Never Give Up on God! 3 Reasons to Pray Continually

pray continually

There is a song I’ve been listening to a lot lately, called “Miracle” by Unspoken. It’s about the importance of continuing to pray, and not give up.

And how much we need to hear that! A few years ago, I was feeling pessimistic about prayer. I would ask God for things, and after seemingly no answer, I was unhappy with God and even questioning my faith.

Have you been there? Or maybe you’re in that place right now, still waiting on your miracle. I can totally relate.

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The Ultimate Creative Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas gift guide 2017

Would you believe that many of my friends and co-workers are already done with their gift shopping for Christmas? One person in particular had knocked out her entire list before Thanksgiving.

And then there’s me…I’m feeling pretty good, having at least checked off a few people on my list. But it was mostly due to Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales spurring me into action. And I still have quite a few people whom I have no clue what to get for Christmas. (Okay, mabye I have some clues, but it takes work to piece them together!)

How are you doing on your Christmas gift shopping? If you’re reading this post, you must have at least a few people still to buy for, and they’re probably not the easy ones. Like the friend, uncle, or cousin who has you totally stumped as to what to get them for Christmas. Am I right or am I right? I mean, we all have those people who are easy to buy for, and then there are the ones that we’re totally clueless about.

In writing this post, I could just give you a list of possible gifts. But then you could scroll all the way down the list, and still not have any ideas. So instead, I’m talking about solving this gift-giving dilemma in a more creative way.

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Bible Journaling: Yes, YOU can do it too!

Bible journaling

Yes, it’s true: I love Bible journaling!

It seems all the rage right now, but back in 2015, I had never heard of it. Then one day, I saw it on Instagram. My favorite author had posted an image of her Bible with words and images pasted and painted on the pages. I was totally blow away! You mean people are coloring in their Bibles? That’s crazy-town.

But before long, I discovered the Bible journaling tutorials on RebekehRJones.com, and the more I watched, the more I wanted to try it. So, at the beginning of 2016, with a brand new journaling Bible in hand, I made my first entry. It was in response to one of Rebekah’s ‘Bible journaling challenge’ videos: a combination of watercolor paint and stamping applied to Psalm 150. And I was terrified!

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Two Framing Dilemmas, and How to Fix Them

float framing tips

As I write this, I’m already feeling the pinch of the upcoming holidays. I know, it’s not even October yet, but once September is over, it’s only a few short weeks until Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Yikes! So much work I have to do, to prepare the DCL Etsy shop with Christmas art and gift-ready goodies.

It’s okay though. As my good friend Natalie reminded me, God is in control! Which is especially comforting when I feel overwhelmed and not nearly productive enough.

Speaking of overwhelmed, have you ever brought home a beautiful frame, only to discover that your artwork or photo doesn’t fit right, or won’t stay in place within the frame? How frustrating!

But if that happens to you, don’t give up! The fix could be as simple as tape. Here are two framing tips for common problems…

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living water Bible verse

This has been a tough week for many people in Texas and Louisiana. Hurricane Harvey is a reminder that we humans are definitely NOT in control. I live in central Texas, far away from the hard-hit areas of the gulf coast (here, we only received two inches of rain from Harvey), and my friends and relatives in Houston and Beaumont are thus far doing okay, but still, Harvey is bringing a lot of devastation. My heart goes out to everyone affected, and if that’s you, please know you are in my prayers.

Living in this crazy world, with floods and famine and our own sin wreaking havoc, it’s easy to become depressed about the state of things. Every day, we wake up and go about various activities, amidst a world that is largely ignoring God. And even as believers, isn’t it all too easy to fall into worldly things, and forget to reach out to God?

Happens to me, sometimes every day! I feel like I’m getting lost in the world…but at the end of the day, I know that I need God. Not just when trouble strikes, but all the time! I need His guidance and approval, His love and mercy, and everything He is.

So, in the midst of the distractions, the troubles, and the false lure of sin and worldly things, how do we keep the faith? How do we ensure God’s living water is always nourishing our spirits, every day? Furthermore, how do we cling to God so closely, that even in a crisis our faith will stand strong?

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sermon notes

Sometimes in life, you have to re-learn how to do something after being away from it for a while, especially if it involves a big transition from old to new.

This is definitely one of those times for me! I’ve recently made the switch from PC to Mac, and now that I’m finally through with the arduous two-week process of transitioning everything over to the new tech, I can get back to work. (Hello, big 27-inch monitor that’s 10″ bigger than my PC monitor was!)

It feels weird, but good too. I just have to get back into the swing of things, after not writing any blogs for at several weeks.

And here we are!

Have you ever been to church, heard a wonderful message, and then three days later you can’t remember what that message was about? Or worse, you show up and plant yourself in the seat, and after it’s over, you realize that you missed half the sermon because you were thinking about all the groceries you have to get after church? Been there, done that!

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love must be sincere

Something has been bugging me lately. I’ve seen it in the people around me, heard it mentioned in Sunday sermons, and thought a lot about why it’s such a problem.

NEGATIVITY. Specifically, fostering a habit of negativity in relationships, which makes us miserable. It’s the husband who complains about his wife, and then his wife in turn gripes about something he did last week. Or the woman who gripes about her sister’s issues, failing to acknowledge that she shares many of those same issues. And if someone harps on me about some perceived shortcoming of mine, of course I want to gripe back “Well, you’re not so perfect either!”

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How To Create a Beautiful Art Display

Have you ever bought a piece of art, brought it home, only to realize you have no idea what to do with it?

Or you’re staring at a blank wall or an empty corner, and wishing you could fill it with art and make it beautiful, but there are a million possibilities! What color? How many artworks to hang? Too many choices.

In my bedroom, I have a favorite art display, filled with inspirational images and Bible verses. And what I’ve realized is that it didn’t come about all at once, but rather one piece at a time.

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How to Have FAITH That Can Move Mountains

faith can move mountains

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” -Luke 17:5-6

When is the last time you asked God for more faith? Maybe yours is but a speck of dust, and you want to grow it to mustard-seed-size. Maybe you even want to walk on water, so to speak (see Matthew 14:22-33).

When I sat down to doodle/practice hand lettering a while back, this is what came out of my pen: Faith can move mountains. I remember doodling the word ‘faith’, and then thinking “What should I write next?”. And that’s when the ‘…can move mountains’ part came to my mind.

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In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus!

morning prayer and worship

It’s happened… I’ve become a morning person.

No, NO, not THAT kind of morning person—the one who gets up at 4am and actually enjoys it. I have never been, nor ever will be, a true morning person. What I have become, however, is an “in the morning, give me Jesus” kind of person. Just rarely before 7am, and even then, only if I have to. 😉

Prior to a few months ago, anytime I heard someone talk about spending more than five minutes on prayer or Bible reading in the morning, I would think that person is either crazy or really blessed to have the time/energy to devote to that. When a friend of mine told me she wakes up 30 minutes early to pray before going to work each day, I thought ‘that’s admirable, but totally not for me’.

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