Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | One True King

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“But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes.
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.”

Jeremiah 10:10

I’m not a huge consumer of junk food… but I do have a mean sweet tooth. Do you remember several years back when Hostess announced that it was closing it’s doors? Now, I wouldn’t say I was devastated or anything, but I will admit that I was bummed. Bummed because those chocolate cupcakes with the white swirl on top were one of my guilty pleasures. We all have those little things that are probably just not that appealing, but end up being a bit of a vice.

I used to allow myself a package of those every once in a while as a treat, OR when I donated blood. I could always count on the blood bank to have my favorite treats. So when Hostess announced it was quits, I thought I would be devoid of my indulgence forever. It wasn’t a short time later that that “imitators” started popping up in vending machines and storefronts.

I was reluctant, but I gave them a try. They were NOT my indulgence. They were dry. They were sort of tasteless and weirdly sticky. They were not Hostess. They were in fact just imitators. There are SO MANY imitators in our life. Things that promise they are real and satisfying. But when you look down deep, they are just that, fakes. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to guide us to truth. There is nothing that reveals truth better than our God!

Jeremiah 10:10 describes our God as the ONE TRUE GOD. There is nothing artificial, tasteless or fake about Him. He is great. He is powerful. He is above all. Better than that he is the LIVING GOD that is above all. Living means that he still acts and intercedes for us every day. He doesn’t just sit back and watch our lives unfold. He is active and present in them.

For my page this week I decided to go royal and honor our one true King. I started by using the ink smooshing technique (smooshing ink onto plastic packaging, spraying a bit of water on it and “smooshing” it on the page several times). I used Distress Oxide ink in Faded Jeans. I LOVE this color of blue and it coordinated with the kit just perfectly.

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Next I decided to do a little bit of hand lettering with a gold American Crafts marker. Lettering is NOT my strength but I felt like that was the only way to do it for spelling out the title King and I’m actually happy with how it turned out. I added a few other alphas and wordfetti from the kit to spell out “He is the one true King”.

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I went in drew a box around my verse and drew a few little gold stars with the marker and then hit the whole page with some gold splatters using a Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor in Blue Gold.

I finished the page off with a little sparkly gold washi tape, that sweet blue bow from the kit and the One True King medallion sticker.

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This was a quick and simple entry but I really like how it turned out. The blue and gold combo is one of my faves.

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Friends, I pray that you know and celebrate the one true God and King in your lives. I pray that you know of his power and might but feel his compassion and love for you. Do not settle for cheap imitators and fakes to full any holes in your life. He is above all and will cover all. He is the King of your heart.

Be blessed, friends!

If you’re looking for inspiration using the Faith Art Box, follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits. Are we friends yet? We should be! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

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Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Truth in Good Fruit

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“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

Matthew 7:15-20

I was in my pre-teens when I learned a very expensive lesson … rather, my parents bore the weight of the expense while I dealt with the embarrassment and aftermath of my poor decision. I grew up the 80s and 90s when the landline phone was king (long before the smartphone). I just LOVED talking on the phone. I talked on the phone A LOT (sorry Mom and Dad). I was also very young and very immature and very impressionable. An advertiser’s dream, really.

So, when I stumbled across some advertisements for a phone-in psychic, I was dazzled. Someone who could remarkably and accurately tell me my future?! Sign me up! Maybe she would tell me if that cute boy in my class liked me back? Maybe she would would tell me if I was getting that killer boombox for my birthday? I was desperate to know what the future held for me, so I called in. My eyes didn’t even pause over the fine print. The fine print which explained that each call would cost $5.95 to connect and another several dollars per minute to continue. Yes, per minute.

I wish I could say I called just once. I wish I could say I called just twice. What I can say is that well over a HUNDRED dollars later, my parents got the phone bill and confronted me. I was caught and I crumbled under the reality of what I had done. My parents, of course, were upset about the expense they would have to pay. But what they were truly disappointed in was that I was even reaching out to a psychic. I was seeking truth in a place that I would never find it.

