The Word Made Flesh -WORD

Fr. Jeremiah has started a class on the Gospel of John – The Word Made Flesh, a Study of the Book of John.

It is starting out to be an in-depth and enriching study.  Father Jeremiah is a beautiful teacher and is rich in knowledge and understanding of the languages from which the texts came from that produced this beautiful book of the Holy Word of God.  Our lessons will unfold throughout the rest of this school year.

I will not write about the lessons, but hope to share more Bible Art Journaling as I am inspired to create.  Not only will this be an eye-opening study for me but I hope to explore my desire to both write, perhaps essays, and do some art to expand my creativity.

The opening of this book is so touching and beautiful!  I encourage you to explore the deeper meaning of what John tells us by his prologue – “In the beginning was the Word”. WORD_2659

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I Love Sketches and the Zoo

What could be more fun?!  A friend invited us to spend some time at the zoo with his visiting family.  Finally I got to meet his daughter and grand kids in person after seeing photos on his iPhone.

Then came a new sketch at Sketches in Thyme, just perfect for the one prize photo of Mark and the kids.  I jumped on this opportunity and here it is.

I stamped with some Fun Stampers Journey rubber stamps to make the background, branch and leaves.   The inks I used are Ranger Oxides: Frayed Burlap, Pealed Paint.  Also used Memento Rich Cocoa and Stampin’ Up! Gumball Green.  The papers are from my scraps of pattern papers.  I had just reorganized the bin, separated by color family, made it easier to pull out greens.  The green doily I made, it was waiting for the right layout.

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Thanks for stopping by and looking!  Hope you day is a blessing to others, then it will surly be a blessing to you,

 

To Love and Be Loved

Have you ever started to keep a start of journaljournal?  They can be handy.  There are many styles, one for every purpose.  So far I have not been disciplined in that area of writing.

I have one in my planner for making spiritual notes.  It is set up for jotting down a Daily Devotional, Today’s Focus, Notes and Plans, and to highlight what I’m grateful for.  It seems, once again, I have fallen short and only have used it sporadically.  When I remember to take it with me I have made a few notes from the Bible readings or homilies at Mass.

This morning I pulled it out to see if I could transfer some profound words of inspiration I may have noted into my beautiful, new, Heartfelt Creations Journal that was recently given to me.  Following is on spiritual thought that has a burning urgency to comprehend and dwell on.  I hope you find the relevance of this message as important as I do.

The reason we hunger for things to bring happiness is because we are created by God and therefore destined to return to him.  Happiness and love are all about God.  He created us for love.  The human soul yearns to be closer to God, that is where true happiness is found.  This is why we have a hunger for that feeling: we hunger to be in the presence of our God, the hunger for the ultimate fulfillment of divine love.

The force that drives us is to love and be loved, it causes us to reach for something to satisfy our desire, yet too often we are led in the wrong direction and grab unhealthy and ungodly experiences that may satisfy for the moment but mislead us in the end.  In our misguided search we often fall down a spiral filled with sin and never achieve our desired state of true love.  Let’s be about seeking the original source of love – God.

It is never too late to realize we have misjudged what will bring happiness, that our choices only led us away from our true goal, from God who is the true source of real love.

What is the way to love God?  First it is to love God with our whole heart.  Love God above all earthly possessions.  When this gets confusing or seems too hard – pray for this!  God will increase your love and faith when you pray to him without ceasing.  God will lead you in your search for strength to love him more.

Try these three steps to find love:

1. I will love God with my whole heart.

2. I will seek to know what God expects of me.

3. I will listen to his Son, Jesus Christ.

We must be patient as we develop and strengthen our minds for understanding and our hearts for loving God and others.  For starters we must read our Bible often and come together with the Body of Christ weekly.

See you in the universal celebration of Mass this week!  It’s how we all join our spirit in the Lord’s presence.  May you look forward to worshiping our God, who is the source of love.

God is love!

Playing Tourist

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This was our last stop before returning home.  When my daughter wanted to go I had no idea what to expect, never having been to a wine tasting.  The group was gathered in a theater for a short film on the company and their process.  I’m always up for learning how things work, so I enjoyed this.  With just little sips and the comfort of knowing that if I didn’t like any choice that came around I didn’t have to finish it.  This was a great way to experience different flavors – still prefer the dry ones.

