Friday, February 28, 2014

An Immutable God brings HOPE

As the frigid  and raw days of Winter stay within our boundaries,
there is HOPE.

Though this photo was taken in Phoenix, Arizona last week,
 we returned to the tundra to see the daffodils in the yard.
They are 6-8 inches tall- shot right out of the ground.
Isn't it wonderful that Spring knows how to do Spring?
 That we don't have to make it happen.
In the spinning and whirling of our days,
 we don't have to put this on our "to do" list.

Thanks, God, for taking the burden of rebirth from us humans.
For being the ONE that controls the seasons.
And when we are hunkered down in the waiting line-
We simply Hold out with HOPE.

For just as it is impossible for God to lie,
He sets Hope before us.
 He will do what He says.
 He will fulfill His purpose in Christ.
Spring will come.

"Thus God determining to show
 more abundantly
 to the heirs of promise
 the immutability of His counsel,
 confirmed it by an oath,
 that by two immutable things,
 in which it is impossible for God to lie,
 we might have strong consolation, 
who have fled for refuge
 to lay hold of the hope set before us.
 This hope we have an an anchor of the soul,
 both sure and steadfast."
 Hebrews 6: 17-19

Faith Rolodex Words:

These are the words I am thinking about today.
I explained what the Faith Family Rolodex is on this post:

 So on a cold February day-
I have an immutable God who brings HOPE.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Praying the Psalms- Three

  Finishing up the Praying the Psalms postings.

Psalm 15- Walk straight, act right. Tell the truth.

Psalm 16- Be my Lord! 
without YOU- nothing makes sense.

Psalm 17- Paint Grace graffiti on the fences!

Psalm 18- He Abides with me!

Psalm 19- God's Word is better than a diamond!

Psalm 20- He can transform our failures 
into victories.

God's Word-
 writing it down and 
praying it in, 
through the gift
of the
Holy Spirit.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Praying the Psalms-Two

     It is always a bit challenging to share personal prayer journeys-
what is to be kept private
and what might help "another beggar looking for bread."
The previous post shared the beginning. 
 Here I will share a bit more of the journey.

Just a wine cork as a stamp, 
colored pencils and flower cutouts from a Pottery Barn catalog.

 I wanted to share that I also use another book-
also a treasure to my friend Paula Parkison.
But, don't want anyone to feel like you have to be able to DRAW-
 to do an illustrated prayer journal of Scripture study.

The Psalms David James Freemantle

This work- The Psalms of David is the work of a lifetime-
encouraging to all of us-
 that the Time to do this discipline is not the defining issue-
 it is the Process.

Well, one more post and you will be caught up
 with my journey in
Praying the Psalms.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Praying the Psalms- One

A couple of years ago I was struggling with a way to do
 meaningful Bible Study
 that helped also in my Prayer LIfe.
part Lectio Divina--  part doodling and mostly-- Praying the Word in.
Because I am a VERY VISUAL person.
I was also listening to a friend who said-
 What about the rest of us - without a lot of supplies, and stamps 
or all the things to make it visual?

So I began the Grand Experiment-
because that is often what I call my Prayer Life.
One 8 1/2 by 11 journal from Plaza Art,
my colored pencils, a black pen I like, a couple of stamp ink pads
and wine corks.
Everybody can get hold of wine corks, right?

Then I had some left over flower shapes from a Creative Haven gathering.
Made from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs.
Don't need to buy any pretty paper.
Just need a friend with a couple of Sizzix die cuts.

So- materials are kept low cost and readily available.
An important factor when the desire is to make this possible- in Community.

This particular journal is not used as my response-
 but simply the retelling of God's Word that makes a direct path to my heart.

I read the same Psalm in a variety of formats.

Reading the Psalms with Luther

I have the 1973 version and this is the newer, updated 2004 edition.

and my personal favorite Bible.

And I can't draw. And there is not just one way to do this.
And it is a practice of listening for what God wants me to hear.
It is not a word for word recapture.
It is the kernel for Me -- THAT DAY.
And the doodling or drawing
 are simply added because they keep me in the prayer.
And at this pace with 150 Psalms, and since I am at Psalm 20 at this time-
this may take me 15 years to complete.
God Willing.
Because it really is about the journey.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gifts of Heart

One day a year.  Not a bad thing to celebrate. 
Because we need everyday reminders of the grace of heart gifts. 
The ones we tend to take for granted.
 Expect to always be there.
Grab hold of and embrace- without thinking about the cost of the gift. 

When others have been careless with a key to my heart.

When I forget that I am the ONE that Jesus Loves

And that the love story will be like a hundred separate chapters all together.
And it isn't a real story without ALL the Chapters.

Because God so loved the world that He gave His son for me.

And when the gritty pressures of life
 make me feel that I don't have anything left to give-
My heart takes Hold on Thee.

Sometimes it is a childlike heart that allows real forgiveness 
to seep in deep.

And I need to see it daily that His streams of mercy are never ceasing
and the wellspring of this love thing is REALLY GOD.

So singing softly within -my soul does praise Him.

And my life is a light reflected.

Gently guarded.

Gathered together.

Then  I am gently reminded that the greatest of these is LOVE-
So I give thanks to God for the gift of Gospel Grace
 embodied in this life entwined-
 this heart shared journey with the man
 who daily teaches me the Gospel Truth
 of the real cost of living loved-



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Awakenings

Was getting ready for a Creative Haven evening here

punching hearts and hymnal page circles
 these make a great banner to hand-make for heart day

and saw a project on Pinterest and thought we might try our hand at these:

used doilies to get some heart shapes and cut hearts out of the cardboard stock pile

cereal boxes would work for this and they are free!

used paper on cardboard for first layer
 then an accordion pleated "notes" medallion
fabric covered heart
Oh my soul - Praise Him circle
 on top of THAT
 2 felt hearts stitched together
some vintage buttons and a pearl
added a bit of glitter on the heart edge

some ruffled crepe paper edge- sewn on the sewing machine
 some vintage paper from an French book
and rolled magazine medallions- 
confiscated form Laura's art room when we moved her from Las Vegas to Ann Arbor

can see here I added some stamped ink on the first layer

a beautiful fabric rosette brought from friend Bonnie
 was the absolute amazing finishing touch

some crinkle ribbon for a hanger
some wonderful ribbon yarn at the base
a lattice punched heart 

So tried my hand at another one

details- found a wonderful crochet flower

finished off with a sparkly vintage pin

A bit of heart gatherings on my snowy
February birthday
in Virginia.

Not a bad day held in softness.