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29 March 2015

Paper Smooches SPARKS: March Anything Goes (wk5) challenge

Hello, friends:}

****GIVEAWAY alert--- don't forget about my Virtual Smooches celebration and 5 giveaways (including 4 PS gift certificates!!)!!!! Click HERE to enter to win

Today we start another weekly challenge over at Paper Smooches SPARKS blog!! Another Anything Goes challenge starts today!   
That's right--you get to create ANYTHING you want (as long as you use Paper Smooches stamps)!! This is the BEST challenge ever!!!

This is a card that I made for my friend, J--- she's the one that I disciple on Tuesday nights:) She turned 18 this year!!! She has an eclectic style so I picked some of my favorite papers by Crate Papers to create this birthday card for her.

I used the PS Lovely Thoughts stamp set along with the Butterfly Duet and Adornments dies [I created the flag using this die set]. To finish the card, I added some texture spray by IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko and a gold embossed sentiment. EASY--- LOVE! And it was perfect for J:) 

That's it for me today--but be sure to stop by the other Paper Smooches SPARKS DT members' blogs and leave them some love






And don't forget to stop by the Paper Smooches SPARKS blog for more details. This challenge ends April 4th. Hope you join in the fun--- this is the EASIEST challenge ever!!!!!!!!

THANKS so much for stopping by! Be blessed:}
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28 March 2015

deep{er} #31: reflections

Hello, friends:)

I can't believe it's Saturday already! I hope that your week was full of rest, relaxation, and reflections as you dug into the Word of God! 

UPDATE: So this last week was super busy again for Trav and I. I thought after our launch service I would have more time on my hands... but that was NOT the case- LOL! 

  1. Discipleship- we finished week 5 of Beautiful Encounters--- LOVE! Each week this study is pressing in/on issues that are so important for Christian women! Week 5 is about 2 encounters with Jesus' power (healing power)--- and the funny thing is that I knew both of these stories in Luke 8:40-56 but had NO CLUE that they were intertwined! Quick Reflection--- this chapter makes me think about how much faith I have. I know it only takes the smallest of faith to move a mountain [Matt. 17:20], but I wonder if I even have that small amount--- sometimes I ask God for help or say the promises from the Bible, but do I really believe God will do what He promises or help when I ask? I need His divine touch to reach beyond my brokenness and heal me from the inside out.
  2. Launch Sunday- we made it! Our launch was a success- we had lots of visitors and a great time at the party! My FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE part of Launch was that my friend "Betty" came! Background story- I met her during a night of Evangelism. She came to the door with her phone in her hand but quickly told the person on the other end that she would call them back. I introduced our group and invited her to church. She mentioned that she was just talking to a family member (that person on the phone) about finding a church. She also told us that her husband had just passed away. We prayed right there for her and encouraged her to attend our Sunday services. I didn't see her the next week, so I baked some cookies and went to check in on her. She was thankful and said that she just needed time to get the courage to attend church alone. I understood and let her know that we would continue to pray for her. Fast forward about a month which was Launch Sunday.... I wasn't having the greatest of days, but I walked around the corner of our sanctuary and THERE SHE WAS!!!! I was so excited! I was beyond thrilled! Praise the Lord for the courage He gave her!!!! And praise the Lord for bringing us to her house just when she needed encouragement! And praise the Lord for hearing our prayers and answering them!!! Seeing "Betty" really made my day--- turned my frown upside down:) 

  3. Virtual Smooches video- Trav and I LITERALLY put off my VS anniversary video for weeks because of the pressure to be funny and not knowing what to say. Well, on Wednesday we finally sat down and did a dry run....and kept the entire video! I only had to edit a few things (like when I had hair in my mouth or when I was laughing for 5 minutes and couldn't talk! LOL!). It went really well--- praise the Lord! Now all I need is for people to stop by and enter my giveaways;) I just love to bless my followers and friends- so if you haven't checked out our video yet.... stop by HERE! Watch our video and then enter to win! ****NOTE: if you don't like crafts or whatever... you can STILL watch our video! Hopefully you will laugh and get an idea of what it's like to be in "Savannahland" and what it's like to hang with us (even Olsen)! 
REFLECTION: So this week's reflection is really quick... honestly, I don't even want to share my reflection because it shines light on the hard time I had this past week (and possibly the week before). 

