Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Neighborhood Vista

 A recent evening walk in our
 "stay at home" neighborhood 
was full of many contrasts.
There was the very dark sky
 of a storm passing close by...
The sun hit the trees nearby while the 
background loomed dark and a bit eerie.
The contrast of new spring growth ready to pop 
and the in-full bloom trees played out 
against the gray blue sky in the background
 when I looked up and in the distance.
 Then I looked at the close-up
 views right in front of me.

 It became a fitting view of Holy Week.
It is so easy to get lost in the big picture
 unknown of our pandemic world right now.
Then every blossom and every petal whispered-
 "keep your eyes on me, child,
I hold the whole world in my hands."
In the dark and gloomy, scary COVID19 days,
 the God of  the Universe 
is in a count down mode, 
with the reassurance of- Easter is coming.
Yes, Easter is Everyday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community #3

Lenten Journaling in Community-#3
Ride On, Ride On in Majesty
Continuing the work in the Lent journal-
When From Death I'm Free
 Many Crowns- One King
Paper Collage
Hymn Reflection page
Watercolors and Sharpie pen
 Hosanna Reflection
Paper Collage
Scripture Reflection-
 Luke 19: 37-38  41-44
Palm Stamp
 Hymn Words Reflection 
Watercolors, Washi tape and stamps
Reflection page-
 O Save us!
Hosanna! Hosanna!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Holy Week Blooming

The Phlox is in full bloom.
And it is a Holy Week 
like none in my lifetime.
I am very blessed to be able to still be outside 
and walking in my yard.
Checking on what is in full bloom.
Biennial Lunaria.
 The west side of the house
 has lilacs just ready to burst into full bloom.
Even with social distancing,
 I caught the eye of my neighbor and laid a bunch 
near her gate to pick up. 
Small blessings to share right now.
 The phlox tumbles down the driveway edge
 and spills over the stacked ledge.
In a Holy Week that meets us in the unknown, 
I am so thankful for the known of this week's end-
Easter on Sunday.
And yes, let's remember that

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Worship into the Week- Resurrection and the Life

Worship into the Week-
The Death of Lazarus
John 11:1-44

Lazarus, the good friend of Jesus had died.
It was not a good day in Bethany.
Jesus had been told that Lazarus was sick,
 and the disciples were puzzled 
about the delay to respond.
He tells them that 
"this illness does not lead to death. 
It is for the glory of God, 
so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
Jesus finally arrives in Bethany.
 The sisters had heard that Jesus was coming.
  Martha went out to meet him 
and Mary remained seated in the house. 
Mary tells Jesus that if you had been here- 
he would not have died.
Jesus tells Martha, 
"I am the resurrection and the life. 
Whoever believes in me, though he die, 
yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes
 in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Martha says she believes that He is the Christ, 
the Son of God.
Martha goes to get her sister 
who was waiting at the house 
with the Jews that had come to console them.
They saw Mary leave and followed her 
as she went to meet Jesus.
Mary also tells Jesus that if had been there-
Lazarus would not have died.
Jesus sees her weeping and also the Jews
 who had come with her,
and was deeply moved and wept also.
The Jews said."See how he loved him!"
They comment that if Jesus makes the blind to see, 
he could have healed Lazarus.
Jesus comes to the tomb and asks
 for the stone to be rolled away.
Lazarus has been in the tomb for four days.
Martha offers that he will be stinky.
They roll the stone away 
and Jesus lifts his eyes and says,
 "Father I thank you that you have heard me.
I knew that you always hear me,
 but I said this on account of the
 people standing around, 
that they may believe that you sent me."
Then Jesus cried out,
"Lazarus, come out."
The man who had been dead for 4 days
 comes out with his hands and feet
 bound by the linen strips, 
and his face wrapped with a cloth.
Jesus says, "Unbind him, and let him go."

It is hard to imagine just what happened next.
But, I imagine it had some shouting and hollering.
The time of mourning 
turned into jubilee and dancing.
I do wonder if Lazarus was happy.
In heaven one minute 
and then back on earth 
and all of its challenges the next.
Perhaps because his "alive again"
 story brought tribute to God he was OK with it. 
I wonder if he told his sisters 
what heaven was like and tried to describe it to them.
This story helps us to picture 
coming back to life again.
We will need this hope 
for our journey into Holy Week.
In the middle of these days of tragic deaths,
we cling to the hope that this life is not the end.
The urgency is for those near death
 who don't know Jesus.
That gives us a real purpose
 to share this Resurrection hope story-
for the sake of the Gospel.

Visual Faith Church Year Printable
Magazine cutouts
Colored pencils
Junk Mail
Washi Tape

Friday, April 3, 2020

Lenten Journaling in Community- #7

When From Death I'm Free
Lenten Journaling - #7
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
This page- Paper  Collage
Hymn Meditation-
Image by Concordia Publishing House
 Mixed Media Collage page
Bible Margin from Visual Faith Ministry
Coloring page-
 Image by Pat Maier
Press ON-Paper Collage
Image by Sally Beck
Philippians 3:14
Scripture Reflection
 Concordia Publishing House image
Hymn Words Reflection-
 Brings back many images of Lent worship
 services from my childhood.
Concordia Publishing House image
Visual Faith experiment
Margin designs by Pat Maier
Journaling underneath Scrapbook page
From darkness to light-
The work of the Holy Spirit in 
my Spiritual Formation.
What do I see the Holy Spirit
 doing in my life?
It is process.... 
and His power.
Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Covid19 Dateline

   Some great resources from Visual Faith Ministry
 on our website.
Can use them for making cards, notes 
and all things encouragement in these days.
Here is the link :
They can be used as stickers
 or printed on copy paper and cut out.
I saw the following in a post on FB 
(trying to find who to give credit to) 
and thought it did a really great job
 of Marking the Moment:
Current Status- April 2, 2020

Gas price near my home $1.76
School cancelled - yes cancelled - for the rest of the year, 
as a teacher I am learning how to conduct “distance learning”
Self-distancing measures on the rise.
Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others 
to help distance shoppers (6ft) from each other.
Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, 
lineups outside the store doors.
Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
Entire sports seasons cancelled.
Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.
Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.
No masses, churches are closed.
No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 10 or less.
Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home.
Children's outdoor play parks are closed.
We are to distance from each other.

Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.

Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.

Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper,

 no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer.

Shelves are sometimes bare.

Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch
 their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.
Fines are established for breaking the rules (in some States)
Stadiums and recreation facilities open up
 for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
Press conferences daily from the President. 
Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
Government incentives to stay home.
Barely anyone on the roads.
People wearing masks and gloves outside.
Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

 The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, 
was declared March 11th, 2020.
As of April 2- we have reached the
one million mark of infected people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Scripture Doodles- March

Scripture Doodles March 2020
What a month this has been for sure!
I decided that for this month 
I was doing a number of 
Visual Faith practices for Lent,
so what I did to adjust this month was to use
  4 colors of Watercolor and prepared the month for gathering the world or phrase for each day.
I found that this "short-cut" still allowed me 
to have a place to gather the prayer prompt
 or take-away for the day and mark the Lenten journey.
It is ALWAYS OK to make adjustments 
in these practices so that they work for YOU.

 I wil be finding another devotion to use
 for April because our church is locked up
 with all of the Portals of Prayers inside.
 I know there is an online APP- 
but guess I am a hands-on paper kind of person.

Thanks to Dr. Kim D. Marxhausen
 from Lincoln, Nebraska for this 
month's Portal of Prayer devotions.