Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Step by Step to making a Joy Shaker Pocket by Sarah Anderson

I adore glitter, and shinies, and fell in love with the idea of joy shaker pockets after seeing them on Celeste's Instagram @precious.to.me.  These little packets of sparkle fill your bible and/or planner with happiness!

I've put the first joy shaker pocket I made with this verse, which I've written as a prayer, in Romans, and used glittery tape to attach it to the top of my bible page.  So how do you make them??

The first thing you'll need is a cellophane packet.  I used this packet from some adhesive gems I purchased but you could use one from a greetings card, stamp set or a cellophane CD cover.

Cut a piece of coloured card to fit inside the packet.  I used card I'd painted, sprayed, stencilled and stamped on both side.  You could also use double sided scrapbook paper.

I stamped the word 'joy' on the front in black ...

..and repeatedly in aquamarine on the other side.  By stamping until the stamp runs out of ink (rather than inking the stamp each time you stamp) you get added texture as the word lightens.

Slide the stamped card into the pocket ...

... and collect together a selection of 'shinies'.  I found the glitter in Poundland, tiny star confetti in Tesco (other supermarkets are available!) and star sequins in Rymans.  In my first shaker pocket I used sequins from Hobbycraft.

Fill your pocket with a selection of glitter and sequins ...

... and seal with glittery tape.  I found this in Tesco (other supermarkets are available!) in the gift wrap section.

I added this shaker pocket into Nehemiah.  I journaled this page last week and whilst I was adding the shaker pocket decided it needed some sparkle so added some Stickles.  This is a glue containing ultra fine glitter and is one of my favourites.  You'll find it in Hobbycraft.

I hope this has inspired you to fill your bible with glitter and shine, and hunt out those verses about joy.  And I pray that our God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

I can't - by Jane Butcher

I can’t draw like Deborah, I can't paint like Gill, I can't use mixed media like Sarah, I can't source things like Pam, I can't worship like Ben…

It's a wonder I can drag myself out of bed in a morning!

But, I can draw, I can paint, I can use mixed media, I can source things, I can worship; like me, and that's good enough because God made me. He gave me my skills, talents, interests, He gave them to me to use as only I can!

I wrote this poem many years ago, I hadn't been a Christian for very long but I already felt somehow inadequate when I compared myself to others.

“Oh to be a trophy of grace.”
Oh to be a trophy of grace,
To come in first in life’s long race.
Not relegated to runner up,
Slinking home with a tarnished cup.
To be held in esteem by all and sundry,
Surely a goal to be aimed for one day!
Glowing with health and blindingly good,
Reflecting the light as all trophies should.

How I'd hate it, how I'd fail,
The very thought turns my flesh pale.
Not for me such dizzy heights,
Living each day is enough of a fight!
My name won't make the glory roll,
No mention in dispatches or meritorious scroll.
But I don't care, I’ll just do my best,
I'll leave such striving for all the rest.

If someone told me to “come forth my child”,
I'd probably come fifth and drive them wild!
Still, it takes all sorts as you'll agree,
And there's room in the world for more like me.
I don't want much, my needs are few,
My family, my friends, more people like you!
So, here is one failed “trophy of grace”
Who has finally come to know her place!

There is one thing we all need to know, God made us, God loves us, we are His unique creation and the things we do and the way we do them are pleasing to His eye. Every moment we spend in His presence, in prayer, silence, reading, worshiping, praising or journaling blesses God.

Many people have shared the need for us to stop comparing ourselves to others, many more will do so in the future. Let's just for a moment imagine our lives as being a piece of a jigsaw, the last piece of a jigsaw. To complete the big picture only our shape will fit, with all its curves, bumps and sharp edges. We don't stand alone, neither do our strengths, weaknesses, gifts or talents.  We are created to take our place in the big picture, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Without us the big picture is incomplete!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Behold the Kingdom of God - by Ben Butcher

I had the absolute pleasure of seeing this journal page come to life on Saturday and Ben kindly agreed to share it with us.  IRL it is full of sparkle too - Sarah

"This is one of my favourite verses Luke 17:21 behold the kingdom of God within you it reminds me that God's kingdom is coming closer and that Jesus is coming to gathering his children and take them up to his father's house in heaven in the future. 
This picture I journaled today shows the gateway towards the eternal glorious city of God inside the city and has so many rooms .
The ladder resemble climbing towards our new home and take our place in the golden thrones which has our names written on the colours I picked resembles what heaven looks like red gold orange and browns." - Ben 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Be Like Jesus - by Deborah J Gregg

I just love how God loves to surprise us!

He always manages to catch my breath with the unexpected, out of the blue, jaw dropping twists and turns that He brings my way.

When we walk in step with the Spirit, it's a remarkable adventure.

When we step out in faith, we know He's gone before us, He goes behind us and is right there with us.

This has been a rather remarkable week!

Last Sunday, when I was washing the dishes I was just thinking about the 'be like Bill' meme that everyone was sharing on Facebook.
I just felt God reminded me that we should be like Jesus.
And the idea came, to draw a stickman picture, with simple words of truth. After 20 minutes (of mostly deliberating about the wording) it looked like this:

After a quick prayer, I posted it first in our lovely Bible Art Journaling UK Facebook group to 'test the waters', once I could see that some of my friends here liked it, I felt just about brave enough to share it in a couple of other Christian groups - 'Captivated' for Christian women in the UK and 'Journaling Bible Community'.

And that's when it took off...literally. I mean, it went viral!

I was looking at my iPad and the 'like' and 'shared' notification counter was literally going ping!ping!ping!  All evening! And for the next few days, this simple picture has been sharing the simple gospel truth around Facebookland, Instagram and Twitter, I mean it even has a hashtag! #belikejesus. At last estimate it would be at least well over 100,000 likes and shares. Not that I'm counting ;-)  but I have to admit that it was surreal and extraordinary and completely unexpected. I am just so humbled that God would use this simple sketch in this way.

And I particularly love that he used the most simple thing I have ever drawn. When I think about the hours and hours I've poured into other Bible Art pieces, artwork and journaling, but no, it's the stickman that gets His message out there! :-) I mean, I didn't even do any proper hand lettering on it! But isn't that just what God loves to do? To use the most ordinary for His extraordinary works.

So looking back, I remember that on that particular Sunday morning I had specifically prayed for opportunities, whatever they may look like, and also I put on my shoes of the gospel of peace and I prayed that I would not be ashamed of the gospel. So I'm thankful for a very surprising answer to prayer - He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine! And I'm looking to continue to follow His direction, to make the most of every opportunity.

All for His glory!

Let's be like Jesus.

P.S. Please feel free to share this 'Be Like Jesus' picture on social media, use in churches and outreach, copy into your Journaling Bible, and it’s fine for general reasonable use, without any copyright or acknowledgement needed. Just please don’t make or sell stuff with this image without asking me first. Thank you!
Image & design (c) Deborah Jane Gregg 2016