I've been really struggling the last few weeks with being a leader. I'm not sure I've been called to lead. I know I'm called to sing, but be the "leader".... not so sure. I need to work on so many things first---- I need to work on my selfishness and put that aside; I need to work on my compassion for others and being thankful for anyone who wants to serve with me (no matter what--- even if they don't do what I've asked correctly or if they have a bad attitude); I need to work on breaking my chains and being set free; I need to learn to turn off the devil's lies and only believe the truth; I need to work on how to be a great leader- one that lifts the team up, bears fruit, and glorifies God... not one that brings the team down or that causes division. 

There's A LOT more that I need to work on, but I didn't want to bore you with my sin and problems. 

Anyway... some things have been happening that have made me question my leadership position and qualities. I felt like I was a kid again--- trying to get family/someone to love me yet only getting pushed aside or forgotten, basically worthless/unloved. I also felt like I was in our former church/situation--- my voice wasn't heard and it was as if no one cared about my story/my past/me. ***NOTE: I wish I could give you more details, but it's just not necessary. Maybe someday I will give my testimony....someday.

Listening to these feelings for 2 weeks had me in a very selfish state of mind. And then God took me to John 3 during my 3030 Challenge

John the Baptist wasn't out for the spotlight. He pointed people to Jesus- even when his followers were arguing and jealous that Jesus was getting more followers/etc. John didn't care. He pointed them to Jesus. John even humbled himself to say, "He must become greater; I must become less." [John 3:30]. 

I try very hard to only point people to Jesus and to humble myself when I'm leading, serving, or whatever! I know it's not about me! I know I shouldn't put an emphasis on my achievements but on God's Kingdom--- honestly, I can't do anything without God so what's the point of taking the credit for accomplishments if I don't give praise back to Him!?! 

I think that the past 2 weeks has been hard because I don't like the feelings these situations brought up in my life. I thought I had been set free from the chains of abuse. I thought that I knew in my heart how loved I am and my worth is in Jesus. 

But I listened to the lies from Satan. I forgot it all and was sent down the tunnel of hurt and pain again. 

Now I'm working on humbling myself so that I can lead on Sunday. I know that God has called Trav and I to NHE ... and I'm almost POSITIVE that God wants Trav to lead (because it's out of his comfort zone)! I'm not sure on my position of leading, but I know I am with Trav. I will lead with him. We are a team. 

I just pray that I don't get in the way... that I always point people to Jesus. 

***NOTE: I guess my reflection was a bit longer. And it is a bunch of stuff that might not make sense, but one day when I give my testimony... hopefully it will all be clear! LOL! 

My goals for this week:
  1. Continue my 3030 Challenge --- I'm in the book of John and super excited about what God's going to reveal to me! Open my eyes and show me great and marvelous things in your Word!!! Psalm 119:18
  2. We DID it!!!!!!! We completed chapter 5 of the Dr. David Jeremiah Agents of Apocalypse--- now we just need to do the sermon and study guide! NOTE: Trav said last night when we completed chapter 5 that that was his favorite chapter! LOL! 
  3. Continue to pray for my NEW Women's Bible Study- Stuck! Will you join me in praying?! THANKS! It starts April 21st.  
      I pray that God has been speaking to you--- and that you are blessed beyond what you have asked or wanted ❤️. I also am praying that God would open our eyes and heart to His Will, love, and Word. May you go deep{er} with God this week! 

      Remember, if you need prayer, please contact me {savannahland2 at comcast dot net}. 

      THANKS so much for stopping by today! Be blessed:}
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      26 March 2015

      Virtual Smooches: 2nd Anniversary video + GIVEAWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Hello, friends:}
      ***Giveaway details below! 

      Today is my day to share a video over on the  Paper Smooches video blog- Virtual Smooches! **Note: Thursdays and/or Fridays are my NEW days to post on the VS blog:) 

      Today I share very special video... Trav and I completed our 2nd Anniversary video!!! 

