Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Let Your Light Shine

Today, I have the honor of writing the guest devotional writer at Word Art Wednesday.  Our focus verse is,Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Our son, daughter and I are among the estimated 13 percent of adults in the US that have migraines.  While the three of us have different triggers that don’t affect the other two, the one trigger we have in common is a sensitivity to light.  Flickering, flashing, extra bright or a poorly diffused direct light beam can cause almost instantaneous pain.  It’s such a consistent trigger that it’s not uncommon to hear one of our spouses say, “Look away or you’ll get a headache.”

I was reminded of this recently as I sat in a dim room waiting for my turn to see the doctor.  There was one light in the room and the angle of its under-diffused beam was so direct I felt it right away.  As I lay there shielding my eyes, my mind began to think of how light is such a good thing and yet it can cause such pain. Those who don’t suffer from migraines, or other health issues triggered by a light sensitivity, may not realize the effects of flashing lights, flickering fires, candles or computer screens or why we look away when a child runs by with those cute light-up shoes that flash as they move.

As I continued my contemplations, I began to think about Jesus’ command to us to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). The best lights have steady, constant beams.  They provide warmth and because they make things easier to see, they provide security.  If we are to be a light for the Lord, our witness before others should be constant as well.  How much pain has been caused and how much damage has been done to the cause of Christ by Christians who live an on-again/off-again lifestyle?  Such a Christian can not be trusted nor do they inspire confidence that God’s way is the best way.  If we are going to say we are a Christian, we need to be a steady light so that we don’t hurt others by our inconsistency.  Ephesians 4:15 tells us that we are to “speak the truth in love.”  When we see something in someone’s life that doesn’t line up with God’s Word, we need to remember to not be arrogant, brash, or holier-than-thou.  Our words need to be diffused with love or else we are going to cause unnecessary pain.  Just as the under-diffused light in the that waiting room at the doctor’s office makes me want to avoid using that room in the future, so will speaking the truth without love cause others to avoid us.  It also may turn them off to anyone else who tries to share the truth of God’s Word.  No matter the topic of conversation, speaking the truth with a filter of love will help the conversation go better.

It takes a lot of work to be a consistent witness.  Why are we to go to all this effort?  Our focus verse this week answers this question for us.  Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  As with everything we do, we are to be a consistent steady light to the world so that we will bring glory to the Lord.  Let’s do a self-check up and make sure that we are not causing pain to others by the way we live our lives so that we will bring glory and not dishonor to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

One of our sponsors this week is Robyn's Fetish.  Robyn generously provided some of the DT with images to use this week.  I was able to play with the Lighthouse image. I thought it was so appropriate for our focus on being a light to the world.  After coloring the lighthouse with Copics, I accented the yellow lights with a clear Wink of Stella glitter brush marker. To help keep the focus on the "light" emphasis, the rest of the card is gray, white and cream. 

I used one of my favorite fancy folds and made an easel card this week.  It's a great way to add some emphasis to your sentiment (or in this case Scripture) when you are using a larger image.  I stacked several button die cuts on the banner die cut and topped them with a rhinestone.

The design of the front panel was my take on this week's Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #251.  For the circle element in the sketch, I used one of the sentiments from the Shining Lights clear stamp set from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.

Cardstock: Georgia Pacific (white), Creativity (Dark Grey Felt)
Patterned Paper:  My Mind's Eye (Quilting Bee 6x6 pad)
Stamps: WORDart by Karen (Matthew 5:16 digi), Robyn's Fetish (Lighthouse digi stamp), Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps (Shining Light clear stamp set)
Ink:  VersaFine (Onyx Black)
Tools/Embellishments:  rhinestones (Nicole Crafts), Stampin' Up embosslits (Sweet Buttons (retired)), My Favorite Things Die-namics (Fishtail Flag Stax, Notched Border (retired)), Spellbinders dies (Circle Large and Small, Decorative Photo Corners, Classic Rectangle Large), Wink of Stella clear glitter brush marker

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
{NOTE: for the purposes of several of these challenges, the two My Favorite Things dies and the lighthouse image are new items for me.}
Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #251- sketch
Papertake Weekly - It's All New
Going Grey with Scrap Creations Challenge #193 - New
Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Release Day Challenge - Use Something New
Inky Chicks Challenge #45 - Anything Goes
V's Sweet Ideas Challenge #30 - Something New
Fab 'n Funky Challenge #242 - Something New

If you've read all the way to the end of this extra long post, thanks so much for hanging in there with me.  I hope you will have time this week to visit the Word Art Wednesday blog to see the projects by the rest of the DT and to pick up your free digi. 


Cathymac said...

Beautiful, Stephanie! Loved reading your post thought provoking and so true! Thank you so much for joining SNSS January Release challenge!

Jenny said...

Perfect sentiment for a light house Stephanie! Fabulous card! Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps!

Marlena M. said...

I suffer from migraines too, so I can relate! Beautiful card and powerful devotion Stephanie-

Monika/Buzsy said...

What a wonderful post Stephanie. Thank you for sharing it with us. That card is just perfect with your thoughts. The light-house is amazing and I love the colors. Thank you for playing along with us at Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps.

merrymstamper said...

Beautiful card! Love your thoughts also. Thank you for joining us at Sweet'n Sassy.

Wendy Nicola Jackson said...

Lovely Easel card and fabulous colouring on that lovely lighthouse image. Thanks for joining in the fun at Fab 'n' Funky for our first challenge of 2015. Hugs, Wends x Fab 'n' Funky DT


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