Sunday, June 25, 2017

New challenge ... Choose Joy!

Hello, friends!
It’s Nancy here today to share a few thoughts with you.
I’m going to begin by asking you a question:
What does JOY mean to you?
Think about that for a minute while I share today’s Scripture verse:
“Consider it pure JOY, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds…”
James 1:2 NIV
Now let’s go back to the question.
If we think of it in the context of that verse, our meaning of JOY is wrong.
We usually think of JOY as being feelings of happiness, right?
We don’t feel happy when we’re facing trials, do we?
No!
Well…JOY does mean feelings of happiness and great pleasure
but did you know that JOY is also a verb?
A verb is an action word, right?
It’s something that we DO.
So…how do we DO JOY?
We CHOOSE it! We GO AFTER it! We BE it!
HOW do we do that?
When we’re in the midst of pain and stress and misery…how do we do that?
We focus on our HOPE and FAITH, and the inner JOY we all have,
…a gift given to us from the Lord.
True lasting JOY, and the peace that comes with it, comes from the Lord!
*****
That brings me to the Challenge today!
Pull out some goodies from your stash that bring you JOY!
Then JOYFULLY create a project to share with us here!

I look forward to seeing what you make! :o)

This will be an anything goes as long as it brings you joy. And here are the creations from our design team:









Now its your turn. Please use the link up below to add your projects that bring you joy. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Marvelous Monday Mentions for Hosea or Chesed Love

Welcome to a new, fresh week! We pray that the Lord has some exciting things in store for you this week to challenge, refresh, inspire or comfort you, depending on your personal situation.

We had some lovely entries for our challenge on Chesed or steadfast love which asked participants to enter creations that had to do with relationships. It was so hard to choose, but in the end we chose three projects by two different participants.

The first was created by the blogger at http://papercrafthappy.com/3d-kissing-lady-bugs-rocker-card/. Look at the detail and the amount of work she put into this one card with a lovely result.  (P.S. the images come out blurry because I'm blowing up the thumbnail the artist's left on our link up. For a better image we urge you to visit their individual blogs).


Our second Marvelous Monday Mention is the blogger from SewPaperPaint who entered twice, with lovely creations each time.


Thank you so much ladies and please feel free to display our badge on the sidebar of your blog if you wish.

We still have almost one week to enter our current challenge about worry...or why we shouldn't worry. Use a butterfly, bird or simply create a nature scene and link up. We love seeing your entries.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Challenge..."Sparrows" -- Matthew 6:25-34

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to another challenge here at Mustard Seed Faith Challenges!  We’re so glad you’re here!  A huge shout out to those of you who joined us in our last challenge or stopped by the blog to read our encouraging devotional!  We just love seeing your creations!
 It’s Tracey here with today’s devotional!  Jeanne has done such a wonderful job of writing the devotionals up until now, and the rest of us thought perhaps we should give her a bit of a rest and share what was on our hearts with you once in a while!
Today I want to share with you about something that I know many of us Christians struggle with but sometimes tend to write off as being ok and not really going against how God has asked us to live our lives (and I can speak from experience because this is one area in my life I have to constantly keep giving over to God)…that is the habit of worrying!  Do you spend time worrying, trying to control situations so that the outcome is as you’d like to see it?  Do you worry about what is to come?  In this world that seems to be more corrupt and sinful than ever before with missing children, terrorist attacks, Christian persecution, ungodly government laws, etc. do you ever find yourself questioning where God is?  My question for you today is this…”Who Holds Your Tomorrow?” (…or even your today?)
The song “Sparrows” by Jason Gray talks about worry and spoke to me from the first time I listened to it! (I’ve included the video link for you to listen, as well as the lyrics at the end of this devotional.)
This song echoes exactly what the Bible says about worry in Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying ‘What shall we eat?’, or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear’?  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
God calls us to live in the moment, one day at a time!  He calls us to trust Him and to look to Him in all situations.  Worrying doesn’t add to our lives, it actually takes away.  Worrying causes stress, illness and also allows us to slowly wander away from our Heavenly Father.  When you look at nature, the birds don’t worry about where their food is coming from and the flowers of the field just bloom.  I know that often times when I am in a stressful situation, I worry and start looking for advice from family and friends and make seeking God second place.  While friends and family always want what’s good for us, take a moment to think about how much more good God wants for us!  The Bible says that He looks after the birds and the fields, and that we are so much more important to Him!  It’s hard to even comprehend that if God is concerned with the birds, flowers, etc. what His concern and love must be for us!  When worry strikes, the answer on what to do with it is prescribed right in the Bible passage above….verse 33 spells it out very simply for us…we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!  Plain and simple….leave it at Jesus’ feet!  Many years ago I was in a ladies Bible study, (and I wish I could remember what the book was called so I could share it with you but I just can’t recall), and I always remember the lesson that I really learned from that study and I want to share it with you.  Worrying is not characteristic that God wants us to have or let take hold of our lives.  The study taught me that those thoughts of worry do not come from God, and the simple suggestion of just acknowledging where those thoughts really come from (the enemy) and at that moment praying and asking God to remove those thoughts from one’s mind as they are not from Him has been powerful for me!  It’s a quick and simple prayer and a terrific reminder of Who is holding our tomorrow…and our current situations.  As Christians we know that God is in control in all circumstances!  From world turmoil, to fake news being reported (and encouraging us to worry), to government rulings that seem to scoff at the Christian faith, to starting a new job, taking a test, raising our children, illness, marriage problems…God has promised that He is with us through it all!  We need to remind ourselves that God’s got this!  Of course, this is not a guarantee that things will always be easy or turn out the way we hope!  But what could be more comforting than knowing…
“If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow
Even the sparrow knows
He holds tomorrow”
-quoted from “Sparrows” by Jason Gray
                                      