      Here's a sneak peek of my video:

      THANKS so much for stopping by--- be sure to go HERE for my video! Be blessed:}
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      ps... GIVEAWAY details: There are 5 prizes that include 4 Paper Smooches gift certificates and a box of crafty goodies that Trav puts together! Deadline: 11:59pm PST on April 1st! Winner announced shortly after that:) 

      To enter---- just follow the Rafflecopter (please be honest!): a Rafflecopter giveaway

      22 March 2015

      Paper Smooches SPARKS: March Designer Drafts challenge

      Hello, friends:}


      Today we start another weekly challenge over at Paper Smooches SPARKS blog!! This week we are sharing a DESIGNER DRAFT challenge. 




      This week we are inspired by the following sketch:
      **Sentiments can be placed anywhere on the sketch.

      Ok---so I think I went a bit off... I didn't follow the sketch as much as I had been doing. Maybe 65% this time! I moved the sentiment to the banner (which is ok because sentiments can be anywhere). I also made the banner a rectangle and used just a triangle on the bottom right edge. And I did some other things... you'll see:) 


      I used several papers and embellies that I had in my stash for this card- LOVE! I made the sentiment, from the PS Bosom Buddy set, black on black- LOVE! I die cut my brother's name and stamped a background for part of it using the PS Sassy Letters and Kissables 2 stamps/dies- LOVE! I finished the card using a transparency, ICT black embossing powder/VersaMark ink, and the Incognito and Spookalicious stamp sets ***Remember when I would use the pumpkin eyes for chevrons?!?! I remembered that this week and used it for a fun embellishment! LOVE x10000000! 


      That's it for me today--but be sure to stop by the other Paper Smooches SPARKS DT members' blogs, get inspired, and leave them some love


      And don't forget to stop by the Paper Smooches SPARKS blog for more details!!!! This challenge ends March 28th. I cannot wait to see what you make!!! 

      THANKS so much for stopping by! Be blessed:}
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      21 March 2015

      deep{er} #30: reflections

      Hello, friends:)

      Happy Saturday! WOW! It's the middle of March-- I can't believe it! 

      I hope you've had a great week and that the Lord has been opening your eyes to His marvelous Word and works [Psalm 119:18]! 

      UPDATE: So again... this last week was a busy week. That's because NHE is having our Launch Sunday event! I hope that you will be able to attend--- that's if you live in the area;) Details below!!! 

      Here's what else has been going on this week: 
      • Discipleship- it's going well! This week was all about an encounter with the Living Water and the woman at the well [John 4:1-26]. Quick Reflection--- I understand that the woman didn't get what Jesus was telling her (most of the time I don't understand the parables and stories)... so I think if I met Jesus at a well and he was talking to me... I think I would respond with a curious face and the words, "uh....???" And I think this especially if the situation was the same-- I was a Samaritan woman, Jesus a Jew, no one really talked to me anyway, etc. I also understand how she was looking for satisfaction (approval, love, etc) from men. And finally, I understand that we need to run to God for complete satisfaction- only God can satisfy my deepest needs and desires. We were created that way- with a longing for eternity and for God. When I was doing this study, I instantly thought of a song that I started singing last year during my trial. I printed the music and played some of it on the piano for my student J (I messed up several notes, but at least she got the idea! LOL! Check out the YouTube video below!).   My challenge for myself and for J this week: to catch ourselves when we run to things/people instead of God and when we are relying on self-sufficiency or putting hope in something/one other than God. I know when we do this, it just ends up in emptiness... so why do we do it? Our nature... we haven't put our trust in God completely... either way, I hope that we both will really find peace and satisfaction in God! 
      • The Table Event- Trav and I went to a worship conference yesterday. It was super super fun! We met and made friends with many other worship leaders/pastors in Florida--- it's great place to network! And it was such a blessing because the whole group (and individual groups) prayed for our church's launch weekend service! Took me by surprise that they were so excited about our church and this special service. Several new friends said they would be praying for us at 10am on Sunday!!! I can't even describe how that makes me feel or how good God is! He knows everything! He planned it all--- from Trav and I meeting... serving together on a worship team...going through our trial.... to getting yesterday off from work and attending this event for worship leaders. WOOOOOOOW! Thank you, Lord!!!  
      REFLECTION: This week's reflection will be a bit short due to a couple of things (including a busy week and I already wrote a novel for my "quick" reflection- and I still had one more point to make but I cut it off so I didn't write too much! LOL!). 

