Monday, August 25, 2014

A little Rambling....

Here's to NEW ventures and making new online friends.  This is my blog and I will try and post something everyday.  I am not much of a talker or a blogger so it will be pretty difficult for me to remember to post something.  I was up til about 5:30 a.m. working on some new digis for the September 10th release; so I am a bit tired.  Although, 4:00am has now become my usual bedtime since I am up pretty late drawing, creating my new website and graphic designing my rubber stamp insert cards -- yipee!! I will hopefully be offering etched rubber stamps very soon, on selected images, for those who prefer to work with rubber stamps.

The images I drew last night came out so adorable!  There are a couple of cutsie ones and a couple of my regular type of drawings (ice bucket anyone?  hint hint) :).

I am a versatile artist so I will be drawing a variety of images so that I can offer a wide range of digis for the crafting community. 

At the moment I am offering a free digi for those of you who join our Facebook Group. So stop on by and join the fun.   

Here are some fun facts about me. :)

I am 48.
I began drawing at the age of 4 and attended Pasadena Art school at 12.
I sold my artwork professionally at 12.
I was a victim of rape and physical abuse but thank God He has given me a heart to forgive quickly.
I became a born again believer at the age of 12 and have walked with Jesus since.
I was valedictorian of my high school and graduate with honors and high honors with a GPA of over 4.0.
I was accepted to 2 reputable colleges but decided not to attend because I wanted to be an
Engineer, a Medical Doctor, an Architect and a Designer.  Knowing I could do them all, I decided it would take too long so I opted to raise a family and aimed to become the best mom ever!! 

I have been married for 27 years to the same man.
I had all my children before the age of 30.
I had all my children with no labor pain and in less than an hour - thanks to a lot of prayer and reminding the Lord of His promises.
I had natural child birth with all my children. Although, we almost lost our first born, Matthew.  He had the cord around his neck twice and his heart stopped several times.
I only weighed 129lbs at nine months pregnant and didn't show until I was almost 8 months. Best diet ever!!!! Wish I could do it again....
I attended an international Bible college and am an ordained minister.
My other job is a Pastor.
I love to listen to Christian music - actually that is all I ever listen to, keeps me focused on the Master.
I knew my husband and I would be married because God told me He was the one He created for me.
My husband and I dated for two months when he asked me to marry Him. I loved his big muscles and how he loves God! He is an awesome man of God and boy can he worship..
I have 7 sisters and 3 brothers and 24 neices and nephews.  I lost count on how many 2, 3, 4ths of everything else.  My father and two of my sisters are with Jesus now.
I lost my father and my closest sister to cancer as well as aunts and uncles.  So it hits home very deeply.
I greatly miss them and ask the Lord to tell them I love them - daily.
I come from a large loud family and I love it.
I have traveled around the world preaching the Gospel and love the island of Cuba and its beautiful people!
I love Christmas lights. All year long and would have them up all year if I could get away with it or if didn't think me crazy and weird.
I love old black and white movies.
I love Little House on the Prairie and the Little Rascals. 
I go all out in decorating for holidays and birthdays....I mean crazy!!!
I am a very good cook and an awesome baker. boy, can I bake!!  but don't enjoy it the cooking or baking but love the decorating - go figure! that's the artist in me.
I love to worship - all the time. There's nothing like being in the presence of God.
I am very emotional and tear up easy and menopause has made it worse.
I am really, really shy. and super awkward at small talk. But once I get to know you, watch out, I am great at big talk,  LOL.
I hate doing laundry but love to clean and have things immaculate, go figure.
I am a perfectionist but have learned to let it go, a little....
I am talented in many, many, many things and have a lot of interests.
I very athletic (or was) and love to play sports but hate to watch them. I especially love volleyball!
I love to play scrabble and played it all the time with my sister. Now that she is with the Lord, I play against the computer and win. Yeah baby!
I love to travel and fly but being on boats makes me nauseous. I have to wear those anti-nausea bracelets - they really work!
My middle name is Teresa.
My husband (Art) and I pray and worship together everyday.
We love to minister to others and have a heart for those who don't know Jesus or how much He loves them.
Art was created just for me!
We have Young adults bible studies every Friday and hang out with them during the week.  I just love them!
I was diagnosed with FMS (fibromyalgia in 2003 and it makes everything pretty difficult and the depression gets pretty bad) and have arthritis from head to toe and other debilitating illnesses but I am standing on the Word of God and believing that my miracle is on its way.
I realized that the older you get, your body changes, boy does it change! especially when you can't exercise, which I was a dedicated freak at.  I weigh the most I have ever weighted in my life.... ugh...