Matthew 7:15-16 speaks of false prophets who appear in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are like ravenous wolves. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. A lie. A farce. A predator out looking for prey. It goes on to provide aid in identifying those false prophets – by their fruit, because a healthy tree will produce good fruit and a diseased tree will produce bad fruit. You’d better believe a false prophet is going to be bearing some bad fruit.

In a world full of “fake news” and false prophets, inauthenticity and mirages of “reality”, it can be really hard to tell truth from fiction. But the Bible gives us this incredible road map for truth and markers for finding it. Truth bearers are also good fruit bearers. But what is good fruit? Well, we’ve learned in Galatians 5:22-23  what that fruit is – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Those qualities are pretty clear to see. You will know good fruit when you see it. And similarly, it can be pretty easy to spot bad fruit. What kind of fruit is your life producing? Have you seen bad fruit, in yourself or in others? What kind of fruit do you want to surround yourself with?

I’ve never called or even had the desire to speak to a psychic since. I now know where truth is truly found, and my eyes have been opened to what a false prophet really looks like in this day and age. I’m truly grateful that the word of God has been a light unto my path, giving me a road map to truth and shining a light on deceit.

I started off my entry this month with a very soft wash from a gray gelato just on the left margin of the page, which I buffed in lightly and then set with a light wash of water. I love that gelatos can behave like watercolors and I loved this effect! I then went in with the cute little branch/sprout stamp from the July Faith Art box and stamped with a Versamark pad and white embossing powder to create a nice crisp white embossed background. I used a scrap piece of paper to mask off the right side of the page and again keep everything in the margin.

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After that I went wild with the stickers from the kit and laid down all of the fruit of the Spirit, accenting each one with the fun enamel pieces. I very lightly traced over everything with my white gel pen, and outlined my verse with a black journaling pen.

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I cut out a tab from the devotional card backer and layered it with a bit of washi tape and a few more stickers from the kit.

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I felt like the page really needed a fun pop and I was SO INSPIRED by Julie’s page last month where she created a cute little shaker for her page, so I decided to go for it. I cut out the reflection questions from the kit’s devotional card and tossed it in a pocket page with some buttons, sequins, glitter, and a few of the enamel pieces from the kit layered back to back to form little colorful circles. I sealed it up using my Fuse tool and added a bit of washi and some more stickers to form the fruits title.

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To finish it off, I made a quick clip from some pink and gold baker’s twine and used that to clip the shaker to my page. I was back in my super chunky bible again this month so I didn’t mind the thickness it added and I loved being able to have the reflection questions right there. I had so much fun with this one!

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My prayer for you, my friends, is that you will always look for the good fruit and to cultivate a life in which good fruit springs forth from you. Do not be deceived by false prophets or anyone that tries to convince you that you are anything but a precious and loved child of God. May the Holy Spirit be revealed in you through your good fruit.

Be blessed, friends!

Not sure where to start with the Faith Art box? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Bounty of Blessings

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22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

Galatians 5:22-23

I am very fortunate to live in Central California for a lot of reasons. But, one of my favorite reasons is the absolute bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables grown here. Reedley, a town just north of me (and consequently where I met my husband… at a peach orchard of all things!) is known as the “fruit basket of the world” because for the size of the area, it produces more fruit than any other place in the world!

All throughout the valley, tucked between country homes, little housing tracts, large expanses of land, dairies, churches and a network of roads are orchards, vineyards and fields producing masses of fruit – strawberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, kiwis, oranges, cherries and more. We have the best fruit and I have learned more about fruit than I ever thought possible living here.

The most important thing I’ve learned about farming is the incredible amount of work it takes to produce even a small harvest of fruit. There is no plopping seeds in the ground, splashing a little water on it and walking away until harvest time. Farming is painstaking, backbreaking, expensive and time-consuming work. It takes great dedication to sow, water, protect and harvest. There is disappointment along the way. And there are also tremendous awards when all goes well.

