2015 Tim Holtz Tag Challenge January

Jan tag 2015

This year I have decided that I would participate in the Tim Holtz 12 tags of 2015.  Here is a link to the Tag that Tim created.  http://timholtz.com/12-tags-of-2015-january/

Above is the tag that I created using some of the techniques that Tim featured in his blog.  I always love the Idea of starting the new year with goals and inspiration.  This year I am imagining where my life could go this next year.  As I was searching through some of my Tim Holtz products I came upon this image of the biker and It inspired me.  Life is a journey and we have the opportunity to choose the direction every day.

This year I choose to focus on being creative and more positive.  While I may not always be able to choose the things life sends my way I can choose how I respond and that will always take creativity.

The arrow is pointing up and it will be a reminder to me that I am always thankful to my creator for the strength to continue this journey called life.

Behind the tag is a notebook that I created to hold my 12 tags of 2015.  Tim is so creative I want to thank him for encouraging us all to be bold and creative.

Journey through Advent day 11

Advent day 11

Luke 1:13-17 The Message (MSG)

13-15 But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God.

15-17 “He’ll drink neither wine nor beer. He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God.”

Zachariah learns that God is going to bless them with a son and his name is to be John.  This son would bring Joy and would be different.  His life will bring clarity to those who are skeptics and point them towards God.   John would help people know who Christ is.

That is the same responsibility that you and I have we to are to be in the practice of softening hearts and helping people understand who God is.

Journey through Advent day 10

advent day 10

Luke 1:5-12 The Message (MSG)

A Childless Couple Conceives

5-7 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.

8-12 It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.

Todays journal is a bit abstract.  However I think that fear is abstract.  We never know when it will hit and sometimes have no idea what precipitated it.   In our scripture reading today we hear about a woman and a man who walked Honorably before God… They did everything right.  It would seem that they had everything all together, but,  one thing eluded them.  Zachariah and Elizabeth had longed for a child.  A son who would carry on the family name and yet they would never have one because Elizabeth was past the years of giving birth to a child.

It was time for Zachariah to do his work in the temple.  It was time for him to carry out his assignment and enter the temple and burn incense.  To enter the temple was a serious job.  This was a holy place and to have this job you had to be above reproach.  So can you imagine how startled Zachariah was when he looked up and saw an angel.  Fear gripped his body and he was paralyzed…

That is the way fear is.  We as humans encounter fear everyday. We are fearful to look dumb because we may not be accepted.  We are sometimes fearful of doing new things because we don’t know the outcome.   Some people are fearful of heights because they are afraid they might fall.   Young men are fearful of talking to the beautiful young lady because he may be rejected.   Young ladies are fearful to leave their home with out makeup or the perfect clothing combination because people may think they are ugly.    I could go on and on.  For many fear can be so debilitating that they become paralyzed.

In our story Zachariah was paralyzed at the sight of an angel.  He knew that at the sight of an angel his life would never be the same.  Everytime we read scripture and an angle appears we know there is about to be a disruption to the story line.  Something big is about to happen.  For those of us who like stability and normalcy a disruption strikes fear in our hearts.

Fear brings racing heart, sweaty palms, heavy breathing, and the desire to run.  But where do you run?   Your body is in hyper mode but you are surrounded by darkness and nowhere to go.

Today I ask you to think of the fears in your life.  What makes you fearful?  Can you trust God?  Zachariah didn’t and because of that he was paralyzed.

Allow God to take the things that paralyze you and help mobilize you for the work of the Kingdome…

Journey through Advent day 9

day 9

Isaiah 9:6-7The Message (MSG)

2-7 The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
    light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
    you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
    Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
    sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
    all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
    as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
    along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
    a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
    the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
    the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
    over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
    and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
    beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
    will do all this.

Gods decision to put on flesh and come to earth in the form of a child will always be a source of disbelief for me.  How could he be so trusting and yet so risky?  Didn’t he know that we humans would let him down?  Haven’t we already proved to be unfaithful with the world he trusted us with?  But a Baby is a different story.  It is helpless, dependent and fragile.

But yet he is willing to risk himself in the form of a child to show us how much he loves us.  There can only be good things that come from that unselfish love.  Isaiah says there will be no limit to the wholeness that he will bring.  Yet the world stands back and watches us (the Church),what will we do with this His Child?

This Advent season what will you do with the Christ Child?  Will you participate in justice for those who are oppressed?  Will you do your best to bring peace to chaos?  Will you do the right thing by nurturing and loving those that have yet to join the kingdom?    I hope that the light of Christ will so shine thorough you so bright this day that you will bring JOY to all that are around you!

Journey through Advent day 8

Advent Day 8

Matthew 5:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Looking around there are lights everywhere.  In the town where I live the park puts up hundred thousands of lights every year.  The light display is designed to attract and impress people who drive for many miles to see the light presentation.

Isn’t that what we Christians are supposed to do?   We are supposed to be Gods light to a dark world.  One way we can do that is by doing good deeds that illuminate the love that God has for his creation.   These acts of love should point people back to the the love of Christ and the work that God is doing in the world.   Theses deeds of kindness should shine so bright as to attract others to the love of God that is illuminating through you.

I hope this advent season you to will let Christs love SHINE through you!

Journey through Advent day 7

Romans water color picture 1st Romans 5:20-21 The Message (MSG)

20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

Travel through Advent day 6

Advent journey day 6

Romans 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Out of the darkness appears the person who will make all things right!  How he sets all things right is totally different than the world would expect.  He doesn’t come with pomp and circumstances or with power and violence but he comes with GRACE and RIGHTEOUSNESS.

As I watched the morning news today I was reminded that we live in a world that demands justice.  Justice to the point of using violence to accomplish what they think is going to rectify the situation.  Anger and destruction used to let all know how they feel about the situation.   I wonder what would the world look like if we all practiced Grace?

I am not saying that practicing grace is easy.  I have had to practice it a lot over the past few years.  It is hard when you feel that you have been wronged or willfully hurt to not strike out and demand justice for yourself.  I have to admit I haven’t always been good at it and have often failed at being grace in situations that I should have been more gracious.  Many occasions I have had to go back and ask for forgiveness because I acted selfish and only compounded the problem.  However with that said I try to daily practice being a grace giver even though I know I will fall short many days.

Jesus came to show us that Grace would and could set things right.   Righteousness is defined by webster as  “acting in accord with divine or moral law.”   Jesus knew that all the violence we have practiced and continued to practice would never bring peace.   It is only when we step back and take a look at situations and value the other person as much as we value ourselves will relationships be restored and things be made right.   Even Jesus did this when he willingly lays down his life because the world was demanding justice!

So if righteousness is defined by living according to the divine then as I see it we must extend grace.  There is no other way for righteousness to be brought about without it. This Advent season as we anticipate the coming of Christ who is the only one that can bring justice, it would be great if we participated by extending Grace to others who are in need of it.

Can you imagine what the Christmas season would look like?  It reminds me of the words from the Beetles song “Imagine”  even a song we consider secular is crying out for Grace and Righteousness….  Almost a little prophetic?

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one.

I hope this Advent and Christmas season you too will take a moment to dream and practice grace!  You could be the only glimpse of the divine (who is alive through His people) may see during this holiday season.