Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- Be Strong

Enduring Word Bible-#26

Isaiah 35: 3-6
The Ransomed Shall Return

The majesty of Carmel and Sharon
 will blossom abundantly.
They will see the glory 
and majesty of the Lord.
But, STILL-
there is the anxious heart,
 and encouragement to 
"Be strong and Fear Not!...
He will come and save you."
and 
"waters break forth in the wilderness, 
and streams in the desert."

Two sections with phrases 
that have spoken to me for a long time.
Here in the same chapter.
Don't think I realized that 
before doing this journaling.
One of my favorite all time devotional books
 is L.B. Cowman's - Streams in the Desert.
Streams-Desert-L-B-Cowmans
After visiting Israel 
and the images of the wilderness
 and the desert in my mind now-- 
these verses are even more meaningful.
And every day is a great day to be reminded- 
Be strong! 
Feat not! 

Supplies:
Precision pen
Colored pencils
Yellow Faber- Castell Gelato




Sunday, September 16, 2018

FEAR NOT!

Camp Arcadia, Michigan

“Fear not,
 I am the first and the last,
 and the living one.
 I died, and behold I am alive forevermore,
 and I have the keys of Death and Hades."
Revelation 1:17-18

Loving this sunset vista 
and pairing this verse of hope.
 In the face of death, our own mortality,
the cross is the reminder of our rescuer.

 A wonderful time this weekend
leading the Women's Retreat 
at Camp Arcadia, Michigan. 
Reflecting on this past weekend 
and all of the conversations, blessings,
and gifts brought forth in encouragement.
God is Good!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Joining Jesus - Show Me How-3

 Mission Focus, Purpose
Challenges, Direction
These are all topics that churches 
wrestle with and make plans 
for and meet about, and then meet some more.
One of the things we know about millennials - 
they don't do meetings.
So they are not only missing 
from our churches but they are missing 
from the conversations 
about why they are missing.
Greg Finke's work with Dwelling1:14 
offer these great questions for conversation starters:
  1. What is the mission of God, according to God?
  2. How does God intend for us to participate in His mission?
  3. In the gospels, what is Jesus’ goal for those He is discipling?
  4. According to Jesus, what is a disciple and what does a disciple do?
  5. In the gospels, what process does Jesus use to train His disciples?
  6. How can we optimize our congregational groups and gatherings to accomplish Jesus’ discipling goals?
 These questions bring time together
 looking at the right things-
how do disciples make disciples?
It is not about budgets, 
attendance, weekly offerings,
and leaky roofs.
Those all need to be dealt with but,
 they are not the MAIN THING.
 What I really appreciate reading
 in Greg's book- Joining Jesus - Show Me How
 or his blog at dwelling114.org
is that I can actually imagine Jesus
 sitting around and talking with his disciples
using these very questions.
It is Jesus Discipleship Class 101.
And I am reminded how many times
 Jesus had to go over the lessons with them,
 repeat the main point, 
and review when they failed the test.
Simple enough..
go and make disciples.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Joining Jesus- Show Me How-2

For some time now I have been asking people-
"Who are you discipling?
Who is discipling you?"
Not very often I get an answer.
Turns out that is a simple door-opener
 for thinking through this process 
of discipling everyday missionaries.
Mulling more thoughts from 
Joining Jesus - Show Me How by Greg Finke.
 So, what is the mission of God?
"To redeem and restore all things through Jesus.
And we get to help.
 It's what we were made for and saved for.
Discipling, then, is the means 
for showing the people of God 
how to participate in the mission of God
 as a daily lifestyle."
Well, that is a mighty big plan. 
And I am feeling pretty inadequate.
Best left for someone else to do.
Except for that Great Commission thing-
Go and Make Disciples.
SO, how does this Really happen?
Greg Finke summarizes-
"To become redemptive in the world 
with Jesus we need to become more loving like Jesus. 
He restores us to the abundant love
 of the Father through baptism 
and he trains us to give away that love
 to those who need it so badly."
Ok, easy enough.
Right? Well, except....
100 excuses.
I know how to do church,
but mystified by this discipling thing.
So, surely we get clues for this task
 by watching Jesus, right?
Finke summarizes Jesus' teaching plan-
imitate him.
"It looks like relationship-
intentional time together,
 unhurried conversation about real life and Jesus-
 and the kingdom comes."
That doesn't sound like a theology degree,
or binders full of studies and studies.
Pretty sure, 
this is a jump right into the learning lab,
without credentials,
kind of sending.
But, Jesus equips his ragtag, ill-equipped lot 
with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  This driving force, 
for the sake of all of His missing children,
is a game-changer.
And I'm game. 


