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If you’ve spent any time around here, you can tell that I enjoy playing with graphics—especially when it comes to sharing quotes.

I rely on God-breathed Scripture to convict and change me. But wise words hold power as well.

Many times in my life God has used the words of others to open my eyes to His truth or apply it to my life in a new way.

So I often feel compelled to pass those quotes on in hopes that they will bless and encourage others.

My tools of choice for creating graphics have been iPhone pics, the wonderful photos from Unsplash—which has a very open license (The site says, “Do whatever you want.”)—and, of course, PicMonkey, a site which lets me edit to my heart’s content.

With PicMonkey, I usually begin by cropping my photo to be square or Pinterest-pin shaped. (Graphics that are wider than they are tall don’t seem to show up well on my favorite sites—my blog, Pinterest & Facebook.)

While at Basic Edits, I check to see if my graphic needs to be sharpened, over-exposed, under-exposed, or color-enhanced—whatever will complement the quote I have in mind.

Then I click on Effects, where I can age my graphic, posterize it, turn it into a Poloroid, soften the focus, etc.

What’s nice about PicMonkey is that the arrows at the top of the pic always allow me to undo what I have done. Also, I can save my work along the way in case there’s a really great look I want to use at a later time.

Once I’ve played with Effects, I click on Text and copy & paste my quotes onto the graphic. Once I’ve done that I can change the alignment, color, and size of the words.

Then I get to play with the fonts. Some fonts allow me to “Bold” or “Italicize” them. Wider fonts are great for layering, which enables me to give the words a 2-D look.

My last step is adding a Frame. I pretty much always finish with Drop Shadow—even if I’ve used another frame before that. I feel like Drop Shadow makes my graphic “pop” when on my blog or in the Facebook stream.

***Recently, I discovered a new place to grab free graphics: Death to Stock Photo. I signed up for the free tier and have received two batches of photos so far.

Just click on the graphic to view sharing choices.

Charles Spurgeon qutoes Take a stand on the Bible

For this great Charles Spurgeon quote, I layered italicized Roman Antique font, white over black. The background originally looked like this before I cropped, enhanced & posterized. (I resized it for this post. You can grab it full-sized from the Unsplash site.)

Unsplash free graphic

Lifting othersHere, I layered the Special Elite font, white over black. The background originally looked like this before I cropped & enhanced. (I resized it for this post. You can grab it full-sized from the Unsplash site.)

Unsplash free graphic 2

Death to Stock Photo

The font for this graphic is Cardo bold. The graphic originally looked like this before I cropped, enhanced & posterized. (I resized it for this post. You can grab it full-sized by signing up to receive emails from Death to Stock Photo.)

Death to Stock Photos

I hope you’ve been encouraged by the quotes or helped by the how-to tips.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash & Death to Stock Photo plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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When the world doesn’t make sense, it’s easy to get stuck on asking God why.

I’m thankful for the lives of those who have gone before, wise saints who saw evil close up, wrestled with asking why, and—even though their questions were never completely answered—came out on the other side of their experiences with a renewed trust in the heart of their heavenly Father.

More & more the world around me seems characterized by chaos.

And more & more I’m thankful to know the Source of the peace that passes understanding. 

May we trust our burdens to His capable shoulders & rest in His unfailing love.

Corrie Ten Boom Quotes

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Rick Warren Quotes (Click to Tweet)

Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

****Follow this link to read more about Corrie Ten Boom, Hero of The Hiding Place.

Corrie Ten Boom Hero of the Hiding Place

Corrie Ten Boom

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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This week the world said good-bye to one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century, Elisabeth Elliot. Her life and writings greatly shaped my faith journey.

Here are some of my favorite Elisabeth Elliot quotes:

Elisabeth Elliot quotes

“Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you.”

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“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.”

“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

“God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.”

“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.”

“There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today.”

“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”

Elisabeth Elliot quotes

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

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“Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.”

“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!”

“Failure means nothing now, only that it taught me life.”

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.”

“We are women, and my plea is let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is.”

May her wise words encourage you on your own journey. Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

Follow this link to view the posts I wrote about this humble servant of the Lord.

Elisabeth Elliot on to glory

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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Usually by this time in the school year—after class trips in the heat and humidity and helping kids struggle through final exams and tackling inventory and paper work and keep track of all the details regarding graduation—I’m just plain tired and in great need of an attitude adjustment.

Proverbs 25:11 says, “Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.” So I Iook to the wise words of godly men and women to help readjust my thinking and refresh my heart.

Here are five of my recent favorites for changing my perspective on life:

Fear Anxiety Worry

“Take a breath. It’s not a bad life, just a bad day.”

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Prayer Spurgeon quotes“Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.” ~Charles Spurgeon~

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Jim Elliot quotes God's Will

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” ~Jim Elliot~

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George Mueller quotes sacrifice service

“God judges what we give by what we keep.” ~George Mueller~

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C. S. Lewis quotes life God Christianity

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” ~C. S. Lewis~

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I’m praying that at least one of these quotes will be an encouragement to you. Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

***This week the world said good-bye to one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century, Elisabeth Elliot. Her life and writings greatly shaped my faith journey. Follow this link to view the posts I wrote about this humble servant of the Lord.

