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Bible Appreciate Month

Rest...

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Rest...

How's life going for you?  Have you had any time lately to "Be Still" and rest like we talked about a couple weeks ago??  If you're asking yourself what is rest... I hear ya!  There is just so much out there that wants to fill up our time that there isn't much "time" for rest.  Or if you're like me you think you are slaking if you take some time to do nothing but rest and be still...

I want to help change that for you.

I shared my bible journaling page last time on the verse "Be Still" and talked about how in order to hear the voice of God we need to be still.

I know that's not easy to do and it does require us to be still.  But it's not just about finding time to take a nap or go find a beach to sit at and just unplug... It also means to rest our minds, rest our hearts and be still in the Lord.

I found a quote on Pinterest the other day and I decided to change it just a bit and add it to this peaceful photo. (I took this photo on vacation a couple years ago...) 

 

Yes, it is a beach and I just said you didn't need to find a beach to rest... but it was so pretty I couldn't resist sharing!

So why should we "Be still" or "Rest in the Lord"??

On Sunday I'm not sure that our pastor was thinking about this (Be still or Rest) but what he said really hit home with me on this topic and I wanted to share it with you.

Here's the LAST thing the pastor said:

Hand in your mask...

What does he mean, you ask? Let me back track...

We're in Matthew 23 right now and we went over verses 1 - 12..  Jesus is talking about the scribes and pharisees and all the "greatness" that they esteem to. They want to be great in their places, they want to be seen as great, they want to be found saying great things.  But in verse 11 Jesus says:  "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

How does these two things tie together?

I think of those things that they (the scribes & pharisees) wanted to be found "GREAT" in and I fast forward to today...

We want our houses to look great, we want to look great, we go to great schools to sound great and get the all accolades... and the list goes on and on doesn't it?  

We want to look good on the outside or to the outside world...  

We put on MASKS.

I'll be honest.  This is a reality check for me.  I'm definitely the one scrolling Pinterest to see the latest trends or to look at things to do to make my home better or my skin prettier... I'm checking out Instagram and Facebook and posting pictures...sharing my "best self" on line, even putting my best bible journaling pages out there for the world to see.  I don't think this is ALL bad so don't misunderstand me.  I will still be doing those things in the future, hopefully with the best intentions and not for self pride. 

What I'm trying to get at is this:

What is going on in the inside?  

It says in Psalm 51:6 "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom."

 

Are we so worried about what the world sees?  Concerned or self conscious about looking good on the outside, or worried we will make a mistake or mistakenly show our true selves and wonder if people will not accept us any longer?  Are we running around being busy with all of this "stuff" that makes us look better that we don't have time to be still and rest in Him? Boy that's exhausting isn't it?  Not a lot of time to rest with all that going on in our heads, right?

Are we more worried about the outward appearance than the inward heart?

Back to why we are to rest in the Lord and Be Still...

Look back on the "Be Still" Bible Journaling page.  Psalm 46:10-11 says: "Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

It comes back to pride and humility... or maybe I should say Pride OR Humility.

These two character traits can't co-exhist... if we are truthful with ourselves.  Oh we can pretend to be humble, to be so Godly, to look so "clean cut" to the outside world.  But the Lord knows our hearts and we can't MASK anything from him.  We can certainly mask things from the world... for a while.  

And when we have that mask on, God can't work in our lives...

 Psalm 1: 1-4: 

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

It's NOT a waste of time to rest in Him.

It's NOT a waste of time to meditate on the Word of God.

And it's Life-changing to take that mask off and let the Lord shine through in your life.  That is when you WILL find rest.  Rest from the pressures we have put on ourselves.  Rest from the world... and rest from our pride.

Spurgeon said it best:

The way we rise is to sink self...

 

It's not US that needs to be exalted.  It's not US that is GREAT.   Let the Lord be exalted.  

Let Him shine through in your life.

I pray you will be blessed today and take the time to Be Still.

Hugs,

Laura

 

 

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Bible Appreciation Month

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Bible Appreciation Month

This seems kind of funny to me, but I heard on the radio last week that it is "Bible Appreciation Month".  So even though I think we should appreciate it every DAY, I thought I would play along and do a blog post on Bible Journaling.

As a side note: I did a blog post about a month or so ago called "Let me tell you about Bible Journaling" and I would definitely go check that out if you want detailed information on the how and what about "coloring" in your bible.  I give lots of information on my favorite products and some techniques that are important steps in the process...

But for today I wanted to spend time talking about my "new found" love for God's Word.

First a little background on me:  I was raised in a Christian home, loved the Lord from a very early age, grew up in the church and married a man who also loves the Lord.  I never had a "rebellious stage" in my life, have always tried to do the right thing, read my little devotional each day and trust me, I AM so grateful for all of this!  I say all this not to show off a life that's all rosy and perfect.  I say this because I think I was living the "typical christian life"...

And that's SO safe.

Safe is fine, nothings wrong with safe... but safe isn't GREAT.  And I'm not so sure that safe is where the Lord wants us??

