Patriotic Lantern Tutorial

Adobe Spark-6We are so close to turning our calendars from June and right around the corner is the 4th of July!  I love working on projects appropriate for the season and investing in making each holiday a little more special with homemade creative projects.  Today I would love to show you how to make simple & quick patriotic lanterns.  I made them into a trio set so that I could have one with the word “Life,” another the word “Liberty,” and for the last one the phrase the “Pursuit of Happiness.”  Of course you can customize these to say whatever you would like!  Lets get started started first with a supply list.

Supplies needed:

  • 3 plain Mason jars (mine are 7″ tall)
  • 3 American flags
  • Mod Podge
  • Glue applicator sponge
  • 7×10 piece of light cream fabric
  • Scotch tape
  • Printer and Printer paper
  • Patriotic ribbon (I used blue and white)
  • Access to sink, paper towels, and some newspaper to protect work space
  • Real or battery operated candles

Lets Get Started!

Begin by printing out the “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness” labels.  First, take your 7×10 piece of fabric and tape it down to a piece of printer paper so it is just secure.  Place in your printer tray such that the printing will end up on the fabric covered side of the paper.  Open Patriotic Labels attachment with the lantern labels and print!  It will print enough labels for two sets of lanterns.  Let it dry while working on the next steps.

If the flags you purchased were the kind on the stick, remove the staples and smooth out the edges.  Lay down your newspaper on your work space and liberally apply Mod Podge to the backside of the flag.  Place your flag low enough on your Mason jar to have room for your label above.  Make sure the Mod Podge has made the edges adhere to the glass.  Work the flag until their is enough glue everywhere but not too much in one place so it drys properly.  After it feeling secure to the touch, wet a paper towels and try to remove any Mod Podge smears from the Mason jar glass.

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Now for the labels! Cut them so that their width is the same as the flags.  Customize the size based on how much space you have between the neck of the jar and the affixed flag. In my case, I had to cut off the top and bottom scroll work on this particular set, so do whatever works best for you!  Again apply the Mod Podge to the back of the label and line it up with the flag.  After it is mostly set, remove any excess glue from the glass for a neat end result!

Next tie you patriotic ribbons to the neck of your jar!  Repeat the whole process with the next two jars in your set.

Okay, lets talk candles!  Real candles are SO amazing but a little hard to keep going and light at the appropriate time.  So, I use little battery operated candles for this.  I’m picky about the light color being realistic and so I found on Amazon.com these amazing tea light candles that have that  soft white realistic glow!  They are made by Homemory and called Realistic Battery Operated Flameless LED Tea Light and are sold in 12 packs.

Hope your lanterns will add a touch of homemade elegance to your home this 4th of July weekend!

Soli Deo Gloria🌷,

Jennifer 

 

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A Young Woman Who Fears the Lord – Part 2

YWFL - 2_Fotor.jpgThe whole topic of fearing God has challenged me deeply since researching Scriptures for the post last week.  Wow!  I am just in awe of the God we serve… not only does He command us to fear Him, but He also graciously laid out what fearing Him should look like.  It is truly humbling to see how much goes into fearing Him.  Honestly, its can seem a little overwhelming!  I pray God will continue to challenge and strengthen our hearts as we grow as strong women of God in this area.

As I was looking over the aspects of a God fearing woman, the one I wanted to dig deeper into today is a God fearing woman’s response to evil.  Oddly enough, here we can say a godly woman needs a little hatred!  Yes, a strong word, but in this case, God uses it.

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.” Proverbs 8:13

Do we really hate evil?

This is a challenging one.  I think a lot of us can say we hate and are angered by abuse.  When we see totalitarian governments open fire on innocent civilians, when we see reports of an abducted child or news on the sex-trafficking industry rampantly growing in our own country, or perhaps when we hear of gang violence, it is then easy to be ruffled to the very core.  Many of us want to take action: sign our name to petitions, protest, support ministries and organizations making a difference in these areas.  And of course, this is VERY good we have this response!  This is a piece of hated for evil. The only bad thing is that Satan has won a major victory in the lives of the vast majority of Christians by making us believe it is enough to just hate those sins.  All the while we frown on and act against those big issues, we embrace (and actually love) sin close to our hearts.  Secret sins, little sins, or as Jerry Bridges terms then, “respectable sins.”