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Joining Jesus - Show Me How-1

Thinking some things through these days.
How to put into practice - 
discipling settings.
 How did Jesus work 
with His disciples?

Reading Joining Jesus- Show Me How
by Greg Finke.
He states that there are
 5 Lifestyle Practices of Jesus.

1. Jesus remembers his true identity and mission.
(our baptism invites us 
into this relationship and mission)
2. Jesus seeks the kingdom.
He looks for the good that the Father
 has prepared in advance for him to do.
3. Jesus humbles himself.
He submits to the Father's timing
 and purpose in the moment.
4. Jesus freely gives.
What He has received from
 the Father He offers to others.
5. Jesus shows others how to do the same.

So, if we are to imitate Jesus, 
how can we pray to be ready
 to what Jesus may be up to today?
What do you see the Holy Spirit
 doing in your life right now?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Enduring Word Bible- You Shall Rest

Enduring Word Bible-#25

You Shall Rest
Exodus 23:12

My worshipping community 
has been reviewing the topic of 
Working the Sacred in the Ordinary.
The reading for this week was about
Sabbath.
"Six days you shall do your work, 
but on the seventh day you shall rest..."
so that all those around you can rest too.
Oh, I struggle with this.
 I find that when I do take "time off",
I so enjoy a day to play and move 
throughout the hours without an agenda.
It is recreational as well as soul restorative.
It may not be on Sunday-
as that is often a "work day"
 in this season of life.
But, I hunt and chase those hours 
to spend reading and praying 
in the margins of my Bible.
Or reading.
Or catching up with the practices 
that mark and highlight the journey
 and shine the light on God's faithfulness.
So good... because He is good.

Supplies:
Colored pencil
Fine-point Sharpie pen
Washi tape
Chalk pastels
Matte Clear Acrylic sealer- (Plaid)
to seal the chalk





Friday, August 31, 2018

Portals of Prayer- Tiny Scripture Doodles

Sharing the experiment of  
TRYING OUT 
combining Tiny Scripture doodles 
with the daily readings of the 
Portals of Prayer devotions by
 Concordia Publishing House.
I grew up with Portals of Prayers 
as part of our family devotions.
I have found a process
 that has drawn me back.
I printed off the August calendar
 from the CPH blog.
But, the dilemma was how to tackle 
keeping this format in an on the go,
 in the car and airplane lifestyle.
I decided to try adapting the format
 to fit my Traveler's Journal.
(American Crafts- Michael's
May have to find this online.)
I set it up by cutting it 3 column, 
2 column, 2 column.
Picked 4 colored pencils 
to use through the month.
I added it to a graph paper insert.
Any style would work.
I have to flip it to get to the end of the week.
I usually like to see the Whole Month Story
 at a glance,
 but just knew that that would be hard 
to make happen in this season of life.
So for each day I read the devotions 
and pray that the Holy Spirit lifts up the phrase,
  word, or thought for my "take-away."
It becomes my "mini-bulletin board" 
that shapes prayer thoughts throughout the day.
 I have moved to the large print version
 of Portals of Prayer.
Enough said. 
It fits right in the back of my journal,
 so it goes right along on the way.

The grace place for this practice ?
Get behind a couple of days?
It is simple to catch up.

Many of our Lutheran Churches 
offer these devotions to 
members and visitors each quarter. 
(There is also an app on your phone-$9.99 a year.)

I have September ready to go for tomorrow.
  One of the things we talk about in our 
spiritual formation process-
be ready.
These will be offered quarterly by CPH
 and I will set up my journal- 
one quarter at a time.
The calendars will also be added to the Files section
 for all of the 
Visual Faith Communities on Facebook.
Easy to find and print.
Here is one of the 22 groups-
Visual Faith Ministry

Why don't you join us?
Follow along-
  and add your photos on Instagram
 with these hashtags-
#tinyscripturedoodles
#portalsofprayer
#visualfaith
#concordiapublishinghouse