Galatians tells us all about the fruit of the Spirit. This is a different kind of fruit than the ones we are chopping up for that sweet summer fruit salad, but there is a lot we can learn from this fruit. The fruit of the spirit is literally the harvest sown when the Spirit abides in you. If you are walking with and in a relationship with the Lord, his Spirit is living in you and it will produce fruit… the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. That is some GOOD FRUIT.

But just like the farmers that rise with the sun and retire well after it has gone back down, good fruit is not produced without investing yourself. You must invest the time, effort and expense in producing good fruit in your life. It doesn’t just come on its own. Good fruit comes from living and being led by the Spirit. But what incredible blessings come from that investment! Who doesn’t want the blessing of love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Oh, goodness yes! What an incredible bounty of blessings comes from living in the Spirit.

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I probably say it every month but I am in love with the July Faith Art box. My eyes were the size of peaches when I opened it up. This is such a gorgeous and fun kit – so much that I went a little color crazy, but I couldn’t help it!

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I started by very lightly putting down some heart stickers from the kit to create little masks and putting a light layer of washi tape over my verse to mask that. I then experimented with some of the Studio Calico Color Mists by lightly spraying a few coordinating colors down (I first covered EVERYTHING in sight but my page and sprayed very gently and from a great distance). I let it dry completely because these are very rich and saturate quickly. I lightly pulled up the heart stickers I had placed to reveal some nice crisp hearts.

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The pattern on the back of the devotional card is AMAZING so I just had to fussy cut some letters to form the FRUIT part of my title. I did a little additional outlining with a white gel pen and accented it with a few of the cute enamel pieces from the kit. I went back to my super chunky bible this month so I went a little dimensional and used foam tape to elevate my title and even glued in a button over my “i”. I finished my title with a few of the wordfetti pieces and Spirit sticker and traced over everything with the white gel pen.

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I made a little cluster at the bottom of the page for a little GROW subtitle, which I stamped in white craft (pigment) ink and added another little button and enamel accent. I used the round alphas from this month’s kit to put in the date for my entry. The page was looking a little bland so I grabbed my white gel pen once more and added some dots, crosses and other textures to mimic the sketch style of the devotional card art.

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I finished the page with a little cluster tab at the top, combining a little mint washi tape, a sticker from the kit and a quick clip that I made from some scrap ribbon.

My prayer for each of you is that you choose to walk in the Spirit of our Lord so that you may experience the incredible bounty of blessings that come when you live in his power. I pray that you are living a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Be blessed, friends!

You’ve got to see the incredible things being done with this month’s kit! Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. I love making new friends, so please check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | He Overcomes All

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 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

-John 16:33

In college I studied journalism. I loved stories and I loved being a story teller. As a result, I watched and read the news A LOT. I devoured the newspapers in the morning and poured over the news in the evening. I liked knowing what was going on in the world and I liked thinking about how I would tell the stories if I had the chance. I was young and the stories captivated me.

As time went on and I grew older, I navigated my career away from journalism and in to advertising and marketing. Though the storytelling part of the news still appealed to me, I noticed that there was not much “good news” on TV. Every night was a back to back agenda of crime, destruction, hatred, theft, war, death and suffering. It was all too much. This compounded as the years passed and peaked when I had my children. I almost never watch the news or read news stories anymore. According to the news, there is almost no good left in the world.

I of course know that this is not true. But what really encourages me is knowing that even if the world is filled with hate and war and crime, there is the knowledge that our Lord and Savior has overcome it all. He overcame through his sacrifice and death on the cross. And I believe he overcomes for us every day. Because he overcomes, we have PEACE. Peace among all the things we see on the news. Peace and promise that we are going to be met in paradise. Pain and suffering are big. But our God is much bigger. Thank you Jesus! You overcome!

