Going to Haiti

Next week, I will be in Haiti celebrating with brothers and sisters in Christ as they prepare to launch a gospel-preaching, Jesus-proclaiming church in a very dark place.

I have camped out in Ephesians 6:11-18 this week, reminding myself what I must do to prepare for this trip. Would you join me in these prayers?

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I must fasten the belt of truth and believe the truth of the gospel has the power to transform lives. I must believe the truth of Scripture that promises my God is everywhere – in Canada with our children and in Haiti with me. I must believe the truth that God has gone before me, will stand beside me, and fight for me. I must believe that I cannot do anything of value or significance on my own strength. Without truth, I am hopelessly lost and susceptible to the lies and schemes of the enemy.

Pray that I fasten the breastplate of righteousness, firmly trusting in the righteousness Jesus purchased for me at salvation. Only Jesus can protect my heart and soul from the enemy.

Pray that I am ready to share the gospel of peace, that I firmly plant my feet in the truth of the Word of God and boldly go where the Lord leads preaching the good news.

Pray that I take up the shield of faith, believing my God can extinguish ALL the fiery darts of the evil one. I am justified by faith, and my faith in the Word of God is my defense against the enemy. It protects me from attack and is also what goes before me as I charge into enemy territory.

Pray that I put on the helmet of salvation, trusting fully in Jesus for His complete work done on my behalf. Pray that I do not fear the one who can only harm the body, but that I fear the One who can destroy both body and soul. May my reverent fear of the Lord be what drives me, not tempory circumstances, no matter how fearsome they may be.

Pray that the living and active weapon that is sharper than any two-edged sword penetrates deeply into my heart. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is my defense. Pray that I wield it with power.

I would love to know that you are praying for my husband and I as we set off January 15th for five days. Please pray for our team of six adults. I can’t wait to update you all upon our return.

Go, Lord!

 

Faux Stained Glass

Many of you are already aware of my love for leaded glass. I hang old windows in place of pictures and make faux leaded glass:

I love leaded glass, and I do not want to cover it with curtains. So, when I added leaded glass to our bathroom window, I had a dilemma. Either curtain it or stain the glass. I do favor the plain leaded glass with no color, but a bathroom needs privacy, and that trumps design. I followed the instructions on a previous post and created this design.

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I used a few inexpensive supplies from a craft store:

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I dabbed on the blue first (which dried a bit more purple than I had hoped, but thankfully I still like it.

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Next, I dabbed on the white. Here, I freaked out a bit. I did NOT want it to be white. I wanted it clear. It was an exercise in patience waiting for it to dry.

I am quite pleased with the results, and I love that all the light can shine in undisrupted by a curtain!

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How a Writer Writes a Bio

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Every writer needs a short bio for introductions and a longer bio for that dreaded “about me” tab on the website. At the bottom of this post is a link that will help you create a personal and easy-to-read bio. I had LOADS of fun creating mine.

About Stacey

I am from the play-until-the-streetlights-turn-on and come-when-your-father-whistles generation. I’m a cool-off-in-the-sprinkler, drink-straight-from-the-hose, and fish-off-the-pier kind of girl. I’m loyal even when others are not.

I’ve wrestled with brothers, played Barbie with neighbors, and stayed up too late reading just one more chapter. I’m from BIG Sunday dinners, steaming hot tea, and Saturday morning coin-sized pancakes. I grew up with Tupperware, paper bag lunches, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes.

Lots of mashed potatoes.

My family is a finish-what-you-start, bargain shopping, home cooking, and respect-your-elders kind of family. I am one of four children framed in memories on a wall. I jumped off docks, endured eight-hour trips that took twelve, and sat in the middle bench seat of the family sedan.

I am a wait until you enter the house before driving away kind of mom. I boil the kettle in a crisis, and I know that a job worth doing is worth doing right.

I am a fixer of old things, painter of everything, cleansed and forgiven child of God. I believe that nothing matters more than the Lord Jesus Christ and who I believe He is.

Who are you?

Visit this link and use the template to write your own bio. Every writer needs an ‘about me’ page on their website. http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm

The Christmas List That Matters

Who is on your

In December my purse fills with lists. But tonight I couldn’t help compare my lists with a more significant list.

I have a grocery list: Christmas dinner doesn’t cook itself. It requires an organized shopper.

I have three wishlists: This is probably the list most important to my children. One techy daughter even ‘shared’ her list via iPod note and updates it frequently.

