hard to think about rejoicing and giving thanks. But lo and behold, this is exactly when God speaks, right? I can rejoice in my salvation, hope and a future. Certainly, I am praying for mercy for my friend. If I try to have a prayerful attitude all the time, and keep God in the forefront of my consciousness, that is when it becomes easier to pray short spontaneous prayers. And of course, I really have so much for which to be thankful. Even when it seems like evil trumps, I still have God Almighty as my Heavenly Father, and know that He is in control of everything that is happening. It is about focus, right?

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That right there? It makes me so very thankful. I have no doubts about the goodness of God and that he is mercy is everlasting. And it makes me sing the song, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”

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Worry = lack of trust in God. When I have so much on my mind, that thing where I try to replace it with God on my mind is oh so very good. Some days it is easier than others, but the days I succeed carry so much less stress. When I get a flash of emotion, or of the bad thing, I turn it immediately into a prayer. It doesn’t have to be a manifesto, just a short prayer to remind me that God has this. I am working on that this very night.

I love how God reminds and comforts. I should be on page 16 today….just a little behind…but today is the day that I needed to work on these three pages. Another reason to give thanks to the Lord and His scheduling.
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Here is the printable pattern. Mine is 8 1/4″ tall and 7″ wide. You can see the lines to cut the piece into 3 parts. If you are not making a book, this make 3 nice size bookmarks. Color at will. I used watercolor pencils on watercolor paper, as usual. And I will put this into the book like it is one page.

Pray without ceasing, I Thessalonians 5: 17

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Book of Thanks, Page 5

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Today, I looked up the definition of thankfulness in the original Greek. Of course, you and I know what thankfulness is, giving thanks, being thankful, expressing gratitude.  But one of the definitions stood out to me: “The expression of joy Godward.” It made me think. Am I always thankful in joy? Sometimes I give thanks in relief, sometimes in amazement, sometimes in hope. What do you think? Are you able to express joy each time you give thanks to God?

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Sing with Thankfulness, Colossians 3: 17

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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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Faith is the Foundation

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It started last Sunday with a sermon on perseverance. Timely. I had a week at work in which I could not catch up or even feel like I could get my feet under me. Perseverance was on my mind, and in my prayers. On the day I was thinking about finding a corner and hiding, I walked past Frank in the warehouse and he said, “I have a thought for you.” He looked right at me and said, “self-control.” Really? I had not spoken to Frank at all yet that week. But, I knew that self-control was in the verses I had been pondering.

Yep, Self-control supplies perseverance.

This afternoon, I was working through part of my weekly Bible study for class. God led me through His plan that when we believe, we clothe ourselves with Christ. See Galatians 3: 27. This week’s lesson was about shucking off all of the old horrible things, like bitterness, clamor, unwholesome words, and slander…to name a few. All of these popped up during crazy week at work.

The thing about believing the gospel and clothing ourselves with Christ is that we have the tools to do away with those old things and be renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of God, our Creator. OK, yes, knowledge is also in the verses of the week.

Knowledge supplies self-control.

I see that God is backing me up through the verses, so if I continue to back up on my own, I reach moral excellence, and then faith.

So, in that amazing way that God has of teaching us, exactly when and how we need it, I have learned this:

  • Faith, as always, is where it begins. God has put me where I am for whatever reason, and I just need to have faith that His plan is perfect.
  • Moral excellence will make me feel better about myself if I can’t deal better about work just yet. Getting rid of the bitterness and the clamor will be a great start. I can do that because I have faith that He is working His plan.
  • Knowledge is supplied by moral excellence. I have the knowledge that God is with me and leading me because I cannot achieve moral excellence on my own. No way.
  • Self-control is easier when I apply the knowledge that God is in control of all of this. I just have to mind my thoughts and actions. He will take care of the work stuff.
  • And perseverance seems easier when I don’t need to expend energy on whining and complaining. All He is asking me to do is keep going.
  • Then I can work my way to godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. That will be great, and I am praying for continued help with all of this.

My visual reminder of all of this is pinned up on the wall of my cube, right above my computer. If you are learning these same things and want to make this……

What you need:

  • watercolor paper, 8″ x 10″ – I tore the edges of mine, against a ruler, you can make it any size
  • cake watercolors – inexpensive ones work just fine
  • waterbrush
  • white crayon
  • pencil
  • white eraser
  • fine point marker – I used a blue PITT pen from Faber Castell, nice fine tip
  • printed pattern
  • sea salt

Do this:

1. print the pattern for faith. You can change the size to fit your paper.

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2. Transfer the word to the center of the watercolor paper. Here are some instructions to do that quickly. Use a light hand in doing this. You want only very faint pattern lines on your watercolor paper.

3. Color in the word with the white crayon. It doesn’t matter if it is perfect, but heavier is better than lighter. I can’t show you this because white on white = you can’t see anything.

4. Using your water brush and watercolors, and working quickly, apply paint to cover the entire background. The crayon will keep the paint from coloring up your faith. (There is a spiritual lesson in there someplace.) If you use more than one color, working quickly will help the colors blend into each other better. Sprinkle a little sea salt on the wet watercolors here and there to add some texture to the background. Let the paint dry completely. Brush the salt off the paper.

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                        See what the salt does?

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5. Use the fine point marker to write whatever parts of the verses you want to remember. I did not write across the crayon, so it looks like the words are under the big word faith.

Before I did that, I used a ruler and a pencil to make very very faint horizontal lines across the paper, so my words went straight across.  I used really light pressure on the eraser to remove them after I finished writing.

I pinned mine to the bulletin board, but you can punch holes at the top and add a ribbon or wire to hang it. And I am praying for moral excellence this week.

Be near God (Psalm 73:28),

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