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The colors in this month’s Faith Art Box are so summery and bright. They make me smile! I ADORED the cute pattern on the back of the devotional card so I set about trying to recreate it. I used Target’s Hand Made Modern paints swirled on using some sponge daubers. After those dried, I used the ADORABLE texture stamps from the kit and stamped in using a black Versafine ink pad and white Craft ink.

I laid down a few titles including “Take Heart Jenn” using the stickers and alpha stickers in the kit. I recently read a devotion that talked about how important and powerful it is to personalize scripture. This is most easily done by adding your name to scripture and I must tell you, it really does feel powerful and like our God is speaking directly to you. I don’t know about you all but I definitely needed to heart the words “take heart”.

DSC_3464 I’ve gotten really interested in looking up the dictionary definitions of words so I looked up the word overcome and found that it meant defeated, prevailed and overpowered. Amen! I added that into my journaling and then layered in some washi tape and the rest of my titles, finishing the page with the SWEET striped bow (STRIPES ARE MY FAVORITE!).

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My prayer for each of you reading this is to know that our God is so much bigger than the ugly that we see on the news. He’s bigger than the pain and suffering in our days here on earth. He has overcome, and he will continue to overcome, for you, every day. He wants you to know the peace that he offers and to know that his peace covers ALL. Be blessed, friends!

Have you seen all of the amazing ways you can use Faith Art Kits? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, let’s be friends! Check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Memory Keeping

Creative Retreat Kits|His Promises

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“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

Genesis 9:13-15

I’ve always been terrified of thunder storms. Something about the loud boom and crackle of thunder strong enough to shake the windows always makes my heart race. As a child I remember running to my dad in fear and him saying, “God is talking right now,” when the cracks of thunder would roar over our house. While I’m in awe of the power of God in those moments, I’m also very aware that I am a fragile, tiny human that is deeply vulnerable.

The crazy thing is that I also love a good storm. There is fascination buried in that fear. And maybe, just maybe it’s that I hold out hope that the end of the storm will bring a bright rainbow. We don’t get a terribly large amount of rain where I live in Central California, and we don’t get epic storms like you see in the Midwest and East coast. But every once in a while, we get a good one and right at the tail end, the clouds will part and the sun will pierce through, igniting a bright, prismatic rainbow stretching from one end of the sky to the other (the perk of living in very flat lands).

I adore rainbows. Beyond the science of it all, it’s just shockingly beautiful and every time I see one, it reminds me of God’s promises. From the very first promise in Genesis where God specifically set a rainbow to be a reminder of his covenant and promise to never flood the earth and destroy all life again, to the everyday promises that he makes to his people:

  • That he loves us.
  • That he died for us to forgive our sins, once for all.
  • That he is all powerful.
  • That he heals the broken-hearted.
  • The he has compassion for us.
  • That he will give us wisdom.
  • That he has a purpose and plan for our lives.
  • That he will never leave us or give up on us.

I could go on and on listing his promises. They are endless. I can barely wrap my mind around a God who promises so very much to his people, but still sees and loves me. He sees me in the storms and he shows me his promises. I look at storms differently now. Though there is still fear, I hold on to his promises and love and always look for the rainbow.

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We’ve had quite a few storms in my neck of the woods the last month or two and I’ve been loving it. We’ve also been blessed with some crazy beautiful rainbows. One so beautiful that I grabbed a photo and raced home to make sure my little boys would see it, which they did and loved. I’ve actually taken a lot of “rain pics” the last few weeks (guys, we were so desperate for rain in our dry lands). I thought it might be fun to do something a little different and use the April Faith Art kit to do a pocket page for my scrapbook.

I started by laying out my pocket page protector and then printing a few photos, keeping in mind the dimensions and to space them around the page evenly. I put everything on top of the protector before I ever put anything in pockets. It allows you to quickly move things around and make adjustments easily. I pulled out some coordinating scrap paper and washi tape from my stash that would match the gorgeous blues and pop of yellow in this month’s kit. I swoon for the color combo of this kit!

