Driftwood Girl

Banner3333333threehearts2You may remember a while ago I painted a picture in my SimplyLiving Art Journal of a girl, that I was practicing to eventually put on a piece of driftwood.

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I had gone on a short drive with my kids along the Puget Sound and picked up some driftwood along the beach.  Of course being in the Puget Sound, the wood was all very wet, through and through and I had to sit it out to dry for quite a while.

Once the driftwood dried out, I was able to sand it down using a 150 grit sand paper.  I then covered it with a light coat of Clear Gesso to prep it to receive paint. I planned to use my Stabilo pencil, charcoal, acrylic, and watercolors.

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Using the original painting in my art journal as a guide, I used my sharpened Stabilo pencil to draw a rough image onto the driftwood.  At first, it was hard to get the hang of it, because it’s a much smaller area to be drawing eyes, nose and mouth on. There are also the natural cracks and crevices of the driftwood to work around.  It was a fun challenge though, and I like the results.

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Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Driftwood Girl by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

If you are interested in the class that I am taking to learn how to do this, you can visit Jeanne Oliver’s Creative Network and find the class titled “Nature’s Canvas” with Tania Bain.  I have really enjoyed it and there are still many more projects to do.

I pray blessings for you to have a wonderful day with our Lord Jesus Christ.  Please join me in a prayer of healing for my beloved sister-in-law who needs healing from cancer. Together we will ask of the only One who can heal her.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14

Constance

Gospel Read Thru Begins Tomorrow!

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“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.”
Psalm 1:1-2

AutumnFlowers by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

Tomorrow Gospel Read Thru In October (GRTIO) begins and I am so excited!  If you would like to join us in reading through the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John during the month of October, here are a few things you may want to do before we begin:

1. Get yourself a new personal journal for taking notes (optional)
2. Head on over to Gospel Read Thru In October Facebook page and join the group
3. Print out the Schedule for Gospel Read Thru In October

If you are all ready to go, then tomorrow at the time you have chosen, get out your schedule and begin reading.

When you have completed your reading for the day, check out SimplyLiving101.com  for questions I will post.

I would love to see your comments, on the GRTIO Facebook page, whether answering the questions or just commenting on something that stood out to you while doing your reading.

It will be fun and a great time of fellowship.  At the end of October we will have read all four of the Gospels, but more importantly we will have gained insight in God’s Word that gives us better understanding of our God and molds us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.

AutumnFlowers by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 1:3

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

 

Gospel Read Thru In October Is Coming!

Pumpkin Garland by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.”
Psalm 1:1-2

AutumnFlowers by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

– Gospel Read Thru In October –

It’s almost time to begin “Gospel Read Thru In October”!  Are you ready?

If you are new to this blog and wondering what’s going on… we’ve been doing “September Devotion” all month and it’s about to end, so we are going to keep on going with our new “Gospel Read Thru In October”.

Beginning October 1st, we are going to read through all four of the Gospels;  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from October 1st to 31st.

I know it sounds a little scary :0 , but I really believe we can do it and I would love to have you join us!

Here are a few things you may want to do before October 1st rolls around:

1. Get yourself a new personal journal for taking notes (optional)
2. Head on over to Gospel Read Thru In October Facebook page and join the group
3. Print out the Schedule for Gospel Read Thru In October

AutumnFlowers by Constance of SimplyLiving101.com

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 1:3

If you have any questions, please leave a comment for me below.  Thank you.

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 27

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 27
There Is Something About That Name!

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other
name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” 

Acts 4:12

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How can anyone truly surrender their life to someone whom they don’t really know or understand?  In Ephesians 2:4-10, Paul answers this question,

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the age to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

As you read through these verses, you see that it’s “with Christ Jesus” and “in Christ Jesus” that God has saved us by grace through faith, and He did this while we were dead in our sins.  God did it and we are told that we can’t even boast in this fact.

