Featured

Rejoice Always with Free Printable!

ACS_0007Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Rejoice always?  But sometimes I don’t feel joyful!  Why does the writer of this passage say to rejoice at all times?  Does he mean to always be happy?  No, I don’t think so.  There will be times when we struggle and even face persecution–spiritually, emotionally, perhaps even physically.  That’s what was happening to the church in Thessalonica.  Paul had visited them, but had to leave abruptly, with many of the new converts feeling discouraged and alone. Paul is encouraging them to depend on each other rather than on him, and even more, to depend on God for encouragement.  He reminds them to rejoice always, even when times are tough.

Rejoicing is a matter of choice, not a feeling.  We must choose to rejoice.  But how?  fullsizeoutput_497

Paul gives the answer in the next passage, verse 17.  He says, “…in everything give thanks…”  No matter the circumstances, find something to be thankful for.  Rather than focusing on the bad things around you, focus on the good things in your life, the blessings in your past, and what God has already done for you.  That’s how to readjust your thinking.

Maybe all you can find to be thankful for is that you woke up this morning–but that is better than the alternative!  How about the food you have to eat?  The clothes you have to wear?  The shelter over your head?  Sometimes we have to look at the very basic things first.  Then there are the relationships you enjoy, the job that pays you money (even if it not’s the best of jobs), the beautiful sunrise or rainbow that you saw this morning.  Perhaps you only had one tire to go flat instead of two.  We can train ourselves to have an “attitude of gratitude,” but it takes practice to always look for the good in all circumstances.

One thing that should consume your thankfulness is the fact that Jesus loves YOU, died for YOU, and wants to be in a relationship with YOU!  When nothing else can cheer you up, choose to think on that simple–yet profound–fact, and be thankful.  As you go about your day, remind yourself to whisper up a “thank you” to God.  It could be for anything, but when offered up regularly and earnestly, it brings joy and peace into your heart.  In other words, you begin to rejoice always.  That my, friend, is the will of God in Christ for you (verse 18).

ACS_0008

I created this Bible Journaling page as a reminder to rejoice always.  You can see the entire process video here, or using the link below.  Since this video is my 100th upload on my YouTube channel, I wanted to show my appreciation to my followers and subscribers who have helped to support my ministry.  I’ve uploaded a Rejoice Lily that you can use in your journaling as well.  You can use it as a tip-in or an alternative page by just printing it on card stock and coloring the image.  Or you could use it as a traceable.  I’ve shown you both of these options in the video.  You could also choose to print it on a clear sticker sheet and just slap it in your Bible or notebook.  (You could add color to the page with any medium before or after you do this, but beware that water may cause your printed ink to smear.)  Use this file as you wish.  If you do create something with it, I would LOVE to see it, so please tag me on instagram (@julesk.jewels) or Facebook (Julie Bragg Cassell).

I’m thankful for you.  And being thankful helps me to REJOICE ALWAYS!

PRODUCTS USED:

Rejoice Lily Printable

Watercolor Pencil Set

Illustrated Faith Watercolor Paint set

Distress Sprayer 2 oz. Bottle

Ranger Heat Tool

Aquabrushes

Speedball Rubber Brayer

Zig Dual-Tip Writer Marker

Stencil – July Documented Faith Stamp/Stencil Subscription

Broken China Distress Oxide Ink

Ranger Blending Tool

Illustrated Faith Basics Tool Kit

Tab Punch

IF Black and White Criss Cross Washi

Avery Clear Sticker Sheets

Barbour Personal Reflections Bible 

Bear Much Fruit | Bible Journaling

ACS_0321

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)

It’s another Fruit of the Spirit entry.  I’ve truly enjoyed my study of this section of scripture.  It is so full!  I have some blog posts on other some other sites too if you’d like to check them out.

Grow Good Fruit

God’s Fruity Law

Fruit of the Spirit Mini-Book

Lately, I’ve been working so hard at my job, extremely long hours, giving all that I have and more, that I feel completely depleted of energy.  It is easy to become irritable and snappy when you’re that tired and drained.  Bearing fruit?  My fruit has been pretty rotten, I’m afraid.  That’s because I haven’t been drawing from the Spirit.

fullsizeoutput_4b6Sure, I’ve been having my morning devotion time; but it has been rushed and shallow.  When that happens, it’s hard to walk in the Spirit throughout the day.  I need to slow down–if not in time, in attitude. I need to savor the sweet Spirit, and then the sweet fruit IMG_0085of the Spirit will emanate from me throughout the day.  Only then can I bear His fruit.

For this page, I was inspired by the design on a bottle of Victoria’s Secret Fragrance Mist.  Don’t be afraid to use patterns and designs that you like, even if they come from random places!  I recreated the design on my Bible page by two-step stamping, using Sweet’n Sassy Stamps “Fruit of the Spirit” stamp set, distress oxide inks, and Ranger Letter-It Embossing Kit.  I have a process video on my YouTube channel where you can see how the whole page came together (see the link below).

How do you slow down and savor your time with the Spirit?  Share a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!

