New Website with Online Graphite Course!

Come check out my new website, constancereeder.com, and my very first Online Graphite Course coming up on August 1, 2017!

I would love you to consider joining me as I put this course together and prepare to offer it to you this summer of 2017!

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You can click on the image to the right and follow instruction to register for the class or just let me know that you would like to receive more information as it becomes available.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog and reading along in my journey to becoming a botanical illustrator. This year will be fun with lots of new things in store and I love that you are along with me for the ride!

Blessings!

Constance

My Botanical Illustration Journey

I would love to have you read about my botanical illustration journey over the past year!  It has been a fun year of learning how to make botanical illustrations both in graphite and in watercolor. I have taken several online courses that I would like to share with you, and I have included many “step by step”, and “how to” posts in my new botanical illustration blog. Please join me at crrbotanicalart.com by clicking on the image below 🙂

“I didn’t know that a simple photograph of this dying maple leaf on my porch would change my whole outlook on God’s amazing world.  Suddenly, without warning, it became very important to me to learn how to preserve this life… (continue reading)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stand in the path of sinners,
nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

Also, if you are new to this blog of SimplyLiving101 – please feel free to look around.  You may like to start at “Home” above.  I have lots and lots of wonderful things to read and study from God’s Word posted in this blog. Please keep in mind that I have not managed this blog for quite some time and am in the process of reorganizing it, so some of the old links may not work right this moment. Rest assured that I will have it back up and running smoothly again soon.  Please enjoy! 🙂

Blessings!

Constance

Short Inductive Study on Ezra – 4/11/16

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Yesterday I spent hours doing a short inductive study on the Book of Ezra and it was so good I just wanted to take time to share it with you.  If you are unfamiliar with inductive study, you can visit Precept.org for more information and even find a class near you.

Although I didn’t do a full inductive study of Ezra, I still learned so much and the following are my personal themes of the 10 chapters:

  1. God appointed King Cyrus to build Him a house in Jerusalem…; Articles restored
  2. Numbers of those returning to build the house; Priests are removed
  3. Altar restored; Sacrifices made; Foundation completed; Loud weeping & praising
  4. Enemies frustrate building plans; Decree issued to stop building by King Artaxerxes
  5. Building resumed during reign of King Darius awaiting a search of records
  6. Cyrus’ Decree is approved again; Building completed; Passover observed
  7. King Artaxerxes allows Ezra to go to Jerusalem to teach the people the Law of Moses
  8. All who go w/ Ezra; Ezra sends for Levites; Silver & gold utensils weighed & recorded
  9. Many people, priests & Levites have married foreign wives against God’s law
  10. Separation from others & foreign wives; Reconciliation to God; List of offenders 

While I read through the Book of Ezra, I marked God, house of God, King Cyrus, King Darius & King Artaxerxes and Ezra in a specific way so that they would stand out to me as I skimmed back through to see what I had learned specifically.

I could immediately see how often God stirred the hearts of specific people and this reminded me of His sovereignty over everything and everyone.  First I could see that He stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus and in doing a little further study on King Cyrus, I found the following:

1. Isaiah 44:28-45:13:  Cyrus is God’s anointed, taken by the hand to subdue nations before him and open doors before him.  God said He would go before him and that He calls Cyrus by name – He does this for the sake of Jacob and Israel.  He gives Cyrus a title of honor and says he will build God’s city and will let His exiles go free without any payment or reward!

2. Daniel 6:26-28: I see that King Cyrus and King Darius reign over Babylon.

This is always so interesting to me, how the disobedience of the southern kingdom of Israel sends them into captivity under Babylon beginning in 586BC for the next 70 years. It is King Nebuchadnezzar who takes them into his kingdom of Babylon, but it is King Cyrus who releases God’s children after taking over Babylon with King Darius in 539BC.  The prophecies of King Cyrus in Isaiah 44-45 above were given about him approximately 175 years before Cyrus was even born!!!

It’s so cool how God knows him, calls him by name and appoints him to be King and to release God’s people from captivity so they can go back and rebuild God’s house, the city and the wall, just as God said, and God said this even before Cyrus’ parents were born!!!!  

I have more that I learned about God from Ezra – but I will  have to share it another time.  I will add to this post, so check back when you can.

