Bible Journaling

Creative Retreat Kits | The Greatest Commandment

“And he said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Matthew 22:37-39

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I recently did one of those cheesy Facebook “assessments” where it screens your account to find out that words that you use most often. I wasn’t entirely surprised when it told me that single word I use most often is LOVE. Honestly, I was pretty delighted that the word love is constantly on my lips. And I do consider myself to be a person of love. One, because that’s just the way my heart leans – I have big emotions and when I love something, I REALLY LOVE IT. That goes with people, equally. I LOVE my people.

But more importantly, I love because our God commands it. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 22 that loving God was the greatest commandment. And not a shallow, easy love. But to love “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And why not?! Because our God loves us more than anything. He loves us so much that he sent his son to the cross for us. The ultimate sacrifice of love.

Second to that command to love our God, is to love our neighbor. And no, that doesn’t mean just the person who resides next door to you. Neighbor = everyone. Even that nasty person who cuts you off in line at school drop-off. It’s loving the thief that steals the package from your front door. It’s loving the careless coworker who says the project you poured countless hours into wasn’t that great. It’s loving the parent who never loved you the way you desperately needed and deserved. It’s our own kind of sacrificial love.

This is not easy! Just as I mentioned that I am a person that loves deeply… unfortunately, when I don’t like something, I REALLY don’t like it. Loving is not always easy. Loving sometimes comes with a price or a sacrifice of our own. But love is always worth it. Love is powerful, cleansing, healing, and restorative. I can’t really count a time in my life when love was wasted – even if it wasn’t returned.


Let’s jump into the entry! I started by highlighting my verse in a soft pink because I keep forgetting to do that first and I often get carried away and make art right over my verse!

Once that was taken care of, I knew I wanted to use the gorgeous embellished letter stamps in the kit. I stamped out LOVE first and then grabbed some fun Dear Lizzy Thickers from my stash to spell out Lord. There were so many letters that coordinated well with the February kit colors! I used the awesome, simple black alpha stickers from the kit to compliment my titles.

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I layered in some strips of fun yellow striped washi to break up my titles. I can’t remember where I got this washi and it makes me sad because it’s almost gone and I use it A LOT. Next, after stamping out Love again, I grabbed all my alpha stickers and made the People title using all sorts of different letters that coordinated with the kit colors. I liked how varied this look and felt like it represented how different people can be!

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Then I grabbed some markers and filled in the flowers and embellishments on the stamped letters. I used Stampin Up markers in Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Daffodil Delight and Bashful Blue – some or all of these may be discontinued because they recently re-worked their color line. I finished up by adding some fun enamel dots and hearts to the page just to pop. I love how these looked with the stamped letters!

I was gifted this cute heart fabric clip and decided it had to go on this page. I secured it with the washi and then laid down a label sticker and other stickers and alphas from the kit to spell out love.

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This was such a quick and easy entry but I love how it turned out. I hope you guys are enjoying the kit this month as much as I am!

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Friends, my prayer for you is that you practice love in your daily life – love God with all your heart, your soul and your mind. Love his people, even when it feels like they don’t deserve it. Love because the Lord commands it and love because it feels so good to love and to receive love. Love first, and be amazed at what follows.

Need creative inspiration? Follow @creativeretreat on Instagram and follow the hashtag #creativeretreatkits.  While you’re there, come find me and let’s be friends! I’m @bibleartgal. 

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.