Elisabeth Elliot on to glory

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass them on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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A Love Like Ours

Renee Ann Smith —  June 1, 2015 — 19 Comments

BeckyWade Becky Wade’s most recent novel highlights how God enables us—not just to survive hardships and heartaches—but to embrace life through them.

A Love Like Ours is about people who have messy lives.

A soldier weighed down with PTSD.

A single mom willing to take a chance on creating a family for her son in spite of a scarred heart.

A dad, once resigned to a solitary life after his wife abandoned him and her children, experiencing new love.

Parents who find a way to bring sunshine and sweetness into the life of their severely handicapped daughter.

God helps these characters find healing, joy, romance, redemption, happiness, and hope—which makes A Love Like Ours exactly the kind of novel I love to share with my students!

Yes, the romance takes center stage in this novel. Yet the story also shows us that only through Jesus can we take an honest look at ourselves, each other, and the state of the world—yet live, laugh, and love with abandon.

That’s what abundant life is all about.

Here are some of my favorite quotes . . .

A Love Like OursBecky Wade Becky Wade

Share some inspiration with your friends!

We are daughters of the King! (Click to Tweet)

He is the God of peace! (Click to Tweet)

He is the medicine! (Click to Tweet)

God the healer. He is the medicine! (Click to Tweet)

And here’s the book blurb from Amazon to give you a few more specific details. “Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

Then Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?”

You can grab your copy of this hope-filled story at this link.

Becky WadeAbout the Author: Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas.

She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction.

Becky’s work has been a finalist for both a RITA and an INSPY Award.

You can connect with Becky . . .

at her website

on her Facebook page

on Twitter

Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with a free images plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass it on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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Psalm 37(Click to Tweet)

Delight yourself in the Lord & He will shape the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4~

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~Matthew 6:21~

Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding. ~Proverbs 3:5~

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. ~Proverbs 4:23~

My son, give Me your heart & let your eyes keep my ways. ~Proverbs 23:26~

May the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock & my Redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14~

May we trust Him with our hearts now & always. Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created this graphics with a free image from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass it on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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The Thorn Bearer

Renee Ann Smith —  May 19, 2015 — 11 Comments

“From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh Dougall must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.” ~Amazon blurb for The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham~

Pepper Basham

A few years back I met Pepper Basham at the American Christian Fiction Writers‘ Conference. At the time she was an unpublished writer—but not anymore! How fun to see Pepper attain her dream by earning publishing contracts for several manuscripts!

Recently, I was privileged to review Pepper’s historical fiction novel, The Thorn Bearer.

The Thorn Bearer is set during 1915 and focuses on Ashleigh Dougall, a young woman crossing the Atlantic on the Lusitania with two men—one she doesn’t love but can’t get rid of and the other she does love but can’t have.

Pepper’s novel reminds me of the dramatic, Gothic romances I read in high school. The story has a beautiful, innocent heroine who is hiding a painful secret, a conniving sister, a set of abusive, neglectful parents, and a hero who is handsome and good but takes half the chapters to realize he’s in love with the heroine! Thus Ashleigh must forge ahead in life without 20th century society’s normal protections—parents or husband—by relying on her own pluck and ingenuity.

In spite of these odds, we readers know Ashleigh will win the day because she has a pure heart and a grandmother who teaches her what’s right.

The Thorn Bearer has all the good stuff that makes it fun to while away a day or so in another world—with the added benefit of Spiritual Truth! Exactly what those grand adventures I read as a teen were missing.

I really enjoyed Pepper’s debut novel! The graphics in this post show some of my favorite quotes from story. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, or share them on Facebook!

Pepper Basham Thorn BearerPepper Basham Thorn Bearer****Don’t miss the chance to grab your copy of Pepper’s engrossing novel at this link. Right now it’s a $3 Kindle deal!

Pepper BashamAs a little girl, Pepper D. Basham fell in love with storytelling while listening to her granny share oral history. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley.

You can connect with her

At her website

On her Facebook page

On Twitter

Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created these graphics with free images from Unsplash plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass it on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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Clothed in JOY

Renee Ann Smith —  May 13, 2015 — 16 Comments

Proverbs 31 woman who fears the Lord

“She is clothed in strength & dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” ~Proverbs 31:25~

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God is faithful Proverbs 31

“When my skin sags & my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm & faithful.” ~Psalm 73:26~

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I love the bottom pic of my sweet mom during her last days, looking through her jewelry and remembering. The people and events that eluded her struggling mind here brighten her Heavenly days as she waits for the family reunion to be complete.

God was faithful to her. He is faithful to me.

No matter what has gone before or what may come, He clothes me with joy and gifts me with laughter.

May He do the same for you. Thanks for  by stopping by today! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created the first graphic with a free image from Unsplash, and the second with an iPhone pic of my mom, plus the effects at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share. Pass it on!
***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!
***Let’s be Twitter pals!
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here.
***Let’s connect on Instagram!
I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link.
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