Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scrapbooking Bible Study - Fruit of the Spirit

This fall, I started leading a Scrapbooking Bible Study at our church on the Fruit of the Spirit. I have the scrapbooking knowledge (I've been a scrapper since I was 15... over 20 years!) - but was a little short on the Bible knowledge. I found a book through Amazon that was great for the Bible part - but pitiful on the scrappin' part! I ordered one and then used it as a foundation for our class. We used the verses provided and the questions, but created our own originial layouts each week. I am the only digital scrapbooker in the group - everyone else has been creating amazing paper layouts. It really has been an amazing experience!

Here is my cover page:

Credits:
Background ©Layla Barzi,
2007Backyard Alpha from NRB
Text from the Bible

Galatians 5:16-23 is our main verse for this Bible Study. For the first lesson, we talked about God's role as a gardener and living a "fruitful life." Some people made a 2-page layout on this theme - others made a single-page layout to serve as the finale for the album. This is my final page:
Credits:
Verses from the Bible (NIV & Msg)
Dirt created by me
Flowers by BlueToille Scrap
Bows by Angel Flying Solo

We are the branches connected to Christ's vine... there are wonderful things we can accomplish through Him! Sometimes God needs to prune out the garbage from our lives - but in doing that, He enables you to grow and learn. What kind of "fruit" do you produce? And what does that say about you...?
Stop back each Thursday for the next several weeks to see the next layouts!
:) Mags
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Karaoke Tuesday: Who Am I?

Anyone feeling pitiful today? Weary? Defeated?
Anyone feeling tired? And insecure? Again... Defeated?


Some days are like that... heck - for some of us, MOST days are like that!

Every once in while (and we're talking once in a GREAT while!), I have a morning where everything goes my way... the kids wake up agreeable and don't fight... and they don't wake me up until after 7AM... I get to Starbucks, and they are serving my very favorite: their pumpkin cream cheese muffin, and I have a gift card with which to buy it... life is good.
HOWEVER, usually mornings do not go that way... Kids are up at 6AM... shooting each other with guns made from K'Nex... I'm exhausted even after a night's sleep... by the afternoon, I've lost all my patience and the "Mother of the Year Award" ... again. "Defeated" is often the word that describes me by dinner time!


These are just everyday trials... small things in the midst of a big world. Some people are dealing with BIG problems - even on a daily basis. But with billions of people in the world - all dealing with their own problems - it's easy to wonder if a big, big God can even hear our issues through the cacophony of angst. That's one of the reasons I love this song by Casting Crowns... it sums up my feelings of inadequacy and gives me comfort that my God is watching out for me with his safety net. That doesn't mean that bad things won't happen in my life; it does mean that God will hold my hand and help me through them... no matter what else is going on in the world - I have his undivided attention... as do you... and you... and you. That's what makes him God of all creation! :)

I also like this song for the refrain - that it's not about what I DO that is important... it's about Jesus and what he has already done for me. Something to remember in my most defeated times - that Jesus was strong enough for both of us. Enjoy the words below - you can listen to this song on Last.FM.

Song: Who Am I?
Artist: Casting Crowns:
Album: Casting Crowns
LYRICS



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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Karaoke Tuesday: "Your Love Is Deep"

Last year, my husband and I helped out during K-2nd Grade Kids Worship - and I found that there were a lot of great songs played there! One was "Your Love Is Deep" by Jami Smith:

Song: Your Love Is DeepArtist: Jami Smith
Album: Wash Over Me

LYRICS

Your love is deep,
Your love is high,
Your love is long,
Your love is wide.


It's a simple lesson, really. God's love for us is deeper, higher, longer, and wider than anything we can imagine. No matter how many times we screw up... no matter how many errors we make... no matter how undeserving we may be... God loves us... each and every one of us.

One of my favorite kids' stories is Guess How Much I Love You by Sam Bratney.
My favorite youth minister from our former church, Cindy, once used this book as an object lesson for Children's Time. In it, Little Brown Nut Hare tries to "out-love" his parent, Big Brown Nut Hare. Little Nut Brown Hare loves Big Nut Brown Hare THIS MUCH (spreading out his arms as wide as he can reach), but Big Nut Brown Hare loves Little Nut Brown Hare THIS MUCH (and his arms are much wider). The pattern continues through the book - with Big Nut Brown Hare having the size, strength, and wit to "out-love" his baby... including at the end:

Little Nut Brown Hare: I love you all the way up to the moon! (Nothing could be farther than the moon!)