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April 12, 2016 – Continued Notes on my inductive study of the Book of Ezra

To continue with my thoughts from yesterday.  It’s not only with King Cyrus that we see God speaking of knowing him before he was even born.  In my Precept class this morning we met to discuss our first lesson on the Book of Jeremiah and look what God says to this prophet:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5

And as I was typing Jeremiah 1:5 above, God reminded me of Psalm 139 written by King David – listen to what he knew of God:

“My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
Psalm 139:15-16

Well, these are kings and prophets, of course God has a plan for them and knew them even before they were born.  That doesn’t apply to the general population though, just the special ones…  Right? But once again I am reminded of another part of Scripture that talks about all those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Savior of the world, Redeemer of all who believe…

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”
Ephesians 1:3-6

This is so cool!  Not only has God also chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, before we were even born, before our parents were even born, He also did it with a plan in mind for each of us.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

Stay tuned – there’s more coming!

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Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Botanical Art!!!

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I was out taking pictures of my lovely Magnolia tree a couple days ago and I was so inspired by what I saw I just had to make art!!!  Have you ever been so inspired by God’s handwork that you just had to create too?

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This is so amazing!  

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And look at this one!  I couldn’t just sit there and look at it – I had to draw it, and then I had to paint it with my watercolors…

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And it turned out okay.  But something was different when I drew this and painted it in watercolor…  I had a deep joy while doing it.  And even though the outcome wasn’t amazing – It still brought me great joy and I loved it 🙂  I hadn’t experienced that deep joy before in any of my art!  I think I had a breakthrough!!!

So I looked around on Pinterest until I found a layout of some real flowers by Bianca Snow and I set to work again…

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Botanical #3 in Watercolor by Constance

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And look what emerged!!!  Out of me!  From my heart!!!  So, now I’ve decided I’m going to practice every day and become a famous Botanical Artist!!! 🙂 

Do you like to dream?  What do you dream of being some day?  I’m a big dreamer and I sometimes think that nothing is impossible.  Then I remember – With God nothing is impossible!!!! 🙂

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

I was just reading through the above post that I made on April 12, 2016 – and today is March 18, 2017 – it has been almost one year later.  Since then I have been engaged in a botanical illustration journey that I would love to share with you!  I have made it easy for you to follow along with that journey by creating a separate blog, crrbotanicalart.wordpress.com – I hope you take time to check it out. 🙂

How We Keep Chickens

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I mentioned in my “Beautiful Day” post that I would talk about how I keep chickens – so here it is 🙂

About a year and a half ago, my family was driving home from church, taking the back roads and as we drove along, I saw some items for sale at a homestead not far from ours.  After we got home and had lunch, I hopped in the van and headed back to check it out.  You just never know what you might find sometimes!

Turned out it was my blessed day and I ended up purchasing, for a very small amount, a homemade brooder – which the nice gentleman would happily deliver to my home, and that was a good thing because it is huge and weighs a lot!

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It has legs on it to keep it up off the ground and it stands about 3-1/2 feet tall.  It is quite long, about 6′ and as you can see has ventilation, screened windows in the three lids, as well as material covers.  It is also wired for heat lamps on the inside!  I just lay down some bedding, with watering bottles and feeders for food and my 1 day old chicks play, sleep and live in here until they are 6 weeks old.  I keep the brooder in our car port right off the back door of my house, so I have easy access to them.

At first I keep a heat lamp on each end of the brooder.  As soon as I see the chicks moving away from the lamps, hanging out more in the center of the brooder, I turn off one lamp which allows them to move closer when they want to warm up, but have the rest of the brooder to hang out in when they don’t need so much warmth.  They decide.

I would say the single most important thing I do for keeping healthy chicks besides providing this clean, warm and safe brooder for them is to put vitamin/electrolytes in their water until they are 16 weeks and ready for the coop.

At six weeks I move them outside to their temporary home, that I set up with whatever I happen to have handy around the homestead.  Here’s my current temp-coop for my five chicks…

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The area I used is under cover of one of our open barns.  It is about 6′ x 6′ square.  I fenced it in with 4 ‘ wire fencing and put a low roof over half of it.  The two pallets serve as a dividing wall between their indoor and outdoor areas, with a small opening between for a door.  I put their food and water in the outside area so I can get to it easily and there is a heat lamp under the roofed area that serves as their coop.  I also put a long wooden perch in their coop area so they can learn to sleep on it at night – it’s so cute to see them try to balance on it at such a young age.