      This week's reflection is from my 3030 Challenge reading of John 2: 14-16.

      ***NOTE: I've really enjoyed my Bible Study lately--- I love seeing what God reveals to me through His word, but I also like reading about the places/events happening because Trav and I have been there. It reminds me of all the things we saw on our trip to Israel last year. 

      So in John 2: 14-16 Jesus gets upset that the temple is being misused and turned into a marketplace. He made a whip and drove everyone out saying, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!"

      This reminds me of when we went to Israel and how the area around the temple was full of stores and marketplaces. Things really haven't changed. 

      And even more so in our own churches... are we going to church (the temple/God's house) with the right mindset? I know that I attended church for the longest of time because "I had to" and because that's what was expected of me. Now I am excited about Sunday. I love going to church and serving the Lord, using the gift that He gave me. I want to go to church and learn more about Him and how to give to others in our community/etc. I love the fellowship and worship/sermons. 

      I'd like to challenge everyone with this question: Why do you go to church?

      My goals for this week:
      1. Continue my 3030 Challenge --- I'm in the book of John and super excited about what God's going to reveal to me! Open my eyes and show me great and marvelous things in your Word!!! Psalm 119:18
      2. FINALLY (REALLY!!!!!!!!! I need to do this goal) start chapter 5 of the Dr. David Jeremiah Agents of Apocalypse *This is the chapter where Trav and I can be seen on the TV program Turning Point--- The Dragon! Check out my original post HERE. I'm giving up on this goal! Maybe if I give up, I will actually do it! LOL! UPDATE: still trying to finish this chapter! LOL! 
      3. Start praying for my NEW Women's Bible Study- Stuck! Will you join me in praying?! THANKS! It starts April 20th.  
          I pray that God has been speaking to you--- and that you are blessed beyond what you have asked or wanted ❤️. I also am praying that God would open our eyes and heart to His Will, love, and Word. May you go deep{er} with God this week! 

          Remember, if you need prayer, please contact me {savannahland2 at comcast dot net}. 

          THANKS so much for stopping by today! Be blessed:}
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          ps..I am asking for prayer for our church relaunch service. NHE is having a relaunch party TOMORROW---- Sunday, March 22nd. Please pray that all the details will be handled and completed, and that our community would come out and check us out (possibly even consider NHE their home church!)! THANK YOU for lifting us up in prayer ❤️

          19 March 2015

          Virtual Smooches: Sav Challenges #4

          Hello, friends:}

          Today is my day to share a video over on the  Paper Smooches video blog- Virtual Smooches! **Note: Thursdays and/or Fridays are my NEW days to post on the VS blog:) 

          Today I played along with the Sav Challenges again! ***NOTE: I wish I would have started these challenges 2 years ago! LOL! The reason I'm completing another Sav Challenge is because I am in need of sooooooooooo many masculine birthday cards! PLUS.... Trav and I didn't have enough time to record our anniversary video! Fingers crossed we get it done this next week! 

          Here's a sneak peek of my video:
          THANKS so much for stopping by--- be sure to go HERE for my video! Be blessed:}
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          15 March 2015

          Paper Smooches SPARKS: March Anything Goes (wk3) challenge

          Hello, friends:}
          Today we start another weekly challenge over at Paper Smooches SPARKS blog!! Another Anything Goes challenge starts today!   
          That's right--you get to create ANYTHING you want (as long as you use Paper Smooches stamps)!! This is the BEST challenge ever!!! 

          I created a card inspired by a layout I found on Pinterest--- I think my card looks good! That's not what I originally thought though! LOL! 