For this scrapbook page I used a Recollections pad I recently picked up. The manufacturer on the white escapes me, but it is a hearty one.   I found this sketch when a fellow scrapper posted a layout she had done and noted the site with this sketch.  I do love sketches.  I feel I can get on with making a page rather than fiddling around to come up with a design first.  I love picking out the papers and embellishments and with the sketch per-planned I can get to the fun.

Here is the site: Sketches in Thyme Challenges

I used alpha stickers for the title.  I have a large packet of these sheets that I rarely pull out.  Never buy them either.  They  so have accumulated over time from being sent to me or added in with something else.  Not sure why I keep some of them, that are missing just the letters I would need.  Do scrappers ever just through them out?

In addition to the patterned paper I used an ad cut out from the booklet handed to us tourists when I booked the trolley.   Two rubber stamps – the film strip and the circle journal piece.

In keeping with letting the paper and the sketch do their work, I got this done quickly.  I hope to actually have these tourist photos all scrapped and in their album, something I tend to neglect by jumping around among my stack of photos.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hazy Celestial Moment

We were not in the “Totality” area but I was determined to document it nevertheless.

I didn’t have any special glasses, nor did I make a pin-hole box; I really didn’t care if I could actually look into the sun or not.  I was just basking in the excitement of the moment and I have Internet for live feeds of locations where the view was spectacular.

 

My set-up shot was the pre-eclipse of the sun brightly shining through the tree. Then a broad view of the sky.  The next two shots show a little bit of haze, that is all we got.

It was an odd realization, the slight haze, not sure if it really was from the eclipse or my tired, staring eyes, too hopeful for something to happen.  But, as time passed, it was clear again and I was convinced I had witnessed the haze left by the moon blocking some sun.  Pretty special, as minor as our area experienced, it was real!

As you can see from my backyard, we sure had the perfect weather for viewing, if only we had been directly in the path.  But, alas, I experienced an event closer than I ever will again.

Not to let a perfect day be wasted, we jumped into our swimsuits and drove to the beach.  The water was a bit choppy.  The shore was full of life.  Not many people, just a covering of tiny crabs who reacted to the waves that rushed over them.  There were birds.  Little ones who pecked in the sand and must have been feeding on whatever the tiny crabs were, but there were larger birds who were feeding on the crabs.  There is always a cycle of life going on.

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It is pleasing when the temperatures come down at least a little.  I’m tired of the mid nineties.  In fact, the heat during the day does make me tired for real.  We are planning to hit the beach a couple times a week now.  At least for a while.  We can plan a longer stay than we did for “eclipse day”.

All this large scale event experience makes me feel insignificant on the grand scheme of creation.  But, then, I, too, am a creation of God!  This makes me feel very loved.

Thanks for checking in on me today, have a light filled day basking in God’s love everyone!

Smile!

Joyce Ann

Just Keep Asking

Just like the Canaanite woman did in the Gospel of Matthew.

She knew that this man passing through her region was the one to heal her daughter.  She knew he was the son of David. She knew he was God and she was not going to back down from beseeching him to heal her daughter.

Have you ever prayed to God for something really important and nothing happened?  Was it like God was not hearing you, ignoring you, perhaps had abandoned you?

I have certainly been there!  Unlike this Canaanite woman, I did give up.  I even turned my back on God; I’m very ashamed to confess.  I am blessed to have been drawn back to the all knowing and loving Creator in spite of my disobedience.

The message today struck me hard.  I know now that sometimes when God seems to be silent and not answering our prayers there is always something deeper going on.

Looking back now at situations I realize the error of what I was asking for on various occasions.  Some things were not the best course of action for me, although I was sure it would have been at the time.  Other times what I was praying for wasn’t the best option for those I was praying about.  I’ve looked real hard at my life and understand a little more than I did before mass today.

If I know I am asking for something righteous and truly in line with God’s way and the teachings we have from Jesus at our fingertips to learn, then I should never back down, never stop praying.

The Canaanite woman didn’t.  She knew who she was talking to and she didn’t care that she was way out of line for speaking to him (first of all a woman in that time was never to speak to a strange man, and especially one of authority, and it was clear that this Jew was someone!), and besides Canaanites were hated by the Jews, yet she persisted to ask help of this man.

