Saturday, April 30, 2016

When You Run Out...

Things are getting busy on this end again with musicwriting, and photography, and my little blog has been pushed onto back burner -- meaning that scheduled posts are running out.

I don't want my busy to just be busy. I want my busy to be in line with what GOD would have me to do. So I'm seriously praying and seeking God's direction for what He would have me say "yes" to and what He would have me say "no" to. Until I decide what that direction is, things just might be a little sketchy here on the blog. I probably won't keep up with Word Wednesdays but just share random Scriptures throughout the week. Guess we'll wait and see. :)

I greatly appreciate all of my faithful readers and commenters. I'm not saying "goodbye," I'm just probably not going to be quite as talkative in the near future. ;)

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Treasure Concealed | Book Review

26266298I have already done my "Friday review" but this book has been on my shelf a little too long and I need to get it reviewed here. So two review today.

About the Book
Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache. 
Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . . 
Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?

My Review
This is my second Tracie Peterson book to read, and I really enjoyed it. Of course, I have a little infatuation with things mining and old West, so the whole theme of the book drew me in.

The POV goes between Emily Carver and Caeden Thibault, both who are trying to understand how God works, basically, how their mothers had strong faith in God even though their lives were not ideal. I thought Peterson did an excellent job with explaining that God is not unjust because of circumstances He allows (brought on by wicked men).

There was a beautiful salvation message in this book, and I really think I can say that the spiritual plot of this book was strong. I'm finding that I like a lot of quotes in Peterson's books.

However, this book wasn't without a few things that made me cringe. For example, why do authors always add moments of "almost unacceptable" that were "unavoidable?" Besides that, there were illusions to men desiring to mistreat women, but it wasn't vulgar. Younger readers may not want to read this book because of that, though. There is romance in this book, but I didn't feel like the story was only wrapped around their emotions (there were moments in the story that hung only on the romance, but overall, the book wasn't just about that).

Quotes I liked:
"A house and little fence will not be what makes you happy. Don't be deceived and throw away the good things you have in search for something that doesn't exist."

"God never is the One to walk away, Caeden. Only we can do that."

"If God knows all, then how can He be disappointed?"

"Trust comes in knowing [God] better."

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange of my honest review*

About the Author
Tracie Peterson is a bestselling author who writes in both historical and contemporary genres. Her novels reveal her love for research as well as her strong desire to develop emotionally meaningful characters and stories for her readers. Tracie and her family live in Montana.

Buy the Book on Amazon

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts | Book Review

The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts by Maja SäfströmAbout the Book
An artfully playful collection of unexpected and remarkable facts about animals, illustrated by Swedish artist Maja Säfström. 

Did you know that an octopus has three hearts? Or that ostriches can’t walk backward? These and many more fascinating and surprising facts about the animal kingdom (Bees never sleep! Starfish don’t have brains!) are illustrated with whimsical detail in this charming collection.

My Review
I got this in and read it in about ten minutes. It is a very whimsical, simple book with facts placed creatively on the pages. It was so much fun to learn several animal group names that just made sense (like a group of cockroaches called an intrusion). I personally don't care to know all of the information about animals and their digestion...but that was about the only negative I found. I was pleasantly surprised to find no evolution in this book!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange of my honest review*

About the AuthorMAJA SÄFSTRÖM is a Stockholm based architect and illustrator who has gained international recognition for her quirky animal drawings. For more of her works, visit:
Buy the Book on Amazon

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Word Wednesday #104

What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him? 
Job 21:15

Such are the thoughts of the wicked (see Job 21:7, 14)--yet, if we're not careful, our lifestyle as believers can scream these questions. When we choose our own path and walk however pleases us--what is God that we should serve Him? When we neglect prayer or doubt that prayer is beneficial--what profit do we have, praying to Him? Oh, believe, our lives should be one of seeking God and serving Him, being faithful to communicate with Him daily!

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog! Did you post on your blog? I'd love to see -- share your link in a comment!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Do we...?

Do we believe that God's Word converts (turns back)? Do we read it when we notice our hearts straying towards the world?

Do we believe that God's Word gives wisdom? Do we turn to others or God when we need wisdom?

Do we believe that God's Word rejoices the heart? Do we seek it or secular entertainment when we need cheering up?

Do we believe that God's Word is pure? Do we turn to it when we need cleansing or wallow in our sin?