I have three Yorkies - best dogs ever - they don't shed!!! That's a big plus for a neat freak like me :)
I am a steak and potato kind of girl.
I love my family so much!
I am a fighter and don't let anyone discourage me or stop me.
I will hurt anyone if my children are hurt...
I am a coin collector.

Well, those are just a few facts about me. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate all my readers and love getting to know you!...Hope you’ll visit frequently!...Have a lovely Monday evening!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In The World but NOT of it.....

I wanted to share a few scriptures and some thoughts as many  Christians take this out of context, use only part of the scripture or interpret it in their own way so they can participate or make excuses to do things that the world does or participates in.  The following scripture is the most widely used and misinterpreted.

A Popular Phrase “In, But Not Of”

“In, but not of”— if you’ve spent much time Christian circles, you’re probably familiar with this slogan. In the world, but not of the world. It captures a truth about Jesus’s followers. There’s a real sense in which we are “in” this world, but not “of” it.

In, but not of. Yes, yes, of course. But might this punchy phrase may be giving the wrong impression about our mission in this world as Christians? The motto could seem to give the drift, We are in this world, alas, but what we really need to do is make sure that we’re not of it.

In this way of configuring things, the starting place is our unfortunate condition of being “in” this world. Sigh. And our mission, it appears, is to not be “of” it. So the force is moving away from the world. So, we are stuck in this world but let’s marshal our best energies to not be of it.” No doubt, it’s an emphasis that’s sometimes needed, but isn’t something essential being downplayed?

We do well to run stuff like this through biblical texts. And on this one in particular, we do well to turn to John 17, where Jesus uses these precise categories of “in the world” and “not of the world.” Let’s look for Jesus’s perspective on this.

Not of This World

On the eve of his crucifixion, Jesus prays to his Father in John 17:14–19,

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Jesus’ refers to his disciples being “not of the world.” Verse 14: “The world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” And there it is again in verse 16: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Let’s all agree it’s clear that Jesus does not want his followers to be “of the world.” He says that he himself is “not of the world,” and his disciples are “not of the world.” Here’s a good impulse in the slogan “in, but not of.”

Going Somewhere

But notice that for Jesus being “not of the world” isn’t the destination in these verses but the starting place. It’s not where things are moving toward, but what they’re moving from. He is not of the world, and he begins by saying that his followers are not of the world.

Enter verse 18: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” And don’t miss the surprising prayer of verse 15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

Sent into This World

Jesus is not asking his Father for his disciples to be taken out of the world, but he is praying for them as they are “sent into” the world. He begins with them being “not of the world” and prays for them as they are “sent into” the world.

So maybe it would serve us better — at least in light of John 17 — to revise the popular phrase “in, but not of” in this way: “not of, but sent into.” The beginning place is being “not of the world,” and the movement is toward being “sent into” the world. The accent falls on being sent, with a mission, to the world — not being mainly on a mission to disassociate from this world.

Crucified to the World — And Raised to It

Jesus’s assumption in John 17 is that those who have embraced him, and identified with him, are indeed not of the world. And now his summons is our sending — we are sent into the world on mission for gospel advance through disciple making.

Jesus’s true followers have not only been crucified to the world, but also raised to new life and sent back in to free others. We’ve been rescued from the darkness and given the Light not merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps as we go back in to rescue others.

So let’s revise the popular phrase “in, but not of." Christians are not of this world, but sent into it. Not of, but sent into.

John 15:19- The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

When we read of the "world" in the New Testament, we are reading the Greek word cosmos. Cosmos most often refers to the inhabited earth and the people who live on the earth, which functions apart from God. Satan is the ruler of this "cosmos" (John 12:31; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). By the simple definition that the word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ's claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition, we are being changed into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ.

Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values (John 17:14-15). As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). This is a daily activity and commitment.

We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “by their fruits you shall know them,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.

Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God.

So Beloveds, let us be separate ourselves from the world in deed, and conduct as we are to be godly and holy examples as Christ showed us.  Let us not continue to participate in the same things that the world does or says, but allow the Spirit of the Living God to transform us daily and allow the Word of God to renew our minds.

xoxo Francesca

Friday, August 8, 2014

Road Trip

A couple of my sisters snatched me away on their Thelma & Louise road trip two weeks ago! Although, it wasn't a duo anymore but a threesome, so I guess we couldn't call it the Thelma & Louise roadtrip anymore, lol!