My plan is that when they are 16 weeks old, they should be big enough to join my established flock.  I have read several ways to do this and have also talked to my Uncle Buck about it, as he is a professional chicken raiser.  He said if I have a broody hen, I could introduce her to each one of the chicks and see if she will take them under wing – if so she can live with them in their temp-coop and then guide and protect them when it’s time to join the established flock.  I did try this, but she was not willing – she wanted to sit on her eggs instead 🙂  Don’t tell her, but the eggs are fake! She loves to keep them warm 🙂

So my next plan is when they turn 16 weeks, put them in the real coop with the existing flock at night (chickens are almost blind at night, and will just hunker down and not care so much about whose who) and then release them all in the morning to free-range the whole property, just for the day.  They will all be on new territory with lots of space to run should they get into a little tiff with each other. At night, they will all go back into the coop and the next morning will be allowed in their normal run together.  It is supposed to take them three days or so,  to re-establish their pecking order naturally.  As you can see by the picture below, my established flock is very excited to meet the new babies as they have been listening to them across the garden in their separate coop 🙂

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Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

 

 

Spring Time Fun!

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When the weather report showed rain for Easter Sunday many began praying and sure enough God heard the prayers and Saturday night while I was grocery shopping, a down pour began! I was hoping like crazy that this was the rain we were supposed to get on Sunday coming a little earlier than thought. 🙂

Sure enough that’s exactly what happened and Easter Sunday turned out to be gorgeous! After a wonderful time of worship and God’s Word in a great sermon on Sunday morning, we headed home for a yummy Taco Feast, an Easter video, and the coloring of our newest Easter Poser 2016.

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We all had fun and were excited to see our new Easter poster put together and up on the wall…

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This verse really stood out to me as we finished our Tuesday morning Precept Bible study of the Book of Acts, and so it was added to our Easter poster for 2016.  It’s a great question – Why do some find it incredible if God does raise the dead?  Our God is a Great God – with Him nothing is impossible!

I pray that your Easter celebration was wonderful and that you are enjoying the beautiful Spring Time days with lots of fun outdoors in the cool green grass with all the new buds growing around you.

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All photography by Constance of SimplyLiving101

Jesus Christ has Risen Indeed!!!  Hallelujah!  Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

You might also like to read “How We Celebrate Easter”.

 

 

The Storyteller’s Art Class

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I have been taking this wonderful on-line class with Robin Laws called “The Storyteller’s Art Class” and I am really loving the techniques that she teaches so well.

We are working with acrylic paints and an acrylic glazing medium, and I specifically used Liquitex Glazing Medium.  So far we have made story cards and a fancy box to store the story cards in, and have painted our first storyboard painting which I have now completed.

I wanted to take some time to share the last step of my first storyboard painting which I completed just now while I took pictures.  I love my finished painting but this last technique, although a little scary, adds so much to the overall look.

Here is a picture of my finished storyboard before I did the last step:

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I really love the look of this painting using a simple palette of only 4 acrylic paints; i.e., True Blue, Van Dyke Brown, Yellow Ochre all by Folk Art and Titan Buff Fluid Acrylic by Golden, as well as white Gesso.

But now I’m about to show you the last step, that frankly, when I saw Robin do for the first time, I immediately decided to skip that step!  I just didn’t want to take the chance after putting so much time into making a piece of art 🙂 Well, as you will see, I changed my mind and went for it! 🙂

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I used wax paper, 50/50 of Van Dyke Brown and Glazing Medium, a medium flat brush, and baby wipes.

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After my painting was completely dry, using my flat brush I mixed the paint and glaze then painted over my entire DRIED painting – Then I let it sit for about 1 minute.

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After one minute, I took one of my baby wipes (I used four total)…

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and began wiping off the glaze mix…

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I decided that I wanted the Bride to stay white, so I wiped her off first and then proceeded to wipe away the glaze around her moving outward, leaving most of the glaze mix around the edges…

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I decided to add another layer of the glaze mix, just around the edges and waited another minute before wiping again…

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You can see how I was able to keep the Bride fairly white…

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It’s kind of messy, but it’s fun and I love how it turned out!!!!