Do we believe that God's Word endure forever? Do we try to cling to worldly, temporal things for our security instead of clinging to God's Word?

Do we believe that God's Word is true and righteous altogether? Do we dwell on the lies and fears of this world or dwell on the truth of God's Word?

Do we truly desire God's Word? Is this evidenced in our daily lives? Do we spend more time seeking worldly things, following worldly entertainment and devices, letting the world determine our thinking--or do we spend time renewing our minds according to God's Word? 

7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:7-10

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mr. Zip and the Capital Z | Book Review

Mr. Zip and The Capital ZAbout the Book
After a terrifically hard and terribly disappointing day before the Fourth of July, Peanut Johnson, wandering aimlessly down Main Street, stumbles upon The Capital Z, a This and That Shop. Stepping inside, he meets Mr. Aloysious Zip, the kind and eccentric shopkeeper, who introduces Peanut to a most wondrous place. There are toys and trinkets, model cars and miniature wagon trains, even memorabilia from days gone by—“reminders,” says Mr. Zip with an air of mystery.

Discovering “everything from A to Z” inside The Capital Z, Peanut also finds history unfolding before his very eyes. Touching a Kentucky rifle hanging on the shop wall, he is transported to the wilderness where he sees his Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle Milkweed Johnson fighting in Andrew Jackson’s regiment during the War of 1812. George Washington’s sword brings Peanut onto the battlefield where the General, on horseback, dodges bullet after bullet. And while staring at a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the building of the Tower of Babel, Peanut finds himself in a crowd of angry and confused spectators, all speaking a different language!

But Peanut’s visit to The Capital Z turns out to be much more than a journey through history. As he peers into the past with his Uncle Milkweed and some of America’s greatest leaders, he finds courage and hope to face his own mistakes, taking his first steps from boyhood to those of a young man.

My Review
2.5/3 stars
The Capital Z holds many memorable historic items--each with a story: a Kentucky rife that told of Milkweed Johnson's bravery in returning to his former plantation, a sword replica that told of George Washington's battles, and a room with books and stained glass windows. As Peanut listens to tales of history, he realizes how he can be brave in the problem he created two days before.

The premise of this story is clever: create a shop where the shopkeeper can teach history in a creative way. The writing style is great for children--easy going and funny. The historical tid-bits seem well-researched, with foot notes.


There are some strange things that, in order to give my honest book review, I feel necessary to mention.

"People tell me that when they're in this shop, they feel like they see or hear unusual things." As Mr. Zip tells stories, Peanut "sees" what is happening. Kind of like a time-travel, yet he's still in the shop for most of them--and it's never really explained. Mr. Zip was in all of the pictures even from 100 years ago and "It seemed to Peanut that Mr. Zip had a firsthand knowledge, almost as if he had actually been there! 'No way.' Dismissing the thought, Peanut caught up to what Mr. Zip was saying."

I'll just mention that Peanut had an infatuation with a girl which, while it was a little silly to a grown-up, just does not seem needed for a children's book.

Spiritual (this is the main thing that pulled my star rating down):
The stained glass reminders went straight from the Garden of Eden to Noah's flood--no mention of HOW sin came into the world. The cross was mentioned, and how God has a plan, and being a Christian--but no mention of Jesus Christ (ever). In all of this, it was all paraphrased Bible stories with opinions inserted that just didn't QUITE sound Scriptural. There was more of a "good morals" slant and how Peanut should do the right thing because that was what the men before him did.

When I started this, I honestly thought it might be a good family read-aloud book. The introduction of all of the Johnsons' names was just hilarious. But given the negatives, I'm just not comfortable with recommending this book unless you like fantasy (but even then, the spiritual slips just have me concerned).

*I received this book from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review*

About the Author
Kimberly Bryant-Palmer never dreamed of becoming a writer, but always loved reading--her favorite authors being James Michener, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Harper Lee. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in both music and biology from Mary Washington College (now The University of Mary Washington). While in graduate school, studying music theory, she worked a short time in cancer research before going on to write and record a CD, Just Enough. But it was when she met an artist named Jerry Palmer, and wrote the introduction for a book idea he had carried in his head for 25 years, that she found what she truly loved to do.

Mr. Zip and The Capital Z, a story of restoration and hope, tells of a young, dark-skinned American boy, Peanut Johnson, who has just endured "a terrifically hard and terribly disappointing day." In this tale, Kimberly explores matters of the heart while taking her readers on a magical journey through history.

