Monday, April 24, 2017

Mustard Seed's Marvelous Monday Mentions -- Easter

Good evening! Happy Monday! Monday got away from me a bit, but we are so pleased to announce our Marvelous Monday Mentions for the Easter card challenge.  Many thanks to all of you who participated. Don't forget, you have this week yet to submit a creation that has anything at all to do with travel, for our theme of Traveling Mercies.

Ladies, feel free to pick up the blog badge on the sidebar! And please visit these blogs to see the wonderful paper creations they have made! Thank you again for participating and sharing your thoughts on what Easter means to you.

We'd like to call out:

My Way

 Vickie O'Dell at Heartful Stamper:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Traveling Mercies...MSFC#3

Welcome back to Mustard Seed Faith Challenges. It is time for a new devotional, a new challenge and some new artwork from our design team members.

For this next challenge, our third, or MSFC#3, use something that moves or travels or is related to travel; a car, bus, plane, balloon, map, spaceship, globe...anything related to travel. 

We have a nice travel-related prize of a custom string art piece for one randomly selected entrant for this challenge. Due to postal costs, U.S. domestic only, although we welcome entries from any country, anywhere.  

Now for the devotional...

Traveling mercies

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time you’ve probably come across the term, “traveling Mercies,” which is a prayer for protection for a group or person traveling long distances. It actually originated in the early 19th century for missionaries, who might be traveling to dangerous locations. Now it is pulled out for all types of travels, from business trips to vacations.

The bible has a lot to say about prayer, and we are to pray in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing”…and then goes on to say “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So we are to pray without ceasing—for family, for travel, for the world in general-but also give thanks in all circumstances. If we are giving thanks in all circumstances, that means we are entrusting our lives to someone or something bigger than ourselves. Who are we trusting with our lives and our circumstances—in all things, in the journey we call life?

These ideas of traveling mercies, trust and thanksgiving all gelled one day when I heard a speaker at an event I attended with my daughter in Los Angeles.

A young man stood up to speak through an interpreter about his travels to the United States from his home in Central America, the “Northern Triangle,” comprised of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This is an area plagued by extreme violence, dire poverty and organized crime, which has caused a surge of refugees fleeing that area.

As he stood up, the first thing you noticed was his broad smile. He notified the ladies in the audience that he was still single. Then he told of his desperate flight from his home country, expressing his wish that the problems that plague the region could be solved so that he could one day return.

The second thing you notice about this young man is the brace on his left arm, supporting his one remaining finger; along with the fact that his right arm and right leg are missing. He fell off the train he was riding when was coming to this country, perhaps from a box car or perhaps he was hitching a ride between cars, of that I am unsure. But he fell off, and now has been left permanently handicapped. It is clear however, that he doesn’t view himself in that light. During his address to the audience, he raised his arm to point to the heavens and give praise and glory to Jesus Christ, with a smile of thanks for his life and his good fortune.

If losing not one, but multiple limbs were the result of one of our trips, how many of us would be able to give praise and thanks to God? To say that we still trust him? To say that he answered our prayers for traveling mercies? Yet that is exactly what we are supposed to do, in everything, we are to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

In truth, the type of traveling mercies we should be praying for is the companionship and guidance of Jesus Christ through our entire journey of life, every day, regardless of whether we don’t stray ten yards from our kitchen or travel thousands of miles to another country.  

As I write this, I don’t know if I could, myself, give thanks if I, or one of my children lost a life or a limb while traveling, or in any other situation. First of all, I cannot imagine the pain of seeing one of my children suffer like that. And, full disclosure, I can whine and cry with the best of them. But that verse in Thessalonians is our guide, in ALL things, give thanks. And as Hebrews 12: 1 says, we are to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Sometimes during the race the runner might fall down. Sometimes, tragically, they might even lose a limb. The idea is to get up and continue, with God’s help. Because even without a limb, you can still win the race.

So as you “travel” through your day, as you are running the race Jesus has marked out for you, ask him to help you. Don’t just ask him to bless your chosen activities, but to guide them, to “mark out” the course you are to run. And ask Him to help you give praise and thanks, regardless of where your travels take you. He will be faithful to answer.  Remember, the last trip Jesus took wasn’t the agonizing journey to the cross, but the Resurrection, when he emerged victorious from the grave! He is risen and He is able, Hallelujah! 