Be encouraged my friend, whatever you are going through God is walking along side you, just waiting for you to give Him the go ahead to become involved and to take control…to remove fear and worry from you and to show you how to live one day at a time with joy.  Being anxious about tomorrow does nothing but take away precious moments from today.  Worry makes us feel helpless and alone…and we have a Saviour who is always by our side.  Seek Him, spend time in the Word and in prayer and you will find that worry no longer has a place in your heart…there is no room as it is God filled!
So, for this next challenge we are asking you to create projects that have birds, butterflies or even nature scenes!  As you create, take time to reflect on the fact that God looks after all of these things, and then remember how much more He loves you and wants to take care of you!  Let Him hold your tomorrow…and today as well!

You can't add a single day by worrying
You'll worry your life away
Oh don't worry your life away
You can't change a single thing by freaking out
It's just gonna close you in
Oh don't let the trouble win
You may feel alone
But you're not on your own

If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow

Lean in and it's hard to miss
Everything can change
When you make it His
Oh He wants to carry it
Carefree in the care of God
When you let it go
You'll find that He's enough
Oh you never leave His love
You don't walk alone

If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow

There's not a single star that's out of place
There's nothing broken He can't remake
If you long for hope when you're afraid
Oh look at the sparrow
Look at the sparrow

If He can hold the world He can hold this moment
Not a field or flower escapes His notice
Oh even the sparrow
Knows He holds tomorrow
Even the sparrow knows
He holds tomorrow
Songwriters: Mia Fieldes / Jason Gray / Jonathan Lindley Smith

Sparrows lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC







Now it is time for you to share your creations with our team! We love to see them!



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Chesed Love...Mustard Seed Faith Challenge #7...based on Hosea

Good morning and welcome to a new challenge from Mustard Seed Faith. We have a new devotional to share with you. Thanks for stopping by. At the end you'll find the new challenge and lovely creations by our design team. 

Chesed or Steadfast Love

Have you ever been rejected? Have you ever been betrayed by a spouse? Or had a good friend suddenly and unexpectedly stab you in the back? Does that make it worse, when you don’t see it coming? And how do you recover?

God experiences rejection on a daily basis. God sees the pain in relationships and specifically the pain in our relationship with Him. Because the bible is not just a book and Christianity is not a religion—it is all about relationship with Jesus Christ and with the Father, our relationship.

How many times have you sat in church during a sermon and have someone pop into your head, “If only (insert name) could hear this sermon! This was tailor made for them!” When what we are supposed to be doing is examining our heart, our lives. Where are we sinning? How do we run from God, from His desire for relationship with us? No, you might not be prostituting yourself but how easily idols slip into our lives and capture our thoughts, attention and hearts! Social media, facebook, jobs, hobbies, anything that takes us away from our first love, or what is supposed to be our first love, which is God. “They are all adulterers” (Hosea 7:4) and Hosea 6:4, “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.”

The book of Hosea is actually a beautiful demonstration of the faithful constancy the Lord has for us. We are Gomer, we are the nation of Israel, unfaithful time and again and yet God’s love for us, chesed love, never fails. God never gives up on you. This chesed love demonstrated in Hosea was, under the new covenant, ultimately demonstrated when Christ gave himself up for us on the cross. 

One of my favorite verses is Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”


God is the greatest friend, the greatest example of steadfastness you will ever experience or witness. Our Lord and savior calls us friend and loves us with a depth we can never fathom. (Romans 8:39) And we need to extend that same faithfulness to others, our spouses and the people placed in our lives that we call friends, because our model is Jesus Christ. And if we are to walk with Him we need to soak in the Lord's teachings and try to pattern our lives after His. This week’s challenge is to create a project or card that has something to do with relationships, for a friend, an anniversary, or wedding. We look forward to having you participate.

Now for the lovely inspiration from our design team!