As she wrote, Jerry sketched the characters, and together, they brought the eccentric Mr. Zip, the tenderhearted Peanut, and his hilarious, lovable family to life.

Buy the Book on Amazon

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Near to the Heart of God | Music Video

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God.
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee
Near to the heart of God.

Words & Music: Cle­land B. Mc­A­fee
Piano solo arranged by Amanda Tero

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Word Wednesday #103

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 
Job 1:20-21

When we find ourselves facing small trials (compared to Job's), we whine instead of worship and blame God instead of blessing Him. Job had his perspective right: we deserve nothing and absolutely any good we have is from God; and God doesn't need our permission to leave or take. We usually have an elevated image of self, thinking we deserve better or God owes us. Not so with Job. He was a picture of humble faithfulness.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog! Did you post on your blog? I'd love to see -- share your link in a comment!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Music Sight-readers Needed

Do you like new music? I'm praying about seriously diving into music editing so I can put more up on my website ( I would like a few pianists to sightread for me and proof the music. I'll be having different levels from beginner to advanced. Are you interested or do you know someone who is? Sign up here  (or send the link to a pianist friend):

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nigh to God

One day, in my Bible reading, I came across Hebrew 7:19, about drawing nigh to God. This verse made me curious about other references to drawing nigh to God. I was surprised that there weren't many references. But, the verses that there are have a powerful message!

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  Deuteronomy 4:7
Before and after this verse in Deuteronomy 4 is a reminder to keep God's laws. For Israel, the nearness of God was contingent on their obedience to Him. If they kept His laws, He was nigh to them.

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.  Hebrews 7:19
For New Testament believers, we can draw nigh unto God because of the "bringing in of a better hope." This verse alone explains that the law, given in the Old Testament, given to Israel, was never able to make the doer perfect. However, this "better hope" (which, in context of this passage, is Jesus Christ) is able to make one perfect. This "better hope" is what draws us nigh to God, not our ability to keep His laws.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  James 4:8
The two verses prior help us to get the full picture of this verse: "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:6-7)
We are given the promise, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." But how does one draw nigh to God? I believe that Hebrews 7:19, linked with James 4:6-8, gives us the answer:
1) We can draw nigh only through Jesus Christ and His cleansing
2) We can draw nigh only through humility--acknowledging that I cannot do it by my own works and ability
3) We can draw nigh only through submission--realizing that I can only draw nigh by the process which God has placed before me

Drawing nigh to God is not based on the works that I do (the more good works I do, the closer I'll draw nigh). Rather, drawing nigh to God is based on submitting to His way of drawing nigh: through humility, acknowledging that I cannot, of my own self, draw nigh to God. Through submission, realizing that I must come under Christ's blood to draw nigh to God.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Emily | Photoshoot

Last fall, I did Emily's senior pictures. Well, guess what? Here we are again with some cello fun! And boy did we have fun! 

This. This is THE picture of the photoshoot!

And then there's all these other beautiful pictures, because of my lovely subject. :)

And yes, we did put ourselves in some danger for this one ;) Jump on the street when cars aren't speeding through type thing...

If you were to have a photoshoot with your favorite instrument, what would it be?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Word Wednesday #102

And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? 
Joshua 18:2-3

There are times in our spiritual life that we are like the Israelites here. God has promised us peace, victory, strength, and so much more. Yet we do not have it because we do not move forward to claim what was promised to us.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog! Did you post on your blog? I'd love to see -- share your link in a comment!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Back in the Saddle | Book Review

About the Book
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why. 
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

My Review
Overall, this was a sweet story, kind of a modern parable about the prodigal son (including the jealous brother). I enjoyed reading the progression of Colt's modern, high-budget thinking to more humble, down-to-earth, people-first focus. I really, really liked the cowboy feel. It was an interesting mix of old-fashioned cowboy in a modern world, but it was well done. Colt's heart for the children was so sweet! I loved his relationship with his nieces and Noah.

I wish I could give this book amazing five stars. Like I said, it was a sweet story, but it just didn't stand out as a strong faith-filled book. There were verses quoted, prayers to God, and overall, a good bit of mention of God. However, it was unclear if Colt was saved at the beginning and "got right" with God as the book progressed? Because at first, his anti-God made me assume he wasn't saved, but there was no scene of him repenting and turning to God. Secondly, there seemed to be a Catholic hint with Angelina and her mother mentioning Mary and lighting candles. Also, there was what I would consider "mild language" in this book (as in, more "everyday" lingo that we don't like using around the house). 