–Julie

PRODUCT LINKS:

“Cotton Candy” Shimmerz Spritz

Sweet’n Sassy Stamps “Fruit of the Spirit”

Distress Oxide Ink Pad Worn Lipstick

Distress Oxide Ink Pad Candied Apple

Versafine Onyx Black Ink Pad

Stamp Shammy Cleaner 

Ranger Letter It Embossing Kit

Heat Tool:

Illustrated Faith Precision Pens

Illustrated Faith Date Stamp

Rose Gold Woodgrain Washi Tape

 

 

 

Love: The Main Fruit

ACS_0253Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…  I bet you could finish this list.  Commonly known as the Fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23.  When we walk in the Spirit, allowing Him to control our lives, we produce these fruit.  It’s a simple (albeit not-so-simple) cause-effect relationship.  Spirit leads, fruit grows.

There are nine fruits listed.  Are they listed in order of importance?  I don’t believe so, because self-control, the last one, is an extremely important fruit.  It’s not like on the jelly jar where the ingredients are listed in order of prevalence.  However, I do believe that love is listed first for a reason.

Notice how it says the “fruit” not “fruits”. Fruit is one of those words that can be singular or plural.  I once heard a pastor, and I’m sorry but I have no idea who it was, who said that the fruit of the Spirit is love, and that all the other eight fruit listed are just a part of the description of love.  I’m not so sure if I’d go that far, but I will agree with this:  love is the main fruit.  For an explanation, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter.

In this chapter, Paul describes true, godly, spiritual love.  The first Spirit fruit listed in Galatians 5.  We can discover all the other eight fruit of the Spirit in verses 4-8.

Love is patient (patience) and kind (kindness); love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude (gentleness). It does not insist on its own way (self-control); it is not irritable (peace) or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing (goodness), but rejoices (joy) with the truth. (faithfulness) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Some of these fruit, I believe, could fit in multiple places, but I simply listed the most obvious connections to me.  Love can be described by all the other fruit.  True, godly love will show joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Therefore, if we WERE examining a jar of “Fruit of the Spirit Jelly” (preserves, jam, spread, whatever your preference), love WOULD be the first ingredient!

ACS_0255Art Talk:

I made this page using the July Faith Art Box from Creative Retreat Kits, as well as the free coordinating printable that is available in the Creative Retreat Facebook Insiders Group.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you can “spread God’s love” around some today!

Grandmama’s Teacups

fullsizeoutput_481

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

I love collecting pretty teacups.  My china cabinet is full of them.  Many of them I’ve found at thrift stores, or have been given to me as gifts (because others know I like teacups!).  They remind me of my grandmothers.  My mother’s mother also loved and collected teacups.  I remember eyeing and fingering her Blue Willow miniature collection as a child, until she would see and then scold me away.  Now it lovingly sits in my cabinet.  Teacups remind me of my father’s mother and grandmother for other reasons.  My great-grandmother Merle hand-painted china as a hobby when she was a young woman.  One project that she passed on to my grandmother was her tea-and-toast set.  It is a set of eight teacups and saucers, each one with a different flower delicately hand-painted as its design.  A tea-and-toast set is special because the saucer is offset, to allow room for little pastries and goodies (the “toast”) as well as the teacup.  My grandmother gave this special set to me as a wedding present, almost 10 years after my grandmother had passed away.  This was, by far, my most special gift, and I treasure it still.  It comes out for very special occasions, such as for William and Kate’s and Harry and Meghan’s weddings, and other small ladies’ gatherings.  You can see one of the teacups in the background of the below picture.

I chose to honor my grandmothers with this page in Proverbs 31.  I am truly thankful for the influence of godly women in my life.  They, along with my parents (and they were the ones who raised my parents!), became a powerful spiritual network for me, helping to guide me and prayerfully support me as I grew into the woman that I am.

I used several Sweet’n Sassy Stamps for this page.  The newly released Teacup Roses is the centerpiece.  I stamped it on cardstock and watercolored the rose with Shimmerz Inklingz–fittingly the color was called “A Rose by Any Other Name”.  I added some Nuvo Crystal Drops to give a dewdrop effect.  I stamped tiny roses in the band around the teacup using a rose stamp from Girl Power, and then painted the rest of the teacup with watercolors and acrylic paints.  I stamped the teacup and scripted sentiment, as well the music texture stamp from Texture Tiles 1, all around the page, and then sponged with Antique Linen Distress Ink to give the page an aged look.  I then added some paper pieces from a vintage hymnal, a doily and splattered the Inklingz around the page.  To top the page off, I stamped the rose again, colored it, and cut it out with my tab punch, then adhered it, along with  a little piece of the doily.  Of course, washi!  Some vintage-looking music-staff washi anchored the page on the top and bottom.  I had a matching bow clip, so I added that.  But something was missing, and I discovered this page wasn’t complete until I added the stamped “grace” from the new Life in Jesus set.  I stamped it directly onyo the torn hymnal page, painted it with the Inklingz, and then affixed it on my page.

To be honest, I put more effort into this page than I often do.  But it was worth it!  The whole time I was remembering my dear grandmamas, and praising God for the love and support they gave me.  This turned out to be one of my all-time favorite pages!  The kind you just look at for a long time after you’re finished with it.  It was truly an act of creative worship for me.

For those of you who still have your grandmothers, thank them for their support and influence in your life.  And for those of you whose grandmothers have passed on, don’t forget to say a prayer of thanks to God for all they added to your lives.

Thanks for stopping by!  I think I’ll go make a cup of tea in one of my pretty teacups…

(Product links are highlighted.  Some are affiliate links.)