Now for the gorgeous entries from our design team!

MariLynn DeGroot:

Peggysue (Jeanne) Turner:

 Tracey Fehr:

Yoonsun Hur:

All you need to do now is posts your creation using the InLinkz tool below. Thank you for stopping by and may you walk with God this day. 

One randomly selected winner who resides in the U.S. will be entered to win a custom string art piece from Nurturing Naomi. Selected the state you live in and your hometown and she can create a piece for you similar to the example below for Iowa. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mustard Seed's Marvelous Monday Mentions

Good morning! Welcome to a new week! We were so pleased to have contributors to our very first challenge, to use the color yellow. Our Mustard Seed Faith design team collaborated to pick out a few creations for our Marvelous Monday Mentions!

Ladies, feel free to pick up the blog badge on the sidebar!

We'd like to call out:

Angela, at Just Monkeying Around. That little pig looks so sweet in his tub of flowers!

Candace at Creative Candace added a lovely crocheted flower and talked just a little bit about challenges she has faced in her life. She has had several but always clings to the hope and promise of Jesus Christ!

We loved the layers in this mixed media card from Sew, Paper Paint! Thank you for joining us! 

You still have until Saturday to add your Easter creations for our latest challenge! We will fix the linky next time to show the thumbnails! That was an oops on my part!

We love all of the submissions and thank you again for visiting us here at Mustard Seed Faith Challenges. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Welcome back to Mustard Seed Faith challenges! We were so thrilled to have our first group of participants in our new challenge blog these past two weeks, with our challenge then, to use the color yellow! We are going to look through your contributions as a design team and award some blog buttons you can display on the sidebar of your own blog if you wish.

This week's challenge is to make an Easter card, layout or altered art/mixed media piece.

Easter...a little early for that, isn't that in two weeks? Yes, you'd be right, but we wanted to put that out as a challenge so you could create something and have time to mail it if is a card, or have it ready for photos if it is a scrapbook page.

Easter, or the celebration of what it means, is for me a year-round event. The gift Jesus gave to me, paying for my sins on the cross, has an impact on my life every day.

There are certain songs that bring me to tears whenever we sing them in church. I visited my daughter in Los Angeles last week, my first visit to her in three years since she moved there. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend church with her (Reality in Hollywood) and there we sang "Stronger" by Hillsong. Here are the lyrics:


There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross 
You broke my shame and sinfulness,
You rose again victorious.

Faithfulness none can deny 
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me!

You are stronger, you are stronger
Sin is broken, you have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen!
Jesus you are Lord of all! 

No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross.

So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher, be lifted higher...

I generally lose it by the time we get to the chorus, "you have saved me..." Those people who cry at church? Yup, that's me and every tear is genuine. I am overwhelmed at the realization that the God of the universe loved me enough to take my sins upon him and pay them on the cross. Me, a sinner. I have nothing to bring on my own. No amount of good deeds, good thoughts, church attendance, family background, nothing can erase the fact that I am a sinner and all those efforts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) compared to the perfection and wonder of God himself.

You can read the resurrection story for yourself in Luke 24, John 20 or Matthew 28, to name a few places. But if you accept the fact that you are a sinner, that only Jesus' death and resurrection can save you, then you can celebrate that story in your life every day. Such good news! That's why we are here, to share the good news of what Jesus has done in our own lives and to spread that good news to others.

My words feel so inadequate to describe the joy that fills my heart when I think of Jesus. I guess the only way to truly understand is to invite Him into your own heart, to have your own story of redemption, to have your own soul filled with the joy that only Jesus can provide. We hope you do. And we hope you join us in sharing your own Easter creations. We will enjoy seeing them pop up on this blog. Thank you and God bless.

Please use the InLinkz tool to add your own creations below, card, scrapbook layout, altered art,/mixed media, or bible journaling.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Challenge Blog Launch...Our First Sunday

Welcome! We’re so glad you are here to help us launch our new challenge blog, Mustard Seed Faith challenges. We’re excited to get started sharing our faith and sharing creative talents. Every woman on the design team has a deep love for Jesus Christ and they are amazingly talented as well!

