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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).

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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 

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!

Faith While I Wait

ACS_0239Wait…wait…wait…. It seems I’m always waiting.  In traffic.  In the doctor’s office.  In the checkout aisle.  For my kids to come to dinner table.  For my kids to do the task I asked them five times to do!  For that package to come in the mail.  I really don’t like waiting!  But it’s a part of life, isn’t it?

The worst kind of waiting, however, is waiting on God.  Waiting on God to reveal His plan.  Or worse yet, the long lingering when you already think (operative word, here) you know what God should do, and you just have to wait for Him to work it all out.  Sometimes I even try to maneuver things myself to get things underway, but that always ends up in a mess!  Remember how Sarah and Abraham took matters into their own hands while waiting for the birth of the child of promise?  That got ugly! (Gen. 16) Usually, however, when I think I have it all worked out, that’s when God throws a curve ball in my plans, and thinks end up so much better in the end.  Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways….”  God’s way is wiser and more informed than my way.  And I would do well to just let Him work out all the details.  But how?

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I spent some time in Bible study using “Go God’s Way,” a printable bundle and devotional available at Sweet’n Sassy Stamps, and designed and written by Diane Noble.  My main take away–without revealing too much, because it’s a study worth getting on your own–is that the process involves 1) waiting, 2) worshiping, and 3) trusting.  This study includes Bible verses on each of those three aspects, and whenever you seek the Word for advice, it’s powerful stuff!

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I landed in Psalm 131:2.  This passage talks about quieting ourselves like a weaned child.  It reminded me of one of my children (to remain nameless), when he was newly weaned, who just wanted to rest against my bare chest, presumably to still feel the intimate closeness and touch, even without the nursing.  Oh, if I could just rest in God’s intimacy and closeness while I waited for Him to move!  Faith while I wait!

I NEEDED to creatively journal this worship experience, so I chose to I pulled out some mixed media products.  I have a process video, so you can see how the whole page came together.  Basically, I smooshed, sponged, stamped, colored, stickered, embellished, and then journaled to create this page.  I have the products listed below.  Currently, there are amazing sales going on at Dayspring (like BOGO), and through July 5th, you can take an extra 5% off of EVERYTHING at Scrapbook.com.  Just use code JULYFIVE18.

Thanks for stopping by!  What do you do to help pass the time while you wait?

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Go God’s Way Printable Bundle and Devotional

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“Life in Jesus” Stamp Set
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Dylusions Kit
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Faded Jeans Distress Oxide Ink
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Peeled Paint Distress Oxide Ink
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Blending Tool
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Tool Kit
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Olive You Alphabet Stickers
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456 Count – Word Cardstock Stickers
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Rubber Brayer
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Distress Sprayer Bottle
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Versafine Onyx Black Ink Pad
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Clear Acrylic Blocks
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Heat tool
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Water Brushes

 

 

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Permanent Adhesive
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Fine Point Slick Writer
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Clear Sticker Sheets
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Stamp Shammy Cleaner