Some ask this question, “What is our part then?”  Paul answers in Romans 10:9-10,

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Our part is simply to believe what God has done for us in Jesus Christ His Son and we will be saved.  Now, we can’t leave out Ephesians 1:13-14 that tells us something else that happens when God saves us by grace through faith and we believe in Jesus Christ,

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation —
having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance;
with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession,
to the praise of His glory.”

Because of the name of Jesus Christ we can have confidence before God, a sincere and clean heart, a steadfast confession that does not waver, the ability to stimulate one another, and the desire to come together regularly to encourage one another – and we need this now more than ever.

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Are you here and have never given your life to Christ?  I want you to know that it is easier than you think because God has done it all for you through His Son Jesus Christ. You just need to believe that God is telling you the truth about His Son.  There is no other way for you to be saved accept by the name of Jesus Christ.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s write in our personal journals Hebrews 10:19-25.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have confidence to enter the holy place where God is?
  2. Is your heart sincere and cleansed from an evil conscience and your body washed with pure water?
  3. Are you holding fast the confession of hope without wavering?
  4. Do you take time to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds?
  5. Is it a priority to you that you not forsake assembling together with fellow believers in order to encourage one another?

Now let’s spend time on this beautiful Sunday asking God our Father to help this to be true of us after all He has done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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We are almost to the end of September Devotion.  Only three more days left and I will bring this devotion to a close and put it into book form as a PDF for you to access in the right side bar under “Bible Studies I Have Written For You”.  Don’t forget to check out Gospel Read Thru In October.  It is my prayer that you will continue to come daily, joining me in reading through the four Gospels during the month of October.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, September 24September 25, and September 26

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 26

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 26
Words To Tell Our Children

“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life…”

Proverbs 6:23

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What precious gifts our children are from God.  I marvel, as I am sure you do, that God would entrust them to us…  He must truly see something in us that we cannot see.

My husband and I have four children and as we have been told so often over the years by those much wiser than ourselves, “They grow up quickly!”  I would say now they grow up even quicker than that.  It is as if we blinked our eyes only one time, and twenty years flew by.

I can still remember the advice given us, from a manager that my husband reported to, when we were nearing the birth of our first child.  He said something like, “After a month or so, move your baby to his own room, in his own bed, and when he cries at night, don’t rush in and pick him up until his next feeding time.  Simply, cover him back up, make sure he is dry and comfortable, and then leave him to go back to sleep.  Let him cry a little if need be, but don’t pick him up until his next feeding time.”

I know this advice would horrify some, but for us, it was the best advice we could have received.  It worked with our first baby and I wish I could say we were diligent enough to use it for all four of our babies. Yet, I understand that while this may have been good advice for us, it may not have worked for others. 

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I’m so thankful that the Word of God is good for all of God’s children and it is a blessing for any of us who take the time to read it and do what it says.  It makes for a firm foundation for us and our children and our children’s children.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read Proverbs 6.  Now let’s write Proverbs 6:20-23 in our personal journals.

If you have children or grandchildren in your life, or even nieces, nephews or neighborhood children, you may want to write them a special letter in your beautiful handwriting using these verses.  Maybe you can even type it up and frame it like this:

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This is only one of many different prayers you can take time to type up for a special person.  Search the Scriptures and find the perfect one for that precious gift God has placed in your life. 

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Thank you so much for stopping by to read September Devotion with me.  I can’t believe how this month has flown by.  I have plans to read through the four Gospels during the month of October and would love for you to join me.  You can get more details here:  Gospel Read Thru In October

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, September 24, and September 25

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 24

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 24
Do Not Withhold Good

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,”
when you have it with you.”

Proverbs 3:27-28

Blinkin Squiggle

I remember shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, I was grocery shopping not far from our new home in Tacoma.  It was kind of overwhelming for me to go out and about with a one and a half year old, because I was unfamiliar with my surroundings and I had never lived in a city so big.  I was shocked by the amount of homeless people I saw.

While I was shopping I noticed that bagels were on sale, so I put two in the cart, but at the last second decided to grab a third.  I continued with my shopping and then headed to the checkout and out to the car to load up.  Things were going smoothly and I was able to get out quickly which was good since I had my son with me.