Big Nut Brown Hare: I love you all the way up the moon........ and back.

Now, if you have the book at home, re-read it... but substitute YOUR NAME for Little Nut Brown Hare and GOD for Big Nut Brown Hare. Just like the words in Jami Smith's song, no matter how big, or deep, or high, or wide your love is for God, HIS love is bigger, deeper, higher, and wider. You are enveloped in His love... all the way to the moon... and back.
Have a blessed day,
:) Mags

--> Listen to today's Karaoke Tuesday selection on .LastFM!
I also really like Big Stuf's (one "f") version on iTunes - that's the one I play a lot! :)
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Edited" Movies - a pop culture alternative...

I love movies... Action movies, thriller movies, scary movies, romance movies, cartoon movies, science movies, whatever... I just LOVE movies!

I also love to share some of my favorites with my kids (ages 7 and 4). We've been fortunate that our oldest son is not afraid of movies - he's got a good sense of "real" vs "not real" so we've been able to see a lot of fantasy/sci-fi stuff that make other kids fearful. We saw The Dark Crystal together when he was around 4 years old - watching first the "making of it" to show how the characters were all puppets and then the movie. He loved it! And we have fun talking about how they made the characters move and work. Star Wars is a HUGE part of our kids' lives. We all seen all 6 episodes... even Episode III... because there used to be a local video store called "Family Flix" that rented "edited" versions of popular movies - with all of the bad language, adult situations, and bloody gore removed. When the video store went out of business, we were able to purchase Star Wars III in edited form... cropping out most of Anakin burning alive in the lava pit, cutting the beheading of Count Dooku to just him falling to the floor, and limiting the slaying of the Jedi children to just the hint of it. Those small omissions enabled both of our kids to see the last movie without scaring them or compromising the storyline.

This weekend, I rented Transformers just for me... yes, I'm an adult female - and it's probably not the typical movie that 36-year old Moms usually rent. But I remember the hey-day of Transformers in the 80's; my brother LOVED them, and the trailer for the movie looked amazing. I was so disappointed when it received a PG-13 rating because I just knew that my sons would love it...

Sure enough - the visual effects were fabulous, and the sound effects even better. The voice of Optimus Prime was just as I remembered it from the old cartoons - and the grinding sounds of the robots actually transforming was SO neat! But there were a few completely inappropriate scenes - scenes that could have been completely cut out without messing up the storyline. There was NO need for this movie to have scenes in it that required a PG-13 rating... especially not when boys as young as 6 or 7 could have just loved this movie.

I started surfing around the Internet for some Family Flix alternatives and found a great site: www.goodmoviesonline.com sells original movies WITH an edited version! You can choose among new releases, classics, actions, suspense, comedy, etc. - AND choose whether you want your version edited to a PG or PG-13 level! Best of all, they had Transformers! So I ordered the edited movie and will save it for my son's birthday in February. As soon as it comes, I'll watch it and be able to tell you about the quality of the editing - but for now, I'm just thrilled to find an edited alternative to some really fun action movies!!
Autobots... ROLL OUT!





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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Want To Host Your Own Women's Shoe Event? Here's How!

The event at our church that used all of the wonderful shoes I've been blogging about was a huge success. 190 women came for 2-and-a-half-hours and had a great time! If you'd like to host your own Shoe Event at your church, here's how we did it: (Keep in mind that we did not "invent" this idea - we scoured other women's groups and combined ideas!)

"IF THE SHOE FITS!"
Women's Ministry Event at CCM
# of People: 190

Decorations: Hot pink and lime green table clothes on round tables that seated 6-7 people each. We had little pedistals at the center draped with 1/8th of a black plastic table cloth for the different types of shoes. In the absence of a pedistal, you could cover a shoe box - it was just to give the shoes some height.

We were lucky that one of the members of the congregation is in the shoe business and had [i]hundreds[/i] of sample shoes that we could borrow. We separated them into 35 different themes, and I made the table tents ([b]if you email me "mags at magsgraphics dot com"[/b], I can send you the Microsoft Word document. All you'd have to do is print on cardstock, cut apart, and set on the tables). We added other types of shoes too to get to 35 different types - just did an "all-call" in the bulletin for the specific ones I wanted.

