Saturday, February 26, 2011

From Bondage to Redemption...

Things have been so busy for the last couple weeks... mostly good, but a few not so good things too... life is staying in balance, more or less.  Today I just need to share my heart, I don't really have anything crafty to share, but I hope you will read this post even though it is a little lengthy.

I was reading in Exodus about the children of Israel. Exodus 6:6 says, “Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”

I could see how that the children of Israel are like us today, in that they were in bondage to Egypt… Pharaoh was keeping them enslaved to Egypt… they saw their lives as having no choice of what anything in their lives would be… they seemed to just throw their hands in the air and surrender to being slaves for the rest of their lives.  Just like them so many of us today are living in bondage… bondage to our past, our circumstances, our defeats, our sin… we have thrown our hands in the air and said, “I surrender, life is just too hard and unfair.” But we have a choice, will we continue to live in bondage and let the enemy continue to tighten up the shackles we have on our hands and feet and our hearts or will we surrender to God who will rescue us from our bondage… He will redeem us… He is waiting with an outstretched hand to release those chains of bondage.

I am talking first about salvation… surrendering your life to Christ… asking for forgiveness of your sin and asking Him to be your Lord and Savior… that is the first step needed to remove the bondage of sin.  If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

But I believe this is also talking about people who are Believers already... there are many times in a Believer's life that we let circumstances bring us so low it is hard to even look up. Not only can Satan deceive us but we can deceive ourselves… we can get so far off the path God has for us, we may not even look to His Word for help, comfort, or understanding… or in some cases we look to His Word for bits and pieces that we can construe to fit the way we are feeling and deceive ourselves into believing we have every right to feel the way we do and that everyone else must be wrong. Instead of dealing with the problems in our lives head-on we talk about it with others and if we can get others to agree with us and whatever the “injustice” is, then they can take on that offense with us and we can shackle them to us in this bondage. You know the old saying, “misery loves company,” well I believe that also could be said of bondage, “bondage loves company,” because it can get to be a very lonely road to travel.

Please understand this is coming from my heart, not from condemnation of these… I know what it is like because I have been there too. (Romans 8:1) My heart is sadden when I see people that are trudging along in the Christian life so unhappy they have anguish of spirit (Exodus 6:9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.) I pray I never let myself get bound to lies, deceit and sin again. I also pray for those Christian friends that seem to be spiraling downward from whatever hurts they have taken on… I pray they would look up and see God’s Truth… I pray they would confess, forgive, and let restoration begin in them so they can step out of bondage. There may not be any good answers or what we think are good answers, but we can continue in bondage or we can choose to just give it ALL up to God. I believe this is breaking God’s heart and it is also breaking mine, but I will not let others’ circumstances put shackles on my heart… I can’t.

Life can be tough enough, so why would anyone want to live a life in bondage if they know better. I am not saying I am perfect I just believe there is a difference between sinning and being bound to sin... I would rather die than go back to that bondage. We as Believers need to continuously be on guard… I Peter 5:8-11- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

God impressed this so much on my heart... I knew I had to share it.  I don't know who might need it besides me, but my hope is that these words God has given me will be a help to someone reading this.  It was written with a spirit of love... believe that if you believe nothing else.

Blessings, with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Friday, February 18, 2011


It has been a very busy week... the highlight being that my hubby and I are taking on the Usher/Greeter ministry at our church... we have over a hundred wonderful people serving in this ministry, but the thought of it can be overwhelming if I let it be. In my devotions today it talked about the choices we make in our life bringing us to where we are and who we become. Here is a great quote about that, “life is not made by the dreams I dream but by the choices I make,”… my life is summed up by the choices I have made. We don’t always choose the circumstances in our life but we can choose how we will react to the circumstances. Every moment of my life is a choice. The choice can be a wide-range from really bad choices, mediocre choices, choices that are good, or choices that are in the caliber of excellence.

“…that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,” Philippians 1:9-10

My pastor has been doing a series called, “Crossing Over”… when God is leading you to something new in your life will you choose to cross over to the place He wants you to be… not only cross over but cross over with excellence. Are you willing to fight every natural impulse and choose to do what God is asking you to do… even when your family and friends may not be joining in on your choice??? I desire for my life to be pure, blameless and fruitful for the cause of Christ. The idea of crossing over to something more, to another level, can be scary, but I believe that if God is calling me to something more… He will also equip me to do what He has called me to. All choices will have a ripple effect… don’t you want it to be a good ripple? I know I do… I am choosing to live a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Here is the anniversary card I made for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary that was the end of January.  Love, loyalty and God... that is the secret to a long marriage.  I am blessed to have parents that are still together.
Have a blessed day... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Totally loved...

Today is Valentines Day… I have always loved this day.  From when I was little to being a "grown-up".  I loved making a box for my Valentines to be delivered to in each grade of elementary school... of course it had to be as pretty as I could make it... oh, how I wish I would have had Stickles back then!!! WOW! can you imagine the sparkles???

I really don’t remember being cynical about Valentine's Day, even when I was “alone” before I met my wonderful hubby.  If a person looks hard enough they can always find love in their life in many forms... friendship, family, showing kindness to strangers, and best of all the love of a Heavenly Father.  Share the love!

