Easy DIY Garden Signs for the Non-Artistic [tutorial]

DIY Garden Signs

DIY Garden Signs

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial for easy DIY garden signs even when you have zero artistic skills. I know because I did it.

What you need

  • Reclaimed wood (pallet, bed frame, etc.) upcycled into a sign-like form
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge/paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Containers for water/paint (Solo cups will do)
  • Stencils or craft letters
  • Mod Podge or glue that dries clear
  • Sealer/finish spray/wax

Please Grow

What you do

  • Using staples, nails, etc. create sign-like shapes from old pallets or bed frames
  • Once you’re happy with your sign shapes, sand, sand, sand. Serious here—if there’s any kind of finish on the wood the paint won’t absorb. If you’re going for the distressed/weathered look (pre-actual weathering) sand extra! In fact, sand extra anyway. You’re welcome
  • Paint your pallet sign however you want. If you’re going for the washed-out look mix paint with a bit of water in a separate container and wash over wood with a sponge brush. This is an easy process and dries fast. Allow paint to dry before adding layers
  • Once your undercoat is dry, stencil letters/images with a pencil and paint in as desired. If you have zero artistic skill like me then glue craft letters to your sign using a clear-drying glue. Allow to dry again
  • Add any further embellishments and allow to dry
  • Seal using finish spray or clear wax and allow to dry

It’s a straightforward craft but adds so much character to your garden. In my case, future garden. I don’t have a lot of experience with vegetables so I thought I should go the route of encouraging my seeds along plus reminders (#pleasegrow #intaflowers #lettuceeat #wtf (water the flowers)). That said I’m also planning a sign saying “I didn’t plant this” because I’m quite certain I will grow many mystery plants. It’s just how things go for me.

DIY Garden Signs tutorial

I still have some finishing touches to put on my signs but this is the general idea if you’re looking for a fun project on a cold winter’s night. Watch my Instagram for the finished products in all their glory. Or however they turn out.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone [Movie Review]

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

If you’ve seen inspirational movies before, you’ve seen this plot: Bad boy gets in trouble. Bad boy gets community service. Bad boy meets good girl. Good girl inspires bad boy. Bad boy has transformation. Everybody’s happy.

While The Resurrection of Gavin Stone follows this basic plot line, it manages to take viewers on a journey of surprise, delight, and entertainment along the way.

The film was both funny and cute, although I’m partial to lead Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) so I don’t take much convincing.

Dalton plays Gavin Stone, an actor whose destructive lifestyle has forced him into community service in his hometown, a place he’d rather leave in the dust.

Tasked with janitorial duty, Stone negotiates his involvement with the Easter play—starring as Jesus—as a way to complete his community service instead. There’s just one hitch. Stone must be a professing Christian to take part.

How to be a Christian

From Googling “How to be a Christian,” Stone learns two tips: 1) Go to church and 2) Wear the costume. Watching Stone muddle his way through fitting into the classic Christian stereotype is hilarious, if not a bit revealing. Though at first he treats playing a Christian like any other role, the relationships Stone develops through the church teach him a lot about love, truth, and forgiveness. In the end he experiences a transformation where his old life stops making sense and he begins to understand what the Christian message really means. Stone is even able to face his past and reconcile with his father.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is a heartfelt look at the power of the Gospel to transform even the most unlikely person. It’s a study in contrast, temptation, and hope.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone hits theatres January 20, 2017.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone synopsis

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is an inspirational comedy rated PG about faith and forgiveness. Gavin Stone, a washed-up former child star is forced to do community service at a local mega- church and pretends to be Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.

To Joey, With Love [Movie Review]

To Joey With Love

To Joey, With Love is a touching tribute to a woman who impacted many lives through sharing her gifts and being true to herself.

Country music duo Joey and Rory Feek were at the top of their game—critical acclaim, awards, TV exposure, commercial endorsements, European tours, and hundreds of thousands of albums sold around the world…what could be better? How about a baby! This is where we join the happy couple. Just in time for them to take a year off their music careers to focus on what really mattered. Oh yeah, and they filmed it.

I’ve seen a lot of documentaries but none quite like this. It stays true to the synopsis—intimate home movies spanning a two-year period beginning with a beautiful baby, ending with a tragic death, and weaving an unwavering faith in God through it all. It didn’t have the cliffhangers we’re accustomed to these days but it held a quality I couldn’t ignore: authenticity. I was captivated.

Though this isn’t the path that we would’ve chosen to walk down, it is the path that’s been laid before us. So we put our faith in God and our hope in a future we can’t see. We believe that God will give us a great story.

Through the one-and-a-half-hours we’re invited to observe this piece of their story. The highs, the lows, the mundane, and the incredible. It was an honour to be invited.

Pre-orders of To Joey, With Love on DVD and on-demand are available now and digital HD will be available December 9.

To Joey, With Love Synopsis

Husband-and-wife singing duo Joey+Rory wanted more to life…so they chose less. In preparation for the birth of their child, the couple simplified their lives by putting their music career aside and staying at home, planting roots deep in the soil of their small farm, and the community they loved.

They believed God would give them a great story…and He did.

Experience the incredible true story of Joey and Rory Feek in the poignant new film TO JOEY, WITH LOVE. Intimately filmed by the couple over two and a half years, the movie documents the stirring journey of the 2010 Academy of Country Music Top New Vocal Duo.

TO JOEY, WITH LOVE takes moviegoers from the birth of their daughter Indiana, born with Down Syndrome, through Joey’s struggle with and ultimate surrender to cancer—all amidst their never-ending hope in something far greater. God gave Joey+Rory a love story for the ages, one that is sure to inspire hope and faith in all who experience it.

Searching the Scriptures [book review]

Searching the Scriptures by Charles R. Swindoll

Searching the Scriptures quote

Released mid-September 2016, the buzz surrounding Searching the Scriptures intensified as the publish date crept closer. As an employee of Insight for Living Ministries (the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll) I stalked my email in hopes of an advance preview of the book, which I heard was a game changer.

But alas. All was quiet.

Because, you see, the book-end and the broadcast-end of Charles R. Swindoll are quite separate. But Tyndale was releasing review copies of the book so as soon as I got my chance I lept. And I was not disappointed.

Searching the Scriptures is unlike any book I’ve read. I’d boil it down to Chuck’s personal Bible-study method, which he has broken out into four easy-to-remember steps.

  • Observation
  • Interpretation
  • Correlation
  • Application

Chuck describes Searching the Scriptures as the culmination of 60-plus years of cultivating a love for an pursuing an understanding of the Bible.

Broken into 10 sections and themed after cooking and serving a meal, Chuck takes the reader on a journey towards understanding—beginning, well, at the beginning. He overviews the entire Bible, then builds an argument for careful study of the Bible.

At the end of each chapter is a “your turn in the kitchen” challenge, and as the chapters build (from choosing the recipe to adding the spices), the reader is asked more and more to become an active participant in the book.

I love this book and the approach Chuck used to teach us how to study the Bible. We should not be satisfied letting others tell us what the truth is, we should seek it for ourselves by careful reasoning, study, applying wisdom, and knowing Scripture.

This book is more of a manual than a one-and-done read. I can see myself using it in group Bible study, personal devotions, and for those times I feel stuck and need a push in the right direction.

I’m grateful for this work and believe it more than met my expectations. For me, this book is a game changer.

“When the movie The Exorcist was released, all kinds of weird information began to circulate about Satan and demons. People were afraid there were demons lurking in every corner after watching the film. I decided to learn about the topic firsthand, so I did a thorough study of demons and the devil in Scripture. Do you know what happened after I did that study? I lost all fear of the devil. Knowing what Scripture actually says helped me combat all the confusing comments that were being tossed around about the devil and demons. What saved me from confusion? Correlation.”


Charles R. Swindoll is the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck’s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body, as Insight for Living airs on major Christian radio markets around the world. Chuck’s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and his wife, Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Voiceless Hits Theatres October 7 [Movie Review]

You know how we live these quiet, normal lives and we have things we believe and then something bad happens and we doubt everything?

Or is that just me?

And you know how we make mistakes but we get through them and we’re better people and then something bad happens and we’re thrown right back into our worst-selves and you realize you’re not over anything?

Again…just me?

voiceless

Voiceless brings us to a rough area of Philadelphia where Jesse and Julia move for Jesse’s new job at a church. At first everything seems normal—they go to work, they do their jobs, they live their lives. But then something happens and we learn perhaps Jesse and Julia aren’t doing as well as we thought.

Near the church is a women’s clinic, which performs abortions. Jesse feels compelled to visit and witnesses a protester outside the building. He watches the crowd yell insults and abuse at the protester and something changes inside Jesse. He visits the clinic more and more and finds himself in confrontations with clinic staff, pregnant teens, and passersby. The church doesn’t approve of Jesse’s apparent political swing. His wife can’t understand what has got into him. Jesse faces opposition on all sides yet continues visiting the clinic.

Through the film you witness the struggle of a man who thought he had dealt with his past but must face it again. You see a man wrestle with his faith, violent tendencies, demons from his past, and unresolved trauma. You see a couple forced to face their issues, buried deep down. Through Voiceless you are taken on a journey where you learn to follow your gut even if it’s dangerous, stand up for what you believe even if no one stands with you, and to tell the truth even when you’re scared.

On the surface this is a faith-based movie with a pro-life slant but I think if you look deeper it is a movie challenging you to confront the things you’d rather avoid, to let yourself feel and hurt, and to be brave no matter what.

This film made me think and I’m glad for it. It was ambitious and tried to accomplish many layers of plot and character development, which left me a bit confused, but overall I appreciated the journey. Voiceless is not a stereotypical faith-based pro-life rah rah experience. It goes deeper, it shows you life happens to everyone (even Christians), and we all have skeletons in our closets.

The sooner we realize we’re just like everyone else, the sooner we can accept others as they are and start helping people.

Voiceless Synopsis

Jesse Dean is a recently discharged soldier who had a rough upbringing, but because of his wife, found God and now is totally devoted to his faith.

He and wife move to Philadelphia so he can take a new job as an outreach leader at an old church whose membership has been declining. As everything is going well and as he starts connecting to the community, he discovers there’s an abortion clinic directly across the street from the church.

He goes to the pastor and to several others in the church and tries to get their help to no avail. One day something tragic and personal happens to him while he’s going about his everyday routine. He comes to the point that he begins to take action himself. He gets involved but the more involved he gets, the more resistance he gets from those in church and community. His wife, who thinks his actions will get him fired or land him in jail, also comes against him.

Finally, it comes down to him having to make a choice: is he going to take the easy way out and back off, which is what everyone wants him to do, or will he face a major confrontation which will require him to put everything on the line…not just his job, but his freedom and marriage as well.

This film encourages people to stand up for what they know is right, particularly as it pertains to taking God’s truths into society to address social issues. It addresses the spirit of retreat as it pertains to engaging the culture that has developed within the Church.