Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 6 comments

It's that time of year again, and as I gaze at the brilliant colors of fall I thought I'd reshare this post...


Every autumn we are blessed with a dazzling display of color as the leaves turn away from their summer hues.  It was always my understanding that the normally green leaves somehow changed to the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges that we enjoy every fall, but I had it backwards.  

Did you know that many of the dazzling colors we enjoy come autumn are actually there all along?  Amazing, isn't it?  As the days shorten, the trees begin to shut down their food-making process of photosynthesis. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves, revealing the colors that were there all along

I couldn't help but think of how this parallels our walk as Christians.  Of course, we're not green with chlorophyll but we are stained with sin.  For many of us, to some extent and for most of our lives, that's what we display - the stain of sin. But for those who walk closely with Christ, spending time speaking to Him in prayer, listening to Him through His Word, the Bible, and striving to obey His commands, something beautiful happens.  The stain of sin begins to wane and our true colors burst forth! 

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18 

Suddenly, we start looking like Jesus!  As we mature, the beauty that was in us from the moment the Holy Spirit entered our lives - the beauty of Christ - begins to overpower the stain of sin.  We begin acting in ways contrary to our human nature; we begin acting more and more like Jesus.  

And people see it.

And wonder why we're so different from everyone else.

And want what we have.

Even more amazing than the fact that our "true colors" in Christ are eventually visible to others is the fact that they're visible to God all the time.  Wherever we are in our walk, thanks to the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, when God looks at us what He sees are our true colors - the stainless beauty of Christ! 

As I was typing this, the lyrics from the hymn "In Christ Alone" started playing in my mind:

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain 

Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Brought with the precious blood of Christ





Bursting forth.  That's exactly how it feels.  The balance is tipped and suddenly the goodness of Christ comes flowing out.  And that's exactly how God designed it to be.

Lord, it is humbling to think that you have chosen me to reflect your glory. I pray that more and more in my life, the stain of sin would wane and the glory of Christ would be displayed to draw the lost of this fallen world to the salvation you so freely give.

Lisa


[ Read More ]

Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 11 comments


ORGANIZING


Tips for Tuesday


Am I the only one who still hasn't done anything with those Christmas cards I received? I didn't think so! If you don't consider yourself "crafty," skip down to numbers 4 and 5 for other options for recycling. Happy New Year!

Christmas is over and now comes the task of getting our homes back to normal.  Most people display the Christmas cards they receive in one way or another, but what do you do with them once the holiday has passed?  It seems like such a waste to throw them out, but saving them all takes up precious space and odds are we'll never look at them again (or remember where we put them!) 


I do save a few special cards, but for the remainder I've put together some ways to put those used Christmas cards to good use.  There's something for everyone, so even if you're not "crafty", please keep reading!





1. Convert them into Christmas postcards to use next year.



I have a friend that has been doing this for years.  Using a card front with a clean back (no writing on it), cut it to postcard dimensions.  According to usps.com,  postcards must be rectangular and measure between 3 1/2 and 4 1/4 inches high and 5 to 6 inches long.  Once it's cut to size, just draw a line down the middle of the card (while in landscape position).  Next year, put your message on the left (you could even use a rubber stamp if you're crafty) and the address and stamp on the right.  You can even save a little money by using postcard stamps rather than first class!





2. Turn them into next year's Christmas cards.

usps.com says cards must be rectangular and measure between 3 1/2 and 6 1/8 inches high and 5 to 11 1/2 inches long.  I like to make mine 4 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches.  This fits well within the guidelines, and just happens to be the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of card stock cut and folded in half. 





Cut the design from the card front and using double-sided tape, adhere to the folded card stock you've prepared. To add interest, you can layer with a mat cut from card stock 1/4" to 1/2" larger than the design.  



This card also had a recycled message inside, mounted on a layer of card stock.


3. Cut them into gift tags



Again using a card front with a clean back (no writing on it), cut your cards into rectangles to use as tags for next year's gifts.  If there is a place on the front to write, all you'll need to do next year is write on the names and tape it on.  If the tag is all design, punch a hole using a hole punch, run a piece of string or ribbon through it and do your writing on the back.  If you want to get fancy, you can buy card punches of different shapes rather than sticking with rectangles. 


4. Recycle them (and help a good cause!)

St. Jude's Ranch for Children, located in Boulder City, Nevada, has a 40 year history of healing and caring for abused, abandoned and neglected children. When you send in card fronts (of any kind) the children recycle them into new cards which they then sell.  You can find the requirements and the address to mail them to here.


5. Pray over them!

This is great for those family photo cards you get!  Last year I began the New Year by placing the stack of photo cards in my "quiet time" area.  Each week I would pray for the family at the top of the pile.  If I was really on the ball, I'd let the family know I was praying for them and ask for prayer requests.  Hanging it on the refrigerator helps to remind me to pray for them during the week. 


I'm sure there are a lot more uses, but I hope I was able to give you a few ideas. 


Lisa


I've been known to link up with: Frugal Fridays, Soli Deo Gloria, Inspire Me Monday, Titus 2sdays, Tell Me a Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Courtship Connection,Tutorials & Tips TuesdayInto the Beautiful, God Bumps & God Incidences, Word-Filled Wednesday,Winsome Wednesday,Simply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Monday's Musings, Monday Montras, Funky Junk Interiors
[ Read More ]