I also freehanded 20 huge shoes out of foam core. Traced them in big black marker and used paint and glitter glue to color them in. These lined up along the stage in the gym like a shoe store. Any extra shoes we had went up there as well.

Here were the types of shoes:
RUBY SLIPPERS
GARDENING SHOES/CROCS
RAIN BOOTS
TAP SHOES
BABY SHOES
GLASS SLIPPERS
DECK SHOES
BOOTS
GOLD SHOES
STEEL-TOED BOOTS
FLATS
CLOWN SHOES
SNOW SHOES
BLACK SHOES
ANIMAL PRINT SHOES
ROLLER BLADES
FLIPPERS
BALLET SHOES
HIKING BOOTS
MOCCASINS
BLUE SUEDE SHOES
GLADIATOR BOOTS
PLASTER CASTS/FOOT BRACES
RED SHOES
COMBAT BOOTS
PENNY LOAFERS
HIGH HEELS
FIREFIGHTER SHOES
WEDDING SHOES
SANDALS
HOSPITAL SHOES
NURSING SHOES
PLATFORM HEELS
PUMPS
SLIPPERS
GYM SHOES
FLIP-FLOPS

Someone put together a Powerpoint presentation that ran in the background during dinner - it was a slideshow of all of these wacky and wild shoes. Really funny!!

Food: This one was catered.
Cost: $10.00 per person - tickets sold in advance


Entertainment: We had our contemporary worship leader to an Elvis impression and sing "Blue Suede Shoes." Another lady did a Nancy Sinatra impersonation and sang an alternate version of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" that was about wanting to own gym shoes for exercising. It was pretty funny.

Testimonials: We had asked four people to speak about unusual life paths they had traveled / interesting shoes they had filled. I was "Hospital Shoes" and talked about my brain tumor. One was "Combat Shoes" and talked about her son in Iraq. One was "Missionary Shoes" and talked about her missionary work. The last was "Squeaky Shoes" b/c she had adopted a little girl from China and had brought back these little shoes that squeaked whenever her girl walked. The testimony was about her adoption journey.

Doorprizes: We had a small prize on every table. Each table voted on who at their table had worn the most fabulous shoes to the event and that person got the prize. We also had some "big" prizes whose winners were drawn from a hat: Gift certificate to DSW, Gift certificate to a pedicure, a flip-flop fly swatter, a pair of chocolate shoes.

After the event, people gathered the shoe decorations from their table and put them all on two long tables. Then as people left, they could pick up the shoes they let us borrow. I only had 3 pairs to shoes to return to people after the event; all of the others were picked up by their owners.

You should try it out with your women's group - it really was a fun time!!

:) Mags
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Monday, October 13, 2008

I Found God In Ruby Slippers...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.

GOD & RUBY SLIPPERS


1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"


“There’s no place like home…”
“There’s no place like home…”

Just as Dorothy discovered through her journey, believers will discover that the best place of all is “home” in the arms of God. Even through all of life’s experiences: the sights, and sounds, and tastes, and thoughts – it is impossible to imagine the greatness and glory of Heaven. Heaven is where Jesus lives! It must be magnificent.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Found God in Gardening Shoes...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.



GOD & GARDENING SHOES
John 15:1-4 (NIV)
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

It’s not a “croc!” God will make changes in your life that will make you a better person and increase your joy in living if you will just hand Him the pruning shears. “Cut the fat” from your life – the things that are un-Christian, the things that clutter your mind. Present your body to Him as a living sacrifice, and your life will bear fruit!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Found God In Rain Boots...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & RAIN BOOTS
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

There are times when life just stinks. Low times … times of great sorrow and loss …. times of hardship and worry. But through it all, God is with you. Take comfort that God is holding your hand as you navigate the dark storms of life … you are never without Him.


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Friday, October 10, 2008

I Found God in Tap Shoes...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & TAP SHOES
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


If you’ve ever watched someone tap dance, you know the amazing and intricate steps they do to create the rhythmic tapping. If you weren’t actually seeing it, you wouldn’t believe it could be done.