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." John 15:13

So I am wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day with this card I created for a friend...
with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stand fast...

I read in Acts this morning about Stephen and how he was stoned for preaching Christ. He was a man that was willing to do whatever in took for the cause of Christ. He was a man that was willing to take himself out of his comfort to lead people into the comfort of the Savior. If my life was threatened would I keep speaking up for Christ? My life is not in distress for my stand, but am I putting myself out of my comfort to lead others to His comforting arms?

If a Believer is finding opposition from a family member or friend what do they do??? Do they back down from what they believe or do they keep moving forward for Christ… even if it might cause them to lose family or friends??? When confronted with hostility we need to stand fast in the Lord… that is what will see us through when the pressure is on. “Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and yearn to see, my delight and crown, stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” Philippians 4:1

Stephen was stoned… how much more physical pressure could there be??? Yet as he was nearing death he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56) His focus was still on Christ… he was being stoned to death and he still was focusing on Christ! How many times do I let the smallest things take my focus off Christ??? Waiting in line at the grocery store… the furnace quitting… the cat hacking up a hairball on my light-colored carpeting… the pastor saying something I didn’t agree with… I could go on, but I won’t. The enemy will throw all kinds of stuff at us to get our focus off the cause of Christ… don’t give him a foothold! And if you are standing fast in the Lord then there will be no room for the enemy to get a foothold either. Just remember, when you are facing opposition, maybe it shows that you are doing something that really counts for Christ… think about that!

I have another "Sassy Sak" to share with you today... I am making these fun and fashionable purses to sell at a local boutique, but I am willing to take orders too.
Thanks for stopping by today! with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shaken to be stirred up...

Happy Monday! I use to not like Mondays but now it is not such a bad day.  How are you spending your Monday?

I was reading in Acts 16… the account of Paul and Silas being put in jail and how they sang praises to God... in jail singing praises!!!  An earthquake came that freed all the prisoners, but none of them ran away.  I remember learning about this story many times in Sunday School as a child, but my focus was always on Paul and Silas… I saw it was God that caused the earthquake to show His might and make the people see that they needed to let Paul and Silas go.  I now have seen it from a different perspective... I saw it from the point that it really didn’t have so much to do with Paul and Silas but with the jail-keeper.  He needed to be shaken awake to realize what he needed in his life. The bad circumstance that Paul and Silas were in was a way for this jail-keeper and his family to come to know the Lord.

So my question is… when bad things occur in our lives are we only focused on what the bad is or are we looking for how God can make His good out of it??? A hard lesson to learn is that it is not about me… it is all about God… when I say that and surrender to it my heart feels so much lighter… the weight of whatever is going on in my life is lifted. Whatever it takes... all for His glory!

One final thought on this… I can see sometimes Papa shakes me so I can see what He wants me to see and sometimes He shakes me so someone else will see what He wants them to see. Just a thought???

... the jailor rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. Acts 16:34

I received a SU Big Shot for Christmas from my parents, along with the Bigz Lg. Scalloped Square die. So I have started to create what they call, "rag purses"... I like to call them, "Sassy Saks".

For you that may not know these saks are machine washable and reversible... that is why the 2 pics... the one on the right is the side that I think is a little more whimsical, and after you wash it it will get a more frayed look. You might notice too that I added a pocket on the side for your cell inside and out.

Hope you have a good Monday... with a grateFUL HEART, carin

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Truth is Your Armor...

It is already the 3rd of February!!! Sorry it has been a couple weeks since I last posted... been keeping myself busy with other things I guess.  The snow storm hit here with a "thunder" but we are hearty people and it hasn't kept us slowed down too much.

Do you have those days when you just get down on yourself? It can be anything from not having ambition to get things done to not liking the way your jeans fit you... come on we all have those days! This morning I read in “His Princess Warrior” book... it is a devotional book my hubby gave me for Christmas… I haven’t read it in a few days... I get my regular quiet-time done and then I get busy with other things… I almost opened it yesterday but then I got busy with other things again.

The one I read this morning was titled… "Truth is Your Armor".  I know the enemy has whispered his lies to me… and sadly I was content in wallowing in them for a short time yesterday. I repented of the lies I was taking on as truth and this is my statement of Truth that I wanted to share with you…

...I will crave Truth in every area of my life.  I will find peace in the path the Lord has led me to travel.  I will know the Truth in every and all situations and the enemy will not be able to deceive me.  In Jesus’ name, I will completely ignore the lies this world throws at me and I will embrace the Truth that I am a precious daughter of the Most High God.  My confidence in His Truth will become contagious and blessings and favor will follow me every day of my life because I choose to reject lies and walk in Truth… this is my prayer of Truth and I speak in boldly in Jesus’ name.

 I will know the Truth and the Truth will set me free. John 8:32

I have a masculine birthday card to share today:
I have a new fondness for the Fleur de Lis... it has so many great meanings, including the Trinity... this one was cut out with my Cricut Expression.

Hope you found something here today to find a little encouragement.
with a grateFUL HEART, carin