“all sin without distinction — is lawlessness.”
― Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate

Bowing to God’s declaration of evil

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7

Thankfully, God has not left us in the dark about what is evil.  The key for us younger women is to learn God’s ways by knowing Him, and know Him intimately.  Jump into Scripture and study it! Make it the mediation of your heart.  Sing it, talk about it, write about it, and speak it to one another!   Another helpful thing is to study Scripture topically and write papers on your finding… You will learn so much this way.  I’ll write an article soon on what this can look like, but basically, when you get a question search Scripture and you will never come back void.  While its important not to take commentaries as solid truth, they are a really helpful resource in digging deeper into God’s Word.  Become SO immersed in truth and just watch as evil just falls away.

…And it all comes back to a beautiful 4 letter word

LOVE.  Can any topic ever end without coming back to this?  We hate violence, because we LOVE life.  We hate child abuse because we LOVE children. We hate adultery because we LOVE biblical marriage.  We need to hate anxiety because we LOVE trusting the Lord.  We need to hate pride because we LOVE humility.

We need to hate sin because we LOVE Jesus.

May God bless you, daughters of God, as you pursue loving your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with all your heart, mind and soul.  For me, this means some personal soul searching and housecleaning in my heart.💕

“Shall we presume on God’s grace by tolerating in ourselves the very sin that nailed Christ to the cross?”
― Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate

Soli Deo Gloria,🌷

Jennifer

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First Creative Projects post coming soon!

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A Young Woman who Fears the Lord – Part 1

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“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30, KJV

We hear of so many kinds of women these days!  The American culture definitely has a portrait of a women that most of us are familiar with, along with its expectations and measurement of worth.  Today however, I mainly want to think of how we define, and express, womanhood in the Christian community.  In Christian circles, words like godly, kind, loving, gentle, wise, or faithful are all words that we use to describe what we admire in others as well as what we hope to develop in ourselves.  These are attributes we are thrilled to see in a Christian woman, and certainly for good reason!  God definitely desires a woman to cultivate those virtues listed above.  But I have to say, this verse describing a woman who fears the Lord, has always captivated my attention! Historically, Christian women were referred to as a “God-fearing woman” quite frequently, which leads me to ask a question. Why is a God-fearing woman so ambiguous today?

Our culture, as a whole, has lost its fear of God

Learning to Fear God all over again

Before we really even can go into what this godly fear looks like in a young woman, I think it is helpful to go ahead and define our terms.  Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary defines fear in one of the following ways: “In Scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion.  In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience.  This is filial fear.  Slavish fear is the effect or consequence of guilt; it is the painful apprehension of merited punishment.”

Well, with that definition, I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed to look up filial and slavish. 😊 Filial refers to a son or daughter, whereas slavish refers to a slave.  So those who stand justified before God through the redemptive blood of His Son Jesus Christ will be in the filial category.  Slavish fear was defeated at the cross for the Christian, through which we are now called the sons and daughters of God.

So according to Webster, fear is “a holy awe or reverence of God and His laws.”  R.C. Sproul had some really helpful things to say about this fear in an article on Ligoniers site.  “If we really have a healthy adoration for God, we still should have an element of the knowledge that God can be frightening. “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God’s judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God.” R.C. Sproul, Ligonier

What does fearing God look like in a woman?

Scripture is filled with verses that shed incredible light on what it means to fear God in this way.  So what I want to do, is personalize this for us younger women.  Lets consider some scriptural attributes of a God-fearing women!  Today, I will just give a bullet point list with corresponding Scriptures.  Next week, I would like to take a few of those and expound on then a bit.  These Scriptures are rich in challenges and there is no way we can do them even an attempt at justice in just one article.

  • A God-fearing woman knows the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever! Psalm 111:10

  • A God fearing woman hates all that is evil

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Proverbs 8:13

  • A God-fearing woman understands hell and the the destruction of the unregenerate soul.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

  • A God-fearing woman is in friendship with the Lord!

