Gather & Forgive | Bible Journaling with Ashley

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Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

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When you think of this verse do you think of gathering with someone that has sinned against you, or with someone you love and cherish and that has the same views as you? What about gathering with someone who has hurt you more than anyone ever will in this life? Until reading this awesome devotional by Erin, I didn’t pay much attention to the verses before the lovely sounding Matthew 18:20. It’s an easy verse to take out of context, but I so appreciated her view as I am currently working towards reconciling with my earthly father. This topic has been on my heart as I prepare to reach out to him. My hope is to gather with him in the name of Christ, my Savior, and on behalf of the work He is doing on my heart. It has been a lifetime of hurt, disappointment, and avoidance, but this passage (among many other convicting verses) has been helping point me to forgiveness and reconciliation.

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I doubt my father is a Christian, but I do hope that He sees Christ in me. I pray that I can extend love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness as I have been given these things so freely by my Heavenly Father. I pray that while God has been working on my heart He has also been preparing my father’s heart. Who knows what will happen, but it’s not too late for a miracle. Maybe one day I can gather with my father and we will both be singing the Lord’s praises. What a lovely picture that our togetherness would invite the Spirit to move in both of our lives. I want the table that we gather around to be Jesus, and if we don’t get there in our relationship, He is still good. Seeing God change my heart for my father has been a beautiful and freeing experience. I pray that my father will be moved to become set free as well! Join me in these prayers, if you will, and may we all gather in His name with even the hardest people to love in our lives. AMEN!

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This entry is the one that inspired the “gather” lettering in this month’s kit. I had previously journaled here, but only the “gather in His name” piece in the margin. I felt it was time to revisit this page now that the devotional had helped me see this passage in such a different light! And oh, how relevant it is for what’s going on in my life at this time. I added to this page by putting some watercolor down for the background first. I then chose to use the leaf stamps to add interest to the two far corners. I also found coordinating Tombow Dual Brush Pens to help mimic the devotional design. I then pulled out my two favorite quotes from Erin’s devotional and alternated hand-lettering and stickers from the kit to illustrate those above and below my previous entry design. The gather sticker, some hearts, a small bit of washi, and the bows finished off this page. I now love this page even more! What a joy it is to see my lettering on a product that you all will now enjoy. I can’t wait to see how you all use it to create for the Lord!

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