          I used some of my journaling cards to create this birthday card. I used lots of Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko inks, spritz  and their gold embossing powder! LOVE! I only used 2 PS stamps: Happy Birthday and Geobasics. This was a simple card to complete, but then again it wasn't! LOL! I said earlier that I didn't really like it... that was until I kept adding more and more details! Once I added the washi tape, ink splatters, homemade brad and thread... I liked it so much more! And then I added the sequins from Pretty Pink Posh--- PERFECT! It's a winner:) And I think my Sister-In-Law Jamie will get this for her birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jamie!!!! 

          That's it for me today--but be sure to stop by the other Paper Smooches SPARKS DT members' blogs, get inspired, and leave them some love
          Lisa 

          And don't forget to stop by the Paper Smooches SPARKS blog for more details!!!! This challenge ends March 21st. I cannot wait to see what you make!!! 

          THANKS so much for stopping by! Be blessed:}
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          14 March 2015

          deep{er} #29: reflections

          Hello, friends:)


          I cannot tell you enough how much time flies--- I seriously thought I had another day to post! LOL! 

          UPDATE: As you can tell by my opening statement, this week has been SUPER busy again! Here's what's been happening: 
          •  Discipleship- it's been going well! I really enjoy having J come over on Tuesdays. We are opening up more and getting more comfortable with each other... being with her makes me wish I had someone to disciple me when I was a teenager! Anyway here's my "Quick Reflection"---this lesson was about friendship with Jesus and the stories of Martha and Mary. The first story is one I'm very familiar with- Luke 10:38-42. Jesus visits these women and Martha is busy/distracted with preparations while Mary is at the feet of Jesus listening to him. I love how our study pointed out that Martha was gently rebuked and taught that there is more to life than work/etc. It's so easy to fall into the worldview of wanting credit for everything and working hard (so hard you miss out)... but Jesus was telling her to spend time with him. NOTE TO SELF! Great lesson right there! The second story was even better because I was also familiar with it but never read it the way it was presented (I miss out on so much info sometimes! LOL!)- John 11:1-16. Mary and Martha's brother, Lazarus  had died and Jesus came to raise him from the dead. Their reactions to his death were different, and Jesus responded differently to both women! I love that! Martha ran to Jesus and wanted to talk it out with him--- and Jesus talked with her! Mary waited and then went to Jesus, falling at his feet weeping. Jesus wept with her! LOOOOOVE that! When I go to God... it's a combo of these two reactions. I wait and try to do it on my own or I wait and not saying anything because I don't know what to say or want to hide my thoughts... and then I finally realize I need to go to God. I do wish I ran more to Him. NOTE TO SELF--- must try running to God:) 
          • Visitors- I love studying in our Study Room (check out my video tour HERE)! This week I was visited by two different creatures. Olsen was the first one... he loves to bother me when I'm studying... for good reasons though! He usually has to go out or needs food. But the second creature freaked me out the other night! In the video tour I mention that we have bird feeders outside our window. Trav and I like watching the birds eat and gather together. We also have pesky squirrels that eat the birdseed. One night this last week I heard scratching outside the window (which is above the couch I sit on for my studies).... I hit the wall thinking it was a squirrel. It continued and got louder. I turned around and saw two large eyes staring back at me! LOL! I freaked out because it was a large raccoon eating the birdseed! I never thought I would see that when I looked outside into the dark! LOL! 
            You've got to love this look! Olsen is such a goose! 
            Not sure you can see... but there is a large raccoon on our windowsill staring back at me! LOL! 
          REFLECTION: I have a couple of things to say today... they kind of go together... and then again, they could be completely random thoughts! LOL! 

          For 2 weeks (HERE and HERE) I mentioned something about being upset because the world is bad/horrible/getting worse/pulling me down/etc., and I'm finding it hard to live like Jesus. 

          Well.... this feeling is even more than what I've talked about the past 2 weeks... I want to be a GOOD Christian role model. I thought I was doing this, but it's so different than what I was taught! Honestly, I didn't have a Christian role model until very recently. So I've been doing my best, but Christianity is SO MUCH MORE! I love this quote from a sermon I heard on the radio the other day: "Christianity is a religion of the heart. An outward compliance is NOT enough." SOOOOOOOOOOOOO true! I'm trying to live like Jesus but that's not enough... I've got to get the Word down into my heart, as well as have a deep{er} relationship with God! When I only have an outward compliance I get sidetracked by the world... I've got to stick with my Bible and live with Jesus in my heart. *Hope this makes sense! It made sense to me when I heard that quote on the radio! LOL! 