I am so glad they talked me into going.  I have been locked up in my home for far too long and needed the break and to see the Wonderous and marvelous Hand of God throughout his creation.  Our destination was to make it to Klamath Falls, Oregon or just to reach the Oregon state border.  We reached Oregon and were so disappointed that we got back in our vehicle and turned right back and headed back to California..  A big disappointment and that is quite a funny a story in itself - a bit on that later.

Our first stop was Lake Tahoe and the waterfalls in the area.  Who ever said it is cooler up North?  Not!  We had triple digit temperature the entire trip and with no a/c!??  But we made it with plenty of water by our side - lol!

Wow! The Lake was beautiful and boy was it huge!  We camped out at our first stop and what do you hear at a distance? Thunder! Can you imagine that - the forecasted weather was clear and hot all week.  So we had a muggy and muddy night in our tent.  I have to admit, it has been almost 27 years since I have really camped out.  My form of camping is a cabin full of food and electricity.  It was hard for me to sleep on the floor with FMS but I managed to make it through the night after tossing and turning for a few hours.  We got up and headed towards the falls - but had to make a few stops for my Shopholic sisters.  Find a WalMart, Ross or TJ Maxx and they are attracted like flies.  It was awesome to see their eyes light up to go shopping.  We got a few camping items and then drove 30 minutes to our first fall.

First waterfall in Lake Tahoe was not too great and a downhill climb to get to. The drought had really affected the water flow but still a sight to see.  Then we headed to Sacramento and kidnapped our niece and made it a foursome.  So we went shopping again to get more camping gear and stuffed my sister's car to the hil and headed to Oregon.  We arrived to our final destination about 4 hours later, making a pit stop at the Oregon/California border for a photo op.  We headed to our campsite but made a quick stop for gas.  While at the gas station - we asked the attendant for directions to the campsite and to Klamath Falls.  Guess what his response was?  There is no Klamath Falls!! Are you freaking kidding me???? What do you mean there is no more Klamath Falls?? Our hearts sank at those very words.  We couldn't believe what we were hearing.  We had to ask again - what do you mean it is dried up?? He replied, "when they constructed the dam, the waterfall dried up."  How long ago? In 1940, he replied.  OMGosh!!!!! The darn waterfall dried up over 70 years ago!! Before all of us were even born!!!  You think they would announce this or let people know on all the websites concerning Klamath Falls?? But no!!!  Not one single comment or mention.  I guess Oregon is desperate for tourists.  All is left is a river.  Sad to say, we were so disappointed, that we didn't bother to explore Oregon. We just got in the car and headed back to California.  I have to say, that is something to remember and we will always talk about.  We could not stop laughing.

McCloud Falls

 Burney Falls
So we decided to head back to God's mountain - Mt. Shasta as we passed it on the way to Oregon.  Spent two beautiful days looking at McCloud Waterfall and Burney Falls.  All I can say is wow - beautiful!!!!  McCloud falls was a small hike to get too but a challenge to climb over the rocks.  But my sister and I did it - we climbed right under the waterfall. The water was ice cold but refreshing.  Our next stop - Burney Falls.  Now this waterfall was amazing and a breeze to get to - just 75ft and you are there!  This waterfall is breathtaking!!!  You have to see it.  The water was so blue and crisp.  All I can say is amazing.  God is awesome!! He has left His footprint on all of creation and for what? For His children to enjoy.  Can you believe it?  He cares so much about us enjoying His creation and for us to know that there is a Creator.  Everything in nature points to Him.

The nights camping were difficult to fall asleep.  A train went by every 20 minutes. Then we had to deal with an owl hooting all night the following day along with loud and rowdy campers. Whew! I was glad they were asked to leave and that it was our last night.  we were leaving. the next night. I thought  vacations were supposed to be restful, we didn't get any sleep. Our trip came to an end and it was great bonding time with my sisters and neice.  I was left with a desire to see all the waterfalls in Southern California and the U.S.  I have to get myself in shape as I have read that some are a 10 mile hike in the middle of no where.

The picture to the left is Havasu Falls. This one I want to see along with the other three surrounding waterfalls.  The pictures I have seen are just breathtaking.  I challenge you to map out where your local waterfalls are and take a drive down to see them.  You will be awed at God's creation.

Chat later....

xoxo Francesca