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!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Challenge (MSFC#6) ...God's lullabyes

Good morning and welcome to another new challenge at Mustard Seed Faith! We thank everyone who participated in our last challenge or visited the blog to read the devotional.

This week's challenge is based on the book of Psalms and you are to create a baby card or something to do with a lullabye. This week's thoughts:

Several weeks ago in church the pastor used an illustration in reference to the psalms that I had never thought about before. He said that just as a mother sings lullabyes to her children at night to help them rest when going to bed, the book of psalms can be likened to God’s lullabyes to His children.

It made me realize how often I turn to the psalms for help with any number of wide-ranging emotions. When I am angry or upset at a certain situation I’ll often turn to Psalm 73. It contains a progressive narrative that moves me from indignation and anger to sorrow, thoughts of humility at the great gift God has given me and thankfulness for the close relationship with His son, Jesus.

During my years as a single mother when I often felt overwhelmed I clung to verse 1 of Psalm 57 (KJ), “In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” It made me feel like a little bird, safe under the wings of the One who is always in control, and helped me rest when my mind was whirling late at night with a seemingly impossible list of tasks and responsibilities.

Just the other night we received some distressing financial news, so while I prepared dinner I asked my daughter to read to me out loud from the psalms so I could find comfort and focus on the eternal, rather than the temporal. I wrote out verse 1 of Psalm 122 (NIV) and pinned it to my refrigerator, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.

What psalms or verse of a psalm speaks to your heart in a situation you’re facing right now? Maybe it is illness, or loneliness or sorrow or even joy. The psalms speak to the full range of emotions and help rock us to sleep with the knowledge that whatever it might be, whatever we are facing, God is in control. And He loves His children.

This week’s challenge is to make a baby card or a project that speaks to the theme of Psalms as lullabyes. We hope you join us and please, leave us your thoughts on your favorite psalm, or favorite for the moment, and how it has worked in your life.   

Now for our projects from the design team:

Tracey Fehr

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mustard Seed's Marvelous Monday Mentions April Traveling Mercies

Good evening!

We had a lot of fun creating our traveling mercies projects and some of you did too! There were a few that were difficult for team members to comment upon; different format than a blog. But we did look at each and every one and want to thank you for participating!

Now for a few awards...

First of all, we had a giveaway with our last challenge related to the traveling mercies theme. Nurturing Naomi, an etsy creator and seller, generously donated a string art piece themed for the state of the winner. In other words, you get to choose your state or another state (if you want to give it as a gift) for Nurturing Naomi to create in string art. The random number generator chose "1"! Which is Natalie H. I left you a message on your blog, Natalie, please contact us to claim your prize!

Next up, our Marvelous Monday Mentions! You are welcome to display the badge on our sidebar on your blog if you have one. Thank you again and here they are (sorry, some are blurry, please visit the individual blogs for a better look):

Bailmac on SCS:

 Cimbacreativefun blog

Creating with Olga:
There is still time to play in our current, sketch challenge! Hope to see you there!