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I absolutely love the end result and can’t wait to continue on with my class – There’s still so much to learn about Storytelling with Robin Laws 🙂  

Here are my before and after glazing pictures:

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

You may also like to read: A Beautiful Day! with beginning photos of this painting 🙂

 

How We Celebrate Easter

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Around this time of the year, someone usually asks me how our family celebrates Easter, so I thought it would be fun to share our Easter traditions.

As you know by the title of my blog, I like to keep things SimplyLiving, and I believe having family traditions is a great way to do just that.  If you think about it, the more you use traditions in planning your celebration, the less you have to put together from scratch – you simply need a list that you can keep from year to year and you’re good to go.  Also, your family knows what to expect so you’re all on the same page with no fuss and great memories are made.

So here’s the list I start with for Easter Sunday:

ITEMS I PURCHASE FOR OUR EASTER SUNDAY CELEBRATION

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1 large white poster board (thin so it can be easily cut – with a picture drawn on it to represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I usually draw this poster size picture, but sometimes one of my kids will ask to do it (Matthew drew this one last year).  We always include three crosses, and the tomb with the stone rolled away – and always a sun shining in the top corner 🙂  Also, don’t forget to incorporate the words “Easter 2016” in your picture! Once it is drawn with a pencil, pick out a verse that will fit nicely with your picture.  You can choose from the verses listed below.  Trace it with a black permanent marker and cut it in puzzle shapes, one for each member of your family.)
1 black permanent marker
clear tape
4 tacks to pin your poster to the wall – we leave ours up all year long until the next Easter.
lots of crayons in lots of colors

6 to 8 different kinds of candy (Peanut M&Ms, Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Jelly Bellies, Skittles, Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Whoppers, Junior Mints)
6-8 small bowls
1 large bowl

The following items could be small images printed on little square pieces of paper – printed from the internet…

3 coins
1 toy donkey or horse
1 rock
1 small wine glass
1 small strip of leather
3 nails
1 dice
1 hand drawn image of praying hands, cut out and colored
1 small thorny stem from outside fashioned into a small crown
1 hand drawn spear, cut out and colored
1 small piece of cloth
1 small empty box without lid or image of an empty tomb

1 Easter movie – or documentary.  This year we are watching “The Easter Experience”

Any preparations you need for your meal – we make it easy and have a Taco Feed Feast!!
Homemade pie of your choice, or just buy a wonderful Berry Pie by Marie Callenders at pretty much any grocery store in the frozen section 🙂 Super Easy!!!!  Super Yummy!!!!
Vanilla Ice Cream
Drink of choice (our kids love having cran-raspberry juice with our Easter Taco Feast)

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EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE

How the day will probably go based on our past history of doing this since 1996 is as follows:

I will go to first service at church and get home earlier than everyone else, who will go to both services for various reasons, and I’ll get dinner started. However, because tacos are so easy you can prepare the meat and veggies the night before and get home with everyone else and still have dinner ready to go in a very reasonable amount of time.

Tacos are super easy to make – I just cook up the meat (chicken or beef or both) and season with a little taco seasoning and heat up some canned re-fried beans.  Then I slice the tomatoes, the onions, the lettuce, the pickles, and the black olives; I mush up the avocados for guacamole (I do not add anything for seasoning to my guacamole); I stir up the sour cream; dish up the Mexican style shredded cheese; set out the hot sauce, and soft shells and hard shells, and set the dinner table in Easter colors; i.e. a white table cloth with an Easter colored runner down the middle and pretty napkins and Great Grannie’s beautiful china; put the nacho chips in a bowl along with the salsa and ring the cow bell!!!

Dad usually prays and then reads from the Scriptures sometime during our meal – This year he is going to read 1 Corinthians 15.

After dinner we all clean up our own place – super easy and everyone heads to the living room for our DVD.  While Dad is getting everyone settled down and the DVD ready, I prepare the table with a large dish of crayons in the middle and 6-8 small bowls of the selected candies around it, and a puzzle piece of our poster at each place.  In addition to the puzzle pieces, there is at least one or more of the pieces mentioned above (rock, nails, coins, etc.) at each place – make sure all the pieces are handed out.  After the DVD, we will all head into the dining room to tell our portion of the Easter Story.

