Saturday, March 31, 2012

d-i-y Easter Banner

There's Always a Reason to Celebrate!

I'd been waiting for any good reason to create 
a new celebration banner, and Springtime, 
specifically Easter, afforded the perfect occasion! 
I typically don't do much decorating this time of year, 
especially since the true meaning of Easter seems 
to have lost its place in the retail stores. 
There isn't much celebration inventory out there 
proclaiming the Easter message of hope for our world: 
the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.  
So, I went to work. 
With random scraps I already had, 
lots of hot glue and a few craft tools, 
I was able to create this sweet expression of joy 
in celebration of our Risen King.

Provided below are simple steps that will 
help you create your own celebration banner. 


Here's what you need:

8 pieces chipboard approx. 5"x7"  {I found some precut at Michael's}
 Decorative card stock {use any color combinations you like}
Press-out chipboard letters {I used Jim Holts idea-ology}
Fabric remnants
Paper cutter
Jute twine
Black permanent marker
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Hole puncher
2 dried flowers {any kind looks beautiful}
Acrylic paints {I used dark brown, terra cotta & cream}
Paint brush or sponge



After I gathered all the things I wanted to use, 
I popped out the appropriate letters h-e-i-s-r-i-s-e-n.
I then chose the card stock for matting behind the letters and cut (8) 4"x 6" pieces.


Each letter was colored with a black marker.


I painted the chipboard pieces to give them a richer look with watered down paint wash; 
this dries quite fast.

Then began the hot glueing. 

First, the card stock was glued to the chipboard.
Second, I layered a smaller square of remanent fabric; this was an after thought--
I really like the organic feel and depth it gives.
Thirdly, I glued the letter on top. 

{For the word "is" I layered a bright orange strip of card stock 
before the fabric for a punch of color and to distinguish the separation of words.}


Finally, I added a dried flower to each outer corner of the first and last letter of the banner.



This is such an easy, inexpensive, and delightful way to share a message out loud; 

And, what better message than the Resurrection Message!

"But God raised Him from the dead, 
freeing Him from the agony of death, 
because it was impossible for death 
to keep its hold on Him."
ACTS 2:24

"I am the Living One; 
I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! 
And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

{All items and tools can be found at a craft store such as Michael's or Tall Mouse
Don't be shy to look through what you already have (like I did). 
Since this is a d-i-y project, you can use different materials in place of what I used;
 ie: ribbon instead of twine, stencil letters instead of press-out letters, etc. 
Have fun & create "your own style" banner!}

Friday, March 9, 2012


God's business is miracles! 

Always has been. And continues to be. 

Other than the most unfathomably, mind-blowing fact that He manifested Himself in a human body by impregnating a virgin through His Holy Spirit, then willingly laid down His human life at the brutal hand of His enemies for His enemies, {no less}, then after 3 days was raised from death and now is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, God resurrected my marriage! 

As if demonstrating His amazing grace for me at the cross wasn't enough. 

But, that's just it; 
God never stops. 

He not only saves us at that moment we receive His forgiveness through Jesus and accept His gift of eternal life, {another mind-blowing miracle, might I add}, He keeps on saving! 

And keeps on and on and on... 

Yes, my marriage was dead. And for a significant time my husband and I were enemies. 

To God. 
To one another. 

Rick was not a Christian when we were first married.  And I, saved at 12, was not walking with the Lord. My commitment was not to Jesus wholeheartedly. 

Our lives were defined by pride, vanity, materialism, jealousy & addiction.

For a time we saw these things as strength, confidence, drive, love, and pleasure. 

Our blindness led us into dark territory of serious ugly, hatred, and grave places.

On the outside we were polished, thriving and crazy about each other. 
On the inside we were rotting away.

But God saves and continues to save.

March 8th marked my husband's 8th birthday. By the amazing grace of God, my precious husband was born again. 

Spirit birth. 
Eternal life.  

When Rick committed his life to Christ and I re-committed mine we began to see the work that needed to be done in our marriage. Such enormous transformation and restoration was needed that it seemed impossible. Were we better off separate? I though so; many times.

I thought wrong. 
And God was going to prove it.

What seemed to be many long and painful years of tearing down false idols and being weaned of addiction to self, God was working into us what we really needed to live a successful marriage. 



This month we celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. This is a miracle!
Because by the world's standards we should have called it quits years ago. The writing was on the wall. Odds were against us. Conflict was real. Damage was done. Scars were thick.

But God...

And He continues to save.

He gave me a passage of scripture a few months ago. It was intended for our household. Our marriage.
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Colossians 3:12-15
He has long begun to sew these words into my heart. They speak the recipe of a successful marriage. Of life. I am learning what the ingredients really mean. 

In action. 

By the saving blood of Jesus our marriage is being saved.


This day I received a gift in my "inbox"; a word written by a dear sister in the LORD.  In her writing titled, Marriage in the Mission, she speaks of 5 practical ideas for marriage. Although she "zeros in on pastor's wives specifically", I see a wide generalization for all married Christians. It's simple. It's encouraging. It's brilliant. {By the way, her post is the inspiration for the very one you are reading now.}

There is such a great responsibility to marriage. Whether in occupational ministry or not, every married couple is called to a specific ministry. Marriage. As Christians we must see the husband as the pastor of his marriage, family, and home; as the leader and the head to be respected. And we must see the wife as precious and worth far more than rubies, watchful over her household, with reverent fear of her God.

Unfortunately, this very precious covenant ministry is often overlooked, taken for granted, or just plain abused. As Christian couples we must see the responsibility of our calling as husband and wife.  
"and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,"  Ephesians 5:21-26
In praying more for my own responsibility as a wife {called by God} and for holy sanctification in the heart of my marriage He is showing me many things. 

What it means to love my husband selflessly--not selfishly.
What it means to be his help mate--not his holy spirit.
What it means to see his feelings just as fragile as my own.
What it means to forgive. 
And what it means to do these things generously.

Just like Jesus, this Miracle Man not only saves us from destruction and death, He continually works into us His power to save our relationships, our marriages, our families.

As I fight for marriage I realize that it's not so much about PROP 8, but about EPH 5. Sadly, the sin of homosexuality all too easily takes center as the main objective to stand firm against in our fight for holy marriage. But, what about the sin that goes unexposed or unrepentant in the heterosexual marriage?  

Lust that leads to pornography and extra-marital affairs. 
Pride that leads to unforgiveness. 
Anger that leads to verbal, emotional, and physical abuse.

Disrespect and Discontent that leads to divorce.

The apostle John warns us of such things:
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." 1 John2:16
My prayer is for marriage to be sanctified. God's design for marriage. Righteous and holy marriage. Yes, gay marriage is absolutely wrong; by the Word of God there's no doubt about that. But, I wonder if God feels more strongly about the sin of homosexuality versus the many sins that {Christian} heterosexual couples commit that lead to divorce.

My prayer is for me to be sanctified.

God, keep saving.
because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:16