Why would she do that?  He had ignored her, then he insulted her as a Jew might telling her he had been sent to take care of the “House of Israel”, not the likes of her.

But she persisted because she knew this was more than a Jewish man, this was God!

Of course Jesus heard her, and he wasn’t really ignoring her, even when his disciples with him tried to encourage him to move away from her.  He was testing her.

I realize better now what this means, that God will test us.  Not like your professors who want to write a hard quiz and really don’t care if you pass or not, but like a good teacher that wants to find out that you understand and “get” the material that is important for getting along in this life.

You would think the humiliation he dealt her next would have silenced her.  Remember that she and her countrymen were thought of as lower that low.  Jesus presented one more test when he told her it wasn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the little dogs.

Wow.  Talk about a slap in the face.  That was cruel.  Did she quit?  No!  She knew this was more than a man and that he was her only hope for saving her daughter.

Verse 27 – “She retorted, ‘Ah yes, Lord; but even little dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ table.”

Jesus already knows what is in our hearts.  He didn’t have to execute this terrible quiz for her benefit.  Anyone listening to this exchange needed this example.  We, today, have it documented in God’s Holy Word.  If we choose to read it and be led to its understanding by the aid of the Holy Spirit, that exchange will also benefit us.

I wonder if she ever doubted, like I have.  During this exchange, did it ever cross her mind that in spite of this being the Lord, would he not help her so she might as well just turn and walk away?  We do not know her thoughts.  The one thing that is important is that she did not stop believing the Lord God would help her and that she would not turn away.

We just have to keep asking.

My faith has been strengthened by today’s message, and I hope you will read it for yourself and take it to heart.   Matthew 15:21-28 

This evening I made a card, but I’m not sharing it on my blog.  It is a sympathy card for a friend who’s father has passed away.  I think this should be left private between us.

I do have two cards that I’ve finished in the last couple of days just so you might be inspired by something crafty after my outpouring of my soul.

 

I had some “Saving cream” paper left over from a precious challenge that I used gold embossing powder for the flower. The leaves are stamped in the same color of ink as the paper, Fun Stampers Journey Limeade Splash, and then I put clear embossing powder over it.  The Fall card was stamped on watercolor paper and I used wc pencils on it.

I leave you with this final thought – Believe in God, never give up or turn your back -your faith is stronger than you know.

Blessings,

Crafty hugs, too!

Joyce Ann

A Challenge Layout

Our challenge was to pull a page we saved to our favorites and work a scraplift of it.

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I had saved a layout by “elliesmom” at Splitcoast stampers because of the way she did the layers.  I stayed close to her design, but I only sponged the edges of the papers instead of adding a rough distressed edge.

This page was a switch for me.  I had felt a little down and thought doing some scrapping would lift me up.  With this challenge in mind I found the photos to match her placement and actually selected these papers quickly and had the page done in no time.  My usual is to place everything, after trying out a number of possibles, then contemplate it, at least over night.  It’s a nice quick page that tells how much I adore this child.  It makes me happy.

And for the card:  Here is what I made today with the sketch challenge.

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I knew I’d use this pineapple guy because of the S2S challenge to use fruits and vegetables on a card.  Went looking for some happy scraps and liked these fun papers.  I stamped the image on a solid green and on a yellow patterned paper, cut them out.  The sunglasses were stamped and cut as a 3rd piece.  I added a little glitter to the leaves and the lens part of the glasses.  Hum, now that I’m thinking about the glasses I should have used a darker paper so they would look more like sunglasses.

The sketch had called for the sentiment to be on the tab and I forgot.  Since I had stamped it on the panel I made a little fishtail tab, added some dots and went with it.

Moving on quickly today, I still want to thank you for stopping by – have a bright and happy time until we catch up again.  Do good, and smile!

Hugs,

Joyce Ann

Sewing Days

A couple of days ago I made my dear granddaughter two wet bags, a doll dress with a matching diaper, and got it mailed off to her and Tiny Tot.  Kara had asked for another bag because having only one, that I had made her when Jovy was born, meant she couldn’t keep up with laundry since they go out almost every day now.  These bags can be used for other things after the diapers are gone, like swimsuits, caught in the rain, whatever is necessary to keep the wet off the floor of the vehicle.

