Saturday, December 30, 2017

Soul-Tending Reading - 2017

Spiritual Reading for 2017

Catching up with the Spiritual Formation
 reading list for 2017.
There is always a wide variety of topics.
This year spent more time looking at Israel
 and the life of Jesus there.
500th Anniversary of the Reformation
 brought some reading about Katie Luther.
 Stack is already waiting for this next year.
May you find reading material 
that blesses your soul 
and brings a depth to your thinking,
 living and praying.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Best Nine

 Some fun with the end 
of the year BEST NINE.
Here are some favorite 
Bible Journaling pages.
 Some favorite Best Nine- VRSLY.
Flowers and Foliage- Best NINE.
Around the House- Best NINE

Blessed by all things visual and temporal,
with an eye toward eternity.
Thank you Lord, for your very good gifts.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Best Nine- The Grands

Always fun to see the changes 
of the Grandsons each year.
Here is Best Nine- 2017
Above-Grandson #1- Griffin Joshua
 Grandson #2- Levi Michael
Grandson #3- Jackson Frederick
Grandson #4- Gordon John

What wonderful blessings
 are these 4 grandsons!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Visual Faith- Christmas Prayer Calendars

 I start some things that SEEM
 like a great idea for Visual Faith practices,
but don't always follow through.
Anyone else like that?
4 calendars-for Advent.
BUT, they were all so different 
and I DID have 4 devotionals
 I was anxious to read.
My friend-
 Bev Wicher designed this calendar.
I used a Frederick Buchner devotion called-
Moving Toward the Manger.
Remember -
 I pick out 4 colored pencils before I start - 
and those are the colors
 I use for the whole calendar.
  My friend - 
Sybil MacBeth designed this calendar.
I used a Henri J. M. Nouwen devotional called-
Jesus- God's Promise.
 Sybil also designed this calendar-
 I love all the space to add extra doodles
 and tangles in prayer time 
around each space.
 My friend- 
Pat Maier designed this calendar.
I read Chad Bird's Glory to God in the Highest.

For me this year- it was a bit different 
in a recovery mode with cataract surgery
 on both eyes and not driving anywhere.
So I had a bit more time to do 4 calendars.
don't I have great and talented friends?
 I loved the words, the prayer time,
 the readings, 
and the heart of Advent in this practice.
 Thanks Lord, for your blessing
 of faithfulness to bring it to completion. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Around the Advent Journey- Part 2

Love Came Down.
Old typewriters on
vintage suitcases.
 Advent Journey Part 2.
A favorite dozen gatherings.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Around the Advent Journey-Part 1

 A few of our favorite things
 around the house-
Advent Get Ready time.
Lots of old and handed down treasures.
The handmade and all 
the nativities and creches.
 And many gifts received
 through the years.
A favorite dozen gatherings.
 Part One.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

ADVENT-urous Tags

The ADVENT-urous Tag 
Visual Faith project was pioneered
 by Michele Schulteis when she was a member
 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 
Long Beach, California.
She put together a number of resources
 to create a tool for family conversation. 
It was made at an ADVENT event 
as an intergenerational project.
 For the church setting 
they used large manila tags-
#8 size. 
But, then we had requests for ideas 
for individual families to make this project.
To be cost-effective for large groups-
#8 tags come in a stash of 1000.
Don't really need that in a one family setting.
(Except you might have so much fun.....)
So we decided to use JUMBO 
playing cards from the Dollar Store.
( they are now hard to find there
 and we order them on Amazon)
One deck makes 2 full sets.
On the playing card side 
I simply added old Christmas cards
 with double-sided tape.
It makes an Advent calendar of sorts-
a question for conversation each day.
The project can be downloaded 
at the Visual Faith Ministry website-
at the link for Seasonal Resources.
ADVENT-urous tags
with full directions here.
AND.... if it is too late to think
 about for this year,
well, they'd make great gifts
 for NEXT year.
Here are young ones making 
their ADVENT tags 
at a family ADVENT event
 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church
 in Walled Lake, Michigan.
For the manila tags- 
Christmas wrapping paper or scrapbook paper
and washi tape
 make this project a whole lot of fun! 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Memories-

A number of things have been
 a bit different this year for Advent.
Cataract surgery on both eyes
 and I am still trying to 
figure out "seeing things".
Distance is getting pretty good.
Close up is gone. 
Hoping to deal with that yet.
So Christmas decorating 
has been a bit challenging.
Large scale things work.
 Nothing with the little hanger things.
This tree in the dining room 
worked well with some favorites. 
  It was a standard summer thing 
when our girls were young to take a roll 
of black and white film of them
 in vintage dress up dresses every summer.
  I wish I had added 
the year these were taken.
My guess is that it was 20 years ago. 
circa 1997.
 These are just black and white copies 
of the photographs
 and mounted on cardstock.

 Fancy edge scissors and a ribbon on top.
Old hats and a 100 year old dress.
An old bridesmaid dress of mine.
Think we were doing their "serious" poses.
They really were happy children.

And we even captured the day
 with good friend Elizabeth.

Oh, capture the memories as you can.
These days fly by so swiftly.
But, the JOY to grace a simple tree-
with some of the greatest gifts-
I've ever been blessed with in this life.