Online Class Begins!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Well, per the norm, my last few days have been busy. Saturday was a surprise birthday party for a dear friend, Stacy. It turned out really nice - she didn't even figure it out until a few minutes before getting to the church (where we had the party).....a success! Sunday School went very well this week and we are getting to know the kids a lot better. The donuts were a hit! Thanks to all have who had us in your prayers for God's guidance as we lead these wonderful kids in bible study. I mowed yesterday afternoon about 3 acres ( it began to sprinkle and I finished the front yard and pasture a little damp, but it was good to get that much done). I still have 4 acres to go!

Today I began my online class with Sue Bleiweiss. What fun! Here is a photo of my very first journal cover and its inside pocket.
Tomorrow I will work on getting the signatures (inside pages) and inside pockets together for it and will show you my progress. I used this fun quilting ladies fabric and decided I would satin stitch the edges in red, so I used a red lining fabric as well. Since I need the practice with free-motion stitching (boy do I need the practice!), I decided to add red swirls in between the beautiful quilting divas! I am getting a little better, but it takes practice, practice, practice and breathing. It is so funny how that is true - I had heard that before, but didn't really believe it, but you do tend to tense up and hold your breath for some reason when you are a novice at free-motion quilting so you have to practice breathing too!

For a little "funk", I added a bit of a black eyelash trim of sorts that I had just inside the satin stitching on the edges. I also added a big black button with the same funky eyelash trim tied in a knot at the closure. This went together pretty fast, so I may make another one or two before our lesson next week. Won't they make nice gifts for friends? I may even try a different size.

My BSF studies took me recently to Matthew 21:18, the story about the barren fig tree. I have to admit that I never really understood this story. I just thought Jesus got angry. But, Jesus always had a purpose for all He did - to show men the truth. Things were set in motion for His upcoming crucifixion. Jesus knew this time was drawing very near and He was still trying to provide encouragement and truth for His disciples, knowing He would not be with them much longer. If you remember the story, one morning as He walked to the city, He became hungry and saw a lone fig tree by the road lush with leaves, but as He came to it, nothing was on it but leaves - no fruit. You see, fig trees produce their fruit before any leaves appear on the tree, so it was reasonable to expect figs when you saw a fig tree covered with leaves. But, this tree was a hypocrite. It just appeared to be a fruitful fig tree - it was deceitful. Jesus cursed the tree so that it would never bear fruit and at once the tree withered. The disciples marveled at this wondered how the tree could wither at once. First of all, wow! - the power of Jesus word! Second, what a warning! Bear fruit or be destroyed and do not be a hypocrite.

Jesus answered the disciples by explaining that if you have faith and do not doubt, all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. What an encouragement to grow our faith!
His actions also showed that Jesus is grieved by hypocrites. Hypocrites can cause people to stumble, they do things for appearances sake rather than out of love, they speak falsely and do not show mercy or love to their neighbors, but most of all a hypocrite does not have a personal relationship with God. God is our source for all good things; love, truth, grace, even bearing fruit.
As I read and studied these scriptures, I began to ask myself if my actions or thoughts ever grieve God. Well, of course, the answer is yes - and this makes me sad. I mean, God is my Heavenly Father; He has provided everything for me, He loves me. I don't want to grieve my earthly father so how much more should I be working to not grieve my Heavenly Father? I then asked myself, "what can I do about it?" The answer? Ask God to reveal to me my hypocrisies and then help me to change my heart, my character, according to His will.


Stacy said...

You are the coolest, Julie!

Judith said...

Jules, just love your journal cover. Love everything that Sue does. I actually signed up for a course of hers at joggles but had to pull out when I got the needs list. I worked out it was going to cost me $158-00 NZ$200-00 to get everything I was going to need. Still would like to do it so thought I should just quietly buy everything slowly so that I will be ready next time lol. Looking forward to seeing what you make as the course progresses.
Lots of love

Creative Blessings of "J O Y" - by Templates para novo blogger