Believing in God is the complete reverse of that. We cannot see Him; yet we’ve witnessed the miracles of his existence. We cannot hear Him; yet we’ve heard the symphonies of many of his creations. We cannot smell Him; yet we’ve breathed deeply the Heavenly scents of the garden of life sowed by Him. We cannot touch Him; yet we are touched in so many ways by Him.
We believe in that which we cannot physically see, hear, smell, or touch. That is faith.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Found God In Baby Shoes...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & BABY SHOES
Proverbs 22:6 (King James)

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.


Whatever YOU as parents, or teachers, or mentors, have shown our children, over and over again, will be their guide: their beacon leading them down the winding way of life decisions. If you have trained them up according to God's Word, when they grow up, they will not turn from it. These children are on loan from God ... and at the end of this life; you will have to answer to Him on how you raised His kids.

Thankfully, He has provided us with a How-to-Guide: an instruction manual with the best life-guiding principles around. Have you opened your Bible lately and read what God has to say about rearing His children?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Found God In Glass Slippers...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & GLASS SLIPPERS


Matthew 6:1 (The Message)

Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.



Are you authentic? Or do you put up a fa├žade for the world? Do you speak and behave as an authentic Christian … "real" in your interactions with others and in your heart? While you don’t have to have all of the answers, it is your duty as a Christian to show authentic Christian behavior in your words and deeds. You are a model for others … and a spokesperson for your faith. People should see God through your words and deeds … like the delicate feet housed in glass slippers. And your actions may just lead another to Christ.

Sometimes, a single pair of shoes can change a life… just look at Cinderella.
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Monday, October 6, 2008

I Found God In Deck Shoes...

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GOD & DECK SHOES


Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Have you taken a moment lately to just appreciate nature’s beauty around you? God’s masterpiece … teaming with life from the smallest buzzing insect to the largest mammal… from the low covering algae to the tallest redwood … the miracle that is Creation is everywhere! Whether traveling by plane, train, automobile, or boat, take a moment to look around. Drink it in. Then thank the Lord for his blessings.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Found God In Boots...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & BOOTS
Ephesians 4:32 (The Message)
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, and profane talk.
Be gentle with one another, sensitive.
Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Do you find yourself walking all over other people and doing things only your way? Sometimes it is easy to be so wrapped up in our own issues that we forget to be sensitive to others.

Try NOT to follow Nancy Sinatra’s lyrics:
These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do - one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you!
Instead, do your best to be generous and tender-hearted.
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Found God In Gold Shoes...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & GOLD SHOES


Revelation 21:21 (NIV)

The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.


The riches you might hoard here on Earth compare to nothing you will find in Heaven. Remember your priorities, and store up treasures in Heaven.

“We will dance on the streets that are golden,
The glorious bride and the great Son of Man.
From every tongue and tribe and nation,Will join in the song of the Lamb!”
*This text was penned by Kay Moll.
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Friday, October 3, 2008

I Found God In Steel-Toed Shoes...

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GOD & STEEL-TOED SHOES
Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Heavy work boots remind us to really put our whole selves into whatever we’re doing for God. We’re not to be concerned about whether people notice what we’re doing. We’re not to be thinking about the benefits we’ll receive. Put 110% into everything we do for the glory of God. Put God FIRST… before self, family, or friend.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Found God in Flats...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.



GOD & FLATS

John 14:27 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


Comfortable flats allow us to walk swiftly and get where we’re going. Comfortable shoes remind us to keep in step with the Spirit; there are things in life that may slow us down or block our path, but walking with sure-footed steps can keep us closer to the Lord. The Lord gives us peace: peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of Spirit.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Found God In Clown Shoes...

--> This post is part of a series on God & Shoes... to read the first in the series, CLICK HERE. To read ALL of the posts in this series, CLICK HERE.


GOD & CLOWN SHOES
Psalms 1-41

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Just as children delight in the circus, we should delight on the Lord and the path He has set before us. God promises to have great plans for us – we should be excited for the next adventure He has planned for us. God never intended that the Christian life be one of drudgery. Instead, He intended that the Christian life be marked by joy! Paul said to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Think of all you have; think of all you are in Christ. You are redeemed! You are sanctified! You are forgiven! You are saved for all eternity! Life up your heart and live your life with joy!


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