Our key verse is Matthew 17:20, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you.”

We intend this as a challenge blog for everybody, from those whose talents are just budding to those with advanced skills. We all started somewhere. For each there was the very first time we picked up a stamp and some ink and pressed it onto paper. I remember how my husband struggled to find something complimentary to say years ago when I made my first card! “hmmm, that’s… a card honey!”--was about all he could find to say! So don’t be shy! Take that mustard-seed sized bundle of talents and put them to use and watch them grow!

Often we’ll have a short devotional to accompany the challenge. This week I’m starting things off and I usually get a bit personal with my interpretation since a) I’m no bible scholar and b) we understand best how the Lord works in our own lives, better than we understand how he works in the lives of others.

I chose the imagery of the mustard seed for this blog because there are days when I feel my faith is so small, it must be smaller than a mustard seed. I certainly cannot move mountains. And I would imagine there are others who feel the same.

God isn’t literally asking us to physically move a mountain, just to trust Him to do His work through us. We don’t even have to generate that mustard seed’s worth of faith to begin with—since all good gifts come from the Father (James 1:17), in fact every gift, even that gift of mustard-seed sized faith is supplied by Him. And if we trust in Him, He promises to make that faith grow. We don’t move the mountain, God moves in us to increase our faith and to turn that tiny seed into a flowering plant that can impact the world around us.

So this challenge blog was born as a way to reach out and encourage each other—to encourage each other to grow in our faith in Jesus Christ and to encourage each other in our creative endeavors.

Overall though, this blog is not about the team members who graciously lend their inspirational talents and thoughts. We are here, to borrow the slogan from one church I really admire, “to make Jesus famous.” Because it isn’t about religion, it’s about relationship with the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) So if you come to this space, know that we will be sharing our love for Jesus Christ and our joy about the wonderful gift of salvation he offers to each and every person who puts their faith and trust in Him.  Wishing you God’s blessings.

On to the creations from our team! Please visit their individual blogs to leave a comment! Our challenge this week is to use the color yellow somewhere in your creation, yellow for the beautiful bloom of a mustard plant's flower!

Today we will go in alphabetical order and first up is Diane Noble from Missouri!

Next we have MariLynn DeGroot, also from Missouri!

Nancy Nickel joins us from Saskatchewan! 
Jeanne Turner from Ohio!
Tracey Fehr of Manitoba!
Traci Major from Colorado!
Now that you've seen the creations from our design team, using all shades of yellow from across the spectrum, time for you to create! Please use the link tool to add your piece of art using some shade of yellow.

Again, this week's challenge: use any shade of yellow. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Design Team Call

Welcome to our new blog! We are very excited to announce the launch of a new bible-based challenge blog, using our creative talents to help spread the love of Jesus Christ and to tell of our relationship with Him. We are going to start out with a challenge every other Sunday based on a hymn, a passage of scripture, an encouraging song and similar themes. We intend to launch mid- to late March. We have a great start with some wonderful stampers on the design team but would like to add just a few more. 

 If you would like to be considered, please look at the following and then send a note.
  • We are looking for stampers who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal savior. 
  • Creative crafters from any continent welcome.
  • You must have an active blog.
  • Make (on average) two projects every month (some months might have five Sundays).
  • Alternate with the other design team members to host a challenge, i.e. decide on a bible verse, song, etc. and link a challenge to that verse (use the color blue, use a square, etc.) 
  • Be able to comment on a share of our participants using a rota system.
  • Help pick the top three designs from among submitted entries.  
  • We would like a commitment of at least six months.
If this is something that you would like to do and would like to be considered for the design team then please email me at Please include:
  • A little bit about yourself and your faith commitment.
  • The link to your blog. 
  • Any design teams in your past or current teams. 
  • If you haven't been on a design team before, we still would love to hear from you. 
  • A link to your blog or other social media site that you post your projects on.
Design Team Call ends March 10th. We will only be selecting two more designers, however, we are looking at a guest designer program. 

Looking forward to hearing from you and having you play along!

In Him,