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. Psalm 25:14

  • A God-fearing woman listens to and is instructed by God Himself

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11

  • A God-fearing woman has the mercy of the Lord on her

And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:50

  • A God-fearing woman has no lack, for God supplies for her

Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! Psalm 34:9

  • A God-fearing woman dwells in life and rests satisfied in the Lord

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23

  • A God-fearing woman is protected and delivered by God’s own angels

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Psalm 34:7

  • A God-fearing woman has all her desires fulfilled and her cry to God is heard

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19

  • A God-fearing woman is satisfied with little

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. Proverbs 15:16

  • A God-fearing woman serves the Lord faithfully with her whole heart

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

  • A God-fearing woman continues in this fear all day

Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. Proverbs 23:17

  • A God-fearing woman is hated by Satan (sometimes its good to have enemies😊)

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Job 1:8

  • A God-fearing woman has the eye of the Lord on her

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, Psalm 33:18

  • A God-fearing woman is blessed

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! Psalm 112:1

  • A God-fearing woman serves the Lord in sincerity and faithfulness

Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness…” Joshua 24:14

  • A God-fearing woman seeks purity of body and spirit in holiness

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

  • A God-fearing woman is rewarded with riches and honor and life

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

  • A God-fearing woman turns away from evil

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. Proverbs 16:6

  • A God-fearing woman is acceptable to God

But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:35

  • A God-fearing woman drinks of the fountain of life

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27

  • A God-fearing woman know her whole duty is to fear God and keep his commandments

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13

Lets end by just praising God!

Truly, isn’t our God amazing?  It is a delight to fear Him.  I love that last verse from Ecclesiastes and how it tells us that fearing God summarizes the whole duty of mankind.  This list is by no means exhaustive, it really just scratches the surface.  So we will make a series out of this!  Please share in the comments section which of these verses/points is of most comfort to you!

Soli Deo Gloria,🌷

Jennifer

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Rejoicing in Your Walk with Christ

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“I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I wish to be.  I am not what I hope to be.  Yet I can truly say I am not what I once was.  By the grace of God, I am what I am.” John Newton

Have you every felt really discouraged at your character growth rate or maybe your skill level? I have found it is very common, really at every age, to feel this way from time to time.  Sometimes it is because we have this pressing expectation of what we wished our lives would look like.  With these high expectations, our hopes are crushed when our life path takes an unexpected (and sometimes unpleasant) turn.  Something I go through frequently is an extreme disappointment with where I am spiritually.  Oddly enough, this happens often at a time when I am really walking closely with the Lord!  I will be shocked that this discontentment with where I am spiritually can sweep in with a sudden furry… even to the point of stealing my joy.

Finding Joy Where God has you

I have recently been through a very long season of what I described above and honestly, I find myself drifting back to that thought pattern more often than I’d like to admit! One thing God has really been teaching me is that HE will call me to deeper growth when HE is ready to bestow it!  Notice the difference in focus?  It is, and should be, all about God.  He is honored when we are resting and peacefully abiding in Christ.  I can rest secure where I am now in my spiritual walk and peacefully wait for God to lead me to the next step in my spiritual growth.   As a millennial, I think this whole process of waiting on God can really seem odd.  So is the idea of taking one step at a time

It is easy to forget that sanctification is a process.

God has plan for you right where you are.  Thank Him for the ways He has transformed your life in the past.  Trust Him with all your hopes and dreams for all you hope to do, to say, or become.  Most importantly, actively trust and obey God as He gives you light for the next step, resting secure that He who called you, will also equip you in every good work.  What a gracious and loving God we serve!💕

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”  Romans 8:28-29

Soli Deo Gloria,🌷

Jennifer

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Welcome to the Abundant Grace Community!

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Welcome to my new blog Abundant Grace!  I actually created this website three years ago, but had absolutely no clue where I wanted to take it!  The ironic thing is that all this time later, I am still not all that sure how to enter this blogging world!  The only thing different this time is that I’m more willing to try things out.

As a young adult who falls into the “millennial” category, I find it is really difficult to find a place of community as a Christian that encourages me in my walk with Christ.  As I started talking to other young people, I found their experience has been the same!   There are plenty of voices out there for us, but not many encourage us to slow down and dig deeper into God’s Word.  As Christians and ambassadors for Christ we should be seeking to conform our lives into something that would be pleasing to the Lord.  Its a life-long journey, I hear. 😊 My hope is that Abundant Grace will be a place of rest and encouragement to your soul.  After we get settled here a bit, I hope to find talented writers among my both my peers and godly older women who will guest blog on issues and topics important to us younger women.  When I browse the web, I’m always interested in bloggers who share about their real lives!  I feel like I’ve met new friends and immediately get to talk about deep topics.  So that’s another thing I want to do here at Abundant Grace.  

Abundant Grace is place for new friendships and meaningful, Christ-glorifying conversation!  Stay tuned as we gear up and try to develop our style and purpose.  I know this will take some time!  I’d love your feedback, so please comment as you feel led.

Soli Deo Gloria,🌷

Jennifer

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