I’ve heard of a nice and naughty list: I’ve never done this, but I have overheard parents threaten their kids that one call to the Big Man in RED will move them onto the naughty list and guarantee them a stocking of coal.

Last night, I faced a different list. It was a list that made my heart swell. A hundred plus people from our church gathered around lists of love, lists of 1100 names. These were not just random names. These were the names of people we love who need Jesus. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, real people with real hurts and real needs.

Every Christmas we pray over this growing list, and one by one we lift each person by name before the Lord. We ask for God to do what He does best: a Christmas miracle. We ask the Lord to open eyes of the blind, soften hearts that are hard, heal wounds that are fresh, cure those who are hurt. We ask Him to do what we cannot: save souls.

As we move closer to Christmas, consider what names you would add to this list and don’t wait for our next church prayer meeting, start praying now. Our God is mighty to save. Believe He can transform the life of every name on the list because in the end, only one list matters. It is the list of names written in the Lambs Book of Life.

4 Best Christmas Hacks and DIY’s

1. The Christmas Kissing Ball was a hit last December, receiving 181 video plays on Facebook alone. If you haven’t made your kissing ball yet, watch the video below.

2. Last Minute Christmas Food received 127 video plays on Facebook and is worthy of a mention.

3. Buttercream Icing Transfer: While this is not a Christmas video, you can buttercream transfer any image onto a cake making this easily the best hack for creating that perfect Christmas treat. Receiving a crazy 9300 video plays on Facebook – it comes in as the winner.

4. Nativity Silhouette: This video releases today and is an easy way to add some Christmas decor to your home.

 

 

18 Days. Are You Ready?

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Yes, it’s that time of year. Parents are cleaning, baking, and working hard to ensure their children experience a magical Christmas. But maybe this year, instead of the perfect tree, we can pour our efforts into figuring out how to keep Christmas real. Maybe this year, we can reclaim Christmas with a Christmas prayer deeper than pretty ideas of snow and sleigh bells. This prayer doesn’t involve Santa slipping down the chimney or leaving out cookies and milk. This is a prayer for a white Christmas where my loved ones and yours might wake to discover a covering of white sent to erase a lifetime of stain.

The miracle isn’t on 34th Street, the miracle is how God made it possible for every weary soul to rejoice, truly making this the most wonderful time of the year. As you strive to find that perfect gift to give your loved one, ask yourself: Have you received the perfect gift that God gives you at Christmas? Because He loved us first, God came for us. God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting. Chosen before the foundations of the earth, before one day came to be, He chose His people. God gloriously displayed His love that first Christmas when He rent open the skies and a multitude of angels spilled over the edge of heaven proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest!”

This Christmas, listen to the greatest love story ever told by the God-child who came to pursue you. He came to reach you. He is greater than any Grinch or Santa Claus, and He left his kingdom in Heaven to pursue you on Earth. He came to dwell with you in your loneliness and alienation and give you the courage to reach out and take God’s hand.

 

3 Fantastic Tools for Writers

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF PRODUCTIVITY. HOW ONE MAN MADE THE MOST OUT OF HIS 24 HOURS.-2

Writers need to do more than write to succeed. Today, writing involves maintaining an online presence which can include updating blog posts, websites, and social media accounts. The problem is that most writers want to write, not spend hours online marketing their work.

Good News

Fortunately, there are several available resources online that can aid the writer in crafting professional, quick, and EASY graphics and videos. Below are three of my go-to tools in my writing toolkit.

Three Must-haves for Marketing

Grammarly: Before you publish any graphic or video, you must ensure the grammar is correct. When I first tried Grammarly, I began with the free program. I was so impressed that I immediately downloaded it to my daughter’s computer for school use.

I upgraded to their paid services, and I LOVE it. Grammarly not only highlights my mistakes, but it also explains why the error is wrong. Like any program that checks for spelling and grammar, you are still required to engage your brain. Occasionally, like many other proof-reading programs, Grammarly has suggested an incorrect change. Visit: http://www.grammarly.com

Canva: I am relatively new to Canva, and I already love it. In fact, I made the graphic at the top of this page in less than five minutes. It offers several templates for marketing, social media, book, and magazine covers. Visit: http://www.canva.com

Lumen5: I’ve used Lumen5 to create a few videos, and I love how easy it is. After you create an account, you have the option to upload your own images or search their database for free photos and graphics. I used this blog post to create the short promotional video below. I copied and pasted the text, arranged the wording, uploaded images and/or chose images from Lumen5’s selection, and added music from their free options. DONE.

It doesn’t get much easier than this, which gives this writer more time to write.