I'd say about 4 years ago the Lord started moving me out of the "safe zone" and there were a few things that made me see He was stepping me out in faith and going to "move me and use me." lol

First was my stepping out in big time FAITH when I started my Creative Retreats in Italy.  That was a huge leap of faith and one that did not come easy.  As most of you know that come here to my website, I LOVE what I do and it's a total DREAM JOB!  The Lord opened the doors for me to do these retreats in beautiful Italy and bring all of YOU to a place I love!  That wasn't a "safe" decision for me to make and I have seen the Lord working in ways I never imagined because of it!  (that's for another blog post some day...) But I will say that what I "thought" was MY dream was really the LORD'S WILL and He started showing me daily what HE wants me to do, the minute I was OPEN to doing His will... (BIG leason learned)

Another thing I remember moving me out of the "safe" zone was coming across the following video.  I think I probably saw it on Facebook a few times before I clicked on it.  I still remember watching it through and being so totally blown away by this guy and what he was saying.  It was such TRUTH.  It was "OUT THERE" and yet it was needed to stir things up for people.  Take a minute to watch it.

Jefferson Bethke

Jesus > Religion

What a way to put it! Jesus is SO MUCH GREATER! A RELATIONSHIP is so much GREATER then Religion.

I bought his book, then bought more of them and gave them away.  I encourage you to read his book or go to his website and check out more of his videos.  

The last thing that I feel lead me closer in my walk with the Lord happened close to two years ago.  I was on Pinterest of all places. (lol, the mom hang out online :)  Just scrolling through and out of the blue I saw something that

BLOWS MY MIND, again...

(I really don't say that all the time  :)

Somebody had taken PAINT and SCRAPBOOKING SUPPLIES and used them in their BIBLE!  What?  I was floored!  Because my heart instantly new that I was created to do that too! I had been scrapbooking for the last 18 or so years, involved in the industry and on many different design teams over the years.  My Creative Retreats are based on creating scrapbooking and mixed media art!  And here I was looking at two things that I LOVE deeply, (the Lord and Art) and this person COMBINED THEM!!  My heart was exploding! <3

I tell you that day I searched for hours for more information on this, I found that this woman had started a FB page called "Journaling Bible Community" and there were about 200 people in the group at the time.  I asked to join and never looked back! I talked to this woman and told her how it jumped out at me.  Now it has grown to a world wide explosion and Shanna Noel, who started it has seen what the Lord can do through such a simple act of stepping out and doing something your heart(i.e. God) is telling you to do.  Shanna is actually TEACHING with me this September at my Art & Faith Creative Retreat and I am so beyond excited and blessed to spend this time with her and all the ladies getting deeper in His Word!

All of these things have drawn me closer to the Lord, to delve into His Word deeper, to let it spill forth in my life each day and get me out of the "safe zone" I was in. I think of this verse in Psalm 27:4 that says:

"One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple."

I want to DWELL in the house of the Lord...  I want to meditate daily on His Word...  I want it to CONSUME my life!

That is what the Lord is calling each of us to.  To be in His Word daily.  To have it on our lips, to be ready with an answer, to SHARE His love with others...

For Bible Appreciation Month I want you to please pray about what God's Word means to you.  You don't have to get out your paint and stickers and put them in your bible if you don't want to.  But get a prayer journal, or sign up for a online devotional bible study through Our Daily Bread or She Reads Truth.  Or read Jeff's book that I mentioned above. Open God's Word and ask the Lord to show you His will for your life.  Start in Psalms, it's full of beautiful praise to the Lord.

My word for the year (Ali Edwards started #onelittleword years back) is DWELL.

My prayer for all of us is that we would DWELL in God's Holy Bible and gain life from it.  Learn from it and share His message of LOVE to a world that so desperately needs it!

Here's a few Bible Journaling Pages I did recently that may inspire you to find your passion in His Word like I have.  

I found this quote on Pinterest that Toby Mac got from Paulo Coelho and I knew I had to do a page on it.  As Christ followers, we are an example to the world... good or bad.  Let's do our best to be the example Christ wants us to be, to share His love and kindness to the world.

I did this page a few weeks ago when someone I love was having a hard time.  That's another reason I love bible journaling.  When I'm struggling with something or someone I love is, I can turn to the bible and find a verse that helps to remind us that the Lord knows.  He's always there and He is always FAITHFUL.

This old hymn has new life in my bible and in my heart!  How great is it that we serve a God that forgives us,  who heals us and who redeems us!

This bible journaling page I did last night and this morning.  I love Rifle Paper Company and took inspiration from one of their cards that I bought.  Life IS so beautiful when you realize that God is Love!  That He wants us to know that love and then give that love to others.  To give HOPE and LIFE to this world. Here's what the passage in 1 John says:

1 John 4:7-12 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

The bible is a living, breathing book of life and it is because God loves us SO much that He gave us His Word and His Son.  Take a look at it again with new eyes and be BLESSED this Easter Weekend as we celebrate what Jesus did on that cross for our sins to be NO MORE!  

Hugs to all,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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