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Our pieces are from an old Easter Egg game called Resurrection Eggs.  We only use the individual pieces, but you can purchase the whole game through Family Life.

Dad with Bible in hand, has a list of the following so he can direct the story in it’s proper sequence and read the verses to accompany each person’s part of the Easter Story.  Be sure to keep them in the following order:

Donkey – Matthew 21:1-9
3 Silver Coins – Matthew 26:14-16, 46-50; 27:1-5

Wine Glass – Matthew 26:17-19, 26-28; Exodus 12:23
Praying Hands – Mark 14:32-42
Leather Strip – John 19:1-15; Matthew 27:26-31
Crown of Thorns – Matthew 27:29-31
Nails – John 19:16-22
Dice – John 19:23-25
Spear – John 19:31-37
Cloth – Matthew 27:57-61
Rock – Matthew 28:1-3
Empty Box for Tomb- Matthew 28:5-8

And now the fun begins – While Dad is calling for the person with the pieces above, the person with that particular piece has to tell their portion of the Easter Story, from memory or the best they can remember, while we are all coloring our piece of the poster puzzle and eating the candies in the dishes.  You will probably need to also serve glasses of ice water. 🙂  We have only a couple of rules:  1)  Don’t get sick on candy! 2) Color all of your piece of the puzzle as neatly as you can and in a timely manner, using lots of bright and pretty colors.  We want to honor Jesus our Lord in this beautiful poster. 🙂

After we are done telling the Easter Story and coloring our puzzle pieces, we sign them on the front and everyone gives them to me to flip over and tape back together – then with all eyes closed I tack our new Easter Poster to the dining room wall in place of last years poster.  Everyone opens their eyes in great anticipation of what it might look like!  Great fun!!!!  

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And there it hangs in our dining room until the next Easter.  People ask about it all the time – Each poster is a wonderful witness to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead!

This Easter Poster is a tradition you and your kids will want to store in a safe place to pull out and look at periodically.  We have all of ours and we love them – it’s been twenty years of making these Easter Posters with wonderful memories of gathering together to tell the Easter Story of how God raised His Son from the grave to give all who believe in Him eternal life!  Amazing Grace 🙂

Later in the evening we have our hot pie and ice cream, but sometimes we decide not to have it after all that candy – we just play it by ear 🙂

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Well, there you have it!  Thank you for allowing me time to share such precious memories and traditions with you.  I would love to hear yours as well!  Please consider leaving a comment and share how you celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Happy Resurrection Day to you!

Constance

You might also like to read Spring Time Fun! (How our 2016 Easter turned out)

Short Scripture Study – 3/22/16

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“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who are asleep.
For since by a man came death,
by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:12-22

I’m so excited to hear my husband read these verses to our family on Easter Sunday when we take time to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead!

But there is not just excitement in these verses about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – There is also a warning to those who have not believed this truth.

What do we learn in these verses if we say there is NO resurrection from the dead?

  1. Not even Christ has been raised
  2. Then all preaching and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is in vain
  3. We are found to be false witnesses of God because we testify against Him
  4. Our faith is worthless
  5. We are still in our sins
  6. Those who believed in Jesus and have died have perished
  7. Then we are of all men most to be pitied

These verses must have been so hard for Paul to write to the Corinthian believers.  Just making bullet points above of what it would mean if I did not believe in the resurrection of the dead makes my heart so sad – I would have no hope in this life nor in one to come!

And why would these believers in Corinth believe in Jesus Christ, but not in the resurrection?  There must have been such confusion and deception in that time.  But is it any different today? I can hear Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and one that we should pray over our families today:

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know
–  what is the hope of His calling,
–  what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and
–  what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead

and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Ephesians 1:17-23

Now, what do we learn about Jesus from 1 Corinthians 15:12-22?

  1. He HAS been raised from the dead!
  2. He is the first fruit of those who are asleep!
  3. By Him came the resurrection of the dead!
  4. In Him all will be made alive!