For those who like to know romantic content, there were several scenes which most people would probably find "sweet romance." They were drawn to each other, had moments of being lost in the nearness of each other, and they kissed (several times) before they knew there was a commitment.

Honestly, I did enjoy the story, but the spiritual plot and romance just knocked it down a star for me. I know of many reader friends who would probably love the story because it is clean and sweet.

*I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review*

About the Author
Best-selling, multi-published author Ruth Logan Herne is the author of over thirty novels and novellas through traditional publishers and her own independent works. She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. With over 3/4 million books in print, Ruthy is living her dream of touching hearts and souls by writing the kind of books she likes to read.

Buy the Book on Amazon

Monday, April 11, 2016

Biblically Speaking - No Abominations in Heaven

Part 22 in my study on what is abomination in the sight of God.

Many believers have fallen into accepting that which is abomination in the sight of God. Unless we study God's Word to learn His Mind on what is abominable, how will we know to purge ourselves from abomination? Lord willing, I will be posting the fruits of my study on the word "abomination," but feel free to leap ahead of me and study it for yourself. What is an abomination to God?

No Abominations in Heaven
Revelation 21:23-27
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Heaven is pure, spotless, and holy, just like God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because of this holiness, anyone who walks in rebellion to God's laws, unrepentant of their sins, cannot enter into heaven. This includes anyone who lives their lifestyle in what is abominable in God's eyes.

Here, I believe, the focus is not to be on the abomination but on the escape from that abomination and, ultimately, an eternity spent separated from the Holy and Righteous Lord.
1 Peter 1:18-22 says,
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Every human being was born into this world with a sin nature (Romans 5:12 - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:) and in his natural, sinful state, man's due reward is death and eternal separation from God. However, God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die and rise again, taking the penalty of our sin upon Him (Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.). It is only through Jesus Christ that one can be cleansed from their sin and made holy before the Lord, dressed in His righteousness, purified by His blood.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Emilia | Photoshoot

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of photographing an incredibly adorable little six-month-old. Meet Emilia.

And yes, that's my pick of the 100+ images I took. :) So much story in that picture!

It truly is hard to pick "favorites" here's just a glimpse of all that cuteness!

She looks as if she's just soaking in all that love!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder | Book Review and Giveaway

McMillanAbout the Book
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever--if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

My Review

Whether or not Jem is in, she's in with Merinda and her detective scheme. Though Jem's last name is Watts, she doesn't at all think she compares to Wattson--even though Merinda is determined to be a Sherlock Holmes and refuses to let two mysterious murders go unnoticed in political unrest.

Seriously, who would NOT laugh at the title of this book? It just entices you to the humorous account of two bachelor girls as they get into the detective world. This story had me laughing aloud--and that doesn't usually happen when I read. Yes, there was romance in this book but it was hysterically funny. Going into detail would give spoilers.

I'm not usually a murder mystery reader, but besides the first chapter in which they trailed alongside Jasper Forth--without permission--and saw the first girl's demise, I pretty much forgot that was the "theme" of the book. It did not at all take on a dark setting.

The girls call one of the men a name which is probably not fit to be repeated (in my vocabulary) but other than that, I suppose one would call it clean. If someone cursed, it was mentioned, "He cursed under his breath" and the author did not fill the reader in with which words he said--which I appreciated it.

Two things knock a star off for me:

It is yet another book that seems to have only "partial Christianity" in it. The one mystery that Merinda doesn't care to solve is that of religion. Jem acknowledges God, goes to the church in the end. It mentions Ray meeting weekly with a pastor, but a real relationship with Christ isn't threaded throughout the story.

Secondly, Jem and Merinda really are independent, feministic women. It is tastefully covered in wit, but Jem's parents disowning her for the way she has chosen to live and Merinda's whole outlook in life just doesn't match what I perceive as Biblical womanhood.

A favorite quote:

"Can't you just see the headlines? 'Herringford and Watts stomp out the Morality Squad.'" 
Jem threw up her hands. "'Herringford and Watts get thrown in jail!'" 
"'Herringford and Watts become Toronto's premiere investigators!'" 
"Herrington and Watts better get fed soon or Watts won't be long for their new enterprise."

