Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chatter from the Heart - June 2009 Close to My Heart Newsletter

Chatter from the Heart ~ June 2009

It's hard to believe that summer has arrived, but it's here! My family and I are excited about the upcoming month of June, not only for the summer fun, but because we are expecting the arrival of our third baby! Like any stamper and scrapbooker, I look forward to another opportunity with the arrival of this baby to preserve my family's memories and legacies.

Arrival of Baby Haag
You can join in the fun of this arrival and win $10 in free Close to My Heart product with no purchase necessary! There's many unknowns with this baby:
we don't know if it's a boy or a girl;
we don't know what day it will arrive (due date is June 20);
we don't know the weight or length;
we don't even have a name chosen!

Here's what you do:
Send me an e-mail with the information you think fits the categories above. The entry that comes closest will receive a $10 gift certificate that can be used on any Close to My Heart product. You may even help in choosing the name of this new baby! Again, submit this information via an e-mail and you'll be entered to win!
Sex of the baby
Day baby will arrive
Weight and length

June's Special: Deal-A-Day

While you may not be anticipating the arrival of a new baby in June, this month could still be your favorite month! Close to My Heart is offering a unique special called "Deal-a-Day"! With qualifying purchases, you can receive FREE Close to My Heart products and on 6 days of the month, you can purchase a goodie box full of both current and retired products at 50% off retail value! The deal changes daily and is only available on MyCTMH website. Visit my website to see the full explanation of Deal-A-Day (under "Calendar").

June Stamp of the Month - Tender Tags

Don't miss this month's Stamp of the Month, Tender Tags. Featuring a variety of tags with select sentiments, you can earn it for FREE with a qualifying purchase. Visit my website to learn more. Information about the set is under "Calendar"; to view artwork featuring the set, click "My Art."

Wishes Card Confidence Program
This month also features the release of Wishes Card Confidence program. If you have used either the Reflections, Cherish, or Imagine scrapbook programs or the Originals Card Confidence program, you know how fast, easy, and simple these how-to guides make scrapbooking or card making. Wishes is no exception! This program will make your card making just as elegant with less guess work involved for you. Visit my website for more information.

June Events
I hope June is a great month for you. Because of the impending arrival our baby, there will be no classes or workshops in June. Watch for July's schedule to be released soon. As always, events are available on my website under "Calendar."

The Ellis Public Library Free Crop is still scheduled (if I'm unable to be there, someone else will be available). Join us for a night of cropping from 7 pm to midnight. There are plenty of tables to spread out and we happily share tools and ideas. Come join us! (Please RSVP if you plan to attend.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pink Sweetheart

Kaydawn danced in her first dance recital this past weekend. She was SO proud up on the "big stage" of Beach Schmidt auditorium. She did very well, emphasizing her positions and movements - and claimed her favorite part of the whole recital was where she got to "rock 'n roll" in the song "Do you believe in magic."

Probably the funniest part of the whole weekend was when she and her friend Taelyr had a stare down on the stage. Kaydawn was supposed to stand on the second row during the second dance. She DID NOT want to be there, apparently, as she found a way to work to the front. At rehearsal, she put herself next to Taelyr. Despite Taelyr's efforts to get her back in the second row, Kaydawn wouldn't budge. She even continued to dance with a determined look on her face. She did move herself to the front row during the actual recital, but not as much as during rehearsal.

What fun it was to watch her!

Close to My Heart's June 2009 Stamp of the Month, Tender Tags

Each month, Close to My Heart offers a stamp of the month. This set is only available during the month it's offered and can be purchased at full price or discounted cost depending on purchases. This month, the set Tender Tags, really has some cute and unique tags that can be used in different ways. Here's a sample of the set in different artwork.

If you'd like to see more artwork featuring this set (after June 1), visit the Close to My Heart website.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Metamorphosis with Christ

It's hard to believe it's been one month since I last taught children's church, but the first weekend in May has arrived. This means this morning, I once again sat in front of the church and tried to teach the children a lesson about being a Christian.

Ironically, this lesson came to me in my sleep. Those of you who've experienced pregnancy first-hand know how strange your dreams can be. Well, this lesson came to be in my dreams last night. I was really dreaming about the verse in the Bible "...I knew before I formed you in the womb." And there were butterflies in this dream.

When I woke, the first thing I did this morning - as I do every morning - was head to the recliner downstairs with my daily Bible reading. The New Testament reading was John, chapter 3, which finished off the inspiration for my lesson today.

I couldn't help but share this lesson here. I hope it touches you as I believe it touched many during church today. Here it is:

"Metamorphosis of a Christian"
#1 - It's spring. What are some of the things you notice about spring?
*Green leaves and grass again
*Fresh air
*New insects and animals

#2 - We as Christians go through our own kind of springtime. Did you know that? Let me read you a verse from the gospel of John.

"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You must be born again." John 3:5-7

#3 - I bet that doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? Let's look at another way we see life "born again." We're going to use metamorphosis to explain how a butterfly is born again. Can you say that big word?

Here is a butterfly. Does anyone know how a butterfly gets to be so beautiful? Let me show you.

#4 - (Use caterpillar picture) Here is how a butterfly begins. It doesn't look like a butterfly, does it? What is it? (caterpillar) Is it very pretty? It's okay because it's a creation of God, but it's not as beautiful as it's going to be.

Well, this caterpillar is like us as children. At this stage of it's life, the caterpillar goes around eating and eating and eating. As children, we come to church and Sunday school and VBS and read our Bibles to learn and learn and learn and store up, just like the caterpillar eats to store up.

#5 - (Use picture of chrysalis) Then the caterpillar spins a chrysalis, sometimes called a cocoon. While the caterpillar is inside of the cocoon, it uses all that food it stored up to make an amazing transformation.

Now, as children we don't spin a cocoon. But that doesn't mean that all those lessons you learned aren't working an amazing transformation in you. Instead of a cocoon, the holy Spirit is working an amazing transformation on you.

#6 - (Use butterfly picture again) Once that amazing transformation occurs, the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly - it has, in a sense, been "born again."

In people, we can be "born again" as well. But when the holy Spirit has worked it's transformation, we emerge as Christians to share eternal life in Christ. It means we have been saved from the not so pretty life and now have access to a beautiful life with Christ. It is the gift of salvation.

In Romans 10:9 it says,
"For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

#7 - So while our transformation into Christians isn't always as simple as the metamorphosis of a butterfly, we still emerge in a new life.

Let's pray: Heavenly Father, your work in nature is amazing. You take a lowly caterpillar, not so beautiful to behold and transform it into a graceful butterfly. Fortunately for us, you do the same when we are born again in you. Help us to learn so we may transform into a beautiful Christian. In your name, Amen.