Leia has wanted me to make her doll a Mulan dress.  Without a pattern for it, I will have to improvise.  But before I draft a pattern I want to see how the pattern I have fits her doll.  I do have some pretty brocade scraps I can make her something out of, when I know it will fit.

Next Sunday my church is having a drive for the local Genesis House, a place for homeless pregnant teenagers.  There was a list in the bulletin for “Baby Shower” items.  I don’t have any spare diapers lying around but material to make a quilt I sure do.  I just finished this quilt today.

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It measures 34 x 31.

So this is my 3rd day without paper crafting, but I’ve enjoyed sewing.  I was digging and found a nice large piece of flannel (2 yds aprox.) and will make two receiving blankets before the weekend also.

It is hard for my DD to get up early in the mornings, so we attended The Feast of the Assumption of Mary last evening, the vigil at 7 pm.  This is a very important day in the Catholic religion. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Jesus Christ. (taken right off the Internet).  We had a great homily that renewed my appreciation and furthered my understanding of why we believe this and why she should be respected – other than the fact she is the mother of God.  Some facts I learned is about what is not found in Holy Scripture.  There are no references to people taking any of her remains like so many other saints were.  Nothing.  And when you think about her, she was a warrior Queen!  Just think about what you know of this young, unmarried, virgin girl and what task was set before her!

Blessings to all of you who stopped by.  Have a crafty day and shine with your beautiful smile for all whom you see.

Hugs,

Joyce Ann

Scrap Kit Project #2

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This is the second page I did using the given supplies from a list Jill Sprout posted for a challenge.  I was required to pull items from stash that haven’t seen much use or even the light of day.  One of the VSBN challenges from Splitcoast stampers this month is to find inspiration from a  book, such as the Idea and Inspiration catalogue we may have; I used the latest catalogue from Fun Stampers Journey for this layout.  They used this die cut and I thought it great for our little guy out in the sun.  I left the journaling panel for his mommy to add some thoughts later.  I’ve never been really good with titles, so here we have the obvious one for this photo.  It is size 8″ x 8″ for an album I want to make for him.  His big sister enjoys going through the albums I’ve given to her and her mommy, but those 12 x 12’s are way too much for him to handle anytime soon.  If I can get enough pages in there by Christmas, I’d like to mail it to him.

My card for having completing a layout:

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I’ve used all scraps here, not from the kit for the above layout as it still has its special purpose.  Some of the papers are from the previous layout though.

I followed a sketch, changing a bit to work for my supplies.  The stamps and die cuts are from FSJ.  Other papers are Prima, SU, Recollections and Colorbok.

Since we have been eating vegan for the last week I must say I am feeling better and am dropping pounds.  Not rapid, of course, but the 2 pounds this week sound good to me.  I’m not missing anything because when I think of dairy I do get grossed out with the idea of what is in it after watching the documentary “What the Health”.  I never was much of a meat eater but did enjoy some pulled pork now and then.  No more.  Because of my daughter’s skin problems that the doctor and specialists haven’t been able to figure out, we are taking this a bit further and really selecting only items recommended for fighting this.

Happy weekend!  Thanks for popping in.  May you be ever in the shine of the light of Christ.

Hugs,

Joyce Ann

Getting Baby Ready

I have a layout to share that involves getting Jovy dressed for his first ride home.

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The photos are a bit dark due to the subdued lighting in the hospital room.  This batch was sent to print before I did anything with them in PSE, but decided to use them for pages anyway.

My papers are from a Prima pad, matted with Recollections, and the tag is Fun Stampers Journey. I have some SU ribbons and the flower stamp and punch is SU also.  For the circles that look like stitching I used a gel pen and Fiskars circle templates to draw them.  The title was cut with Cricut cartridges – Songbird and Schoolbook.  On the added strips of paper I also added washi tapes.

Here is the card I made today.  I had two challenges this goes for. One is to use one of the faux techniques on Splitcoast stampers.  I chose Faux Postage.  The other challenge was to make a Center step card, also done with the tutorial on Splitcoast.J_2154SweetPostage

This card is completely made with Fun Stampers Journey product.  I really enjoyed making this one.

Hope the light is shining on you where ever you may be.  Happy crafting!

Hugs,

Joyce Ann