This is so exciting and this is the reason we celebrate Easter!  Jesus Christ HAS risen from the dead and when we believe in Him, we are identified with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection!  We are justified before God when we believe in His Son!

Although the sin of Adam has brought about death to us all, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection has brought about life to all who believe in Him! Hallelujah!

When there seemed to be no way, God made a way through His Son Jesus Christ! Oh, thank You Father for raising Jesus from the dead! Thank You!

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What are your thoughts about these verses?  How does your family celebrate Easter? Do you have favorite Scriptures to read during your Easter dinner? Do you have a favorite Easter song?  I would love to hear from you in the “Comment” section below. 🙂

Fixing our eyes on Jesus – Have a Happy SimplyLiving Week as you prepare to celebrate Easter Sunday!

Constance

Look for my next post on “How Our Family Celebrates Easter

A Beautiful Day!

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Today was such a beautiful day!  The day before Spring and it was 60 degrees and I just had to play outside all day 🙂  First thing this morning I checked to see if my five new chicks did fine through the night in their first outdoor run – and of course I found them happy and playfully enjoying themselves in their new (temporary) home.

As you already know if you follow my blog, I have an established flock of chickens – one rooster and nine hens:

“Big Red” – a Road Island Red Rooster
“Tori” (named after Queen Victoria of England) –  White Plymouth Rock
“Brahma Girl” – a Light Brahma Cochin
“Lacey” – a White Laced Cochin
“Egger Allen” (named after Edgar Allan Poe) – an Easter Egger
“The Aussie Girls” – five Black Australorps

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Here’s an interesting picture I accidentally took of three of my chickens…

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I purchased the five new chicks when they were just one day old and they are now six weeks.  In ten more weeks (16 weeks old) I will be adding them to the rest of the flock.  But for now, they have moved from my 6 foot long brooder to their very own little chicken run with homemade coop and heat lamp.  There are three Easter Eggers, one Golden Laced Wyandotte and one Mottled Java – all of which I hope are hens and seem to be so far 🙂

In May I have three more Light Brahma Cochins coming!  I can’t wait for these three because they are so adorable with their feathered feet (you can see Brahma Girl’s feathery feet in the picture above) and they have the cutest personalities, even when full grown. Our Brahma Girl is like the little princess of our flock!

Later this week I will write a blog post on how to add new chickens to your existing flock and tell you all about what I have done so far to make it as much of a SimplyLiving transition as possible for all involved.  It should be VERY interesting indeed!

Enough about my chickens.

I also spent a lot of time outside just tidying up after the winter months and the crazy wind and rain storm we had last weekend.  I put pretty pink flowers in pots for the patio, washed down the outdoor table and chairs and put them out. Set up my new bird bath (a personal early Mother’s Day gift), swept and raked all the wondering leaves, and laid down some fresh bark. Just Heavenly!

Blinkin Squiggle

This evening I had some fun indoors as well while I continued working on a painting I’m doing for a new class I’m taking.  If you haven’t heard about it – I HIGHLY recommend the class and the teacher!  Robin Laws is a most excellent storyteller and artist who has totally caught me off guard by her wonderful class called “The Storyteller’s Art”.  Even though this class is currently sold out, you can get on her waiting list and again, I highly recommend doing so.  You can click on the blue link to get on her list.

This class has truly brought a new kind of joy into creating art for me.  It has helped me to give life to my paintings through storytelling in a way I have never thought to do. I’m so glad I took the time to take this class!

Below are some pictures of things I have made in The Storyteller’s class so far:  A special Story Card Box, my personal Story Cards, and my first Storyboard – which I absolutely love working on – and I’m still not done  🙂

Storyboxcards2

Storyboxcards1

Storyboard1

Storyboard3

Storyboard4

Storyboard2

And here’s what I added to my Storyboard painting today:

Storyboard5

Storyboard6

When I’m finished with the class, I will tell you the story behind the paintings I create and more about the characters, including the observer in the window of the church…

It reminds me of a song by Leeland, “Pure Bride” , have you heard it? – You’ll want to click on this link and listen all the way to the end because there’s a great question we should all ask ourselves. It’s beautiful!

Well blessings for the first day of Spring to you all! With the Sweet Love of Jesus your way…

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

You may also like to read “The Storyteller’s Art Class” to see the finished painting.