          Ok... so here's my big reflection for the week---- a bit of background first...For about a year I've been stressing over how hard it is to be a leader in a church and if I could be a good leader. Pastors/leaders are held to such high standards and guidelines (there are lots of Bible verses about this). Trav and I were disappointed in many leaders that we knew, and we definitely didn't want to become like them (but that was really all we had been taught). As soon as Trav and I took on the role of Worship Leaders at NHE, I started to stress again but tried to put my trust in Jesus that he would give me the knowledge/strength/etc. Just a month ago, Trav and I were listening to a sermon that mentioned the early church leader Diotrephes [3 John]. I found this story interesting and then forgot about it.

          Until this week. My 3030 Challenge is continuing (btw- LOVE it), and I read 3 John

          3 John is a letter from John to Gaius, a man who generously gave to followers of Christ. This letter also mentioned 2 other people: Demetrius- another man who gave to followers of Christ and loved the Truth, and Diotrephes- a self-proclaimed church leader who does NOT reflect God's values. Diotrephes looks out for himself and only his works/things/etc; he is not a good leader and even refused to follow other spiritual leaders in authority; we read of his sin in this book, including pride, jealousy, and slander.

          I DO NOT want to be like Diotrephes! I don't want my work or leadership to be about me! I do not want to misuse my leadership position... I don't want to take for granted Christian workers who serve faithfully! 

          I haven't thought of our last experience much lately... but reading this chapter really opened my eyes to the type of leadership we were under. And that breaks my heart. 

          My Application Bible Commentary likens this type of leadership this way: "When a leader makes a habit of encouraging sin (or ignoring it) and discouraging right actions, this leader MUST be stopped. If no one speaks up (or nothing is done when someone does speak up), great harm can be done in the church!"

          OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!! It's TRUE! It's TRUE! The church will be in great harm if leaders don't take this position seriously and if we ignore what needs to be done. That's exactly what happened in our situation, and that breaks my heart that the place I called "home" and loved so much is in great harm! Even worse... my "friends" may still be in great harm! 

          So my reflection this week is that I am praying that I will not turn into a Diotrephes type of leader. I want fruit that is good, honors God, and that glorifies Him! I'm assuming that God took me through that chapter of my life (enduring a trial) so that I would learn about leadership and positions in the church. And I'm assuming God had me read 3 John because I need to keep in the forefront of my mind just how important my job is and that I am held accountable for the "sheep" under me [I know this is in the Bible... I can't find it right now! LOL! Trust me!]. 

          Whatever the reason... I want to be a leader that is a servant like Gaius or Demetrius. 

          My goals for this week:
          1. Continue my 3030 Challenge --- I'm in the book of John and super excited about what God's going to reveal to me! Open my eyes and show me great and marvelous things in your Word!!! Psalm 119:18
          2. FINALLY (REALLY!!!!!!!!! I need to do this goal) start chapter 5 of the Dr. David Jeremiah Agents of Apocalypse *This is the chapter where Trav and I can be seen on the TV program Turning Point--- The Dragon! Check out my original post HERE. I'm giving up on this goal! Maybe if I give up, I will actually do it! LOL!
              I pray that God has been speaking to you--- and that you are blessed beyond what you have asked or wanted ❤️. I also am praying that God would open our eyes and heart to His Will, love, and Word. May you go deep{er} with God this week! 

              Remember, if you need prayer, please contact me {savannahland2 at comcast dot net}. 

              THANKS so much for stopping by today! Be blessed:}
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              ps... I am asking for prayer this week for our church relaunch service. NHE is having a relaunch party on Sunday, March 22nd. Please pray that all the details will be handled and completed, and that our community would come out and check us out (possibly even consider NHE their home church!)! THANK YOU for lifting us up in prayer ❤️