As I began to pull out of the parking lot, I noticed a woman with a sign.  I don’t remember what it said specifically, but it made reference to the fact that she was hungry.  This was an area where Jesus had been really working on me.  My husband and I had been discussing it in our Sunday morning adult Bible study class and I found it interesting that so many Christians were opposed to helping those on the streets. They felt that they were being taken advantage of by people who could get jobs, but were simply too lazy to work.

I decided that this woman might be doing the same and I passed her by.  I didn’t feel bad about it at all…  until I stopped at the end of the block for the red light.  As I sat there, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me ever so softly to go back, to not deny her. In my heart I loudly answered back, “No!”, and that began a battle between my flesh and God’s Spirit that I will never forget.

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Have you ever made a decision to not help someone even though you had the means to help them?  How did you feel about it?  How do you decide to help some and maybe not others?  These are questions I think we all struggle with at one time or another.

Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s take time to write out Matthew 25:34-40.

As I struggled against the Holy Spirit that day, I drove around the block of the grocery store, not able to go home.  By the time I came back around to where the woman was standing, I was in tears.  I somewhat begrudgingly parked my car and went to the back to open the hatch where the groceries were.  There on top of one of the bags of groceries was that extra bag of bagels I had purchased – I knew it was for her.

As I approached her I waited while someone else was talking with her, however, he did not give her anything.  Then her gaze turned to me and I reluctantly handed her the bag.  I was humbled even further when she quickly took the bag from me, ripped it open and shoved a bagel into her mouth!  She was so hungry and so grateful!  She could not stop telling me, “God bless you!  I am starving!” and I could not stop crying in shame.  I still cry while typing this now, twenty years later.

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Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion.  I truly love spending this time with you each morning.  I have my own personal journal and am doing September Devotion right along with you.  I hope it is as much of a blessing to you as it is to me. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, September 20, September 21, September 22, and September 23.

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 23

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 23
Better Is A Day In Your Courts!

“For a day in Your courts is
better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

Psalm 84:10

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Even today, when I read Psalm 84, it reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs by Kim Hill, “Better Is One Day”.  I heard it sung live by Kim, I believe in 1999, when I attended the “Renewing The Heart – For Such A Time As This” conference in Seattle.  A friend who had tickets invited several of us to go and it ended up being a time of worship I will never forget.

The words to this song left me feeling as if I had truly entered into the courts of God and it changed the way I worshiped Him.  “How lovely are Your dwelling places” had taken on a real meaning to me, and I felt that I could relate with the Psalmist for the first time.

In addition to an amazing time of worship, the guest speakers came with messages that kept me clinging to God.  I listened intently to Joni Eareckson Tada speak about the accident that changed her life at only 17 years old,  and I heard Kay Arthur speak for the first time on a lie that moms often believe, a topic I had never heard anyone speak on, but helped me to make a deeper commitment to my children.

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At that conference in Seattle with some special Christian friends I learned something new about worship and placing my hope fully in God;  That while we are still on this earth waiting for Jesus to return, we can come into the presence of God, come into His courts with praise.

Since learning this, my soul has had many times of longing and even yearning for the courts of the Lord;  “My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God” at the thought of dwelling there one day; “How blessed are those who dwell in God’s house!  They are ever praising You.”

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to write Psalm 84 into our personal journals.  Remember to use your very best handwriting.  You may like to take time to listen to “Better Is One Day” by Kim Hill and praise God along with her.  It will be a nice start to your day.

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Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion.  I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, September 20, September 21, and September 22

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 25

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 25
Faithful

“Well done, good and faithful servant.  You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
Matthew 25:21

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I think as Christians all of us would love to hear these words at some point in our lives. But we would have to know clearly what it is we are called to do.  Jesus has made this clear by commanding us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

This would take submission to our Master with a true desire to do it His way, and not our own.  When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and Paul tells us to, “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

It would take dedication and commitment on our part, seeing it through to the very end no matter how long it might take.  Hebrews 3:6 tells us, “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”

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It would also take a life of godliness and 2 Peter 1:3 says that Jesus has taken care of this on our behalf, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Titus 2.  Now pick the portion of Titus 2 that applies to you and write it out in your personal journal.  Now let’s take time to pray that God will help us to be faithful servants in the portion that He has given us.