*I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review*

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

Buy the book on Amazon

Enter the Giveaway HERE

Thursday, April 7, 2016

One of the Joys of Music Teaching

Today I have more of a thought than an article to share. This week, as I was teaching, I became a little overwhelmed with something that I think is completely amazing:

I can't really think of anything in music that is more awesome than taking a child who knows absolutely nothing to the point where they can glorify God in their music!

Do you teach anything? If so, what do you find most rewarding about it?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Modesty Book Giveaway Winner

The winner for Amanda Leite's book, The Path to a Modest Lifestyle is....

Abigail W!!!!

Amanda will be emailing you!

If you're interested in this book, you can buy it here on Amazon.

Word Wednesday #101

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8

We like the thought of spiritual prosperity and success, but this promise is linked to our actions: staying in God's Word, meditating (thinking) on it, and observing (applying).

Spiritual growth relies on these three steps: reading our Bible, pondering it, applying it.

Share a verse that God has given you today or copy the button if you'd like to join in Word Wednesdays with your blog! Did you post on your blog? I'd love to see -- share your link in a comment!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Biblically Speaking - Warning for Those Committing Abomination

Part 21 in my study on what is abomination in the sight of God.

Many believers have fallen into accepting that which is abomination in the sight of God. Unless we study God's Word to learn His Mind on what is abominable, how will we know to purge ourselves from abomination? Lord willing, I will be posting the fruits of my study on the word "abomination," but feel free to leap ahead of me and study it for yourself. What is an abomination to God?

 Warning for Those Committing Abominations
Jeremiah 7:9-11
9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

God does not take lightly to those who claim to be followers of Him living and accepting a lifestyle which He clearly defines as abominable. I am afraid that many people today have the same mindset as in Jeremiah's day: "I am saved--I have 'liberty in Christ'--I can do this." God's Word very clearly defines what is right and wrong in His eyes. He also says, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20) Instead of accepting what is said to be "good" or "evil," we need to open our hearts to God's Word and search His Wisdom on what is truly good or evil--and live in accordance to His Word on the issue.

Jeremiah 13:27 - I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?

Continuing the warning, God reminds us that He sees it all. We can live an outwardly upright lifestyle but if we harbor any of these abominations in our hearts (and our unrepentant attitude), God sees and He will judge, as He is pure and just.

Ezekiel 7:3-4 - Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.  And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Scripture Design from Scratch | Graphics Design

A few weeks ago, you may have seen this Scripture graphics design.

When I did it, I decided to screenshot the process so I could share with you--and hopefully you can get some ideas to do your own Scripture designs.

The program I used was Photoshop Elements 10.

First, I create a 4x4" blank file (resolution at 500 pixels). Then, I dragged an image I had onto it.

I like to use random images for my background--they give creative textures. For this one, I went to Filter>Gaussian Blur.

I did a serious blur on this (106.8 pixels).

Next step: I copied the verse and pasted it onto the file.

I "took apart" the verse, enlarging the key words of the verse. This gave me a lot of text layers to work with.

This next step could have been done before or after, but I did it now. I had gotten a color palette idea from Pinterest. I don't usually do this, but I wanted something different than my "earth tones" that I default to.

With my color grabber, I selected the purple.

Copying this purple color to my working page, I then grabbed the color replacement took (right click your paintbrush).

Selecting my background layer (lower right corner where it says "Layer 1"), I colored over the background this purple color.

Going back to the color palette, I chose some colors for text. The first color: orange.

I put all of my key words in font Windsong and changed the font color of those words to orange.

Second font color: green.

As you can see, I decided to swap my font colors. :) Green was a better key-word font and orange for the smaller words, in my opinion.

I didn't want the background quite so bold, so I lowered the opacity of the background to 70% (lower left corner).

Right-clicking the fonts, I decided to add a drop shadow to make it pop from the background.

The only change I made was bringing the size up to 10 (from 5). I did this with all of the text.

Changed my reference color (whoops -- forgot about that earlier).

Began tweaking the placement of all of the text.

Decided for the simple text to be in italics (Times New Roman font).

More placement tweaking.

And then I decided that the orange was a little too bright for my preference, so I dragged the color down to have a little more peachy-grey tones.

Added my blog site and voila! Here you have it.

Have you ever designed a Scripture graphics? Is it online somewhere that I can see it? If so, leave a link in the comment and I'll check it out!

If you've not done one, and you have a program to DO one, here's your assignment for next week: find a verse and create a graphics! (simple ;))

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