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I printed out the verse in Genesis, as well as some song lyrics from Rain Down, by Delirious. I then wrote up a quick journaling card and then got to stacking things up.

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The stickers in the kit were absolutely perfect for a rain-themed page. I used SO MANY of them, but still had plenty to go around.

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The secret to a fun pocket page, scrapbook page, even bible journal entry is LAYERS. It’s all about layers. And the more you layer various textures and colors, the better. If I sit back and look at a page and think it’s just “undone” looking, I just add another layer. You really can’t go wrong… though I would caution from going too layer crazy! 🙂

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I pray that you are all able to see and feel God’s promises for you every single day. He is there in the storm of whatever you are going through. His promises do not fail. Look for the rainbows. Be blessed, friends!

Don’t miss out on all of the awesome and fun ways to use Creative Retreat Kits. Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to get inspired. While you’re there, check out my IG @bibleartgal.

Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | Even in Rain, He Reigns

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“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying ‘What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?”
– Matthew 8:23-27

The past several weeks have brought my home state of California a series of back to back late-winter storms, bringing much needed rain to our drought-ridden lands. It’s been a dry season and this is rain that we’ve prayed for, sometimes desperately, so we don’t dare complain or fret. Though these storms have brought unexpected flooding, mudslides and worries of their own, we are still grateful for the life-giving rain. Storms, by nature are dark and brooding, sometimes downright terrifying. It can be hard to see benefits hidden in the darkness.

Can’t we say the same about the storms of life? I know that I can. The past few years have brought the same back to back storms that we’ve been experiencing lately where I live. But instead of life-giving rain, I’ve felt the pain of depression, anxiety, job loss, extreme financial stress, a terminal diagnosis of a loved one, new demanding jobs, marital discord, and the constant roar of “overwhelm” that often comes with life as a wife, mom, caregiver and more. I have often been tempted to shake my fist in the sky and shout, “Where are you God???”

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My local pastor recently preached on the passage of Matthew 8:23-27 and pointed out something so simple and profound, but something I had definitely missed the gravity of when studying it in the past. Jesus was in the boat! The Savior of the world, Messiah, Son of God, was right there, in a state of total peace, sleeping. How often do we run about frantically when the storms of life hit? Screaming, crying, begging for help. But forgetting that God is right here. He’s in the boat. He’s got us under the same hand that he can stretch out over a roaring storm and speak words of peace, and it’s over. It’s calm. Storms are inevitable, but so too is the love of our God. Without the storms, we wouldn’t need him like we so desperately do.

The winds and the sea obey him. He’s calling us to do the same. To trust and obey that he’s in control and that the calm is coming. We need only have faith.

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To say that I love everything about the kit this month is an understatement! The bows, the colors, the stamps, the powerful devotional. I started off my entry with a soft wash of pastel that I “massaged” very well into the page, wiped over with a paper towel and then set down with a very light wash of clear gesso.

I then stamped those adorable raindrops and hit them with some white embossing powder for an extra pop. I set my title down, which is my favorite part… when I saw the kit, two words jumped out at me, “rain” and “reign” and I thought… “Even in the rain, he will reign.” I traced around it in a blue Micron pen, hit it with a few splatters of white acrylic paint watered down just a bit for optimal splattering.

I found this cute cloud in my stash and layered it over that adorable white bow for a really big tag. I love a big, loud tag. Lastly, I wanted a few extra big white raindrops but wasn’t sure how to make them, then laid my eyes on the plain white hearts that came in last month’s kit. Did you know that if you cut a heart in half, you get two perfectly, cute raindrops? They were the perfect addition!

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I pray that even in the storms of this life that each and every one of you can find peace and know that you are not alone. He’s in your boat. He hears you. He knows you. He loves you. And you can trust that he will bring calm to your weary heart. Be blessed, friends!

Want to see other ways to use products from the Creative Retreat kits? Follow @creativeretreatkits on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits to see how others are using them! And please check out my Insta account @bibleartgal while you’re there.