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I am so enjoying writing these devotionals for the month of September!  I pray that they are a blessing to you as well.  I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.  Thank you 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, and September 24

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 22

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 22
Lift Up Your Eyes

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?”

Psalm 121:1

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In 1 Kings 18:21 Elijah asked an interesting question.  “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

It seems to me that I know more people today who are hesitating between two opinions.  They admit that God is the Creator of all things and they even consider Jesus to be the Son of God, but in their daily life they have no desire to spend time with Him, choosing instead many idols of this world for comfort and pleasure.

Although Elijah posed a great question, the people did not answer.  So he suggested an altar be built.  Then they would call on their god and Elijah would call on the name of the Lord.  The God who answered by fire, burning up the altar, He is God.

I always feel sorry for the people as they called on their god from morning until noon and then leaped about the altar.  Elijah thought maybe they should shout louder because their god was either occupied, on a journey, or maybe even sleeping!

Of course they did as he suggested and cried louder and even cut themselves with swords and lances until blood gushed out on them.  They raved on until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, but to no avail.

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Aren’t you glad we serve a mighty God who does not slumber nor sleep? He is the only True and Living God. He is our Provider and our Protector and He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  He hears us when we pray and He has given us the right to be called His children because we have believed in His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read what happened when Elijah prayed – I would have loved to be present for this moment in time!  Read 1 Kings 18:30-39.  I especially love how the people were no longer quiet, but instead praised the One True God!  Now let’s turn to Psalm 121 and in our most beloved handwriting write it in our personal journals.

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Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion.  We have only eight days to go, so let’s press on and be diligent in meeting here daily to cherish the things of God above all else – together.  Please consider leaving a comment below – I love to hear from you. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, September 20, and September 21

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 21

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 21
Return to Me With All Your Heart

“‘Yet even now’, declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.’
Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”

Joel 2:11-13

Blinkin Squiggle

I had a conversation with a Christian friend whom I had not seen for a couple of years. I knew her life had taken a path of hard decisions and I continued to pray for her, unsure of exactly how she was doing.  On this particular day, I was glad I was able to rejoice with her in a new season of life, as I listened intently to all she had to share with me.

As she spoke, I was reminded of the qualities that I really enjoyed about her from so long ago.  She is a very sincere, intentional, and loving person.  I have always liked hearing what she was thinking, because she had amazing eye contact that held my attention, and when I spoke with her, she seemed to drink in every word.  This is such a rare thing to find.

Although she did speak a little of the hardships she had endured, she mostly chose to praise God for all He had brought her through.  She was attending church again, and she felt so glad to be back in the arms of God after many decisions that had led her away.

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When we were done talking and she had to gather her kids to go, I thought to say only one thing, “No matter where we go, God is always right here, steadfastly waiting for us when we return.  He is always faithful even when we are not.”  From experience, she was now able to wholeheartedly agree.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s first take time to read Luke 15:11-19 and then write a few very important verses in our personal journals today.  Remember to use your most beautiful handwriting as we write out the wonderful homecoming of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20-24.

Take time to consider what your response might be as the parent of this young man. Would you welcome him as cheerfully as this father did?  Would you prepare a huge feast and rejoice by giving him new clothing, a ring and new shoes? Does grace and forgiveness come easily to you or is it a struggle?

Praise God for His faithfulness to always give us grace and forgiveness!  Now, let’s take time to finish the story by reading verses 25-32.  

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I pray that you are enjoying these devotionals for the month of September.  I am loving writing them.  Please take time to pray for me today and ask God to continue giving me wonderful Scriptures to pass on to you for the rest of this month.

Each of us are precious to Jesus and He loves to spend time with us in His Word.  Thank you for taking time to stop by and spend time with me as well.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, and September 20

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance