Customer Comments - Joyful Expressions

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Copy of email newsletter sent January 27, 2017...
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But The Lord looks at the Heart - I Samuel 16:7

Recently Mariana Nortje wrote me expressing a concern regarding stitchers. She wrote the following.

Hi, I just thought I would tell, that although I am not at the moment stitching any cross stitch, I have recently looked into what designs are available. I am absolutely appalled at the subject matter of so many designs people are stitching. Ok I know fairies are cute for little girls, but spending 40 hours on a fairy picture? Also all the dragons, wizards, Halloween witches, even father Christmases.

I keep thinking about the time wasted. I am probably treading on some toes, but I am so happy to look at your designs. even the ones without Scriptures. It has amazed me!

Keep on designing your lovely inspiring designs. If I ever get to doing cross stitch again, your Names of Jesus will be the one I would do, but as I am a scrap quilter, I will have a multi-coloured one.

Much love

South Africa

A later message from Mariana...

I am afraid that political correctness has really changed things. Christians must strengthen those weak knees!

Besides addressing the "time wasted" issue, I shared the following with Mariana.


Yes, it saddens me to see so many fall for the deception of Satan in what even those who call themselves Christian stitchers choose to stitch.

I see this on customer Pinterest boards. Right next to a pin such as the free design "His Name is Jesus", will be a dream catcher, a decorative skull and a yin yang symbol. It is no wonder that many think that there are many paths to God.

We know that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life - John 14:6.

My prayer is that all of the designs at Joyful Expressions glorify our Lord.


I'm not sharing this exchange to judge or condemn, but as Christians, we are to represent and exemplify Christ in all that we do. We are to be in the world not of it. We are to be Salt and Light.

"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you." John 15:19

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

My prayer is that if you consider yourself to be a Christian, that in every area of your life, even in your hobbies, and posts, others will see the Way, Truth and Life of Jesus and not a hint of worldly deception.

It is not my place to judge as only "The Lord sees the heart" - I Samuel 16:7. I welcome any comments you may want to share.

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." I John 4:1

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Customer Comments regarding "But The Lord Looks at the Heart"

I absolutely concur. At first I thought I was being judgmental. However I realized that if we love the Lord we would not put anything before Him. And yes this applies to our hobbies as well. We have to keep in mind that Satan is busy and looks for any way to enter in and disrupt our lives. Do not open the door to the sin that lies at it. We must close the door on the enemy in all areas of our lives.

DeColle McNair

I certainly agree that we are salt and light and that it is neither acceptable nor wise to mix our statements and symbols of faith with statements and symbols of darkness or of confused moral and philosophical ideas. Absolutely. People are watching, and we need to broadcast Truth. When Christians send mixed messages, it gives the impression that the gospel is simply another one of the many options and choices we make in life - something we try on for size. Jesus deserves better than this from us.

Penny Casey

I also agree with her and the skulls, I don't get that at all!! I have a group on FB for stitching and am amazed at the amount of the fairies and witches being stitched. Although one of yours was selected for the cover photo I am happy to say. :)

Desiree Hill

I for one really appreciated the reminder. I know I have been guilty of pinning things to stitch that were not consistent with my Christian walk....usually because I thought they were funny. But, I was really convicted when you sent out the newsletter that I should clean up my board (and heart). Its true.... light should have nothing to do with darkness. So, thank you for the reminder and for designing things that we CAN stitch with a clear conscious. We should all strive to be a bright light in this dark dark world.

Natalie Phillips

I agree with Mariana. I have done your Names of Jesus free cross stitch pattern, it is my favorite one in the whole house. Where ever we can add scripture to our lives is great with me. The 'cutesy' stuff sold at the hobby shops is mostly just cute fodder not worthy of so many hours or a place on my wall.

Thank you for your Joyful Expressions mission of cross stitch scriptures. What a great niche you have found to work in. Blessings to you.

Gretchen Peterson

Hi, Sandra!

Thank you for your affirmation that my Pinterest board is Christ-honoring! Jesus gave His life for me while I was lost in sin - and now, I'm adopted by our heavenly Father, in His forever family by His grace! What else would I want to spend time stitching about, putting on my wall, or offering as gifts?

As you may have noticed, a great deal of my posts are your lovely designs! :)

Thank you for what you do - bringing beautiful, fresh designs that share the the unchanging Truth of God's Word!

I used to cross-stitch more before I had children, who wanted my lap, and might get hurt with a needle. Now that my kids are grown and I'm empty-nested, I want to restart my stitching, for my own meditation on God's truth, and to share with my grown children and their spouses!

Thank you again for your encouragement, both through your God-honoring designs and through your kind email.

God bless you richly as you share your gift of design to His glory!

Nancy Blackmon

While I agree with some of your subject matter that you disagree with, I disagree with other parts. You state fairies are for little girls,I disagree. I have had a love of fairy tales since childhood. I did project in one of my college literature classes solely on retold fairy tales. I am currently working on a piece of Snow White,and the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. I also have a dragon piece in my wish list,and really countess others. I have a couple of pieces from Lord of the Rings in my stash.

I believe God gave us an imagination, that stories can bring God's word to us, his redemption. Narnia, Tolkien, all have Christian themes through them without overtly being about God.

I believe strongly that what we put into our minds will come out in our hearts. So yes, as to what we watch, listen to and read, is very important. But to vilify fairies, dragons and fantasy.

I recently had to have a discussion with my Mother in Law, as she has many of the same views, about what my daughter was reading. I won't mention the title because I'm sure it would set you off. But good versus evil.

You don't know the reason why people are reading or stitching or drawing or making art of what they are.  But when family members are not okay with Harry Potter but hey the Hunger Games are okay, that is not okay with me.

I believe the Christ is the only way to salvation, that the Word of God is the light to my path. That i need him daily just to get through work and family. But my pleasure to work on my Princesses at the end of the day is not wrong. Rereading the story again and again,is not wrong.

Rachel Boyer

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