Sunday, April 29, 2012

Like a tree...

“… and they lived happily ever after!” Too bad that isn’t how real life works. A lost job, a bank foreclosure, a broken marriage, illnesses, death… any number of trials and sorrows could happen to any of us, at any time. No one is exempt from the troubles of this world.

 There are questions from the song called “HELD” that Natalie Grant sings that we, as Christians, often ask. The lines say.
 “Who told us we’d be rescued?
 What has changed and 
Why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens to us, 
who have died to live, it’s unfair.

I have friends at church, who lost their baby granddaughter in a fire in January, and another family from my church had their house burn down this week and they escaped with their lives but lost everything as they didn’t have renters insurance. Another man from my church just last weekend was in a terrible accident that left him hospitalized with a broken back. All of these people love God, yet bad things have happened in their lives.

 It really shouldn’t shock us or surprise us because Jesus told his followers. “…In this world YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John16:33)

 The comfort that we have is: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Several weeks ago, the Holy Spirit laid the following scripture on my heart. “[Those who trust in the Lord] shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay GREEN; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”(Jeremiah 17:8)

 Having lived in Phoenix, AZ, I know what happens to trees when heat and drought hit them. Often the heat and drought are too much and they die. Phoenix summers can be brutal. But the trees that do, have a water source survive and are fruitful. The heat and drought are the TROUBLES in life. To those without a relationship with God, the troubles are too hard to bear, but to those who have that relationship with God, they will be sustained. He will care for them and nourish them, and He will help them through those troubles.

My challenge for everyone is to use our green thumbs... either use green on a card/project or use an image of something planted.

 Our sponsor for this week's challenge is DRS Designs . Make sure you check out their website. Amazing stamps. I used this flower and fence stamp for my projects. I made a card and a matching bookmark for a friend in my small group at church. She is a full time mom, and a full time nurse at a nursing home. This last week she was really sad because she had just lost a patient. For my bookmark. I just cut the center birdhouse out. I struggled with how to color the sky. It was really a challenge for me to leave the sky white, but I think it really makes the house and sunflowers stand out. Sunflowers are some of my favorite flowers. I love how the follow the sun. A great reminder for me to follow the SON.

Make sure you check out what my Stampin' Sisters in Christ have created for your inspiration:
I love this song sung by Natalie Grant. I am so thankful to be HELD.

 When God put this week's scripture on my heart, I saw it everywhere I looked. It was in several different devotionals, as well as my daily bible study. That same week I was listening to songs by Audrey Assad. (One of my favorite singers- and I got to hear her live in concert last week. Such a blessing!!!) The first line of the song had me in tears, because it just was confirmation to me that God was speaking to my heart about trusting in Him no matter what. I hope this song blesses you as much as it did me.


  1. Fabulous post Marilynn. I love how you mention that the trees in AZ dry up in the heat but point out the fact that those who trust in the LORD will remain untainted by life's trials.

    Thank you xx

  2. ... was so taken with your message that I forgot to metion that I love your card too :D

  3. Wonderful card this morning, gorgeous stitching.

  4. I really love the birdhouse and making it into a bookmark was a really good idea! Love it. Your devotion is wonderfully written. I love it and your examples of bad things happening to good people. So very true. Have a great week dear friend.

  5. Both card and bookmark are really pretty Marilynn and the verse quite comforting for your friend. Thank you once again for sharing a song I've never heard before. In fact, Audrey Assad is new to me. LOVE this song/video. It goes with your devo quite well! You are a blessing and I thank God for you and that you're on this team of sisters. ((HUGS))

  6. Love your words of Wisdom - very inspiring! Darling card too. Makes me think of the scripture about how God cares for the birds but cares even more for us. Hugz!!!

  7. MariLynn, your devotion this week will surely touch many hearts and bring hope and healing. Your cards are so sweet. Love seeing the cropped and full version of the image. Thank you so much for your thoughtful preparation, for sharing your heart, God's Word, and your beautiful artwork. May you be blessed and refreshed in Christ this week!

  8. Hi MariLynn! I love Audrey Assad, one of her songs is the one you will hear on my blog...I don't remember how I "found" her! This is a homey comforting type of card and bookmark, perfect to share with a friend, and sure to brighten up her day with those sunflowers! Thanks so much for the spotlight on God's word this week and how he ministers to us! Wishing you a blessed week!

  9. Oh, Marilynn: Just beautiful - as always. I really hope you will stop back and play along with us at Word Art Wednesday. We're just always so blessed to have you join us. Hope you're having a great week, and hope to see you soon!
    Karen L
    Word Art Wednesday

  10. Beautiful message and a beautiful bookmark and card for your friend. Listened to the music as well. TFS!

  11. Oh MariLynn - your devotional and words of the heart have spoken directly to me - thank you for being such a beautiful vessel for the Lord to dwell in Sistah! Love your challenge this week and you adorable card! You are such a blessing and are in my prayers! {{{hugs}}}

  12. Thank you MariLynn for your words - most timely for me at the moment. Love the card and bookmark.